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An easy to work on, reliable, with inexpensive parts available.....sports car?

Does this exist? I’d like to hear some opinions, on any car, old or new.

I guess people’s definition of “sports car” will vary…so this is a pretty open question.

Anything close to the title’s requirements is welcome (i.e. could be easy to work on, but not reliable…common theme has to be “sports” car though), I’m just curious to see if something like this is out there.


This all really depends on what kind of sports car you are talking about. So many different exist from all facets of the car community. Generally, sports cars have a sort of rule: it’s like dating a super model. Sure, it costs a lot of money and always require maintenance, but it’s a super model.

I concur that there are various categories of sports car. The Mazda Miata I’d consider a sports car, because I go back to the old British Leyland ragtop days, yet many consider anything without brain-numbing acceleration to not be a sports car. By my definition a sports car has a droppable or removable roof, two doors, laid back seating, and good cornering abilities. Horsepower is irrelevant.

My Scion tC I call a “sporty car” although the Scion brochure calls it a “sports coupe”.

Can you be more specific?

You know, and no one is going to like me for saying this, but the '99 - '04 Mustangs were pretty damned reliable, sporty in V6 or V8 configurations, and as far as modern cars go, they were simple bordering on primitive while still being reasonably comfortable and well equipped.

Can’t beat rear wheel drive, live axle, 5 speed manual with cable clutch, pretty basic setup.

Mazda Miata.

Agree that the Miata is the reliable incarnation of a straight forward sports car. It will outlast about 5 old style MGs (that division is now owned by the Chinese I believe).

However, no sparts car is easy to work on since everything under the hood is shoehorned in there. For an inexpensive and easy to work on vehicle, choose a Ford Ranger truck with no options. The engine will be easy to work on and parts are cheap and readily available. Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda all have small trucks. Stay away from the S10 Chevy; it has significantly lower quality and reliability than the others mentioned.

This is gonna sound weird, but, were I you, I’d spend my money on a Jeep Cherokee from the mid-nineties. They’re cheap, super reliable, and possibly one of the easiest DIY car in the universe. I know it’s not a “sports car” per say, but it’s a really fun rig to putter around in. If you really want to go with a “car”, I have to agree with the new muscle car remakes ford. chevy, and dodge are coming out with.

Ford Ranger? Jeep Cherokee? That’s REALLY stretching the definition of sports car!

I will say Mazda Miata. Its a relatively simple modern real sports car.

A Hyundai Tiburon would meet the requirements. As would a Toyota Celica, although I don’t know how available or cheap parts are. Also, a mid 60’s muscle car would fit the bill. Sure it probably wouldn’t be terribly reliable, but they all had cavernous engine bays. Last, maybe an ex-police Crown Vic? Sure it’s not fast, or sporty, and it’s probably not incredibly reliable, but parts are cheap and it’s easy to fix.

However, I think reliability and sports cars really don’t go together. Sports cars are designed to be flogged, and flogging ultimately results in decreased reliability. As someone once said, three options can be built into all cars: cheap, fast, or reliable. You get to pick two. Or, in the case of Mercedes and Audis, one.

Thanks for all the responses so far, interesting…I guess to narrow it down (a bit), I’d say “sports car” as in, one designed with high performance or race-like capabilities in mind…anything fun to drive, good looks, and powerful/fast. I know, still reeeeally subjective.

While the Ford Ranger and Jeep Cherokee are definitely not sports cars, I’m interested to hear about cheap/reliable/easy to work on cars in general, too. Thanks!

Aside from a Miata, you’re not going to find anything that is easy to fix and cheap, and race-able as well.

Although, they do race trucks… so would the Ram SRT10 be a sports vehicle? Although, it’s not cheap or reliable. But, there are school bus races. And they don’t prep the buses performance-wise anyway. So, technically, school buses have race capabilities. So, get a school bus. You can race it, and it’s relatively easy to service.

Ooh, they race tractors, too. A school bus and a farm tractor. There’s a couple race cars for you.

Just my opinion here, but I think the Honda S2000 is an extremely good car. There’s only one way to get one: Manual transmission. In my book, that adds points.

Miatas and Mustangs are pretty nice, too.

These new Saturn Skys look nice, too, but they are rated as the least reliable car made (seriously. You can look it up).

My favorite car on the entire planet – the only car I’d actively consider committing a capital crime to get (JUST KIDDING) – is the Porsche GT3. Best sports car ever made. One lives in our neighborhood. For the guy who owns this one, whatever power the stock one generates (I think it’s around 400 hp for a 2,700 lb car) wasn’t enough. This is the sweetest sounding car I’ve ever heard. Anyway, I think those are about $120,000. I’ll never own one. Unless I rob a bank. Which I won’t do.

In any case, the S2000 is around $35k, is very, very reliable, and handles and drives well straight out of the box. Because it’s a 4, tuneups will be relatively easy. Goes light on the gas, because it’s a 2-litre. Looks great. Sounds great. Probably my favorite sports car that’s within my financial reach.

That narrows the definition down considerably. Unfortunately, it narrows the choices down to near zero. Powerful, fast, good looking high performance cars with race-like capabilities come with more expensive parts, more difficulty and expense to repair, and often a tradeoff in reliability. Power puts more stress on things.

Cancel the “power” criterion and my Scion tC is a great car.

haha thanks procter…i’ll keep the ol’ school bus and farm tractor’s in mind. Do any tractors come with Hemi’s?

Sorry, I shouldn’t have said race-like capabilities…most of those cars would be in the very high end where I can’t play…and like you said, “race” and “cheap” or “reliable” kind of cancel each other out.

Let’s just stick with fun to drive, more powerful than the average car, and decent looks for the definition then.

I honestly did not know what the Scion tC looked like until a moment ago, I’ve never seen one on the road in Canada…wonder if they are sold here. Great looking car!

Thanks. I love mine. And the sliding glass moonroof has absolutely spoiled me. My son drove mine and liked it so much he bought one too.

Oh, and I’ve admittedly had it up over 100mph a number of times and it’s just plain stable. At times I’ll “punch it” to pass and be doing 95 without even realizing it. I’m trying to get better, though.

Did you visit the website?

This comment has me completely convinced: Drive a Honda S2000.

You absolutely will not be disappointed. There’s no chance of that happening.

I do understand that the S2000 is made for medium to small persons, and that a 6’4" person could not drive this vehicle. OP should literally “try an S2000 on for size” first!

mountainbike: I did check out the website, very nice car and options. Unfortunately, unavailable to me: