Simple but fun cars

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ChinchillaWhiplash
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Simple but fun cars

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash »

Any new cars that are not overly complex with all the electronics? If you would prefer a car made in the 60s that is mechanical without all the bells and whistles on today’s cars, is there a modern day equivalent? Does a kit car such as fab 5 fit the bill? Restomod? Still want it to be dependable, but not take a rocket scientist to do any work on it. Oh yeah, also needs to be fun to drive. Anything currently being manufactured that fits these criteria? Seems like everyone has to have Bluetooth, cameras, 0-60 mph, hp, etc. Seems like all cars are made for soccer moms or techies. No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If you are interested in building a kit or buying one used, Factory Five Racing makes a number of models. I built the Shelby Cobra replica 20 years ago in my garage. With the instructions and patience, none of it was overly difficult. You could certainly build a carburetor based engine. I did a slightly modified 302 with fuel injection based on a mass air system from a Mustang. Like a first gen Viper, there are no door windows or annoying electronic anything beyond the ECU to run the engine. The company is based in Wareham, MA, just short of Cape Cod.

A JK Jeep Wrangler (2007-2018) could be had with very basic options. Mine has wind up windows, no power locks, no radio waves to grab my phone, removable doors and top and foldable windshield. Probably as close to basic as you can get in a newer vehicle. Most Wranglers are built with more electrical stuff. I ordered mine that way.
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bi0hazard
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by bi0hazard »

OP, you're basically describing the Mazda Miata.

https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2020-mx-5-miata
flyingcows
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by flyingcows »

+1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them
h82goslw
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by h82goslw »

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Interesting statement here. I would say that we live in amazing times if you’re a car enthusiast. Depending on your budget you can get a car that’s a blast to drive from just about every manufacturer these days. Of course you have fast coupes/2 seaters.....but 700hp SUVs, sedans and station wagons? These were unthinkable in mass produced cars 20 years ago. Any car with fuel injection will have a computer so not sure how basic you’re looking to go. JackFFR, posted above, always has great car suggestions so you might want to get more info from him.
I would think a Miata would fit the bill for you.
onourway
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by onourway »

Toyota 86.
h82goslw
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by h82goslw »

onourway wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 pm Toyota 86.
Great suggestion. Unfortunately this is the last year of the 86/Subaru BRZ. There is some talk of possibly bringing it back in the future.
MishkaWorries
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by MishkaWorries »

It's been a few years but the Mini Cooper S was a blast to drive.
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phxjcc
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by phxjcc »

New
Miata
BRZ/86
Kit car/repro 550 spyder.

Used
How primitive do you want?
Bug eye sprite.
Small block Cobra
Afty
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Afty »

Miata is always the answer.
hi_there
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by hi_there »

The cars you described can't be made any more, since either consumer demand or regulations now mandate better crash protection, cameras and electronic aids, better fuel economy, and other characteristics that make cars heavier and more complicated.

Interestingly, Doug Demuro just released a video on a car that fits your criteria perfectly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ8rhpxVpqs
hunoraut
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by hunoraut »

Valuethinker
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Valuethinker »

MishkaWorries wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:30 pm It's been a few years but the Mini Cooper S was a blast to drive.
It's a BMW. Not low tech and not cheap to keep on the road.

Agree re driving, and surprisingly roomy (I know someone 6'4" tall who drives one).
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Valuethinker »

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm Any new cars that are not overly complex with all the electronics? If you would prefer a car made in the 60s that is mechanical without all the bells and whistles on today’s cars, is there a modern day equivalent? Does a kit car such as fab 5 fit the bill? Restomod? Still want it to be dependable, but not take a rocket scientist to do any work on it. Oh yeah, also needs to be fun to drive. Anything currently being manufactured that fits these criteria? Seems like everyone has to have Bluetooth, cameras, 0-60 mph, hp, etc. Seems like all cars are made for soccer moms or techies. No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Re underlying electronics.

They all have them. A modern car is 90% lower emissions than a 1970s car, say. But it does mean that they have complex engine controls, fuel injection etc.

Even if they still have dials and knobs there is electronics behind that. They all have ABS brakes and these days I think most have ESC stability control.

Nothing is truly barebones. Maybe if you could pick up a Tata car (made in India) - but then it wouldn't be road certifiable in a western country, I don't think.

