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BEATO
BEATO
7/30/12 11:01 p.m.

Hello. I am a Noob around here. I recently had a spill on my Ducati due to the heavy rain spreading sand and gravel onto the middle of my favorite twisty country roads. Damage wasn't bad just a broken collarbone.

Well, the equation is now 2 wheels + 2 Kids = 4 wheeled sports car.

So I wanted to get everyone's opinion on what car I should get in order to replace my Duc. I did some track days with the Ducati and so that would still be a requirement. Not sure I am interested in autoX since I would Like to stretch the car's legs. I also want something that is street legal and great machine to replace my Sunday morning rides. I live in NY metro area in case it matters, it may just mean that I can sue you or cut you, your pick.

My initial budget will be about $10K, I will slowly add more upgrades (<$1K ) as funds become available.

Here are some of the cars I am looking at. I will caveat with the fact I am mechanically inclined to a point, Example is I recently replaced the blown piston on my Stihl saw. I guess I can learn more.

So here is a preliminary list:

Rx-8 - handles, low entry price, with money left over for wheels and rebuilding engine, engine design seems simple to wrench, bad coils, bad cat, bad seals, 5W-30 oil only,

Miata - Fun car to toss around, not a lot of oomph, open air fun, potential track car, Miatabusa project makes me drool.

350Z - Nissan Guy

240sx Silvia Project - Is it really that easy to swap in a SR20DET front end?

e36 M3 - Can a 20-yr car get it done?

S2000- 2 fast 2 Furious? overpriced? Prone to theft?

Mustang or factory 5? rolling in my 5.0

Rabbit GTI w/16v - 1981 is calling but do I really want FWD?

Merkur x4rti- Looks fast, got a Turbo (Its late and I cant believe I wrote that)

Name calling and suggestions welcome. Thanks!

jhaas
jhaas Reader
7/30/12 11:12 p.m.

i say b5 A4 quattro, or 90-91 audi coupe quattro (i painted this one!) http://rezmoto.com/magazine/2010/July2010/RezmotoArt3_2.php

AUDI S6 for $2k http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/200x-classifieds/1995-audi-s6-2000-in-mo/46469/page1/

Appleseed
Appleseed PowerDork
7/31/12 12:31 a.m.

If you want to take the family with you, that would eliminate quite a few cars on that list.

Catatafish
Catatafish Reader
7/31/12 4:10 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: If you want to take the family with you, that would eliminate quite a few cars on that list.

+1. The car that will do family duty truly well on that list would be a 4 door m3.

Travis_K
Travis_K SuperDork
7/31/12 5:44 a.m.

Audis (at least the 90s A6) are really not at all fun to work on. If you dont mind old cars, alfa milanos are cool too, and IMO more fun than an E30 to drive. They arent perfect, but they are cheap to buy and really easy to work on, and a great car for country roads. They are also fine for track days if you make sure everything is in good shape. Lots of people like MK2 GTIs too, but they seem kinda cheaply made and hard to keep running right to me.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
7/31/12 6:19 a.m.

$10k can build a pretty quick NA miata

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/31/12 7:07 a.m.

I agree.. if you are after a family.. the E36 M3 is the way to go. if the kidlets are still small, you can squeeze them into the back of the RX8.

If you are worried about the longevity of a 20 year old E36 (the newest of which is 13 years old) what about the age of the 240sx? Merkur or GTI?

As Much as I like the Merkur.. I have yet to see one in the wild that was not on it's last legs.. the GTIs have all been stanced and "patinaed" and the 240s are saddled with a "drift tax".. which is a shame, they are all good cars

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
7/31/12 7:38 a.m.

Alfa Milano Verde? It will be way way under your price cap.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
7/31/12 7:50 a.m.

Lexus IS-300

/thread

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/31/12 8:06 a.m.

only if you can get the IS in a manual.. too many of them were autos

Caleb
Caleb Reader
7/31/12 9:43 a.m.

Well if you shop around you could score a GTO in that price range or even a base model C5

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH PowerDork
7/31/12 9:47 a.m.

If you want to carry the family it has to be the Mustang or RX-8. The big problem with an RX-8 is the extremely maintenance-intensive and fuel-inefficient engine. If you can find one that's already been LSx-swapped that would be perfect.

rotard
rotard Dork
7/31/12 10:12 a.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: If you want to carry the family it has to be the Mustang or RX-8. The big problem with an RX-8 is the extremely maintenance-intensive and fuel-inefficient engine. If you can find one that's already been LSx-swapped that would be perfect.

It's not really maintenance-intensive. They burn less oil than a lot of cars on this message board do. You really just need to check it every other fill-up or so and avoid flooding. I would replace the coils, but that is pretty easy. Just make sure you get one that's still under the 8 year/100k mile engine warranty.

That said, I was very anal about all this stuff, but my engine lost compression at 60kish miles. Mazda replaced it in a couple days with NO issues whatsoever. There are better candidates, due to price considerations, for an LSX swap, such as second generation RX-7's.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
7/31/12 10:37 a.m.

No car can replace a Ducati for $10K. I would get a Minivan and accept your fate.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
7/31/12 10:42 a.m.
mguar wrote: Don't buy any Ford Prior to 2008 and the newer the better.. so Mustang is out.. RX8? There is a good reason it depreciates quickly. BMW's tend to be overpriced as are the parts from a dealer. Miata, Very nimble, fun, darn reliable, and easy on the pocketbook, but won't carry kids.. 350ZX Nissan? It's flaw is it's an almost car.. almost fun, almost reliable, almost nimble, etc. Plus it's exhaust noise is really annoying..

