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Hello everyone! I'm Sam, I'm 13, and I love cars. I'm beginning the brainstorming process...

of my first car. My parents are allowing me to get an old first car under the condition I have to maintain and fix it. With that being said, what should I buy? I love old American sedans of the 60s, MGBs, and early Japanese imports. Mind you, I have about $7,000 saved from my Bar Mitzvah and other things, and I'm getting a job post corona-cation. So let's just say I have $8,000 for a car+maintenance. The cars I've looked at include the 60's ford Sedans (Galaxie, Fairlane, etc), an MGB GT, or an old Toyota Celica/Corona. Basically I just want something RWD thats simple to work on. So, with my request being made, what should I buy?


Buy the best $6000 vehicle you like that has passed appropriate certifications for your jurisdiction. Keep the other $2000 for the things that pop up right away that otherwise stop you driving it. Make sure you have factored in "hidden costs" like insurance, transfer taxes, plates, etc.


Resist the urge to buy a "great deal" project that needs work. 1st car in the hobby it is best for it to be driveable right away. Enjoy it, build memories and attachment  --and decide if you want to invest more in it or get something else. Absolutely restore/mod along the way  --just keep it street legal and useable.


Disclaimer: if you have a mechanical background, mom is a mechanic, grandpa does custom paint, etc. then go ahead and buy a basket case. 99% of people shouldn't though.


As far as cars go... 60s domestic American is generally cheap and easy to work on and the popular stuff has huge aftermarket support. If it is a Chevy you can probably get the part (I had difficulty with some bits for my 64 Buick). If you love the small British roadster idea ---get a Miata (MX5) of any generation and enjoy.

Community Manager

That's a very good question! As someone whose first car was a 1965 Ford Galaxie (still an old car back in the 1990s) I have a unique perspective on this.

You need to remember that safety was a half-baked notion back in the 1960s. You can still have fun in a car with collapsable steering columns, crash energy management, big brakes with ABS and a fair bit of side impact protection. I am being a wet blanket because a friend of mine that lost his kid because in an accident that wasn't his fault. So with that in mind:

-Any Mazda Miata (hey, it's still safer than an MG!)
-Nissan 240SX, if you can find one that isn't beat to death
-89-97 Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar (simple V8, plenty of potential, SUPER cheap)
-GM B-bodies from the 1990s (easy to upgrade with cop car bits)
-SN-95 Ford Mustangs
-4th Gen F-bodys
-Ford Panthers (fun after swapping Police car bits)
-Chevy S10s and Ford Rangers with a stick (seriously, they are fun)

You have plenty of time to get a toy that was made before the advent of safety engineering (so to speak). Get something from the 1990s right now, and last time I checked, these cars are still old and filled with character and unique style. 😀

Collapsable steering columns and side impact protection are good thing for your first ride.

Advanced Driver

Hard choice aint it dude? I learned to drive at 14, way back in 1968. I learned in my Dads 1958 MGA. Both my sons also learned in it. I was still driving it this year, but finally sold it to a very good home. Once my Granpaw saw that I could handle the responsibility I drove him all around the County in his Falcon(s). That's a whole other story about my love affair with the Falcons. When I got my money right, I bought my first. An Opel Kadet. I admire that you are reaching out for advice. Above all else put SAFETY at the top of your process. Lotssa cars run good but they don't all crash good. I wish you much success.