Join Date: Apr 2015
Thanked 97 Times in 79 Posts
It's all about perception - as in what makes any car a "Sports Car".
Technology has advanced. As a 40+ year old gear head, I've owned and driven a huge range (and amount) of cars and wrenched on all of them. My first car was a '67 SS Chevelle 4 speed car. Bench seat. Manual EVERYTHING (brakes, steering etc). When I sold it was a legitimate 11 second street car. That was a big deal in '91. It also got single digit gas mileage (who cared, high octane ethanol free, LEADED gas was cheap). It handled like a '67 SS Chevelle.
I've driven a wide range of BMW's - never owned one. Had a M3 for quite a while (friend's car, I replaced the clutch and other things and drove it enough to put 10K miles on it).
You have to draw the line somewhere in terms of budget and how far back in time you are going. If you don't, you are comparing apples to watermelons - as in not even close.
Every car has its pluses and minuses. Most people truly don't realize how little power many of the old time "sports cars" and musclecars actually had when they were new. Not to mention how little of the power actually got to the ground (bias ply tires - lovely - NOT) and how mileage wasn't even a consideration.
Too many people, even now, automatically equate the price tag with how good a performer an automobile is. Hint, most cars can perform A LOT better than the average driver will ever now / be able to handle. That's just fact.
Back in the day, when my garage / driveway ALWAYS had a project car in it and likely I also drove it A LOT (always had an old truck for back up duties) the saying was this: "Fast, Cheap, Reliable - pick two."
That applies today.
Remember - old MG's, Triumph's etc they were considered true sports cars. No amenities, tight manual steering, light weight, high-revving (but most time LOW power) engines. What used to be called a "driver's" car. The lines have blurred because of technology.
I love it when someone says "The Accord (insert almost any other car model here) is not a sports car!". By whose definition? What are the measuring points we're using to judge this? My car runs a sub 14 second 1/4 mile and is capable of 140 mph. Those two factors alone would set the Accord 6-6 apart from the huge majority of traditional "sports cars" made before the last 15 years or so.
What about handling? Well, let's be honest - many people out there have only owned FWD cars. While the addition of a larger rear sway bar helped my car handle better for me - it is still FWD. It simply handles DIFFERENTLY than a RWD or even an AWD car. That's part of the design. I know people who regularly run a FWD car in SCCA events, and due well, who think a RWD car handles horribly. I know people that think the opposite is true too. The answer is : Depends on the driver (experience and ability) and the context of how / why you are comparing / measuring handling ability.
My requirements for my DD (the role my '11 6-6 fills now) were only 2 doors and manual transmission. I didn't want a true project car. I drove different levels of the Genesis. I drove BMW's, I drove Camaros, Mustangs, FR-S, etc etc. To me it was all graded on a sliding scale. I really didn't have a budget that I had to stick to, but the higher end cars simply weren't worth the extra outlay (purchase price + insurance + upkeep) for ME and MY situation.
Don't get hung up on the Accord being a "Sports car". It does everything I want it to do, very well. For ME, that's all that matters. I'm the one paying for and working on the car. I don't do it for someone else or what someone else may think.
I do know that several acquaintances have been truly surprised after riding / driving my car. Enjoy what you can buy / work on now. If a good chunk of people have their way, there won't be a whole lot of choices in what you drive in the next 20 years or so -not to mention the fact you might not even be driving the cars, they'll be driving you.
Comparing a $30K used BMW to a used 6-6 costing half that or less is simply ridiculous. Everyone's needs / wants / desire are different when it comes to cars. Just about like everything else. Stating "The Accord isn't a sports car, stop trying to make it to one. If you want one, but XXXX, just makes you sound pompous and honestly a bit angry. To be honest if someone set a $30K budget and had a "Sports car shootout" I could build a 6-6 coupe that would outperform damn near any $30K car (used) that you can buy. Sure, you could buy a car faster in the 1/4 mile, but how would it handle? What kind of reliability and mileage would it have? You could buy a better handling car, but how would the performance be?
As for the 2 door versus 4 door argument..I have a good friend with a 4 door Caddy that would beg to differ. His car has 500HP on tap, gets good gas mileage (when your foot isn't matted to floor), has made road track lap times faster than many "True" sports cars costing thousands more, not to mention the 6 speed manual his car is equipped with. Plus just about every luxury and convenience option you can think of.
Remember this - for every person who doesn't work on their cars beyond say oil changes etc, there is someone else who can use their own skills and parts to make their car into damn near whatever they desire. That's the best thing about the car hobby in my opinion.
Just my lowly opinion.