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93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
7/15/21 1:56 p.m.

IMO new cars in general aren't as fun as older ones but there are still some good ones. Mini, Miata and FRS at least that I have driven. 

There was also a lot of E36 M3 pumped out back in the day. I mean to be honest I'd much rather have most any modern car then something like a 90s Buick Century.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
7/15/21 2:10 p.m.

Since MGBs were brought up. I had zero problems relying on my B to get me to work daily for about 5 years. It was also my AutoX car, road trip car and sometimes Mulholland car (I didn’t feel comfortable pushing it on wire wheels).

And it was not a restored car and I did maintenance on a regular basis. It was Frankensteined from 3 donors; chassis and most of the body from 1, fresh-ish engine and OD trans (an upgrade) from another, and asst’d other parts from a 3rd. Plus some aftermarket upgrades.

The biggest problem was keeping tops from getting slashed for a cheap radio. I kept it unlocked and they still cut open the top. So eventually, when dry, I left the windows down.

My strong preference is toward pre-1973 cars. But practically speaking I do now drive 1990s cars which feel meh to me. The newer bells and whistles are more annoying and distract from . . . driving.

Alfaromeoguy
Alfaromeoguy HalfDork
9/19/21 11:49 p.m.

i like my 84 alfa romeo spider..right now under engine conversion.. no abs  or any driving aids.... i must adjust the over and understeer issues,, spec out the roll centres... only tech it has modern tires fuel injections..qa1 shocks  not much else.. drivers car

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
9/20/21 12:37 a.m.

New cars are better than older cars in just about every way, But there are a few things older cars had in their favor that newer cars have lost. 
 

Plusses for older cars...
 

Manual transmissions used to be available in just about anything, and made driving even the most basic vehicles more engaging. Now manuals aren't available on many sports cars. Those that do exists often have annoying rev hang. 
 

Visibility. Older cars had large greenhouses and great visibility. It really changes the driving experience. Wouldn't like to be in a wreck in one though. 
 

Lower hoods. Pedestrian crash standards have raised hoods, making styling on sporty cars challenging. 


Plusses for newer cars...

Power. Newer cars are much quicker, despite the extra weight. 
 

Ride and handling compromise. Even basic cars handle pretty good today. Back in the day, even sporty cars were softly sprung, rode high, and needed suspension work to handle better and look right- and rode like crap as a result. Modern cars are much better right out of the box. 
 

Brakes. Older cars came with brakes that were barely adequate, and early ABS systems were often a hinderance when driving hard. New systems are much better. 
 

I've thought of selling my older fun cars and buying something new, but there really isn't much comparable out there. Sure, many new cars are better in many ways, but I'd miss some of the traits that I really enjoy. I'd say my 2005 Legacy GT wagon is right in the sweet spot. It's like it's the newest of the old guard, just the right mix of old and new. Great visibility, low hood, manual, pretty simple car overall. But it's much safer than most/any '90's cars, yet lighter than newer cars. Great brakes. Good power stock even today, no trouble making more. Nice looking yet still basic interior, great looking exterior. I'd have no desire for a modern version if they made one. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
9/20/21 6:24 a.m.

Old cars keep me young. New cars make me feel old.  

Pepe
Pepe New Reader
9/20/21 7:06 a.m.

For the road: Give me anything built after 2000 in working order and I will be fine. 

For the track: I prefer lightweight cars. Lightweight cars are becoming harder and harder to find. What's left? In the "affordable" bin only the Miata. After that what? An Ariel Atom? A Caterham?

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 7:11 a.m.

Older cars are simple to maintain. Plus if you race them you don't have to constantly chase the fastest trick piece or tune.  Their history has already been written so you can go out there and enjoy yourself without fear that the latest greatest ( more expensive)  car will obsolete your car.  
    Thus they tend to cost much less to race.  Plus their value tends to ncrease with the passage of time instead of decrease. 
 You can go out there improving your skills.   

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 7:16 a.m.
Pepe said:

For the road: Give me anything built after 2000 in working order and I will be fine. 

For the track: I prefer lightweight cars. Lightweight cars are becoming harder and harder to find. What's left? In the "affordable" bin only the Miata. After that what? An Ariel Atom? A Caterham?

Look at 60's cars.  Jaguar XKE weighs in about 2200-2400 in race weight. (And it's passed the Crash test )    Trans Am cars weight about  2700 dry. 
  No you don't have to spend big money to buy those.  Like anything else. Careful shopping offers fantastic deals. 

Pepe
Pepe New Reader
9/20/21 7:19 a.m.

Yeah, I know there are plenty of options out there, if you are willing to look at older cars. I was referring to brand new cars. Lightweight cars pretty much do not exist anymore.

 

Pepe
Pepe New Reader
9/20/21 7:22 a.m.

Let's see:

Sub 2500: Miata

2500-2700: Fiesta ST, Abarth

2700-3000: GT86, Cooper S

Am I missing anything?

noddaz
noddaz UberDork
9/20/21 7:53 a.m.

Yes.

No.

Maybe.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/20/21 12:16 p.m.

What am I using it for?  I like newer cars for track days and long range mountain runs because I can spend more time driving and less time wrenching.

For the simple joy of operation and interacting with a more direct mechanical device... give me old.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/20/21 12:31 p.m.
Pepe said:

Yeah, I know there are plenty of options out there, if you are willing to look at older cars. I was referring to brand new cars. Lightweight cars pretty much do not exist anymore.

