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Discussion Starter · #121 · (Edited)
... It looks pretty great for a suburban "I need to pick up mulch or plywood twice a year" and "tow my quad or JetSki in the summer" but don't want to park something twenty feet long...
I think this is pretty accurate. No serious truck buyers will have any interest, but the average young person who likes their small to mid-sized SUV but also wants to be able to move a recliner once in a while is probably a good target.
For me, driveway space is a problem but I could really use some more hauling capability than I get from my wife's Grand Cherokee. If I can also tow my Cougar around from town to town when I move then its a plus.

Those little utility pickups are a cute idea but the bare-bones interiors are really intended more for commercial use than DD status.
Having said that, its not impossible to get something like that here:

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I guess this is technically on the full-size van platform but same idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #122 · (Edited)
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I've been putting too much brainpower into thinking about the suspension for this. I think I need to figure out how to build a double wishbone system using our front knuckles and either mount shocks and springs on the lower arms or use some sort of pushrod or hydraulic system to move the springs and shocks somewhere else altogether.
The front end shouldn't be too hard to figure out, there's plenty of models out there to emulate. The rear is a tricky though because of the limited space between the knuckles and the drivetrain. I suspect the simplest answers will be something like the top image for the rear and the bottom image for the front. Maybe use four shocks and springs on the rear and place them on the front and rear of the control arms.
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I also don't think I would keep the radiator in the rear, I would move it to the front and have some sort of grill, maybe a short oval nose similar to the early F1 cars or this one:
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It would be ideal of I could work our headlights into it but they might just be too big to really get it right. Pretty sure I could make our tail lights work though.

There's a lot of custom build to do here but the total cost should be pretty low...I'm positive I could keep this whole thing under $10k, and maybe even closer to $5k.
 

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Those adventure campers are awesome but hot diggity are they expensive to buy finished.
 

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1993 3000GT VR4
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We just signed the paperwork on this mare blue manual trans Abarth this afternoon after months of searching for one. It has to be shipped from NY still though but we can't wait for it to get here. It has the Brembo brakes and the convenience package (auto dimming rear view and exterior mirrors and heated exterior mirrors as well as a few other things) which were the two must have options (outside of color and transmission) for us. It also has the navigation package and already has an intake/exhaust/BOV installed (which would have been the first 3 mods to it anyways).

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Spotted on Jalopnik in a response to an article entitled, "Are cars still getting better?"

Cars all became our friend who aced the SAT, got his business degree, and is now doing a solid job raising his two kids in the suburbs while working his way up through middle management at a regional accounting firm. He’s a good friend and can hold his liquor on the semi-monthly occasion he comes out with us.

But turns out, I miss our stoner friend who decided to work a salmon farm in rural Alaska for a year and has a new theory on the origin of the universe every time we see him.

To go all Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on your happy ass: is better, better? Because if getting the most technology, the strongest brakes, the best NVH, the lowest coefficient of drag, and the best fit & finish is better, then yeah, cars are still getting better. (Tesla has been put in Time Out for the purposes of this exercise)

But if better is a weird shape, a nonsensical form factor, a fun color, a sticky shifter that clicks sublimely into 4th gear the 20% of the time it’s cooperative, and a headlight design that kinda makes you smile when you look at it from across the parking lot, then no. We’ve gotten so, so much worse. We lost the nonsensical parts of cardom that make cars so endearing--the Torchinsky factor, if you will.

Cars are still getting better by every metric you can find on a Monroney sticker. But they’re not getting better.
This is pretty much how I feel about the 3.
 
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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
That's sort of like the "Modern automatics shift faster than you anyway" argument.

Maybe they do...
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The Cougar is my stoner friend. LOL Driving that thing is so different than driving the 3 - it's almost two different activities entirely. The 3 is like driving an insulated noise proof box. I feel like I'm in a soundproof room, observing but not interacting with the world. The Cougar is open and free and I feel like I'm actually in the environment, feeling every little quirk in the road.
 

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There's so much to be said for actually having a physical cable between your foot and the throttle. My other 3 cars are all drive-by-wire, and it's maddening that the throttle response is determined by someone's programming - not my right foot. At least the Bullitt still has hydraulic power steering...
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
Its maybe not the prettiest Italian import, but there's something about a Pantera that really tickles my inner 7 year old...
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We finally picked up our Abarth today! Mare blue with a manual trans, 40k miles, and quite a few upgrades. Those upgrades include a custom exhaust, CAI, BOV, FMIC, and tune.

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