An Electric Vehicle, strangely enough, is relatively simple because of the drivetrain. But the look and feel will be very "electronic".
Pinotage
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Pinotage »

h82goslw wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:27 pm
onourway wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 pm Toyota 86.
Great suggestion. Unfortunately this is the last year of the 86/Subaru BRZ. There is some talk of possibly bringing it back in the future.
I think the 86 and BRZ are just taking 2021 off with both coming back redesigned for 2022.

https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/86
mtwhmemn
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by mtwhmemn »

flyingcows wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:02 pm +1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them
All S2000s have ABS. They also have dual airbags. Beginning with the 2006 model they have traction control and drive by wire throttle. A great Boglehead car. You buy a good one and take care of it and then sell it for more than you paid for it. This is the way.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Sandtrap »

DW and I don't care for the current trend of driving an "iPad on Wheels".

Simple "feeling" and "known" at least for 2021 SUV's.

Just purchased a 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Premium 4wd. The driver's controls are a bit more "traditional" (real knobs) feeling than in some other SUV"s in this class, etc. And, it also did not have the current trend of low displacement turbo high tech engines, instead, a proven V6 that's been in it for quite some time.

In the past: simple but fun cars/trucks.
*Cars that are hard to service or fix or a bear to get at things, are not fun. IMHO.

(Includes Pre-OBD 1 engine control cars)
MGB
Triumph Spitfire
Triumph TR4 A-IRS
Triumph TR6
Austin Healey MKIII 3000
426 Hemi Roadrunner (stock with dual quads on a cross ram manifold)
65' Mustang Fastback with a 289
Datsun 240Z
Anything with a 327 or 426 engine in it. :D :D
Anything with an early 302 or 351 engine in it. :D :D
Early 1 and 2nd gen. Mazda Miata's
Early Toyota's (4R engines) and "Datson's"
*John Deere Tractor (Perkins Diesel) = extremely simple, sometimes fun.
j :D

(online picture for gearhead bogleheads) :D :D
Engine is somewhere in the list above :?:
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Silk McCue
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Silk McCue »

mtwhmemn wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:50 am
flyingcows wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:02 pm +1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them
All S2000s have ABS. They also have dual airbags. Beginning with the 2006 model they have traction control and drive by wire throttle. A great Boglehead car. You buy a good one and take care of it and then sell it for more than you paid for it. This is the way.
I have a 2005 Honda S2000 I bought the day before Thanksgiving in 2005 and it is good shape, runs well and is still a blast to drive. My wife just joined me in retirement and in addition to a budget for home improvement projects , fun and travel, I plan to spend a few grand on bringing the S2000 closer to its original glory. Mine is Suzuka Blue with a black soft top.

Cheers
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I somehow forgot about the S2000, although there's one stored on my lift in the garage right now. It is a very analog car but uses plenty of electronics. The dash is a digital dash and things like the fan is controlled with a rocker switch that lights up green lights. That said, the gauges are some of the best I've ever seen. Speed in numbers with the tach an arc surrounding the speed. It's a very driver's car. Yes, the prices are going up, but they are still easily found with 80k miles for $20k'ish from private parties and maybe $25k from a dealer. They're divided into 2 generations. AP1 up to 2003 with a bit smaller, higher revving engine and some engine things to watch out for and AP2 from 04 onward. Use only Honda parts for normal maintenance until you really, really understand the car. The oil filter is the most common thing people screw up. The relief valve in the oil filter must be at spec from Honda or your engine could become toast. Just buy Honda filters, already.

Another very simple car for ten grand more is a Lotus Elise. I owned one of these. You think Lotus and say Lots of Trouble, usually serious. But the Elise uses a Toyota 2ZZ engine and transmission which is not only reliable, but cheap to replace. The car is more fun than any car on the road. Let me say that again. It is more fun than ANY car on the road. It weighs less than 2000 pounds and the engine is a high revving unit. Unlike a Porsche or Ferrari, where people immediately hate you, you're going to get nothing but smiles with the little Lotus. You can pick one up for $30k. It is VERY difficult to get in and out of, especially if you have long legs. Being tall is no problem. I bought mine from a friend who is 6' 4" and he fit with plenty of room to spare. Aftermarket for this car is unbelievable. LotusTalk is the forum for these cars. Simple....mostly. Yes, they do have ABS and air bags but no cruise control and without the touring package, wind up windows. To open the engine cover (in the back) you turn the key and pick it up. With only 197 Hp, it will stick with a 305 Hp STi without issue because it weighs nearly 1/2 that of the STi.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by whodidntante »

