The five cars below are all classics in their own right, not because they're particularly luxurious or comfy, but because they're excellent dancing partners: supremely light, quick on their feet, and really, really fun to drive. Though not earth-shatteringly powerful, each is a wonderful performance car in the right hands. More importantly, they're all imminently affordable. And on eBay. Right now. Better snag one before someone else does!
The old RX-7s are some of the more underrated cars out there. Those who are intimately familiar with them are intensely loyal to the very lightweight and well-balanced sports car, which is why Mazda perpetually flirts with producing a new one. Are there cheaper RX-7s out there? Obviously. There aren't many that are remotely as clean and all original as this one, though. It's a virtual time warp inside.
I've said it before, and I'm saying it again: these cars are at their rock-bottom price, and are prime for a renaissance just like their contemporary rival, the BMW E30 3-Series. If a lightweight car with fantastic handling and bountiful spare parts isn't enough to get you in the door for under $6,000, it's still a Porsche.
It's been a long time since Toyota made two proper performance cars simultaneously. In its day, the MR2 was a bona fide alternative to the more upscale Supra. That's hardly the point, though. It's a mid-rear-engined sports car with fantastic balance and more performance in the twistier sections of road than most people know what to do with.
If you've never stood next to one in real life, it's hard to explain exactly how small the original Mini really is. Designed originally to be an economy car, the engineers did such a great job of it that it was essentially the first hot hatchback. To put it another way, the Mini's designer once famously quipped, "I make my cars with such good brakes, such good steering, that if people get into a crash it's their own fault."
The Miata's a legend for a reason. You can find them pretty much all day for under $5,000 and with just a few tweaks they'll still out-handle most cars on the road today. This one comes with a hardtop -- which is essential if you ever take it to a racetrack, but also damn nice to have if you plan on using the car 12 months of the year.
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