The other night I asked for input concerning a classic sports car. My new question: What is your opinion for the best choice in a sports car… one with character and reliability? I am not looking to buy a brand new car… wanting to spend under $15,000.
A used Mazda Miata is your best bet for a true sports car, as well as one that is reliable.
It really depends what you want to drive. For $15K I would probably buy a decent 70s SL (107 chassis), I would prefer a 60s SL (113 chassis) but I doubt that’s do-able for $15K. I don’t think you can touch a good porsche or italian car for $15K either. I guess that leaves british cars if you really want a sports car, you probably have a few choices in that price range; maybe a MGA, definitely a MGB.
The first by VDCdriver is very good adviece, the Mazda Miata is a great sports car. In mordern terms it is the closet thing to what the sport cars were.
A MGB from the sixties, with a strandard gear box, with the original SU Carburators and ignition, can’t get any simpler. Normally very easy to fix and a tough engine. Not super fast but good enough.
Here is what was given to me as the defenition of a sports car. “A vehicle that is a hell of a lot of fun to drive from point A to point B, with a very good possibility of having to break out the tools do some quick repairs on the way”
In the end, I remember those days of mine and they were a HELL OF A LOT OF FUN!!!
Craig–The OP specified reliability. Wouldn’t that automatically eliminate anything ever made by MG?
With the price perameters given by the OP, he/she could get a Miata–possibly one as new as the '05 model year. Definitely, one from the '04 model year or earlier would fit the price perameter, and it would probably start every morning–unlike an MG.
I’m just assuming that not wanting a new car would eliminate anything that new from his consideration (unless it’s just a matter of cost). I also seem to remember the term “classic” being used. If he just wanted a miata (or the toyota/honda equivalent), he would have probably just bought one by now.
For $15K, I think I could end up with a pretty reliable old MG.
It seems like problems like poor machining practices and electrical shorts would be fixed after 30 or 40 years. Anything that’s left should be a decent bet. It will break like any older car, but I doubt it will be a whole lot more often.
Does it have to be a 2-seater drop top, or could you accept a coupe or sporty 4-seater? You could get a 2001 BMW 323Ci convertible for around $15,000; older ones for less and hard tops for considerably less. You might also find a 2000 Porsche Boxter for $15,000. Are those interesting, or do you really mean something that is more than 20 years old? You use the term classic, but the rest of your post seems to allow any used sports car.
No character but exc, reliability and not a true sports car. My neice has a Scion tc and loves it. Rear seats down, it’s sporty with lots of room, reasonably quick and nearly open air with dual sunroofs…new about $18k, used maybe $16 k. If you have kids, the rear seat is roomy enough to grandmother’s house we go.
My bros; has an MG he’ll sell for just a few grand. Don’t drive it more than pushing distance from home…
Would love to have an MGB!! I am a woman who does not want to work on the car. I want the car to start and to get me from point A to point B… drive around town with very little highway driving. Some people have not been to keen on MGB’s and that kind of scared me.
I am the person who asked the original question. You are exactly right on… A vehicle that is a hell of a lot of fun to drive from point A to point B and a hell of a lot of fun. I have a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara in great shape that I am willing to trade.
If you like MGBs and are willing to spend $15K, you should be able to find something that has been gone through very completely. From what I’ve seen, you can buy a pretty nice one for well under $10K, so that should give plenty of cash to put towards “reliability.” Find out if there is a MG club in your area, go to some shows and talk to people.
If you really need absolute reliability, you are going to be stuck with a newer car.
What about a BMW Z3 or 4?
Austin Healey, Spitfire, MGB?
If you like them go drive a few, they are fine cars (a little too new for my taste). You may have to shop around to find a really nice one for $15K, and you will be paying BMW prices for service. Make sure you don’t buy one that’s been abused.
Given your affinity for little British classics, I’m surprised you haven’t considered the Mini Cooper.
I don’t really know jack about them- but I’d imagine they’re fun to drive- and they certainly have “character”. Reliability and price…?..no clue, but if you insist on having a used sports car then some concession may have to be made on either one of those factors.
Here’s a pretty clean MGB for $13K (except for the silly modern radio). It’s probably overpriced, but it does look nice:
I’m currently watching the B-J auction, they just sold a very nice Austin-Healey 3000 BN7 for $57,000.
Ha… certainly out of my price range!
Me too, but very cool!