Want cheap speed? Buy used. You won’t get the latest tech or the most luxurious features, but you will satisfy that need for speed—and do it without having to sell body parts to pay off the bill.
Mazda RX-7 FB/SA22C
The first-generation RX-7 is a raw, basic sports car, from its simple live rear axle to its MacPherson struts, but it’s an analog driver’s car of great poise and hardwired driving feel. The rotary engine is feared for baseless reasons. It’s a simple beast, and if you can work on a piston engine you can work on a rotary.
People also make a lot of noise about the dead spot in the center of the FB’s steering. Tighten the steer box up to a half-inch of slop, and enjoy otherwise sublimely communicative steering. The ’84 and ’85 GSL-SEs are king, with their fuel-injected 13B engines, limited-slip differentials, and better brakes. They’re out there for a touch below $10k. If you can find one, take care of it.