Happy Friday, Autopians! I’m writing this on Thursday evening, and I’ve got to make it quick: my wife and I are going to a concert tonight. We’re going to see a band from the ’80s named after a sci-fi villain from the ’60s (ten points* to you if you know who I mean). This means I don’t have time to pick cars, but since it was a short week, our three previous winners set us up perfectly for a round of track-daily-burn.
But first, we need to know our third winner:
Well, look at that! I guess it really is hip to be square. The Cube takes a comfortable win. But again, I don’t think either one is a terrible choice. And thanks to a couple of commenters for the education on Fiat’s “Multi-Air” intake; that’s a rabbit hole I’ll dive down when I have more time.
Now then: Here are the rules. You must choose one car as your daily driver, your primary mode of transportation. You must choose another to set up for the motorsport activity of your choice, be that track days, dragstrip racing, time-speed-distance rallies, autocross, whatever. And whatever car you don’t select for those two roles must be destroyed by fire. Let’s take a second look at our week’s winners to help you decide:
This family cruiser for days of yore was our winner on Monday. It features a weak-sauce 305 cubic inch version of Chevy’s small-block V8, and an overdrive automatic with the shifter on the column, where the car gods intended. Several commenters mentioned swapping the 305 for something healthier the first time around, and I can’t help thinking that this would make a great sleeper at the dragstrip: imagine the shock on some kid’s face when he gets his doors blown off by Clark W Griswold.
Then again, it’s currently a daily driver, and that big bench seat does look mighty comfy. You could do a lot worse for commuting. It’s the oldest and the slowest of the three, and arguably gets the worst mileage (if you could keep your foot out of the Mustang, that is), but probably the quietest and smoothest ride as well. But if none of that appeals to you, velour is probably mighty flammable…
“Rode hard and put away wet” is probably the kindest description of this thoroughly hammered Mustang GT. It’s got almsot 200,000 miles on it, some questionable modifications, and mismatched body panels that hint at a history of poor driving choices. But it’s a V8 and a manual, and it does run and drive. So there’s that. It’s quick-ish already, and the aftermarket stands ready and able to make it even quicker and handle even better.
You could daily-drive a Mustang; lots of people do. But commuting in this one would mean sitting down in that trashed leather seat every day, grabbing that grubby steering wheel, dealing with that stupid aftermarket pistol-grip shifter. But hey, kudos to you if you want to try. Or torch it. It’s not like it’s got a lot of life left in it anyway.
Yesterday’s winner seems like the most sensible choice for a daily driver. Small, maneuverable, easy on gas, and probably pretty cheap to insure. But small and maneuverable when combined with a stickshift could also make it fun on a racetrack or an autocross course. And I imagine you’d be something of a hero if you showed up to a track day with a race-prepped Nissan Cube. There can’t be many around.
But I also know a lot of you are no fans of Nissan, nor do you particularly like the Cube’s oddball styling. So I guess I couldn’t blame you for letting it burn. But before you do, consider how few cars there are in the world with six-speed manuals, and how many fewer are available with one than when this one was built. Can we really afford to lose one?
All right. You have your assignment, and you have your three contenders. No poll today, because it would have like nine entries, and nobody wants to deal with that. Just discuss, trash-talk, debate, and plead your case in the comments. Have a great weekend!
*Points are not redeemable for anything and have a cash value of zero. Offer void where permitted. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No purchase necessary. See complete rules for details.
(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)