oldtin
oldtin UltraDork
1/16/14 11:12 a.m.

I used to keep my '85 911 targa at the family FL house. Dad misses having it around. He's not a car guy, but liked driving it. Wants to have something else. He liked Mrs. Oldtin's 928s and started poking around looking at those. I told him to run away - paying to maintain them would not be pleasant. Initially I suggested a boxster S. Now I'm wondering what else would be an interesting classic for South Florida. Base requirements are reliable, interesting looks (he has a bunch of car-guy neighbors). Near bottom of depreciation curve or moving up. I think he may lean toward a convertible. My thought goes to 911s since he liked them. For just me, i'd consider a mondial coupe. A convertible jag would seem to fit, but in my book is a flat no. What else?

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltraDork
1/16/14 11:23 a.m.

How about an early Dodge Dart or Plymouth Valiant convertible? $20K would probably get the nicest one on the planet...

Or a Corvair:

Neither are particularly fast in stock trim, but they're not high strung or tough to maintain, either.

Gary
Gary Reader
1/16/14 11:56 a.m.

5-year old MX-5 with retractable hardtop and A/C. Affordable, no fuss, no tinkering, no demoralizing constant maintenance of an old car. Drive and enjoy every day year round in sunny Fla top up or down.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
1/16/14 4:00 p.m.

4th generation Ford Mustang.

oldtin
oldtin UltraDork
1/16/14 5:18 p.m.

The corvair I remember from my youth never looked like the cool corvairs - more like this:

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
1/18/14 11:23 a.m.
Gary wrote: 5-year old MX-5 with retractable hardtop and A/C. Affordable, no fuss, no tinkering, no demoralizing constant maintenance of an old car. Drive and enjoy every day year round in sunny Fla top up or down.

QFT. MX5 = "easy button".

"not a car guy" = get something easy to drive and maintain. It amuses me you're thinking of a Mondial but said 'no' to a 928.

We've had similar discussions in the past. IMHO, find a local shop that works on classic cars. Assuming this shop would be doing the required maintenance and repairs, narrow it down to the stuff they work on.

In reality, let him get what he likes. Cars purchased relying too much on the "logical choice" are not always the best choice if logic and emotional desire don't coincide.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
1/28/14 9:49 a.m.

I would say best buys right now on a sun 20k classic sports car are: 1978-1988 911: these are still available under 20k and a terrific cars with lots of future upside as far as price goes 2. The 240Z: These cars are also terrific and moving upwards in price. 3. MGB: Still great cars at a bargain price. 4. 1965-1966 Ford Mustang: Hard to find a easier to own classic. 5. Triumph TR6: Another car that is easy to own, fun to drive and has upside potential. Since he liked the 911 before, go for a 78-83 SC and he will likely love it.

maseratiguy
maseratiguy New Reader
1/30/14 10:12 p.m.

Don't forget an Alfa Spider. I going against most) like the S3's that are new enough to have the Bosch Fuel injection, yet before they stopped using the classic two binnacle gauge cluster, like the '83's and '84's.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
1/31/14 4:45 a.m.
oldtin wrote: I used to keep my '85 911 targa at the family FL house. Dad misses having it around. He's not a car guy, but liked driving it. Wants to have something else. He liked Mrs. Oldtin's 928s and started poking around looking at those. I told him to run away - paying to maintain them would not be pleasant. Initially I suggested a boxster S. Now I'm wondering what else would be an interesting classic for South Florida. Base requirements are reliable, interesting looks (he has a bunch of car-guy neighbors). Near bottom of depreciation curve or moving up. I think he may lean toward a convertible. My thought goes to 911s since he liked them. For just me, i'd consider a mondial coupe. A convertible jag would seem to fit, but in my book is a flat no. What else?

Vert, interesting looks, reliable, inexpensive?

Don't let the make fool you, these are reliable cars with a proven engine. Buy one on the upper end of the price scale and all electrical issues will have been sorted.

Triumph TR8, 3.5l Rover v8 (buick 215), 5 speed manual. These are easily and inexpensively maintained and have a surprising amount of support as well.

http://www.thewedgeshop.com/

If he has car guy neighbors that can help he should have no problem maintaining it himself. These are NOTHING like TR7s. Vastly superior car in every way.

5-year old MX-5 with retractable hardtop and A/C.
If your going to go there you might as well look at this as well: I firmly believe they are superior to a Miata in every way. Especially if you get one with a 2ZZ already swapped in.

Stock 140 hp (mr2) vs 167 hp. However Mr2 is 2100lbs and MX-5 is like 2500 now. 2ZZ Mr2 would have 180-190hp.

BillBall
BillBall New Reader
1/31/14 6:55 a.m.

In reply to kanaric: I don't want to knock on the Mr2 Spyder too much, as it is a viable option for a different and fun small sports car. However 3 issues: 1 No trunk. Like really no trunk. 2 People see it as a poor man's Boxter, which is, of course, the poor man's 911 in turn. 3 It's a pale echo of the supercharged wedgy Mr2. By comparison the Miata is very common, but it is what it is without having to compare it to something better. Also it has a usable trunk. Unless you shop at Sam's Club :)

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
1/31/14 7:57 a.m.
BillBall wrote: In reply to kanaric: I don't want to knock on the Mr2 Spyder too much, as it is a viable option for a different and fun small sports car. However 3 issues: 1 No trunk. Like really no trunk. 2 People see it as a poor man's Boxter, which is, of course, the poor man's 911 in turn. 3 It's a pale echo of the supercharged wedgy Mr2. By comparison the Miata is very common, but it is what it is without having to compare it to something better. Also it has a usable trunk. Unless you shop at Sam's Club :)

I'm not sure what pale echo means but if it means clone I would say it's the same thing but improved. It has the same horsepower and about 400lbs less weight. How many cars have decreased in weight since the 80s? However I do think the AW11 looks better because I like 80s angular cars more. Also the 4age (or gze) is better than the 1zzfe in terms of what you can do unless you intend on a 2zz car.

2zz is where these cars shine and a good 1/3 of them if not more for sale on MR2 forums already have this swap done.

If I intended on a serious build though I would go AW11.

BillBall
BillBall New Reader
1/31/14 3:50 p.m.

In reply to oldtin: What about a Mercedes 450SL or something else from that series? I always thought of those as old guy cars but now that I am over 50 they are becoming strangely attractive :) Not a sports car but comfortable, reliable, nice looking (for the era), and something to give the neighbors a ride in. You could certainly find an excellent one for your budget and there are plenty of them in Florida.

TR8owner
TR8owner HalfDork
1/31/14 8:01 p.m.

In reply to kanaric:

"Triumph TR8, 3.5l Rover v8 (buick 215), 5 speed manual. These are easily and inexpensively maintained and have a surprising amount of support as well. http://www.thewedgeshop.com/"

You can still buy two of these for $20 K. That's why I have three of them.

esprits4s
esprits4s New Reader
2/1/14 9:56 p.m.

I say go with a 928. I'd rather have a nice 928 than any of the cars listed so far. For this budget, you can buy a really nice example. Maintenance isn't nearly as bad as reputed if the car hasn't been neglected. They are certainly no more expensive to maintain than a 911 let alone a Mondial.

Disclaimer: I own three 928s and can't imagine not having at least one in the garage. Huge value for the money, fast for that era, extremely comfortable, and still look great to my eyes.

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