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sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
12/14/13 2:35 p.m.

Ok, I know this has probably been covered before, but I need an update in case there's something I'm missing. I have been thinking of selling my project and attempting to get something fun AND practical that has heat, A/C, back seats, doesn't leak rain, etc. Something manual that I can tinker with a little, autocross occasionally, but won't be a major project and will still hold a kid seat if needed and will get me to work in relative comfort. Factory "hotrods" are desired. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

-BG Protege LX
-Sentra SE-R, 200SX SE-R, or Sentra SE (Infiniti G20 could work too)
-MX-3
-MX-6 GT (there's one a few hours from me that just needs a fuel pump & slave cylinder)
-4th gen Maxima (I already regret selling mine, but it was an auto, and what's done is done)

Obviously I prefer imports, but please tell me your favorites. I honestly can't see myself buying American or Euro, but I'm trying to have an open mind and I like to hear about your personal experiences.

EDIT: $2k or less is the budget

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
12/14/13 2:44 p.m.

WRX wagon?

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/14/13 2:46 p.m.

Something fun to me = RWD ... then again you dont want euro either .

I would look into an e36 or an e30. The e36 is faster and more modern, but the e30 has much better rear seat access for kids. All three of my kids ride in my e30 regularly with no problems.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce SuperDork
12/14/13 2:47 p.m.

Mazda2 was all of those things.

LopRacer
LopRacer HalfDork
12/14/13 2:50 p.m.

I am partial to Hondas so the Civic Si or/and Integra and/or RSX.

JFX001
JFX001 UltraDork
12/14/13 2:55 p.m.

Datsun 521 pick up.

gofastbobby
gofastbobby Reader
12/14/13 2:57 p.m.

I'm working on building the exact opposite of fun, practical and reliable.

my c10 pickup with manual everything, 454, t56, 4.88 gear and a spool.

My fun/ practical/ reliable car would be the saturn sc2.

mw
mw Dork
12/14/13 2:58 p.m.

My 996 meets all your requirements

pinchvalve
pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/13 3:00 p.m.

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
12/14/13 3:01 p.m.

Currently NA Miata, '01 e39 525iT.

In the past, '02 ep3 Civic hatch w/ a Jackson supercharger, 88 + 91 Civic Si.

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
12/14/13 3:21 p.m.

I guess I should add that this will/should be $2k or less, so older-ish is better.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey UltraDork
12/14/13 3:26 p.m.

I love my 96 Civic hatchback

pimpm3
pimpm3 HalfDork
12/14/13 3:30 p.m.

I am kind of partial to the Nissans you mentioned. I love my B13 SE-R it has been a great car. That being said it is probably easier now to find a nice G20 then a nice SE-R at the price point you mentioned.

The maximas are nice too. I loved the 97 5-Speed SE I had a few years back. It was comfortable, had tons of room and was decent on gas, not to mention pretty quick.

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
12/14/13 3:48 p.m.

In reply to pimpm3:

I agree 100% on the Maximas. I owned an automatic '95 for 6 1/2 years, and sold it back in the summer to fund my new project. I am regretting that sale recently, and as much as I would love another, I kind of want to try something different. A '98-99 Sentra SE would be sweet, as would a 200SX SE-R. The B13 is kind of the Holy Grail of SE-R's, but I know finding one will be difficult.

pimpm3
pimpm3 HalfDork
12/14/13 3:57 p.m.

Had I known you were looking, I just sold my 2013 Challenge 1993 SE-R for $2200.00 it even had a turbo and suspension

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
12/14/13 4:07 p.m.

Any E36 or E46 coupe/sedan. Practical, fast, fun, plenty to tinker with. Lots to love. They range in price from $500 to $25k depending on where on the project-->perfect curve you want to be.

sanman
sanman Reader
12/14/13 4:36 p.m.

Focus svt/st, toyota celica (last gen is a lot of fun) or the xrs model corolla/matrix, impreza, various Saabs, mustangs/ camaros may be a great choice if you revisit your bias, ford probe (same as the mx-6), pontiac vibe gt (sporty corolla wagon), Mitsubishi eclipse/dodge avenger coupe/Sebring coupe. Sohc v6 Mitsubishi 3000gt/dodge stealth are stupid simple and cheap.

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver UltraDork
12/14/13 4:47 p.m.
Teh E36 M3 wrote: WRX wagon?

Agreed.

I traded my '03 MCS for an '04 WRX wagon. I love it.

Sonic
Sonic SuperDork
12/14/13 4:49 p.m.

Civic/CRX or Integra, particularly 89-95 Civic Si, 94-01 Integra GSRs. They have huge hatchbacks, are very reliable, lots of fun to drive, get great gas mileage, are easy and cheap to own/maintain/upgrade/fix.

Secondly, E36M3. They do just about anything extremely well, but have more limited carrying capacity due to the body style.

Both (98 Integra GSR and 98 M3/4/5) were the two best overall cars I've ever had, out of the 40 or so I've had.

mndsm
mndsm UltimaDork
12/14/13 5:17 p.m.

I hate to admit it, but I loved my AE101 Corolla. I have an AE103 now (It's a Prizm, but they're the same damn car) and I like it as well- PLUS the AE103 redesign in 1998 moved the Corolla to the 1zz engine family, which means a 2zz is nearly a drop in, save for some electrical. They look plain as hell but they're good ish.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/14/13 5:17 p.m.

Guys. 2 grand.

Best Civic/Focus/Golf you can find.

gamby
gamby UltimaDork
12/14/13 5:30 p.m.

(cleanly) swapped EG or EK civic hatch.

My d16z6-swapped 95 Civic hatch was a blast to drive and I could stuff a ton of crap into the back of it. I loved that car. Looked good, too.

Stolen and stripped in 2010, replaced with a much more boring 2000 Civic DX sedan. Reliable, but not as practical in terms of hauling stuff. People, yes, stuff, no.

1st gen Fit will likely be its replacement, but those are WAY more than $2k.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
12/14/13 5:59 p.m.

My SAAB 3cyl,three carb 96. My ZX2SR. My Fiesta is fun. will have to wait awhile on reliability.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
12/14/13 6:01 p.m.
iceracer wrote: My SAAB 3cyl,three carb 96. My ZX2SR. My Fiesta is fun. will have to wait awhile on reliability.

Oh wait, I forgot my Goliath !

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/14/13 9:37 p.m.

Of the ones you listed, the SE-R is my pick. In a more open choice market, I might include a cheap B-body GM. Talk about cheap. I replaced the alternator in mine for $23. Ball joints, $17 each. Radiator, $80. Seals, gaskets, bearings, brake calipers and pads... everything is dirt cheap.

Buy a nearly flawless example for $4000, put $500 in springs and shocks, and have fun.

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