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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Buckocaster51, May 20, 2014.
I had a loaded '83 Trans Am. 5ltr V8. Just over 180hp.
The latest Holden Commodore sedans here have 270Kw.
That's 360Hp ... to take the kids to school.
Yet there's a speed camera every 10km.
The good 'ol days of motoring really are gone. I think small, gutless sportscars that handle brilliantly really are the future.
Thanks for all the info... man those early Miatas were featherweights. I thought my Subaru BRZ was light--it's just under 2800.
The S2000 has always seemed like a more "technical" car to me. Driving the Miata it feels like a sports tourer. You can certainly push it, but you can also just cruise along in it. The S2000 feels like you have to race it wherever you go as its power band is quite high up the rev range.
I really like the S2000's styling with one glaring exception. I just don't know what they were thinking with the space-age, digital dash. I know it's a personal thing, but I couldn't look at that all day...
Most of my "car friends" are people I met though involvement in autocross or the British roadster hobby. They don't see the Mazda MX-5 / Miata as a gender-specific ride at all. I didn't need to explain to them why my short list of prospective next hobby car had the Mazda Miata, Porsche 924s and 944, and V6 New Edge Mustang on it, either. They "got it" with no explaination required.
Some of my "car friends" are people I met through past ownership of a AAR Cuda, LT-1 Stingray, V8 Mustangs, and other V8 cars. To them, ANY CAR without a V8 in is unworthy or a real man's time, attention, or money. If they do any motorsport, it's drag racing they do. No amount of explaining will get them to understand why I would rather have a V6 New Edge Mustang in my garage than a V8 powered one. My interest in Mustangs has always been about using them as "cheap sports cars" rather than viewing them as "micro muscle cars." Becasue their focus is on drag racing, they need the most powerful car to have the maximum fun, apparenty.
I don't need the most powerful csr to have a good time on a road course, or at the local autocross event, or to enjoy a road like the highway that runs through Oak Creek Canyon from Sedona, AZ to Jerome, AZ. What I'd rather have is a car that lets me make full use of whatever power it's got and one that has me grinning from ear to ear while putting it to use.
To me, the Miata is that kind of car. So was the Porsche 924s that I cherished. I see Mustangs in the same way, but with them, "some assembly is required" to get the handling up to a level that allows for making full use of their power. Fortunately, that's cheap and easy to do.
One of the reasons why I was so focused on Miata, Porsche Mustang in my hobby car shopping was because of the level of club and aftermarket support they enjoy, and with the Miata and the specific Porsche models and Mostangs I was looking for, how easy they are for the typical home mechanic to spin wrenches on. That's part of the fun for me, too.
I still want a Miata. My wife has wanted one since she was in high school. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with the "mid-life crisis" accusations from her. I had a Porsche 924s, an LX 5.0 Mustang, a race-prepped MG Midget, and a tricked-out '73 Bronco when we first met. So she knows that my interest in hobby cars and grass-roots motosports like autocross isn't some "new thing" that infected me when I turned 40.
I expect I'll get one in a few years and likely will not have spousal objection to overcome when I do.
My wife had a Civic with a similar dash... I didn't like it either.
I bet the new one weighs more than 2000 lbs! Weight creep is one reason cars now need 200HP, but back in the day when Colin Chapman was designing cars, he used the motto add lightness. He reasoned that if you add power to a car it will be faster in a straight line, but if you remove weight, it will be faster everywhere, and that ethos has been built into Lotus cars since then. It's no surprise then that the original MX-5 was inspired by the lovely little Lotus Elan. When it came out the Elan was 690 kg (1500 lbs) and despite an underpowered engine, could accelerate to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.
Light weight = fun!
I had one of those, too! It handled really, really well.
I wound up putting a 300 hp "ZZ3" crate engine from GM Performance Parts in it, then selling it to buy a new '92 5.0 Mustang. The Mustang was fun to drive, in part, because it was a little "rough around the edges" in the handling department. But the TA was a better all around car, I think. I actually regretted selling it and getting the Mustang. My ailing and elderly grandmother could have turned in a very respectable lap time at Willow Springs in my old Trans Am. It wasn't as drama-prone as the 'Stang was, and a LOT more forgiving beast to go fast in.
I learned a lesson in automotive engineering from that Trans Am. Adding what to me was a lot more power didn't really make the car a lot faster or come out of corners a lot quicker. The engine swap ramped up the HP significantly but didn't ramp up the torque a significant amount. It had plenty of torque stock -almost more than the then high-tech Goodyear tires on it could deal with.
Remebering what 180 hp AND 300 hp felt like in that Trans Am is what made me think I could live with 190hp in the lighter by a few hundred pounds Mustang I've got now.
Weight = safety.
Computers = fuel efficient with weight.
Porsche 550 = no James Dean.
When we were in Oz, my wife's cousin was driving us around showing us all the speeding cameras on the overpasses. He knew exactly when he could speed and when he had to slow down. Strange system you have there!
Yup! They have to tell you by law that they're about to catch you, so you can slow down.
That said: if you still speed after two HUGE signs saying there's a speed camera up ahead ... you kinda need to be reminded that you're driving a car, how about concentrating!
Long journeys though, it's easy on freeways to zone out.
Doesn't bug me though - I'm the guy in the left lane doing 90 in a 110 zone.
Wow, that thing must have been "dangerously slow." How did it ever get up a hill? I'm guessing that no-one in Colorado ever bought one.
I talked to a guy once that told me it is common to put the aluminum corvette motor in the
for track use.
I'd rather have an rx7 or rx8. No convertible for me.
Me too. Round here, a convertible means you're going to get hot and sunburnt.
I had a 91 Miata for years and years, sold it when my first kid was born (she'll be 8 this summer) and miss it pretty much every time I get in a car. Nothing I've owned short of a sport bike is as much fun as the Miata was. Mine lived in Minnesota al it's life and was driven year-round the whole time. The only rust on it was from poorly repaired accident damage. Definitely the most reliable car I've owned, and I drove it like a dumb teenager 99% of the time. A friend of mine was into BMW's (he had an LS-swapped E-36) we traded cars for a drive, I drove his like a grandma and was still over the speed limit. My friend dug driving my Miata so much, he went out and got his own! Sure lots of things are faster, in a straight line, but realistically where are you gonna use 11-teen billion HP without going to jail, or replacing your back tires every month? The "chick car" stigma keeps them from getting stolen like a typical hot car, and the insurance on them was surprisingly low. I see them for sale sometimes for under 2K for a ratty one, you can get most everything from Moss Motors for whatever needs fixing, and a surprising amount right from the dealer too. Try that with almost any other 90's car! Oh yeah, the tops on them are very simple, mine was about $500 to replace it (when it was 14 years old, even the tops last a long time) another friend had a mustang convertible and her top was gonna cost $2k to replace and wasn't as old.
So yeah, you pretty much can't go wrong with one of these.
Don't recall ever seeing one back then, so yeah, you must be right!
I want a convertible bad. The front range of Colorado is actually a great place to have one. I owned one of these in a sedan... would love to have the convertible version.
The "Production" Model:
Apparently only 179 were made.
That's where the Power Retractable Hard Top comes in handy.
One press of a button and in 15 seconds you go from this to this...
I said mine was a DD
No problems climbing steep grades on a dusty dry dirt road, thanks to the Torsen Limited Slip Differential and wide torque band of the BP engine. BTW, my car isn't 'lowered' that's the suspension compressing from all the weight