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New Summer Car

 
Old 05-02-2013, 01:47 PM
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C3 RV
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Default New Summer Car

Since my late wife was diagnosed with breast cancer about 3 years ago, I haven't had a summer car. I decided it was time to jump back into the pool. My selection parameters: vert, manual tranny, not German (want lower cost of ownership and reliability), and not something I've already had (which ruled out Vette (C3 & C5), Allante, Miata (late wife had a NA), and Del Sol (bought for one of my sons). I don't care for the Camaro or any Chrysler products. So, the cars I'm considering:

- Mustang: Test drive was disappointing with poor clutch / shifter, heavy handling, and cave-like view out of the low windshield.

- NC Miata: Too much like the NA Miata, plus the clutch & brake pedals seem to have been moved left (probably to avoid unintended acceleration) and left foot can't access dead pedal without hitting the clutch. Also just a bit too small.

- Honda S2000: A bit tight but comfortable fit, good head & legroom, great clutch & shifter, and great handling. Many have been molested with Fast & Furious type mods by POs. However, I've found a completely original '05 with 6100 miles. It looks and smells like it just left the showroom. Test drive is tonight.

Other suggestions? Budget max is $30K.

Obligatory teaser pic of S2K:

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:01 PM
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How about a 350Z or 370Z? They're fun to drive, large enough to be comfortable, and the 370Z convertible is one of the few that looks good with the top up or down. $30k will get you a nice one too.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:21 PM
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A Z car is a good suggestion, but I'm never been a Nissan fan dating back to when they were called Datsun.

Anyway, I took a drive in the 05 s2k this evening and it was everything I expected it to be. It looks, drives, and smells new with only 6100 miles. We inked a sales agreement and will finish the transaction when he returns from a trip in about 2 weeks. A couple more pics...



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Old 05-03-2013, 03:55 AM
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Used Buttster/Gayman S. Forget what anybody says, nothing drives like one and you can get a lot of car in one for $30k.

-TJ
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:14 AM
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Yah, you can't go wrong with an S2K. I drove one a few times. It's a completely different animal to a Corvette. Everything happens after 7500 RPM which can be a lot of fun. Congrats!!
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tjZ06 View Post
Used Buttster/Gayman S. Forget what anybody says, nothing drives like one and you can get a lot of car in one for $30k.

-TJ


S2K is the close second, but the porsches are much better drivers.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PeterK View Post


S2K is the close second, but the porsches are much better drivers.
Except there is one major issue with Boxster/ Caymans. You don't have engine access. For anyone who likes to do his own maintenance, this can be a major problem. This was the deal breaker for me when I was looking for a weekend toy. I drove a Cayman S recently and I think they are highly over rated. Unless you drive them at the absolute limit, they are a little boring IMHO. You're better off with the S2K.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Cybermind View Post
Except there is one major issue with Boxster/ Caymans. You don't have engine access. For anyone who likes to do his own maintenance, this can be a major problem. This was the deal breaker for me when I was looking for a weekend toy. I drove a Cayman S recently and I think they are highly over rated. Unless you drive them at the absolute limit, they are a little boring IMHO. You're better off with the S2K.
I donno. The S2K is a fine car but it lacks torque. The boxster/cayman feel just right. And yes the engine compartment is tight but not all that difficult to access and then again, how often do you work on the engines of modern cars?

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:28 AM
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great choice and will be alot of fun. I like many of the other cars mentioned...but the p cars are out for me because of price of repairs/service.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:40 PM
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My dd is an E46 M3. Already has coilovers, headers, exhaust, and tune.

It's a fun little car with a back seat, and similar to the S2000 in that you have to keep the revs high to have fun. Mine redlines at 8200 rpm.

Have a look at one of those unless you have already made a commitment.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rmtt View Post
My dd is an E46 M3. Already has coilovers, headers, exhaust, and tune.

It's a fun little car with a back seat, and similar to the S2000 in that you have to keep the revs high to have fun. Mine redlines at 8200 rpm.

Have a look at one of those unless you have already made a commitment.
Honda is a much better choice. The Honda is bullet proof and cheaper to service than a BMW.

If you work on your own BMW the bills would not be that bad, but for the rest of us.........BMW service bills are killer $$$$$$ and I will soon be unloading the Wife's 2007 BMW.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:04 AM
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Nice choice on the S2k!
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Zee0hSix View Post
Honda is a much better choice. The Honda is bullet proof and cheaper to service than a BMW.

If you work on your own BMW the bills would not be that bad, but for the rest of us.........BMW service bills are killer $$$$$$ and I will soon be unloading the Wife's 2007 BMW.
I can understand your reasoning. Most of the work done is by myself and a friend, so I guess I am lucky in that aspect.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for all the good wishes. I'm picking up the car on the 15th. As for some of the other suggestions, ALL German cars were off my list. My theory on German cars are that they are fine machines built by talented German engineers to be frequently maintained and repaired by expensive German technicians. That's not the business model I wanted with this vehicle.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:35 AM
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C3, I'm sorry about your wife.
I, too, wanted a fun (light weight) car, but on a more limited budget due to college tuition and dorm fees for the "kids". I was also always interested in folding hardtops. My C3 vert had a removable hardtop but I needed a hoist to remove it or install it. This fun car had to also be a go-anywhere car, so that rules out a soft top.
Therefore, I went with an 08 MX5 PHRT. It already had a Mazdaspeed CAI and glasspack exhaust, making its sound effects really "awakening". Of course, unlike the S2000, the MX5 really needs to be lowered, so Progress springs, Koni shocks, and Eibach sways will be my next mods. Even with all that, I'll have spent less than $13K.
I think we both will thoroughly enjoy this summer (and all-year for me).
Here's a shot of the PRHT MX-5 as it is at present.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:02 AM
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I had an 03 s2k and really enjoyed it. It's a really fun car with excellent balance, feel, and fun factor (50/50 weight, light, and high rpm action). When I had it, it was my dd and I wouldn't mind owning one again in the future. Fun for auto-x also

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:16 AM
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Your choices seem to lean towards a daily driver capable car. If it does not have to be daily driver capable I have seen some nice cobra replica cars within your price parameters.

A lot of them are rip snorting pavement terror beasts but some of them have been configured as pretty nice roadsters.

I would think one of those would be a lot of fun and they open up some social circles too.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:16 AM
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Nice find with that S2k. I had considered it on my short list but in my area they were high priced used, without warranty, and hard to find an unmolested car. I ended up with a 2013 MX-5 with folding hardtop.

The S2k, mx-5 are terrific sports cars, plenty of fun despite lacking the power of other pricier cars.
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