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Hey y'all, I have wanted a Sky ever since I saw one when I was 11, and now I'm 16 looking for a first car. If I have about $8k to spend, would a Sky be a legitimate first car?
 

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Welcome Skyefire42! My first car was a 1968 GTO convertible that I dreamed of owning long before I turned 16. I was fortunate my dad was onboard with it. So, if your parents are ok with it and after reading posts on the Forum about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Sky then go for it.
Just keep in mind (depending on where you live) it’s more of a summer car. Low ground clearance doesn’t make it great for snowy roads in the winter. Some parts are challenging to find too. Some of my fondest memories of my Goat were going to the junkyards, searching for the parts I needed and wrenching with my buddies, and getting our cars running.
So, there you have it, one vote in favor of you getting a Sky. There are many, much more experienced Sky owners on the Forum...... listen to what they have to say about a Sky as your first car.....
 

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Hi Skyefire42,

As Wnolte1122 says, where you live will determine if that is a good idea or a bad idea. You do NOT want to drive a Sky in snowy climates. The ground clearance will wreck a lot, especially the weakly mounted front fender liners. You will come home one day and find your engine compartment full of snow because you lost a fender liner somewhere. The front fenders them self are made of fiberglass and damage easily because they are close to the ground. They too will get seriously damaged from snow/ice boulders that fall off other vehicle fender areas.

As an old guy who raised two boys, I don't advise learning how to drive on a stick shift. You want to keep as much effort on safe driving, not how to move the car. Unless you are uniquely talented, I would limit myself to an automatic.

In the $8000 range, I would say buying a Base Sky will get you one in better condition and be more reliable compared to a turbo. Also, the turbo for a new 16 year old driver is too tempting for high speed resulting in trouble with the law, your insurance company, and possibly hurting yourself and others in an accident.

So, here is my summary. Limit yourself to a Base Sky with automatic transmission, but don't buy one if you live in a snowy winter climate.
 

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Mechanically speaking, i see no reason why not. Especially if you are able to pay for it cash like that. Find one like mine with a mid range mileage and youll have an amazing vehicle to show off for years.
I was in highschool when these cars debuted. Id have done anything to get one then. All the power too you to achieve the dreams of auto kids everywhere.
Take plenty of pics, and enjoy your ride!
 

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Hi Skyefire42,

As Wnolte1122 says, where you live will determine if that is a good idea or a bad idea. You do NOT want to drive a Sky in snowy climates. The ground clearance will wreck a lot, especially the weakly mounted front fender liners. You will come home one day and find your engine compartment full of snow because you lost a fender liner somewhere. The front fender are made of fiberglass, they too will get seriously damaged from snow/ice boulders that fall off other vehicle fender areas.

As an old guy who raised two boys, I don't advise learning how to drive on a stick shift. You want to keep as much effort on safe driving, not how to move the car. Unless you are uniquely talented, I would limit myself to an automatic.

In the $8000 range, I would say buying a Base Sky will get you one in better condition and be more reliable compared to a turbo. Also, the turbo for a new 16 year old driver is too tempting for high speed resulting in trouble with the law, your insurance company, and possibly hurting yourself and others in an accident.

So, here is my summary. Limit yourself to a Base Sky with automatic transmission, but don't buy one if you live in a snowy winter climate.
Completely disagree with this. Sorry.
Ive gotten more tickets now in my base sky than i did in my superchaged cougar back in the day. Not about the limit in speed of the car, its driving habits.
Second, I HIGHLY recommend a stick shift over an automatic to any new driver.
2 things: Pick up a skill that less and less people have, one that makes you more focused on how your car is driving. Huge perk.
Keeps your hand on a shifter and off a damn phone.
Not that it isnt done, but especially for new drivers, numbers of manuals with texting drivers is infinitely less than automatics.

I do also recommend the base model just on simplicity of working on it, and cost. Far less to go wrong, and far fewer major issues.
5 speed base model will do you right =)
 

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Completely disagree with this. Sorry.
Ive gotten more tickets now in my base sky than i did in my superchaged cougar back in the day. Not about the limit in speed of the car, its driving habits.
Second, I HIGHLY recommend a stick shift over an automatic to any new driver.
2 things: Pick up a skill that less and less people have, one that makes you more focused on how your car is driving. Huge perk.
Keeps your hand on a shifter and off a damn phone.
Not that it isnt done, but especially for new drivers, numbers of manuals with texting drivers is infinitely less than automatics.

