Game: Best 'fun cars' under $5000?

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
Let's play a game. Here's the deal. You're given 5K to spend on a second 'fun car'.

Give me up to 3 choices, with pictures, and a reason why you chose it/them.

This should be neat. Go!
 

Bub

Member
Nov 21, 2011
159
I paid well under $5,000 for my 1994 GT 5.0, please all the modifications I'm still under $5,000 and it's a damn good and fun car to drive around. Hell, my trailblazer rarely gets driven during the summer.

missrileynewglarus.jpg
 

Short Bus

Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
Fiero + a 3800 Supercharged engine

IMAG0634_zps7cabd045.jpg


Why? That's easy

[video=youtube;CBFhcdPaKHw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBFhcdPaKHw[/video]
 

oh05ext

Member
Dec 7, 2011
166
i have a coworker that has a beater fiero that i keep trying to talk him out of and he wont cut it loose
 

NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
Quick search of Ebay turned up a project I would throw 5 grand into. Why? To go fast and destroy rear tires :smile:

[EBAY]151008496417[/EBAY]
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
Bub said:
I paid well under $5,000 for my 1994 GT 5.0, please all the modifications I'm still under $5,000 and it's a damn good and fun car to drive around. Hell, my trailblazer rarely gets driven during the summer.

missrileynewglarus.jpg

I had a Chrome Yellow 94 GT convertible for many years. Miss that car more than anything.

2h4e4x5.jpg
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
4th Gen Trans Am

Ls1transAm.jpg


037.jpg






300+ HP
6 Speed Manual
T-Tops
25-28 MPG

Had a few F-bodies and love these cars. I ran 600+ miles per week in one for a couple years. If not for the lack of room in the back and a little one, I would be driving one for a commuter car again. Love the looks, the power, the handling. Definitely would be my 5K fun car.
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
NewfieEnvoy said:
Quick search of Ebay turned up a project I would throw 5 grand into. Why? To go fast and destroy rear tires :smile:

i'd rather do a 2000+... LT1s are worthless. doesn't matter how many miles are on it, an opti that old is bound to fail
2000 camaro z28 t top loaded
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
K5 Blazer

Like this to start
1988 Lifted K5 Blazer FS/FT

Get something like this with the remaining money.
DSC01511.jpg

art_006.jpg

IMG_4394_zpsc426e17f.jpg

0602or_02_zannual_chevy_k5_blazer_bash_moab_off_road1987_k5_zpsba900b9b.jpg

131_1206_01killer_k51979_chevy_k5_blazer_zps75ce388a.jpg


Top comes off. 4x4. V8 power. Great size. Cheap to drive and build. Tons of fun.

I have messed around with these trucks many times. I have a built 91 Burban that could donate some HD parts and have a serious traig rig for pretty cheap. This is a toy that really could happen sooner than later.
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
jimmyjam said:
i'd rather do a 2000+... LT1s are worthless. doesn't matter how many miles are on it, an opti that old is bound to fail
2000 camaro z28 t top loaded

No offense, but it's pretty closed-minded to rule out an extremely good car because of one little part. LT1's on the whole are slightly cheaper to build, better looking, and have more 'soul' if you ask me.

LS leghumping is soooo 2006.

Edit: And for the price you pay for a LS car you can get a LT car AND 2500 bucks worth of mods. I've yet to see any LS car under 5-6K that wasn't clapped out as hell and not worth messing with. There's plenty of clean LT cars, even 6-speeds, for under 3K.
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
HARDTRAILZ said:
4th Gen Trans Am

....
pics
....


300+ HP
6 Speed Manual
T-Tops
25-28 MPG

Had a few F-bodies and love these cars. I ran 600+ miles per week in one for a couple years. If not for the lack of room in the back and a little one, I would be driving one for a commuter car again. Love the looks, the power, the handling. Definitely would be my 5K fun car.

