Hello, Oppo. It’s spring (in the northern hemisphere at least) - and that can mean only one thing - it’s time to find SpringCar! In case you forgot (or, more likely, didn’t read my old post about it) SpringCar is my long-planned... uh... plan to pick up a car this spring to use as a fun 3-season daily.

A while ago I asked for suggestions on what this car should be, and I had about three options in mind. There were some very good suggestions (some of which I’m certain to look further into in the future). So what’s the result?

This is mainly for the thumbnail, sorry.

Well, I’m remarkably indecisive so there are still two key options and a wildcard - we’ll focus on the two main options. Neither is preferred over the other - but rather which I find in acceptable condition/location/price before the other! Some day I’m sure I’ll have whichever I don’t get this time, anyway.

Without further delay, SpringCar will be one of the following: First generation Toyota MR2 (AW11; 84-89) or later first-gen Mazda RX-7 (FB; 81-85), particularly in this case the GSL trim for the rear discs and limited slip diff.

Now it’s your turn - using the collective searching power of Oppo, let’s find some of these working outwards from NE Ohio (Cleveland area). Closer is better, but I will go a ways to get the right car. With my work schedule though, I can’t really pull off a fly-across-the-country-and-drive-back.

Am I nuts for planning to 3-season (that means no salty winter duty) daily one of these? Probably, but it’s more fun being crazy. I’ll still have the crown vic for sitting in the airport parking lot and winter-beater duty, as well as a backup should something go very wrong. I also have the Chevelle, which will be in and out of service as the summer goes along, though I try to keep it dry.

Some more details for what I’m looking for (in either car):

  • Minimal rust - especially body rot. Around here everything is rust, and I’m sick of working on and looking at rusty cars. Let’s make this one minimally rusty, okay? I know AW11s rust pretty badly (FBs probably do too) but 3-inch holes in the body are different than a few bubbles.
  • Manual Transmission (duh). Both of these were available with automatics and I have no interest in such things. I already have a project car being swapped auto-to-manual to don’t go suggesting an auto and including an ebay link to a manual trans.
  • Stock or lightly/tastefully modified - especially for FBs, some tweaks here and there are fine, but I’m not looking for fast & furious bodykits and other excessive mods (that includes RX7s without rotaries). Bonus points if the car comes with spare parts, though.
  • Acceptable mechanical condition. This is pretty important - no basket cases. While I’m capable and would normally be willing to overhaul something, I already have a project occupying a lot of time, money, and garage space so this car shouldn’t need much outside of normal maintenance and a good tuneup/detailing to take over most of my driving.

So, what are you waiting for? Most of you are probably already on craigslist for your area anyways - let’s see what you’ve got!