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First Car?

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
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OK, I'm looking to buy my first car pretty soon here. I want to get something relatively fast and decently reliable. I've been looking at a few things, but let me know if you think I should think of something else or what I want isn't a good idea. I'm kinda strapped for cash so I've been thinking of an old (70-73) Porsche 914. What I really want is one of the early BMW M3s, but I can't afford it yet and I won't be able to in a while. :( I've also considered old Datsun 510s and BMW 2002s. If you can't tell, I'm looking for a fast(ish) car. If I can't afford a fast car I'm just going to drive my parents' car for transportation. I've always loved cars, though, so I'd love to have one. Do you think I should buy anything I can or wait for a while until I can afford something nicer? :help:

Thanks a lot!
 

chicodude

The Spooninator
Mar 28, 2004
1,057
1
Paradise
Datsun 510's are cool. It doesn't take much to make them fast.


I would definalty stay away from BMW's and porshces
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
Old 914s have VW Type 4 air cooled engines that are SOOOO easy to find parts for and my dad used to have one so finding parts is pretty easy. I can see staying away from BMW, though.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
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Why? I think owning a modern BMW would be expensive to work on. Electronics is a b*tch with new cars. That's one thing I like about old cars, like Datsun 510s, Porsche 914s, and BMW 2002s.
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,162
1
austin
how old are you? if you've just got your license, i'd say just get something that'll last a few years while you save up to get something you really want.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,126
2,951
Portland, OR
My first car was a '72 Pontiac Grand Prix. 390 bhp, fastest thing in my home town. I got 6 miles to the gallon and it rocked! I also got 3 speeding tickets my first year driving and it sucked.




My advice would be something cheep and reliable, like an 89-93 Honda CRX Si. You can have one for about $2500 and they get like 45 mpg!
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
Inbred, I could, but I could just drive my parents' car so if I were to buy something I'd want it to be fun. I'm only 15 though. I don't even have my liscence, but I know how to drive a stick and I kinda know what I want. Muscle cars are out (although I was thinking about them for a while) because they're expensive and can't corner for crap. I want a good handling car. Nice car jimmydean, btw. GravityFreakTJ, how'd you like your 914? That sounds like how mine would be set up.
 

ito

Mr. Schwinn Effing Armstrong
Oct 3, 2003
1,709
0
Avoiding the nine to five
I just bought my first car. The one bit of advice I would give you is check out insurance quotes for the cars you are looking at. It can get expensive really quickly. I was forced to look at a less expensive car to also afford insurance. However I did get what I want.

I second the Honda CRX. My friend had one before he picked up an Outback. Beat the car to crap, it took everything. Fast, corners well, inexpensive to maintain, and incredible gas mileage. Not as sexy as a Porsche, but still loads of fun.

The Ito
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
It's actually sexier than a 914. I know someone that has one and likes it, I'll look into one. What's a fair price for a clean one?
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
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SF
Bicyclist said:
I'm only 15 though.
I would hope your parents will put the kibosh on a fast car idea.

New drivers will have the hardest time on basic traffic situations. For example, in my 2nd year of driving, on a highway, I passed on the right side as a car pulled out from a parking lot. Bam! I learned my lesson about passing on the right.

I would focus on driving safe rather than getting a Porsche or a BMW. You should have made this thread into "traffic accidents of teenage drivers" for some fun stories.
 

ito

Mr. Schwinn Effing Armstrong
Oct 3, 2003
1,709
0
Avoiding the nine to five
Bicyclist said:
It's actually sexier than a 914. I know someone that has one and likes it, I'll look into one. What's a fair price for a clean one?
Check Kelly Bluebook, but my friend is selling his for 1200. It is not in good condition though. Unfortunately (in my opinion), the CRX's are often "upgraded" by lots of people, meaning tons of aftermarket parts that may or may not be approved or compatible. You have to know what you are looking for. Also as many were raced you get a lot of salvage titles (a good reason for not buying a fast car, young fast people crash them) or are just badly used.