Bruce Wayne would approve. :smile:
 

Me007gold

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,106
HARDTRAILZ said:
4th Gen Trans Am

Ls1transAm.jpg


037.jpg






300+ HP
6 Speed Manual
T-Tops
25-28 MPG

Had a few F-bodies and love these cars. I ran 600+ miles per week in one for a couple years. If not for the lack of room in the back and a little one, I would be driving one for a commuter car again. Love the looks, the power, the handling. Definitely would be my 5K fun car.


Great cars, but very tough to find for 5K

I know this is :gay: but give me an NA Miata with a turbo and a hard top

View attachment 26776
 

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jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
groundshock said:
No offense, but it's pretty closed-minded to rule out an extremely good car because of one little part. LT1's on the whole are slightly cheaper to build, better looking, and have more 'soul' if you ask me.
LS leghumping is soooo 2006.
Edit: And for the price you pay for a LS car you can get a LT car AND 2500 bucks worth of mods. I've yet to see any LS car under 5-6K that wasn't clapped out as hell and not worth messing with. There's plenty of clean LT cars, even 6-speeds, for under 3K.
it'll cost you $2500 to get an LT1 to put out stock LS1 power (h&c swap). and you're still stuck diagnosing spark problems down the road... (what year is this:confused:) (i lurk on the impala ss forums...)
i bought a 96 impala last year and spent a few months tossing and turning trying to figure out if i should do a 24x conversion and heads or just bite the bullet and do an ls swap... choice was pretty clear for me when i added it all up but maybe you'd come to a different conclusion. i wouldn't say i'm close minded, i've thought on it quite a bit (<-read that as carl from slingblade)

although i'll concede that the old sbc firing order makes for a better sounding idle...

as far as leg humping, yes, the ls1 heads and electronics are far and away superior to its predecessor and worth humping
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Me007gold said:
Great cars, but very tough to find for 5K

Around here it is easy to find one for that or less. I barely paid over 5k far clean low mileage ones years ago.
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
Me007gold said:
Great cars, but very tough to find for 5K

I know this is :gay: but give me an NA Miata with a turbo and a hard top

View attachment 12860

Not gay at all. Miata is as close as you'll get to a 'true' sports-car driving experience with anything made in the last 25-30 years.
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
jimmyjam said:
it'll cost you $2500 to get an LT1 to put out stock LS1 power (h&c swap). and you're still stuck diagnosing spark problems down the road... (what year is this:confused:) (i lurk on the impala ss forums...)
i bought a 96 impala last year and spent a few months tossing and turning trying to figure out if i should do a 24x conversion and heads or just bite the bullet and do an ls swap... choice was pretty clear for me when i added it all up but maybe you'd come to a different conclusion. i wouldn't say i'm close minded, i've thought on it quite a bit (<-read that as carl from slingblade)

although i'll concede that the old sbc firing order makes for a better sounding idle...

as far as leg humping, yes, the ls1 heads and electronics are far and away superior to its predecessor and worth humping

Didn't mean to come across as a jerk, I'm just an aggressive defender of LT cars. I get a little tired of reading how the answer to any car question seems to be 'LS Engine'.

The LT1 cars were rated at 285 hp, and the LS F cars were 305 IIRC. I didn't have much trouble with LS cars back in the day with either of my lightly modded LT Z28s. Also, I didn't find that the LT cars were much less responsive to mods than the LS cars, and if you're going 96/97 vs. 98-02 they were both OBDII cars so the electronics portion would've been basically a draw. The 24x conversion is awfully expensive, but worth every dime. I'm sure if one was frugal, you could find used parts and get it done cheaper.

Depends on what you like I guess. I always enjoyed the raw, old school feel of the LT car. Plus the 98-02 Camaro front end just sucks compared to the LT, IMO. Guess I'm a LT guy. :crazy:
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
HARDTRAILZ said:
Around here it is easy to find one for that or less. I barely paid over 5k far clean low mileage ones years ago.

