Cheap & fun?

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I have a budget of $3-3.5k to get a car.
I'm looking for something from this list right now:

Honda Prelude
Mazda Miata
Mazda MX6
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Nissan 240sx
Toyota Celica
Toyota MR2

All from the early 90'

Do you have any suggestion about this list? Any models too ambitious? Any that I should avoid? Or some that I should look at as well?
Thanks for your help.

posted by  The Frenchman

I would personally go for the MR2 myself, be warned though, if you plan on going over 80mph...hold the steering wheel like your life depens on it lol, yup, handling leaves much to be desired at speed due to it being a Mid-Engined car. Space is also a douwnside to the MR2, are two aets enough for your needs?...dont expect much luggage space either. The main reason I'd select this car is because of a good level of reliability and reasonable performance :thumbs:

Alternatively, go for the 200SX...preferably with a turbo, it's Front engine/Rear drive setup is great, it has seating for four and reasonable luggage space! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

The question is also about the actual possibility to find one of these cars in my price range.
I like the MR2 design a lot, and the 2 seats & little luggage space shouldn't matter. It's just for going on week-end.
Thank you for your advice.

posted by  The Frenchman

To be honest, it all depends how far back in the 90's you wish to travel lol, for example, Toyota renewed their MR2 in 1991 I believe, a '91 model (newer type) will cost a hell of alot more than an earlier 1990 model would. The problem you are faced with is that the newer style MR2 was released in 1991, if you went for an earlier 1989 model, you'd get a better deal!

posted by  Cliffy

i dont know about where u live, but ill give a very brief explantion on each car....

1) Prelude - a very close friend of mine has one, bought it for $3,500 n it was a POS, i swear. he had to replace the engine in february cuz the head gasket blew, and the engine was so beat up due to him not listening to me that everything in it pretty much died (the mechanic couldnt even salvage anything). a well condition one will cost more than just $3,500 too.

2) Miata - chick car, and it leaves alot to be desired in every aspect.

3) MX6 - leaves something to be desired in the power area, but an old friend of mine used to have one n didnt have many complaints about it other than getting beat in races :P. havent checked how much one costs around here.

4) eclipse - i dont think u can get the turbo model for that cheap, even less the GSX model. maybe the RS, but keep in mind one thing, those DSM's break down alot more frequently as u add more mods (infamous crankwalk, etc.).

5) 240sx - i dont even need to comment on this one. great car, n u can mod the KA24DE just fine, even though the sr20det is the favorite one, its still ok.

6) celica - it MIGHT be within ur price range, but certainly not the AWD Turbo model. its a toyota, so u know it will survive the ages nicely. its 3s-gte engine (for the turbo model) is awesome for mods, its also the very same engine used in the turbo mr2s from the 90's (the SW20).

7) MR-2 - i know for a fact that u cant get one of these for that cheap, n most certainly NOT the turbo model. ive seen them getting sold as if the MR-2 was the Integra (even though the integra is by far inferior to the MR-2 :P), still, i would say its the best of the list, unless u find a Celica GT-4, which then u would be kicking alot of ass all over the place with some mods :P


thats my opinion on the cars and things ive had to deal with with each one of them, except the mx6 which i never really had the chance of putting up with it. the nightmare one has been the Lude, which breaks down 3 times a week AT LEAST (im not kidding nor exaggerating...... its a limping nightmare). not to mention, Honda really aint the company to say, "best bang for the buck" with their parts.. its not exactly cheap to maintain one, neither is Mazda...... i would stick to the toyotas n hope for the best.

maybe buy them from a junker n restore them? a friend of mine restores american cars for just like $3,000 if he doesnt do much (but they run so nicely). just gotta know where to look n who to ask for help.

posted by  Inygknok

Well, for the different cars, I'm looking for a:

1992+ Prelude
Any Miata
1993+ MX6
Any Eclipse
Any 240sx
Any Celica
1991+ MR2

So, if some cars are clearly out of my range, tell me.

posted by  The Frenchman

Thanks. I'm not looking for a car to mod or anything. Just a fun car to drive on week-end trips. I'm not really into "HP above all "style. And I like the miata style a lot. Did I mention I was european?

posted by  The Frenchman

You might pick up a 1992 Prelude for just under your budget, but it will be no later than a 1992. I'm almost certain the MX6 is out of your price range, as is the Eclipse and possibly the MR-2...I still say look for a cheaper MR-2, but as inyg says, it wont be anything special lol. I disagree with what he said about the Prelude though, I usewd to have one, and although only a 1986 model, it was reliable enough, although it had a few problems thoughout it's ownership....but then, so do most things lol!...Only real downside to the Prelude is it's Front wheel drive :ohcrap:

posted by  Cliffy

.
.
'85 - '87 BMW 3 series for your budget.

