Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Quest For The Inexpensive Drivers Car

I think I've been bit by the driving bug.

Yeah I know that "driving" is such a broad term but I'm talking about the real kind of driving. Cruising around for the fun of it... accelerating away from lights and around corners... Actually, one of my favorite moments while driving is that merge area from the on ramp to the highway. Dropping it down a gear (or two) and stepping on the loud pedal… ooohhhh yeah!

I don't want to be sitting in the seat a boring metal cage but rather be part of something exciting. I want a car that feels awesome even when sitting motionless in traffic. Do I need to spend a lot of money? I'm thinking no, but I aim to find out.

Note: I'm not in the position to buy at the moment so I'm really just window shopping. Which to be honest, is the best kind of shopping!

What's on my list? Well, I'm open to a lot of things actually. Recently I've been leaning towards some older British roadsters but that's probably because it's Summer now. Although I do love a wooden steering wheel.

Generally, if it has a manual gearbox and was designed for spirited/emotional driving, I'm in. So right now, my browser history contains searches for the following: Triumph Spitfire, Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce, MG, 90's Mazda Miata, '88 BMW 535i or M5, '90 Saab 900… you get the idea.

Oh and it's worth mentioning that I was looking at some older muscle cars but with gas prices the way they are, I opted to pursue the "less is more" school of thought. I also don't have the need to be the fastest on the road, I just want to enjoy myself. 

It seems that my peers (twenty somethings) look more at flash and features and less on feeling when picking out a car. I'm looking for something that is just good plain fun. 

Did you have or do you currently have a car that you're in love with? What draws you to that particular car?


seanajensen said...

Your post is my thought exactly! I've been window shopping for some time now. I'm a sucker for the Triumphs and my dad had a MGB, so I'm naturally biased for those. My ultimate love, however, is for the Jaguar E-Type, for obvious reasons. A fix-up-er is a little out of my price range, but so tempting.

Mike said...

Glad you liked it! I think I'm only truly interested in a roadster because it's summer but who knows, haha!

I really REALLY would like an '88 M5. Oh my goodness...

Oh and believe it or not, but growing up, a guy down the street had three E-Types. No joke. Inherited from his Dad. He was never around though and I only got to see them when he moved (3 flat bad tow trucks arrived).

seanajensen said...


Brian said...

Not quite in the same realm but I've got a '70 Monte Carlo that I've had since I was 16 (that makes 23 yrs)! My dad and I restored it over a winter, so I guess if there was ever a car I love, it'd be that one!!

Good luck in the search!

Mike said...

Brian, a '70 Monte Carlo? Fun! Does it just live in the garage or is it a daily driver?

Eric S. said...

I think for the cost to fun factor you cant beat a Miada. Lots and lots of aftermarket support since they are super popular with the auto-crossing crowd.
My dad has a 92 RX7 and while its a neat car, its expensive to keep up.
Best of luck on your search!

Mike said...

Eric, yeah I think the Miata is gonna be high on the list because it's just so cheap and available. Those RX7's are cool cars though. That would also be nice but not cool to hear about the maintenance.

Brian said...

It currently lives in the backyard under a cover. Someday when I have a good wrenchin' garage I'll do a ground up restoration.

Who else has the car they had when they were 16?? I paid $350 for it, it was in about 5 different colors, and the motor was blown. Some new tires/rims, a new 350 under the hood, and a winter's worth of sanding and painting and it came out like a butterfly that following spring :)

Brian said...

FYI, I just posted some pix up on Flickr... check'em out!

Anonymous said...

awesome post can't go wrong with any of those. hope the hunting goes well. Im looking for a late 70-80s 2 door that i can throw a gm 4.3l v6 and turbo, I'm a speed junkie and this will be a track car for sure. Cant go wrong with some spirited driving though.