Fred Flintstone car
count damoney
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by count damoney »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:05 am I somehow forgot about the S2000, although there's one stored on my lift in the garage right now. It is a very analog car but uses plenty of electronics. The dash is a digital dash and things like the fan is controlled with a rocker switch that lights up green lights. That said, the gauges are some of the best I've ever seen. Speed in numbers with the tach an arc surrounding the speed. It's a very driver's car. Yes, the prices are going up, but they are still easily found with 80k miles for $20k'ish from private parties and maybe $25k from a dealer. They're divided into 2 generations. AP1 up to 2003 with a bit smaller, higher revving engine and some engine things to watch out for and AP2 from 04 onward. Use only Honda parts for normal maintenance until you really, really understand the car. The oil filter is the most common thing people screw up. The relief valve in the oil filter must be at spec from Honda or your engine could become toast. Just buy Honda filters, already.

Another very simple car for ten grand more is a Lotus Elise. I owned one of these. You think Lotus and say Lots of Trouble, usually serious. But the Elise uses a Toyota 2ZZ engine and transmission which is not only reliable, but cheap to replace. The car is more fun than any car on the road. Let me say that again. It is more fun than ANY car on the road. It weighs less than 2000 pounds and the engine is a high revving unit. Unlike a Porsche or Ferrari, where people immediately hate you, you're going to get nothing but smiles with the little Lotus. You can pick one up for $30k. It is VERY difficult to get in and out of, especially if you have long legs. Being tall is no problem. I bought mine from a friend who is 6' 4" and he fit with plenty of room to spare. Aftermarket for this car is unbelievable. LotusTalk is the forum for these cars. Simple....mostly. Yes, they do have ABS and air bags but no cruise control and without the touring package, wind up windows. To open the engine cover (in the back) you turn the key and pick it up. With only 197 Hp, it will stick with a 305 Hp STi without issue because it weighs nearly 1/2 that of the STi.
I have a Toyota MR2 Spyder and did the 2ZZ swap which is popular with the enthusiasts. Talk about a fun car to drive!!
Rear engine, light as hell, easy to work on, and convertible to boot.
They are cheap as well
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Re: Simple but fun cars

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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by joebruin77 »

I am a "car guy" and have had many cars over the years including a Honda Accord, an Audi A4, a BMW 3 series, a Chevy Volt, and a Lexus ES-350. But, out of all of them, by far and away, my two most favorite cars have been a 2016 Subaru WRX and my current car, a Tesla Model 3 Performance.

The Subaru WRX may fit the bill for you. It is nicknamed a "poorman's Porsche". It still comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. That, along with the turbo boost that kicks in at lower RPM and the Harmon Kardon stereo, makes it a blast to drive. If that doesn't appeal to you, Subarus in general handle really well with their all wheel drive and are fun to drive.

I realize that at first glance, a Tesla Model3 seems like the antithesis of your original request. But you may want to take one for a test drive anyway. I bought mine 2 years ago well before the pandemic. Before buying it, I took the Model 3 for a half hour test drive on the freeway and on a back canyon road. The experience on the canyon road sold me immediately. From a dead stop, I floored the accelerator and literally felt the g force fling my body into the driver's seat as I drove from zero to 60 in 3 seconds. That is supercar territory (same acceleration speed as an Acura NSX and faster than some Ferraris). Plus it handled amazingly on the twists and turns. As others have mentioned, the actual drive train is very simple compared to ICE cars. No oil changes, no timing belts to be replaced, and, because of regenerative braking, you may never have to replace the brake pads.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by H-Town »

Porsche 911 flat 6 in-line engine.

Make sure to remove all radio, A/C, etc. and install a roll cage.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by KneePartsPro »

I've got a 2019 GTI with a manual six speed. Base model. Completely stock. Fun to drive. Still a bit of an "iPad on wheels" (credit Sandtrap).

I second those who suggest the S2000. It's a true roadster with one of the best gearboxes ever built and considered a relatively modern classic.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by JackoC »

h82goslw wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Interesting statement here. I would say that we live in amazing times if you’re a car enthusiast. Depending on your budget you can get a car that’s a blast to drive from just about every manufacturer these days. Of course you have fast coupes/2 seaters.....but 700hp SUVs, sedans and station wagons? These were unthinkable in mass produced cars 20 years ago. Any car with fuel injection will have a computer so not sure how basic you’re looking to go.
OP assumes 'car enthusiast' and tech are at odds, which I don't agree with. Tech that makes cars faster and better handling is not for 'soccer moms' (unless they are also car enthusiasts, I make no prejudicial assumption in that regard :happy ). It's really a different question whether you want to drive a 60's-70's muscle car fast on curves (and more likely pile up and be seriously injured like Kevin Hart, or perhaps killed) or want to drive my car (BMW M2) as fast or faster and know the car will bail you out of a lot of errors (of course you still have to be careful about yourself and others), vs. whether you like rear camera, Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM etc (yes to all for me).

