- [Narrator] Whether you need to carve some canyons,hit up a track day, learn to drift,or just have fun on a daily basis,you're gonna need to pick a weapon of choice.
This week I'm covering the best project cars you can buy,maintain, and customize for under $10,000.
With 10k in the bank, you can buyany of these cars at any commitment level.
You can start cheap and customize, or you canfind one in great shape that's ready to rip.
I'm starting off my list with the Audi S4 B5.
You can find these from anywhere between 4500 to 6500 buckswhich gives you some room for repairsand some simple modifications likesuspension, wheels, brakes, tires.
The key word here, repairs.
Because the bi-turbo V6 is pretty complex,and replacing the timing beltevery 80k can get pretty hairy.
However, if you're up for the challengeyou can tune this motor to do some really incredible things.
And you'll have a great looking carthat has street cred as an M3 killer.
Ready for any canyon road, track day, car showregardless of if it's snowing,raining, or in the middle of nowhere.
If you're nervous about repairslike any sane person would be,then you can always save a ton of cash and headachesby going with a 1.
8T model A4.
Those engines are pretty reliable, they're easy to fix,and they make some pretty good powerwith a tune and some bolt-ons.
And you still get that look and feelof a quality German sports car.
And if you're extra practical, they make both in a wagon.
And since we're talking dollar signs and not euros,I have to bring up the Fox Body Mustang.
It's been gaining popularity over the yearsand that's reflected by the expensive listingsI've stumbled upon while doing my research.
You can still find them for around 2800 bucks,but you know that car is going to need a lot of love.
Once you get inside that hunk of junkand burn some gas with that obnoxious low revving V8,you're going to forget all thatmismatched paint and the missing bumper.
However, if you have a little patience,you can find a legit example for around $7,000.
I'm talking murdered out, tuxedo black, legit-ness.
Ready To turn tight ones in Oakland, CAand then dip out on the 580.
Okay, not everyone has a burning need for speed.
Some people just want a respectable carthat looks good, is reliable, and drives great.
If that's the case then the 190E Mercedes-Benzcould be the car for you.
There's a bunch of models to choose from.
Depending on what you're into, and how much you're into it.
The cream of the crop beingthe 190E 2.
3 liter 16 valve Cosworth.
The 190E was a legend in the golden eraof German touring car racing.
And because the Cosworth was the modelwith the most history behind it,you're gonna have to do some digging to find one under 10k.
But the other models still carry that flairand they were built like bricks.
That means they don't break down.
And they look like bricks.
If you want a car that can commute to workand look good doing it, you can't go wrong here.
That being said, you can pick upless desirable models all day for under 3k.
Slap on some bags, some three piece wheels,and you'll have an automatic pass into any car club.
Otherwise, keep that baby stockand reap all the benefits of a wise choice.
The second generation Mazda RX-7, the FC,is on its way to becoming a collector's car for enthusiasts.
It's a Japanese version of the Porsche 944.
Which is also an under $10,000, but it's not on this list.
The rotary engine is not known for being super reliable,but it is know for sounding great,being lightweight, and packing plenty of power.
You can find them anywhere between 3kfor a car that needs a little love all the way upto 10k for a car in great shape.
And if a driving experience is what you're after,that's what you gonna get with the FC.
With 50/50 weight distributionand a dynamic tracking suspension system,which is sort of like the 80's versionof four wheel steering, you'll getthat heavenly connection with the carand the road that many cars cannot provide.
And trust me, that feeling makes everything worth it.
Just make sure you leave some moneyin the bank because this car will break.
The Corrado VR6, a unicorn hatchbackregarded as the poor man's Porsche.
That's because it was faster out of the factorythat the Porsche 944 I mentioned earlier.
Plus, it's got this sweet mechanical spoilerthat pops up when you hit 45 mph.
The Corrado VR6 is becomingincreasingly rare and hard to find.
And the prices reflect its collectible status.
