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Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
4/3/21 6:51 p.m.
M2Pilot said:

I often think I enjoy my '98 e36 M3 more than my '16 f80 M3.  But the f80 has several features that i wish the e36 had.

Like door panels not made of styrofoam? 

marknoakes
marknoakes New Reader
4/4/21 12:27 p.m.

The question is way too subjective and the answers explain why I spend most of my attention on Classic Motorsports instead of Grassroots Motorsports. Define "enjoyable". For me it means a manual transmission, no ABS, no traction control, certain sounds and smells and vibrations, a certain sense of feel, and a tight connection to the car and to the road.

rpasea
rpasea New Reader
4/4/21 6:32 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

I have a '97 Silvia that I believe is the same as your 240sx. Great car to toss around. Cars from the '90s are old enough to remind us of analogue driving but still with safety features like airbags and abs. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
4/4/21 7:35 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to malibuguy :

Lemme tell you about the 20 year old Japanese car that literally started crumbling everywhere I put a wrench to it, today.

It still has jacking points, so it didn't seem to be that bad,  but when one of the chassis laterals broke out with moderate pressure on a 3/8" ratchet, I knew I was going to be in for a bad day.

 

If you want a car that will last forever, get a Swedish car, or certain German cars.  If you want a car that will run forever, get a Japanese car.

Japanese cars do not last forever, and European cars do not run forever.

 

I have a Swedish car.  I can fix mechanical and electronic problems.

Gotcha so K-swap an E36 and outlast the apocolypse that is the 2020s. 

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
4/5/21 7:38 a.m.

I had 'golden era' Hondas and modded them... 90 CRX Si, 91' Integra RS, 91 Civic DX sedan. Very fun and engaging cars.

Will say though that I much prefer the FR-S over every one of them... it had moves and responses they simply didn't (even though it weighed more) along with direct connection to the chassis and WAY better transmission feel... (reason everytime I think about the DC Type R Integra always 'wanted' I remember the sloppy Honda shift rod linkage system and 3rd gear synchro issues...) The Hondas were AWESOME motors in very decent cars.... The FR-S is an AWESOME chassis with beautifully setup suspension, and though the FA20 boxer motor isn't near Toyota AE86 or Honda B18 levels of engaging... it is a decent unit and has nice torque down low compared to them. 

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
4/5/21 8:17 a.m.

A large portion of my old car joy has to do with working on and most importantly modifying them. Then being able to go out and drive, test, trackday it.

My new, newish, newest thing I own ('07 fusion).....is the daily and its little more than a reliable tool. It there and it works, also cheap to own.

My pickup is a strange middle ground. Its absolutely a reliable tool but I do enjoy when I make a modification. Most of which are to make it a better tool. However I very much want to body swap to a 70's crew cab. Keep all the reliable tool and get good looks.

Overall new cars just don't interest me. They fail to instill a sense of fun and thrills...despite their obviously much better performance and quality than old cars. The Z proto and maybe the Veloster are the only cars to really spark an interest. Actually I think the Z may be a car want...but only after the aftermarket gets ahold of it and a good looking body kit comes out. The G nose render is really what speaks to me.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/5/21 8:45 a.m.
ddavidv said:

I have no interest in new cars. Zero. None.

Sure, they are exemplary performers. But they are all some of the ugliest cars ever produced. And overweight. And riddled with electronic crap I don't want or need. And, expensive.

I suppose it makes me a Luddite. I'm okay with that. I no longer enjoyed working on cars until I returned to the analog cars of yore. The fun is back, provided I can avoid the rusted fasteners and sheet metal.

I seem to recall you formerly towing your race car with a old truck.  And then figuring out how abusive that was and upgraded to something considerably more modern.....

For me, it depends on the situation.  While it would be cool to have an old station wagon to tow a camper, doing it with something new makes it easier to do that, which means when I get to the destination, I'm far more refreshed.  And I'm not so annoyed along the way that taking your time is more enjoyable.  Having the amenities helps, too- towing with cameras is easier and safer.  

On the other hand, back when I was racing, I enjoyed the Alfa over my Miatas, even though it was slower.  

In terms of the smell/emissions, I very much remember going on road trips with my parents back in the 70's.  I detest that smell, and the headaches were no fun.  Clean air makes enjoying the trip much easier.

Better/worse?  Depends on the situation.  

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/5/21 9:31 a.m.
Vracer111 said:

I had 'golden era' Hondas and modded them... 90 CRX Si, 91' Integra RS, 91 Civic DX sedan. Very fun and engaging cars.

