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Old 02-13-2001, 12:40 AM   #1
socal2.2
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Thumbs up Autocrossers, and those with good car knowledge please reply ! :^)

Hey folks, I need your help.

My lady and I are getting a condo,and need to get rid of my Jeep (It's my current hobby,my girl has the 96 Impreza 2.2) so that I can save on gas,as my commute is going up now,and will be worse until I graduate.

I want something I can compete with, in the stock,or close to stock classes.

I plan on selling my Jeep for 10k,probably more (It's very built),but I will plan on 10k for now as my budget,and I would like,although not necessary to have some $$ left over for mods.

Here are the cars that I am interested in. The ones with asterisks next to them are cars that I know do well in some of the SCCA classes out there.

1.85'Toy Carolla Gt-S*** (4AGE 16v DOHC) These things are ugly as sin,but have good stuff (4wheel discs,5 speed efi,dohc,16v,rwd,etc-and with the prices around $2300 I can go nutty on it,and still have a few G's left)

2.1st Gen Toy Mr2. Same thing,great motor,possibly SC'd,and great for commuting with.

3. 2nd gen Toy Mr2. NA or Turbo,both great cars,but I hear that the t-tops leak,and sqeak-so I would look for the somewhat rare hardtop models.

4.Last generation 300zx. Either NA or TT,either way,great cars,and the NA models are around 240 lbs lighter. What these cars give up in weight and nimbleness,they may make up in comfort and power.

5.DSM's: Not sure,but it looks like I can afford all but the latest gen on these,but I dont know much about the newer ones. I am concerned about the weight of these cars,and I am not sure about the reliability of them.

6. Mazda Miatas*** I am looking at all of them except the newest generation. The only thing I dont like is lack of leg and head room (problem probably the same with the early Mr2's). These cars would probably be great for commuting,though,with their small size and weight-MPG's should be good,albeit not much power,either.

7. Acura Integra: There was an Integra model that was a GSR,I believe it was the predecessor to the Type R. I cant seem to find it,though. That is probably the one I would want. I believe it was a late 80's/early 90's model. I am sure you guys would know.I know all the other cars are RWD at least,but this one I recall having rave reviews. But who knows,maybe the newer ones are just as good,with VTEC and what not??

8.Prelude SI w/ 4WS. Now I know that the 4WS was more of a novelty, but I always wanted one,and thought with a bit of 4ws,the car would be good for autocrossing. You tell me.

Thanks alot! And if there is a great car I am missing,please mention it! It must be reliable,too though!

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Old 02-13-2001, 05:18 AM   #2
Tkacik
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Out of the cars that you have listed the Miata would be te winner. I have seen many at autocrosses dominating their class. The Miatas also have a flawless service record. Probably one of the most indestructable cars out there. Thats just my opinion though I am sure someone out there will have more ideas for ya

[This message has been edited by STiTkacik (edited February 13, 2001).]
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Old 02-13-2001, 05:21 AM   #3
scoobiejosh
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Of all the cars you put up i say go with the Miata first, 1st gen Eclipse AWD second, and 2nd gen Mr 2 third. You might be able to find one of those within your budget. You could keep them stock and still have a decent auto-x car. If you wanted the ultimate in price go for a 1st or 2nd gen Rx-7. You can build a KILLER 1st gen for $5,000. They are a very popular auto-x car, and are hard to top in the $$$ versus performance area.

Josh

[This message has been edited by scoobiejosh (edited February 13, 2001).]
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Old 02-13-2001, 06:25 AM   #4
David S. Wallens
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Not because I drive one, but I'd also vote for the Miata. They're very quick right out of the box, and they're competitive in several different classes. The early 1.6-liter cars can still do well in C Stock, while the later 1.8-liter cars do well in B Stock. Then there's also C Street Prepared if you want to go crazy. There's also tons of aftermarket support for the car, and they're pretty tough, too.

Other cars that are competitve, inexpensive and fun in stock form are the Civic Si (most any year) and CRX Si (early or late). The early MR2s are also fun and inexpensive, but don't seem as strong on a national level. Cool cars, though.

Also, we just picked up a 1986 Corolla GT-S. Here it is during its cross-country trip from L.A. to our Florida home.

<IMG SRC="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1419984&a=10625446&p=40482732" border=0>


David S. Wallens, managing ed
Grassroots Motorsports www.grassrootsmotorsports.com
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Old 02-13-2001, 06:46 AM   #5
Bobalouy
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The last race I was at the Miata's were tearing it up.

