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what is the best reasonably late model car to mod that is cheap?

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what is the best reasonably late model car to mod that is cheap?

 
Old 05-19-2019, 05:40 PM
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Default what is the best reasonably late model car to mod that is cheap?

Lazy day watching GoT marathon to prep for the finale with wifey so looking at autotrader, ebay, craigslist and really wowed at the price of performance cars even those a few years old or a decade old.

What is the average joe's first car to mod? Maybe from $5-9000

I was thinking off those 3800 supercharged Buick Regal GS of the late 90s to early 00s. Found a cheap one in my city on CL.

Got Wife's 2014 R-Line Beetle super cheap for some reason. It has been a great car and easy to mod for 13s.

Last edited by Felix C; 05-22-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:29 PM
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Why not an fbody 98-02 with an Ls1. I mean this is Ls1tech, why a regal? I know the are supercharged and can be made to be pretty quick but they are kinda **** cars.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:35 PM
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sky is the limit, are you going to be doing the mods or paying someone? 5k-9k will go quick if are paying someone to do the work. i'm assuming that you want American muscle since you are posting on here. sloppy mechanics is doing 8sec car for 8k or under
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:31 AM
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The F-bodies I have seen at low prices are ragged. Same with GTOs and the latter is a high maintenance car due to the foreign build of non-engine/transmission parts.

Starting to believe FI is the way to go for fast and easy. The one Buick I saw was very nice as would be expected from a car not normally bought for performance.

There is nothing out there that is like a used Nova or Duster/Dart of ye olde days? Lots of potential at a reasonable price.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:58 AM
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How fast are you aiming for? The Regals/GTP's start eating transmissions when you get into 13 second land. They were quick in their day comparatively, but nothing special compared with most newer stuff, hell an Accord can crack 13s these days. Smaller pulley and supporting mods (IIRC they also heat soaked pretty quickly) they could get into the 12s but again you're dealing with inevitable transmission issues - the 4T65 was not particularly strong. Also not sure if the aftermarket support they had ~15 years ago is still out there.

9K should by a decent LS1 Fbody. Might not win shows but should be a decent driver and easy to mod.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:31 AM
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This easy question to answer.......c4.

Then you can ls swap it at some point. Not that the old sbc isn't plenty capable.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
The F-bodies I have seen at low prices are ragged. Same with GTOs and the latter is a high maintenance car due to the foreign build of non-engine/transmission parts.

Starting to believe FI is the way to go for fast and easy. The one Buick I saw was very nice as would be expected from a car not normally bought for performance.

There is nothing out there that is like a used Nova or Duster/Dart of ye olde days? Lots of potential at a reasonable price.
I have seen some pretty clean GTO's selling for dirt lately, the Facebook pages are full of em. F-body's on the other hand seem to be going up in value for clean ones.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:13 PM
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No more GTOs. I still have mine and know it is temperamental.:Little parts are expensive. You know how much OEM headlights are $900 each. It was never a toss-everywhere-around-reliable as my little Fox which are now beaucoup dollars. I am on a GTO Facebook page. I did not see any that are cheap unless ragged.
GTO 04-06 Trade N Sell is the name.
Oh well, no rush.
Maybe get an old Miata if I do not find anything. I drove an MX3 with the hardtop and it was a nice car. Underpowered but fun.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:39 PM
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C4!!!
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
No more GTOs. I still have mine and know it is temperamental.:Little parts are expensive. You know how much OEM headlights are $900 each. It was never a toss-everywhere-around-reliable as my little Fox which are now beaucoup dollars. I am on a GTO Facebook page. I did not see any that are cheap unless ragged.
GTO 04-06 Trade N Sell is the name.
Oh well, no rush.
Maybe get an old Miata if I do not find anything. I drove an MX3 with the hardtop and it was a nice car. Underpowered but fun.
Ls swap the Miata and add a Turbo lol
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:55 PM
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and the people that pay those prices for replacement headlights blow my mind lol
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:00 PM
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Friend of mine's "cheap build..."

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Old 05-21-2019, 08:28 AM
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Now I feel like I need to sell my OE GTO headlights
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:21 AM
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C5 vette can be bad for under 10g. Great car still and still looks good.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:10 PM
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This is not going to be a popular opinion on this site, but the best one to mod in that price range is going to be the S197 3V mustang. They've got a good suspension and rear end out of the box. The transmission is passable, and the 3V might be a turd NA, but it's a beast under forced induction. The aftermarket and tuning is plentiful and cheap. If you hate ford, I agree with Hio, C4 vette. Only issue there is finding parts, plus they like to $300 you to death on parts.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:20 PM
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Nothing cheap I see.
Corvette tax is crazy. Besides you see it is something to beat on.
Always liked Mustangs. The S197 were common here in Miami. Do not see many anymore in my neighborhood. My brother's daughter has a 2006 model GT. Her first car. Two years old now I think.
I will just cruise the usual for sale sites until something interesting comes up.

Oh and someone mentioned the Buick Regal GS trans. thing. You are right it cost more than the car to prep the trans to handle good power levels. Crazy
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
Nothing cheap I see.
Corvette tax is crazy. Besides you see it is something to beat on.
Always liked Mustangs. The S197 were common here in Miami. Do not see many anymore in my neighborhood. My brother's daughter has a 2006 model GT. Her first car. Two years old now I think.
I will just cruise the usual for sale sites until something interesting comes up.

Oh and someone mentioned the Buick Regal GS trans. thing. You are right it cost more than the car to prep the trans to handle good power levels. Crazy
Nothing is cheap right now. I used to be able to get a 94-04 Mustang gt from 1500-2500 all day long, now you can't touch them for less than 4K. You could find LS1/T56 Fbodies in the 5K range, now $8k. Sold my 196K miles LS2 GTO for $6600 5 years ago, just saw one with the same miles for $10k. My biggest problem with modding a C4 vette is the tuning. Simply put, no one tunes LT1's any more, you have to upgrade to a 24X or LS1.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:50 PM
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Bought a 1997 Z3 1.9 for $800. Solid body and suspension. An ls swap candidate for sure.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:59 PM
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Hey erryone........c4!
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JC316 View Post
My biggest problem with modding a C4 vette is the tuning. Simply put, no one tunes LT1's any more, you have to upgrade to a 24X or LS1.
still several guys that do mail order tuning on lt1's, which is perfectly fine for bolt on or heads/cam cars. i have a heads/cam 383 with a mail order tune going on 6 years without an issue. just some food for thought
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