Will say though that I much prefer the FR-S over every one of them... it had moves and responses they simply didn't (even though it weighed more) along with direct connection to the chassis and WAY better transmission feel... (reason everytime I think about the DC Type R Integra always 'wanted' I remember the sloppy Honda shift rod linkage system and 3rd gear synchro issues...) The Hondas were AWESOME motors in very decent cars.... The FR-S is an AWESOME chassis with beautifully setup suspension, and though the FA20 boxer motor isn't near Toyota AE86 or Honda B18 levels of engaging... it is a decent unit and has nice torque down low compared to them. 

I never thought the Honda shift linkage was that bad, I have had the 3rd gear grind at times at high RPMs, but it still feels way better than a modern Volkswagen shifter that has zero feel with tons of slop. 

I think the FR-S/BRZ and the current MX-5 are the closest we have to getting a modern new car that has more of a 90s feel to it. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
4/5/21 10:17 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver (Forum Supporter) :

I tow with a 30 year old van; back in October we used my buddies 10 year old truck. The difference between the two just in wind noise alone if stunning.  I only do one out of town event a year, if I did this tow more often I'd have to give serious consideration to something newer.

 

Jesse Ransom (FFS)
Jesse Ransom (FFS) UltimaDork
4/5/21 10:19 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

How much is the age of the design, and how much is the age of the actual weatherstripping?

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
4/5/21 10:44 a.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom (FFS) :

It's a bit of both; as it is a camper van it has the huge highway mirrors, whereas the newer truck as more aerodynamic mirrors.  The van still has drip rails. The passenger side wing window seal is due for replacement, at the moment I've shimmed it to get rid of the whistling sound. All new seals would quiet it down a bit but it will never be as good as a newer van or truck.

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
4/5/21 12:11 p.m.

I personally think electric power steering is the separation line between good and great cars.  I've driven some that are good, but they sap any greatness from a newer car for me.  Your views may vary.  Give me a good hydraulic rack and pinion any day.  Whether it is an old MG or a newer BMW, I want to feel connected to the car, not isolated.  

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
4/5/21 12:47 p.m.
racerdave600 said:

I personally think electric power steering is the separation line between good and great cars.  I've driven some that are good, but they sap any greatness from a newer car for me.  Your views may vary.  Give me a good hydraulic rack and pinion any day.  Whether it is an old MG or a newer BMW, I want to feel connected to the car, not isolated.  

I used to think that, but now believe the electric assist steering in a Fiesta ST is quite good.  Maybe better in some ways than the hydraulic power steering in a Miata.  But I did swap my NA Miata to a manual rack and thought that had the best steering feel of any car I've owned.

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
5/27/21 2:58 p.m.

How is this even a question?

After FINALLY, I think, diagnosing the real issue with a '91 Buick Century, I'm getting another pre-computer car. Or several.

At least pre-computer does not kill the engine for One bad injector, a faulty carb may give you a miss but will let you get home. Same for most every other subsystem of the newer cars, if they are not perfect the whole car is a "Brick".  

Beside, all the new cars under $100,000.00 look like they were stamped from the same generic mold and are more likely to put me to sleep at the wheel than to hold my interest. So I owe it to the public to only drive pre-computer gross-polluter automobiles in the interest of everyone's safety.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 3:23 p.m.
RichardSIA said:

How is this even a question?

After FINALLY, I think, diagnosing the real issue with a '91 Buick Century, I'm getting another pre-computer car. Or several.

At least pre-computer does not kill the engine for One bad injector, a faulty carb may give you a miss but will let you get home. Same for most every other subsystem of the newer cars, if they are not perfect the whole car is a "Brick".

I think you're full of it. My old carbed cars would often leave me stranded due to some fault or another. Like icing up, or the needle valve failing, or on the Holleys, the power valve failing and needing to be rebuilt/replaced. What a joy on the side of the road at night in the rain. I've NEVER been stranded in a modern fuel injected car. I have, however been kept from going places due to the old carb and points cars not berkeleying starting AGAIN. You might like to tinker with them because you're more comfortable with them, but I don't like HAVING to berkeley with them just to get somewhere. I finally got wise on the latest project MGB and sold it off. The next poor fool can try to keep it running.

BTW, one bad injector on a modern car will throw an check engine light (and tell you exactly which cylinder is bad) but it will rarely shut the engine down, as you claim it will.

 

Beside, all the new cars under $100,000.00 look like they were stamped from the same generic mold and are more likely to put me to sleep at the wheel than to hold my interest. So I owe it to the public to only drive pre-computer gross-polluter automobiles in the interest of everyone's safety.

Since you think that anything newer than '91 is a new car, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked before, do you think a CRV looks like it was taken from the same mold as a Fusion? Are you that blind?

Here's my 2013 car. Does IT look like it was taken from the same generic mold as as a Malibu or an Explorer? You said ALL of them look the same.

