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Motors Buying my first sports car - advice/thoughts?

Discussion in 'General' started by Unicorn, 29 Jun 2010.

  1. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I'm asking about this here because of the impressive number of gearheads that bit-tech has among its members, and am hoping that you'll be able to give me some advice. I'm considering buying myself another car in the next year or so. Based on my income at the moment and the decision to invest most of my disposable income for the next few months in partially rennovating and updating equipment my workshop, It'll more than likely be no sooner than a year from now, although that does depend on what I decide to buy.

    I'm not talking about a daily drive, more of a "weekend car". I know that sounds silly to some people from the outset, but bear with me. The car Im driving at the moment is a 2010 Clio MK3 iMusic edition. It replaced the 2007 Clio Dynamique S that I wrote off on Christmas Eve, a car which really took me by surprise and I grew to love for its reliability, ample interior space and economical engine, not to mention looking just that little bit edgier than the rest of the (boring) Clios on the road. Fast forward to now, and as I've said before the 2010 iMusic was the closest thing the dealership could get me to a Dynamique S, without spending at least another £4K and buying the 2010 sport model. There were several complications with my insurance claim and the comapny couldn't and wouldn't pay me for months, so I eventually had to make a compromise and go for the iMusic. It's not that I regret that decision at all, because the car I'm driving now does the same thing the last one did - a little better in fact - but just doesn't look as nice or as yet have all the extra touches that I'd put on the last car. It's essentally the same car with different body and interior styling. Near as I can tell, the engine, gearbox, chassis and suspension are all the same except 3 years newer with small tweaks here and there. Overall, I'm happy enough with it to drive it out of warranty (3 years) and probably even further. I use it every day and it's reliable, economical, inexpensive to get and keep on the road and has enough space for most things that I need to transport when the rear seats are down. I did consider buying myself a small van instead of the car this time, but having done it for other companies in the past, I don't see myself as a van driver and I need a car for things other than work anyway.

    So for the forseeable future, the daily car is spot on. Cross your fingers that this one doesn't end up trying to eat a tree as well :rolleyes: Moving on to what I'd like to buy in the future:

    I'd like something bigger and sportier to drive when I'm not working. I didn't have the option of doing this when I was buying the Clio for several reasons. I'd been thinking about buying a nice second car around this time last year but never gave it much thought at the time. The accident at Christmas put paid to any plans I might have had of buying another car for several months but being well on the way to financially recovering from that, it's back on the cards.

    I've always wanted a Celica GT-Four ST205 (1994+) and at the moment, they're going for anything from £3-6K in the UK depending on age and condition. Now that I'm actually considering buying one though, I'm worried about buying such an old car. There could be endless mechanical problems, the bodywork and chassis may not be in sound condition and on a very basic level, having only driven relatively new or brand new cars since I started to drive, I may not like driving an older car like it. Does anyone here drive both an old (10 years+) car and a new one on a regular basis? Do you find it difficult or irritating switching between them all the time? That's really only one disadvantage of buying the older Celica. The other main problem is the running cost. By that I mean insurance, tax, MOT and fuel. It's a very powerful car (most powerful Celica ever manufactured IIRC) and is bound to be expensive to insure anyone on. Is there even a chance that a 23 or 24 year old would get insured on such a vehicle? If so what might it cost? I'm aware that it could be something crazy like £2000 which puts me right off the idea.

    The other option I've been mulling over is another car I've always admired, the Celica VVTLi GT (2005+). This is basically the modern equivalent of the ST-205, allbeit much less powerful with 188 BHP compared to the 250 of top end ST-205 Celicas. The one drawback of the newer model is price. 05 model GT's still sell for £8-10K, most of them around the £10K mark. Insurance might be a problem again, as it's a group 16 car. Running costs would be lower, the worry of not enjoying driving an older car wouldn't be an issue and my assumption would be that the newer car would be more reliable and easier to maintain. So, there are positive and negatives to both. What are your thoughts on these two options, and have you any suggestions about similar cars which might be options for me as well?

