Matthewramstead

My situation help please

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I am 16 years old, and I have just acquired my driving permit.  I am searching for a 280z as a first car.  I have read up on many forum posts already and people have said that it is not a good car to start on as it is old and would require a lot of work and unsafe, but here is my situation.  In my family we have a corolla that is in great working condition and it could be given to me as a car to learn to drive on and as my daily driver.  People say to learn to drive on a safer car such as the corolla, but I want to acquire a 280z.  Would it be wise to purchase a Z as a first car?  I have the corolla I can always fall back to, so would it be smart to purchase?  I have a budget around $8k for a 280z, would that be enough to get a running 280z that is rust free? Im not that mechanically gifted, but I am willing to learn and am motivated to do so.  I am also fairly patient.  Another thing, how cheap are parts for this car?  Any information would help, thanks for your time!

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Drive the Corolla. Save your money and, if you have space, buy a 280Z in good condition and store it for later. You can then spend time learning about your car and what it will need. Keep saving and slowly restore it to a road worthy vehicle. By that time you will have enough driving experience hopefully to appreciate the old Datsun. Definitely not a First Car IMHO...

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3 minutes ago, wheee! said:

Drive the Corolla. Save your money and, if you have space, buy a 280Z in good condition and store it for later. You can then spend time learning about your car and what it will need. Keep saving and slowly restore it to a road worthy vehicle. By that time you will have enough driving experience hopefully to appreciate the old Datsun. Definitely not a First Car IMHO...

Thank you for your response.  I will probably end up driving the corolla.  How much do you think it would be for a 280z in good condition? 

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By Corolla I imagine you mean it's not a 1UZ swapped AE86 Sprinter Apex.   Having the ability to own a running car at 16 is a pretty good thing.  Even if its a base model Corolla after they stopped being RWD drift cars.  $8,000 will get you a lot of 280Z, just shy of running reliably.  is it possible to have both?

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10 minutes ago, Reptoid Overlords said:

By Corolla I imagine you mean it's not a 1UZ swapped AE86 Sprinter Apex.   Having the ability to own a running car at 16 is a pretty good thing.  Even if its a base model Corolla after they stopped being RWD drift cars.  $8,000 will get you a lot of 280Z, just shy of running reliably.  is it possible to have both?

thanks for responding.  No its not a AE86, but just a normal corolla you would see on the road everywhere.  Its reliable and drives and is not a sporty car.  By when you said "Is it possible to have both" as in can I have both cars at the same time, yes I believe I can.  Would you recommend picking up the 280z at this point in time? 

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The 280 will only get more expensive in time. I still say buy one and store it for later. First cars usually end up being a sad story you tell your kids.

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14 minutes ago, wheee! said:

The 280 will only get more expensive in time. I still say buy one and store it for later. First cars usually end up being a sad story you tell your kids.

ok thank you for your input!

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3 hours ago, Matthewramstead said:

I am 16 years old, and I have just acquired my driving permit.  I am searching for a 280z as a first car.  I have read up on many forum posts already and people have said that it is not a good car to start on as it is old and would require a lot of work and unsafe, but here is my situation.  In my family we have a corolla that is in great working condition and it could be given to me as a car to learn to drive on and as my daily driver.  People say to learn to drive on a safer car such as the corolla, but I want to acquire a 280z.  Would it be wise to purchase a Z as a first car?  I have the corolla I can always fall back to, so would it be smart to purchase?  I have a budget around $8k for a 280z, would that be enough to get a running 280z that is rust free? Im not that mechanically gifted, but I am willing to learn and am motivated to do so.  I am also fairly patient.  Another thing, how cheap are parts for this car?  Any information would help, thanks for your time!

Matthew, my first car was a MG Midget.  As long as you drive responsibly, the choice of car shouldn’t matter much.  It’s all up to you.  The weakest part on any given car is the “nut” holding the steering wheel.  😁

If you have a need for speed, there are track/autocross opportunities out there, although they may require you to be at least 18 years old.  Good luck with whatever direction you end up going.  😀

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I would definitely buy a 280z now while they are still relatively cheap, hold on to it, work on it and dream. Get yourself a few years of driving experience under your belt using the Toyota.

Good luck

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Matthew ,

Buy a 280z and learn how to fix anything on it that breaks!

It will be old, it will break a little. No worries, you'll work on it. You will fix it. You will learn stuff. At some point one of your friends "NEW" cars will break too...perhaps a waterpump leaking, or serpentine belt adjuster gets weak. You will know how to fix that too.

Working on cars is a very important character building experience, and it hones your critical thinking/debugging skills tremendously. You don't need to know how to rebuild a transmission to get through life. However, experienced in diagnosing car problems translates into better diagnostic skills with every problem you will run into in the future.

