One “fairly frugal” 25-year-old has a fully funded retirement, no debt, no kids, and dreams of owning “a beautiful, head-turning piece of engineering.” With $40-50k to spend, they asked car buffs on the internet which “ridiculous” set of keys they should splurge on. Over 400 comments ensued, with people sharing their top picks.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
No Kids, No Debt, No Problem
The future sports car owner had already done some homework before asking for suggestions. “My current choices are a BMW Z4M, a 981 Porsche Cayman S or above, and a Lotus Evora NA, i.e., light coupes,” they say. With pros and cons to each, they weren’t 100% sure if any of them were “the one.”
Take It for a Spin
Before getting into specifics, some gearheads offered general advice. “I would try to rent each of those cars, if possible, and see what you think.” Another commenter agrees, “Go to car shows and talk to the owners. They’ll tell you what it’s like to live with and may even give you a ride or know of one for sale.”
1: Sounds Super
“Honestly, a curve ball, but the Supra 3.0 is fantastic and an incredibly capable platform.” one commenter says. The striking Toyota-manufactured vehicle runs for about $45K.
2: Does the Job
One commenter excitedly suggests the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. “Not as unique, but fast, handles well, looks nice, and has all the amenities plus a big trunk!” You can’t go wrong with more storage in a sports car.
3: Cream of the Crop
Pulling from the original posters’ top picks, one commenter says to go with the Lotus 100%. “The Z4M and Cayman are special, but nothing beats a Lotus. Look into an Exige if you can. They have even more of the go-kart feel to them.”
4: Revved Up
Since head-turning is what they seek, one commenter has a nice car in mind. “Honestly, a Jaguar F-type R with the V8 is worth considering. One of the greatest sounding cars.”
5: No Regrets
One commenter is pretty brand loyal with their suggestion. “Porsche. If you buy anything else, you’ll wish you spent more on the Porsche. It may not be immediate, but it will creep up on you.”
6: Better Than the Rest
Although it’s secondhand, one commenter suggested a listing for a used 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe. “It would eat all of those cars for breakfast and is in your budget.” Another commenter agrees, “They are basically made for what the original poster wants and cheap.”
7: Not Quite
One car enthusiast recommended the Alfa Romeo 4C, but it wasn’t quite what the original poster had in mind. “I took a very hard look at this. However, an Italian carbon-tubbed car is pretty scary to me. So pretty, though. It definitely fits the theme of what I’m going for.”
8: Need For Speed
One commenter agrees with their top picks and suggests taking things up a notch. “M2 and Cayman S are both great calls if you can test drive both. Once you’ve picked one, sign up for some HPDE (high-performance driving events). ‘Stupid’ cars are boring on the roads… live a little.”
9: If I Were You
Another commenter put themselves in the original poster’s shoes. “If I had a 50k cash budget, I’d be trying to find an air-cooled Porsche 911 to buy. I’d also look at JDM imports for a clean SW20 MR2 turbo or something old and fun. They tend to be lighter and more engaging.”
10: Hot Rod
Another commenter recommends the Italian Alfa Romeo 4C, especially since they’re looking for something “stupid.” “Built like a supercar with a carbon tub chassis, mid-engine layout, and the least storage I have ever seen in a car. Also, it looks really good!”
11: Can’t Have It All
“Speed, reliability, and price: pick two,” says one commenter, who suggests the Cayman as a top choice. “Most likely to be reliable and will retain its value better than the others. Plus, it’s just a great vehicle.”
12: Must Be a Miata
“If you just want a great driving roadster, none are better than the Miata.” chimes in one commenter. “Light, nimble, great handling, great ride, looks good too, not overpowered, just right.” Plus, they say it’s even below budget for the original poster.
13: What Not To Do
One commenter says to go for the Supra and enjoy. If not, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s not an Alfa. They tell OP to avoid the car at all costs. “They are massive piles of hot garbage which thankfully will be rotting in the service dept lot instead of your driveway, which means you can still park whatever you bought to drive there.
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