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Old 01-29-2014, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
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15 and Determined

I've been lurking here for quite a while, about 8 months or so. But I finally decided that my research on what car to get and what not to get wasn't enough, so I decide to join the family here. I'm nearly 16, so I have my Temporary License, but what I don't have is my own car. My older brother lucked out and got my dad's old 2003 Focus (with 280k miles on it), but I have to get my own car. I'm not too angry because then I get a choice on what I want to drive. I am very partial to GM cars, and was extremely disappointed in my dad when he decided to get a brand new Ford Focus rather than the Cruze Eco. Anyways, that's not what I joined this site for.

I wish to obtain a car and do whatever I can to save money on fuel and use less of it. I drool over the AeroCivic (the concept, not really the car. I refuse to drive a Honda, Toyota, or Hyundai) and boattail cars everywhere. I just need some guidance and help from the experts and once I get the car and the funds, I'll be doing some fun stuff.

So that begs the question: What do you think I should get to modify? I love GM so maybe I could start there. I was thinking a Cavalier/Sunfire, or maybe something older like a Skylark or something. I just don't want to get a car and destroy its value by modifying it like crazy, which is why I think the Cavy is a good place to start. Honestly one of my favorite cars of all time is the Buick Reatta but you can't destroy its originality, it's actually worth something.

Alright I talk too much. I love cars with a passion and I'm glad to be a part of this website and I hope I get to add a car to my garage here!


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Old 01-29-2014, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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green VX - '95 Honda civic VX
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Welcome! I would look at a cavalier or cobalt 2-door. Make sure to get a manual trans. My sister had a 2002 cavalier 2-door, and always got 35mpg with a lead foot and no concern for economy. It already has a good shape too.

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Old 01-29-2014, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
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Thanks ecoTex. I think I should stay away from the Cobalt because it still has value, while I can go buy a cavalier for 1000 that's in perfect shape.

What if I could find a Chevette for cheap? I have been thinking about a brilliant idea for a collapsing boat tail that could retract once you park or whatever. I want to think that I'm making huge improvements when I do this, rather than taking a slippery shape and trying to improve that.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Civic Type-DX - '97 Honda Civic DX
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Chevette...brilliant idea...in the same paragraph. Lmao. Just getting one reliably running would be a huge improvement.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't be too hard on Pa for getting another Focus- he's found what he likes and works for him.

The first car could very well end up wrecked in some fashion, in short order. At least that was my experience. Just get something cheap yet mostly reliable, then there won't be any- or much- guilt in riddling it with screw holes and whatnot.

Reatta- agreed, those are really nice. I saw some meathead driving one around in the wintertime salt bath we call a road up here and could only shake my head. Another nice car will soon bite the dust.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Aerofocus (retired) - '00 Ford Focus ZX3
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This is strange. I was your same age when I joined this site back in 2011. I'm 17 now and I'm still active on this site. Based off your name, I also assume you like baseball. I've been playing since I could walk and have even had some offers to play in college.

One car I can vouch against is the Ford Focus ZX3. lots of nagging issues and a major design flaw in the manual transmission.

Problem around here in NE Ohio is going to be rust. One thing I can say is don't fall in love with the first car you go to look at. I fell in love with my Focus and bought it at asking price... and it's a piece of crap.

I'd recommend a Geo Metro, but you'll have problems with rust around here in NE Ohio. I'm not sure what your budget is for your car.

Provide us with some more information to help us help you.

Also, have you looked in to the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair? I'm not sure what kind of student you are, but the fair is a great experience and as I'm learning now, looks great on college applications.
Aerospace Controls Engineer.
Currently driving a mostly stock 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE hatchback.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Motor-Rolla - '01 Toyota Corolla LE
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Get a Metro! It's your brand and if you beat it up or modify it, it's no big deal and I'm willing to bet you can fit any gear you have in the hatch. Plus you have lots and lots of Metro experts (metrexperts) around these parts. If you can get it for under budget, then you can used the saved money for maintenance and mods.

Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There was a $1000 insight on insight central, sold for $1500 but worth keeping your eyes open for if one at the right price turns up.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Red Devil - '11 Honda Insight Elegance
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The boy does not want a Honda, God knows why.
2011 Honda Insight + HID, LEDs, tiny PV panel, extra brake pad return springs, neutral wheel alignment, 44/42 PSI (air), PHEV light (inop), tightened wheel nut.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Joan ('95 Buick Skylark) - '95 Buick Skylark Custom Sport
Thanks: 6
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Poomanchu-Yeah, Chevette and brilliant idea should only be in a sentence together if "isn't a" is in between them! Hahahaha

Frank- It's not that he likes the Focus, it's just that the 2003 died this summer and he was desperate for a replacement. He was going to get rid of the car until he realized the problem. The valve seat on cylinder 4 fell out and got mashed up. He had the heads rebuilt and he reassembled the engine and it runs somehow!

HydroJim- Yeah baseball and cars are the common things in my family. My grandfather, and his three sons (my dad and two uncles) still play baseball. My dad and his brothers are on the same team. They've played for 60 straight years, 40 straight, and my brother and I have played for about 12 now. It's the best sport ever. Anyways, I kind of thought about a Metro for a while but I don't know too much about it, except that it's really a Suzuki Cultus. I just never really liked import cars and it's really my dad who taught me that way. He was a mechanic for a while so he does all of the work on all of his cars, and he can't stand working on imported cars. Though my mom had (it's still in the garage with an electrical problem) a 1992 Sentra 5 speed, and that car's great. I have not checked that out, I should though. I love that kind of thing but in a public school with about 100 per class there's not much to do.

I thought about a Metro for awhile but I wasn't convinced. It doesn't seem like a safe car to me, but I might very well be wrong. It's not really my brand though because it's a Suzuki Cultus.

Yeah I don't want a Honda. I just have a problem with imports unless someone can convince me otherwise.

A 90s Skylark might be a good candidate. Right?

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