: Recommend me a second car?



agp
07-21-13, 07:49 AM
Hi fellow Caddy lovers,

I want to spend as little as possible on a manual car so I can learn how to drive one, and learn some car mechanics while fixing its many inevitable problems. I also want to drive it around for fun over the weekend (convertible two seater preferred). Any recommendations? I am currently looking at Mazda MX-5's.

Thanks!

ben.gators
07-21-13, 07:57 AM
As you mentioned, convertible+ two seater+fun car+easy to fix+cheap=Miata

Also 80's BMW 3-series is a good idea too.

Hoosier Daddy
07-21-13, 08:35 AM
I want to spend as little as possible on a manual car so I can learn how to drive one, and learn some car mechanics while fixing its many inevitable problems. I also want to drive it around for fun over the weekend (convertible two seater preferred). Any recommendations? I am currently looking at Mazda MX-5's.

One of the twins. And if you roll that way, the turbo models have a GM tune available that puts out ~300HP (look the amount up, my memory may be off).

Saturn Sky:

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc253/toontownjuggalo/Righteously%20Cool%20Automobiles/2007_saturn_sky_roadster_rear.jpg

Pontiac Solstice:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3308/3472351736_4d2f47c8d5.jpg?v=0

MrHolland
07-21-13, 09:45 AM
Those should come with a size/height restriction.

agp
07-21-13, 09:53 AM
A few more things...

1. These cars will be subject to Michigan winters.

2. By cheap I mean ~$5000. Or less.

3. Should I look into Nissan Z's? Or should Z's before 350 be avoided?

cadillac kevin
07-21-13, 12:23 PM
A few more things...

1. These cars will be subject to Michigan winters.

2. By cheap I mean ~$5000. Or less.

3. Should I look into Nissan Z's? Or should Z's before 350 be avoided?

Good luck finding a 70s-90s Z that isn't either trashed out by some teenager or rotted from michigan winters.

Jesda
07-21-13, 03:20 PM
I love the Skystice twins. The door sills are high like most modern cars, unfortunately, and the interior is cheap, but who cares when you're having that much fun? Their structures are super stiff and stock handling is simply brilliant, handily outperforming the softly sprung third-gen Miata.

I would strongly recommend a first-generation (90-96) Miata over all else. If you can find an M-edition that would be ideal. A second-gen Mazdaspeed would be great too but the space is a bit tighter.



It's a shame that so few manufacturers (in the US) built RWD two-seater verts. The Dodge Demon was going to be pretty interesting.

R/T kota
07-21-13, 03:55 PM
Forget the 2 seaters. If you want something cheap and fun go with a fox body mustang. Can still find a clean one for under 5k and they respond well to modifications. Not to mention the availability of after market parts is second to none. Easy to work on too.

orconn
07-21-13, 04:22 PM
Keep in mind that if you expect this car to cope with Northern Midwest winters, you may not find a rear wheel drive drive train to be you best choice!

DBA-One
07-21-13, 04:28 PM
As a past owner of a Fox I recommend that you be careful. A clean car doesn't mean a good one. The build quality of these cars is absolutely terrible and the engines are not as powerful as legend would have you believe. Those cars were cheap performance in their day but things have evolved and you will find that the cars with real power do not have a stock motor (read much more than bolt on parts). Yes the after-market is vast but if you buy a problem car you will be spending money on repairs instead of tweaks. I've had three Mustangs and all were less than satisfying. If you want a good 5spd two seat car (well, it has backs seat but nothing you want to sit in) look at the 1g 90-94 DSM cars. The Eclipse, Talon and Laser can be had in turbo all wheel drive and represent a huge bang for the buck. There is a good after-market and they absolutely respond well to mods. A lot of these cars have been beaten in to the ground so pay more for a better one and look carefully at the tranny in any car as this is a weak point. My Turbo Talon was a blast and of the 19 or so cars I have owned it is the only one I miss. The 95-99 cars have a bit more power and better suspension but crank walk is an issue. These cars are also easy to work on.

eldorado_sean
07-21-13, 05:03 PM
Bmw e30
Nissan s14 240sx
Mk3 supra
1994 mazda rx7
Nissan s13 240sx

Kind of ricer but its a cheap car to have fun in!

