Eunos Cosmo's Car [search/contemplation] Thread: "Weekend" with a 124 Spider...in Hawaii

Discussion in 'Member's Rides' started by Eunos_Cosmo, May 8, 2016.

  1. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I just realized that aside from a quarter-life practicality crisis, I've never once owned a car that I could honestly consider a responsible decision. :lol:

    I've only regretted most of them.
     
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  2. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    My car has a hat:

    [​IMG]

    Been noticing that the interior of my car has a kind of 'swampy' quality to it lately. So I've been airing it out and got this cover for the rainy days. Having it outside like this isn't ideal, but my GF's car (another German convertible...) is in a much worse way than mine in terms of leaks, and she depends on her car a lot more than I depend on mine. Oh life.....

    The quality of the 'hat' itself is rather good! For only $80, no less. The whole perimeter is lined with padded magnets, and there are straps around the mirrors, and a lock-in piece in the trunk... so it is pretty secure actually. It's about as waterproof as the factory softop (maybe not quite as waterproof) but if it can basically provide another level of protection (in addition to protecting the plastic rear window from UV) then it's doing its job.

    In other news, my check engine light has come on again. Without diving in, I have a feeling it's probably the mass-air sensor that I cleaned instead of replacing outright. Unfortunately, to get to it, the power top needs to be functioning...which it isn't. In architecture, we like to build in 'structural redundancy' meaning that if one system or piece of structure fails, the system is designed to carry on. I feel like Porsche was going for the opposite here. If one system fails, it makes it more difficult to fix other systems.

    -Top doesn't work - can't access the engine
    -(I really love this one) Battery dead - Can't open the compartment where the battery is located...because it's battery operated :lol::lol::lol:

    Also I think I figured out my thoughts on the 986/996 front end. I really, really dislike the 996.1 front end, and I really dislike the 986.2 front end. The 986.1 & 996.2 are both nice...they are less busy and more purposeful.

    986.1 - Very simple, very elegant, very clean (My car shown):
    [​IMG]
    The later 986.1s had a center radiator opening that I think spoiled it a bit. The 2.5 cars look the prettiest.

    996.1 - Not as elegant, looks cheaper than the Boxster, IMO
    [​IMG]

    986.2 - Looks like it has puckered lips or something. Getting fussy.
    [​IMG]

    996.2 - Still don't love it, but it seems to work better with the revised headlights:
    [​IMG]

    996.1 GT3 - Probably the best of the lot, that splitter really does wonders:
    [​IMG]

    986.1 Aerokit II - Probably my favorite non-standard front (though still Porsche OEM) for the blob-faced cars:
    [​IMG]
    It's just a shame they are so rare and never seem like they fit quite right.

    986.1 Techart - Very cool, but a little too aftermarket looking ultimately:
    [​IMG]

    There are countless really bad aftermarket kits out there that I won't post....but trying to make your '97 Boxster look like a Carrera GT or a 997 GT2-RS is probably not the best idea.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  3. Heldenzeit

    Heldenzeit

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    There should be a metal rod in the tool roll to manually raise/lower the soft top.
     
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  4. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I've really been restless lately thinking about what car to get. While the Fiat 500 Abarth was hot on my radar for a while, I'm not certain the ownership experience would be good and at the end of the day it isn't what I really want.

    It shouldn't surprise too many people here to know what I really want: Honda/Acura Integra Type R. It's basically my dream car as seemingly unremarkable as it is. To my eyes it's the Alfa Romeo Guilia GTA-M of the 1990s. The problem: They are quite expensive (in the US) for what ultimately is an old car that will need maintenance. I can afford one, but I'm not sure if it's the best move. On the one hand, I don't need a car for commuting (I bike or take the bus or ferry) but on the other I would enjoy a car that I can depend on for day trips / longer road trips without anxiety about it breaking. I have room for 1 car. One thing I have thought about is that these cars will not likely go down in value from there current levels....I doubt I would lose money buying an ITR for $25k

    For about $8k-10k less than I would be willing to spend on an ITR, I can get a remarkably similar Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. It's damn near the same car (about the same power, about the same weight, about the same size, about the same kind of interior & ergonomics), except RWD instead of FWD and with a lot less of a racy setup from the factory. It's also a much newer car and I wouldn't hesitate to drive one across the country. I could easily make an FR-S a Type R's equal in terms of setup/performance with some upgrades. But it won't ever be an Integra Type R.

