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Thread: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

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    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Mostly wishing and drooling.

    Back in the late 80's I thought a couple of different pocket rockets were cool. Honda Civic CRX, Civic SI, Acura Integra, VW Rabbit GTI etc.

    When thinking of modern Pocket Rockets, what cars would I be looking at used that meet the standard?

    There are some FINE curvy two lanes around here!

    I have had experience with GREAT brakes in BMWs.

    There ain't a heck of a lot of chance of me acting on this, but let us discuss it anyway!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Depends on what you're looking for. If you want a true driver's experience for a decent price, its hard to beat a used Miata.

    Mark

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    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Eh, personally I've never been a huge fan of the miata. As far as pocket rockets go, I can name a few well priced cars you may want to look into as cars are my real passion, flashlights being secondary.

    1. 2003 Ford Focus SVT
    $10,000 - 13,000 Used
    2. 2004/5 Nissan Sentra SER SPEC-V
    $10,000 - 15,000 Used
    3. Volkswagen GLI
    $20,000 - 30,000
    4. 1998 Nissan 240SX (rear wheel drive!)
    $8,000 - 10,000
    5. Subaru Impreza WRX
    $12,000 - 20,000
    6. Acura RSX-S
    $18,000 - 25,000
    7. Toyota Celica-S
    $19,000 - 26,000

    As far as brakes go, Volkswagen is by far one of the leaders. I owned a Jetta a couple years back and it was a standard 2 litre piece of crap slow car, but the brakes were incredible!!!!

    I have driven every one of the cars I specified above but I would have to say that the Ford Focus SVT gives you everything you could ever want at a great price, including two tone leather, 17/18 inch alloys, rear disk brakes, center differential slip deal great for twisties, 2.0 litre 175 HP naturally aspirated high revving engine with a 6 speed manual transmission. Best of all, the blue color the car comes in is beautiful. I almost bought this car but I decided to go for the 2004 Ford Focus ZX3 with the california "green engine" which is a 2.3 litre 4 cylindar engine pumping out about 155 HP + exhaust and intake and short shifter I have about 165-170 HP and even more torque. I have kept up with SVTs, but I do not think I could smoke one. Anyways highly recommended! Out of all of them though, the Subaru Impreza WRX is the quickest with a 0-60 MPH time of about 5.6 seconds and best of all...ALL WHEEL DRIVE!!! If you want an experience going through the backwoods and twisty turns with no wheel slip the Subaru is amazing. Real quick!

    DanK

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    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    I mentioned to the others that my mind was drifting off in this direction...

    I got [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img] and that's about all.

    I still want to talk about it. The badest a$$ car I ever drove was a V12 BMW 850. We only moved cars from the dock to a make ready/ship facility about 2 miles away. There was a new 3 series body style at the time, and a few old style convertibles. All had killer brakes, most MOVED when pedalled!

    We had Stealths and other Mitsubishi stuff too.

    And even Yugos [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/knight.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sick2.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsdown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img]

    I think it was about 88 or 89...

    I quite imagine 10K or more is WAY WAY out of my price range. I need a truck replacement pretty soon ya know!

    If such a thing as a clean late 80's Integra exists, it's far more likely to come into my life!

    Who has or has had one or more of the cars spoken of so far?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    You're just looking at liquid-fueled cars? You don't like torque? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Kidding! Don't beat me.

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    Flashaholic MenaceSQL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    I just bought a Dodge SRT-4 two weeks ago. This thing is pretty quick. At first I wanted to stick with a Toyota so I started looking for a Toyota Corolla XRS. They were too hard to find with the options I wanted so I went and got a Dodge SRT-4. So far I believe I made the better choice. Quality and reliability from other manufacturers have gotten better so I hope my pick on this Dodge is a good one since I'm straying from Toyota this time.

    Earlier in the day a ~1966 Chevelle SS 396 flew by me. I tailed it all the way to a light. The driver saw me behind him and floored it when the light turned green. Although he tried, he did not even manage to lose me. This SRT-4 is nice. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    There ain't NOTHING EV that I could even have sweet dreams about owning Darell!

    Believe me, something like a T-Zero would [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]

    I hope to be mildly good on gas mileage with whatever I get! But a nice 1.6 - 1.8 4 valve screamer with a 5 speed is calling out to me. Perhaps it's a second childhood talking?

    Although first time around V-8 torque was where it was at!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    honda civeecs are alwasy cool

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* V8TOYTRUCK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Hands down the Ariel Atom. 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, Civic Type-R motor, and 1000lbs. Be sure to check out the video. And it is street legal (in the UK at least.). If I were to get one here I would get a full cage for it, but otherwise I would drive it as much as I could!

    http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/04/frames.htm


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    Flashaholic* offroadcmpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    If you really want the fastest, get one of those super bikes. some of them are faster in a straight line than a enzo I think, but not very practical [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] . I've always been a fan of the wrx, but even used they cost around 15K. Go with a used car, its a much better deal, cars lose so much value just after you leave the dealer lot.