I do also recommend the base model just on simplicity of working on it, and cost. Far less to go wrong, and far fewer major issues.
5 speed base model will do you right =)
And so there you have the flip side of my opinion.
 

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As an old guy who raised two boys, I don't advise learning how to drive on a stick shift. You want to keep as much effort on safe driving, not how to move the car. Unless you are uniquely talented, I would limit myself to an automatic.
As another old guy that raised 5 girls and 1 boy, I taught them all how to drive in a car with a stick shift. I also believe it takes a higher level of concentration and skill when learning how to drive. The driver is more connected to the vehicle and might I say "one with the driving experience". I suppose in time we will all hop into a driver less car but until then, I never wanted my kids to jump into a stickshift vehicle and say "What's that thing for?".
 

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I have to agree with @Draike13 about the manual transmission. My brother and I both learned, and took our license tests with one. Of course that was 40+ years ago.

I have also had more spped-related law enforcement encounters with the 2.4 than the RL. For all practical (ie: speeding) purposes, they are equally fast, one just gets there sooner.

A good point about not using your phone. With a manual it is far more difficult to talk and drive.
 

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Hey y'all, I have wanted a Sky ever since I saw one when I was 11, and now I'm 16 looking for a first car. If I have about $8k to spend, would a Sky be a legitimate first car?
Congrats on getting your first car, the fact you said "y'all" leads me to believe snow may not be an issue where your from. $8k can buy you a lot of car, we picked up our Redline with 60k miles in May for less than that. I remember when I was 16 my parents offered to donate $4k to the cause. I had my eyes set on a 95' GT Mustang Convertible. The dealership wanted $9k, so instead I picked up an 89' Jeep Wrangler for $4k. I was just as frugal then as I am now. It of course had some issues which was great because I got to learn how to fix my own car and learn the cost of ownership. I had friends who their parents bought them brand new cars including one of them a Corvette, that guy couldn't even change a flat tire.

I'm going to second the idea of getting a manual transmission too. If you don't already know how to drive one, you will be able to soon, and then you can drive just about anything on the road for the rest of your life. It really does keep you less distracted too.

As far as tickets go, it doesn't matter what you drive, just learn to have a good story to help get out of it.
 

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As far as tickets go, it doesn't matter what you drive, just learn to have a good story to help get out of it. I don't agree with the above statement. Drive carefully and obey the road rules. Don't be a dork and piss off other drivers. If you are out in the middle of nowhere you can do what you want. Just be safe and cause no harm.
 

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As far as tickets go, it doesn't matter what you drive, just learn to have a good story to help get out of it. I don't agree with the above statement. Drive carefully and obey the road rules. Don't be a dork and piss off other drivers. If you are out in the middle of nowhere you can do what you want. Just be safe and cause no harm.
Wow, what part of my statement implies being a "dork and piss off other drivers"? My statement was a lighthearted attempt to imply that regardless what you drive you will inevitably be pulled over for something. Have you seriously never gotten a ticket or been pulled over for a driving infraction?
 

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Hey y'all, I have wanted a Sky ever since I saw one when I was 11, and now I'm 16 looking for a first car. If I have about $8k to spend, would a Sky be a legitimate first car?
First off, as for manual or auto, my son took his driver's exam in my manual transmission Sky. Figured if he could pass that with the pressure that comes with it he'd have no issue driving it regularly. He has had some minor issues in automatics, none in manuals. Why is anyone's guess but he currently drives a 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4...and they only came in manuals. Also my first car was a manual. Practice enough and you'll be fine IF you don't know how to drive one already.

Not that you asked about manual vs auto because that has nothing to do with whether or not a Sky makes a good first car. So, some things to consider.
  1. Livability - What are your hobbies, job, lifestyle? The Sky is VERY limited in cargo and passenger space. If you don't mind driving to events alone or riding with other people, this may not be an issue. If you participate in activities where you need cargo room for equipment like snowboarding, surfing, skiing and the like, it may not be for you. If you are going away to college or moving out for the first time, you will probably need a moving truck and a trailer to take the car. For me, I couldn't have JUST the Sky as my only car. I also have a full sized truck. Others here are the same way in that the Sky is not their only vehicle. It can be downright impractical at times but if you have the right lifestyle, it can work. When I was single, other than hockey games (I was a goalie) I probably would have done just fine with it.

