Best Bargain Sports Car – let’s take a look at a few cars that present amazing value to smart shoppers.
We all have dreams of owning a brand new car from one of our favorite manufactures. Unfortunately, if you’re on a Ramen Noodles type of budget, then the Chevy ZR1′s and Porsche 911’s of the world may be out of your grasp. So, until your wallet is as lucrative as your dreams, there are some extremely good bargains out there to be aware of. Anyone can afford a solid BMW or even Porsche, if they’re willing to explore the classifieds and purchase a car that’s a little long in the tooth. Owning a vehicle that’s potentially older than you are doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’re behind the performance curve either, as there are diamonds in the rough to be had for just about every make. So, pinch the pennies and read on, this article will attempt to shed light on the best bargain sports cars that can be had. They’re not necessarily the cheapest options available, rather ones that present some very interesting value and a great bang for your buck.
One of the most prominent examples that deserve recognition right off the bat has to be none other than the Porsche 944. Its lineage in the states began with the 1983 model year that was on showroom floors in May of 1982. Even by today’s standards, if we forgo all the amenities that we’re now accustomed to, and keep our criteria to the nitty-gritty of proper chassis design, then the Porsche 944 should still be considered an engineering masterpiece. The 944 is lightweight, with all models weighing less than 3,000 pounds, with nearly perfect weight distribution front to rear. As you’d expect from Porsche, the 944 exhibits superb handling, winning Car and Driver’s 10 Best Award as Best Steering Car in 1985. You can easily find a Porsche 944 in good condition for under $10,000, making it a wise bargain buy for those who crave more from their car than just raw power. The 944’s track prowess is so revered that it even has its own spec series sanctioned by NASA.
Recommended: 944 Turbo S
Price Estimate: $5,000 – $10,000
The BMW E30 M3 is another car that can be fetched for a relatively low price and still demands its due respect. In fact, some automotive enthusiasts would argue that both the 944 and e30 M3 are good additions to anyone’s garage, no matter how large or small their budget. Especially those looking for a weekend track warrior. With that said, the 944 nor the E30 would make for the ideal weapon to match against modern horsepower monsters at your local drag strip. To the contrary, these old icons won’t beat much in a straight line, but what they lack in grunt, they more than make up for in their overall sporty nature. You won’t mind the average 0-60 mph sprints when you’re greeted by a proper transmission, excellent handling, responsiveness, and the direct car to driver feeling that most new cars lack. Like the 944, the BMW E30 also has a highly popular spec series within NASA.
Price Estimate: $14,000 – $20,000+
Greatly depends on the condition and modifications done. For something extremely cheap and still good on or off the track, try the standard e30 3 series which can be had for a couple thousand or less.
For those itching for a little more burnt rubber when putting the hammer down, there is the Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06. To find one at a good price you’ll be looking at the 2001 model year and you will have to pay a bit more than you would for a 944. But, what you’re getting is a much newer car with a 5.7 liter LS6 V8, so there’s still a tremendous amount of value to be had. The C5 Z06 delivers sub 4 second 0-60mph runs and completes the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds (405 hp version), which really emphasizes its value on the used car market.
Price Estimate: $15,000 – $25,000+