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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:29 PM
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You have a different definition of a sports car than I and many others. All I listed were marketed as sports cars.
A very different definition indeed if you truly consider this (one of your nominees) a sports car.

I enjoyed the article that John posted, although I'm not so sure about the coupe version of a sports car being a GT car instead of a sports car (both Solstice convert and coupe are sports cars for me, but maybe that is quibbling).


1957 Jamaican MGA
1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
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1965 Jensen CV8
1969 MGC roadster,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:46 PM
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A very different definition indeed if you truly consider this (one of your nominees) a sports car.

I enjoyed the article that John posted, although I'm not so sure about the coupe version of a sports car being a GT car instead of a sports car (both Solstice convert and coupe are sports cars for me, but maybe that is quibbling).
If looks define what a sports car is then yes we do have different definitions! I'm not so picky. For me it's what a person buys it for. All I listed are bought mostly for sport purposes, not cargo, not utility, not a family car. Just fun! My definition relates more to what the manufactures market is and why a person buys a car than some technical definition defined by narrow focused purists.

If you're talking purely track, racing purposes then that's entirely different. The vast majority of people who buy 'sports' cars never see a track with them.

2007 Silver/Red Sky Redline

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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:03 AM
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A very different definition indeed if you truly consider this (one of your nominees) a sports car.

I enjoyed the article that John posted, although I'm not so sure about the coupe version of a sports car being a GT car instead of a sports car (both Solstice convert and coupe are sports cars for me, but maybe that is quibbling).
I would call the Solstice Coupe a Solstice GT, in the spirit of the MGB-GT. Of course, the removable roof muddies those waters (see below).
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If looks define what a sports car is then yes we do have different definitions! I'm not so picky. For me it's what a person buys it for. All I listed are bought mostly for sport purposes, not cargo, not utility, not a family car. Just fun! My definition relates more to what the manufactures market is and why a person buys a car than some technical definition defined by narrow focused purists.

If you're talking purely track, racing purposes then that's entirely different. The vast majority of people who buy 'sports' cars never see a track with them.
By your definition my CJ-5 would be a sports car, and that isn't even close. Also, if I bought my Sky specifically as a commuter car, are you saying that it wouldn't be a sports car?

Nothing in any description requires track use, and the reference to "could be used for competition" is the one detail i don't see a point to, since anything can be used for competition, and frequently is.

I always liked the Car and Driver definition from the '70s: Two seats, manual transmission, and a somehow-put-downable-top.

John
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Sky NA 2007 Midnight Blue
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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:58 AM
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I always liked the Car and Driver definition from the '70s: Two seats, manual transmission, and a somehow-put-downable-top.
Wouldn't that be a roadster which is a subclass of sports cars? To me thats a very narrow definition. I'm not a purist that insists on a particular definition. Kappa's with an automatic are not sports cars? Honestly, there isn't a definition everyone will agree too. It's subjective. My SRT4 was a ton of fun, not practical. It was poorly built but quite fast. A $20,000 engine in a $21,000 car!

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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 08:02 AM
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Wouldn't that be a roadster which is a subclass of sports cars? To me thats a very narrow definition. I'm not a purist that insists on a particular definition. Kappa's with an automatic are not sports cars? Honestly, there isn't a definition everyone will agree too. It's subjective. My SRT4 was a ton of fun, not practical. It was poorly built but quite fast. A $20,000 engine in a $21,000 car!
Actually I think it works the other way, with sports car being a sub-set of roadster. A roadster is defined as an open-top two-seat car (or a horse) while a sports car is a roadster that is aimed at performance rather than touring. By that definition a Kappa with an automatic would be a roadster because you need a manual transmission to optimize driving performance. There will always be gray areas, and calling an automatic Kappa a sports car isn't much of a stretch, but adding a back seat to something, or giving it a fixed roof, pretty much eliminate the possibility of it being a sports car.

It is subjective because people want to stretch the definition to whatever it is they like because they seem to think that, for example, driving a sports car is somehow "better" than driving a roadster.

Nissan used to label the Maxima with 4DSC: Four Door Sports car.

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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 11:38 AM
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but adding a back seat to something, or giving it a fixed roof, pretty much eliminate the possibility of it being a sports car.
Just opinions we're discussing as that's all it is. I'm not a purist in mine and many other definitions. A purists definition seems to only include 2 seat convertible performance cars. Porsche 911, Lotus Evora, Aston Martin Vanquish, Ferrari California T etc. I consider to be sports cars. But they and many other similar cars all have rear seats.

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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 12:03 PM
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In my opinion (ha-ha) this goes beyond opinion, but you certainly have the right to consider anything you want to fit into any classification that you want.
The only "problem" that causes is the inevitable confusion that will arise when your opinion differs from someone else's. I don't expect to lose any sleep over it.

