What would you buy for under $20K?


Here at Motorious, we pretty much talk about cars all day long, be it during assignments, or discussions among ourselves. When posed with the question from our CEO, Neil Pitt, about which car we would buy from the inventory for under $20k, the conversation got pretty interesting. Here's how it played out.

Neil shared his pick first, a 2004 Mazda RX-8, specifically, this one:

Image Via Speed Digital LLC

His rational was well-articulated, and is a mix of sentiment and logic, detailed as:

  1. Near perfectly balanced weight ratio 50/50 left/right and front/back on a vehicle that when new was 10% the cost of exotic sports cars that aren't able to pull that off.
  2. Rotary Engine - Yes it's quirky and problematic but it is also quirky and problematic.
  3. Four doors on a "sports car" - Clam Shell doors are unique and almost functional.
  4. It was my youngest daughters first car so there is sentimental value and nostalgia tied to it.
  5. Zoom Zoom - German Engineering in a Japanese vehicle (predecessor the the new Z4?)

Next to answer was our Associate Editor, Steven Symes. I would have picked a Tacoma for Steven, he's a vintage off-road guy, but he took it further and picked a 1929 Ford Model A, which seemed like an off choice at first. However, Steven then schooled us about the off-road culture and history with the Model A.

Is this not crazy?

Image Via Speed Digital LLC

So, lesson learned!

This one was tough for me to weigh in on. See, I'm a project car person, nothing goes unmodified in my house, so I start planning with every car I see. It got about an hour in before I had to cut myself off. Of the 93 pages of under $20K inventory on Motorious, I admittedly only got through about 7 in that hour, but I have a plan for each car on those first seven pages!

What I did land on (the first round, and we'll get to that), was a clean 1997 BMW M3 E36, if I had to just leave it alone. I figure, of all the cars, I can turn this car into some kind of race car, the easiest. So this would make a good little rally cars, wouldn't really need much - and replacement parts are pretty cheap and readily available at this point.

Image Via Speed Digital LLC

But if I could buy a $20K and the money I put into it didn't matter, we're playing a new game, and I could tell by this point that my team was already getting exhausted that I've started to break the rules.

Let's say I didn't have to disclose how much I'd spend, I want a Chevy II!

Image Via Speed Digial LLC

If the $10k in engine/trans swap plus another $5k in suspension I planned out to turn it into an autocross car  doesn't count towards the cost, this is might pick.

Cam, our newest member brought the game back into the realm of reality, but his picks were many, so we're going to put them into a gallery.

Which opened it back up to everyone picking a few more cars for their league, and that's what Motorious did last Wednesday.

All of our collector cars priced below $20K can be seen here, but what we want to know is what you would pick with $20K  to spend in the Motorious inventory.