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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    THe late Mazda Proteges were a hidden secret of the slalom runners. In Car and Drive test it almost beat the Ferrari 360 in a slalom test, and the recent years it came with an option of a turbo charger from the factory.

    Mini Cooper comes to mind too.

    The aforementioned cars are all awsome too.

    If you can fins yourself a late-80's rear wheel drive Toyota Corollas they are nimble little cars...

    Nick

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    I've had bikes and yes they accelerate like no car you can drive on the street!

    I think Car and Driver was high on Mazda in 1990... it's a place to look in the classifieds!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* simbad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    I couldn´t find anything better than my old Peugeot 205 GTI, 140hp in a 650kg car, and Sparco equipment.
    Actually I like the Renault Clio V6 3.2, this IS a rocket.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* MoonRise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Porsche Boxster S. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crackup.gif[/img]
    It's not too big, it's a rocket, and it'll empty your pockets.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Hmm. Chevy Citation X-11 if you can find one running. They are small and speedy I heard. You can mod them and pick up some decent gains for free.

    Some of the other cars mentioned are good in corners because they are small and lightweight, but not very fast at all. The faster ones are too expensive that are listed... I don't think a 17-18 sec 1/4 mile is a pocket rocket. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] I'd say at least a low 14 to surprise people on the street...

    My best advice is to find a car that's easy to mod if you want to surprise people. It doesn't have to be a small car, you can make even large cars handle great if you research what mods to do. That's what I do. I slowly build up a car over time. I can't leave factory alone... When my car had sticky tires I could easily leave trans-ams in the corners and keep up with corvettes in the twisties..

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* MaxaBaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    The cheapest one that I like is the Mazda RX-8. Really exiting to ride in (and I assume to drive as well).

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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    These might be a bit larger than a pocket rocket, but comsider a big block muscle car from the 60's-early 70's. My personal favorite being a 1970 Oldsmobile 442. 455 V8, gobs of torque, not a bad handler, especially with some modern shocks, springs and tires. Plus, it's a real head turner. No one really looks twice at some of the modern turds buzzing around, but pull out a classic piece of American muscle, and watch 'em drool.
    If handling is more important, consider a Camaro or Firebird.
    One slogan I strongly believe in: "There's no replacement for displacement!" For power, the bigger the engine, the better. Sure, it uses more gas. Lots of it. But think if you modified an already powerful musclecar engine with some similar mods people perform to much smaller engines. Supercharging, nitrous, headers, the sky's the limit.

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    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Random thoughts... some good some not so...

    We had a roughly 400Hp V-8 Chevy in an El Camino, and if it wasn't needing header gaskets or carb work, it was breaking the tranny or something. And of course it wouldn't pass a gas station.

    In '88-'90 Car and Driver were high on 1.6 to 1.8L engines that were rev happy. Not just get to 6000 or 7000 rpm but do it nice and smooth. Honda and Acura really got the nod. Driven even as C&D did they got upper 20's mileage.

    You may not have realized it but I am NOT going to be able to spend a whole lot on this car.

    I will almost certainly be forced to use a tote-the-note car lot, but the only way I will find the right car is from an owner. Catch-22!

    Also I put on a bit over 200 miles today and passed a couple dozen lots. I saw BUNCHES of Chevy Trucks, SUVs, LTDs, Toyotas, Hondas even. But not once today on the road or on a lot did I see a late 80's Integra.

    This means a couple of things. Maybe there aren't many on the road any more. Maybe they are all garage kept and weekend driven.

    Most of the late 80's to 90 cars I recognized, a Sentra
    (but NOT SE-R!) a Celica and some others looked rode HARD and put up WET...

    But if I can't swing enough cash to advertise for what I want, I probably won't get it.

    Besides, the Beast is about to need work (or better yet replaced) and that ain't gonna be cheap.

    Did I mention [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/broke.gif[/img] ?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    As I said earlier, it depends entirely on what you are looking for. As you can see, some people above wouldn't consider a Rabbit GTI to be a 'pocket rocket' simply because it does a 17 sec 1/4 mile even though its one of the most fun cars to drive ever built. It all depends on what you're looking for. Based on your initial examples, I was guessing that you are looking for something small, peppy, and fun to drive. But many of the examples above are anything but... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img]

    If you want some ideas of what can be done on the cheap, go to grassroots motorsports website and look up the previous $2000 challenge cars. Its amazing what a little bit of ingenuity and real car know-how can accomplish.