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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 01:00 PM
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I would call the Solstice Coupe a Solstice GT, in the spirit of the MGB-GT. Of course, the removable roof muddies those waters

I always liked the Car and Driver definition from the '70s: Two seats, manual transmission, and a somehow-put-downable-top.
I can't disagree very strongly on the 'GT-ized' sports car for coupe versions. I guess my reluctance to agree fully is that to me a GT car is usually meant for touring rather than agile sporting use. Of my recent stable, I would definitely include my Jensens in the GT category and I guess that the Lamborghini also has to go there.

Here are some of my coupes (Islero, Jensen CV8 and Interceptor behind) and the one on the foreground, an MGA, seems no less a sports car to me than the roadster versions.



But the dividing line is a bit fuzzy. Today we have the Miata RF but they also made a true coupe back in 2003 (never for export).



RF with retractable hard top:



To further muddy things, but certainly in agreement with what you said John, the SCCA, who largely govern competitive sports car definition, classed the Porsche 911 as a sedan (which was consistent with it running in the under 2.5 Transam category and for which Porsche had lobbied) as it had 4 seats, while a car that looked like a sedan but only had two seats was allowed to run in Production racing - the AMX.

I guess that if Toyota/Subaru had got around to selling the BRZ/FRS as a convertible, we'd be adding them to the discussion. And they made a Honda S2000 with hard top in the UK and called it the \gt....

Further confusion probably exists due to manufacturer inconsistency. GM decided that there was some good will and name recognition to 'Opel GT' and figured that the average buyer either didn't care or was too stupid to know that a GT cars should be a coupe and high jacked that old model name for their European Kappas.

In any case, we both agree that calling things that are essentially small crossovers, or SUVs a sports car goes way too far from the original (and in my view still correct) definition. The SRT4 could be called a mini SUV or a hot hatch (in Britain) but not a sports car. Mazda did the same thing - the Mazdaspeed 3 - but never tried to pass it off as anything but a sporty sedan.

1957 Jamaican MGA
1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
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1965 Jensen CV8
1969 MGC roadster,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT

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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 03:59 PM
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While the definition of sports car varies, I would never consider the SRT-4 a sports car. A sporty car, yes, but not a sports car.

Main reason for me is the SRT-4 was a later released trim level of the affordable Neon. While the engine and straight line performance were fantastic for their time, it was more a modern day take on the concept of the muscle car. Take a lightweight, small, inexpensive model and put in a powerful engine. I wouldn't call it a muscle car, but something new, something different. Almost like a hot hatch without the hatch. It was considered a tuner car in its era but now that name is even blurred since a 2.0 Turbo Camaro could be considered a "tuner" car these days. Plus there is the little bit about it's drive wheels being in front...but to me it's more about the platform's original intent than it is any hard and fast characteristics. Our cars were designed to be fun to drive with decent power convertible two seaters which were affordable if not practical. Not commuter cars, not first time driver cars, not established family cars...these were things you got to go have fun in. Our cars...even more than a Miata, S2000, or Boxter...are perhaps the least "practical" cars ever made. I mean, have you seen our "trunk"? LOL A Miata has the cargo capacity of a box truck compared to our cars.

To me, a sports car starts out as a car designed to be fun and sporty...which I define as a fun to drive on twisty roads kind of car. It can still have practicality, it may be cheap or expensive, may be large or small, may be really fast or kinda slow, but it's primary focus is a fun to throw around windy roads kind of car.

It use to be, you had three kinds of design philosophies...inexpensive cars that can go fast in a straight line...inexpensive cars that can go fast through corners...and expensive cars that can go faster than the straight line cars in the corners and can go faster than the fast cornering cars in a straight line AND corners. To me, muscle cars and pony cars fell into the inexpensive and fast in a straight line category. MGs, Fiats, Minis, and the like fell into the inexpensive and turn category. Ferraris. Austins, Cobras, Vetts, etc fell into the expensive and everything category.

Now, you have Pony cars that can out run cars like the new Supra yet still match them in cornering. A Challenger Demon would never be called a "sports car" but sits squarely in that old "muscle car" definition. A roadster would fall, to me, in a sports car category as you have a Miata roadster and you have a Corvette roadster and there are Ferrari roadsters...all very different types of sports cars with different attributes but all still, technically, roadsters.


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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 04:22 PM
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The GM equivalent of the SRT-4 would have been the Cobalt SS, which shares many driveline bits with our cars but was clearly a sedan, not a sports car.

If we are talking about performance vis a vis being a sports car, the current Panameras are astoundingly fast, equally astoundingly heavy and nowhere near being a sports car. 0-100 kph in 3.8 secs. is fast by any measure and in a car weighing 4600 lbs. it is almost unbelievable.

As an aside, it is sad that a sports car used to weigh 2000 - 2300 lbs or so while the added stuff required by modern rules makes them start around 3000 pounds. Although if I was ever in a serious accident I know which one I'd want to be in!

