Mister Monaco

Help a Kid Out...

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Hi guys, I'm Vincent, currently a freshman in high school. I absolutely LOVE automobiles, and I hope to one day work for a Formula One team. (Preferably McLaren or Mercedes). I'd like to restore a vintage sports car, but being a high schooler, I am on a quite limited budget. I have access to all the equipment and tools I need. I love vintage sports cars, and I'd like a car that I could find unrestored for less than 5K. Thanks guys!

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Welcome to the AACA Forum. If you are any were in New England or New York be sure to get to Lime Rock, Ct. for the Fall Festival, check their website for details and tickets. Bob 

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Hey Mister.........the hobby needs a whole lot more like you........ 👍

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little old MG on fleabay for 1800. and up in NY-sold 3x and nobody came to pick it up- would be a blast to get into at 17................... believe its a 59.

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On a high school budget, a VW would be a good choice or a Japanese offering.  You can make them sportier than they were new.

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Thanks for the suggestions, guys, but I wanted an aesthetically nice car, and I don't really like the VW or the Karmann. I was thinking along the lines of a 1960s early-gen Mustang, or some other fast but cheap car. *Sorry if I'm being picky.

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There are several on Craigslist in the NY area.  The only thing is watch for rust.  You are going to be over 5 G for anything really worth messing with and most of those are 6's.  the 8's are 7500 and up. These aren't going to be "show cars and will look at a tad needy" but not piles with a bunch of rust. 

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6 minutes ago, Mister Monaco said:

Thanks for the suggestions, guys, but I wanted an aesthetically nice car, and I don't really like the VW or the Karmann. I was thinking along the lines of a 1960s early-gen Mustang, or some other fast but cheap car. *Sorry if I'm being picky.

Congratulations! Rule #1 Never buy a project you don't like the looks of!

 

The Mustang is a good choice, a fastback would allow a Shelby lookalike with the right paint and outside trim. Bob 

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A decent fastback that is needy is going to be 10 or more.  What is your budget? 

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Posted (edited)

How about a Miata for a cheap fun car? I suggest you don't get too deep into the car thing until you finish school. Miatas are getting old but basically a reliable car and probably the best buy for a fun open car.

 

You could also look for a later Mustang or Camaro that is at the bottom of the depreciation curve (about 10 years old) that belonged to an older person who did not beat it to death.

 

60s cars are too old and too much of a collector's item, too expensive for what you get.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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I second the Miata. Think of them as a 1960's Lotus Elan without 95% of the expense, fragility, and unreliability. I have owned many British sports cars, a few amateur level racing cars, a few Mustang's  and a Miata. The Miata wins hands down for reliability and trouble free use. And they are just as much fun to drive as many of the older sports cars.  If you buy a cheap one and drive it a few years until the rust becomes too serious they make a great starting point for a lo-cost lotus 7 project.

 

Greg in Canada

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Posted (edited)

I like Alfa's as much as anyone . They are truly great cars. But cheap Alfa always sets off alarm bells with me. They are getting old. An engine rebuild is nearly impossible to do on a limited  budget. Normal replacement parts , brakes, susp. and steering stuff and all the rest is quite pricy.  And the problem that has sent more Alfa's prematurely to the crusher than anything else, RUST.

I have owned a few and worked on many over the years. But always in my experience more expensive to own than expected.

 

Also a word of advice you probably don't want to hear. Driving infractions get expensive in a hurry. Keep the performance driving to off road events. I drive a Hyundai Accent on the street, my other car is a Lola track only car.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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A Miata would be an excellent choice, lots of parts available at a price you can’t beat.  Early Mustangs in the Northeast where I live are usually rust prone and require lots of $$$ to buy a decent one.  

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17 hours ago, Mister Monaco said:

Hi guys, I'm Vincent, currently a freshman in high school. I absolutely LOVE automobiles, and I hope to one day work for a Formula One team. (Preferably McLaren or Mercedes). I'd like to restore a vintage sports car, but being a high schooler, I am on a quite limited budget. I have access to all the equipment and tools I need. I love vintage sports cars, and I'd like a car that I could find unrestored for less than 5K. Thanks guys!

