Sports Car

I think it looks a little overpriced also.

maybe i missed it, but did nobody mention the old toyota mr2? i’ve owned many sports cars starting with a '57 austin healy and the mr2’s were more fun than anything else i’ve owned. that includes, '59 and '60 porsches, and three miatas. the miatas are fun, too, but there’s just something about that mid engine mr2!

by the way, unless you’re a mechanic with a lot of time on your hands or very rich, i’d stay away from those beautifully seductive old english sports cars.

How about an old Mustang or Chevelle? Should be able to find a decent running one for around $15k

Miata if you want it to be relaiable as well as practical.
I would also look at a Mustang GT 5 - 7 years old. But remember if buying used you will have to put a new clutch in it.

why wouldn’t you get a newer one? because of the price or are the older ones superior for some reason?

“why wouldn’t you get a newer one?”

If you have to ask…

I wouldn’t get any used mustang unless it was the first generation. With the newer ones(1990+) you never know what the owner(s) did to it and what you’ll need to get it into shape. They tend to be owned by people that flog their car to death then trade it in when it breaks.

I agree that the first generation mustangs are pretty cool (I have no use for post-1970-ish domestics anyway), but you have to understand that mustangs were abused in the 60s and 70s just as badly (they were cheap cars then, just like now). The difference is that only the good ones have survived, for a while there were tons of beat up “real” mustangs on the road; now the only ones left are well cared for. In 20 years the only 90s ones you see will be in nice shape too, all the high school kid cars will be long gone by them.

Price. The original post is asking for something within $15k. The new one will set you back atleast 22k with a V8 and 30k miles.

If you want a new “mustang” for some reason, I’m sure they will depreciate pretty quickly. Just try to avoid any that are currently owned by the kids at my daughter’s high school.

I’ve owned TR-3’s and a Spitfire and driven pretty much every English sports car. And I now own a 2002 Miata. I realize that a Miata is pretty uninspiring and has no special style, but I suggest you try driving a restored MGB or TR-6 and then drive a Miata. I think you might be surprised. There is no getting around the fact that an old English car is unreliable, and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. They just break a lot, spontaneously, in your garage at night and out in the world. Miatas, on the other hand, run. And corner. A 40 year old Healey will scare the poop out of you cornering on a bumpy road. A Miata will go around just fine, and your CD won’t skip and the AC will work, and your remote will pop open the locks every time. Old English sports cars are for very wealthy people with a nostalgia problem, and for knuckleheads like me who like to fix things every weekend. If neither of those groups includes you, get a Miata.

… or you could just buy a nice buick… they have nice AC, remote locks, and CD players too.

Smujeep, buy what you enjoy and have fun, life’s to short to be “safe.” Have you ever seem people stop and watch a miata drive by? If you want “reliability” go stare at your maytag washing machine. If I ever get old enough to want a miata, someone please shoot me.

The biggest bang for the buck hands down has got to be a 79- 93 mustang 5.0. (fox body). Way cheap and way fast. If you’ve got 10 to 15 k look for a Cobra or a Cobra R they Increasing in value right now. If youve got 20 k get a hold of a new style Vette or an 03-04 Cobra (factory eaton supercharged) mustang

If you can find one that hasn’t been eaten up by the owner

I’d rather have my nose in the air from raw, brutal acceleration than from driving some snooty british bomb :wink: In that price range, this would be my choice- late 90’s vette ragtop with a 6 speed trans If you shop around, you might be able to move up a couple of model years and still be in range. I’ve had a number of vettes spanning the 60s through the late 90s. The later model years have all been trouble free and a blast to drive. They get surprising gas mileage for the performance potential.

There are tons of cheap vettes around it that’s what the OP wants. Personally, I don’t get the attraction, maybe in a few years (when I hit 60) I’ll understand.

The one and only candidate for a cheap, reliable sports car is the Mazda Miata. It most resembles the 1960s Lotus Elan which was the best small British sports car of its time.

Expensive German cars may be cheap to buy when they are several years old, but they will need repairs more often than the Miata and those repairs will cost much more.

Old cars are expensive to buy if they have been properly restored or time consuming money pits if not. (Mercedes has a shop in California that will restore a 1960s SL convertible for $70k and that’s a fair price.)

Since you will be buying used, be sure to have the car inspected first by a good mechanic familiar with Miatas. If you don’t know of one, check Car Talk’s Mechanix Files or ask local car clubs for recommendations. The Sports Car Club of America ( has chapters all over the country.

The Toyota MR2 is another good choice, but it is not a convertible.

Naaah, you’ll want an SLK. :wink:

“The Toyota MR2 is another good choice, but it is not a convertible.”

The newer MR2s are drop tops; built between 2000 and 2005. A 2004 or earlier should be available for under $15,000. BTW, the Lotus Elise and Exige use the same engine! Of course, Lotus does not use it as-delivered from Toyota.