Classic Cars with Good Handling

Classic Cars with Good Handling

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Discussion

veevee

Original Poster:

1,455 posts

154 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
I like cars.

(Usually) My main criteria for owning a car is good handling.

I also like classic cars. Not really old ones, the kind you can drive more than twice a year without having to do a bare shell rebuild.

I've driven a couple and been quite underwhelmed by the handling, especially compared to more modern cars. I'm not 100% convinced by some of the older suspension setups! Can anyone suggest any which would make a good regular driver, and have comparable handling (not comfort!) to newer cars. And obtainable for under say £10k.

HustleRussell

24,903 posts

163 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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Depends how you define classic... You've the S1 lotus Elise option, plus Caterhams.

Leins

9,570 posts

151 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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Not sure how old you're thinking, but a lot of the "modern classics" are something approaching the best of both worlds IME. Modern enough in feel, but still with a nice bit of character and stand-out-from-the-crowd looks these days

How about an E36 M3?

poing

8,743 posts

203 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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205gti?

kambites

67,863 posts

224 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
Early hot hatches are probably a good bet - mk1 Golf GTi; 205 GTi, etc.

If you want something more sportscar-ish, there's things like the Lotus Excel and Porsche 944. Maybe the original Scirocco.


If you want to go 70s or earlier it gets harder. Most cars expensive enough to have IRS in those days are out of your budget so you're looking at something with a live axle. Something like an MG Midget is great fun because it has so little grip but doesn't handle well by modern standards.

Edited by kambites on Saturday 30th April 22:01

gazza285

9,927 posts

211 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
kambites said:
Early hot hatches are probably a good bet - mk1 Golf GTi; 205 GTi, etc.
As long as you don't mind the torque steer?

peteA

2,690 posts

237 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
Lotus elan (the front wheel drive one from your description)

kambites

67,863 posts

224 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
gazza285 said:
kambites said:
Early hot hatches are probably a good bet - mk1 Golf GTi; 205 GTi, etc.
As long as you don't mind the torque steer?
As long as you realise the throttle isn't a binary device. tongue out

interloper

2,747 posts

258 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
How old are we talking? And how do you define "good handling".

I would suggest a Lotus excel and elans (both classic and fwd M100 models) as having good all round handling.

Maybe a well put together classic mini, although the handling is flawed in so much as great front end grip but maybe too easily unsettled by big bumps for some tastes?

Having typed all that, I take the veiw that a lot of modern stuff doesn't handle properly at all, so again with out specifics it's hard to give ideas.

stevesingo

4,861 posts

225 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
gazza285 said:
kambites said:
Early hot hatches are probably a good bet - mk1 Golf GTi; 205 GTi, etc.
As long as you don't mind the torque steer?
First you must have torque. Mk1 Golf and 205GTis don't have much.

davebem

746 posts

180 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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Clio Williams
Porsche 944

veevee

Original Poster:

1,455 posts

154 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
interloper said:
How old are we talking? And how do you define "good handling".

I would suggest a Lotus excel and elans (both classic and fwd M100 models) as having good all round handling.

Maybe a well put together classic mini, although the handling is flawed in so much as great front end grip but maybe too easily unsettled by big bumps for some tastes?

Having typed all that, I take the veiw that a lot of modern stuff doesn't handle properly at all, so again with out specifics it's hard to give ideas.
I meant to write pre-1990 in my original post!

It's hard to put an arbitrary vlue on 'good handling', so I'm happy to go with good-in-your-opinion.

I have had a couple of the cars people always suggest in these things - I had a Mk2 Golf GTI, and currently have a 205 GTI. I've also had a couple of 306 GTIs, which IMO have significantly better handling, which sort of lead me to ask the question!

kambites

67,863 posts

224 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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The MX5 just about scrapes into "pre 1990". smile

EnglishTony

2,552 posts

102 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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Then you are ready for a Mitsubshi Evo VI.

kambites

67,863 posts

224 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
EnglishTony said:
Then you are ready for a Mitsubshi Evo VI.
Pre-1990?

jonah35

3,940 posts

160 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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E30 m3

interloper

2,747 posts

258 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
veevee said:
I meant to write pre-1990 in my original post!

It's hard to put an arbitrary vlue on 'good handling', so I'm happy to go with good-in-your-opinion.

I have had a couple of the cars people always suggest in these things - I had a Mk2 Golf GTI, and currently have a 205 GTI. I've also had a couple of 306 GTIs, which IMO have significantly better handling, which sort of lead me to ask the question!
The 306 was always really highly regarded, actually a very hard act to follow.

So I think you need to look for different /enjoyable, rather than better.

kambites

67,863 posts

224 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
jonah35 said:
E30 m3
Certainly a fine handling pre-90 car but if you can find one for sale in usable condition for <£10k he'll have to fight me for it. biggrin

NNH

1,533 posts

135 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
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70s: Mk 2 Escorts can be made to handle quite nicely. The steering and gearchange still put many modern cars to shame.

80s: Golf 16v has bigger brakes and lower suspension than the 8v. Even more importantly, they have a 16v badge on the glovebox to impress any passenger smile

mywifeshusband

595 posts

201 months

Saturday 30th April 2016
quotequote all
Try a Saab C900. The double wishbone front end is a joy. Get rid on the front arb and they are even better.