Affordable options for getting into the sports car thing

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by naveed211, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Alfas get a bad rap for reliability but that wasn't my experience at all with the 69 Spider. Bought it in Dallas about 1984-85 and used it every day, never let me down and this one has the Spica injection. Drove it in Minnesota too until my wife wanted me to sell it.
    At that point I concocted a plan to keep it, convinced her it'd sell for more with a fresh coat of paint. I tore it apart with no intention of finishing the paint job until years later. Well it's years later and the idea of doing it now doesn't even sound like fun.
    For less than 10k you can pick up a bunch of cars like a Mazda or Z3 or Z4 in pretty decent shape and just enjoy the ride.
     
  2. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    I’d tend to agree with the Miata comments, but given the above, is this a situation you’d want to be able to fit three people in the car at times? Or just two? Just wondering. Pains me to say, but I might tilt my head in the direction of Mustangs if you need that back seat.
     
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  3. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I didn't read all 7 pages, but was surprised lack of GTI discussion. The VW GTIs are now generations into all of sports, affordable, huge mod platform, and also practical.
     
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  4. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    I may be wrong, but I think the OP is after something that looks fast and sporty. If a Golf GTi fits the bill he should go for it, but my Renault 5 turbo used to make the earlier ones seem a bit slow :)
     
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  5. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This turns heads everytime I go out.... Turning heads is what it's about. Well within your budget.... Rust free is hard to find but this one is. IMG_20200407_192731577.jpg
     
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  6. NC E30

    NC E30 Tele-Meister

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    Corvettes have had independent rear suspensions since the original C2 in 1963. If I remember correctly, the C4 was one of the first production cars to pull 1g of lateral acceleration back in the 80's.

    You really should drive a couple of different cars. Years ago (before kids), I drove a C4 and my wife drove a Miata. They were both great fun to drive, but very different. As much as I loved the Corvette, I found myself jumping in her Miata as much as possible. Both of these cars were sold many years ago, but I still miss the Miata.

    The old saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow really does come into play here.

    Life is to short to drive boring cars, so go have some fun.
     
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  7. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Can't beat this for handling - my brother's 2005 Lotus Elise 111s. He took me for a ride in it once and it was a hoot - it's very quick (only weighs about as much as a can of beans) and tears round roundabouts (an English thing!) like it was on rails. Scared me to death - but in a fun way, haha! Plus it looks like a piece of sculpture...
    2005 Lotus Elise 111s.jpg

    Sadly it is mostly confined to the garage these days, as my brother prefers to be out riding his high-end bicycles for a sunny day out!
     
  8. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    GTIs are now in an 8th (or more if you count mk 7.5) spanning 45 years. With after market options and far more options than many cars you can make a GTI, basic Golf or AWD wagon versions like or near same as an R that's 320 HP and AWD.

    I suppose it's part-personal taste, but the large wheels with 40 and 45 series tires always tell me it's not a basic econo car.

    Knowing earlier Mustangs, Subarus, Miatas, Minis, BMW Ms and others, Golfs also have design, fit and feel aspects that transcend being a compact or affordable car. Recent years also have better electronics implementation such as touch screen Car Play.

    If you want performance and not necessarily track ready, the right AWD wagon VWs have Haldex and options to get the EA888 engine powered like the R model. A stock model with 6 speed manual transmission and Haldex engaged drifts like a car costing MUCH more.
     
  9. CharlieO

    CharlieO Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    And the OP is not going to be able to buy one of those for $10,000.
     
  10. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I know this video is about < $30,000 fun cars, but most of the ones on the list have been around for so long that < $10,000 used versions may be out there.



     
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  11. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    As we were looking to replace my ‘89 Mustang 5.0 hatch we drove a bunch of Miatas. A guy down the street had an older one with a good supercharger installed, and that was a pretty fast little car that retained it’s handling properties. I nearly bought it even though I really wanted a back seat or cargo area, but it had been in a bad hailstorm & repainted and I was afraid the bondo would eventually let go.
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think there have been many, many replies to this thread that counter that.

    I have to say, though, that mental impressions stick. For me, I formed an impression in high school of who owns, or wants to own, a Corvette, and that impression hasn't changed.
     
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  13. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    My late mother's neighbour worked for Lotus in Norfolk. He could have bought an Elise at a very good price, but he bought an MX5. The car park at the Lotus factory was full of them.
     
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  14. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    MGB, if you have any mechanical and electrical skills... ;)

    Easy to work on and modify for me anyhow.

    FB_IMG_1601003131244.jpg
     
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  15. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Speaking of great perspective, you’re showing it too.

    May your ships come in, or maybe you advance in your career. I hope when the time is right you’re able to get a car you can really enjoy.

    There’s rumbles that Porsche is going to do a new entry level car, now that the Boxster and Cayman are getting pricey. It’ll probably be an ev. Now that should be fun and I hope you can afford one someday.
     
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  16. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    OK I guess I have some experience in this matter, hate that I just saw this thread.

