Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Weekend Quickies - All Weather Sports Cars (Sort of...)

1967 MGB GT - As I mentioned in a previous post, the MGB GT is a car I've come to understand and appreciate as I've gotten older.

Here in New England, we tuck away our sports cars in late October and don't take them out until late March. The MGB GT is a car you could drive all year round. I wouldn't recommend taking it out during a snow storm, but on a sunny winter day (like today), there's no real reason you couldn't drive it.

The seller provides an impressive list of work done to this car. The car was not modernized or "improved". This is essentially an MGB GT as it was meant to be. I love that.

Located in Portland, OR, click here to see the Craigslist listing.

2002 Audi TT Coupe - If I were buying a sports car based strictly on looks, I wouldn't consider the TT. I was never thrilled by its looks. But, if I were looking for a sports car I could drive 356 days of the year, in any weather, the TT with its Quattro AWD system would be near the top of the list.

The 1.8 liter turbo 4 moved the TT to 60 MPH in 7.4 seconds. Not spectacular, but fast enough to be enjoyable.

Like the MGB GT above, the TT has a small backseat. It's best used for groceries, but in a pinch (pun not intended) someone could sit back there.

The TT is not yet a "classic" sports coupe like the MGB GT, but with AWD and modern rustproofing, it's far more practical. If only it looked better...

The Audi TT shown above is located in Roswell, GA. You can find the listing for it here. I'm just using it as an example. The other big advantage the Audi has over the MGB GT is availability. You shouldn't have to travel far to find one.

1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6 - OK, this is not a sports car per se, it's a GT, but you really could drive this all year round. Based on the Alfetta platform, the GTV6 has a rear transaxle, which gives it 50/50 front / rear weight distribution and great traction in the snow. It also handles like few cars of its day handle. I drove my first Alfa, a 1975 Alfetta Sedan, through New England blizzards, ice storms, etc. I had a set of beefy Pirelli snow tires on it and never once got stuck.

The reality is, this is more like the MGB GT than the TT. You could drive it 365 days a year, but you probably wouldn't want to. It's not a traction issue like it is on the MG, it's rust. GTV6s rust without the help of road salt. Adding salt to the equation just speeds things up. A lot.

I'm torn here. The car pictured above is one of the nicer GTV6s I've seen in awhile. I'm not sure I'd risk driving it in the winter. On the other hand, why should we have to drive something boring in the winter? A GTV6 is not boring (not even close) and would go through most of what mother nature throws at us.

Maybe the best thing to do is to buy 2 GTV6s. This one for the summer and a less spectacular one for the winter.

Located in Van Nuys, CA, click here to see the Craigslist listing. (Click on the "Alfa GTV6" link below the picture in the listing to see a full album of pictures of this GTV6. It's great eye candy.)

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