  2. Drivability - This is a Rear Wheel Drive vehicle with a front-mid engine layout and a short wheel base. The car likes to turn even if you aren't intending it to sometimes. If you get a base model or a Turbo under the right conditions you can find yourself in trouble quick. Good news is all Turbos have traction control. Bad news is not all base models do. This means those folks saying to get a base model because it is easier to control may be unintentionally giving you bad advice. 2007 base models were not offered with traction control but more were sold than any other year. In 2008, it became an option and sometime between the start of 2008 production and the 2009 model year, it was standard on all Skys. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you go for the 2.4, you find one with traction control.

  3. Power - The 2.0 turbo is, by far, the more powerful of the two. However, turn hard and floor a 2.4 and those back tires (if it doesn't have traction control) will break loose and the car will go around. Gaining too much speed and braking too late causing you to miss a turn and find yourself in a heap of trouble can be done in either car but it is much easier for it to happen with the Turbo car and can happen far more often with far higher speeds to deal with. The 2.4 certainly isn't lacking in power especially for a new driver though. The 2.0n Turbo also isn't so monstrous as to be undriveable by a new driver. Just keep in mind the most powerful and important sensor in the whole car is the one resting on your shoulders.

  4. Your Weather - While these cars CAN drive in snow, it isn't recommended. Rain can be just as bad or worse. If you live in a state that doesn't get much or either, year round driving is easy to do (I live in So Cal and drive my Sky everywhere all year long). The top isn't easy to raise and lower quickly and requires you to get out of the car to raise and lower it so living somewhere that has flash downpours (I'm looking at you Florida and Arizona!!!) you may need to be prepared to get wet if you are caught off guard. While not hard to plan for, it just requires a different mindset when you own a convertible and enjoy top down driving.

  5. Costs - Not so much maintenance costs (except for water pumps and turbos...replacing those can be pricey and they are higher maintenance items on these cars sometimes) but other expenses. If you go turbo, you will have to run premium fuel and as a 16 year old, that price difference can seem monumental. Insurance is another factor as a convertible 2-seater is more expensive to insure than a good ol' Accord. Tires can be pricey if you go for sticky rubber but if you drive it all year in a place that gets a good amount of water a high quality all season can still be pricey. Cheap out and your traction control may work overtime in the wet.
That's really about it. Regular maintenance isn't too bad and if you keep your driving sane there is no reason it can't make a great first car. These are just the things you need to be honest with yourself about and ask "can I realistically live with these quirks". I would suggest whatever you do, start autocrossing your car, regardless of what you get. Autocrossing is fun, will help teach you the limits of your car, and hone skills you will find help you during regular driving. It's a great learning tool for all drivers but I always highly recommend it for new drivers.
 

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A good story to get out of it? Is this good advice? It can imply deception. If you think it was good advice, please explain.
Obviously we don't know each other, so I'm giving the benefit that you are misunderstanding my intent.

So I will go first without getting too philosophical, I am a father of 2 boys, neither of which are at driving age yet. However, when they are, I would have no problem giving them the same advice as I stated above. The fact is, I absolutely remember being 16. Did I make some poor judgments at that age? Absolutely I still make some now, I would argue all of us did and still do. It's part of growing up, it's a fact of life, you make mistakes and then you learn from those mistakes. No one is perfect and I don't hold anybody to that expectation, but I still expect people to do what's right. I also try to recall the advice I was given at 16 and I remember what advice stuck and what went right out the other ear. So I believe making a generalized statement that it you get pulled over you better hope you have a good story to get out of trouble isn't too far out of line. Have you never ran a stop sign by accident? Or maybe you didn't come to a complete stop at one? Now let's say a cop was also at that intersection, does that make what you did more or less against the law? Not all driving infractions are malicious or nefarious as I assume you insinuated my meaning, nor did I intend my statement to be in favor of. Simply put, human nature dictates mistakes will be made, humans drive cars, thus mistakes will be made while driving a car. So I will rephrase, my best advice is I hope you have a good story to help you get in less trouble. I again refer back to my original questions:
  1. What part of my statement implies being a "dork and piss off other drivers"?
  2. Have you seriously never gotten a ticket or been pulled over for a driving infraction?
 