    Mark

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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    i got a mazda3 5-door 5-speed a few months back. pretty fun to drive, fantastic handling although quite a bit underpowered for the engine size. (2.3L four-banger. 160hp/150 lb-ft). seems like it will be a turbo project car eventually., gotta drop that compession ratio to 8.5 or so from the 9.7:1. stainless DTM exhaust with turbo....(no fart-pipes or coffee-can stupidity) first need a stress bar though, the rest can wait.

    Leon

  21. #21
    Flashaholic makar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    practical pocket rocket: Golf GTI

    pure pocket rocket: Lotus Elise [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]

  22. #22

    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    I'd have to say Toyota MR-2 (had an 1989 SC) - a serious sports car with Toyota quality [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Since I'm old, I wanna...

    Catherham 7 with a ported and polished rotary and huuuugggge brakes on all corners. Or...

    MiniCooper S. An old one with ambulance doors and lots of Paddy Hopkirk goodies or maybe even one o' them new fangled BMW versions. Or...

    Renault r5 Turbo, full rally prepped. Not exactly yer average LeCar. Or...

    Audi Quattro SWB Grp. B rally car. Complete with Michelle Mouton.

    I like smaller cars. 'Course if I needed someting a little larger I could force myself to settle for an Aston Martin or three...

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Gotta be pretty darn cheap. The Acura and Honda mentioned would do sub 10 second to 60 if I read the magazines right.

    I got bigger problems at the moment, posting new subject.

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Okay ya'll. Just cause I'm busted most of the time, and have a thing for 87-89 Integra GS-Rs...

    Let's still talk about eh?

    Yesterday I got passed by an honest to God Ferrari F360! Who could actually drive such a thing?

    If I'm going to get any traction with this pocket rocket thing, I need to be thinking hatchback or 5-door. So I can stick a toolbox and some parts in for long run simple repair jobs.

    Whataya got?

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Darn. It doesn't meet your "cheap" criterion, but...

    It's not "pocket" at all, but it is "rocket" and has the 5-doors you'd want --

    Volvo wagon V70 R, manual trans.
    0-60 in 5.6 sec.
    (which is how close to a Porsche Boxster S and cost $10K less and is a real full-sized wagon?)

    It ain't cheap, but it is totally reliable. Plus, it has AWD, so stick mudguards & snow tires on it and you can get through anything in the winter. (Not that TX has a large percentage of its land covered with snow in the winter, but if you're travelling...)

    It's the everything-car.

    That Ariel, though. Wow. Totally cool idea. I wonder if it'll ever be street legal in the U.S.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    my 88 grand am with the w41 high output quad four is a fun car to drive.
    I kick citation x11 butt - easy - not even in my class.
    still x11's are getting rare.
    I had the the intake head and exaust extrude honed and did a lot of other mod's.

    very relaiable too.

    I wish I had a restored 1987 buick grand natiional gnx.
    gm called this car project vader.
    the car darth vader would drive.

    3.8 sfi turbo intercooled v6 276 hp - 360lbs of tourque at 3000 rpm.
    0 to 60 4.7 seconds
    with simple mod's 400 hp and 0 to 60 under 4 seconds was possible.

    at one time the 87 buick gn was the fastest stock mass produced 1/4 mile car you could buy in the US.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Quote Originally Posted by MenaceSQL View Post
    I just bought a Dodge SRT-4 two weeks ago. This thing is pretty quick. ....Although he tried, he did not even manage to lose me. This SRT-4 is nice.
    I have a blue '04 love it.


    Quote Originally Posted by markdi View Post
    I wish I had a restored 1987 buick grand natiional gnx.
    gm called this car project vader.
    the car darth vader would drive.

    3.8 sfi turbo intercooled v6 276 hp - 360lbs of tourque at 3000 rpm.
    0 to 60 4.7 seconds
    with simple mod's 400 hp and 0 to 60 under 4 seconds was possible.

    at one time the 87 buick gn was the fastest stock mass produced 1/4 mile car you could buy in the US.
    At a test 'n tune night years ago at the dragstrip I lined up against a GNX, the guy was just laughing at me (I was in my old 97 neon DOHC 150hp 5spd, which was a pocket rocket in its own right). I beat him badly at the tree and to about the 330'. Then I heard what sounded like an F16 closing on me. He shot past, with a pillar of soot from the sewer pipe exhaust, so fast I thought I had the neon in reverse. He ran a low 10 to my 15.6
    <bunch 'O flashlights>

  29. #29
    Flashaholic ToNIX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Refer to my avatar
    [New Malkoff MD2/M61W (neutral) H/L] - [Old Malkoff MD2/M61 219 H/L] - [Fenix TK11 R5] - [4Sevens Quark AA Tactical R5] - [Petzl Tikka Plus] - [Streamlight Propoly 4AA Luxeon]

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car? (Pocket Rocket)

    Well, it's been five years.

    Ever pull the trigger on that Integra, PlyaboyJoeShmoe?

    Sadly, here in the US anyway, the new, inexpensive pocket rocket segment is all but gone.



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