Clean ones that aren't hacked to shit are demanding a higher pricepoint than in years past. I can't find anything clean with less than 125K miles for under 7-8K.
 

mikeinDE

Member
Jan 4, 2012
855
Me007gold said:
Great cars, but very tough to find for 5K

I know this is :gay: but give me an NA Miata with a turbo and a hard top

Correct me if I am wrong, but to me NA means "Naturally Aspirated", so isn't NA Miata with a turbo like an oxymoron? sorry just trying to figure that one out......:tongue:
 

Me007gold

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,106
mikeinDE said:
Correct me if I am wrong, but to me NA means "Naturally Aspirated", so isn't NA Miata with a turbo like an oxymoron? sorry just trying to figure that one out......:tongue:

No your wrong. NA is the chassis code for the 1st gen miata. NB for 2nd. NC for 3rd

:tongue:
 

mikeinDE

Member
Jan 4, 2012
855
Me007gold said:
No your wrong. NA is the chassis code for the 1st gen miata. NB for 2nd. NC for 3rd

:tongue:

ahhhh, now that makes sense :thumbsup: thanks for providing my edumacation for the day :yes:
 

ConeKilrAutoX

Member
Dec 8, 2011
1,179
Me007gold said:
Great cars, but very tough to find for 5K

I know this is :gay: but give me an NA Miata with a turbo and a hard top

View attachment 12860

not gay at all! One of the BEST cars for autocross. my cousin had one turbod and got it all for 5500. ran 1/4 mile at 13.xx at over 115
loved that car. unbeatable by anything around here at auto cross. Had removable hardtop also. Then he sold it for a new Subaru STi :undecided:.
View attachment 26786
 

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NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
I had to drive my friends Miata across town. I always gave him a hard time for owning a "woman's" sports car. 30mins later it's was one of the most fun cars I have ever driven! Sweetest shifting gearbox you can buy for the money.
 

redleg6

Member
Apr 10, 2012
686
1994 240sx coupe (my previous car below)

S13_Silvia_by_redleg6.jpg


(bought it for under $5k and started throwing money at it)
 

groundshock

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
248
redleg6 said:
1994 240sx coupe (my previous car below)

S13_Silvia_by_redleg6.jpg


(bought it for under $5k and started throwing money at it)

I LOVE that car man. Always had a soft spot for the 240SX, in any configuration. I would kill for a Kouki S14 with a LS1 swap...
 

redleg6

Member
Apr 10, 2012
686
thanks for the comment, just wish I didn't get rid of this car in between deployments...would love to build another again just as a weekend thing, hard to find these coupes in my area...toughest part of the build was the wiring harness swap, strangest part of the build was getting the wheels from Japan
 

fletch09

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,982
ConeKilrAutoX said:
View attachment 12869

International Harvester 1984 5-speed
3500 BUY IT NOW! in PA!

I can spend the rest of the money on mods (strictly performance)

oh oh features "tight turning radius"

or gut the box and make it a hauler for the Voy. (keep the lettering of course)
 

mnypitTBEXT

Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
groundshock said:
Didn't mean to come across as a jerk, I'm just an aggressive defender of LT cars. I get a little tired of reading how the answer to any car question seems to be 'LS Engine'.

The LT1 cars were rated at 285 hp, and the LS F cars were 305 IIRC. I didn't have much trouble with LS cars back in the day with either of my lightly modded LT Z28s. Also, I didn't find that the LT cars were much less responsive to mods than the LS cars, and if you're going 96/97 vs. 98-02 they were both OBDII cars so the electronics portion would've been basically a draw. The 24x conversion is awfully expensive, but worth every dime. I'm sure if one was frugal, you could find used parts and get it done cheaper.

Depends on what you like I guess. I always enjoyed the raw, old school feel of the LT car. Plus the 98-02 Camaro front end just sucks compared to the LT, IMO. Guess I'm a LT guy. :crazy:

Put both on a dyno. You will see the differance. I have had 2 LT1 Camaros, 1 LT1 Trans Am, 1 LT1 Corvette, 1 LT4 Corvette, and 2 LS1 Camaros. The LS1s are far cheaper to make big horsepower. LT1s were the standard of the day, but that damn Optijunk dizzy, and the reverse flow cooling system suck. I spent close to $5000 on my LT1 Trans Am and then the 98s came out. They were running the same times in the quarter as my LT1 with $5000 in cam, heads, exhaust, etc etc.

