So you think you know about cars...

Discussion in 'Community' started by AppleMatt, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    ...then I'm glad you're here :) I want some help.

    Basically I'm looking for a relatively cheap car (around year 2000) that I'll be able to play around with (under the hood mostly but a tiny bit of body - I'm definitely not going for the street racer look). My ideal ideal ideal solution would be an externally battered car (but nice interior) that I can buy on the cheap, work on in my free time for a few months, have re-sprayed and get a descent car for the next couple of years out of it. I was descent acceleration rather than max speed.

    The main ones I've considered for price/performance/availabilty of upgrade parts are so far are:
    - Hyundai Coupe (although I've heard the interior feels cheap)
    - Toyota Celica

    What are your thoughts/opinions. Any other cars I should take a look at? Anyone who has done this and has advice? Any sites and forums that you can recommend? How much money should I set aside? etc etc

    Fire away guys...

    AppleMatt
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Most modern cars have essentially black box engines that don't offer much in the way of easy tinkering (unless you really think than a new air filter will give you 20bhp more on a 120bhp engine, in which case I've got some snake oil I might be able to interest you in). The big exception is turbo cars where a simple chip can be used to increase the boost pressure (the chips you see for non-turbo cars simple advance the fueling a little and are yet more snake-oil).

    The Hyundai coupe is OK, but the stock wheels (and arches) are really tiny and it is a bit cheap. You really need to get the top-of-the range V6 to make it worth while.

    The Celica will have pretty bullet-proof reliability, but I would hold out for an MR2 if I was buying a Toyota as you can't have the same fun with FWD!

    What's the budget? What sort of insurance group are you looking to be in? Do you need 4 seats?

    You say you want decent acceleration (which is sensible, the biggest thing I miss about my XK8 is the acceleration, not the 155 top speed). What sort of figure are we looking for? I'll take sub 10 seconds 0-60 as a base. An MX-5 will get that easily, offers lots of potential for messing around with and handles perfectly...
     
  3. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #3
    Ford Puma or Cougar? in 1.7 for the former, and 2.5 V6 for the latter? both are still rather sharp looking too ;)
     
  4. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #4
    Ah, in the UK. Buy yourself an Escort Cosworth.
     
  5. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #5
    If you want to mess around under the hood why limit yourself with something modern?

    I really regret passing over a Rover P5 for my first car in the early '90's and a Mk1 Golf GTi in the mid'90's for my second both times for newer 'safer' options. Both those older cars were near perfect bodies and mechanics. :(
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #6
    They're still a fanfookintastic car to drive. :D

    Only problem is, trying to find a straight one... ;) and when you do they're still in the £12k+ figure, thats a fair old whack for a 13 year old car, even one as good as the Cossie.

    You could pick up a reasonably unmolested Sierra Saphire Cosworth 4x4(which is the same platform and running gear as the Escort Cosworth) for half the amount, and have just as much fun.
     
  7. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Deepest Regions of Hell
    #7
    for that price your not going to get much under the hood my friend...neither acceleration of max speed..its just not gonna happen...although i do not support these cars i have had friends that have gotton Civic Hatch's for about that price that run nice and you dont have to put much cash into them to make them fun to drive around. The interiors are fairly nice for that price range also.
    Me myself, I am a subaru man. If you can find a subaru for that price you will be stoked. I have had 3 already and i have loved them all
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Forgot. You asked for Forums/Sites. PistonHeads is very friendly and full of great people.

    And of course Autotrader to find your dream car!
     
  9. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #10
    If we are talking older cars are decent money you can get a Lancer Evo for good money now: Evo 4: under £8k

    The problem with this sort of car is, of course, insurance, especially for the younger driver.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    Regarding the Hyundai Coupe, which is the Tiburon here in the US. I have a Tiburon, and IMO, the interior isn't cheap at all. The car isnt that fast stock, but it responds pretty well to mods (an intake, exhaust and headers will give you a huge improvement) Its given me no problems and overall is a great car.
     
  12. Blackstealth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Bradford, UK
    #12
    Okay, I know one of the criteria was only a few years old, but a Saab 9000 Turbo? Admittedly the youngest ones are 7 or 8 years old but they can be had cheap enough via eBay, engine's are good for a minimum of 250,000 miles, and mid-range grunt is enough to turn most cars into a dot in the rearview on the horizon.