    Others that I have given some thought to buying second hand but am not as keen on as the above are:

    MKIV Golf GTi
    MKIII Clio 197 - very expensive but FUN little car
    MKV Fiesta ST - always had a soft spot for it
    Volvo C30 sport
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
  2. Rogan

    Rogan Not really a

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  3. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    Seriously?

    [​IMG]

    Surely you means the Mark V or later? The mark 4 is sloooooooooooooow. The mark 5 is about £10k+ and I want one. :)

    [​IMG]

    Having said that, neither are "weekend" cars. They're daily cars that you can drive fast when you're in the mood. I think you need something sportier - how about a MX-5 or MR2?
     
  4. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    Have you tried giving GOO an offer on his car? :p
     
  5. trekkypj

    trekkypj Forward Momentum!!!

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    Hmmm sporty?

    What about something like one of the Audi RS cars from a few years back?

    Personally, I always wanted a 1960's E-Type Jag, just because I love the car's design. Of course I'll never own own, maybe could drive one some day at a track or something.

    Alternatively, my mother owned a 1985 Renault 5 GTL - black with red trim. Turbo petrol engine, it went like a rocket! If I ever get a chance I'd buy one now just because that car was awesome.
     
  6. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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    I personally don't think the difference between a 2010 Clio and a Celica will be that big. IMO, the celica would probably be a better car to drive, I know I'd rather drive a celica than a clio.

    My dads got a 1972 TVR 1600M that we've done up together and have done two trackdays in, and compared to my 2004 Fiesta, theres not that much in it. I can switch between cars easily though, whereas my dad spends the next month flicking the wipers when he wants the indicators and vice versa depending on what car he's in.

    I think you'll probably end up driving the celica more than your clio. If you've always wanted one, you'll constantly find yourself being drawn to it. :D


    As for insurance, a quick look on one of the comparison websites should give you a rough ballpark. Being over 21, you've passed the first 'milestone', although it will also depend on your amount of NCB.


    My view is probably biased, being a complete car nut, so you may want to listen to the advice of more sensible people, :D, as my advice is, buy what you really want, have fun, better spending money on something like that than pissing it up the wall or losing it in some financial crisis, :D :D.
     
  7. kingred

    kingred Surfacing sucks!

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    Clio 172 if you can find it, the 197 is a fatter version of it.
     
  8. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    The mark 5 gti is the best sine the mk 1.
    A 205 gti is a pocket rocket aswell especially the 1.9.
    Ohh and the seat leon cupra r can be got for 5000 now with 225 bhp standard
     
  9. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    I know it's not exactly bigger... But have you considered an Ariel Atom or similar?
     
  10. Murdoc

    Murdoc Gas Mask..ZOMG

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    Get an MX5! At least drive one and see what you think. My brother had a GT-Four ST205 very fast but no fun he sold it a bought an MX-5.
     
  11. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    How about a nissan 200sx/silvia S15?
    [​IMG]
     
  12. pimonserry

    pimonserry sounds like a party.

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    Mmmm I second getting one of those.
     
  13. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    To be honest I'm actually trying to find a middle ground between a "weekend car" and a daily driver. As someone has already said, I'll probably find myself being drawn to driving the sportier car more and more after I get it, and for that reason I'd like it to be at least a little practical as well as being able to be classed as a sports car. This is whats making me think that a sports saloon like the Audi RS that someone mentioned might be a good idea.

    As mentioned above, the Aeriel Atom would be about last on my list because it's totally impractical for what I want. I also would have no chance of affording it. Don't they retail for £35K or something? :rolleyes: I'm not looking for a track car, just something sporty to drive when I'm not working. I love the Clio, I really do. They took me completely by surprise when I got the last one in 2007. It was a fantastic little car - never skipped a beat and ran like a dream. If I'd gone for the slightly nicer Dynamique SX at the time it would have been even better, but IIRC they wanted another £3K for a small spoiler and some nicer interior trim on that model.

    I've never liked the MX5 to be honest. I'd buy an RX-7 or RX-8 before an MX5 any day.