2000 Pontiac trans am
Camaro (not sure which one)

----------

Also z32 300zx

agp
07-21-13, 06:15 PM
I'm not looking to do much modification other than brakes, brakes, and brakes. Maybe springs. But that's it. I feel like when it comes to older cars, Americans should be avoided, otherwise I would have jumped on some muscle cars. I will look more into MX-5, RX7, and perhaps Supras, if I can ever find one within 200 miles of me.

And what is so special about older BMWs (not a rhetorical q)? A lot of people seem to be recommending them.

Oh and this car does not have to be two seaters. But I don't expect anyone to sit in the back. So no big cars please.

And how do you know if the transmission is in good condition when you buy a car?

R/T kota
07-21-13, 06:26 PM
Well he did say he was looking for something to work and learn on so ya get a DSM. If you try to have any fun with it, you will be working on it a lot. I've known many DSM owners and most of those cars spent more time on jack stands than they did on the road.

Jesda
07-21-13, 06:33 PM
RX7 and Supra will be high maintenance to match their high performance.


As for older BMWs, they are simple, dependable, and sturdy in addition to being genuine fun to drive. Parts are still plentiful. The challenge now is finding a clean one at a decent price as enthusiasts snap them up and turn them into amateur race cars.

agp
07-21-13, 06:59 PM
Well he did say he was looking for something to work and learn on so ya get a DSM. If you try to have any fun with it, you will be working on it a lot. I've known many DSM owners and most of those cars spent more time on jack stands than they did on the road.

I do remember watching the first Fast and Furious (or was it the second?) when they just came out and loving the Eclipse. More the second generation than the third generation. By "if you try to have any fun with it" do you mean if I track it? I don't plan on doing that, just as my grocery getter on weekends, or driving to friend's houses etc. My commute will still be done in the CTS.


RX7 and Supra will be high maintenance to match their high performance.

As for older BMWs, they are simple, dependable, and sturdy in addition to being genuine fun to drive. Parts are still plentiful. The challenge now is finding a clean one at a decent price as enthusiasts snap them up and turn them into amateur race cars.

Will look into old BMWs more, thanks!

Any tips on what to look for when buying an old used car, like the MX-5, Eclipse, or 3xx?

ben.gators
07-21-13, 07:36 PM
Any tips on what to look for when buying an old used car, like the MX-5, Eclipse, or 3xx?

It depends what you are looking for, how much you are willing to pay, and how much work you yourself willing to do! If you are looking for a cheap car (e.g. a cheap E30 BMW) and willing to work on the car, I would say:
1- No rust
2- No accident
3- No aftermarket parts, and no ghetto repair
4- Interior isn't trashed.
5- The car runs and drives without any strange or funny noise or smell.
6- Paint is still good

You may and will need to fix some problems here and there, but the old cars, especially E30s are easy to work on and parts are cheap.

By the way, where is Rick? :D

Rick is an old member here. He loves E30 BMWs and he has couple of threads here that documents complete overhaul of his E30 BMWs.
There are also very good E30 BMW forums online. You should be able to find tons of info there.

eldorado_sean
07-21-13, 08:21 PM
A friend of mine has a black e30 straight 6 engine. The PO installed a turbo haha. Engine blew a head gasket within 2000 miles. Haha he was telling me how freaking expensive it is to rebuild a bmw engine. So a good, clean e30 is hard to come by in l.a. But supras without the twin Turbo I suppose is cheaper than a bmw. The rx7 is a rotary engine ( correct me if I'm wrong).

agp
07-21-13, 08:23 PM
How do you tell if the transmission is good? I know both the engine and trans are big bills if something goes wrong... Everything else is relatively cheaper.

eldorado_sean
07-21-13, 08:30 PM
Just make sure to take a good mechanic with you. Or someone mechanically inclined that you trust. If not tell the seller to bring it to a GOOD shop to inspect it. And the 93-98 supras (mk4) are WAY above the 5k range. That's because of the original fast and furious (1). Mk3 supras are pretty cheap where I live. The Nissan s14 is a popular car with the tuner crowd and drifters I wanted one for a short time but I couldn't find any clean, unmolested ones with less than 80k miles original. But I have an 98 eldorado and I'm 16! Haha I know not right car for a 16 yr old but I love it!