    Full disclosure: I have never driven an ITR. I've driven an Integra GSR, owned a DC Integra LS, and owned a EJ Civic with a B16a and a host of modifications. I can imagine how it would feel to drive.

    Thoughts?
     
  5. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    Have you considered a fake ITR? A lot of the price of the ITR is on it's rarity - not necessarily it's driving dynamics (not to say it's a poor car or anything) - but what I'm getting at here is whether you got the go of the ITR but none of the pricetag (and admittedly, future investment). That would entail you feel a lot less anxious with it, and especially as values go up, less guilt for driving something and devaluing it. There's a ton of DC2s that you could almost swear were real, and if anything, with some subtle modifications, probably even better.
     
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  6. motortrend

    motortrend

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    ITRs are priced based on rarity and hype at this point, not driving experience, so you're not getting much bang for your buck. I agree with SVX, but I'd personally try to find a K swapped one and make it my own without fear of putting too many miles or the mods diminishing its value. You could also just buy a really nice DC5 and do some fun mods and you won't lose much if you don't go too crazy modding. The FRS/BRZ is a great car but they're a little boring and easy being so modern, but that may be a plus for you. The engines are also pretty crappy, at the local track a couple have already gone kaboom while there's countless B and K series going strong. I'll go ahead and suggest a 2ZZ or K20 swapped MR-2 spyder. That's going to be wayyyy more fun than the FRS/BRZ but it might be tiring on longer trips. Then again, 4.5K RPM on the highway in the DC2 will also be annoying.
     
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  7. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    All good points.

    The gulf in prices between even GSR Integras and the ITR is absurd. I do actually like the idea of building a clone. A big part of this is that I hate the USDM front and so doing a JDM front end would be on the agenda. Doing this to a GSR or an LS doesn't seem too bad. Doing it to a real ITR would be a little much. But it wouldn't be a Type R....

    While K-swaps are hard to argue with in terms of power, I don't like the way they sound as much as a B or H series. Not to mention that I'm in CA and doing a smog-legal K swap would be a lot of work. An H22 coupled to a B16A trans would probably be the easiest way to get 200hp, though it wouldn't be a 6 speed. To be honest, I'm not sure how involved the H22 swap is. A GSR with some work done could probably get close to 200hp N/A. You can still get sweet deals on clean, stock GSRs, but they tend to all be well over 100,000 miles.

    I really like the 2ZZ MR2, but it's just so impractical. There isn't even a frunk. :lol:
     
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  8. Crash

    Crash Premium

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    If ITR was the dream, then get the ITR.

    I was in a similar boat a year ago, and I ended up deciding that life is too short. If you have the means and if trying something new and enjoying different cars is something you enjoy or you have a chance at a dream car, then do it (especially on a car that you're unlikely to lose a ton of money on).

    The only caveat is that unless THE perfect one is immediately in front of you, I think it may be worthwhile to hold tight until then. I still think a recession is coming soon; will the prices be significantly lower? Maybe not, but it's worth waiting to see.
     
  9. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Test drove a couple cars over the weekend, both at a Porsche dealership. They don't seem well versed in cheaper cars (I'll get to that later) :lol:.

    2017 Nissan Frontier. Base as hell. 4 cylinder, 5 speed, white on tan, king cab.
    A refreshingly honest littleish truck. I thought a 2.5-powered truck would feel hopeless, but the engine felt usefully torquey and responsive down low. It's all over after 3,000rpm, but it's a truck so it doesn't really matter. I actually enjoyed driving it quite a bit. It's probably the most simple vehicle you can buy in the USA in 2019 (you can still get one exactly like it today). It was reasonably comfortable, but a little bouncy compared to essentially any car. My GF was far from enjoying it.

    Ultimately, I looked at the car from the side profile and realized that about 50% of the vehicle, dimensionally, is basically useless to me. In a way, it sort of started to feel like a Miata in that it is tremendously well suited to the task it is designed for, but not much else. For me, it would be a waste of space. I wish I could get a small SUV with the same ethos as the frontier. A Wrangler is kind of close to that, but the Wrangler tax is something I'm not willing to pay for.

