The trouble with badly ragged out cars is that they aren't worth anything really.
You spend more money and time on them than you ever get out in resale value or in service. You can never get them back up to an acceptable level of reliability.
Those guys on the used car lot put an unrealistic price on the car, then came down stteply on the price, as a strategy to get somebody excited enough about the possibilities of the car to take it off their hands.
They probably gave a hundred bucks for the car. They do this for a living.
Often in car buying you win when you walk away from the deal.
Keep looking and good luck,