Home » Track, Daily, Burn: 1984 Chevy Caprice vs 2001 Ford Mustang vs 2010 Nissan Cube

Track, Daily, Burn: 1984 Chevy Caprice vs 2001 Ford Mustang vs 2010 Nissan Cube

Sbsd 6 2 2023
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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:

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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:

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1984 Chevrolet Caprice Estate

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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.

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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…

2001 Ford Mustang GT

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“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.

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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.

2010 Nissan Cube

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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.

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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)

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Thx1138
Thx1138
11 months ago

Daily: The Cube- funky and hard to miss in the parking lot.
Track: The Wagon (had a Caprice Classic Wagon in high school, just couldn’t beat being able to roll down that rear liftgate window so people could yell out). It was slow with the 305, but comfy as all get with the bucket seats.
Burn: The Mustang (well something had to go and I don’t know if I want to crawl out of the car everyday, ha ha!)

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
11 months ago

Fantômas?

Scott Wangler
Scott Wangler
11 months ago

Track the Stang, daily the wagon, burn the shitbox

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
11 months ago

“While it has been a faithful companion, the Weighted Companion Cube cannot accompany you through the rest of the test, and must be euthanized.”

Screw you, GLADOS! I learned my lesson last time! Save the Cube at all costs.

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
11 months ago

Cube. Easy.

Chris Hoffpauir
Chris Hoffpauir
11 months ago

The Cube is the most practical choice for daily driving. Not only is it the newest, but it also doesn’t look like it took out every mailbox in its zip code. I’m too old to be stranded on the Beltway on a hot D.C. summer afternoon.

The wagon is an excellent choice for a demolition derby–which was a motorsports activity the last time I checked. Pop out the glass, pull the seats and you’ve got a modern-day trireme. That long hind end is a natural battering ram. The long hood has plenty of room to pack in ice for after the radiator bites it.

That leaves the Mustang. Let’s face it, this pony is ready for the glue factory. The most fitting end would be to find a nice long stretch of desert highway and run it until it stops, either through mechanical failure or lack of fuel. At that point, toss the keys in the trunk, soak the interior with Ronsonol, toss in a road flare, and casually walk to your waiting chase car for the trip back to civilization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trireme

https://www.khaosodenglish.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/mustang2.gif

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago

Daily: The Cube, that would be a step up for me. I was legitimately looking for a Cube (but couldn’t find a six speed manual) when I stumbled across the cheap, pristine, Prism that is my current daily.

Track: The Caprice, perfect for an ice racing version of Lemons. Or just ice racing in general. (Not ICE racing. Ice racing.)

Burn: I don’t believe in burning any cars. No matter how many bar brawls they look like they have been through.
I don’t like this part of the game and will abstain from answering the burning question.
If you change it to ‘give away’ my answer is Mustang.
Somebody wants it.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago

“ ice racing version of Lemons”
Iditarod of shitboxes?
(I’ve gotta jot this down somewhere. Does this already exist?)
The Caprice would be perfect for that.

Last edited 11 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Shitidarod, if you pronounce “shite” like the Brits.

Donald Petersen
Donald Petersen
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Man, that is the absolute perfect name for a Shitbox Ice-Racing Enduro event. Particularly if all participants are required to run a couple quarts low on oil, so we aren’t standing around in the cold all day.

Stephen Reed
Stephen Reed
11 months ago

Daily Caprice, track the Mustang, and burn the Cube with tannerite on a pew pew range.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
11 months ago

Daily Caprice!
Track Mustang!
Burn the damn Cube

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
11 months ago

I just can’t burn a manual cube or a minty wagon.

Daily the cube, track the caprice, burn the mustang. It’s a mustang, no one will care or notice if one goes missing.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
11 months ago

While I do sorta like them, Mustangs are practically anonymous. It takes thousands of dollars to build them into something that’s actually cool, because so many have gone before.

You could post 10,000 “Lost Mustang” posters in each and every city across America and you still wouldn’t inspire a single person to care about burning that Ford.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
11 months ago

Out of sheer perversity, daily the Cube, prep the Caprice for Time Attack, and torch the Mustang at a Bachhanalia

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