1957 Jamaican MGA
1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
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1969 MGC roadster,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT

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post #41 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2019, 04:31 PM
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..........As an aside, it is sad that a sports car used to weigh 2000 - 2300 lbs or so while the added stuff required by modern rules makes them start around 3000 pounds. Although if I was ever in a serious accident I know which one I'd want to be in!
Or even a non-serious accident.

Remember also that 2000 lb car came out of the box with 100 hp, was riding on 185-15 tires, and probably had drum brakes on the rear-wheels.

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post #42 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 09:49 AM
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Somewhere... this thread took a Big ole left hand turn. The OP must be wondering here wth?
Sorry about that Clifford. That's what you get here on the forum, a lively owner discussion, more or less. Happens.
Somewhere we went off the rails, of Stock suspension/BC coil overs sight unseen, dealer/mechanic suggestions
to.. oblivion. Roadsters, coupes, pony cars, straight line speed, cornering ability, with photos...
BUT.. back to your original problem here:

I have lived/worked and driven many cars in my day, in the D.C. area. Just a weekend fun car for me, err you and the wife
to enjoy. Comfort is key here for her sake. The root of the problem here is, yes the shocks/coil overs on the car, the comfort
factor to enjoy yourself. The getaway from it all, couple of hours. Little me err us time away from the stress of work/home/the neighbors... the hustle and bustle of D.C. Been there, done that before.
The roads in the surrounding area, under todays vast strain of traffic in the region is staggering. Federal Gov't is the driving force in the region, plus 2 bordering state gov't, interstate traffic, major school systems, these roads take a huge pounding.
Every pothole, expansion joint, bridge transitions, wavy asphalt, is magnified by the endless pounding.

In D.C. itself never a good thing for the Kappa imo. The 495 Beltway and outer lying regions of Va./Md. vary with road
improvements depending on the fiscal budget. I-95 north to Balt. and points beyond, or south past Woodbridge toward the Carolinas. East towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Eastern Shore and the coast,
or way out west towards the Skyline Drive/West By God region.
For your weekend fun:

* Tires. Old rubber rides like crap. If they are old, lose them in a heartbeat. New rubber compound beats old rubber compound.
Alignment: After new rubber on all four corners, 500 miles settlement 4 wheel to OEM spec is in order. It will help.
Bushings. They could be.. old too here? 2007 and counting. Replace some with in budget. Lube others.
Brakes: You better be able to stop.. in D.C. traffic, just sayin. This is tops along with a good to great Fire ext. for the safety factor.
Shocks/stock/racing: On going discussion. Stock is what you seek. Finding them is the problem.
Smoother ride for you and the wife here. BC coil overs you might as well bring it to Summit Point.
Not for D.C. region weekend fun. Sell them here or on Craigslist.
Seats: The foam cushions could be worn out some. The butt factor test, with hard coil overs too will amp up the road concussion.

Finding road heaven is a tough job, but some Kappa owner has to do it.
It's why we smile so much. It's why some owners, ( the masses ) are jealous of our silly grin while we cruise by.
New asphalt section is the 10 here, where as the pothole, train track, endless construction project filled is the 0.
Somewhere... in between is our comfort zone, the real deal life of owner/operator and the here and now of
today's hustle and bustle. After some 45 + plus years of driving the region, you have to pick your moments of what/where/when/why to really enjoy yourself while driving.
Google maps can lead you somewhere... or nowhere. How you get there, and in what comfort
zone is up to you and your credit card in some cases.
I visit the region now, to visit my family. Sometimes I'm just passing through...

Early AM get way before the traffic wakes up. Late PM get way after the traffic sleeps. During the day, 4-7 hrs. of fun,
stay off the major roads travel in stealth mode if you can?
Over night B & B run down Skyline Drive or over to the Eastern Shore, the problem of leaving D.C. behind
as fast as possible, for weekend fun is on everyone else's mind too.

Now about that discussion about roadsters, coupe, sports car. GT, pony car...ahhh maybe for another post.
This one has gone on too long for me now, sorry about that. The ole fingers get to typing.
However... experts, major car media, owners, and their opinions... vary. My opinion really doesn't matter in the Big picture of things.
To me a true roadster is this:
No top. That's right. 2 doors. 2 seats not 4. No windows. Rough. Manual trans. New or old, with electronics
or plain jane no add on help. Basic. I saw this recently in my travels. What else a Cobra. Dark. Two people having fun. In the rain!
With goggles. No top, no windows, 2 doors, manual trans, 2 seats, no more room for anyone else sorry. Run what you brung, with in
or out of your comfort zone, and what we owners are willing to put up with, the roads, the suspension or lack there of, the traffic,
just to find a little fun time for me.. the owner/operator.


