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      10-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
jpop8807
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Best sporty car under 10k

I recently helped my friend fix his dodge 2500 and miss turning the wrench on a car. Currently me and the wife share a new mustang which will soon be hers. So I would like to purchase a fun car I can play with and also track for fun. I don't want to spend more then 10,000 on the car. So far my interests have been caught by a few older boxters, and 90 i believe porsche 944 turbo, and e36 m3, a 2000 m5, and a rx-8. If any of you would please offer your input or suggest other cars that would help me alot. Please no miatas. I know spec miata can be fun. But i'm in the Infantry and would catch alot of shit driving a miata to work.

The boxter is a 2000 S (I know still looks like a chick car)
the 944 turbos are a 86 and a 88
99 or 97 M3 e36
Lastly a 03 350z

Last edited by jpop8807; 10-04-2011 at 01:04 PM. Reason: forgot something
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      10-04-2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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S2000... Go drive one
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      10-04-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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s2000 no doubt. Not only is it going to be the most fun to drive... it will be the most reliable and the maintenance will be the cheapest and you're going to want that because it will probably be a high mileage one considering it's sub 10k price tag.
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      10-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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I used to have a DINAN-modified E36 M3. It really depends on your driving preferences, if you are interested in raw torque, I would suggest the M. The S2K has more bang for the buck if you are going to invest in modifications. Stock for stock- E36 M3 wins.
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      10-07-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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S2000s here at least are still >10k for a non-riced one. 944s are notoriously complicated, unreliable, expensive, and a PITA to work on. An E36 M3 could be a good thing to consider, but prices are starting to rebound for decent examples of those as well. You could get lucky. I'm not sure of your definition of sporty, but if you're into cheap parts and DIY labor, how about a fox body Mustang 5.0? They respond well to mods, parts are cheap and plentiful, and they can be made to go like stink. Your military buds will likely think it's "badass" too.

It's unfortunate you're ruling out the Miata because of what others will think of you, because really that seems to fulfill your criteria. Drive what makes you happy, not what will make others happy. Never understood the security/insecurity people get from the cars they drive, but whatever.

A more risky recommendation might be a B5 S4. At 10k you're looking at one with over 80k, and likely in need of some maintenance. I have no personal experience with them, but many swear by the K04 upgrade as being acceptably reliable.
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      10-07-2011, 01:46 PM   #6
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Where are you guys buying a halfway running S2K for under 10 grand?
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      10-07-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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a turbo or used supercharged e36 comes up on bimmerforums once in a while
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      10-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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Build your own E30. You'll have more of a car than any of those listed for sure and have money left over.
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      10-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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An E36 M3 with the appropriate maintenance will easily go over that 10K cap. Ask me how I know. That being said... a 328IS isn't much different from an M3.

An E30 would be a pretty boss little car if you had the time to build one. The chassis isn't as good as the E36's though.
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      10-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #10
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My buddy just picked up an 01 s2k with 80k on the clock for 8000. Has a few dings here and there, but overall the car is in pretty good shape. Interior is great and it is mechanically sound. At 8k, that car made me regret spending the $ I did on my mods...
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      10-08-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
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      10-08-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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A 600cc supersport.
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      10-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #13
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I always had fun in my MR2
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      10-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #14
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I have a '00 s2k with 40k miles that I will be selling for $12k. It's in excellent condition but I still think I'll have a tough time selling it. Finding a $10k s2k shouldn't be a problem
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      10-10-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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How reliable do the E36 M3s tend to be for daily driving at this point?
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      10-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Man View Post
How reliable do the E36 M3s tend to be for daily driving at this point?
Should be fine, it's not like it's an M motor and the rest is pretty simple. My S52 M Coupe is nearly twelve years old, has 136k miles on it and hasn't presented any real problems yet. The one challenge with it are parts that are M Coupe specific, all the Z3 based parts are still pretty easy to fine, and I'd imagine E36 parts are more common and easier/cheaper to find.
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      10-10-2011, 03:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Should be fine, it's not like it's an M motor and the rest is pretty simple. My S52 M Coupe is nearly twelve years old, has 136k miles on it and hasn't presented any real problems yet. The one challenge with it are parts that are M Coupe specific, all the Z3 based parts are still pretty easy to fine, and I'd imagine E36 parts are more common and easier/cheaper to find.
The engines are pretty bullet proof. Problems include the cooling system, oil pump nut, rear sub-frame, rear trailing arm bushing pockets tearing out, rear shock mounts tearing out and the diff bolt failing. You're much more likely to see those happen to a track car or one from the North where harsh roads are prevalent.
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      10-10-2011, 09:46 PM   #18
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As a e36 m3 owner, i ll say couple of things.

Pros:
Fun as hellllll to drive.
Lot of compliments
People think its like an 04+ car.
Handles amazingly with my setup (eibach/bilstein/poly bushings front/rear)

Cons
Even though i bought my car with a full maintenance history, i still dumped 5k in 8 months on it.
If not maintained properly right away, it'll bite your ass harder than chuck norris.
Cooling system BLOWS! Sucks, shit, complete piece of crap.
Water pump/ thermostat are fragile & break frequently (unless you go to Stewart pump)
Head gasket usually fails on m3's w/ 100k+ miles.

Last edited by Bimmer Nerd; 10-10-2011 at 09:54 PM.
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      10-10-2011, 09:55 PM   #19
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You could have an OBD1 S52 E30 that will be even faster or just add a snail to the factory M20 and you could easily have over 300 whp in a car that weighs around 2700lbs (and that's being conservative). And you'll still have a few grand left over.
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      10-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Nerd View Post
As a e36 m3 owner, i ll say couple of things.

Pros:
Fun as hellllll to drive.
Lot of compliments
People think its like an 04+ car.
Handles amazingly with my setup (eibach/bilstein/poly bushings front/rear)

Cons
Even though i bought my car with a full maintenance history, i still dumped 5k in 8 months on it.
If not maintained properly right away, it'll bite your ass harder than chuck norris.
Cooling system BLOWS! Sucks, shit, complete piece of crap.
Water pump/ thermostat are fragile & break frequently (unless you go to Stewart pump)
Head gasket usually fails on m3's w/ 100k+ miles.
+1

...but never heard about the headgasket issues. Mine has 115K on it and is going strong. Doesn't even burn oil.

I decided just to do the cooling system "once" by buying quality components aka Stewart water pump, silicon hoses, etc.
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      10-11-2011, 01:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoosyJoos View Post
+1

...but never heard about the headgasket issues. Mine has 115K on it and is going strong. Doesn't even burn oil.

I decided just to do the cooling system "once" by buying quality components aka Stewart water pump, silicon hoses, etc.
yea, I have a friend who's head gasket just blew + i have at least 5 other friends that had to sell their cars because the head gasket blew. Its not an easy repair either. Parts cost like 200$ but the labor comes out to 1000+ easy with a reputable shop.

it sucks.


Be careful when you track your M3, 1 over heat on the 95's = warped head, valves are out of place and the head will need to be taken apart.

But i might trade my baby for a e36 m3 with a turbo putting down 400whp. that should be fun.
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      10-11-2011, 01:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-421 View Post
You could have an OBD1 S52 E30 that will be even faster or just add a snail to the factory M20 and you could easily have over 300 whp in a car that weighs around 2700lbs (and that's being conservative). And you'll still have a few grand left over.
if you go OBD1 route, might as well go with S50 to save the cost of OBDII to OBDI converstion, there's no huge difference between S52 vs S50, other than the .2 liters, OBDII and all the ACS/DTC features. Waste of money imo if ur tracking.
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