DUDE?!? 350z/G35 coupe exhaust note is probably the best oem exhaust youre likely to find under $70k - basically you need to go to Europe with a suitcase-full of ransom money to find better

szeis4cookie
szeis4cookie Reader
7/31/12 11:55 a.m.

E34 M5? Maybe an E39 if bought right?

BEATO
BEATO New Reader
7/31/12 12:22 p.m.

Thanks Gents, I already got a F-150 for the Daily drive ( formerly the bike's track camel) so I don't need a 4 door. Our family car is a VW passat so I know about German tax.

alfa's - Italian bike: yes, Italian car... moving on Audi - nothing before 2000

350z - love the exhaust note but I heard it handles like a jap 'stang and seems portly besides love the lines of the g35 better but that is heavier

M3 - My mechanic is fair and reasonable and really knows euro cars so still on the agenda

rotard wrote: That said, I was very anal about all this stuff, but my engine lost compression at 60kish miles.

YIKES!!

Rx-8 thought i was already expecting the worst but you guys are scaring me yet the allure of the simple repairs

DaveEstey wrote: $10k can build a pretty quick NA miata

Miata - Go on, I'm listening..

So i guess we are at BMW M3, Miata and S2000 (since no opposition, or silence = agreement)

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH PowerDork
7/31/12 12:32 p.m.

If there's no need for 4 doors or 4 seats then I'd recommend choosing between the Miata and S2K.

The Miata is the simplest and cheapest to own of those three by far, but it's also the slowest in a straight line and you want something closer to the sportbike's speed. S2Ks are pretty quick, basically a more refined, much more powerful but also heavier Miata. Not nearly as cheap up front and some parts will be harder to find due to the relative rarity of these things but they're still fairly simple and reliable.

The M3 might be a good choice if you wanted the car to double as a nice DD and carry passengers but for a weekend fun car, that's a lot of extra expense, weight and complexity to take on for no reason, and you lose the option of driving with the top down.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve UltimaDork
7/31/12 12:32 p.m.

For track use, the open cars are a bit of a disadvantage. Most amateur racing and track day organizations what you to have a top or a roll cage. Easy enough to add to the Miata or S2000, but one more cost you need to incur.

Travis_K
Travis_K UberDork
7/31/12 12:38 p.m.
BEATO wrote: alfa's - Italian bike: yes, Italian car... moving on Audi - nothing before 2000

This statement does not compute. Audis are way worse than any old italian car you will find below $10k.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UltraDork
7/31/12 12:41 p.m.
Travis_K wrote:
BEATO wrote: alfa's - Italian bike: yes, Italian car... moving on Audi - nothing before 2000

This statement does not compute. Audis are way worse than any old italian car you will find below $10k.

Absolutely.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
7/31/12 1:32 p.m.

I'm reading this thread with avid interest.

I'm selling my last Buell as I've decided it's time to wrap myself in steel and four wheels. Maybe if I lived in a place that wasn't so car populated I could still ride but I don't so I won't.

I like the idea of an RX-8 as well but they're lower priced for a reason. That car with the Mazdaspeed 3's engine would be perfect.

An E36 M3 is a damned fine car but costly to maintain. I'd sooner go with a newer turbo 335i. You can get them with a warranty that should insulate you from the BMW maintenance costs.

I've owned quite a few Miata's. I even had a 200+ hp turbo job I built myself. It was fun but you can't bring along the family. Also, that level of modification can get old real fast. I love the idea of a Miata-Busa as well but the real world, aka driving on streets, rewards torque. Busa motors are gorgeous gems but will have trouble navigating streets. That leaves swapping in an LSx and that's a long road to go down with any Miata. Long and expen$ive.

S2000 would be fun. See above but with more power and less reasons to swap or modify the motor. Could this be the answer? I have no idea. I've only test driven one.

GTI's? Nice cars but I'd rather have right wheel drive for a fun sports car.

All the others I believe to either be too old or requiring to much modification. They're fine cars but I don't think they'll scratch your itch.

If you need a two seater..what about a Corvette? V8 torque. Cheap(ish) maintenance. Get a C5 or reach down for a C4 and use the left over budget to kit it up some.

If you need four seats a BMW may be your only option. Although I have seem some pretty mean Cadillac CTS-V's running all over VIR. Which brings us to GTO's and G8's. These are all heavy, beastly, ground pounders. The BMW may be a bit more svelte. Convertible E30?

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
7/31/12 1:45 p.m.

In reply to BEATO:

http://www.flyinmiata.com/us/for_sale.php

The top options is IMO, the best option.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
7/31/12 1:46 p.m.
m4ff3w wrote:
Travis_K wrote:
BEATO wrote: alfa's - Italian bike: yes, Italian car... moving on Audi - nothing before 2000

This statement does not compute. Audis are way worse than any old italian car you will find below $10k.

Absolutely.

I wouldn't touch an Audi with someone else's money.

Travis_K
Travis_K SuperDork
7/31/12 1:50 p.m.

Neither would I, after seeing what my friend had to do to change the front main seal in his moms A6. It was fine once he got it back together, but it was such a ridiculously difficult job the car was sold shortly after while it didnt need any work.

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