For something good and cheap that can get beaten and you won't feel that terrible about, get one of the Kramer Focus strat copies from musicyo.com for $70. They actually sound on par with a Mexican Strat.
Otherwise, I'd echo everyone else and say that it would be smart to something used. Specifically, look for a Tele knockoff, it sounds like it might be up your alley tonally. Plus, a well-made Tele or Tele knockoff is a robust guitar, since it's about as simple as it can get. I'd think twice about leaving it in your trunk permanentely though since the heat fluctuations will warp the neck and make it more difficult to play.
For an amp to go with it, look at the Vox Pathfinder (new: $120) It's a 15 watt solid state that is built like a tank and has pretty damn good tone for the price; it's also got a definite classic rock/blues vibe to it that's nice. A hell of a lot more tone than any of the cheap Marshalls or Peavys.
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