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Mazda787b
Mazda787b Reader
4/8/14 9:52 p.m.

The weather is getting warmer, and I'm getting cabin fever. It's time to start doing some car shopping once again. I've crunched a lot of numbers and watched the market on some cars since I sold my ACR in July and have been putting money aside for a down payment. I'm shooting something in the $30k range, just to keep things manageable with a large "margin for error" so to speak.

I'm looking for something to drive Friday evening - Sunday evening. Your typical weekend car (cruising, occational Auto-X, C&C, date night, etc). Maybe a road trip or two per year (Northern MI, TOTD, Carslile). Not cost a fortune to maintain, nor cost me a million dollars to insure. This time around, I DON'T want a project car. I realize that I've spent too much time wrenching vs. driving. If I want to work on a project, I have my friend's Scirocco I can help out with.

Top candidate is a C5 Z06 and is what made me sell the ACR in the first place. There are plenty of clean examples out there for Mid-20s. Looking for a Speedway White 01 ("Only" 285 HP, I know), or a 04 Commemorative. Insurance is a lot cheaper than similar caliber cars, as well as most "newer" vehicles I looked at.

I'm possibly knocking on the door of a C6 Z06, but I honestly like the FRC looks better. Not to mention, a LS6 is less complicated as far as long-term ownership (dry-sump comes to mind). There are also quite a few leftover C6 GS' sitting on the lots, with quite a bit of money on the hood. Similar concerns apply to that, except I would have a warranty (not too concerned about this part).

Also considered GTOs, but insurance is quite a bit higher. A clean GTO and a clean Z06 come out as almost a wash as far as cost goes when combining insurance vs. car payment. Harder to find a clean one because they seem to be a bit more beat on.

Same GTO things apply to a Terminator Cobra. This being Detroit, there are 1000 Cobras out there (and 2000 fakes) on any given night.

Gen I or II Viper. Dream car. I understand that they're not the best for just milling about. Early, non Blue/White GTS' and similar year RT/10s seem to be in the high 20s/low 30s. I understand insurance might be significantly more, and that needs to be looked at.

Elise. Not sure if I'll fit in one (6' 4"). Might be able to get into a decent, non-wrecked example for low-30s. Finding one that hasn't been wrecked seems to be an issue.

Boss 302. Cool. A bit higher than I'd like to spend, but definitely manageable. Being fairly new, it should be easy to get a very cheap rate, and I could finance over a longer term (5 vs. 3 years).

Something completely different: Panoz Esperante. 99/01 Cobra drivetrain. No idea on brakes or suspension components. Definitely a bit different than anything else, but I cannot find much info as far as ownership goes.

Other, "cheaper" stuff that I could nearly pay cash for: Clean SVO Mustang, decent Locost (doubt I could swing a Caterham).

This is GRM. Enable, persuade, or break my heart.

Raze
Raze UltraDork
4/8/14 9:54 p.m.

C7 or C6 z06 or GS

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
4/8/14 10:05 p.m.

Any Corvette you like in that price range will be good

Mazda787b
Mazda787b Reader
4/8/14 10:37 p.m.

You guys are taking all the fun out of this.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Dork
4/8/14 11:03 p.m.

The answer is still Miata-just make sure it takes a side trip to FM for some V8 goodness first

Mazda787b
Mazda787b Reader
4/8/14 11:09 p.m.
Junkyard_Dog wrote: The answer is still Miata-just make sure it takes a side trip to FM for some V8 goodness first

I'm headed to TOTD on the way to a wedding in July. Doubt I could have anything together by then. The goal is to reduce the pile of engine parts in the garage, not throw more on top.

On top of that, I'm not sure how the bank would feel about financing a 1990 that costs 2x the original MSRP.

skierd
skierd Dork
4/8/14 11:50 p.m.

If I had that kind of coin laying around, I'd be buying or building a Factory Five Cobra or a Porsche 550 spyder replica.

Mazda787b
Mazda787b Reader
4/8/14 11:54 p.m.
skierd wrote: If I had that kind of coin laying around, I'd be buying or building a Factory Five Cobra or a Porsche 550 spyder replica.

Maybe I was a bit vague, I apologize, I do plan on financing a portion of that. If I had $30k cash, it would be a new Z06 and /thread.

Petrolburner
Petrolburner New Reader
4/9/14 12:23 a.m.

Get the cleanest C6 Z51 you can find in your price range. That's what I did, excellent decision. I love my doeverythingmobile.

Opti
Opti New Reader
4/9/14 12:33 a.m.

Vette is the answer. Clean C6 Z51 is probably the better car, but I prefer the C5 FRC or Z06. Red or Speedway white with red interior is the way to go.

Im hunting for a clean C5 now for a DD, and I just found a really clean one with a manual and 170K for under 10K. If it was red I probably would have bought it. Im not really scared of miles, between my toy and my truck they have about half a million miles, plus the C5s are dead nut reliable mechanically.

Fobroader
Fobroader New Reader
4/9/14 12:34 a.m.

C6 Z51.....the Z06 is an amazing car but not for something you want to ride around in. They are utterly hardcore.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
4/9/14 2:20 a.m.
Mazda787b wrote: You guys are taking all the fun out of this.