    Dad bought a 1988 Vette after his divorce and mid life crisis. 350 CI motor, put out about 250 pony power and weighed about 3300 pounds. It was I thought a pretty good car at the time. The suspension was pretty stiff though and driving through OK was not always fun. However, it was constantly in need of attention. My Dad bought it used and it has 20K on the odometer and it made more noise than my '73 Chevy pickup. The cabin squeaks, the rattles and such just about drove me crazy. As for driving experience it was OK, it had decent torque but not like my friends SS Chevelle, and it cornered OK, but I could not get over the long nose in front. My Dad kept it for a couple of years and sold it and bought a large four door sedan when he got remarried. Oh and parts, figure to pay a "corvette tax" when you go to get parts. Same alternator powered my truck was $29.99, for the vette, $69.99. :)

    Brother bought a 2003 Mustang GT second hand in 2006. It has about 25K on the odometer and he thought he got a steal. Turned into a piece of coal. Tie rods squeaked from day one, guy he bought it from said it just needed a lube job!! Then it started having overheating issues which cost him some big bucks to get an upgraded radiator which seemed to sort out the problem. Then one night he is out showing off, doing burn outs at the stop lights when he hears a pop and he has lost some power. He drives the car to my house the next day and asked me to look it over. I can hear some kind of air leak and find that he has shot one of the spark pugs out of the hole. It was hanging from the boot. He had to heliarc a new plug in there and he was not very comfortable driving it after that. He sold the car to another dude and bought a lexus. On the flip side one of my brother's friends bought a six cylinder mustang, that thing has like 300K and is still moving.

    I went looking for some jet skis one fair summer day. Guy had a pair for sale for a grand I was wanting to make a lake trip. So I drive about 45 minutes to the site with a grand in cash. I get there and the jet skis were in a little worse for wear than I thought. The trailer was beat up, one tire was flat and one of the skis had some motor issues while the other ran but was thrashed. So I am about to get back in my truck and leave when I see a little white Miata sitting on the other side of the guys house with a "for sale" sign on it. I pointed at the car and asked him to tell me about it.

    1991 Miata, white with a nice paint job other than the drivers door where it has the paint peel issue. 80K on the motor and it looked OK. What I did notice though was the extra oil lines running along the front of the engine. I crawl under the car and see that the oil cooler for the turbo is still on the car. They have just made a longer oil line and bypassed the turbo which was missing. I asked and the guy tells me he sold the turbo off separately a few months earlier. I quickly lost interest and was about to leave when he said he would sell it for the same as the jet skis. I go back and look at the car again, a little more thoroughly this time. Ripped top which could be patched, interior is dirty and sun faded but fixable and the cowl that is always broken on the dash is in good shape. Even the head rest speakers still worked. I asked to take it for a test drive and he tells me that the brakes are really soft so to be careful and that it needs a muffler. Well the brakes were non existent, I used the emergency brake to stop but that thing was fun! The muffler was actually gone! It was a small tail pipe off the headers that ended right under the drivers seat and it was loud as could be and I felt like I was driving a race car. I parked the car but wiped the grin off my face before I pulled into the driveway.

    Guy wants to sell the car really bad. I complained about the brakes and the muffler. He says he has the new brake booster and would throw it in for a grand. I asked him why he did not install it and he laughed and said it was a pain in the @SSSSSS. I showed him my large hands and he said he would knock a $100 off for the brake issue. I point out the ripped top, the missing muffler and the paint on the door and said I would do $800. We settled at $850 and I drove it home.

    I put about $500 in that car over the next few months, new exhaust, new brake booster and brakes, refinished the interior and I had a blast every time I drove it. My son and I were driving some backroads and he leans over and yells through the wind, "how fast are we going?" I look down and was amazed we were doing 45MPH! With the wind, the twisty road and me jamming the gears I thought we had to be doing at least 100.

    I kept the car for six years. It was loaned to my daughter for while and came back to me. Then it was the weekend car for a while. I am almost 6'4" and weighed anywhere from 250-300 pounds during that time I owned the car. I did do some foam work in the seat (the miata people call it a "seatectomy") where it lowered the seat height about 2" which meant I could put the top up without getting out of the car.

    About four years ago my brother in law was dealing with some issues in his family and came to visit me. He mentioned the miata and as I had just replaced the timing belt and water pump I suggested we take it for spin and he should drive it. I had this little course set up behind my subdivision where the road emptied into a strip mall with a large theatre on one end. It made a little race track if one raced down behind the strip mall, then hit a hard right and another right and then around a large left and then back to the back of the strip mall. It was great fun.
    So my brother in law is driving like he is driving Miss Daisy. I tell him to mash it, no fun comes until 4K on the tachometer. He starts to really get into it when he come to the first left hand curve and he lifts. I tell him to keep it floored and just steer around the corner. He does and the car tracks around that corner and the next two without him lifting and we go screaming behind the strip mall back to the main road. He stops at the stop sign and looks over at me with this ear to ear grin. "You have to sell me this car" he tells me.

    I did, gave him a deal and he still has it today. By the way he is about 6'2 and goes 300 plus and he has no issues squeezing into that car.

    I kind of went long there and now I am off to CL to look for a Miata!!
     
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  17. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep, I hear you. I actually met a BMW tech by shear chance one day and I asked him what was the most common issues he experienced with used BMW's. His answer was the VANOS and electrical things like sensors etc. and, yes, very expensive to fix. The piece of advice he gave me, which I thought was valuable, was to get the seller to take it to a BMW dealership and have them run a full diagnostic on it before buying it. Even if you have to pay for the service, it could be well worth the $ vs. buying a lemon. If the seller doesn't agree with this, walk away.
     
  18. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Our '93 Miata NA is the most fun you can have with your pants on. 45mph feels like 85...

    20210605_181148.jpg

    IMG_8563.jpg

     
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  19. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oddly, my '01Miata has been my most reliable car over the last 15 years. Had to replace a coil pack once, and that is the only problem I recall over my 60k miles of ownership. Maintenance is fairly cheap and easy. BUT, it has never seen snow or salt.

    I WILL admit sports cars are not particularly practical. I wouldn't want one as my only car! I was basically looking for a commuter car because I was driving a Chevy truck at the time. Then I found out Miatas get about 30 mpg, so I went for it. I have always regretted selling my 73 MGB. But the Miata handles much better and has no Lucas components.
     
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