Se­ri­ous fun cars that you can buy for less than $20k

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - DAMIEN O’CARROLL

Let’s say you are a car en­thu­si­ast on a bud­get. There’s one area of car own­er­ship you re­ally want a spe­cial­ist car for and you have just $20,000 to spend on it. What to get? We set our­selves only two hard and fast rules for our search - it had to be bought for $20,000 and it had to be as new as pos­si­ble; that way even the me­chan­i­cally in­ept can join in the fun. Here are our five picks for en­thu­si­ast ve­hi­cles for $20k. We wel­come your sug­ges­tions for other pos­si­bil­i­ties, but re­mem­ber to stick to the rules! pro­duced here, be­cause the UK com­pany couldn’t keep up with de­mand.

Not only does the Ex­o­cet have the more mod­ern looks of some­thing like an Ariel Atom, it also can take two full-size adults and, be­cause the donor car is a first or sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion MX-5, it’s also bril­liantly af­ford­able. Kits start at $12,500. Throw in a cheap MX-5 donor car and you could have a complete, road-le­gal track­day fun car for eas­ily un­der our $20k cut­off.

Okay, so the JX comes with power steer­ing, a CD player and, um, a fuel gauge as stan­dard equip­ment, but it has a se­ri­ously rugged 4WD sys­tem, complete with low ra­tios, a proper lad­der chas­sis and a nuggety lit­tle 62kW/ 110Nm 1.3-litre petrol en­gine that is more than will­ing to dig deep and pull the Jimmy’s mi­nus­cule 1060kg curb weight across pretty much any­thing. should be able to score a third­gen­er­a­tion NC model. While this is ac­tu­ally the fat­test, least ex­cit­ing MX-5, it’s still an MX-5. And the fat­test and most un­ex­cit­ing MX-5 is still a mil­lion times more in­vig­o­rat­ing and in­volv­ing than most other cars.

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