Anthony C.
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Old 02-13-2001, 07:37 AM   #6
mrbell
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not that my reply is neccessary after all the miata votes, but I'd vote for that too. They have the best balance of almost any car out there. They are very quick to get up and go, grip like a vise and extremely reliable. The only drawback I can see is the price you'll pay for one. Not that they're terribly expensive, but even a 5 year old car is probably gonna run you 15k. They're also very hard to lose control of. I was driving one hard around a U-turn, the back swings out a bit, but, even tho I stayed full on the gas, it snapped right back in and off I was. They're great fun. It's the other car I would buy, if I had the money. Maybe an old Mini cooper, or Baja beetle too. Hell, I just want everything.
btw, the 2nd gen mr2's are very good too, but you gotta learn to handle the mid-engine as it can get very easily into a spin that is very hard to get out of.
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Old 02-13-2001, 08:41 AM   #7
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If you fit properly in a Miata, go for it. If not, don't punish yourself like that especially for your daily driver. Definitely get a 1.6L if you are serious about autocross, the affordable early 1.8L seem to be at a disadvantage judging by ProSolo and National results from the last year or so.

Oh, and to answer your two Honda questions--

The Integra GS-R debuted in 1992 with the 160HP 1.7L B17A powerplant. Very stout motor, and the 2nd gen integra is lighter than the current one. It changed to the 170HP 1.8L B18 in 1994 with the 3rd gen car and does exist today in the same format, but obviously is overshadowed by the ITR.

I too have wondered about a 4WS Prelude for autocrossing but have never seen one, much less autocrossed one myself. I have driven them and preferred the early gear-driven ones.

Anyway both Hondas would be very reliable but probably high mileage. Honda parts are pretty cheap for an import, and nearly bulletproof but not immune to wear.
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Old 02-13-2001, 09:30 AM   #8
fprintf
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Me too!

I just sold my 1993 Miata with 80,000 miles for $7,800. It had only been autocrossed three times, and each time it taught me something new.

They are excellent autocross cars. I am 6' and 185lbs and I fit just fine in the car, either with the hardtop, convertible top up or down. The only issue ever was that the seat needed to be all the way back and if I was first at a traffic light I had to look *over* the windshield to see the light (or under the piller if the top was up).

Plus, if you are only transporting one other person they have plenty of room. If you are on your own, the Passenger seat can hold quite a few bags of groceries - in addition to anything you might pile on the back deck (top up only - never put anything on the unzipped rear window).
http://www.miata.net has a whole lot of stuff to look at.
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Old 02-13-2001, 09:56 AM   #9
5 Door Man
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mrbell-
Not sure where you got that idea for price on a Miata, but you can get a 1.6L for around $5-7K in good condition. My dad bought his '94 C package (leather, A/C, power windows, etc) with 35K mi in really nice condition in '97 for $15K, but he probably paid a little much for it, as he bought it off a lot. A package cars are fantastic for auto-x as they have the crank windows, cloth, and manual steering rack. The cars are an absolute blast to drive and The stock wheels are incerdibly light, so you'll be hard pressed to find a lighter wheel in teh aftermarket. Very short, notchy shift feel. Absolutely fantastic cars to drive.
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Old 02-13-2001, 10:20 AM   #10
socal2.2
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STI: Indestructible? Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about them. My lady and I tested a used one at a dealership,the shocks were worn,and I hit a dip VERY hard,and the car bottomed and bounced real good. I felt bad about it,but the car drove on like nothing happened.

ScoobieJosh: I would be all over an RX-but rotaries are nasty with gas mileage.

David: I saw that car on your site,I was wondering if the hatch was the only model with that drivetrain (4AGE RWD?). I have heard that hatchbacks by design are either heavy,or not as rigid as a coupe. What do you think about the 93 Toy Mr2? Turbo-non-turbo. I heard that they have better geometry so that the rear doesnt get away when lifting throttle mid turn.

MrBell: Yeah,I realise that about Miata pricing,but the neat thing about them is that I see a lot of older ones out there with low mileage,people seem to use them as a weekend car.

Colin: Thanks for the insite. I am 6'1,and 220,so that is a disadvantage in competition with a car with low HP right there,isnt it? He he' So the 2nd gen Integra GS-R is a good buy,then-due to light weight and 170hp? I am wondering if these cars are rare,I dont think I have found one yet. Limited edition? When you say you prefer the gear driven 4ws Preludes,what do you mean? Is that an earlier Prelude? I kinda like the later one- I think it is late 80's,early 90's. Neat,low look to it. I did notice the ones with (forgive me) the JAck-O-Lantern tailights had good HP if you buy the SI,but that is one nasty looking car,although not as bad looking as the 86 Carolla.

Fprint, that is funny you said that about the Miata,I have the same problem in my Jeep,I have a roll cage that obstructs my view at certain lights, but I just wait until someone honks,then I know the light has changed,unless of course they werent honking at me!

Thanks for the replies,I still think that there are other cars out there, no one has mentioned the older G60 SC'd Corrados, or GTi's yet. I just am not sure that I can afford the VR6 Gti like I would want,and am not sure about VW build quality at the age that I would be looking at.


