While Project Z aims to educate the members of the forum on building a super car killer. There are plenty of other options you could consider buying and transforming into a sleeper rod. You would be surprised to know that, in Malaysia, these cars can be had for a steal, while its considerably very hard and expensive to find these cars in a more developed country, say Japan. These were very understated cars of the current era and most of them aren't aware of them as great future classics. Here is a Top 10 list written by me specifically. It will serve a great car for first time buyers wanting to get an unique looking car. (Other than committing to the bank into becoming a loan slave, that is)
No. 10 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic was introduced in 1972 as a solution to the Global Oil Crisis in 1970s. While cars of larger engine capacity was frown upon, this frugal little machine sips very decently, providing a good fuel economy and a great move about car in the era. Fast forward to 40 years later, this car is still very reliable and very useful. These cars can be had under RM5,000 and you can pick up a bargain, from an Auntie or Uncle, who had these cars since their first car ownership days. You could easily pick up a nice 2 door version, repaint it bright orange and do the 1st Gen Civic RS lookalike as above. The Honda Civic has been iconic as one of the Police Academy cars, as driven by Officer Hightower.
'78 Honda Civic driven by Hightower(Police Academy) - YouTube
No. 9 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord, served as a mid sized sedan alternative, when the Honda Civic is too small for most people. The Europeans and Americans find themselves snugly fit into the larger sized Accord. The Honda Accord provided great fuel economy despite its larger size than its Honda Civic sibling. You could easily pick up a first gen example for less than RM5,000 and drop a nice V-TEC engine to scare whatever is in front of you. The first gen Honda Accord hatchback was featured prominently in the Simpsons series, as Superintendent Chalmer's car, where the H hood ornament was stolen.
No. 8 Datsun Violet 160J
The Datsun Violet 160J was built as a direct succesor to the Nissan Bluebird 510. The car has tremendous racing heritage, as it was an overall successful car in rallying. The car can be found in Mudah classifieds for a price under RM5,000, if it ever pops up on it.
(Wikipedia)The Violet 160J was Nissan's most successful car in the World Rally Championship. It won the Safari Rally in Kenya from 1979 to 1982 consecutively, all with Shekhar Mehta behind the wheel. The 1979 and 1980 winners were powered by an SOHC engine; the 1981 and 1982 winners were Violet GT models with a DOHC engine. These Safari records are only matched by the Toyota Celica GT-Four which won the 1992–95 events. Driven by Timo Salonen, the Violet also won the 1980 Rally New Zealand and the 1981 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire.
No. 7 Nissan March
The Nissan March was a contender to the little Honda City a.k.a "the Bulldog". They were made to replace the aging Nissan Cherry and would serve to be a contender to the Supermini categories. Nissan March were very popular in Europe and it was one of the most reliable cars in the category, with an average of 8.0 breakdown per 1000 cars. The Nissan March came with the 1.0 litre turbo option, which was popular amongst car enthusiasts in the 80's, as it was cheaper to pay in road tax and nippy turbo-charged 1 litre, provided a mind-bending drive, in its days. Such examples can be had under RM10,000, including the turbo-charged version.
No. 6 Toyota Starlet
The Toyota Starlet proved to be an alternative to the Nissan March, as it had the brand prestige of a Toyota. The first generation, the KP60's were rear wheel drive. The later version, all came in forward wheel drive layout. The rear wheel driven KP60's are one of the cheapest choices around for rallying. The older KP60's are great transplant choices for Toyota 4A engines, as most parts from the Toyota AE86 Trueno would fit, although the wheelbase of the car would slightly shorter than the Toyota. Both choices are popular, however, the first gen Starlet can be found at a price under RM5,000. If you are lucky, you might bump into a second generation for RM10,000 or less.
No. 5 Datsun 180K/Nissan Skyline
The Datsun 180K (Or Nissan Skyline C210 in JDM markets) served as a mid-large size sedan to the markets outside of Japan, as it didn't had large cars to cater for overseas market. The Datsun 180K is a pretentious sleeper, as most people in those day, had no internet access and definitely haven't heard what is a Nissan Skyline. Thanks to Gran Turismo video game and better retro car movements, now the Datsun 180K is more popular amongst enthusiasts. This is the cheapest way to ever own a Nissan Skyline, without paying premium to the nose. The JDM version has a nice twin devil round tail lamps (as opposed to BMW Angel lamps) compared to the 180K, which has normal square lamps. The set of JDM lamps can be had from junkyards in Japan and serves to a great cosmetic upgrade to the owners of the 180K. If you are lucky, you might bump into a Datsun 180K as cheap as RM2,000 or at times up to a staggering RM10,000, since people tend to harp on the Skyline name for profit. The sedan version of the Skyline is popular as a police car of the late 70's and early 80's as found in police drama series "Seibu Keisatsu (Western Division Police)
No. 4 Mazda 808/RX-3
The Mazda 808/RX-3 was a popular sedan in its past, featuring either a piston based engine or a rotary engine in its choice in the RX-3. While both cars may share some design and mechanical features, the only thing seperating them was the choice of engines available. The 808/RX-3 is a popular choice as a drag car in Australia, as 13B Rotary engines were easily transplanted in these cars and serve as one of the fastest record breaking cars in the Southern Hemisphere. A Mazda 808/RX-3 sedans can be found in most small kampungs at a price below RM5,000, while the coupe may up all the way above RM10,000, due to the two door craze. Definitely a choice worth looking at.
No. 3 Honda Prelude
The Honda Prelude, is one of the funky flip lights model you could buy below RM10,000. The economical and fun to drive coupe was the choice of the 80s. The first gen is less popular with most young buyers, as it had the older "uncle" looks attached to it. However, the newer 2nd or 3rd gen with flip lights, is a choice amongst younger buyers, as most of them grew up with the 80's flip light fad. The first gen can be had for lower than RM5,000 for a good condition one, while the 2nd or 3rd gen prelude fetches between RM5,000 to RM15,000, as most cars are often bought and modified by the younger generations.
No. 2 Datsun Bluebird 510
The Datsun Bluebird 510 was the choice of the Americans in Circuit car racing. Introduced in the 60's, these cars gain fascination amongst the younger generation, as these cars were inexpensive, nimble and fast around the tracks. These cars were made famous by the winning race team, Brock Racing Enterprises. In our country however, these cars are undervalued and no one knew about their racing heritage. These cars can be had for a good money, well below RM5,000 and are great candidates for transplant for CA18 or SR20 engines, since the rear wheel drive layout makes it an awesome combo for track. The Datsun Bluebird 510, was featured as a Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen car, when Sam drives it in the movie for a short time.
No. 1 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla, from the early E10 series all the way to the E70 series, are great choices of cars to purchase. One of the underlying reasons is, the availability of 4A engines around for a cheap price. Most car buyers in Malaysia would prefer to buy the KE70 Corollas, as they were easier to transplant AE86 parts into it. The other advantage is that, the KE70 Corollas had a modern suspension setup, where the older KE Corolla's lack. This is no doubt the number 1 choice in Malaysia, where beginner drivers learn to drift in the rear wheel driven Corolla and a car with great re-saleability, due to its high demand in Malaysia.
I hope my guide serves as a direction for young people wanting to acquire cars, other than wanting to purchase a modern car. Hopefully there would be more enthusiasts riding some old school cars in the future, with intention of restoring and souping them up. Thanks for reading.
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