Should hold it's value for 18 months too!!
.
.

posted by  BavarianWheels

Mid engined rear wheel drive are the best arangement for sports cars!

posted by  cinqyg

Yes, but they are a nightmare to handle in the wrong hands!

posted by  Cliffy

]

not my fault if they cant drive

posted by  cinqyg

man id get the oldschool 240sx, as close as it gets to having a silvia. its also great for auto-x, daily driving, space, you name it.

here (http://www.cars.com/search/used/cc/standard/results/multiple/fs_search_res ults.jhtml;jsessionid=VSRYPV5M41GDZLAZGKWZPQY?aff=national&certifiedOnly=) is one in my area, but it is a convertible and an auto, so its a lil more expensive. a 93 240sx is def in your price range, now go find one!

posted by  importluva

Thank you guys, I'll start looking for one of these. From what I've seen during early searches, it will be tough. Few choices and very overpriced. I guess I'll have to be very patient.

posted by  The Frenchman

overpriced? the 240sx? exactly wat do u mean with "overpriced"? are bastards selling them for more than $3,500 over there? Rip off :fu:

posted by  Inygknok

Well, I think I've just have to be patient. And the number of 240SX in the area is very low.

posted by  The Frenchman

Hey Hey Hey, no crankwalking talk :( . Actually the 2g Eclipse are the ones more prone to crankwalking...not the earlier 90's 1g models. There are many reasonable DSM's out there for 3500 and under, and yes that includes the turbo models. Hard to find but they are out there, who knows you may get lucky and find an AWD. Yeah go with the Eclipse...it has not lead me wrong. Not to mention its great potential in the event that you would consider modifying it. :thumbs:

posted by  DSMer

i dont think he wants the 1g though. he seems to be interested in the more "modern" models of the cars without getting into the latest models, so its the crankwalking version he must be looking for :mrgreen:

i also had the decency of checking how much the eclipses and 240's cost over here. its funny though, both cars r quite common over here, but the 240's are very well priced, while the Eclipses, the RS models (cheapest one of all), start at $4,000 (saw one for less but it was beat up). the cheapest turbo model i found was at $6,000 n the owner said it had a dent n some other "minor" things in the ad.

i guess the 240 is the only one that can actually be found for a very very reasonable, looks awesome (im sure everyone agrees there), and its easily tuned, wether u leave the KA24 in there or u swap an sr20...... but i still prefer the toyotas

posted by  Inygknok

240sx deffinetly! i read the 240sx s14 has some potential...i don't kno...some one correct me if im wrong. you can also get a few horses out the car too and some pretty nice body kits to sharpen up the looks a little.

my choice....240sx mate :thumbs:

posted by  WeaponR

I'm not an import fan, but I highly recommend an early '90's 240SX. Very fun car to drive...I drove one with over 200k miles on it and she still had some get-up-and-go left in her. Acceleration is decent, good braking, and suprisingly good handling considering the pizza-cutter-thin tires. The 240 I drove had an SE 5-speed in it because the owner demolished the original 5-speed......I'm guessing the rev limiters are located in the tranmissions themselves because after he had it installed it would bounce off the rev limiter at approx. 4800-5200rpm. I would have enjoyed driving it more had I been able to hit 6000rpm, but it still had some pep to it.

posted by  Sick88Tbird

you live in cali, haha, yea things get really pricey there. guess you'll have to haggle haaaard.

posted by  importluva

Body kits for an S14? The body kits on the S14 cost nearly a grand alone. Yeah the car has great potential, but unless hes got deep pockets that potential will never be harvested. Besides a 1g GSX would kill almost all of those cars off the line. And I don't know what Inygknok is looking at. I bought my GS-T for 2 grand flat with minor dents and dings no rust. (Hmm I wonder if that would have anything to do with me living in IL where the factory that produces the DSM's is located)

posted by  DSMer

is that 1 grand in us dollars or the pound? dollars i would assume its in dollars which makes it around about just over half of that in pounds....deep pockets? any one and every one has have deep pockets.....even me i got deep pockets but i don't have them full :laughing: im just messing with you...reason is if you want one becos its almost midnight over here in the uk and im feeling really tierd....i need a little giggle before i go to bed you see......hope you don't take it seriously.....please don't :thumbs: :mrgreen:

