Alright so I just went and checked out two used cars that I am trying to get as a temporary beater for autocross and daily use while my Miata is in the shop. The two cars I looked at were a โ€˜94 Honda Del Sol and a โ€˜98 Dodge Neon R/T.

1994 Honda Del Sol

Engine runs real nice, no idea what that random wire to the fan is though

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Interior is very Miata sized
That exhaust will make me go deaf

This car is not stock but its not crazy frankensteined or something either. It just has a d16y8 engine (โ€˜96-โ€™97 Civic EX VTEC YO), a crazy loud ebay exhaust, rear sway bar and control arms, and different head/tail lights with HIDs of course. Its in pretty decent condition, nothing mechanically wrong, interior is pretty okay, AC even works. Driving it was very fun, the power steering is disconnected so idk if that works. But as is it was interesting to say the least, I thought my Miata had heavy steering haha. Shifter was very nice and everything ran smoothly. Only things actually wrong with it are the cheap respray paint (orange peely, some minor overspray) and a OBD1 check engine light that read a flash code 17 which is the speed sensor and thats why the speedo is inop. No inspection needed in NJ though since its a 94!

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Anyways, for price he had a set of stock wheels so I would be getting those with the car instead (the aftermarket ones rub quite a lot) for a negotiated total of $1800. If I want this option, I think I would go back and ask for $2k for both sets of wheels so that I could maybe save more by selling them. But my Miata wheels fit the car so Iโ€™d probably just use those for now.

1998 Dodge Neon R/T

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Racing stripes!!!
Typical craigslist finger on the license plate

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This Neon is owned by a guy who loves these cars and races them. This is the fourth one he owned and was a really cool guy. He had a few pictures of the caged ones he built and some trophies, seemed like he knew what he was doing with these. This one is stock and he replaced most of the suspension and brakes stuff basically. It ran really nice and was actually quite fun to tool around in. It wasnt registered or insured so I didnt take it far, but the guy didnt even come along with me so I feel like it was a good experience. Brakes were a bit squishy but I can probably sort that out easily, new rotors and pads all around, so its probably just got air in the system. It might have just been crappy Chrysler product too though haha. Anyways, interior was nice, dash was fixed. And nothing wrong with it at all. Only concern is it has to pass inspection still but that shouldnt be too difficult, no check engine lights.

The best part about this car is the guy just wants $1000 for it. That is a nice price for a perfectly running car thats in good shape. Tires were kinda flat but held air once we put some in. It had sat for quite a bit, almost a year so its to be expected. It started right up thanks to the new battery though so it was a solid car. This is my first choice right now, but Im still looking through some other stuff.

Some other stuff I like but havent looked at yet:

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I also could probably try and find another Miata easily to use but ideally I want something different while I can anyways. Always nice to try something else. But no matter what, smallish, manual, and fun are probably priorities. But I cant be too picky at this price.