Incidently, not bashing the LT1. I am currently looking at getting a nice clean LT1 Corvette.
 

mnypitTBEXT

Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
I can name a bunch. Here are my cheap fun cars, or a couple of them anyway. There isnt enough bandwidth here to put them all up.

My Camaro that I paid $2700 for and put another $3000 into and dynoed at 420RWHP
006_zps31bce391.jpg

My 93 Corvette, Paid $3000 and sold a month later for $4000 after putting 2 optijunks, heads, and a front lower valence on it. It was junk.
623_zps0481f435.jpg

Just got this for $4500. 01 Viggen. Its fun to drive, but its no speed demon by any means
Saabpics003_zps1e391932.jpg

Here is my 73 CJ5 with a monster 304 V8 in it. You could stomp on it and pull the front wheels 8" off the ground, utterly ridiculous, sold 2 years ago
785_zpsb4e076a8.jpg

My current off road vehicle
395028_1799597084983_1678210225_n_zpse25e6a1b.jpg
 

Canary2323

Member
Mar 31, 2012
346
I got a lexus is300 as a second car, not too expensive. Fast, quality interiors, easily tuned and reliable.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Tough choice, not really a Ford guy but I do like the 1998 Mustang Cobra. The SC Fiero would be a blast.

I just can never grow tired of seeing this car, always loved the 1990 GTA. Any color but black taking top honors.
 

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mnypitTBEXT

Member
Jan 29, 2012
133
gmcman said:
Tough choice, not really a Ford guy but I do like the 1998 Mustang Cobra. The SC Fiero would be a blast.

I just can never grow tired of seeing this car, always loved the 1990 GTA. Any color but black taking top honors.

That looks like mine, but mine was an 88 and it was cayene red metallic.
1268183124_zps8402addf.jpg
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
I've always enjoyed the firebirds, a 3rd gen with a cheapo 5.3 LS swap would be great. I've also had my 4th gen LT1 car for close to 15 years, it's been a blast. You can get the LT1 cars for cheap cheap cheap. I had a period of trouble with the opti myself but eventually got it worked out.
I've driven around in the NA Miatas and they are a blast too. But I tend to like something with a little more grunt.
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,160
Brighton, CO
Any Jeep product with the 4.0 in it. Take it to the hills, beat the shit out of it, and still drives home.

Caddi Allante'. Some can be found cheap, the v8's have enough grunt to make it fun, and its a rag top. They handle decent, and its not every day that you get to drive a car that cost 1 million dollars to make each car, sold for 60k (131k in todays money), and was built by Pininfarina.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
:Banghead:I should delete that lie above....:poke:


i spent a bit more than the $5000 for the new F-body but plenty available for under $5000 and they are a blast. First one I had that is a drop top and it is better than I expected for a DD/toy.
 
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littleblazer

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Jul 6, 2014
9,267
We picked up the voy for under 4... shocks sway bars and tires and it's fun. Factory tune in that burns my pcm of NC tuned trailblazer...
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
My 9-7x was $3000. Granted, it needed a few repairs and will need another one coming soon (valvetrain), the V8 is a blast and it has SS suspension components so it handles great. And it's different. Not too many around here so it's rather rare. Love screwing with people's minds when I tell them it's a TrailBlazer with Saab makeup, built in Ohio, not Sweden. Lots of weird looks on the road.

I never saw myself as a Saab owner but here I am.
 
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Capote

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Jul 14, 2014
24,227
Atlanta, GA
1st Gen S10/Sonoma pickup
Why? Because Chevy 350 or LS swap sleeper :raspberry:
24866370003_large.jpg

1997 GMC Yukon
Why? Because it was the first vehicle I ever owned. Felt like I was driving on clouds, had the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in, and it had a 5.7L V8
(mine looked exactly like this one, except mine had Wrangler Authority A/T's and flat black painted wheels)
gmc-yukon-1997-10.jpg

2nd Generation Crown Victoria - Police Interceptor
Why? They're cheap, fun to work on, fun to drive
4.jpg

 
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