I don't know if I have ever posted on this forum but I browse it almost daily. I'm an RX-8 owner and tend to spend most of my time posting on RX8OC but I think the people on this forum are the best to ask for the following advice. I've owned my RX-8 since October/November 2013 and originally chose this car because it was cheap to buy, cheap to rebuild, good for learning how to drive on track and learn about RWD, and it was one of the only sports cars I could realistically insure at the time since I had no previous driving history in the UK being an American and not being able to transfer over my license. I went down the "buy cheap and upgrade it yourself route" and ended up doing quite a bit to the car (i.e. spending too much since RX-8's in general are worth little on the used market). I use my car for weekend trips and track days (about 8-10 per year) equating to 6-8k miles per year.
I've enjoyed the car and continue to enjoy it but now that I've had my UK license for a few years insurance on more exciting stuff is much more affordable and I have a bit of spare cash lying around at the moment so I'm semi-actively looking at getting something faster and more unique. I was a kid in the 90s so turbocharged Japanese muscle from that era has always been close to my heart. I have a strong desire to own one or two of these infamous legends at some point in my life and this desire of mine is magnified by the fact that in the UK you can actually buy most of these cars, whereas in the US you cannot unless you pay ridiculous import prices (and even then they might not be registrable depending on the state you live in). So, I've been looking around and I think I have settled on three completely different types of cars, with my preference in the following order:
- Mazda RX-7
- Nissan Skyline R32 (or R33)
- Mitsubishi Evo X (Don't like the earlier models)
My realistic budget which won't require justification to my wife is £15k but if the car is a must have then I can stretch a little higher without issue (except a possible divorce
Whilst an RX-7 is my most desired of the three above, there is a big problem with this car for me. I have very high standards when it comes to cars and I have not found one FD for sale in the UK in recent months that is in good enough shape, and I have viewed at least 5 in person.
My current car is by no means in showroom condition as that was impossible buying cheap with a low compression motor, but once it was in my possession I had the engine rebuilt in the first two weeks and then had the underbody rust treated and minor paint correction done. It sits in a garage and is washed and waxed when necessary. If the car were more valuable I would have spent more restoring the car to near original condition.
I want my next car to be something special and basically what I'm looking for is 4-4.5/5 exterior and paint quality, a minimum A-/B+ interior and virtually no rust (or at most surface rust that can be properly treated and restored without cutting or welding). This seems to be impossible with RX-7s in this country and it is relatively understandable given their age and Mazda's painting incompetence and inability to do any rust prevention from the factory.
As a result, I have looked heavily into Nissan Skyline R32's and R33's since they seem to be in much better shape overall for not much more money, they can be modified just as much as an RX-7 and they are depreciation-proof. Obviously, I know they are quite expensive to maintain and don't handle as well out of the box as an FD. I'm still doing my research on these but it seems like you can get a well modified example within my budget that's been looked after.
Finally, I've looked into Evo X's and this is the one my wife likes the most (although in reality she would probably prefer that I buy a BMW...) because it's the newest of the three and it has the most practicality. I quite like them as well having test driven one but I'm a bit put off by the AWD system being too competent and making track days a bit bland. At least the Skylines are somewhat RWD-biased.
I know this is a rotary club so I'm expecting a lot of sway towards the RX-7 which is fine. If you can convince me that finding a FD in the condition that I demand is actually possible and you can point me to some examples then that could help me keep looking, but I'm also interested in your opinions on the other two cars as well.TL:DR -
I'm a current RX-8 owner semi-actively looking to upgrade to something quicker and more unique. I've narrowed my choices down to a Mazda RX-7, Nissan Skyline R32/R33 and possibly a Mistubishi Evo X. I'm after a grade 4-4.5/5 car with an interior in excellent condition and no rust but finding an FD that meets these requirements seems impossible. My budget is up to £15k and the car will be used for weekends and track days equating to 6-8k miles per year. I'm indifferent as to whether the car is stock or modified, but if modified it must be done correctly. Please help me decide!