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Good first car?

what is a good first car for a 17 year old (no experience in fixing…but my dad has a bit) that is easy to fix if needed and between 1960-90? especially things like a firebird, camaro, mustang etc.

Speed costs money, how fast can you afford to go?

insurance would price you out of all 3 of those vehicles.
The newer the car, the better it’ll be in crash protection of the driver.

What about a Lincoln Mark 7? It’s basically the same as a 5.0 Mustang, except it’s a little heavier. A Mark 8 {these have the same engine as the 96-98 Mustang Cobras} could be an option too, but they aren’t as easy to modify.

Another suggestion:
If you can live with something imported and a little newer, a Lexus SC400 wouldn’t be too bad. They have a V8 and sound pretty good {there are clips on youtube}. The steering on them is pretty heavy compared to most cars, the parts aren’t really cheap {if you look at one, make sure the MAF sensor is good, a new one is close to a grand on rockauto.com}, and the gas mileage isn’t that good, I got around 14 in town with mine.

Yeah my cousin was killed in a 58 Chev back in 1959. Looked about like that except worse. I wouldn’t put a 17 year old in any of those and Dad should know better. My first one was a Morris Minor, then a VW Beetle.

My first car was a 1947 Pontiac and with its pontoon fenders that stuck out beyond the passenger compartment of the car helped protect against side impacts. For that reason, the VW Newbeetle might not be too bad. I realize that the reliability record reported by Consumer Reports is not particularly good, but a used one that has been well maintained followed by some careful driving might provide good transportation.

The best car for a 17 year old who wants a Mustang, Camaro, or Firebird is the newest midsize car available with as many airbags as possible. ABS and stability control are also necessary. Many 17 year olds have the idea in their head that, since they have been driving for a year, they are very good at it and can test the limits of their cars and their driving abilities. Of all the single year age groups, 17 year old drivers have by far the highest rate of fatal crashes, even significantly higher than 16 year olds. Hot rods are not good teen cars unless the teen in question is mostly concerned with looking cool and leaving a good looking corpse behind (unless the severity of the crash necessitates a closed casket funeral). If older is necessary due to budget issues, a four cylinder five speed S-10 or Ranger is good for a teen driver.

I went to school with a guy whose grandpa offered to buy him his first car. His grandpa asked him what kind of car he wanted, and he told him “a Mustang or something like that”. He got a 1990 Ford Tempo for his first car. His grandpa is a wise man. At least it had a blue oval on the grille…

The last car I would get a 17-year-old is a Mustang, Camara, Firebird or something like that. I would get him a very bland, very dependable smaller car like Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus or something like that.

For easy to work on and fix, go with a nice, small 4 cylinder pickup truck.

Budget for the car? Budget for insurance? Daily driver or track car?

I 'm on board with “Mark, bscar and Cig”. I sold a Suzuki and was emphatic about it’s low horsepower. A father bought it for his son for just that reason. My kids did very well with 4 cyl compacts and an underpowered Mazda PU. 17 year olds will find a way to go fast, even if they have to wait to go down hill. Don’t help them along any more then necessary.

The only Mustang that should be considered for a 17 year old to drive would be a late '80s to early '90s Fox body 'Stang with a four cylinder in it. Preferably one with a driver’s side air bag, which I think was available in 1993.

I’m not so worried about speeding seeing as ill probably be driving with my dad in the car until im 18 anyways…he just likes cars a lot and we’re looking for a car that we can do our own work on instead of going to a mechanic, like he did when he was a kid…

A 4-cylinder engine is definitely the way to go for ease of maintenance as well as safety. Today’s four cylinders have plenty of pop to enjoy driving, without enough to get you into trouble. A for maintainability, routine maintenance items on 4-bangers are generally much easier to access. 6 and 8 cylinder engines are now generally installed transversely and the rear banks can be tough to access and the belts a pain to change. Look also for on ethat has the starter motor in front of the engine (like the Corollas) rather than in back/underbeath.

For ease of maintenance, I believe a 4-banger small pickup is the best. Everything is easily accessible, the water pumps will generally be a bolt-on component and the camshafts driven by a chain (no timing belt to replace), the chassis will generally have shocks rather than struts, and they’ll generally be a parts-on-full-frame rather than having the body as a part of the chassis, making it easier to remove and replace things undeneath the vehicle.

Whatever you choose, get it thoroughly checked out. You’d like something easy to repair if needed, but not something greatly in need of repair.

Sincere best.

why buy something to WORK on when you could get something newer to actually DRIVE

Price ebay motors for a 60s Mustang, then price a brand new one. Any cheap car from the 60s will cost an arm and a leg to get it fixed up right.

Can’t find a part for it at AutoZone? You’ll hafta trudge through websites to find the part, then wait to have it shipped to your house. Heaven forbid if it’s actually the wrong part, too. All the while you have to depend on someone else for a ride.

Also, to be perfectly blunt, it sounds like dad is trying to relive his youth through you now.