Talking about relatively low cost modern performance cars (Miata, BRZ) vs. what I'd consider moderate cost ones (mine) or high cost ones (McLaren or whatever) is a mainly different discussion I think. Part of the reason cheaper modern cars are cheaper is less performance tech, but much is just size and/or HP. Anyway I have no argument with people who say the extra $'s aren't worth the additional performance, or moreover fun, at some point further up the curve. Every performance enthusiast who doesn't get a bespoke $multi-million hypercar custom designed and hand built for them is also doing that, *somewhere* on that curve. But I don't go along with the idea that lower tech per se yields a car more fun to drive, it's a matter of taste at least. It would also seem in theory that simpler is more reliable but that's doesn't seem to be true generally comparing older simpler cars with newer more complicated ones, even when the old cars were new. I used to do everything on my VW bug, had the thing pretty much disassembled at times, which I wouldn't dream of attempting with the M2. But the bug required more maintenance work than a modern car (as well as having dangerously bad handling characteristics at the limit with rear engine and no stability electronics).
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm Any new cars that are not overly complex with all the electronics? If you would prefer a car made in the 60s that is mechanical without all the bells and whistles on today’s cars, is there a modern day equivalent? Does a kit car such as fab 5 fit the bill? Restomod? Still want it to be dependable, but not take a rocket scientist to do any work on it. Oh yeah, also needs to be fun to drive. Anything currently being manufactured that fits these criteria? Seems like everyone has to have Bluetooth, cameras, 0-60 mph, hp, etc. Seems like all cars are made for soccer moms or techies. No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
I'm struggling to wrap my head around all the exclusions here. A new, low-tech, low-hp car? And one so low-tech that it lacks "electronics"? Even a Miata has plenty of tech now. I don't know how far back you would have to go to get one without electronics or ABS or traction control or... Maybe an ATV...? Do you mostly want to drive it or tinker with it in the shop...?

Must it be worth more when you are done or can it be worth less? :D

Maybe add some details about what you are cross-shopping -- what you are looking at rather than what you are not looking at?
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by bubbadog »

mtwhmemn wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:50 am
flyingcows wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:02 pm +1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them
All S2000s have ABS. They also have dual airbags. Beginning with the 2006 model they have traction control and drive by wire throttle. A great Boglehead car. You buy a good one and take care of it and then sell it for more than you paid for it. This is the way.
This was true for me.

I had a 2006 Honda S2000 and I sold it for more than my purchase price.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by stoptothink »

JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:50 am
h82goslw wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Interesting statement here. I would say that we live in amazing times if you’re a car enthusiast. Depending on your budget you can get a car that’s a blast to drive from just about every manufacturer these days. Of course you have fast coupes/2 seaters.....but 700hp SUVs, sedans and station wagons? These were unthinkable in mass produced cars 20 years ago. Any car with fuel injection will have a computer so not sure how basic you’re looking to go.
It's really a different question whether you want to drive a 60's-70's muscle car fast on curves (and more likely pile up and be seriously injured like Kevin Hart, or perhaps killed) or want to drive my car (BMW M2) as fast or faster and know the car will bail you out of a lot of errors (of course you still have to be careful about yourself and others), vs. whether you like rear camera, Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM etc (yes to all for me).

FWIW, Kevin Hart's car (he was not driving) was a >$500k restomod that was actually a few hundred pounds lighter than an M2 and could have highly likely destroyed it on any handling course. The capabilities of that specific vehicle was a lot less of a problem than the combination of 700+ hp, an inexperienced driver, and a windy mountain road at night.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash »

For reference my current daily driver is a 2001 Porsche Carrera Cab. It is a fun car to drive but has a lot of electronics (throttle by wire, power everything, etc). I have had to trouble shoot some electrical window issues and it was a pain. Has micro switches everywhere and is complex. Would love to have an older model like the 964 or 993 but they are expensive. Miata with a turbo or blower or even LS3 might be the answer. Caterham would be fun, but not good in the winter. Morgan is on my list also. I have owned old Triumph TR250, Spitfire, Jensen Interceptor with 440 Magnum, Alfa Spyder, Fiat 124, and a Jeep Wrangler. Would love to have an older Porsche or British car and a Jeep at the same time. Want a car that is EMP bomb proof if there is such a thing. 8-)
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by winterfan »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:55 pm
A JK Jeep Wrangler (2007-2018) could be had with very basic options. Mine has wind up windows, no power locks, no radio waves to grab my phone, removable doors and top and foldable windshield. Probably as close to basic as you can get in a newer vehicle. Most Wranglers are built with more electrical stuff. I ordered mine that way.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by chrisjul »

flyingcows wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:02 pm +1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them

