Recommend me a second car?
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, Recommend me a second car? in General Discussion; Hi fellow Caddy lovers, I want to spend as little as possible on a manual car so I can learn ...
  1. #1
    agp's Avatar
    agp
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    Recommend me a second car?

    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!

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    ben.gators is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    As you mentioned, convertible+ two seater+fun car+easy to fix+cheap=Miata

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

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    Quote Originally Posted by agp View Post
    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:



    Pontiac Solstice:


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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    Those should come with a size/height restriction.

  6. #5
    agp's Avatar
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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?

  7. #6
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agp
    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.

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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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.

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    R/T kota's Avatar
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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.
    EcSTSatic and bigm57ict like this.

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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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!

  11. #10
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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.

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

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    Also z32 300zx

  13. #12
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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?

  14. #13
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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.

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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    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.

  16. #15
    agp's Avatar
    agp
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    Re: Recommend me a second car?

    Quote Originally Posted by R/T kota View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesda View Post
    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?

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