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Synesthesia
Looking for basically any 60s, 70s, or 80s SPORTS cars for ~$500. Especially smaller European/Japanese cars, especially 2 door, especially manual transmission. Does not have to run, I am looking for a project. Nice body and mostly complete mechanicals would be a plus. Don't care much about interior. Not interested in dealing with rust, especially not structural.

Any ideas? biggrin.gif
Bjorn
I've been looking at RX-7s lately.



You can most-deff score an FB (79-85) for under a grand in decent nick.

105 bhp (when new), 2,300 lbs, RWD, 4-wheel discs (on the GSL and GSL-SE). And a really healthy after-market.

I have been seriously restraining myself from buying one. I don't know if I'm entering a mid-life crisis (which would mean I'm destined to die at 60) but my brain has been mulling this over for weeks now.
Synesthesia
^That's a good point, I've always been intrigued by the older RX7s but been sort of naively worried about engine reliability. Would be an interesting project for sure. Thing is, I really don't see them much. I'll have to keep my eyes open, currently no FBs within 100 miles of here either on eBay or Craigslist.
Bjorn
Check out www.RX-7club.com and look at the cars for sale section.

I don't think you need to worry about the engine much more than any other 30 year-old European or Japanese sports car. There are some things you have to do that are a bit different than a piston engine, but at your budget nothing short of a FWD Honda is going to bullet-proof engine wise.

My current "yeah right" plan is to maybe pick a sub $1,000 car up this summer, drive it, then spend the winter rebuilding the engine. I posted a video in the car garage of the procedure. Looks fairly straightforward.
OHirtenfelder
Not sure what they cost in your part of the world, but.....

Halflifehavock13
QUOTE(OHirtenfelder @ Jul 15 2012, 08:20 AM) *
Not sure what they cost in your part of the world, but.....


This. While a 2002 turbo would be pretty expensive and hard to get a hold of, a good tii is definitely in range. I have to attest that a good condition 2002 makes for not only a good project car (parts are readily available, it's very easy to work on, etc), but it's reliable enough to be a daily driver. Hell, I drove my Dad's to work for an entire summer.
OHirtenfelder
^ Yup. I was not saying to get a Turbo. Chances of you finding one (in any price range) would be fairly slim, I imagine, and the ones that are for sale will be selling for astronomical figures.
I was just hinting at a 2Dub in general. Prices for these cars are also on the rise, as people are starting to snap them up more and more. Could even be somewhat of a small 'investment' if you plan on keeping it for the long run.
Synesthesia
Huh, alright, another one to consider! I have always really liked the 2002s, if I recall at least a couple of you guys have one. I don't see many of these around my area (and if I do they're usually in really nice shape) but I am planning on being patient. Can't help but wish I was out West, sooooo many more old cars that aren't rust heaps...
Bjorn
Who cares if it's out west? That would be an amazing trip you'd remember for a lifetime...you and your new car driving across the continent.
dukenukem
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Jul 16 2012, 09:32 AM) *
Who cares if it's out west? That would be an amazing trip you'd remember for a lifetime...you and your new car driving across the continent.

All I would remember would be your $500 project car broken down in deliverance territory.
Bjorn
A little bit of squealing like a pig never hurt anyone.
fiber optic
The $500 price point is going to be the tough part. Even stuff that's in horrible shape is $1200. I'd try to find something with no motor or trans but the body is in good shape. MGB GT may be a good match if you can stomach the unique ways of British engineering. I've got a buddy with one.


Here it is in my garage getting a new hood support.

Synesthesia
Haha good plan Bjorn, it looks like I'll be hard pressed to find something like I'm describing that is road ready, even out west. Was thinking local because then I don't care if it doesn't run and can have it towed.

I do like the MGB GTs. I'm actually finding a decent amount of stuff that's in restorable shape at the $1k price point. At $500 I think I'm too close to the value of scrap/parts for anything interesting, but I am seeing a lot of big American stuff that could be fun to fiddle with and resell. Got to decide if I'd rather do that or save up an extra couple months.
fiber optic
QUOTE(Synesthesia @ Jul 17 2012, 05:14 PM) *
I do like the MGB GTs. I'm actually finding a decent amount of stuff that's in restorable shape at the $1k price point. At $500 I think I'm too close to the value of scrap/parts for anything interesting, but I am seeing a lot of big American stuff that could be fun to fiddle with and resell. Got to decide if I'd rather do that or save up an extra couple months.



