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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided that when I move house, the Golf's got to go. It's just going to be too expensive to commute back and forth in a hungry V6. So, I'll get a cheap diesel for my daily commute, and a weekend car for fun and frolics. Specifically, I'm looking for a car that's already done most of it's depreciation, and one which might just get elevated to 'classic' status, like cars such as the Mk1 Golf Campaign, or the Lancia Delta Integrale. Unlike those, I don't, particularly, want a hatchback, nor do I fancy a saloon or estate. I'm looking at cabriolets and coupes. (Although, if anyone wants to flog me a urRS2 cheap then PM me [:D])

I'm on a limited budget (say, ?8k). I've narrowed down my shortlist to these, tell me what you think:

Lotus Elan M100 Turbo:

Should pick up one of these for anywhere between ?5k and ?7.5k in good condition and with good history. Can't quite stretch to the S2 model, but should be able pick up a turbo SE.

Pros: Good looks, the Elise's forerunner, fab handling, pretty nippy (165bhp), rarity.

Cons: Leaky soft-tops, the 'Lotus' syndrome (Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious), could turn into a money-pit.

Audi S2 Coupe:

These are getting seriously cheap these days, and with 230bhp on tap, they look very appealing. I used to have a 2.3 10v Audi Coupe, and I loved it to bits, but the handling was decidedly ropey.

Pros: Fast, looks good, Audi badge, 4WD.

Cons: Not sure of handling ability over old 2.3 (I assume it's got uprated dampers, brakes and springs, but I don't know for certain). Finding one that isn't thrashed might be a problem.

VW Corrado VR6 Storm:

Picking up a regular VR6 Corrado on my budget seems imminently doable, so going for the end of line Storm seems a possibility. The Corrado already has that 'future classic' tag attached, and getting hold of a good Storm would be great.

Pros: Fab handling, great to look at, already know most of the gotchas (what with owning so many VW's before)

Cons: Finding one, dodgy Mk2-esque interior.

Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet:

It appears that I might just be able to afford one of these. Look lovely in the flesh, and they have *that* badge. 211bhp. Would very much like to own a Porsche before babies and stuff come along and ruin my fun, until mid-life-crisis time. [:D]

Pros: Very quick, lots of independent dealer support, Gorgeous car. Soft-top.

Cons: Like the Lotus, could be a money pit, *Insurance!*

I like the idea of getting a sporty soft top, and with it being winter they're going very cheaply. Obviously the S2 and Corrado are coupes, and finding a good example of one of these in my price bracket might be difficult.

I'm not too bothered about buying something that'll need some 'tidying up', or that may have a few 'issues', but buying an outright lemon frightens the be-jaysus out of me. Paintwork can always be resprayed, and exhausts replaced, but how much is a replacement cylinder head going to cost for a 15 year old 944?

What do you guys reckon, and what other motors should I be considering? Thanks
 

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out of that lot, Corrado. I'm sure there is plenty of other stuff out there though which would be big fun for that sort of price!
 

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If you're going for a weekend car, why not something like a Caterham......

My Corrado was brilliant - handled superbly and regularly embarrassed more expensive cars.

My choice however would be the 944 either a cabrio, S2 or Turbo. For that money I think they'd be less expensive than you think. It's the under ?5k 944s that could be money pits!
 

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bit out of left field but how about an MX-5? they are a superb drivers car and you can drop the top for summer. 8k will get you a new shape imported 1.8 (UK cars don't have air-con usually) with all the toys inc 6 speed, leather seats etc

corrado is a bit bland as a weekend car, imo (I speak as an ex Mk3 VR6 owner so don't flame me!!)

it all depends on the remit for what your weekend car should be... are we talking somehting that has a sensible side as well? otherwise why not a caterham or westfield?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote: posted by hornetrider on 07/12/2004 13:36:41

bit out of left field but how about an MX-5? they are a superb drivers car and you can drop the top for summer. 8k will get you a new shape imported 1.8 (UK cars don't have air-con usually) with all the toys inc 6 speed, leather seats etc

I have had a little go in an MX-5, and it was quite nice, but it wasn't half sluggish (although I did drive the 1.6, not the 1.8) and there's always that 'hairdresser' stigma attached to an MX-5.

corrado is a bit bland as a weekend car, imo (I speak as an ex Mk3 VR6 owner so don't flame me!!)

