I have a goal of buying a fun car sometime next year once I have some key debts paid off and renovations done on our home. The problem is I need to be able to carry at least one car seat. I either drop off or pick up my almost 2yo every day. I would like to keep it under $20k, but would go up to $25k if its especially cool. This is not my primary vehicle, just something fun. Ideally, it would be something I could use for an occasional track day as well. It also needs to come with a manual.

While I would prefer to get something from the 70s-90s, the Porsche 996 seems to be the current leader for my requirements. While the 4s aren’t presently available for under $20k, they are in the low $20s and still coming down.

I would love to have an older air cooled Porsche, and wanted an SC for a number of years, but those are largely north of $30k now too. Maybe in a year the bubble will pop and bring them back down, but I won’t hold my breath. A 964 would be ideal, but those are ridiculously priced.

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Keeping with the Bavarian angle, I’ve also looked at several old BMWs, including 2002s, 635csi, 535is, and their various M versions. I believe I could get a car seat into any of them, but the 2002 might be tight.

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I’ve also debated an E39 M5 or an E46 M3 thanks to my irrational love of individual throttle bodies, but am a little worried about running costs (I know the 996 IMS issue well). Same vein would include Audi S4/RS4. They’re great cars and would certainly be fun, but they don’t have that vintage feel yet.

I’ve also looked into 60-70s pony cars that can be modified into the trans am look, like the first gen Mustangs (surprisingly affordable), Camaros (Not as affordable), AMC Javelins (less affordable yet). But unless a deal drops into my lap, they’re probably out of my limits.

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So to leverage the collected knowledge of Opponauts with kids, what am I missing and what would you suggest?