I’m strongly considering picking up a fun, but comfier daily so I can really go all in on the Mega-Miata build this summer. Here are the current top picks, in order.

No real requirements, just something that’s a bit comfier and less hardcore than the Miata. Preferably won’t leave me stranded every other day. Manual or auto, preference going to rowing my own except for a few unique cases but not a deal breaker either way.

Financing something in the under $10,000 bracket is on the table as well, because then I can get a fun car AND justify it by saying I’m building credit. Woohoo!

1. Porsche 944.

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The ones worth looking at (decent body, service history, not complete basket cases) seem to be 7-10k. This is currently my top pick IF... if I can find a decent one for a bit less. I haven’t watched these so I have no clue if that’s likely. I just love the 944 bodystyle, and it’s a freakin Porsche. Nuff said.

Pros: join the Parsh club

Enjoy Steph’s internal struggle when she realizes someone has a Miata and a 944

Looks bitchin’

Lots of potential

Cons: maintenance looks fine by German standards, still a lot more intensive/expensive than what I’m used to.

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I’ll regret not getting the 944 turbo

2. RX8

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I will have a rotary in my life at some point. The FD rx7 is well out of reach right now, but the rx8 is probably the best value sports-car on the market period. I’ll settle if the price is right.

At least.... It was the best value for a sports-car last year when I was looking at ‘em. They were 3k all day for a decent one, 4k with a new engine, pocket change for one with a blown engine.... Unfortunately I see that pricing seems to be quite a bit higher now. About the same as the 944, in the 6-10 range for well sorted examples. The ones with blown engines still seem to be killer values.... But buying a project car because it’s a great value doesn’t solve the reason I want another car in the first place, unfortunately. But come on, look at these! Gahhhhhhh

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Pros:

rotary

Nice seats

Perfectly sized

Keeping it in the family

Cons:

rotary

Probably not much faster than the Miata in a straight line

I already now all the good places to get parts, so this would end up being modded in short order

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Not an FD

Volvo s60r

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This has been one of my attainable dream cars for a long, long time. 300hp, unique spaceball manual transmission, the best seats upon which my buttocks have ever sat in, and wheels that are in my top three favorite OEM designs of all time. Prices are all over the place, sometimes they’ll be down near 4k, other times 14k. Interior and exterior color seem to make a huge difference on pricing, as well as the transmission. I would not want this with an auto. The v70r would be great too, but I actually prefer the sedan here.

Pros:

This is my favorite sedan design of all time

Favorite OEM wheels

One of my favorite interiors

Lots of power

Luxury, without blending in

Cons:

I would legitimately have trouble walking away from a bad financial decision if I found one that met my requirements

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Being my dream car, I reaaaaally don’t want to settle for anything less than the exact options I’m interested in. Has to be stick, blue or brown interior, etc. Could be tricky to find.

Maintenance. After dropping the engine and transmission for an oil change or whatever, do you know what Audi guys use to console themselves? The thought of dealing with the well-documented and numerous costly issues that can pop up with s60r/v70r ownership. I drive a Miata. I’m not ready for that yet...

Audi TT - I dig these. Somewhat luxurious, under 5k all day, and pretty fun to drive. My buddy has had a lot of issues with his, but he hasn’t been able to part with it. After a few drives I can understand why. Especially striking in a good color

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Fiat Abarth - these things are under $10,000 now. Finance, enjoy for a few years, sell off and buy something different. Much more interesting to me personally than the st twins (although subjectively worse than the st twins....) and that exhaust note! Yes please.

That one mid 2000's manual Acura that front page Andrew has. I can never recall the name.... That’s probably $5,000ish? Sounds like a nice commuter that still delivers some solid fun.

Another Miata. Yes, this is a real thing I’m considering. A bone-stock yellow Miata as a daily while I turn my OG yata into a monster? That would be beautiful. And having two Miatas is better than having one Miata.

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Motorcycle. I want a bike. Even a scooter. This might happen separately from everything above... If I find something cheap I’ll jump on it

Any other ideas?