    The 200sx/ Silvia isn't bad, but it's not really the type of car that I'm after. Call me crazy, but the ST-205 is a completely different look and feel of car than the 200SX. The GT-Four has (in my opinion) a timeless design. I just love how they look, and I've seen a few (genuine and fake) GT-Fours on the roads here recently. If I could get my hands on a black one I'd never sell it. I would look after that car like a child :)
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
  14. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    LOL Wut? Did you add the thread tags "zoom zoom zoom" and "crash and burn"? :eyebrow:

    The more I look at pictures of the VVTLi GT, the more I want it. It's such a badass looking car. It looks like the standard VVTi celicas bad cousin that nobody likes to talk about. I love it! looky!

    That brings me onto another question. I may have to do so anyway to get the cr that I want, but what are peoples thoughts on the "worthwhileness" of buying a car in England and driving it home on the ferry? A lot of people I know have done it in the past and say it's the only thing to do if you're looking for a good deal and the right car.

    Also, I confused.com'd the GT with a policy starting at the end of July. £4-5K for sinsurance anyone? No thanks. £3600 was the lowest quote I got. Any sports car owners here who could tell me what it costs to insure their cars? One payment of £1100 and 11 monthlies of £230 makes it sound a lot less but it's still a lot of money for insurance :/
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
  15. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    No that was me.

    I was bored and decided to have some fun :p

    With regards to the Celica though, I have seen them around and they look like sweet cars and since it is a slightly older Toyota so you can't really go wrong with them with regards to maintenance. There are lots of aftermarkets should you want to go that route but the OEM parts can get a little pricey.

    Try finding a picture of one without the rear spoiler, IMO it looks even better.
     
  16. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Yeah, I've lways loved Celicas, and the two I've mentioned are my favourites. I really am being drawn to that GT now, although if it's going to cost over £7K to buy and £3-4K per year to insure, It's not happening in the next 18 months.

    On a completely unrelated note, I had no idea you (low level users) could add or change thread tags yourself :rolleyes: *feels stupid*
     
  17. Valo

    Valo Minimodder

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    e30 m3


    problem solved
     
  18. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I'm not a fan, and to be honest it's not a useful suggestion. With more power and fewer safety features than the Celica GT, I'd imagine getting insurance on that would be impossible.
     
  19. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Subaru Impreza turbo variant. :rock:

    You can buy them pretty cheaply now and they are mechanically very reliable. Insurance would be steep but i would doubt you would find a car that offered a better money to grin on your face ratio. THe saloons have pretty big boots and you can fit quite a lot in the sport wagons with the seatas down.
     
  20. BioSniper

    BioSniper Minimodder

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    We are a 3 Car household with the 1992/3 VW Corrado being the "weekend" car, a 1994 BMW E36 316 my personal car and a 59 plate Astra being the missus'.

    What I'd say is ensure you are putting a little extra away each month to cover the cost of repairs. Between me and my other half we put away £160/month to cover repairs, MOT, Tax AND insurance. So far this has served us well, that is until I hit the brick pillar on the drive the other day so now the Corrado needs a respray on the rear arch (scrapey noises made me nearly cry).

    As for owning older cars, usually initially you will find a raft of things wrong that will need doing. On the up side, once these are done, they are new parts and should last as well again as the originals with a bit of luck.
    If you have the space, time and ability, doing some repairs yourself can save you a small fortune on mechanic bills.

    As for switching between older cars and newer cars, I do so on a regular basis and I'll tell you that I really HATE driving the newer cars, maybe that's just because its an Astra but the Corsa before that was boring as hell too.
    What we've recently taken to doing is making the weekend car the "summer car". Declare the BMW sorn during the summer months and the Corrado is taxed. During the winder the Corrado is sorn and the BMW is taxed. Saves a a little bit extra and I only drive it when the roads are less wet = less salt = less rust :)

    The GT-Four will cost you a lot to insure. In fact one of the guys at work had an ST-185 GT Four and managed to write it off the other day on the work estate by loosing the back end on the greasy road (curve and off camber + rain on a particularly dry road) and sliding into a couple of 2ft high wooden pillars. Totally ruined the sill, crushed the drivers door, and had to climb out through the window.
    As nobody else was involved he's not getting the insurance company involved in the whole thing and is going to strip it and sell in parts. Before this however his insurance was around £1600/year with 2 years no claims and being over 25. The more no claims you have the better especially on more powerful cars.
     

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