The Ito
 

COmtbiker12

Turbo Monkey
Dec 17, 2003
2,577
0
Colorado Springs
I third (or more) the Honda idea. You're a brand new driver (like i have much room to talk, have had my license for almost a year and a half :p ) but I'd say that you're more than likely to crash. Almost all of the people I know at school, have gotten in an accident in some form or another, and ask half the people under 18 on here, and almost all of them have as well. :p

Go with a cheap Honda like a late 80s early 90s Civic/CRX, if you want a fast car turbo it, drop a B16/18 into it, it doesn't just have to be a dopy little ricer car.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
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Yeah, I've been looking at Preludes, Civics, and CRXs and they all look nice. Plus there's 1 trillion places to get them worked on/ get parts. They still wouldn't be as fun as a 914 :(
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,126
2,951
Portland, OR
When I got sick of gas prices a while back (like '95 or so), I bought an '89 CRX DX that was sweet. I had a wicked commute and it saved my ass. I averaged about 45mpg driving like a jackass. I wouldn't say it was fast, but it was sporty and was a blast to drive.

Look for a bone stock Honda because you never know what some dumbass did before you if it has "mods". At least if it's stock, chances are it wasn't beat up too much.

Your right about muscle cars. My GP went like a bat out of hell in a straight line. But it couldn't corner and it couldn't park on the street unless I had the whole block to myslef. But chicks dug it :thumb:
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
The more I think about Hondas the better they sound. If I could find a clean Prelude, Civic, or CRX for cheap I might just snap it up. Is insurance OK on those things?
 

COmtbiker12

Turbo Monkey
Dec 17, 2003
2,577
0
Colorado Springs
Bicyclist said:
The more I think about Hondas the better they sound. If I could find a clean Prelude, Civic, or CRX for cheap I might just snap it up. Is insurance OK on those things?
I have a 97 Civic LX stock that we picked up a month or so ago for $5k (~85k miles, good shape, 5spd, etc) and I don't know exactly how much it is, but I pay my parents about 2/3 of it and I'm paying them $100/month for full coverage. And that's full coverage on a teenager who's already been in a small accident where the other dumbass had more than enough in parts/labor claims for it to go up. :p
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,530
40
Bay Area, California
sanjuro said:
I would hope your parents will put the kibosh on a fast car idea.

New drivers will have the hardest time on basic traffic situations. For example, in my 2nd year of driving, on a highway, I passed on the right side as a car pulled out from a parking lot. Bam! I learned my lesson about passing on the right.
LOL, kids now SUCK at driving. And back when, when I was just starting to drive everyone had muscle cars, so MOST of them were fast. Couldn't handle a corner worth a sh*t, but was fast.



Remember getting older cars can sometimes be a pain in finding parts, get something a little newer for a first car, then fix up an older one.
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,163
154
Six Shooter Junction
Bicyclist said:
The more I think about Hondas the better they sound. If I could find a clean Prelude, Civic, or CRX for cheap I might just snap it up. Is insurance OK on those things?
I haven't had my CRX for quite a while, but it was more expensive for insurance than a prelude . Preludes have back seat, CRX's don't???


*They quit making the CRX in 91.
DX = fuel efficient model
LX = Standard
Si = LX w/front spoiler/air dam, aluminum wheels and sunroof.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
Brian HCM#1 said:
LOL, kids now SUCK at driving. And back when, when I was just starting to drive everyone had muscle cars, so MOST of them were fast. Couldn't handle a corner worth a sh*t, but was fast.
Perfect example: did dumass TheMontashu drive over to your house last night? I told him to skip it because of the weather...
 

odiwik

Monkey
Mar 2, 2004
252
0
My first car was a drag-built 1957 Chevy 210 Post, and my g/f's first car was and still is a (now upgraded) AWD turbo 1998 Eclipse GSX. Neither of us have gotten in accidents and I only have a few speeding tickets from normal driving.

Having fast cars as your first does not create poor drivers. Some people may be able to handle a faster car in sketchy situations, but the vast majority of people won't. The most important thing here is that you need to be honest with yourself about your driving skill. At 15, I'm sure you think you are Mario Andretti or Dale Earnhardt (depending on what part of the country you are from), but chances are against you that you can drive very well yet.

I have always had fast, performance cars, but I grew up around them and began driving when it was still illegal for me to do so. I have to recommend a reliable, safe, economically friendly car because the odds are against you regarding driving skills (statistics speaking).

A Honda of any type sounds like a very good idea. Take it to the track from time to time and remember, you don't need a heavily modified car to be fast around the track; you need to be able to drive. I've seen 80s economy cars sail around all types of porches, and it suprisingly isn't an uncommon sight. The 510 would also be a good starter car to practice with since it's RWD.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
I'm not saying I'm an amazing driver but I've been able to drive a stick since I was 7 and I have experience driving go-carts on slicktracks and driving cars on dirt roads.
 

chicodude

The Spooninator
Mar 28, 2004
1,057
1
Paradise
Brian HCM#1 said:
LOL, kids now SUCK at driving. And back when, when I was just starting to drive everyone had muscle cars, so MOST of them were fast. Couldn't handle a corner worth a sh*t, but was fast.



