Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

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kettle2006
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Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by kettle2006 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:06 pm

So work have thrown me a curve ball, and offered me a company car, and whichever way I do the maths considering I've just bought a house I can't afford to turn it down. I therefore have a brand new 316d Sport on the way which will cost me circa £100.00 a month in tax and diesel per month (and at 50+ MPG compared to the 20mpg i'm getting at the moment) - that's it.

This means that my much loved 135i will be up for sale soon, and I will be looking for a weekend car to scratch the petrolhead itch. Budget of sub 5k and as cheap as possible to run, bearing in mind I will have the 3 series for any passenger / long distance / practical purposes.

Any recommendations?

Have been looking at MX5 (cheap but not sure if that much of a step down in power will keep me entertained), 325ti (know them well), Z3 / Z4 (keeping in the BMW family), MK3 MR2 (same as MX5 power wise), S2000 (Ideal on paper but possibly ropey at my budget)

Also worth noting I am not averse to doing my own work on the car, so will service it and fettle away happily.
Current - E82 135i '08 Le Mans Blue - Clubsport gearknob, CDV delete, Whiteline inserts

Previous - E46 325ti Sport, Leon Cupra 1.8T

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by marco_polo » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:20 pm

A late MX5 has got to be the way to go, Shirley?

https://www.pistonheads.com/features/ph ... uide/31354
Silver F21 M135i - ManBox - HK - Adaptive + Eibach Pro's - BBS CH-R's - BMWP Drexler LSD - TMC Piggyback - M4 LCA's - aFe Dry Filter

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Davo-e82 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:42 pm

kettle2006 wrote:So work have thrown me a curve ball, and offered me a company car, and whichever way I do the maths considering I've just bought a house I can't afford to turn it down. I therefore have a brand new 316d Sport on the way which will cost me circa £100.00 a month in tax and diesel per month (and at 50+ MPG compared to the 20mpg i'm getting at the moment) - that's it.

This means that my much loved 135i will be up for sale soon, and I will be looking for a weekend car to scratch the petrolhead itch. Budget of sub 5k and as cheap as possible to run, bearing in mind I will have the 3 series for any passenger / long distance / practical purposes.

Any recommendations?

Have been looking at MX5 (cheap but not sure if that much of a step down in power will keep me entertained), 325ti (know them well), Z3 / Z4 (keeping in the BMW family), MK3 MR2 (same as MX5 power wise), S2000 (Ideal on paper but possibly ropey at my budget)

Also worth noting I am not averse to doing my own work on the car, so will service it and fettle away happily.
Doing your own work on the car does make a lot of stuff affordable so I assume mpg isn't that much of a limiting factor if it's a weekend toy?

MX5
Mk3 MR2
Porsche Boxter
Z4
Impreza STi
S3
S4
Lancer Evolution 1-4
Integra R
Celica GT4 st205
645i/650i
CLK
200sx
3000GT





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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Red5 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:54 pm

Not scared to get your hands dirty?

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds ... 96/7817750
Gone
Tasty 130i
Very fast 135i
Volcano Grey Macan SD
Carmine Red Cayman GTS + LSD

Red5 & Semerka's Stable
Midnight Blue Macan Turbo + PTV and more
GT Silver Cayman 718 GTS Manual



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kettle2006
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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by kettle2006 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:17 pm

Funny enough, saw that one online today! Mx5 seems to tick most if not all of the cheap weekend toy boxes. Mk3 2.0 is one of the cheaper options on the list to insure too.

MPG is not an issue at all.
Current - E82 135i '08 Le Mans Blue - Clubsport gearknob, CDV delete, Whiteline inserts

Previous - E46 325ti Sport, Leon Cupra 1.8T

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Red5 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:18 pm

On a more sensible note.."


How about a 130i :)

Cheap to buy, cheap suspension parts / bushes etc, plus a wealth of info here on spannering them.
Get some lighter 17’s and some coilovers.
Keep it close to oem road spec, or make faster with added lightness.

Manuel, small, NA, not slow, solid engine, well documented mods, friendly helpful forum!
Plus, good ones come up from £4-5k on here from time to time :)

It really is a yummy engine!
When on song, you’ll swear you don’t need more power :)
Gone
Tasty 130i
Very fast 135i
Volcano Grey Macan SD
Carmine Red Cayman GTS + LSD

Red5 & Semerka's Stable
Midnight Blue Macan Turbo + PTV and more
GT Silver Cayman 718 GTS Manual



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kettle2006
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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by kettle2006 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:39 pm

Davo-e82 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:42 pm

Doing your own work on the car does make a lot of stuff affordable so I assume mpg isn't that much of a limiting factor if it's a weekend toy?

MX5
Mk3 MR2
Porsche Boxter
Z4
Impreza STi
S3
S4
Lancer Evolution 1-4
Integra R
Celica GT4 st205
645i/650i
CLK
200sx
3000GT
Some food for thought there! My personal favorite is the GT4 st205 - I would have one in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the cost of replacement parts!
Current - E82 135i '08 Le Mans Blue - Clubsport gearknob, CDV delete, Whiteline inserts

Previous - E46 325ti Sport, Leon Cupra 1.8T

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by docwra » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:50 pm

marco_polo wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:20 pm
A late MX5 has got to be the way to go, Shirley?

https://www.pistonheads.com/features/ph ... uide/31354
Mk3 MR2 is same money and much better to drive, mid engine balance with very neutral handling makes for a fine track car too.