Are there any other "requirements" we are missing?
You know, like, does it have to have a third row of seats and still get 30 mpg city while not being Korean or Hybrid?

Yes, Corvette makes for a easy, and very good choice. If you are Downriver Detroit, it will be a very easy choice to fulfill too.
To make it harder and more exotic, are the Porsche Cayman's down to that price point?
Quick search says yes. Example of '06 w/44k @ $34k asking price.
I like their look and style.
But, if you are financing a lot of the purchase price, an already 8+ year old car will not be that easy to finance. To get a loan term of more than a couple of years you will pay high interest rates and likely get only a short term like 3 years to pay it off.
Payments to pay off $30k in 3 years will be some mega payments (nearing $1k per month.)

Have you dug deep or talked to a Credit Union about how long they will lend on older cars of more than 7 years old?

confuZion3
confuZion3 UltraDork
4/9/14 2:23 a.m.
Mazda787b wrote: Gen I or II Viper. Dream car.

Nuff said? Go get it man! $30k will get you a SUPERB Gen I OR Gen II Viper RT/10. You could even get a GTS if you look hard enough, but you might have to stretch the budget by a few thousand (maybe $5k?) to get into a GTS. You should drive one before you listen to people who tell you that they are undrivable monsters. Listen to the people who say they giggle like idiots when they drive to work--they're the ones having fun! There's nothing hard-core or brutal about them unless you try to find it. Otherwise, it's a six-speed roadster with a radio, comfortable seats, and a convenient place to cook popcorn or bacon and eggs (the door sills can get warm).

Oh, insurance for mine cost me about the same as I paid to insure my IS300. Shop around.

RT/10 = weekend sport

GTS = daily driver potential

(This was purchased under your budget last fall with 26,000 miles)

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Petrolburner
Petrolburner New Reader
4/9/14 6:37 a.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Where are you getting this lending info from? I just got the full value of an 01, and then shortly after, an 05 Corvette financed at 1.99% for 5 years. Older cars, low interest, and long term for a low payment.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
4/9/14 6:57 a.m.

Good. I have seen other lenders who will not lend on cars with over 125k miles on them.

The core advise remains the same, "have you researched lending and what your payments could be?"

RossD
RossD PowerDork
4/9/14 7:14 a.m.

Lotus 7 for $25k in the bay area: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/4413709344.html

1966stang
1966stang Reader
4/9/14 7:23 a.m.

I am enough of a car nut to say Viper, but the Vette makes infinitely more sense.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke Dork
4/9/14 7:41 a.m.
Fobroader wrote: C6 Z51.....the Z06 is an amazing car but not for something you want to ride around in. They are utterly hardcore.

I disagree. The Z06 handles like it's on rails with almost no body roll, but also has a very civil ride when you're just cruising. I fair weather DDed one for a while. Would do it again.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/9/14 7:46 a.m.

I was immediately thinking a used Corvette...the C5 might look a little better but there are big improvements between the C5 and C6 (and even more between the C6 and C7, but that will cost a lot more).

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltraDork
4/9/14 7:57 a.m.

A Ferrari 456 stretches it a bit, but is a fair bit cooler (to me) than the corvette.

rotard
rotard Dork
4/9/14 8:40 a.m.

My C5 Z06 was probably the best car I've ever owned. They're pretty comfortable and offer tons of performance. Go for it. I also like the headlights. I DD'd mine for awhile. We don't get much snow or ice here in SC, but it handled what little we had very well.

1966stang
1966stang Reader
4/9/14 8:48 a.m.
rotard wrote: My C5 Z06 was probably the best car I've ever owned. They're pretty comfortable and offer tons of performance. Go for it. I also like the headlights. I DD'd mine for awhile. We don't get much snow or ice here in SC, but it handled what little we had very well.

Considering they cost about as much as a new Civic SI, it is a screaming deal.

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
4/9/14 8:53 a.m.

There's a Lotus dealer on the north side of Detroit if you want to try on an Elise. My prediction is you won't fit (I'm 6' 2" and my head is above the top of the windshield and I can't operate less than two pedals at the same time even in bare feet).

Make sure you drive a C6 Z51 before you pick up a C5 Z06. The interiors are far nicer places to be especially as a date night or road trip car.

What about a new Mustang GT? Less than $30k out the door with a bit of negotiating...

If I was in your shoes, I'd probably buy the C6 Vette and regret not buying the Viper. I think you can even find a second gen Viper in your budget....

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
4/9/14 9:39 a.m.

I'd check financing before you go too far in your search. As others have said, most banks will shy away from something of a certain age, or above a certain mileage (I've seen 100k before). Or they'll finance it as a personal loan with a higher interest rate. Their parameters around age/mileage may help to narrow your search.

With that being said, I'd agree with the suggestions that have been thrown out so far (Viper, Corvette, FFR Cobra), but I'd also add the Fort Shelby GT500 to the list. You could easily enjoy that vehicle stock. Challenger RT/SRT8 might be another option.

1966stang
1966stang Reader
4/9/14 9:49 a.m.

Sometimes cars that are collectable can get easy low rate financing through banks who recognise them as collector vehicles. I got 3 percent on an 03 MINI Cooper S that way. Made for a stupidly cheap payment on an older car. YMMV.

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