If this little turbocharged, fuel injected, computer controlled, 6 speed manual sporting car puts you to sleep, you have problems.

 

By the by, I don't feel disconnected from the road in this car, even though it has two mode electric power steering. OTOH, the floaty suspension and soft steering on my '62 Falcon DID feel completely disconnected from the road. But it MUST have been better because it was old, right? Give me a break.

I don't care if people like what they like. That's fine. We should all like different things. But don't make berkeleying stupid statements.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
5/27/21 3:40 p.m.
racerdave600 said:

I personally think electric power steering is the separation line between good and great cars.  I've driven some that are good, but they sap any greatness from a newer car for me.  Your views may vary.  Give me a good hydraulic rack and pinion any day.  Whether it is an old MG or a newer BMW, I want to feel connected to the car, not isolated.  

While it's true that may cars with electric power steering have crappy feedback I'm not sure that's the technology's fault.  The Porsche GT3 has fabulous feedback and electric boost.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) HalfDork
5/27/21 3:51 p.m.

The plastic in newer cars bugs me. As does the amount of stuff that can, and will, fail.

I will, very likely, own my current or another Cayman for the rest of my life. It is an amazing sports car/grand touring car, absolutely amazing, carves canyons and drives across country. Perfect.

Yet, in those same canyons I love, I'd rather drive a 914 in them. Speed limit is generally 50 and you carry speed the same way in a 914 vs a Cayman. 2000# vs 3000#, 195s vs 265s, and so much less plastic/electronics (ok...that elephant in the thread says 100hp vs 300...). The Cayman is well above 50 to be fun on those roads, at the speed limit it's a one finger drive.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
5/27/21 4:12 p.m.

I missed this the first time around, so I'll chime in now.

This is a tough one. A lot of new cars are boring, but there are some I've sampled that are cars that are so ridiculously good that I couldn't have dreamed of something like that when I was younger. Take my favorite modern car, the Challenger Scat Pack Widebody. 305 steamroller rubber on all four corners, almost 500hp, a comfortable interior you could live in everyday, and looks that you can't get out of your head. Docile enough to grab groceries, and insane enough to lay rubber at 60mph if you punch it! I drove that thing nearly 3 years ago now and still think about it daily. That said, most newer stuff is good at being a car, but finding one with a "soul" can be difficult sometimes.

What you rarely get these days are regular, plebeian cars that have that "thing" that make you want to drive them hard. An example of this was a friend's 1990 Honda Civic sedan. It was red with the automatic transmission and no other options. Radio delete, tiny steel wheels, and no A/C. I wrenched on it for her a while ago (needed front brakes) and while test driving it, I was shocked. It felt like a go-kart! It handled shockingly well, and even with the automatic, steering was spot on, and the sense of speed was raw and right in your face. In fact, I liked it so much that I nearly bought it from her when it blew the radiator a few months later (she put about 5 bottles of stop leak in it and I didn't want to deal with that). I can see why people love the performance variants of those Civics; the regular ones are a hoot, so the hopped up ones have to be even better!

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
5/27/21 11:02 p.m.

Yep, the New (Oversize) "Mini" has that same "Melted" look that is so prevalent on newer cars. Just distinctive/retro enough to not be mistaken for a Ford/Toyota/Chevy/ etc. jellybean. With a few exceptions I frankly cannot tell most modern cars apart, by make or model. Might be a little easier if I cared at all. But Madison Avenue and keeping up with the Jones's have no hold on me so I am free to enjoy whatever I may afford no matter how non-PC it may be. 

If you doubt one injector kills the whole car you can come visit before I do the replacement in the morning, or view one of the several you-tube vids that provided the clue. "Modern" computer controlled cars have stranded me FAR more often than my points and coil vehicles despite owning far fewer of them for much less time. And, oh the joy, each "Component" will likely run $65.00 to $400.00, all electrical items are non-returnable. I can adjust points at the roadside but when the silicone chip fails it's a tow truck every time.

Please drive only modern cars, leave the true Automobiles for the rest of us who actually appreciate them and have no issues with routine maintenance.

 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
5/28/21 7:09 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:
ddavidv said:

I have no interest in new cars. Zero. None.

Sure, they are exemplary performers. But they are all some of the ugliest cars ever produced. And overweight. And riddled with electronic crap I don't want or need. And, expensive.

I suppose it makes me a Luddite. I'm okay with that. I no longer enjoyed working on cars until I returned to the analog cars of yore. The fun is back, provided I can avoid the rusted fasteners and sheet metal.

I seem to recall you formerly towing your race car with a old truck.  And then figuring out how abusive that was and upgraded to something considerably more modern.....