    2017 Subaru Outback Premium
    They happened to have this car on the lot, and the sales guy really wanted me to drive it. I did so. It was a very well equipped model with the 2.5L and CVT. It was fine. Seemed like a good car. But good god was it boring. Boring to look at, boring to sit in, boring to drive. The transmission/powertrain is boring, but better than I expected. It didn't feel dangerously slow. I will say that the on-center steering feel felt very sketchy and artificial, almost like my old DFGT wheel I used for Gran Turismo 5. Never driven a car with worse steering feel than that legacy. (Caveat - it might have been doing some sort of lane keep assist, I'm not sure. It felt weird.) I definitely do not want a car like this, but it was generally nice.

    Part of me feels like the Subaru Crosstrek would slot somewhere in between these two in terms of useful simplicity/charm and modern amenities. I would really enjoy being able to throw my bike(s) in the back or take some people with me on longer trips.

    The Frontier was listed for $17k and the Subaru was $25k. I told the guy that $25k was more than I wanted to spend and he said it was barely more than the Frontier. I was like, yeah maybe in Porsche-land, but that's a full 40% more expensive. He then tried to tell me you cant buy any new car under $25k anymore and that, I'm quoting here, "the outback is basically the best car anywhere, ever". At another point he said "this is the cheapest one of these in the country, and I know that without looking it up" and that it was over $40k new. At that point I just said thank you and left.

    Any input would be appreciated. Feel kind of lost in a sea of choices and I don't seem to be able to narrow it down to even what category of vehicle I want. :lol:

    My issue: I have a car that is paid for, but it isn't very reliable nor very practical, nor very economical to run & maintain.

    My want: Something that is mostly more economical to run and maintain and more reliable, but also still subjectively fun. Added practicality is nice, but not super important (I take the bus or ferry to work, remember).

    My concern: Really not jazzed about getting into a finance plan with the economic horizons looking a little wobbly. Yeah, the money is great now, but will it be in 1 or 2 years? I don't have confidence that it will be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  10. dice1998

    dice1998 Premium

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    It might if you felt that floaty-feel. Do you know if it had the eyesight cameras as well?

    If you haven't test driven one yet, you may feel like it's gutless. It's a common complaint I hear.

    :lol: The Outback will keep it's value as good, if not better than, the frontier. It's a Subaru thing I guess but you can definitely get an Outback Premium (the one with cloth, limiteds have leather) for much less than $40K.

    Have you considered a CPO Mazda?
     
  11. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I have. I really need to go drive a 2017/18 Mazda3 hatch, though I've never quite loved the body style, but I'm probably too critical because of the 2019 car. I drove a 2018 Mazda6 and felt like it was underpowered. The 3 has the same engine but is a bit lighter, so maybe it will feel better? I'm gonna prioritize driving a 3 next. Seems like it could be a good option. I loved my Mazda2.

    Also need to drive a new Veloster.
     
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  12. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    This + lift kit + cool wheels/tires = win.

    hqdefault.jpg
     
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  13. eiriksmil

    eiriksmil

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    **** modern Subarus.

    Didn't know the D40 Frontier was still around!! It's what, a 15 year old car now.

    Mazda 3 all the way if you want a fun car that is also sensible. USDM Corolla is also a surprisingly fun car to drive I hear.
     
  14. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    14. It'll go 15 with the current body, then the all new truck comes along for 2021.
     
  15. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I can't help but feel like the Crosstrek would be a bomb-ass little rally raid thing if they had given it the 2.5 instead of the 2.0.
     
  16. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Or a CVT.
     
  17. dice1998

    dice1998 Premium

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    Both the 3 and the 6 do share the same 2.5l 4cyl so it would feel better in the 3. If you lived by where I work, we would allow you to take one home for the day though every dealership varies. Also ask about cost for adding apple carplay/android auto because it may be a worthy investment if you plan on keeping the car for a good while.

    I also do need to drive the new veloster :lol:
     
  18. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    *cough* RSX-S *cough*
     
  19. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Speaking of Acura...

    Has anyone on here driven a newer (2015+) Acura TLX? I know it's basically an accord with a slightlier fancy suit on, but they seem like pretty decent quality cars. The torque converter-equipped dual clutch transmission (in the 2.4L cars) and AWS also intrigue me. You can low mileage examples in the mid-teens I've seen, which seems like pretty great value for money. It's not exactly what I want, but I'm finding that exactly what I want doesn't exist.
     
  20. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Well to follow up on my own previous post, I tried out a TLX over the weekend. It felt somewhat similar to the Accord I drove a few months ago. This was a 2016 2.4L model, with all-wheel steering and the dual clutch 8 speed.