That being said, you can still find a good onefor around 6 1/2k with a little bit of patience.
And all you really need is a nice set of coiloversto give it that aggressive look and performance.
But, don't expect that spoiler to work for too long.
Because the Corrados are known for electrical issues.
I know because I owned one.
And even though I have a scar on my backfrom a malfunctioning electrical seat belt hook,I still wish I never sold it.
It handles like a go-kart, the engine sounds greatand runs super strong, and you'll be instant friendswith every other dubber you meet.
- V Dub for life dude.
- Yo, V Dub.
- My third best pick is the Porsche Boxter S.
Yes, that's right.
You can own a Porsche for under 10kand it won't be a beater.
It mike not be the best looking Porsche,but once you slap on a hard top with a roll cageand a rear wing, it all of a sudden starts to look the part.
Lots of guys race these cars competitively.
And they hang on the track with carsthat are twice as expensive.
It's mid-engine so it has great handlingcharacteristics that Boxter owners swear by.
And you get that awesome sound that is unmistakably Porsche.
It's one of the newer cars that you canbuy at a bargain with low mileage.
So it's pretty hard not to rank it high on this list.
Second place goes to everyone's favorite beginner car.
The Mazda Miata.
Lightweight, small, nimble, but they've been increasingin price and I would never be caught driving one.
And since these are cars I'm recommending to buy,I'm taking it off and I'm replacing itwith the EK Civic hatchback.
I've never owned one of these,but I've seen the performance potential of these thingsand the EK is probably the best looking model.
If you drop 10k into a Civic hatch,you're gonna have one fast little fart can.
Parts are cheap, upgrades are vast,and engine swaps are endless.
Plus, it's super light.
That means you can drag race it.
Give people whiplash while driving past any boba shop.
And if you got the skills you might be ableto keep up with those rich noobsin their Nissan GT-Rs at the track.
Last but not least the BMW E36is finally being recognized by meas the best bargain for performance and style you can buy.
Note that I did not say M3.
Good luck finding one of thosefor under 10k that doesn't needanother 5k in repairs or preventative maintenance.
But you can easily find a 325 or 328 for under 3k.
Which leaves you plenty of room for modificationsto take this car to the next level.
As in M3 level.
Say you start with a 325is.
You can pick up an M3 engine for about 2 to 3,000 bucks.
And it's a straight up plug and play engine swap.
The engine bolts right on to theexisting five speed transmission.
And the wiring harness literally plugs right in.
It does not get any easier than that.
You've got a lightweight M3 for half the moneythat lets you rip up canyon roads,take it to the track, enter rear-wheel driverally competitions, drift, you can do whatever you want.
You can even pick up a chick for a dateand still look good doing it.
They're easy to find, easy to work on,and they're easy on the eyes.
Even if you don't swap the engine,if you lower the car and slap on some meaty tires,you're gonna have a lot of fun.
Again I know, because I used to own one.
Not gonna lie, I'm a little biased.
But, there's a reason you're seeingthese cars more and more.
That's my list.
And believe me, it could be a lot longer.
So if you have any other recommendations,let us know in the comments.
That way, anyone currently searchingfor ideas can weight their options.
I can think of three more right now.
Mini Cooper S, Toyota MR2, 300ZX.
Just remember, do your research.
The key to finding the right car ispatience, persistence, and research.
Don't be afraid to walk awayfrom the first car you check out.
And most importantly, try to stay awayfrom red flags like salvage titles,high mileage, rust, and automatics.
Me and Pumfrey made a sweet video wherewe actually buy an E36.
Click right here to watch thatand find out all the tips you needto know before you actually buy a car.
We got new shows every day of the week.
We've got Wheelhouse with Nolan on Monday.
You got Field Prep with thepro drifter Matt Field on Tuesdays.
You've got science garage with Bart every Wednesday.
Up to Speeds on Thursday, you know that.
And the best show, with the bestest, with me every Friday.
It's all Donut, it's all family, it's all the time.
See you next time.