just going to check whether if i got a reply to my problems in the feedback section and then im calling it day......wow! another 'awesome' (american lingo again :wink2: ) day on CF! always is :laughing: keep them coming 'newbies' hey dodge rider if your reading this.....im not a 'newbie' any more and to bav, i don't think i spammed my way either :thumbs:

posted by  WeaponR

I would look into getting a 1990-1993 Eagle talon, Mitsu Eclispe GSX, Plymoth Laser RS Turbo. Around where i am you can find them cheap.

posted by  Voda48

just so u know, i was referring to the 2G eclipse, not the 1g. the 1g is cheap to find over here as well, starting off from like $1,500 (very poor condition) to up to $5,500 (being some jackass trying to rip u off).

i havent seen any 2g's for less than $5k in GOOD conditions over here in Puerto Rico. but as for the 1g, hell, even the brother of an ex-gf of mine has one, well actually, he has a Laser, but not the turbo one (he was an idiot in not listening to me).

posted by  Inygknok

Where in California do you live? You might consider picking up a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle, and looking in the classifieds section. Also, Redding is packed to the brim with ricers and boy racers (for all you Uk people), and I'm sure there is a pretty good market for some of the cars you mentioned.

posted by  abless

Yeah the 92(best year for 1g's) with beefier bottem end. Is probably your best bet. With all the mods available for the 1g's nowadays I would consider it they have the most potential out of all the cars listed.

posted by  DSMer

Well, as I said, I'm not interested in modding a car at all. I'm just visiting the country for 2 years. And I'm not looking for a powerfull car, just cool looking and fun to drive.
I live close to Sacto, so SF is a bit far for me, especially being wheelless... And, yeah, used car prices are on the up around here, not speaking about choice. But that's fine, I can spend 1-2 months looking for one that's sold at a DECENT price.
I tested a miata. Very fun.

posted by  The Frenchman

God no man stay AWAYYYY from the Miata. Umless you wanna get flamed buy everyong, its a chick car. So unless its like jet black with a loud ass chrome exaush and 18" with a hard top. Run away my friend Run away to the Mitsubishi dealer and get yourseld a 92 Eclipse 5 Speed :thumbs:

posted by  DSMer

Haha. You truly are a mitsu fanboi. And heavily heavily biased. and rice like no other.
Again, i cant say enough how much i disagree with you. Maybe its destiny. But i dont think ill get into this one. ill let someone else do the honors.

posted by  importluva

You can't tell me that a Miata is'nt a chick car unless its like completly riced out with black and chrome. Chill out man Mitsubishi and Subaru have been at it since Rallying. They are the few left Japanese car manufactuers who are still yet to bring out a superiro class of cars like Lexus,Acura, and Infiniti. So we're kinda rivals. You like Subies I like Mitsus...

posted by  DSMer

miatas are actually very nice cars and im sure you'll agree with me. many old people and chicks drive them, but should that really be a factor when buying it? Meh, i dont think so. they handle well and will probably do it for this guy.

Regarding the rivalry, i love subarus b/c i have owned one and loved it. the only mitsubishi i like is the evolution, which i intially labeled as my favorite car, but after experienceing the STi, i changed my mind. I have nothing but respect for you and the evolution, and ill be more than happy to have meaningful arguments with you, about thses cars or anything else. :thumbs:

posted by  importluva

Hey, calm down guys! That's just cars. Anyway, I'm still not decided yet. I think I'll take whatever I can get between the eclipse, the 240sx, the mr2 and the miata. These cars are in high demand around here, so just finding one that's not sold when you call the seller is already difficult...
Thank you guys.

posted by  The Frenchman

Hell yeah thats a factor, I don't want no old peoples girl car. Unless its pitch black with crhome 19's and a silver swaybar. With a big ass body kit and crhome FMIC :thumbs:

posted by  DSMer

i've realised you american boys seem so botherd if it's a girls car or not. why bother hey!

i couldn't F'in care less if it was a girls car or not! to me a car is a car! (am not talkin' about any old banger here too :wink2: ) just add a few bits and pieces under the hood and touch up the exterior if you need to and take the baby for a ride! job done! (obviously not that simple but you get the idea don't ya)

i hope you boys don't say that women are fussy over pickin' things

posted by  WeaponR

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