    The engine and gearbox seemed to work pretty well together and it was pretty cool to see the DCT hammer through the gears while the engine was in VTEC. The car felt adequately powerful and sounded good in the VTEC range, but it was no means a rocket ship. The car I drove had the tech package, which is way more tech than I'm used to. None of it felt too invasive, but almost none of it felt very necessary either. I can't see myself ever using lane keep assist, for instance.

    The car had decent controls. Steering felt muted, but the weight felt about right. It seemed pretty capable from a dynamic standpoint as well. The gearbox itself...I felt like it had 1 or 2 too many ratios for it to be enjoyable with the paddle shifters. Maybe more time behind the wheel would help me get used to it. Left to its own devices in Sport+ mode, the car seemed to do the right things.

    As I suspected, the interior is much nicer in person than it appears in pictures. The materials were generally pretty good and it felt kind of nice and airy. It would be a great daily driver.

    Overall though, it suffers from the same thing most newer cars suffer from...it felt distant and uninteresting. The dashboard in the TLX feels enormous and it makes the whole driving experience feel ungainly, like you are driving the car in spite of it somehow. The particular car I drove also felt pretty beat. It was a lease return and I could tell it had been abused. The car only had 35k miles but the paint was horrible (front bumper had been resprayed, very poorly with paint drips and bubbles all over) and the interior had this sort of indelible dirtyness to it. The gearbox also had some weird hesitation when the car was cold. Also, I felt like the infotainment has already started to age and it will feel pretty dated pretty soon.

    Am I expecting too much out of a entry level midsize luxury sedan? Probably. But as soon as I got back into my Boxster to drive home, I immediately thought "oh yeah, this feels right". The only car that gets close to this feeling is the BRZ/86. In the TLX's defense, it did feel better to drive and like a higher quality product than the Q50s I drove last year.

    So, does anyone know of a sedan or hatchback, available in the US, that feels like a Boxster/GT86 to drive? :lol: (seating position, controls, overall 'honesty' of inputs, etc) If E46s weren't so old....if RX-8s didn't get such bad gas mileage....ugh.
     
  21. Doog

    Doog Premium

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    The TLX A-Spec sure looks nice, but I don't think the interior feels good enough in person. Neither does the interior of the Q50. The current IS350 has a nice interior. I took one home when I worked at a dealership, and it felt like the perfect daily driver. Nimble, not as quick as stuff like the 340i or C43, but a pretty smooth powertrain for getting around. There's the IS200t, but you don't want a Lexus that sounds like a Camry when you start it up...
     
  22. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I can't get passed the exterior styling of the IS. It's just too hideous. I really like the interior though.
     
  23. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    The RSX that @Danoff suggested before might be closest. Or if you can stretch to a non-Quadrifoglio version of the new Giulia that'd be right up there too. Just been driving the QF today and I'd forgotten how hilariously nimble they are. The 2-litre engine isn't spectacular (it performs well enough, it's just not overly tuneful) but even the regular ones handle great. Quickest steering this side of a 488, really well balanced, good ride/handling compromise.
     
  24. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    The problem with the RSX is that it can't really take more than 2 adults comfortably. And they're all old now. If I was considering an RSX, I would probably just get an 86 instead. The RSX has a better engine, definitely, but the 86 wins in basically everything else. I suppose the RSX is slightly more practical. I just can't get excited about an RSX.

    I would love to try a Giulia, but they are far too expensive new, and they don't seem to be available second hand. Nobody is buying them here. Then there is the whole reliability concern....

    Really, I should focus on saving money for a house so I can keep more than 1 car. Then I can have a competent daily driver and also a hair-conflagration machine. Preferably rotary or VTEC powered. When I put myself in this mindset, the TLX starts to look pretty appealing for right now.
     
  25. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Do you need to take more than 2 adults comfortably? I mean, the RSX does have aback seat, and it's reliable, and it's fun (especially the type-s variant) and it's a hatchback - you can fit a ton of stuff back there. The rear seat folds down flat. And it's not depreciating, and it looks good.

    Ok I guess I need to stop harping on this, but seriously... RSX-S.

    Edit:

    The GT-86 is also a great car. I'd say it's a little less practical than the RSX, but it's RWD so... that helps, also more expensive.
     