Yeah, that thought had crossed my mind too. I'm kinda thinking that it's *another* VW, and is it really going to be 'special' for me? A mate of mine has a non-Storm VR6 Corrado, and it's a very nice bit of kit, but the money he's poured into it to keep it going does kind of worry me.

it all depends on the remit for what your weekend car should be... are we talking somehting that has a sensible side as well? otherwise why not a caterham or westfield?

Yeah, it wants to be partially sensible. I also don't (yet) have a garage, so something like a Caterham isn't going to be on the cards. Also, I don't count myself as a 'great' driver, and a Caterham demands respect - knowing me, it'd end up on it's roof with me 50 yards down the road!

At the moment, I'm totally perplexed, really. I like the rarity and styling of the Elan, the power and refinement of the S2, the 'status' of the Corrado and the fabulous looks of the Porsche coupled with its heritage.

To add to the mix - those TVR S2/S3 coupes looks the nuts! [:D] Gah!
 

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I'd personally advise you to buy my lovely R32 off me to save me having to advertise it [:D]

But out of those options listed I'd go for the rado, old lotus' and porkers are lovely but as they say your not a true porsche owner till you've had the ?3k service charge

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just had a quick look on Autotrader:

Elan: (?6995)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=126688250

S2: (?7500)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=131051517

Corrado: (?5500)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=132358687

944 Cab: (?7250)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=127925066

TVR S2: (?6295)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=132278347

Ah-jeez! Why do I torment myself like this! [:)]

EDIT: Seems the inline images don't work - you have to visit the links idepenently...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote: posted by marriedblonde on 07/12/2004 13:58:40

I'd personally advise you to buy my lovely R32 off me to save me having to advertise it [:D]

I'd love to mate, but I don't have the spare ?20k to do so! [:)]

But out of those options listed I'd go for the rado, old lotus' and porkers are lovely but as they say your not a true porsche owner till you've had the ?3k service charge

True enough, I guess. Independent servicing surely wouldn't be in that region though? Is the love for the Corrado on here due to it being biased pro-VW, or do you guys believe it's genuinely a better car?
 

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Quote: posted by golfv64mo on 07/12/2004 13:59:13

....TVR S2: (?6295)

http://pictures.autotrader.co.uk/ATD_web/servlet/media?id=132278347

MONEY PIT!

Many moons ago I used to work for a chap in his garage restoring MG/Lotus/TVRs etc.

The TVRs were the biggest quality nightmares we ever had. Picture the scene taking the rear cluster out and finding all the cables were black...... (and just spade connectors too...[B)])

Yes they can be superb fun to drive, but they really do introduce a cash haemorrage.

[/2p]
 

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well, to be honest I always change my car knowing exactly what I'm getting next... maybe you should keep the 4mo as your weekend motor and splash 2k on a 306D Turbo and be done with it!!
 

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Really difficult one there as all the cars are different and good in their own right.

out of those mentionned - Porsche, watch Sunday's Top Gear. Really expensive to get right.

Corrado nice car big problem finding an unabused model - mate was looking for one about 6 months ago, Autotrader threw up some hellish dogs. Is it too sensible?

Elan - nice but IMO bit bland for Lotus model, and heard that its not that good a drive mainly due to the engine (Izuzu van?)

TVR would be massive money pit.

Well chosen Caterham would be great - just get a car cover and some driver training from

www.carlimits.com

You can also pick up early Elises from about ?8.5 to ?9K as its winter [;)]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote: posted by Ricardo on 07/12/2004 18:30:56

out of those mentionned - Porsche, watch Sunday's Top Gear. Really expensive to get right.

