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Cheap but fun daily driver - suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by El Wayne, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Hey guys, I'm looking for a VERY cheap car to use for my short daily commute, but I want something interesting/fun. Prefer to row through the gears myself, but a slushbox isn't entirely out of the question. Requirements are:

    Must be CHEAP ($3000 - $5000).

    Not totally unreliable (most of these cars won't be the most reliable, of course).

    Must have rear seats large enough for a car seat - occasionally have to pick up or drop off kids on the way to/from work.

    So far I've looked at Alfa 164s and Milanos. Most are trashed. Found a nice Milano, but the seller's asking $7500 - a bit out of my budget. What else is out there that I haven't considered yet?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    Milano is a good bet, keep looking. Original saab's but they will have very high mileage.
    Try an older z28 camaro
     
  4. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

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    Original Mini Cooper?
     
  5. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

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    #4 solofast, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
    He said "not unreliable"....

    My time owning and working on original mini's would indicate that the word "Reliable" and Mini shouldn't be uttered in the same sentence....

    I came to the conclusion (while lying on my back with my head in a puddle of brake fluid that was on the floor of the car while trying to extract a circlip so that I could remove the brake pedal linkage and remove master cylinder that was dripping fluid onto my forehead..) that Sir Alec Issigonis was a direct decendent of the Marquis DeSade...

    Modern cars are so reliable that we forget how bad the old British cars were... Remember they stopped making BMC cars for a reason...

    I'd look for the Toyota Corolla AE86 RWD made from 83-87. They are a hoot to drive, you just gotta find a nice one...

    You could also look for a Ford Probe or MX-6 GT (same car) dead reliable and fund to drive, or an Acura Integra Type R, they were pretty sporty and are now getting old enough to be cheap... The last years of the Celica GT were pretty neat and fun too, not sure if they are cheap enough now.
     
  6. kmeighannj

    kmeighannj Formula Junior
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    #5 kmeighannj, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
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  8. Far Out

    Far Out F1 Veteran

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    As a Miata won't fit your seat requirement, how about an Alfa 75? 1.8 Turbo or 3 liter V6, RWD, will most likely have bottomed in terms of the price. Have you thought about the Porsche 924/944?
     
  9. Waldoonay

    Waldoonay Formula Junior

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    How about a Jeep Wrangler? They're very reliable and quite fun to drive!
     
  10. yoda

    yoda Formula 3

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    My choices would be an older Saab turbo, Lexus SC300, 3-series, or Mercedes E class. A 944 would be fun but maybe not too reliable.
     
  11. Pav

    Pav Formula 3
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    Did you guys have the iX series on a 3series E30 body? That's "fun" and rare and whatnot.

    Audi 4000CS Quattro?
     
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  13. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    NON Turbo Toyota MR2. 85-93, depending on your preference. the t top ones have more headroom if you are very tall.
     
  14. ApexOversteer

    ApexOversteer F1 Veteran

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    #11 ApexOversteer, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  15. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie
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    He mentioned the Milano. Unfortunately they are barely any better than an old British car in the reliability department.
     
  16. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie
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    Where does he put the car seats for the kiddies?
     
  17. the_stig

    the_stig F1 Rookie
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    There are some high mileage BMW e30 models in your price range.
     
  18. Ducman491

    Ducman491 Formula 3

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    E36 BMW would fit you just fine.
     
  19. agup48

    agup48 Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Nissan 240SX
    Toyota Celica
    Honda CRX
    older VW GTIs
    BMW E30-E46s
     
  20. Way2Fun

    Way2Fun Karting

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    Anything that begins with the name Mazda.
     
  21. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    BMW 2002
     
  22. Papa G

    Papa G Formula 3

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    Take some risks

    Jag XJ-S :)
     
  23. 430rcks

    430rcks Formula 3

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    Like mine:)

    CBR600RR!
     
  24. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    Thanks for all of the replies!

    I've already looked at a number of the cars mentioned, and the car seat will definitely not work with: Jag XJ-S, Porsche 924/944, Lexus SC300, Honda CRX, Nissan 240SX (used to sell them new and owned one back in the day). Not to mention the MR2 or, ahem... CBR, of course.

    I've considered a BMW 2002, but prices are on the rise it seems. The only ones in my price range are total turds. I like solofast's suggestion of the Toyota AE86. They've also climbed in value a bit since they're now popular with drifters on a budget, but I think I should still be able to find a nice one out there somewhere in my price range.

    Not interested in the Jeep. I have an FJ Cruiser and would like to find something a bit more "sport" and less "sport ute." I'm also out on the Z28. Just not my idea of fun. A Saab 900 might be cool. Anyone have experience with them? Is a turbo within my budget?
     
  25. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    The 75 was marketed here in the States as the "Milano." Definitely on my radar. If anyone knows of a good one not too far away from SoCal for $5K or less, let me know.
     
  26. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Where did you find a Manx for $900?!! I'd kill for that at that price - awesome!!!
     
  27. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    How about this angle. . . what would your mechanic be able to handle with aplomb?

    Got any Armenian mechanics in your area - even at a gas station, instead of a shop? They can fix anything.
     
  28. johnei

    johnei Formula 3
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    A Volvo C70 might be your ticket. They were available with a manual and one with more miles might fall into your price range.
     

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