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Knurled GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/15/15 1:00 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: If you've had to modify it to make it reliable, that kind of disqualifies it. That means it was broken to start with.

That is what is nice about the 12A RX-7s. The only "reliability mods" are making sure that it still has fluids in it, and making sure that it's using oil. If it stops using oil, you have a problem.

Mazdax605 SuperDork
2/15/15 1:03 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I would have never put the words "rotory" and "reliable" in the same sentence

I would. Never had my many RX-7's or my REPU let me down. The rotary gets a bad name. Give it fresh oil, and abuse it some, and you will right as rain.

TeamEvil Dork
2/15/15 1:05 p.m.

Porsche 356

1275 powered MG Midget

Triumph TR6

Especially the Midget. Often the only car in the fleet (including my Father's Pontiac, Mother's Chevy, and Sister's Toyota) that started during the New England Winters. Choke out, pedal on the floor, BINGO !

Spoolpigeon UltraDork
2/15/15 1:13 p.m.

My completely unbiased opinion is the s2k I've been beating the piss out of my car for the 3+ years I've owned it with nothing more than fluid changes, valve adjustments and a set of brakes.

pres589 UltraDork
2/15/15 1:19 p.m.

Too many LeMons / ChumpCar stories about RX's doing fine all day while SBC's seem to pop like it's their job.

If you didn't have to worry about emissions and didn't mind some swapping, a 302 powered SN95 should be pretty good, I think? But the factory suspension does not say "sports car" very loudly to me after having owned one, so lots of work to be done.

Mr_Clutch42 Dork
2/15/15 1:38 p.m.
oldtin wrote: What about corvettes? Mechanically pretty understressed.

I hear that those are the expensive, somewhat unreliable Chevy to maintain.

mr2peak HalfDork
2/15/15 1:39 p.m.


Simple under stressed single carb. Really can't get more basic than that.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/15/15 1:40 p.m.
oldtin wrote: What about corvettes? Mechanically pretty understressed.

I have known 3 corvette owners.. including one with the last gen vette.. their cars are -always- in the shop for something or another

carbon Dork
2/15/15 2:46 p.m.

Seems like I see a lot of s2ks that need headwork at pretty low miles. I've heard plenty of talk of weak diffs too.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
2/15/15 4:05 p.m.

Miata or 911 Classic. Though that depends on your definition of reliable, you could call a pre C4 corvette reliable in that virtually every wear/failure prone mechanical part up to and sometimes including a shortblock can still be had same day and swapped in with a hammer and three wrenches. It will make you walk relatively often, just not very far.

Knurled GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/15/15 4:38 p.m.
carbon wrote: Seems like I see a lot of s2ks that need headwork at pretty low miles. I've heard plenty of talk of weak diffs too.

I remember when they were new, it was not uncommon for the pistons to sieze at trackdays. Apparently that little issue has been solved.

The diff is the same internals as the 7" Mazda used in real (err, 1st-gen) RX-7s and 1.8 Miatas, except with 29-spline axles instead of 26 or 24. There was a time when people were buying new 4.78 ring and pinions from Kia dealerships (the 7" was also used in some of their trucks) for $150 and selling to S2000 enthusiasts for $1000.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/15/15 5:23 p.m.

If you ever go to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, it looks like a Mazda parade after about 23 hours. All Miatas and FB RX7s.

Then the walking dead of all makes come out to finish their last few laps and get classed as finishers.

ronbros Reader
2/15/15 5:35 p.m.

i'm putting my money on almost any year CORVETTE,yes, some better than others, all are pretty reliable! SBC engines last easy 200K miles some, i know of some in pickup trucks with 300K with proper maintenance,trans included!

Cotton UltraDork
2/15/15 6:07 p.m.

Having owned 5 porsches, two of the AC and one of those being a 911, I would say corvettes are easier to work on and more reliable in general.. I still love my Porsches though.

KyAllroad Dork
2/15/15 6:47 p.m.

Miata. Hands down, no doubt, no question the most reliable sports car ever built.

JtspellS SuperDork
2/15/15 6:55 p.m.

Personally it's a tie of An FB rx7 and A miata.

Honorable mention to a n/a FC as well, and I would have to think that AE86 Corollas would be quite tough but then again Idk much about them.

Feedyurhed SuperDork
2/15/15 7:40 p.m.

Miata, CRX, 911 in that order.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
2/15/15 8:00 p.m.
pres589 wrote: Too many LeMons / ChumpCar stories about RX's doing fine all day while SBC's seem to pop like it's their job.

I think we need to distinguish between street and track use, there are plenty of cars that are hammer reliable on the street and glass on a road course, like most SBCs not hand built for it, and a few the other way around if you go by crapcan racing statistics.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
2/15/15 8:19 p.m.

I have to say the 2016 Answer looks beautiful. Maybe that will be my next car in a year or two..I might actually buy a new one!

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
2/15/15 8:31 p.m.


Opti Reader
2/15/15 9:23 p.m.

Given the small amount of S2000s Ive been around an alarmingly high number of them have had engine failures (street use), to the point were I would not own one, and I quite like them.

I think a stock 1.8 Miata would be quite reliable, as would a stock C5 Z06. Most of the failures I see with these cars are modified examples, were increased power or increased cornering grip hurt them.

Not a fan of the 350z, you have oil consumption/valvetrain problems on the engines and trans problems on all the manuals.

racerdave600 SuperDork
2/16/15 12:17 p.m.

With the issues I've had with my 370 lately, I'd definitely take it out of the most reliable status. I just turned 36k miles, and in the last 6 months it has needed a new body control module, rear diff bushings, and now the slave cylinder. Now most of these sound reasonable, but if you have to pay someone to do them, it's very expensive. Most are around $1k to over $2k at the dealer. The slave cylinder requires a tranny drop, and rear diff bushings are also pretty difficult to get to. I haven't been spending quite that much, but it's getting frustrating to keep getting failures every month, and expensive ones at that. Most of these also date back to the 350Z as well, so it's nice to see Nissan making an effort to fix them.

Anyway, it spoils what is otherwise a nice car. Today the keyfob has quit working...again...and no it is not the battery. This will be fob number two at $200 a pop.

bravenrace MegaDork
2/16/15 12:23 p.m.


clutchsmoke Dork
2/16/15 2:21 p.m.

I also vote S2000. The issues the cars have had are largely user error.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/16/15 2:23 p.m.

Some of these choices are funny---- I'm just waiting for someone to throw a Maserati Bi-Turbo in the ring!

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