Yeah, I saw it! 924 isn't a 'real' Porsche, and a 928 looks like a total money pit. A well looked after 944 needent be though.

Corrado nice car big problem finding an unabused model - mate was looking for one about 6 months ago, Autotrader threw up some hellish dogs. Is it too sensible?

Perhaps too sensible, and finding an unmodified one could be tricky.

Elan - nice but IMO bit bland for Lotus model, and heard that its not that good a drive mainly due to the engine (Izuzu van?)

Not yet driven one, but I understand, despite the Isuzu-based engine, it's a hoot. I believe that Evo magazine rated it, at the time, as the 'best FWD handling car, ever'. Which says a lot.

TVR would be massive money pit.

Yes, I'm beginning to subscribe to that train of thought too...

Well chosen Caterham would be great - just get a car cover and some driver training from

www.carlimits.com

Possibly, though I think convincing the wife may be a different matter!

You can also pick up early Elises from about ?8.5 to ?9K as its winter [;)]

Well, maybe, but any Elise at that price range has got to be a disaster waiting to happen. It'd be like buying a 1.8T for ?2k, if you see what I mean.

Thanks for the food for thought though guys, keep it coming. Any other cars I should consider?
 

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Caterham is a good choice - two of my mates have them[:D] Easy to work on yourself (especially if you get the classic with the 1.6 vauxhall on twin webers) Excellent forum (Blatchat)with very helpful members (a bit like here then[:p]) cheap tyres - even yoko's are less than ?30 a corner[:O]

Bad points

1.Prone to misting up (particularly plastic side windows)

2.Not the easiest to get in with the roof on

3.If you are tall you will struggle unless you get a wide body (not sure if this would be achievable on your budget)

4. If you have big feet you may find the pedals a bit small (I have size 11's and have to drive in just socks or racing boots!)

5. If you've got a big a r s e you won't be able to have the tillet seats (although these aren't very comfy anyway)

As for elises - DO IT! (I had one briefly and it still is my favourite out of all the cars I've owned) There is plenty of help out there to choose a good one - the lower prices are due to the cold weather and the fact that the S2 is now quite common on the secondhand market. As for servicing, at that age don't worry about lotus dealers and use your local MG/Rover dealer instead (same engine and box as the mgf) The difference in cost can be ?300 for lotus and ?65 for rover[:O]

Try the classifieds section onwww.eliseparts.com the guy that runs it is called Geary Powell and he really knows his stuff (also very helpful)

www.elises.co.uk is also a helpful resource

Look at the classifieds on Lotus owner clubs websites as these cars will generally have been looked after really well

Do I seem slightly biased towards the Caterham and Lotus side[?][:p]
 

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I have pondered over and researched buying all the cars you have listed (as I want a pre baby/mid-life car too) and out of all of them I'd go for the Porsche S2 Cabriolet as it looks less dated than the coupe (plus the S2 has a nicer front bumper than the older 2.5 litre 944's), has rear wheel drive and a solid, balanced 3.0 litre 211 bhp engine (if the timing chain and ancilliary gear has been maintained).

Also, just to add, I thought the Elan Isuzu egine had quite a good reputation and IMO I think the car is well underrated.

As for the Corrado most of them seem to have been to the moon and back in terms of milage and I think I'd find it difficult to go back a generation in terms of VW's as I have got used to the climate control, leather, better crash protection,etc. So it would have to be a switch to another manufacturer for me.
 

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yeah think it was breifly mentioned........ why not spend 2k on a reliable daily drive and sink 5-6k into a supercharger kit for the 4mo for the weekend???

Now your talking!
 

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If it was me i'd go for a TT Supra or an MR2 Turbo. Nothing will give you as much fun as the MR2 i assure you [:)] 8k will get you a late Rev4 with less than 30k on the clock.
 
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