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Skyefire42,
It’s amazing how your posting, looking for advise about a first car has sent many of us down memory lane. I shared your posting with friends ..... we talked about the cars we’ve had, ones we regretted buying, ones we still want and the ones we wish we never sold.
My next door neighbor still has his first car, a 1967 Mustang Coupe with a 289. How I envy that he had the foresight to hang onto his first love. Your first car, no matter what you ultimately choose, it will fill you with a lifetime of memories. Enjoy the Ride..... too soon you’re an Old Guy reading with a little bit of envy about a young person in search of their first car.....🏁🏎
 

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Obviously we don't know each other, so I'm giving the benefit that you are misunderstanding my intent.

So I will go first without getting too philosophical, I am a father of 2 boys, neither of which are at driving age yet. However, when they are, I would have no problem giving them the same advice as I stated above. The fact is, I absolutely remember being 16. Did I make some poor judgments at that age? Absolutely I still make some now, I would argue all of us did and still do. It's part of growing up, it's a fact of life, you make mistakes and then you learn from those mistakes. No one is perfect and I don't hold anybody to that expectation, but I still expect people to do what's right. I also try to recall the advice I was given at 16 and I remember what advice stuck and what went right out the other ear. So I believe making a generalized statement that it you get pulled over you better hope you have a good story to get out of trouble isn't too far out of line. Have you never ran a stop sign by accident? Or maybe you didn't come to a complete stop at one? Now let's say a cop was also at that intersection, does that make what you did more or less against the law? Not all driving infractions are malicious or nefarious as I assume you insinuated my meaning, nor did I intend my statement to be in favor of. Simply put, human nature dictates mistakes will be made, humans drive cars, thus mistakes will be made while driving a car. So I will rephrase, my best advice is I hope you have a good story to help you get in less trouble. I again refer back to my original questions:
  1. What part of my statement implies being a "dork and piss off other drivers"?
  2. Have you seriously never gotten a ticket or been pulled over for a driving infraction?
Honestly i'd say the best way I got out of tickets was a license plate frame ("Support your local police." I meant it as 'Speed, get tickets, the fines go to supporting your local police" but it wasn't taken that way so I went with it) or being honest but not admitting guilt. I've actually gotten out of a stop sign ticket in a city NO ONE gets out of a stop sign ticket for being polite and not arguing with the officer even when I thought I had stopped. He told me he was letting me off with a warning specifically because I was being polite and honest. I got out of an evasion charge by being honest. I kept my Sky out of impound by being honest. Sometimes you'll get the ticket, sometimes you won't, with or without the good story. Just depends on how the cop feels about the circumstances. At least that's been my experience.

Skyefire42,
It’s amazing how your posting, looking for advise about a first car has sent many of us down memory lane. I shared your posting with friends ..... we talked about the cars we’ve had, ones we regretted buying, ones we still want and the ones we wish we never sold.
My next door neighbor still has his first car, a 1967 Mustang Coupe with a 289. How I envy that he had the foresight to hang onto his first love. Your first car, no matter what you ultimately choose, it will fill you with a lifetime of memories. Enjoy the Ride..... too soon you’re an Old Guy reading with a little bit of envy about a young person in search of their first car.....🏁🏎
My first car...1963 Bug...should never had sold it.

113215



113217


And proof of the license plate frame...

113218
 

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This is a photo like the first car that I actually bought and owned myself. Bought it new off of the showroom floor. If I remember correctly it was about $3,200 I had over 350k miles on it when I finally gave it to my brother. I rebuilt the engine somewhere around150k miles. I used my mothers oven to heat the pistons to be able to slide in the wrist pins. My 07 Sky Redline had far less issues with comparative 120k miles.
One-Family 1972 Toyota Celica
 

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The first car titled in my name (in 1978) was a 1971 Delta 88, 4-door, 455 with a small 2bbl carb. What a boat!
But I learned how to drive in 1973 with my Dad's 1967 Plymouth Fury-I with the 318 2bbl carb. What a boat!

Did I say "boat" twice?

My first sports car was a 1986 Pontiac Fiero-GT 4-speed that I bought in 1991.
My first serious sports car was a 1999 Corvette convertible that I bought in 2003, but I bought it to flip it.

The 5th gen Vettes were quite the machine. I flipped a number of them, my favorite was the 50th Anniversary Edition convertible. I kept that one some years, also a 2001 Bowling Green convertible. The others were kept only long enough to prep and sell.

One day I hope to own an 8th generation Corvette mid engine convertible after depreciation sets in to where I might be able to afford one. Time will tell. In the mean time, Money Pit is doing it's job well, and my wife loves it maybe more than I do.
 
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