Your future success in life depends on buying a 280Z now! 🙂 Feel free to show this to your parents.

Len

Edited by superlen
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If that’s the case, but two. One to drive and destroy and one to restore later!

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Some young people destroy their first cars; some don't. My first car, a 240z, was taken out by a dead pine tree, 25 years later...

Some of that depends on Mathew and how mature he is. I do think a 280z would be better than a 240z. they are marginally safer and more refined.

Mathew,

Are you in Illinois?

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What I meant by destroy is more like “drive to death”. Without the skill or money to look after it, it will not last long in good shape.

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Matt    As far as your budget goes, you should be able to find a good condition drive-able 280z depending on your location.  If you are in the Chicago Lake Forest area, pretty much count on shipping a car to you which can get expensive and eat up a chunk of the money. Of course, luck can strike anywhere,   If its the California Lake Forest, a local low rust car becomes much more possible.

The pacific north west states are a good source for the car you are looking for.

Best of luck with finding one!

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As said already, working on mechanical stuff teaches you a whole lot of other skills.  "Figuring out" sense too. 

Oh yeah, tools out the wazoo! I have things I'll never use again but maybe one day? LOL

Edited by siteunseen

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On 10/26/2019 at 3:58 PM, SoCalJim said:

Matthew, my first car was a MG Midget.  As long as you drive responsibly, the choice of car shouldn’t matter much.  It’s all up to you.  The weakest part on any given car is the “nut” holding the steering wheel.  😁

If you have a need for speed, there are track/autocross opportunities out there, although they may require you to be at least 18 years old.  Good luck with whatever direction you end up going.  😀

Jim, thank you for responding.  My good friend has a triumph spitfire, and he takes care of it very well.  In a way he has inspired me to try to look for a classic as well.  It sounds like so much fun to fix something and have it run or even start up   Haha.  How was your experience with the midget, because I was also looking into getting an MGB if the Datsun didn’t work out. 

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:08 PM, superlen said:

Matthew ,

Buy a 280z and learn how to fix anything on it that breaks!

It will be old, it will break a little. No worries, you'll work on it. You will fix it. You will learn stuff. At some point one of your friends "NEW" cars will break too...perhaps a waterpump leaking, or serpentine belt adjuster gets weak. You will know how to fix that too.

Working on cars is a very important character building experience, and it hones your critical thinking/debugging skills tremendously. You don't need to know how to rebuild a transmission to get through life. However, experienced in diagnosing car problems translates into better diagnostic skills with every problem you will run into in the future.

Your future success in life depends on buying a 280Z now! 🙂 Feel free to show this to your parents.

Len

Thank you so much for responding Len.  I will definitely show this to my parents, there was no better way you could have put it haha

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On 10/26/2019 at 7:38 PM, Patcon said:

Some young people destroy their first cars; some don't. My first car, a 240z, was taken out by a dead pine tree, 25 years later...

Some of that depends on Mathew and how mature he is. I do think a 280z would be better than a 240z. they are marginally safer and more refined.

Mathew,

Are you in Illinois?

Thank you for responding.  I am from the lake forest in California, not the one in Illinois

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8 hours ago, Matthewramstead said:

Thank you for responding.  I am from the lake forest in California, not the one in Illinois

Thats good. You should have a good selection of clean fairly rust free Zs

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Matthew, regarding your question about my MG Midget experience, I'd say it was a pretty good car, and fun to drive.  However, when I owned it, back in the 1970s, it was very small compared to the other cars & trucks on the road.  And, there were no SUVs, and a lot fewer trucks to contend with back then.  Today, my 280Z, which is a lot larger than a MG Midget, looks very small compared to the vehicles that I have to share the road with.  I'd be very, very reluctant to drive something as small as the Midget on any major highway.  I hope this info helps you in your decision making.

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1 hour ago, SoCalJim said:

Matthew, regarding your question about my MG Midget experience, I'd say it was a pretty good car, and fun to drive.  However, when I owned it, back in the 1970s, it was very small compared to the other cars & trucks on the road.  And, there were no SUVs, and a lot fewer trucks to contend with back then.  Today, my 280Z, which is a lot larger than a MG Midget, looks very small compared to the vehicles that I have to share the road with.  I'd be very, very reluctant to drive something as small as the Midget on any major highway.  I hope this info helps you in your decision making.

Ok thank you, this is definitely something to consider.

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Way back in the day when pop music sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks, my first car was a '73 240z.  Even though the car was only 6 years old, it constantly required a lot of  of love and money. Otherwise, they wont age gracefully. Maybe 280z is different than 240z.  But mine did not age gracefully. Whatever could be broken was. If you are obsessed like I was and already made up your mind and if you can swing it, buy a z and keep it.  Also buy a car to drive.

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