    Best of the bunch would be a post 1993 9000 Aero, very much a sleeper car (ignored by boy racers and other berks), handles pretty well and doesn't have too much problem making use of 225bhp through the front wheels. They take well to tuning up to 500hp (giving 442lb/ft of torque). Insurance can be a bit expensive (group 17) but if you shop around you can get it cheaply enough. Downside is odd electrical and, sometimes, mechanical gremlins, but there isn't much that can't be sorted at home if you're mechanically inclined.

    Has the added advantage of being a very useful hatchback with quite possibly the worlds most comfy seats. Oh, and there's a number of very friendly forums.

    I am slightly biased as I drive one myself, boost is addictive and torque steer isn't as bad as people make it out to be.
     
  13. oreomac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #13
    I'd have to agree, my friends got a cougar & it is a lovely car.
     
  14. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #14
    Torque steer on those saabs suck hardcore! My buddy had an '89 saab 900 turbo 5spd. He put a lot of time and a little money into it and got it around 210hp and that thing moved! But the torque steer was aweful. And you are right about electrical gremlins, only car I can think of that's worse is the Datsun 240s.
     
  15. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #15
    9000 is a larger car than 900 think BMW 5 rather than 3
     
  16. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #16
    if you want a good reliable car buy an older beemer or benz ahahah
     
  17. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #17
    I'm not up on UK used car prices, but...

    The Golf/Bora(Jetta) is a pretty popular car with a lot of companies developing performance parts for it.

    If you're looking for a coupe why not get a Mitsu FTO or an Opel Astra Turbo? They're fast without mods, though I don't know how expensive they are.

    If you're really concerned with acceleration I'd go with a VW Golf VR6 GTI.
     
  18. Err macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    #18
    i say get a 180sx or an AE86, cheap RWD... loads of fun, good weight distribution. True, there is not a ton of power under the hood, but how often do you get to use that much power? these are cars that are fun to drive all the time, ive owned both (well its a 240sx in the states) and you wont be let down. Plus drifting is the new fad, you want to fit in dont you? ;)
     
  19. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #19
    ive got an m2 spyder... never regreted purchasing it. soo much fun... turns heads all the time.... best bang for your buck in my opinion.


    where else can you get a rear mid engine/50-50 power to wieght ratio/drop top/manual/reliable/eccentric look/rear wheel drive set up for under 25k????


    i bought mine used 2001... traded my old celica in... dropped some cash.... payments down to 200 a month.

    thems are ford focus payments. lol
     
  20. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #20
    Ooooooh, good call that man ;) I'd forgotten about those.

    Nah, a VW Corrado VR6 would be the better bet ;)
     
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #21
    Nice car, VERRRRY rare in these parts. If you can find one go for it.

    I can vouch for the 180SX. A good friend of mine had a 240SX. It had the iron-block 2.4L KA24 SOHC in-line four, 150 HP. People outside the US get the twincam 2-liter I believe, which is weaker on power and peakier but much smoother and rev-happy, besides being lighter. Great drive, good looks and crap interior (but who cares?).
     
  22. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #22
    The answer's pretty simple.

    First, this is going to be your one-and-only daily driver, right?

    As such, your #1 priority is something reliable.

    And priority#2 is that you need something relatively frugal, until the day comes that you can afford two cars (daily driver + toy).


    What this means overall is that your biggest bang-for-the-buck in terms of performance upgrades is to invest in *yourself*, not your hardware.

    This means to go take performance driving courses before trying to hop up your vehicle's horsepower, suspension, etc, etc.

    To learn how best to use what you have ...regardless of what you have... will be your best value, and when starting off, it is clearly the biggest bang for the buck. Of course, we all like to think that we're above-average drivers, but the ground truth is that we're all a lot closer to average than we would like to admit.


    -hh
     
  23. Err macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    #23
    ok better idea, get a 92-95 civic, and put a 97 integra type r motor in it, whole project should cost you 6000$ and you will have a car that is the same weight, and uses the same motor as a lotus elise, 13 second 1/4 mile, great turn in, relable, pretty god on gas, what more could you want?
     
  24. AppleMatt thread starter macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Woah excellent response guys.
    I've been working pure evil shifts (13 hours/6 days - not my choice) so haven't been able to read this thread over properly but I will and then post a good response.

    Just so you know I haven't ignored all your efforts :)

    AppleMatt
     

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