Better Project Cars than a Miata?
Throughout history, many have pondered at which car would make for the best project. Many debates on forums have pointed to one car in particular, a car with more potential than any other – that car the Miata. I’ve been looking into project cars lately, and when I ask friends, family, and other journalists, they tend to agree that the Miata is an ideal first project car. However, I don’t want a Miata. Mostly because I’m stubborn and I don’t like taking advice from other people (a bad habit, I know). If you’re anything like me, you want something unique that will give you more enjoyment than a Miata. So with that, here is my list of other potential project cars that are great alternatives to the Miata.
1. The Tuner – Subaru SVX
The Subaru SVX was the forgotten coupe of its time. With the late models boasting 230 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and sleek futuristic styling,the SVX has been criminally overlooked. With its popularity being overshadowed by the Celica, Supra, and Eclipse, this Subaru has significantly dropped in price, and can be had at an incredible value. However, with such a rare car as the SVX, you need to keep in mind that the aftermarket is relatively small, meaning maintenance costs will be relatively high. Considering it’s uniqueness, drivetrain, and price of the SVX, it would make for a good project despite its few glaring issues.
2. American Muscle/Sport – C4 Corvette
The redheaded stepchild of the American muscle/sports car family – the C4 is the corvette nobody wants. The automatic gearboxes are worthless, and the drivetrains are sub-par compared to other iterations. However, as I previously mentioned, that makes this model my perfect project car. The ones to look for would be one equipped with a manual, and the LT4 engine, as these provide stronger base platforms than the earlier model C4s. They aren’t all that difficult to work on and there is quite a bit of aftermarket support. The best part of all is that you can find a fairly decent one for a low price, at least for now.
3. The European sports car – Porsche 944
Let me start this one with a disclaimer: I am a Porsche fanboy, but let me make a case for the 944. At this moment in time, more and more people have been looking at this platform. For one, it’s a truly affordable Porsche that anyone can have. It provides an excellent front engine rear-wheel drive platform packaged in gorgeous 80’s styling.However, one problem is that stock 944s are slow (and I mean really slow), especially for a Porsche. However, slow in the car world is almost synonymous with cheap… I mean affordable. That means it makes for a great project. With that said, even though the initial purchase cost may be low, maintenance can be quite pricey (remember, it’s a Porsche). In addition, if you get a stock 944/944S and would like to add boost, you’d need to beef up the whole drivetrain. In turn, what you get for the additional cost is an affordable car with the Porsche badge and I quite like that.
On that note, I would like to hear what you think of these choices. In addition what would your top project car picks be?