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Old 09-24-2008, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default plagued by an appreciation for shitboxes

Wife hates it, friends can't understand. I continuously find myself picking out older Jap cars that I consider stealthy performers with a cult like following. The likes include turbo Mx6, Protege LX, Sentra SEr, NX2000, Escort GT... These cars come up on CL all the time for way under $2k in great condition. For example- Ford Escort GT.

I had a 94 Protege LX that I picked up for 1300 five years ago. Clutch was $130 to my door. After that I proceeded to beat on it for the next year and half w/o a single problem. That including a 90mph round trip to Roebling Rd. and back loaded with a codriver, compressor and tools for a race weekend. It was replaced with an 02 IS300 and I won't deny the IS was nicer in every way... but factor in the cost vs. pleasure and I'm not so sure it was worth it. And with IS came concerns about the exterior condition. Should probably also mention that I only drive about 2500 miles per year- no major daily commute here.

One debate that often stems from this is the "get a boxster S and be done with it vs. the turbo miata." My counter point is that I just don't drive that much, if the Miata does break, it's never a big deal (time or money wise) to repair and in itself cost nearly nothing to own. I can't imagine I'd say that about the boxster. And to tell the truth, I don't see myself in a boxster unless it's on a race track. I know what I think of guys I see driving boxters and it's not too cool. It's like that GTO burn out video, only different the other way. Another point- I get WAY more satisfaction from putting boxter $ into the house.

Am I the only one suffering from this?
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
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I often find myself hunting for a V6 MX3.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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I had a 1993 ford tempo that I drove for almost 3 years that I paid $550 for. Id rather have something cheap and small.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:33 PM   #4
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i want my 626 back:

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Old 09-24-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
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My Saturn was dirt cheap for its condition and mileage. Its a 1992. Bought it for 3k with 30,000 miles on it back in '04. I'm not gonna lie. I've beat the **** out of it and it still looks good and still runs great. It passed 100k a couple weeks back. I'm gonna keep it when I get another car too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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Well, I've had Merkur XR4Ti, old Alfa Spider and might be looking for Fiat X1/9.

While living in States, I might add. Europe side these would be actually pretty common choices, here less so.

So you might not be alone with your disease.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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You know, the Milano/75 is a fun car. Never owned one, but I love them.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944obscene View Post
You know, the Milano/75 is a fun car...
I believe there's a resident Milano expert on this site

yep- Xr4ti is one for me... hard to find in good condition tho.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta93LE View Post
I often find myself hunting for a V6 MX3.
There's a couple turbocharged ones that make 400-500 hp around here.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944obscene View Post
You know, the Milano/75 is a fun car. Never owned one, but I love them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
I believe there's a resident Milano expert on this site
Hell yeah! I took a Milano on One Lap of America a couple times, although I can't say I recommend it.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
There's a couple turbocharged ones that make 400-500 hp around here.
KL06 swap and t4 chinacharger makes for a cheap 400hp recipe. But you'd better be a transmission quick change artist. ;-) Of course there's all the traction you don't get with the power (notice the tacho)
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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+1 for 944obscene. I had a 94 saturn wagon for a couple years. Base model single cam, 5spd, air and cruise were the only options. Commuted 100 miles 7 days a week in it! 0 problems and avg'd about 35mpg. Actually pretty fun to drive. Low to the ground, light weight and with virtually 0 hp I could drive the crap out of it rowing through the gears and no one would notice! I find driving low hp low cornering limit cars enjoyable. You can push the limits constantly without getting into any real trouble. Good car control education.

Really like the xr4ti. Again tough to find in good shape or unmolested.

Triumph Spitfires can be found cheap and lot's of them are still in good shape and well cared for. Easier to work on, find parts for and better knowledge base and support than the Italians.

Last edited by cueball1; 09-24-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #13
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I don't think it's a problem. It seems pretty sane to me to appreciate cheap cars that you won't cry about if you total. Cars are primarily about utility. The first car I ever wanted to own was a classic se-r. I just couldn't find one in my area that wasn't totally riced out or otherwise destroyed.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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another one (don't laugh)- 1st gen mazda 929 with a 5 spd. Believe it or not these engines are as stout as the BPs are for boost and came with the R trans and differential like the Turbo II Rx7.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:56 PM   #15
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Friend of mine had one of those 929 with absurd V6 (in Finnish scale) and liked it a lot.
A heavy car.

Yep Spitfire is still to come.

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Old 09-24-2008, 04:11 PM   #16
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I love German shitboxes...my GTI is one of the coolest cars I've ever driven but damn its a POS. E30s are kinda neat.

I'd love to play around in some Japanese ones.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:04 PM   #17
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speaking of spitfires

can you pass that up?
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
speaking of spitfires

can you pass that up?
You bastard

I've always wanted to mess around with a spitfire. If only I could convince myself I had time to work on another project car...
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:07 PM   #19
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I spit your 3k spitfire and raise you one to trade for a riding lawn mower!!!

http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bar/853524208.html


Gut the drivetrain and give it the Turbo Miata treatment!
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:24 PM   #20
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i look at old jap cars differently too, everything but hondas(maybe crx)
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