 

Cars like Formula Fords, Formula V, some sports racers. Can be raced for decades on a budget that would be affordable for the neighborhood lawn mowing kid.  
    I raced a Devin with a Target Master ( cheap crate motor)  V8 and won 12 of the 13 races entered. Was still using the tires 3 years later. 
     Brand new cars are too expensive to race. Plus the fastest one will soon be replaced with a faster one.  So now you're second fastest soon to be further and further down the list unless you can afford to replace yours with the next fastest.  

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/27/22 1:45 p.m.

Do you smile when you drive it, or are you bored? 
 

The car that makes you smile is the better car  

 

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
2/27/22 1:48 p.m.
dean1484 said:

Old cars keep me young. New cars make me feel old.  

A non-technical and philosophical answer.  I really expected more of these as the answer to the question.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
2/27/22 3:45 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Older cars( past a certain point ) are special.  They have gone beyond a cheap old car  into something special, desirable and yes Fun!!! 
  My grandfather driving a old 1930 Ford pickup into the 1950's  it was a cheap form of transportation. 
 Me driving that same vehicle today is fun.   My grandfather drove it at 40 on the roads around here annoyed it wouldn't go faster and was so bumpy and noisy. 
 Me in that same car at the same speed would be exhilarated appreciative of how well it's running. Gladly listening to the unique sounds.   

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic Reader
2/28/22 12:43 a.m.

Well, at least when my slow Volvo overheats, it's tractor based cast iron block and head just shrug it off and keeps on purring. Unlike the threads of the owners of those aluminum engined Mercedes, Ferrari v12, and Porsche speedster had to endure (Those weren't actually over heating, but same difference and I think there was one about BMWs). Also anything with a wiring harness bigger than my wrist is only asking for heartache.smiley

Chrissmith
Chrissmith New Reader
2/28/22 5:28 a.m.

American cars before ~1972 are worth more than newer generations, when I grow up, I am more obsessed with older cars especially M3 or beetle.

trucke
trucke SuperDork
2/28/22 9:12 a.m.
Appleseed said:

Does your new car have a crotch vent? Didn't think so.

The 1987 Corolla FX16 GT-S that I am driving today has one of these.  The FX is fun, but only because it has a ground control suspension, Koni Sport struts, Sparco EVO seat and a custom LSD (thanks to Steve Eckerich).  It's a street legal go-cart, just way slower.

Last week, the weather was warm so I could drive my 200tw shod Civic Type R.  The FK8 is better in almost every way.  Except sound, nothing like a high revving twin cam intake sound.  Unfortunately, the FK8 requires a whole lot of restraint when driving.  It is just so much quicker and better handling than most anything that surrounds me in traffic!  I just want ot punch it and get away!  More so when the road is twisty!

Kierenrr07
Kierenrr07 New Reader
2/28/22 1:12 p.m.

New cars are also made of cheaper sheet metal, meaning with more HP when you crash, you have far less protection than a car that is built to last. New cars are not meant to last.  I had a 2017 Hyundai Sonata, and got into a wreck with it going about 30 mph, hitting someone that decided not to yield and turned left. The car was deemed totaled. The lady that I hit had an older sedan, and her car drove off fine.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
2/28/22 1:56 p.m.
Kierenrr07 said:

New cars are also made of cheaper sheet metal, meaning with more HP when you crash, you have far less protection than a car that is built to last. New cars are not meant to last.  I had a 2017 Hyundai Sonata, and got into a wreck with it going about 30 mph, hitting someone that decided not to yield and turned left. The car was deemed totaled. The lady that I hit had an older sedan, and her car drove off fine.

You do know that anytime a car doesn't crumple up it transfers all that energy to the occupants right?

I love older cars, I race one built in 1972 and one built in 1987 but I drive a modern car everyday because they are light years ahead in terms of crash protection.

 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
3/1/22 12:23 p.m.

I enjoy the older cars. Would I daily them? I could but prefer not to. The older cars just provide that visceral impact that todays cars have, for lack of better words, "tuned out". Sure, my 21 Mustang GT is "fun", but it's so numb everywhere else just makes it ho hum. My 13 Avalanche has more feedback than the mustang.....

GregAmy
GregAmy New Reader
4/27/22 9:08 a.m.

+1 JG.

My newer GTI will decimate my 914, street or track. But I get a ton more personal satisfaction (and attention) when I do it well in the 914.

The GTI goes with me on a long drive to Cleveland. The 914 is my preferred ride in track days.

GA

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/27/22 9:31 a.m.

I find the cars I enjoy the most and fall in love with are the ones that recognize and try to personify some sort of ideal. Not necessarily the highest performance, but the purest expression of something enjoyable. If I had to level a complaint broadly at "new cars" it's that - much like movies and AAA video games - they want to have broad appeal and the ability to offer everyone something they like. With improving technology though, they kind of have the ability to do that.

I suspect we saw more focused expressions of a singular vision in the past because companies didn't have the technology to make cars that really could do it all. You had to pick what the car was going to do, and do it.

I understand why a car company wouldn't want to make a car that specialized. They're limiting them to just the market of people looking for that very specific experience. I love my S2000. I'm not going to recommend one to most people. I wouldn't have the same qualms about a Fiesta ST.

As much as I like pure expressions of an ideal, I don't think reliability or build quality subtract from that. Even if an MGB, NA Miata, and S2000 are about the same experience, I'd rather have the newest one that is least likely to break down.

Around a track though, older cars (generally) have a big advantage: they're cheaper and more disposable. If you're not worried that broadsiding a K-wall is going to break the bank, you can feel comfortable pushing it harder.

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