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Old 02-27-2001, 07:43 PM   #1
socal2.2
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Question What reliable daily driver would you compete with for $10k?

Most likely,I will have sold my Jeep,and be shopping for reliable daily transportation for $10k.

I would like something I can fit into (I am 6'1)get good mileage,and autocross with.

I am thinking about the following:

2nd gen Mr2's,but they are high mileage,not common,and supposedly go through rear tires every 15k miles.

Also about Civic Si's.
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Old 02-27-2001, 08:10 PM   #2
JayP
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Here we go again!
Its hard to beat the Mk II Golf GTis. The 16v has a knack for running thru timing belts, but the 8v engines used later can make more torque. Parts are plenty and most anyone can fit into them.
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Old 02-27-2001, 08:34 PM   #3
GL10toWRX
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The best bang for your buck (in my opinion) is a well setup Neon. Preferably an ACR or R/T. It just so happens that I am selling my '98 2dr R/T that has already been setup for AutoX. I will even through in an extra set of wheels for your race rubber. It only has 37k miles. If you are interested or want more info let me know. elliott_brett@hotmail.com

P.S. I am 6'4" and fit perfectly.
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Old 02-27-2001, 09:01 PM   #4
socal2.2
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry if I asked before,but I thought maybe I could get a few more opinions. Whats a MkII? Is that an 80s VW?

Anyhow-let me look into the Neon deal,I dont know much about them. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2001, 09:37 PM   #5
SUV-ETR
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socal2.2:

VW's main lines of watercooled cars (Rabbit, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Cabriolets, Sciroccos, Corrados, etc...pretty much everything except the Fox, Quantum, and Passat) have all been based off a single chassis platform. That design is currently in it's 4th generation.

The "A1" chassis (often called "mk1", though this is technically incorrect) started in 1974 and started with the Rabbit/Golf-I and Scirocco. The first A2 was the 1985 Golf. This is the vintage JayP is talking about. The first A3 was the Golf in 1993...I think? The A4 is the current rev, starting in 1999.

The A3 isn't a very good auto-x platform. It was heavy and underpowered with a 2.0L 4-cyl, and even heaver and poorly-balanced (though much more powerful) with the VR6. The A4's auto-x prowess is yet to be seen. An A4 GTI with the new 20v 1.8t might be a great car...but out of your 10k range.

If you want a good/cheap VW for auto-x, focus on either an A1 (Rabbit or early Scirocco) or an A2 Golf. Which car/engine combo you choose will be determined by your budget and the class you want to be in. The cool thing is there are several possibilities for a competitive car, and most of 'em are dirt cheap compared to a new 2.5RS or WRX. Even the best A2 GTI's would leave plenty of room in the budget for suspension, tires, exhaust, and other stuff.

More info? Just ask. I know more about A1s than A2s, but can point you in the right direction for anything you're interested in. Email me privately, if you wish.

Neal
'99 Impreza 2.5RS (GS)
'88 Scirocco 16v (STS)
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Old 02-28-2001, 03:54 AM   #6
NotAnRS
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I'll second the A2 VW's, though I will not recommend the 16v. Colossal waste of money for something that is finnicky and a PITA to work on. Get a good running 8v and spend the difference on a cam and exhaust.

Neons don't impress me. Rather shoddy build quality.

Mazda Protege is often overlooked. Crisp handling, Miata engine, good autocrosser.

Sentra SE-R, though I never cared for Nissans flimsy feel.

Escort ZX2? I think this has the Zetec engine found in the Focus/Contour. Great motor; not sure about the chassis. Never drove one.

There is always the Miata. Hard car not to fall in love with.

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Old 02-28-2001, 04:35 AM   #7
Revrend
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Miata-the baby RX7...I will agree, hard to not fall in love with. I just have dreams of a miata. Dreams with this miata, and a 3 rotor conversion. Dreams with this car raping up all holy hell at an autocross. Dreams of vivid colors...
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Old 02-28-2001, 05:09 AM   #8
Big C
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I say Neon. Better build, faster, safer and more refinement than older VWs (although I'm sure some would disagree). Eventhough older VWs tend to run forever they don't do it with a great amount of comfort, speed or without add'l work. My best friend is a VW guru (he has a Scirroco and 3 Rabbits) and agrees that the Neon is the best combo of value and performance.

The Neon aftermarket is getting alot better. Just a few mods (intake, pulley, computer) will put you in the 14's NA and the car really performs at the auto-x. The only things to look out for are headgaskets on pre-99 models. This is a minor/major thing depending on how you look at it (I fixed mine myself). Other than that they are really reliable and parts are super cheap. C
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Old 02-28-2001, 09:04 AM   #9
GL10toWRX
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If you would like to find out more on the Neon I would suggest www.neons.org It is a lot like this board and you can find a ton of stuff about AutoXing them on the Racing BBS. Also, to give you an idea that Neons are a force to be reckoned with in SoloII check out the Nationals Results for the last couple of years. 2000 1999

You would definately save a couple thousand if you went the neon route. And like Big C mentioned, the aftermarket for the neon is really starting to kick into high gear.
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Old 02-28-2001, 11:11 AM   #10
ColinL
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I'd favor a Neon as well thanks to the horrendously low (for new purchasers) resale value. Fortunately that low resale value is working for you!