  26. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    So last week my gf and I took a trip to Hawaii (Oahu). While considering options for running around the Island, I took a look at what was available on Turo. A blue Fiat 124 Classica (with an automatic) popped up, and it seemed perfect so I booked it. I had the car for 2 full days and did something like 8 hours of driving, I would say. My thoughts:

    Even by the end of my time with the Spider, I still loved how it looked. Something about it's somewhat masculine shape but diminutive size makes it so uncommon feeling, and the rear end is particularly right. I really, really enjoyed that aspect of the car. The interior is also a pretty nicely designed (from an aesthetics point of view) place and the materials overall feel pretty good. It's a damn handsome car and it's comparative rarity only makes it more appealing, in my opinion. (I didn't see a single other 124 on the whole Island).

    Driving it, however, left a lot to be desired. I have previously driven a 124 Abarth with a 6 speed manual. This is nothing like as good as the Abarth, despite being very close to the same car. I got the automatic so that my gf could drive it (she didn't...) and it was the only 124 available. While it was...sufficient I would say, for cruising around, it didn't feel particularly good at anything.

    The powertrain combination is simply bad. The 1.4T rocks around with a surprising amount of NVH (it had just 7,000 miles on it) and actually felt more like a diesel than a gasoline engine. The real problem though is that the engine and transmission just do not work together well, unless you are absolutely caning it. Since the speed limits in Hawaii are like 35mph in most places, I rarely caned it. The engine makes approximately zero torque off boost, and there is a considerable amount of turbo lag. From idle-3,000rpm the thing barely moves. The transmission is evidently programmed for this and shifts higher than any OEM automatic I have ever experienced. Most automatics more or less try to upshift as soon and as much as possible, and I thought it would be a similar situation here...just riding waves of low RPM turbo torque. But it didn't shift out of 2nd gear until something like 30mph. It's just thrashy and slow until you put your foot in it. What was even weirder is that the transmission would not respond to my upshift requests in manual mode. The car won't go into 3rd gear below 30mph. I'm not sure I ever got the car into top gear other than on one stretch of 65mph driving. So it doesn't cruise very well....at all.

    As for sporty? The controls felt pretty good. But the transmission didn't like downshifts either. They were jerky with either not-very-good or non-existent rev-matching. So trying to drive it enthusiastically into corners was no fun. The funnest part about my experience with driving the 124 was the incredible ease of lowering the top (I think I got it down to about 2 seconds) and poking the throttle to the floor on some straights...where it moves with decent urgency. One big difference between the regular 124 and the Abarth is the exhaust. While I don't feel the 124 Abarth sounds anything like as good as the 500 Abarth, it sounds like something. The 124 Classica sounds like nothing. Overall, the 124 is about a million times more fun with a manual and the Abarth package.

    As for road tripping? It gets good gas mileage. And the headlights are good. Sadly, that's about all I can say in the positive column. I couldn't even fit an umbrella in the trunk, though it is bigger than an NDs. There is so little storage space in the cabin that I had to drive with my phone in my pocket. No door pockets? Seriously Fiat/Mazda? The cubby in the center console wasn't even big enough to fit my phone. The only decent storage area is in the 'mailbox' thing between the seats. But that isn't exactly in a handy location. Coming to a stop felt strange....it seemed like it shifted into 1st gear right as the rear end settled causing the front to pop up suddenly....its difficult to describe but it felt like coming to a complete stop 2 times in quick succession....it wasn't pleasant I can tell you that. edit: To it's credit the 124 Classica actually rides very well. The roads in Hawaii are not the best, and it soaked up everything surprisingly well. This car is obviously tuned to be more of a comfortable ride than the Abarth.

    But the seats... I believe these are similar to the ones in the ND. I've never driven an ND longer than 10 minutes or so, so I wouldn't have been able to identify the issue I have with them. I'm not a big guy by any stretch (5'-10", 160-165lbs) but I have somewhat broad 'construction'. I DO NOT FIT in those seats with any comfort. The way they are made feels like a vertical hammock. The problem is that I am too wide for my back to rest between the side bolsters (again, I'm not very big, at all) so I sit with my back completely unsupported and with the bolsters putting pressure on my sides. After 2 hours of driving it's just pain. I've never driven a car which I fit so poorly in the seats. This was the biggest surprise to me.

    I really liked coming back to the 124 after parking it. It just has a special look to it...more special than an MX-5. But with the automatic, the non-Abarth exhaust, and those seats, and that lack of functionality, its a frankly dreadful thing to drive. I still think the Abarth, or even a normal 124 with a manual could be a good weekend car....but anyone reading this should stay away from the automatic cars.

    Picture from near Lanikai beach...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  27. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Did it move again after you parked it there?