The Quest for an Inexpensive Commuter Sports Car: An Introduction

Commuting to the office or client meetings sucks. Everyone knows that to be true, and taking a break from those duties due to a global pandemic reinforced the notion. Now that people are getting back to commuting, off site meetings, etc., I’m here with an appeal to help reinvigorate your drive: consider a sports car. 
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Over the course of this series, I’ll walk you through my own process of researching and choosing an older sports car, while taking a peek into the fascinating subculture of sports car fanatics.

How Did I Get Here?

Here’s a little backstory on my own commuting dissatisfaction. I moved away from Nashville (where Love and Science is based) in the summer of 2016, and began working fully remote for the next 3 years. It was wonderful to leave all that traffic battling in my rearview mirror, but I decided to give all that up and move back to Nashville anyway. Of course, I moved back to Nashville just before the great shutdown of 2020, so that extended my work from home routine just a little bit longer. 

my “daily drivers” kept getting a little more ridiculous

Over the course of the 4ish years that I wasn’t commuting, my “daily drivers” kept getting a little more ridiculous – after all, I didn’t actually need to drive anywhere daily. I started with a 12 passenger van for my then-family-of-4, and eventually wound up with a 24’, dual rear wheel class B RV (camper van) to support my eventual-family-of-5. This was great until I began trekking back to my Nashville office and the occasional off-site client meeting. Suddenly it seemed almost ridiculous to be pulling up in an RV. 

I was driving an RV to the grocery store

I eventually ditched the RV for a 1-ton crew cab pickup truck with an 8’ bed – probably sounds overkill, but remember, I was previously driving an RV to the grocery store. The truck is still my main vehicle, but it brings its own challenges. This was never more obvious than when I had a 2-day in-person client workshop at their downtown office. I couldn’t fit my truck in a parking garage, and on-street parking was basically impossible. I instead had to park about a mile away in a pay lot, then keep walking from the office to the lot to renew my parking every 3 hours. Suddenly, an idea was born:  What if I get a cheap, small car for meetings or days when I feel like shaking up my commute?

The Case For a Sports Car

Now, I did briefly consider a newer economy car like a Kia Rio or a Nissan Versa, but there were a few sticking points for me: 

  • I hate the way newish sedans look
  • Current chip shortages and inflation have made these once-affordable vehicles close to $20k investments
  • Their 0-60 times are absolutely brutal


I started thinking that rather than simply get a slow, boring car that helps me cram into a parking space, maybe I should be looking for a little adventure to help me cram into a parking space and escape my return to mundane commuting. Enter the used sports car, and here’s why:

  • Terrible depreciation makes them surprisingly affordable after just a couple years
  • Generally good acceleration, especially after about the year 2000
  • Makes you feel like you’re doing something kind of fun even if you’re just sitting in horrible traffic
  • If you hang on to it long enough, it might become a collectible and suddenly skyrocket in value


I’ve never thought of myself as a “sports car guy,” as I’m bald, relatively frugal, and have never cheated on my wife. However, two of my coworkers opened my eyes with their Mazda MX-5 and Mustang GT. It turns out sports cars can be fun, reasonably priced and not sleazy. After getting a taste of their vehicles and what sub-7-second acceleration feels like, I decided that not only could I stomach a sports car, I desperately wanted and needed one. 

Sports Car Search Criteria

So now that I was emotionally invested in the thrill of my own sports car, I had a tall task ahead in meeting the needs of my analytical side. The loose initial framework my right and left brain agreed upon was as follows:

  • $15k or less (preferably way less)
  • 0-60 acceleration below 7 seconds (I wanted to be as close to 5 as possible, but that ruled out some of my favorite vintage models right away)
  • Ideally V6 or V8 engines (4 cylinder wasn’t a deal breaker though)
  • Ideally 1970-1980’s era
  • Hard top


Now again, this was a loose framework. My initial preferred vehicle (1998-2001 Porsche Boxster) didn’t even hit all of the criteria, as it was too new and convertible. Still, this was where I started, and while I flexed well outside these criteria throughout my search, I actually wound up pretty close in the end. 

With my framework in hand and an eye toward childhood nostalgia (more on that Boxster later), I began searching and studying, and eventually narrowing down what I believe to be the best used sports car options available. 

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Disclaimer: bio written by A.I. Daniel likes concerts (kind of true), cantaloupes (not true – honeydew FTW), and creating successful brands (true). Daniel went from college dropout (true), to Americana retailer (kind of true). Daniel is now a marketing professional (true) and entrepreneur (true) who guides small (not really true) businesses (true) to cool company status (I’ll take it). Daniel lives in Seattle (not true), occasionally flies to Inverness to smoke cigars with his dad (not true), and has 2 dogs (not true).
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