I agree....Miata
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by angelescrest »

flyingcows wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:02 pm +1 to the Miata

Also, a 20 year old Honda S2000 is worth considering. Great little sports cars that are as simple as possible, they don't even have ABS. Unfortunately, these are very expensive as everyone wants them
+2, this was my first thought as a former Mazda owner. Specs mean nothing. Get behind the wheel in this lightweight machine with the top down and it’s just so darn fun to drive.

Also, I equate fun with manual shifting. Hard for me to feel like it’s truly fun if it’s automatic.
Last edited by angelescrest on Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Valuethinker »

JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:50 am I used to do everything on my VW bug, had the thing pretty much disassembled at times, which I wouldn't dream of attempting with the M2. But the bug required more maintenance work than a modern car (as well as having dangerously bad handling characteristics at the limit with rear engine and no stability electronics).
I was just laughing at the idea of "stability electronics" on the original VW Bug ;-).

It's sort of like writing of the Spitfire fighter "and no stability electronics" ;-).**

When they relaunched the Beetle, I think there were problems with rear stability? (EDIT: I think I am confusing it with the Audi TT, which might have the same underlying mechanicals?).


** If you have ever seen a Mark One Spitfire, Battle of Britain (Aug-Sept 1940) dated, it is really crude even by the standards of later Spitfires. This is basically an engine, a throttle, some instruments and some control levers, and a simple ring gunsight. Makes clear just how dangerous these things were to fly, even before we got to the Germans trying to shoot them down.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by bogledogle »

hi_there wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:11 am The cars you described can't be made any more, since either consumer demand or regulations now mandate better crash protection, cameras and electronic aids, better fuel economy, and other characteristics that make cars heavier and more complicated.

Interestingly, Doug Demuro just released a video on a car that fits your criteria perfectly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ8rhpxVpqs
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by bogledogle »

Afty wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:10 am Miata is always the answer.
yes, it is.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Helo80 »

hi_there wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:11 am Interestingly, Doug Demuro just released a video on a car that fits your criteria perfectly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ8rhpxVpqs


Glad you beat me to this!!

OP a 1992 Viper fits your criteria to a "T". All car, nothing extravagant.... not even exterior door handles. It's all car, all speed, but none of this high-tech phooey stuff.
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by bogledogle »

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm Seems like everyone has to have Bluetooth, cameras, 0-60 mph, hp, etc. Seems like all cars are made for soccer moms or techies. No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
I don't know what you mean by real car enthusiasts. If having bluetooth and hp is a soccer mom thing. You may want to look at push carts :D
2tall4economy
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by 2tall4economy »

Lists already provided here are very good so can’t add much.

You’re absolutely right that enthusiast cars are dying and engines are reaching higher outputs but are getting smaller, wheezy, poorer dynamically or electrified.

Which only leaves a handful.
My recommendations:

Low price
Miata
Brz/86

Mid to high price
Mustang
Challenger

High price
Kit cars
Ferraris from late 90s through 2012 or so
Niche cars (Morgan for example)
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You can build a kit car for far less than a new Miata or BRZ/FRS/86. I built my factory five Cobra initially for $17,000. I improved it over the years, including replacing the engine with a 5000 mile explorer one, Halibrand style wheels, chrome roll bar and some engine mods. I ended up with about $20k into it and sold it for $20k.
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KneePartsPro
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by KneePartsPro »

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:12 pm Would love to have an older model like the 964 or 993 but they are expensive.
I waited for years for the market to soften on the 993. As you know, it hasn't. Makes me wish I'd have gotten one then (when I "thought" they were expensive).
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MathWizard
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by MathWizard »

I was a gearhead when I was young.
8 boys in my family, all gearheads.

I say good riddance.

The cars rode rough, were horrible in the winter (rear wheel drive)
cars were heavy, no ABS so you had to pump the brakes on emergency stops.

I like my new comfortable car.