Do you have access to people who can help you with the process of restoration?  That can be quite an undertaking without the guidance of someone who knows how to do body and mechanical work.  Our usual guidance is to buy the best car you can so you don’t have a project that goes on and on with no end in sight.

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If you are looking for a true sports car Mustangs are not what you want. It’s was originally promoted as a “secretary’s” car but that is politically incorrect today as it should be. It quickly became a 60’s muscle  car.  Mg’s, Triumph, Austin Healey (good luck finding a 3000 for $5G’s) are great sports cars. Easy to work on not expensive. Good looking and economical. A Mini Cooper ( the original ones) were great little sports cars.  The Datsun “Z” cars - 240,,260 or 280’s were good looking, fast and handled well. Rust problems are the biggest concerns on any of these older sports cars.  

As someone else mentioned, finish school, high school and college. Mechanical Engineer’s is a career that can help you toward your goal of an F1 career. Without a good engineering and/or amazing driving reflexes an F1 dream will always be that a great dream.  Get your education, enjoy the car hobby. 

Have fun. 

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One other thing to bear in mind is that most F1 teams operate out of the U.K. In fact circuit racing in general is very much a U.K. industry. 

I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm but there are thousands of young people in the U.K. who have grown up in families immersed in the racing world and want to follow in their fathers or uncles { or mothers} footsteps. Mechanics , constructors, promotions people, teem organisers and managers, component builders , you name it. It is considered a very vibrant industry in the U.K. and competition for industry related jobs is quite intense.

 Greg in Canada

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1 minute ago, SC38DLS said:

If you are looking for a true sports car Mustangs are not what you want. It’s was originally promoted as a “secretary’s” car but that is politically incorrect today as it should be. It quickly became a 60’s muscle  car.  Mg’s, Triumph, Austin Healey (good luck finding a 3000 for $5G’s) are great sports cars. Easy to work on not expensive. Good looking and economical. A Mini Cooper ( the original ones) were great little sports cars.  The Datsun “Z” cars - 240,,260 or 280’s were good looking, fast and handled well. Rust problems are the biggest concerns on any of these older sports cars.  

As someone else mentioned, finish school, high school and college. Mechanical Engineer’s is a career that can help you toward your goal of an F1 career. Without a good engineering and/or amazing driving reflexes an F1 dream will always be that a great dream.  Get your education, enjoy the car hobby. 

Have fun. 

SC38DLS, I certainly plan on finishing school and going to college. I'm trying really hard in school and I hope to one day be a F1 car designer, like my hero Adrian Newey.

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4 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

One other thing to bear in mind is that most F1 teams operate out of the U.K. In fact circuit racing in general is very much a U.K. industry. 

I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm but there are thousands of young people in the U.K. who have grown up in families immersed in the racing world and want to follow in their fathers or uncles { or mothers} footsteps. Mechanics , constructors, promotions people, teem organisers and managers, component builders , you name it. It is considered a very vibrant industry in the U.K. and competition for industry related jobs is quite intense.

 Greg in Canada

I'm perfectly fine with that. I told my mother the other day that the first thing I plan on doing when I graduate from college is to hop on a plane to England, and I'll work my rear wing off trying to get a job at a F1 team.

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18 minutes ago, Mister Monaco said:

I'm perfectly fine with that. I told my mother the other day that the first thing I plan on doing when I graduate from college is to hop on a plane to England, and I'll work my rear wing off trying to get a job at a F1 team.

When looking at colleges look for one with a good intern relationship with industry, especially in the engineering related fields.  That is a big help with getting real world experience and a job after you graduate.

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If looking at a Miata you could also look at a Pontiac Solstice especially a GXP or a Saturn Sky  and that in the performance model would be the redline.  Not an old car but could be used for transportation.  I have been toying with the idea of getting one.  The non performance ones can be had for 5 G if you look with fairly low miles.   Very nice ones with very low miles can be had near 10 and even some of the performance ones can be bought at that in nice shape.  I think they are on the bottom of their depreciation curve.  Mechanical parts are shared among other GM lines so they are reasonable and plentiful.  I have seen many with 150KMI or more so they can really be driven. 

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