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Old 01-29-2014, 07:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: South Carolina
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Princess Carriage - '20 Ford Explorer Limited

Silver - '22 Ford Maverick Hybrid XLT w/tow pkg
Maverick Hybrids
90 day: 39.31 mpg (US)
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I thought I was a Chevy guy when I was a kid, too, but then I moved out on my own and started paying for my own cars! So I have ended up owning:
Mercury (2) 78 Capri & 75 Comet
Ford (4) 71 LTD, 80's Fairmont, 07 Explorer, 93 Festiva
VW 78 punch buggy
Olds 71 Cutlass
Pontiac (2) 80's Phoenix, 92 Sunbird
Chevy (4) 77 Camaro, two Blazers 92 & 99, early 80's station wagon
Dodge (2) 80's Caravan, 75 3/4 ton truck
Honda (2) 79 & 85 Civics
Jeep 90 Cherokee
Jaguar (2) 89 & 91 XJ6s
Land Rover 98 Disco II

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
Hydrogen > EV
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NW Ohio, United States
Posts: 2,021

Silver Flea - '05 Honda Insight
90 day: 58.96 mpg (US)
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I'll follow either way, a new car with low value is a great base for modifying.

I don't mean this in a critical way, more so friendly...
If I had the car I want to ecomod, I would be building a boattail for my 2013 Ferrari FF or 2007 Ford GT right now- but since I wanted maximum mileage, it's front wheel skirts for my Honda Insight.

Honestly, the most important factor is a standard transmission. A FF will be more fuel efficient than a FR, or AWD, and I doubt you will find a running MR available for you, so drive layout is valuable, too.

But a Honda Insight (gen 1) will do all by itself what other cars need crazy work to achieve. Some people are battery nervous, which is fair, but it is easy to bypass the battery and run as just petrol. A 1k Cavalier vs a 2k Insight to most people is a clear choice.

If you decide on a GM, no one will think less of you. What is right for you is right for you, but if you want the best MPG bang for your buck, you're cutting yourself short ONLY looking at GM.

I was a Dodge kid growing up- until I started learning about cars, and I realized the appearance of a car isn't the only factor. I loved GM while being in a Ford family, but around 2003 or so, I started to see where Ford was going. I still love what Ford is doing, and appreciate what GM is doing, but I am not a Ford, GM, or anything guy. I am a GOOD CAR guy. Ford makes some crap (Tremor, well, pointless, not really crap). GM makes some crap (diesel Cruze only in auto-WHAT?!). Everyone makes crap or bad decisions. So no judgement on what you want or decide on, just know for your budget it may be a more economical choice to look at other options.

And personally, it would be an emotional process to do to my Mustang what I did to my Insight...lol

Best Tanks:
Mustang - 54.83 mpg (US) at the Green Grand Prix
Insight - 82.91966 mpg (US) over 818.5 miles.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: NE Ohio
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
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I guess you're right. I've always kind of sterotyped Honda for figuring out their engines, but not really knowing how to make a body last through the salt and winter. And I don't quite trust battery powered cars yet either.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 82

Civic Type-DX - '97 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)
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Haha welcome aboard! I was huge into Chevy's when I was your age (always said real men wear bowties lol). First vehicle was a 78 chevy that I got to build the motor with my Dad. Honestly your original plan of going with a Cavi is spot on, you can mod to your hearts content and will probably be bale to sell it for what you paid. A $1k car that runs well but looks ugly is still worth...1k lol.

I fell in love with Honda's though, I have purchased many with under 150k miles and sold them with near or well over 200k miles for the same or more than I paid for them originally. They made great power for the mpg's, when I got the mod bug were cheap to swap and boost and easy enough for me to figure out. All of them were problem free miles as well, basic maintenance just don't forget that T belt every 100k Ok enough with the shameless Honda plug

Can't argue about the rust though xD both mine are rare for being clean and rust free. A 92 GsR, with perfect rear quarters! No Way!

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What kind of $$ you looking to spend. Being a high school kid your miles pre day/week aren't going to be very high. Looking for city or hwy mileage? My Cobalt is a good car, salvage title for $7k w/26,000 miles. Find the salvage car dealers and what for a deal.

As a 15 yo the RX8 with hail dents that the dealer I got the Cobalt from sounds way more fun, too bad it has auto, looks fun even as a 45yo.

If you really want to mod, how about a late 70's monza, or a luv diesel.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
home of the odd vehicles
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Silver - '10 Chevy Cobalt XFE
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Well the best fuel economy from GM came in the 1980's

If your willing to take on a project car (and learn how to be free of car payments/high repair bills for the rest of your life)

Might I recommend any of the following

1. Chevette Diesel 5sp manual
2. Chevy Sprint Manual
3. Geo Metro Manual
4. Saturn SL1 manual
5. Chevy Cavalier Manual
6. LUV
7. Grand Prix manual (with a 4 banger)
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Alabama
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Aerofocus (retired) - '00 Ford Focus ZX3
90 day: 44.66 mpg (US)

The Red Baron (sold) - '93 Geo Metro
90 day: 44.1 mpg (US)
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I'm putting my vote in for a Geo Metro.

I love my Metro.

Really simple to work on. Cheap to work on. Fun to modify. I restored this whole car to like new for $4,000 including cost of the car. Only thing I did not rebuild was the transmission which I plan on doing shortly.
Aerospace Controls Engineer.
Currently driving a mostly stock 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE hatchback.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Utah
Posts: 975

Civic DX (sold) - '97 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 34.15 mpg (US)

GTO (sold) - '04 Pontiac GTO
90 day: 22.62 mpg (US)

Green Brick (sold) - '06 Ford Escape Hybrid
90 day: 31.93 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by 23baseball3 View Post
I guess you're right. I've always kind of sterotyped Honda for figuring out their engines, but not really knowing how to make a body last through the salt and winter.
Insight solves that problem, aluminum unibody.
To be fair, salty roads aren't kind to any steel car. I would like to say that my parent's '94 Civic has nearly 290k miles and still runs great and I had a '97 Civic with 230k that I sold a couple years ago and is still running strong. Bodies haven't rusted away yet. Both spent at least a few years in northern Utah, not sure about their lives' before then.
I understand brand loyalty and preferences, but keep an open mind about imports.

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Old 01-30-2014, 09:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: SE USA - East Tennessee
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 40.02 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.56 mpg (US)
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Don't be too hung up on the brand. You're a GM fan and that's great, but remember the Chevette (still chuckling over the "brilliant idea" juxtaposition) was built by Isuzu under design license from Opel. And the Geo Metro is also ostensibly GM as it was part of the family, but it's a Suzuki Swift or Cultus anywhere else in the world.

For your first car, get a beater you understand. If you're well versed in EFI, then the world is your oyster as far as cars are concerned, at least for anything built after 1992. I'm with the guys who mentioned Cavaliers and Cobalts, you can have a very nice ride for modest money. Not paper route money, but maybe McDonald's money. They aren't the quality and drivability disasters that older Chevettes used to be, so you have a fair chance at not spending a lot of time walking involuntarily.

Lead or follow. Either is fine.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Can't get to the mpg of cars, but a mid 90's S-10 or Ranger could be a fun project. 2wd 4c 5sp, get to make a topper, grill block, air dam, lower it, power steering delete, receiver hitch mounted boatail. Change out the rear end to experiment with different ratio's fairly cheaply.

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