I wouldn't buy the cheapest car possible, if you can't fix it yourself. Cheap cars are usually cheap because the labor of fixing them is so high compared to the vehicle value, making them not worth owning. If you gotta buy something under $1000, get something super simple with parts that are easily to get.
I don't know what sort of cheap cars you got in America, but I know my 2008 Fiat Punto daily driver has managed to survive many miles of me driving it like a lunatic, spinning it into ditches, driving it through really deep floodwater, and driving it with almost no oil. I could have just been lucky, but as far as I'm concerned, it's pretty reliable.
Also If you want a specific colour, just buy a car that colour, repainting a car is insanely expensive, assuming you don't mean painting it yourself with a brush.