Whatever car floats your boat, go for it!

ryannel2003
07-21-13, 09:43 PM
If you decide to go another route and not get a two seater I cannot recommend enough how wonderful my 2000 BMW E46 323i was. Amazingly agile, still beautiful and surprisingly efficient and easy to work on. The only reason I got rid of it was it was a little too slow and a little bit too small and harsh for me. But man it was a great car for the year I owned it.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n46/ryannel2003/2000%20BMW%20323i/file-27.jpg (http://s109.photobucket.com/user/ryannel2003/media/2000%20BMW%20323i/file-27.jpg.html)

adamjeeps
07-22-13, 12:03 AM
Older Wrangler or CJ. That's just me though!

talismandave
07-22-13, 12:31 AM
+1 for me on the Wrangler!:2thumbs:

Best mix of fun and utility summer and winter.:burn:


+1 for truckinman too!:D(Got ya covered bro!):highfive:

The-Dullahan
07-22-13, 08:07 AM
A Pontiac.

truckinman
07-22-13, 03:26 PM
+1 for me on the Wrangler!:2thumbs:

Best mix of fun and utility summer and winter.:burn:

+1 for truckinman too!:D(Got ya covered bro!):highfive:

Thank you kind sir! And yes! 1991-95 jeep wrangler YJ 4.0. I've had 6-7 jeeps. Only one not with the 4.0. Very easy to work on. Go anywhere, fun in the sun toys! I'd also suggest 1987-90 YJ but those still have the old AMC carbed 4.2 engine. Great engine none the less, my dad put over 300k on an 87, but you've got a carb instead of EFI. BUT, for under 5k, it'd be hard pressed to find any wrangler rust free for under 6k. But not impossible.

Aron9000
07-22-13, 07:15 PM
$5,000 is kind of a tough price point for some of the cars discussed here. Forget any RX-7 for that price IMO, the rotary is a ticking time bomb and engine swaps aren't cheap.

As for Michigan winters in these cars, you are going to need a dedicated set of snow tires, so budget for it. Even then count on getting stuck on roads that haven't been plowed. Personally I'd go for a Miata. The 240sx Nissan tends to be owned by a bunch of teenagers and hooligans who hack them up, finding a clean one is HARD and it will be every penny of your $5000 budget.

eldorado_sean
07-22-13, 07:44 PM
$5,000 is kind of a tough price point for some of the cars discussed here. Forget any RX-7 for that price IMO, the rotary is a ticking time bomb and engine swaps aren't cheap.

As for Michigan winters in these cars, you are going to need a dedicated set of snow tires, so budget for it. Even then count on getting stuck on roads that haven't been plowed. Personally I'd go for a Miata. The 240sx Nissan tends to be owned by a bunch of teenagers and hooligans who hack them up, finding a clean one is HARD and it will be every penny of your $5000 budget.

I completely agree. As I earlier a clean s14 is pretty hard to come by. Maybe s13 or mk3 supra

orconn
07-22-13, 08:35 PM
Why not an old Saab convertible? Open car, stick shift available, front wheel drive and bred for Winter!

Cadillac Kid03
07-22-13, 08:40 PM
Why is there always talk about BMW on here! lol

R/T kota
07-22-13, 08:49 PM
Why is there always talk about BMW on here! lol

I noticed that too.
I hate beamers. Not really the car so much as the drivers. I won't paint them all with the same brush but sometimes I wonder whats on the front page of the owners manual. I always figured it said something like "congratulations on purchasing this over priced car. In doing so, you now have the right to act and drive like a complete douche bag. Enjoy."

eldorado_sean
07-22-13, 08:49 PM
Why not an old Saab convertible? Open car, stick shift available, front wheel drive and bred for Winter!

Good luck for finding parts and the quality I heard is not so great

orconn
07-22-13, 08:53 PM
^^^ We have an Midwest expert! Ask Jesda

CadillacLuke24
07-23-13, 02:10 PM
:yeah:

Paging Jesda and Ducky. PAGING JESDA AND DUCKYYY