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Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/21/20 4:54 p.m.

You don’t want them to get frustrated with their first project and scare them off forever. I’ve wanted each of these cars at one point or another, but the Miata is the only choice here. 

Daylan C (Forum Supporter)
Daylan C (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/21/20 6:17 p.m.

Either the MR2 or Miata. Probably the Miata. 

MR2 has weird mid engined vibes and is just cool while still being an old Toyota.

And the Miata is a Miata. I don't think I have to explain it. 

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/21/20 6:29 p.m.

No contest here whatever, get the Miata.

Really Jeremy, a Miata?  Isn't that kind of overdone by now?

Maybe.  But there is a reason for that.  The Miata IS the answer.  It's the 42 of the car world.

No Time
No Time Dork
5/21/20 6:58 p.m.

i agree with the recommendation to find a vehicle they think is cool. They will be more engaged and likely to stay interested. 

I was going through similar thought exercises trying to find the right project, and realized that what I was interested in wasn't the same as my sons interest. There's overlap, but he's more F&F, WRX, and JDM yo!


In our case we ended up going with a Suzuki SX4 hatch as a first car and ongoing project. He's excited about it and anxious to learn to drive stick. 

We paid $2500 for the car from a friend of the family, including a set of snows. It's awd with selectable FWD, Auto AWD, and locked AWD. The exhaust is aftermarket and sounds nice without being something that will get him the wrong kind of attention.

Fun to drive with the 5 speed, surprising amount of aftermarket for incremental upgrades, and cheap parts. 

He plans to start with plastidip for the wheels, and then we'll gradually work through. 

So I guess the point is, find something they will be interested in because they like the car and not just because it's yours. The ability to do incremental upgrades is a plus since it can be a daily driver and upgrades matched to skill, experience, and self control. 
 

 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
5/21/20 6:59 p.m.

Suzuki SX4s are deceptively good cars.

No Time
No Time Dork
5/21/20 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Cactus :

It wasn't even on our radar until our friend called to see if we were interested. 

I'd recommend the OP keep an open mind and watch for some of the non-traditional choices to check out. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/21/20 7:58 p.m.

I need to know the mechanical reasons regarding why none of them can be driven, so that I can potentially suggest engine swap options. 

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/21/20 9:39 p.m.

Miata!

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
5/22/20 6:08 a.m.

Out of that list, Miata by far. Spitfire is easy to work on but you WILL need to work on it. A lot.

I've never understood the appeal of the 944. Porsche prices for a car that can't lap faster than a BMW E30 with a few suspension tweaks. And they sound like absolute crap with race exhaust.

Any straight six E30 or E36 should also be on the list. Parts are way cheaper than you expect.

gde31ff
gde31ff New Reader
5/22/20 7:05 a.m.

GRM Forum People - I really appreciate your thoughts!!  I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I DID plunk down the $$$ for Xbox One so we could talk about project cars while we played Forza, Star Wars, etc........  I wonder if the good folks at Mazda had any idea what they were about to unleash on us back in 1989?  Miata-Is-Always-The-Answer for so many good reasons - it almost feels like treason and stupidity to go any other route...... (which, my kids will tell you, is probably why I'll end up with with a Spitfire or MR2 in the garage)

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/22/20 7:18 a.m.

What’s the rust situation on the three non LBCs?   That would be a factor for me, but I would be leaning towards the Miata for all of the reasons listed.  

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
5/22/20 8:13 a.m.

Miata or MR2. The Spitfire will never be a good car, and the Porsche is hard to work on and expensive.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass New Reader
5/24/20 8:39 p.m.

Im a MR2 guy...but id say Miata on this one.

So many made that there are so many OEM parts and the aftermarket is great for it PLUS there is a strong racing community.

Yeah, Miata for sure out of those

gde31ff
gde31ff New Reader
9/3/20 2:29 p.m.

The GRM Community is so cool - so many different takes and angles and I always learn something.  The obvious consensus here is M-I-A-T-A and that's why I went with the "there's no way THIS bid will ever win....." Spitfire!!  I wanted to use the MIATA logic, but I'm breaking out the SpritBit catalog and bringing this piece of history back to life!

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/1974-triumph-spitfire-project-richmond-va/176063/page1/

itsarebuild
itsarebuild Dork
9/3/20 11:21 p.m.

I am going to go against all 4.... hear me out?

spitfire. Cool... I actually want one but it’s like 20th on my list so I will never get to it. It’s essentially a go cart... cool! But with go cart power... no so much. Definitely unique at this point as I have never actually seen a running example. But In the end meh performance and icky 70’s Nader gear.

 

edit...

 

too late! But I really do hope the spitfire works out. Please make s build thread!

 

porsche. Love them. But as discussed not really worthwhile without a power upgrade and then really that’s a different kind of project. Garage squad ain’t gonna help your family finish that.

mr2 is a cult classic but if your kids aren’t in the cult will they care?

 

miata. I am currently In the process of rebuilding my 3rd gen f-body. With every turn I find some new reason to ask why I just don’t buy a better running example. I think of miatas the same way. I see at least 1 per mile of travel so how dedicated would I be to rebuild one? Not much. As a teenage I’d rather not spend every Saturday wrenching ona car I will see a clone of at the grocery store.

 

my vote would be find a car that is limited numbers but attainable so it is special as “dads car”. And get their buy In before the purchase.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/4/20 9:11 a.m.
gde31ff said:

The GRM Community is so cool - so many different takes and angles and I always learn something.  The obvious consensus here is M-I-A-T-A and that's why I went with the "there's no way THIS bid will ever win....." Spitfire!!  I wanted to use the MIATA logic, but I'm breaking out the SpritBit catalog and bringing this piece of history back to life!

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/1974-triumph-spitfire-project-richmond-va/176063/page1/

truly awesome. Saw you won it in the for sale thread, didnt realize you had also started this thread a few months ago. Nice work!

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
9/4/20 9:32 a.m.

Miata has the best chance of long term  used,  aftermarket and spare parts availability and probably the most internet retrieval information as well.  

 

 

bmw88rider (Forum Supporter)
bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/4/20 10:12 a.m.

Easy. 2000 MR2 with a 2ZZ conversion. 

Miata is a dime a dozen and the other 2 have the ability to drain the pockets quickly. 

 

Mid Engine Sports car.....yumm. 

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