As much fun as the cars were, I spent lots of time fixing them, since they
broke done a lot.
JackoC
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by JackoC »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:11 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:50 am
h82goslw wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:42 pm No more real enthusiasts cars anymore.
Interesting statement here. I would say that we live in amazing times if you’re a car enthusiast. Depending on your budget you can get a car that’s a blast to drive from just about every manufacturer these days. Of course you have fast coupes/2 seaters.....but 700hp SUVs, sedans and station wagons? These were unthinkable in mass produced cars 20 years ago. Any car with fuel injection will have a computer so not sure how basic you’re looking to go.
It's really a different question whether you want to drive a 60's-70's muscle car fast on curves (and more likely pile up and be seriously injured like Kevin Hart, or perhaps killed) or want to drive my car (BMW M2) as fast or faster and know the car will bail you out of a lot of errors (of course you still have to be careful about yourself and others), vs. whether you like rear camera, Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM etc (yes to all for me).

FWIW, Kevin Hart's car (he was not driving) was a >$500k restomod that was actually a few hundred pounds lighter than an M2 and could have highly likely destroyed it on any handling course. The capabilities of that specific vehicle was a lot less of a problem than the combination of 700+ hp, an inexperienced driver, and a windy mountain road at night.
My understanding might have been wrong, but I thought I read it was 'authentic to period' in not having stability control active differential etc. In which case it might still destroy an M2 on a curvy course with a very skilled driver but anyone else would be much safer in the M2. As they obviously would also be all else equal at 365hp v twice as much in a lighter car. Anyway FWIW is fair enough but not worth much on the point of the thread. I admit I might be confused about that car if actually had modern handling safety features (it apparently didn't have modern crash protection features, which are also nice to have if worse comes to worst and you wreck it). But the point of the thread is actually low tech cars. I would stick with saying a '60's-70's muscle car on a curvy road introduces more risk than a modern car because the modern one will help you out a lot. Which is not a vague impression but my experience of lap to lap track comparison in an M240i with electronics full, turned down in 'sport+' mode and turned off, and among the differences between that car and the M2 is M2's active rear diff which is going to do even more for you, besides better suited suspension and bigger tires and brakes, which altogether make you even more of a hero, or more sensibly give you all kinds of extra margin at responsible speed on public roads. To drivers who are proud of being able to get more out of a car with everything turned off, hats off to them (to the extent they aren't kidding themselves, though that's not my problem anyway if they don't run into me :happy ).

Although again even lower powered cheaper modern production cars (Miata, BRZ, etc) can be very fun, it's a matter of taste and one's other purposes for the car whether any more money than that is well spent. I'm more skeptical of true low tech, for me anyway.
dlw322
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by dlw322 »

Fiat 124 Spyder. Get it before they are all gone. 2020 was the last year. Similar to the Miata but I think the styling is better.
jeffG
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by jeffG »

I just sold a 1969 corvette convertible that I’d owned since 1976, with manual everything, windows, brakes, steering and bought a 1999 corvette convertible. The old vette was like driving a tractor in comparison.. I now get 30 mpg on the road, vs 14, have air conditioning and my wife will now go with me. Plus people forget a carbureted car can really stink up your garage! We are living in the best of times automotively speaking. My wife’s new minivan would out accelerate the old vette!
FireSekr
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by FireSekr »

Late 90s early 2000's cars are pretty easy to work on and hit the sweet spot of still being mechanical and fund to drive while having modern conveniences.
mss
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by mss »

I suggest that you check out www.bringatrailer.com. It's a great auction site for car collectors/enthusiasts. You can search for a particular car and get a list of previous auctions for that car. From the list, you can drill down and read comments on each car, which can give you a lot of info regarding things to look for including potential problem areas. It's also a good place to buy a car.

Another site for S2000s is www.s2ki.com, which has tons of info and a marketplace with cars for sale.
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StormShadow
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by StormShadow »

Any manual transmission.

I have an M2. Love it.
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rob
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by rob »

dlw322 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:10 pm Fiat 124 Spyder. Get it before they are all gone. 2020 was the last year. Similar to the Miata but I think the styling is better.
I don't think "similar" is the right word.... Mazda put Fiat badges on them and some minor trim changes and some more $ to buy.
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MMiroir
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Re: Simple but fun cars

Post by MMiroir »

rob wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:41 pm
dlw322 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:10 pm Fiat 124 Spyder. Get it before they are all gone. 2020 was the last year. Similar to the Miata but I think the styling is better.
I don't think "similar" is the right word.... Mazda put Fiat badges on them and some minor trim changes and some more $ to buy.
When I looked at them last year, both new and used Fiata's were advertised for thousands less than the comparable year and trim Miata.
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