Remember getting older cars can sometimes be a pain in finding parts, get something a little newer for a first car, then fix up an older one.

Kids sucked at driving back then too, It's just your mind playin' tricks on you old man....;)
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,530
40
Bay Area, California
Bicyclist said:
I'm not saying I'm an amazing driver but I've been able to drive a stick since I was 7 and I have experience driving go-carts on slicktracks and driving cars on dirt roads.
Driving go-carts don't count. There are lots of morons on the road that shouldn't be with 90 miles of a car. It's more like playing dodge-um.
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
11
So Cal
914 = "volksporsche" = fun. They are super easy to work on, parts are super cheap and are very fun to drive.

Cars are a very personal thing. Buy what you like. An older fun car that is easy to work on is a good idea though.
Brian HCM#1 said:
Driving go-carts don't count. There are lots of morons on the road that shouldn't be with 90 miles of a car. It's more like playing dodge-um.
You ever drive a go kart? And not some little lawnmower engine driven fun kart... I am talking about a racing kart. There is a reason that all of your formula 1 and cart drivers start in karts. Hell, I'd trust a kid with karting experience over any person whose only real driving experience is going to work every day for 20 years.
 

mack

Turbo Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
3,675
0
Colorado
Ciaran said:
914 = "volksporsche" = fun. They are super easy to work on, parts are super cheap and are very fun to drive.

Cars are a very personal thing. Buy what you like. An older fun car that is easy to work on is a good idea though.

You ever drive a go kart? And not some little lawnmower engine driven fun kart... I am talking about a racing kart. There is a reason that all of your formula 1 and cart drivers start in karts. Hell, I'd trust a kid with karting experience over any person whose only real driving experience is going to work every day for 20 years.

I have a friend who races shifter carts, his kart is faster than his BMW. Ciaran is right, most of the pro racers started in shifter kart racing young and gradually moved up the ladder.
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,530
40
Bay Area, California
Ciaran said:
914 = "volksporsche" = fun. They are super easy to work on, parts are super cheap and are very fun to drive.

Cars are a very personal thing. Buy what you like. An older fun car that is easy to work on is a good idea though.

You ever drive a go kart? And not some little lawnmower engine driven fun kart... I am talking about a racing kart. There is a reason that all of your formula 1 and cart drivers start in karts. Hell, I'd trust a kid with karting experience over any person whose only real driving experience is going to work every day for 20 years.
There's a big difference, there are idiots out there driving, not everyone is semi competent.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
I agree, dodging minivans is different than driving a kart. People seem to think Porsch 914 = Crazy, but Ciarian is right. It's a Bug engine in a convertible body. It's only got 80 HP and it's not really that light. It's a slow, but fun car. I found one for 1500 that I think I'm gonna pick up. It's a "project car" but that's what I'm looking for anyway: something fun I can tinker with and learn how to work on a car.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
Brian HCM#1 said:
Driving go-carts don't count. There are lots of morons on the road that shouldn't be with 90 miles of a car. It's more like playing dodge-um.
I'm sure you can handle yourself behind a wheel. Most accidents aren't when you lose control, but when someone else does.

For example, a car 150 yards in front of me spun out in the rain on a bend on Hutchison Parkway I know like the back of my hand. I was able to control my car, but ended up tapping bumpers after they had slammed into a guard rail.

That person could not control their car, but if I was a car length away or trying to pass, I would been wiped out.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Being a safe driver isn't about staying in control. That's half of it. The other half is learning to drive defensively and learn to predict dangerous situations.
There are plenty of safe affordable cars that can be fun without being a PITA. Remember to check insurance prices. Fun cars are usually a lot more $$$.
Now that I'm over 25 and own a house I'm buying the fast expensive car I've always wanted.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
Like I said earlier, though, there's no point to me buying a car in a practical sense because I can drive my parents for almost $0. I want a car, though, so if I buy one it's going to be a fun one. That's why I've decided against a Honda. Plus, if I were to get a car, I'd want to be able to work on it by myself. Another reason I don't want a Honda or a practical, modern car.