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      08-21-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
RickE46M3
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What should I get for a project car?

Alright well I am coming from a 2005 Dodge SRT-4. I sold the car because though I loved it, I always wished I was in an E46 M3 or an EVO. I figured I'd but a cheap reliable daily driver and call it good so I could catch up my bills and ditch the instant gratification for what I REALLY wanted. Well, that's getting old very quickly. A friend of mine did the same thing recently and ended up picking up a 2003 Acura RSX Type S, his second time owning one.

I have been thinking lately of picking up a car between $3-6,000 or so... to clean up, modify and race. When I say race I don't mean bumble bee street race with a JDM tyte car yo... NO! I mean something that I can daily drive but also have fun at track events with and hone my skills so when I DO get my beauty I am that much better and much more capable at driving it to the limit.

I have considered a lot of different cars, anything from FWD Honda/Acura... to an E30 3 Series BMW. I am very open minded but just can't seem to pin point anything just yet so I need some help. Heres the criteria...

What I want in the car:

-I want a car that is reliable and can take some abuse without crapping out on me, I don't plan on driving the car until it pukes out fluids because I beat it down so badly, but I don't plan on babying it either. I need something that doesn't get BUTT HURT because it was driven aggressively

-I want something that handles well out of the box, and can be or is known to be a good contender with little suspension modification (I don't want to bother with something too difficult to make handle well ie. dump truck into go kart)

-It has to be somewhat attractive or have potential to be attractive with the right touch... ( a ford festiva does not fall into this catagory, neither does a kia rio... you get the picture. The woman may have a great personality but you can't teach ugly to be pretty)

-I need a car that has a strong motor, drivetrain... (I'll pass on glass transmissions and weak sauce internals or blocks... I need something that can handle more HP if I decide to go that route or something that can handle tracking and daily driving too)

-Must not be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack (I need something that isn't something rare and impossible to find)

-RWD or AWD is pref but FWD can work too

-$3000-6000 budget

-Nothing that will be in the garage more than out playing or being used as DD transportation (DSM, probably not a good idea?)

-Not a fix er upper... but more of a clean er upper, I'm not taking on a restoration project here.

What have you guys got for me? If anything... PS: No Miata they are too dinky
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      08-22-2007, 12:08 AM   #2
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What about the Audi S4 with the twin-turbo V6 (think it was the B5 generation)? If you pick up an Avant, even better.

Lots of moding potential, AWD, clean classic looking car.
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      08-22-2007, 01:37 AM   #3
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For your price range...not a lot of great cars to choose from. Here's my pick:

FWD: Honda Civic or Acura Integra
RWD: Ford Mustang GT or Nissan 240SX
AWD: Subaru Impreza 2.5

Each selection has their pluses and minuses. If it were me...I'd probably just pick up an old Civic Si. Anything else would likely tempt me to mod it up...and then that would mean spending a lot of money...
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      08-22-2007, 01:52 AM   #4
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^i'm with spacedogg on every choice except minus the Mustang GT

If you really are into AWD, you could find an Impreza L and just use it as a body since it's the GC8 body. You could replace the tranny, engine, and everything really and turn it even into the STI or just a track car

edit: also in the states, the 240SX S14s have the nissan truck engines in them so i'd probably find something JDM to swap with before totally going all out
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      08-22-2007, 09:01 AM   #5
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      08-22-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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The 2.5RS is out of the question... they are actually pretty expensive even with higher mileage and the transmissions are like glass, the stock motor isn't able to handle much either. A Mustang GT is an easy car to make fast with the 302 5.0 that has forged internals out of the box however there kind of WT and handle like crapola. A buddy of mine had a 1997 240SX Kouki conversion, all it needed was the motor and it had one previously... a turbo KA however an SR20 swap isn't cheap, and that is if you can find a clean example of a 240sx but good luck with that. A B5 S4? Are you kidding? Kiss reliable goodbye for one, second... they're not cheap lol. I am really leaning towards a Honda Acura or an E30...
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      08-22-2007, 09:56 AM   #7
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e30 turbo......has to be so much fun

or '69 Camaro, then put a turbo LSx in it....or go all N/A and 600whp+ w/ a 6speed manual. God I miss that car!
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      08-22-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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+1 on the camaro.
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      08-22-2007, 10:46 AM   #9
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I was reading through all your criteria (until your last sentence, of course)...the only car that I can think of is the Miata.

You have a budget of $3k to $6k...you gotta accept some compromises. The Miata really does all the things you're looking for, very well.
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      08-22-2007, 11:32 AM   #10
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+1 on the Miata
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      08-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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I had an E30 that spent a lot of time on the autocross track

I did struts/sways/springs/software/15" wheels and it ended up being a pretty good handler

I also kept it for 8 years or so, bought it with about 73K miles, and sold with 183K miles and it never had any major issues.

BMW used to build them better than they do now
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      08-22-2007, 11:58 AM   #12
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+1 on the E30...

My current daily driver!
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      08-22-2007, 12:18 PM   #13
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Why not just wait? Wait till you can afford a good car. buy a ok car now for daily use and such. But don't mod it. That money is money that could go towards a good car.

I know how it feels to want to mod but, truthfully just have patience.
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      08-22-2007, 12:41 PM   #14
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FD RX7 with a Ls1 conversion, or FC with ls1 conversion.

Pretty dirt cheap too.
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      08-22-2007, 12:56 PM   #15
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Some of the older Toyota Supras.
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      08-22-2007, 04:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmulax View Post
What about the Audi S4 with the twin-turbo V6 (think it was the B5 generation)? If you pick up an Avant, even better.

Lots of moding potential, AWD, clean classic looking car.
S4 ???/ he said reliable ... my friend went throught 6 turbos in less then 6 months on that car


When reading your critera one car pops in my head more then any other ....


Nissan 240SX (S14 or S13 depending on what you think looks better). You can get the car and a SR20 Swap in it for easily less then 6K. Its RWD, the SR20 is known for taking a beating and unlike its RB brother parts are easy to get and cheap to replace. 240s can be set up for both grip and drift and you can stake a stab at both to keep your self entertained. If you want a good place for cars that people started on and never finish check out zilvia.net

I would strictly stay away from anything German as anything German and in the price range will be a PIA to get parts and parts are not cheap.

The other option is a Miata .... but a Miata is kind of Fem IMO.
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      08-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walked U View Post
FD RX7 with a Ls1 conversion, or FC with ls1 conversion.

Pretty dirt cheap too.
I wish they where cheap .... If I could get a LS1 FD for under 10K I would buy it right now ...

Most LS1 FDs are about $18-20K ...... non LS1 cars are between 12K-18K in there self. If looking for a FD the best bet is to look for one where the engine caught on fire and then rebuild it.
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      08-22-2007, 04:40 PM   #18
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Ditto on the 240sx... That is one tough car!!! I still wish I had kept my '90.
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      08-22-2007, 04:40 PM   #19
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can you say project SKYLINE?!?!

engine transplant, suspension, bbk, rims, tires, turbo, work interior and ext and you got one ballin car that both handles amazing and would kill almost everything on the street. the only jap car i love
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      08-22-2007, 04:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DasBlitz View Post
Why not just wait? Wait till you can afford a good car. buy a ok car now for daily use and such. But don't mod it. That money is money that could go towards a good car.

I know how it feels to want to mod but, truthfully just have patience.
+1 or you can save up and buy a car you want and can afford.

but if you started a skyline project the feeling you get watching it everday evolve, putting new parts, etc is a feeling that is undescribable.
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      08-22-2007, 04:42 PM   #21
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or a bmw e36 m3. you do it right it will be up to a modded skyline level
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