LAC

Last edited by LAC Sky; 08-03-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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post #43 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:17 AM
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The car has about 80K miles and I told the tires are good.
Well Cliff, ol' LAC may be on to something. You stated the tires are "Good" but having tread and being "Good" could be two different things. Seeing as how the original owner installed BC coilovers one would tend to believe he/she actually drove the darn thing. Some of these cars tend to be garage queens (Seinfeld: "Nothing wrong with that" ) and are maybe not the most looked after. At 80K this one seems to have been driven on a fairly regular basis. but still....
Check for the manufactured date on the tire. to determine if they're old enough to replace regardless of tread depth. As Robotech said, I think it was Troy, old tires suck and can be very hard and thus rough riding.

One more important note. What are you doing with the BC Coilovers? Dibs!

Joe

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post #44 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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To me a true roadster is this: No top. That's right. 2 doors. 2 seats not 4. No windows. Rough. Manual trans. New or old, with electronics
or plain jane no add on help. Basic. I saw this recently in my travels. What else a Cobra. Dark. Two people having fun. In the rain!
You are correct, which is unusual these days as terminology has drifted. A roadster was exactly what you said - 2 seats, convertible, and no side windows. In fact the exact terminology to differentiate was as used by Jaguar back in the 1950s. A roadster is as stated, and a convertible that is the same in every detail but has roll up windows is a drophead coupe (that terminology has largely disappeared today). A coupe like we think of them with permanent roof, was a fixed head coupe. You could buy an XK120 in all three versions.

A true roadster had side curtains - removable windows, usually aluminum and plastic panels usually sliding, that you could affix to the car when needed. They usually did a pretty poor job of water exclusion (I drove an MGA roadster for several years as my sole transport and carried a towel!)

It was common for the drophead coupe to have an elevated level of finish - better seats, a heavier soft top liner etc.

Sorry for the further deviation from the original thread - I'll try and be good from now on.....

Roadster



DHC



FHC

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1957 Jamaican MGA
1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
departed
1965 Jensen CV8
1969 MGC roadster,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT

Bill in BC
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post #45 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 06:06 PM
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I'll try and be good from now on.....lol wsphon I just spilled my drink over that comment! I had to leave right after that last post.
No time to proof read or edit that contraption. Good thing too, my fingers were getting tired.
You will not get a 14 words or less from me about car topics.
It could.. run into Robo like territory ( nothing wrong with that ) anywhere from 140 to 1400 words.

Well Cliff, ol' LAC may be on to something. That's the ticket there strungjoe which is unusual for me.
You always start with the road contract patch, and then from there on up. Best suspension in the world, add in sh*ty old tires
and it will ride rough. With the new rubber going on, we get to look at all 4 hubs at once, suspension and steering and brakes.
Anything in there after 80k should be ok, but... driven hard parts do wear out. The car in question was altered from stock for a reason by the previous owner. Maybe for time attack, auto-cross, canyon carving, who knows.
I just offered my suggestions to ol' Cliff here cause I have driven this region of our country for many a year, a local with
weekend fun in mind too.

Part of the car culture is to me, don't like the what/where/why/when your car is doing or not doing for you the owner,
is to "change it" to your liking, now that you own it. $$$ comes into play here. That's what you get with a used car purchase.
Brand new right off the showroom floor, whole different deal here. It better ride nice, for that kinda money you
just plunked down on it.

The Cobra from my view had no indication of a top what so ever. Think that Cobra had a soft suspension? Bet not.
No snaps on the body, no mounting points for the soft vert top to the body.
Seeing that they, were not pulling over under a bridge to erect a top of any kind, is a shock to most drivers of today. We as humans
have our set of creature comforts we all must have when traveling. Seeing the raw basics of this roadster,
no snaps on the doors (for a soft drop down windows or roll up) is not out of the question to me,
I knew right away what I was seeing here.
The guy next to me, in a Honda IIRC however, seeing these 2 funsters in the Cobra, must have been thinking what a fool
these two guys are out in rain with no top. I really don't think these two guys in the Cobra cared one bit what the Honda guy thought.
The goggles part was cool. Leather hats, almost helmets old school 1910 like, gloves, rain/wind breakers on. Creature comforts my ass.


It takes a while there Cliff to dial in any used car, after purchase to your liking. Trust your instincts, and... a good mechanic,
check with the CFO err your wife about the budget ( always a good thing unless you like sleeping on the couch? ) Like the song goes
If momma ain't happy no one is happy. You can get your car to ride better for her sake, but it comes with a cost, like anything does.
Replace this at X amount. Test ride. Better. Could be better still. $$$. Adjust that, fix this. Better again. You decide how you ride,
and then.. the credit card bill shows up. The wife approved this comfort level expenses. You're good for now, until proven otherwise.

LAC

Last edited by LAC Sky; 08-03-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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