Has no luggage space and you need to drive a few before buying one, some feel like the chassis is bent but get the right one and they are awesome little cars :)

A lot of that list is pretty heavy (S3, S4, Lancer, 3000, 6 Series, CLK etc.) and they arent going to be "fun" like the lighter stuff is either.

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Davo-e82
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Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Davo-e82 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:20 pm

docwra wrote:
marco_polo wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:20 pm
A late MX5 has got to be the way to go, Shirley?

https://www.pistonheads.com/features/ph ... uide/31354
Mk3 MR2 is same money and much better to drive, mid engine balance with very neutral handling makes for a fine track car too.

Has no luggage space and you need to drive a few before buying one, some feel like the chassis is bent but get the right one and they are awesome little cars Image

A lot of that list is pretty heavy (S3, S4, Lancer, 3000, 6 Series, CLK etc.) and they arent going to be "fun" like the lighter stuff is either.
Yeah true mate but the OP didn't specify they had to be lightweights, and on a side note your early Evo's are all around 1240-1250kg.....from personal experience they are great fun, trail braking and steering with the throttle is easily achievable ImageImage


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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by kettle2006 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:27 pm

EVO would fit the bill, but I think at my price point I'm playing with fire there, plus the insurance and upkeep costs might push it out of the cheap category...
Current - E82 135i '08 Le Mans Blue - Clubsport gearknob, CDV delete, Whiteline inserts

Previous - E46 325ti Sport, Leon Cupra 1.8T

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Davo-e82 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:29 pm

kettle2006 wrote:
Davo-e82 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:42 pm

Doing your own work on the car does make a lot of stuff affordable so I assume mpg isn't that much of a limiting factor if it's a weekend toy?

MX5
Mk3 MR2
Porsche Boxter
Z4
Impreza STi
S3
S4
Lancer Evolution 1-4
Integra R
Celica GT4 st205
645i/650i
CLK
200sx
3000GT
Some food for thought there! My personal favorite is the GT4 st205 - I would have one in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the cost of replacement parts!
Yeah the Fig 8 bushings are an expensive fix and parts aren't generic, although it is a reliable car if you get a good one.

Another reason I added those group A homologation specials is the investment aspect, obviously not relevant if you're looking for short term ownership but if you plan to keep something for a few years they should at least make you whole expenditure wise when reselling.

The driving experience is more GT than Rally car for the road but uprated cans and an aggressive map add a bit of a harder edge, and the chassis/diff set up allows oversteer/adjustability but obviously when you provoke it you will be going quick and need to be 100% ready.


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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by docwra » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:13 pm

Davo-e82 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:20 pm
Yeah true mate but the OP didn't specify they had to be lightweights, and on a side note your early Evo's are all around 1240-1250kg.....from personal experience they are great fun, trail braking and steering with the throttle is easily achievable ImageImage
Youll know they have a habit of eating their engines as well then? ;) :lol:

And what I was getting at is that in my experience, the lighter the car, the more fun it is to drive. Dont get me wrong, a GTR is great fun and 1800KG but for 5K and weekend only use Id be looking as lightweight as possible :)

ETA: lighter cars tend to be easier and cheaper to use as track cars as well, always a consideration for a weekender.

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by kettle2006 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:00 pm

I think that an already turbo'd or charged MX5 or MR2 seems to fit the bill the best, cheaper running costs, RWD, LSD, fairly easy to work on, light, but with enough power to be entertaining.
Current - E82 135i '08 Le Mans Blue - Clubsport gearknob, CDV delete, Whiteline inserts

Previous - E46 325ti Sport, Leon Cupra 1.8T

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Re: Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Davo-e82 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:47 pm

docwra wrote:
Davo-e82 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:20 pm
Yeah true mate but the OP didn't specify they had to be lightweights, and on a side note your early Evo's are all around 1240-1250kg.....from personal experience they are great fun, trail braking and steering with the throttle is easily achievable ImageImage
Youll know they have a habit of eating their engines as well then? ;) :lol:

And what I was getting at is that in my experience, the lighter the car, the more fun it is to drive. Dont get me wrong, a GTR is great fun and 1800KG but for 5K and weekend only use Id be looking as lightweight as possible :)

ETA: lighter cars tend to be easier and cheaper to use as track cars as well, always a consideration for a weekender.
As do most 20+ year old performance cars that have almost definitely been driven "enthusiastically" from day 1 ImageImage

Yeah of course, as most know your lighter machines usually tend to be more fun, no revelation here. As you'll see, OP's top pick from my list is anything but a lightweight Image

Anyway, I'm sure the OP is a grown adult perfectly capable of choosing any number of cars he deems best, if you don't like my suggestions that's tough, it's not your choice to make at the end of the day Image


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Cheap fun car for the weekend - suggestions please!

Post by Graearea » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:43 pm

I came from a non turbo na 1.8 mx5 (£1000)to a coilovered lsd 130i (£5k) the 130i kills it but I reckon a coilovered lsd turbo mx5 would be much better on track. Much cheaper to run on consumables, less weight, etc


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