Just pondering how much I've realistically spent on the 5 to date and what all that money could have bought.
I must be anywhere near the 5k region, once you total up all the parts, wrong parts, tools, wrong tools, fluids etc.
I'm not moaning that that's too much money for a 5, I'm just wondering what that would have bought instead: 350z (almost got one years ago and always regretted it), S2000 (a more grown up 5), MR2 (mid engine goodness), some massive V8 luxo barge, VX220, etc.
Would I change it, no probably not, the 5 has given me a chance to work on a car with my Dad as well as learn new mechanical skills (instead of just read about them/watch Youtube videos). So now it's got a sentimental aspect I doubt it'll ever be sold in anything other than worse case scenario stuff.
So what else could you have bought and would you if given the option?
I figured it's be interesting to see what people say
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In all seriousness, I'm not in a five because it is cheap. I'm in it because its the best drivers car out there. Well this side of a plastic coffin track car anyway. Having owned a brand new Lotus 111R and a ton more else, there is nothing I miss from my history. I've done the turbo rally cars, V8 and V12 barges, all the must have hot hatches from V6 to turbo. Nothing is as playful and as pure fun as a well modded mk1 MX5. Not under £30k anyway. Especially if you demand to stay dry, not have your ears bleed, and perhaps fancy putting an overnight bag in the boot. The only things I'd be tempted by will cost a fortune...
Corvette Z06: Last of the big NA engines. Needs a RHD conversion at £30k. Similar again for a nice example. Bit too large.
Viper ACR: Too big, too heavy, too "one lap hero". But epic looks and sound. Mega coin.
Ginetta: Light, sexy, small. But will make a Lotus look rattle free. Still just a four pot noise so needs an engine swap.
Gardner Douglas Cobra. Stiff spaceframe spine. Plus a load of track fettling please. £50k plus mods.
TVRs look ok. But need a stiffer chassis, an LS swap, plus can you even get spare parts now?
I'm not interested in rear engines, so that's most out. I don't want a banker badge car either.
So for me, thats it. Unless I have £60k to spend, I'm not even looking at options. Even though I like Caterhams, they're just not practical to tour, or use for very long.
So I don't look at it as... "I've spent xxx". I look at it as... "I've saved tens of thousands of pounds. Which I didn't have spare for a toy anyway".
At the lower end... Why would you want a fat lump like a 350Z or whatever anyway? Totally different GT style cars. Loads of high power options out there but none will have the finesse, balance, involving fun factor of a five. So why bother. Even my dream cars will probably feel a bit heavy after a five.
I'm in for about £8k for my mk1. Bargain. There's nothing out there for that money to touch it, for all the reasons V6 states above and more. Here's a thing: I'm in my my 50th year of car ownership, and have never bought a new car, or, in fact, anything newer than 8 years old. At this age, most, if not all of the depreciation has happened. I've saved a fortune over the years, and had some very nice cars too. Most I ever paid was £7k, my current 9-year old H6 Outback was £4k (£32k new). I do all my own work on them, which is another massive saving. So, using applied man-maths, I can afford to spend wisely on a car that won't ever be for sale, and therefore has no value at all