For me, it depends on the situation.  While it would be cool to have an old station wagon to tow a camper, doing it with something new makes it easier to do that, which means when I get to the destination, I'm far more refreshed.  And I'm not so annoyed along the way that taking your time is more enjoyable.  Having the amenities helps, too- towing with cameras is easier and safer.  

Yes. I towed with a 1965 F100 for several years. I did a disc brake conversion (easy swap from a newer 'dentside' model). Still had the 3 on the tree shifter and manual everything. And it performed the task better than most people expected. Would cruise on the highway at 70 with the E30 on a steel trailer.

After a couple years I had some issues with it vapor locking on a very hot day, then the column shifter linkage finally deciding to jam for the first time ever. Outside of that, I was faced with some decisions about restoring it vs spending my money racing and so forth. I'd had it over ten years and was kind of ready for something else so it was a perfect storm of encouragement to buy something newer (but not 'new').

I sold it...something I'm still not sure I regret or not. And I bought the 1993 Lightning, which has more power, comfy seats, a/c and power steering/brakes. Fuel injection, so no vapor lock. Auto trans, so no juddery clutch while trying to reverse. My 50 year old self enjoyed the luxury.

But...the electronic ignition, fuel injection and cheap plastic parts have provided their own annoyances and failures. I can still mostly fix it myself but it is rather miserable to work on. And I bought this because the newer trucks with the ridiculously complex Triton engines have some pretty devastating problems of their own not easily remedied by the home mechanic (spark plugs, for one).

I no longer race or tow a trailer (because reasons) but still like having a truck. I'm very 'meh' about the Lightning and would sell it--for a profit!--if I could find a decent 60s or 70s truck for what I'd get for it. But I can't, because the old truck market has gone off the rails. So having owned both a classic (carb, points, manual everything) truck and a modern (EFI, AOD, power everything) truck I'd still rather have the old truck.

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
7/8/21 7:06 a.m.

One of the major sports car magazines tested three modern BMW's.  Which did they prefer?  One that wasn't in the test - a first gen BMW M3. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
7/8/21 7:10 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:
M2Pilot said:

I often think I enjoy my '98 e36 M3 more than my '16 f80 M3.  But the f80 has several features that i wish the e36 had.

Like door panels not made of styrofoam? 

Having owned an E36, I think Styrofoam door panels would have been an improvement. What they used looked good right up until everything came unglued.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
7/8/21 8:00 a.m.

I would rather go for a drive in something from the 60s than something from the 2010s, but I dont want to rely on it to get me to work every day. 

I like old stuff, but I also like working on cars. If working on a car is just another chore that needs done you wont like the ownership experience of old stuff.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
7/8/21 10:23 a.m.

The MGB was mentioned.

They are not inherently unreliable. They aren't complicated enough to be unreliable. They are subject to highly varied quality in replacement parts (I get the impression sometimes with the Chinese electrical stuff that they were only concerned with having the appearance resemble the Lucas original and forgot to actually check if they would conduct electricity and do the job they were made to do. 

There are a lot of cheap owners that try and cobble a 50+ year old car into functionality instead of opening up the wallet and actually restoring it.  If restored properly, an MG is a very reliable unit up to around 100,000 miles or so  which seems to be the cap for most cars with carbs. I drove one for any years as my primary transportation (mine was actually and MGA).   Stick a survival kit (plugs points condenser) in the boot and you are good to go. Anything else is probably never going to be needed (the water pump I put in my MGA coupe in about 1975 is still there, unused.)

Try fixing your modern injected computer operated car if/when it fails you. Only tools you need is a cell phone and a credit card plus a lot of patience.

They do require more pilot skill without modern anti-lock braking, and all the other  operated safety gimmicks, but they are also a lot of fun to drive.

darkbuddha
darkbuddha HalfDork
7/15/21 12:47 p.m.

There's something that gets lost in these old vs new car arguments: there are real reasons we complain one way or the other.  It isn't a game or semantics or politics or personal preference or dogma.  Lack of safety, inefficiency, unreliability, poor visibility, lack of feedback, poor ergonomics, ingress/egress, size, room, accessibility (both financial and physical), underpowerd, overpowered, over-isolation, NHV, viscerality, speed, handling, whatever; they all contribute to how we experience these cars.  And objectively, most criticisms are justified to at least some degree.  Regular production cars are compromises through and through, and often it's just evident enough to be annoying, if not outright objectionable.  But that's the deal.  Pick your compromise and live with it.  Or if it's not tolerable, uncompromise the car if you need/want by modifying it or pick something else.  But this obsession at finding some overly romanticized or objectively ideal car is misguided and likely, pointless.  You'll likely be better of picking something you like/love and modifying it (or forgiving its shortcomings and faults) instead.

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