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Old 02-13-2001, 10:46 AM   #11
scoobiejosh
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I had a 90 Miata that had 100k miles on it. It ran like a champ till i wercked it. I had 15" wheels, Tokiko blue shocks, ft sway bar, rear adjustable sway bar, and some springs, and it cornered flater than you can immagine. Till i wrecked it that is. I only paid $5k for the car and it was in excelent condition. the interior was good except for a tear in the drivers seat, the exterior was excelent, it had a new top, and the motor still ran smooth as glass. All it needed to be tip top was a new clutch. I say a Miata, as i forgot aboput the gas milage thing earlier.

Josh
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Old 02-13-2001, 11:15 AM   #12
brianc
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Whatever you do, do not buy a DSM!!! Before I bought my Impreza I had a 92 AWD Turbo Talon for about 5 months. I actually drove it for about a week--it was at my mechanic's the rest of the time. The turbos suck and the transmission is even worse (bad syncros). I was lucky to sell it for 3k and put a down payment on the RS. I think you should buy an RS. It'll kick ass in a stock class. The miata, DODGE NEON (95-99) and the integra would be my other choices.
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Old 02-13-2001, 04:32 PM   #13
socal2.2
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Thumbs up

Wow,I would totally love to buy an RS,but it would have to be in the 9-$10k range,and I just cant see that happening.

I really like our 96LX,but I dont think we need two of em'

I noticed that the MR2 Turbo would have to go head to head with some serious comp.

As far as the DSM goes, I would absolutely hate to have a notchy shifter,it is a peeve of mine.

I am thinking about that integra GS-R,but I couldnt find one used ine for sale anywhere.

I guess no one sees the 300zx/zxTT as a good competitor? How do the NA 2nd gen Mr2's do? I am leaning towards that car.
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Old 02-13-2001, 04:33 PM   #14
socal2.2
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Wow,I would totally love to buy an RS,but it would have to be in the 9-$10k range,and I just cant see that happening.

I really like our 96LX,but I dont think we need two of em'

I noticed that the MR2 Turbo would have to go head to head with some serious comp.

As far as the DSM goes, I would absolutely hate to have a notchy shifter,it is a peeve of mine.

I am thinking about that integra GS-R,but I couldnt find one used ine for sale anywhere.

I guess no one sees the 300zx/zxTT as a good competitor? How do the NA 2nd gen Mr2's do? I am leaning towards that car.

And where do you guys see the lists of what cars win what,and the classes that each car competes in?

Are there classes that you have to run the stock wheels in?
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Old 02-13-2001, 04:36 PM   #15
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Please delete first of two posts.
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Old 02-13-2001, 06:08 PM   #16
David S. Wallens
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The mid-'80s Corolla GT-S also came in a coupe body style, and there's lots of info on the cars at www.club4ag.com. We went with the hatch because the price was right.

I have heard that the 1993-up MR2 is a little less tail-happy that the earlier ones, but some of the national-level drivers seem to go with the earlier cars. (We have a 1992 in our fleet.)

I'd still second (third? fourth?) the Miata idea. Yes they're small, but we can cram a week's worth of groceries into the trunk. The cars are also very reliable. Knock on wood, in more than two years, my only mechanical problems were a bad clutch slave cylinder and a bad pilot bearing. Prices are reasonable, too. A nice early 1.6L car (1990-'93) should go for less than $7000 or $8000, while $10k would buy a nice 1.8L 1994-up car.

David S. Wallens, managing ed
Grassroots Motorsports www.grassrootsmotorsports.com
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Old 02-13-2001, 06:13 PM   #17
Jgrahn555
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i totally DISagree with brianc. Brainc, you got screwed on your car, true. But what happens to you doesn't happen to everyone. See http://www.dsm.org

If it weren't for the subaru, i'd be driving a DSM. They're powerful, comfortable, and they DO fit tall people. my brother is 6'1" and 170lbs - he fits. My friend is 6'4" 230lbs - he fits.

Bang for the buck, they're probably the best car out there if you feel like putting in some power modifications.

against '85 toyota - DSM better looking, more power, AWD.

against 1st gen Mr2 - same deal.

against 2nd gen Mr2 - DSM doesn't leak, better looking (my opinion), easier power, more traction.

against 300zx - DSM still comfortable, still powerful, lighter, and DSM is MUCH more easy to work on. (case in point, co-worker of mine has a 300zx TT, everytime he wants to do a modification, he nearly has to yank the whole engine)

Miata - DSM doesn't look like a pansy car when your driving down the road. DSM will fit you.

Integra and Prelude - DSM has more power, DSM owners on the whole are more supportive, Honda owners on the whole have bad reputation, Honda owners on the whole are in high school, but hondas are terrifically engineered, there's just too many that look the same on the road. Hard to be original in one.

My $0.02

Jason
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Old 02-13-2001, 08:16 PM   #18
Red-Imp
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From what I've seen, Miatas rule the autocross.

-Red
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Old 02-13-2001, 09:09 PM   #19
Gary (gg)
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DUDE. Someone, from San Diego, on the SCCAforums has a CSP RX7 for sale with electronic fuel injection controller, I can't remember the name and sweet suspension to boot. He claims to be the CSP champ of SD region. $5500. www.sccaforums.com
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