One of the great things about American stuff is parts are everywhere and dirt cheap. There's also a huge aftermarket if you want to upgrade anything. Although that depends on what specific car you had in mind. Also beware the "Barrett-Jackson premium" has some sellers seeing $$$ with rusted out crap. There are deals out there though, don't be discouraged. Save your coin while you find the hidden gems. They show up on craigslist here all the time.
Synesthesia
QUOTE(fiber optic @ Jul 18 2012, 10:33 AM) *
One of the great things about American stuff is parts are everywhere and dirt cheap. There's also a huge aftermarket if you want to upgrade anything. Although that depends on what specific car you had in mind. Also beware the "Barrett-Jackson premium" has some sellers seeing $$$ with rusted out crap. There are deals out there though, don't be discouraged. Save your coin while you find the hidden gems. They show up on craigslist here all the time.


Yeah, sounds like a plan. And my pa knows a lot about '60s/'70s American cars so that could come in handy. Well, I'll let you guys know what I come up with. biggrin.gif
Synesthesia
Looking at a Fiat 850 Spider when I get back from vacation... it's supposedly not super rusty!
Bjorn
Oh god.

Tell you what...come to Canada and I'll punch you in the face. It will be cheaper and less painful.
Razor
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Jul 22 2012, 11:51 AM) *
Oh god.

Tell you what...come to Canada and I'll punch you in the face. It will be cheaper and less painful.


lol
fiber optic
QUOTE(Bjorn @ Jul 22 2012, 10:51 AM) *
Oh god.

Tell you what...come to Canada and I'll punch you in the face. It will be cheaper and less painful.


He did say he wanted a project car and that's why I didn't say anything about this particular choice.
Synesthesia
Haha! Taking inspiration from one that I've seen racing near me:


Any experience with 850s or just OH GOD FIATS STAY AWAY!!? biggrin.gif
Bjorn
Parts are mega $$$$ and they're just about the most unreliable cars on the planet.

I know I'm biased, but something Japanese and from the 80s will make you happier I think. Hell. Even something German. Parts are still pricey but at least the cars are reliable.
OHirtenfelder
I also didn't want to say anything, but that's a really shitty choice. A project car should be fun, not just endless headaches. The Fiat will be the latter. Just sayin'
fiber optic
QUOTE(Synesthesia @ Jul 22 2012, 09:35 PM) *
OH GOD FIATS STAY AWAY!!? biggrin.gif


I have absolutely zero first-hand experience but going by the stories it's a moneypit/disaster waiting to happen. Although I've heard similar tales about American cars and I own 2. I don't think I'd actively seek out anything Italian but if I came upon one at a low price I'd at least consider it.
aclever
I got a project car a few years ago, once my subaru was at the point that if i did much more ti it I would have to make it a dedicated track car. It was still new and low miles so I decided to start a new project so i'd leave it a lone for a bit. I decided on a 1970 Datsun SPL311 Fairlady. They are pretty rare but since they are japanese they don't have the high price of the European sport cars of the period but are twice as reliable. It's been easy to work on plus parts are cheap and easy to find. You won't be able to find many in the $500 range but $1000 will get you a nice project. $4000-7000 is a finished and very nice roadster.
Synesthesia
^Yeah I've been looking out for the Datsun roadsters, I think they're sweet! Yours looks really nicely done.

Well the Fiat had a pretty horrible body. Lots of bondo hack jobs covered up by baaad purple paint. NEXT! The Fiat hate is pretty funny, I'm mostly interested in this car for racing so reliability isn't a huge deal. biggrin.gif
clarkma5
$500 and not a total nightmare? Think that removes most anything quirky from your list of possibilities. Fox body, Miata, E30, Beetle...stuff like that should be your focus...sure they're conventional but they're affordable because they're well supported and popular. Don't get hung up on making your project car, especially a first effort (or a relatively short term effort) something exotic and amazing, just gain some experience with it and have fun smile.gif
Synesthesia
^Yeah, bodies are always a wreck on the cheap stuff unless they're big Americans... I'm very open minded about what the car winds up being, as long as it's a manual and reasonably small. Looking at a '85 Rx7 GSL in a few days, oooooohhh...
Bjorn
^fuck, I'm jealous.

That's a nice car.

If you have any questions I might be able to answer them for you. But it's been a while.
Mr b00st
$500 that doesn't suck?

E36 318is with a blown head gasket!
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