So about a year ago, I decided I wanted to do some track days. I wasn't getting any younger and a mid-life crisis was in the offing.
After a few months searching the classifieds for that £1000 perfect track car, I realised that my budget wasn't going to stretch to what I wanted, not if I wanted to be able to run a track all day without running repairs. Fortunately, I had a couple of friends who had shown some interest in this, so I suggested we go in to a car with a third share each. This would put the budget for the car up to about £2000 with another £1000 aside for track day modifications. A fruitless 6 months followed and I failed to find anything I would be willing to put money behind, mostly because I wanted something rear drive to widen my personal experience.
I could have bought a saxo or pug for this money, even a well sorted track slag with trailer, but I had decided on rear drive, not for speed, but just for the experience. I still feel its important to buy the things you want, not necessarily the things that will be best at the job. So i had decided it had to be rear drive and light. But westfields and caterhams were starting about £4k, which left MR2s and MX5s as the target fodder.
After some test drives, I found that MX5s just weren't fast enough to be interesting and MR2s in my price range were generally rust buckets or old smokers. But the budget was fixed and I almost settled on a particular well sorted MX5, until I realised i just wouldn't allow myself to be seen in public driving it. A bit harsh, but I just don't find the styling of the Mk2 mx5 remotely masculin, and the mk1 is not much better.
So what to do? I had basically ruled out every car worth considering on price, performance or prejudice. So i went and drove a track prepared impreza. That set the benchmark for performance, and I almost had that car on the spot, but the owner was asking £500 more than I had and wouldn't budge.
Then I gave up.