I bought my 91 Dodge Caravan in Van 3 years ago. Still goes really well. Only had a few minor problems with it. Great on gas and if driven carefully its great in the snow. Mine only had 145K on it at the time and I got it for $1100 with an Air Care cert. Check around White Rock. Loads of oldies living there selling low KM cars.
I'm looking for a beater car this winter also for up in Anchorage.
Problem is I can't decide if I should sell my 81k mile Hyundai Tiburon to try for some extra cash to go towards a winter beater.. (I owe $3k on it but can get 4.5K for it) or if I should just keep it and put it in storage and keep my payments.. a $700 beater car would be perfect haha. Hopefully I'll meet adn make friends with a mechanic when I get there.
can't go wrong with honda and toyota. in that part of the country rust is going to be an issue with any "beater", but the hondas and toyota's are all front wheel drive and will run the longest with the least attention.