Look at these: http://www.sccaforums.com/ubb/Forum44/HTML/000021.html http://www.sccaforums.com/ubb/Forum44/HTML/000019.html
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Old 02-28-2001, 11:45 AM   #11
socal2.2
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Hey guys,thanks,for the first person that guesses correctly the car I will buy, or actually finds a car that I buy,I will send you a free lunch,well a gift certificate to the fast food place of your choice.

The guy is bringing 10 grand and a trailer tomorrow,so I think its gone,and I will need a car.

I know a burger or whatever isnt much,but just appreciation for yor knowledgge and help.

I am looking at these cars

mid to late 90s Prelude SI/v-tech.
" " Integra GSR
99 civic si,just out of my range by a few grand.
91-92 Mr2 Turbo,but hi miles,and not common.
Possibly a Miata.

The neons scare me because of quality. I wouldnt want to chance a head gasket on the freeway on the way to school,that would be too much. I agree about the Se-R's,they didnt seem to be built well to me.
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Old 02-28-2001, 03:58 PM   #12
bgsntth
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I'm biased as heck, but oh well. Get a 94-94 R package Miata, scoop out the seat cushion, replace the bilstein's with AGX's, and put in a Hard Dog Hard Core roll bar. All other mods are gravy.
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Old 02-28-2001, 04:01 PM   #13
RidinLow
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Are you sure the AGX's will be better than the Bilsteins? I thought they were supposed to be really good.
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Old 02-28-2001, 05:06 PM   #14
ColinL
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bilsteins are really, really good but the ones that come stock on a miata don't have much damping force. they're optimized for the miata's stock, soft suspension. (imagine that!)

now the sophistication of the bilstein itself versus the KYB AGX can't be compared. the AGX is adjustable and a good strut for the money, but it's pretty crude. like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-01-2001, 12:08 AM   #15
GL10toWRX
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Just to defend the neon and its "headgasket problem"... It is not what you think. When the gasket fails, it does so between an oil channel and the perimeter of the engine. The effect of this failure is oil seepage down the side of the engine. I understand your concern (afterall, it is an american car) but my friend AutoXes his R/T almost every weekend plus he put over 1000 miles a week on the car. He has over 140,000 miles now and has only replaced the headgasket (which chrysler replaced out of waranty for free to avoid a recall.) I have as much faith in the reliability of the Neon as I do for any foreign car, and even more than any turbo car. A well maintained car (no matter what it is) will last you forever.

Of the cars that you listed, I would go with the GSR. You get honda reliabilty and aftermarket parts up the wazzu! At 6'1", the miata and the MR-2 are going to be pushing it.
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Old 03-01-2001, 12:18 AM   #16
'97 S14 SE Turbo
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How about a '91-'93 Sentra SE-R? The SR20DE engine is very tough, and can be turbocharged with aftermarket turbo. 300HP is doable without a rebuild because the most extreme example is a 392FWHP example that was featured in SCC.

The SE-R was the TypeR in it's days. No other FWD car of that era had factory limited slip in it's price range. It's 140hp is underrated. Most believe it's around 160hp.
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Old 03-01-2001, 09:17 AM   #17
Danny5
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I am surprised nobody mentioned this...

92 Legacy Turbo

These rare cars often need some intial TLC, but due to their turbocharger, are extremely responsive to changes and can blow just about any car mentioned here into the weeds in a straight line.

Handling is a matter of picking the right sway bar/strut/spring setup. Its hard to get huge power without a lot of effort like you can on the Legacy Turbo.

I know several people that own them, and they love them to death. For $10k, you can get the car at least to 240hp, and stick all your trick autocross suspension stuff onto the car.

Anyways, just my 2 cents.

-Dan
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Old 03-01-2001, 09:52 AM   #18
bgsntth
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The bilsteins are a great shock and work extremely well on the track, though opinions vary. They are unbelievably stiff, and downright painful on the freeway. I don't think the AGX's are of quite the same caliber as the bilsteins, but are still a great shock. The adjustability is the big selling point for me. I run on the softest setting for the street(1) on my '95R, which is still stiff, and run anything from 7-6/6-4 on the track. I would guess the AGXs on "7" is equivalent to the bilsteins. The M1 R package bilsteins are different from the M2/3 sport package bilsteins (i.e., stiffer and not progressive)

[This message has been edited by bgsntth (edited March 01, 2001).]
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