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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background info: I've had this car since new and modded the hell out of it and enjoyed that but decided not to keep spending time and money on it, so I just drove it, keeping it running well, but not even washing it. It was a combination part time corner carver, Tail of the Dragon ride (3 trips up and back), daily driver (about 99% of the miles), and finally just DD plus kayak and bicycle hauler. Only autocrossed about 5 times and none of that after the swap was done several years ago. Never tracked it unless you count the Blue Ridge Parkway as an illegal 40 to 50 MPH over the speed limit track while not getting caught blasting through mountain tunnels - yee hah. Most of the time, I just commuted, driving like a granny. Anything that might have gone wrong mechanically was addressed/prevented long before it could happen. That's one reason for the engine swap, which was done perfectly by Little Rocket.

It seems to me the choices are sell to someone who wants to make it THEIR vision of perfection (could be stripped of more weight, add a SC or turbo, make it beautiful in their eyes, etc.) or "resurrect" it myself like replace/repair/paint dents and dings, install a top strap, add carpet back in, or whatever.

I am looking for advice here (fix, sell, sell for how much, part out, dot dot dot). I will definitely be buying a new daily driver for various reasons (mostly because I can now afford to without robbing Peter to pay Paul). I'll probably get a WRX or maybe Mustang or Miata PRHT. Something different. Fun, reliable, warranty, never modified (I've done that too much already).

This is not a for sale topic. I will just describe for now. Most of you have seen pictures of my car in various states and know most of the mods and history. Let's see if I can list everything.

2003 Silver Streak
about 130K on the basic car
about 70K on a 2ZZ and 6 speed, swap done by Little Rocket.

Engine was painted red and still looks good. Lotus valve cover cover (black plastic piece).
Engine was balanced and blueprinted by LR and he did a port and polish (cost a grand for all this extra work).
MWR valves and springs to allow engine to rev to 10K safely
LR 2ZZ swap header
MWR / Moroso oil pan with QuikValve to drain oil easily
Nice oil cooler with fan (although one would have to connect fan to a switch - I had it controlled by software before)
6 speed was brand new when I bought it for the swap and has no issues

JNZ decat pipe
Team Moon single SS

Homemade intake with stock diameter and a filter than needs replacing

SSR Competition wheels (15" front and 16" rear)
New rear tires, fronts are still OK
Quite new brake redo: stainless steel brake lines, cross drilled rotors, new pads
TRD sway bars from and rear (Sportivo)
BC Racing coilovers adjustable for ride height and damping
TRD front STB

NACA ducts and AeroCatch hood pins on engine lid
Hood is carbon fiber over fiberglass and has been painted body color. Has hood pins installed.
C-One side vent covers (body color)
Mk1 MR2 nose badge, YAMAHA and custom "Powered by Little Rocket" badge on rear (one of a kind)
TRD duracon shift knob, TRD short shifter

Seats from an EVO that are very comfortable but need to be cleaned up. Passenger side slider is stubborn because the seat mechanism was damaged somehow in shipping, but it works. Also this seatback plastic is cracked.
No carpet, no bin doors.
Have some parts I never installed like Dev's bin door fabric cover (buttons in), an Argiope top strap (needs to be done, too).

Assuming I find and fix the problem induced by heavy rain (probably coil pack), it runs great.
Everything else works electrically and mechanically - there are just dents and dings that I did not fix and the paint should be redone but none of that matters if you are going to autox or track the car
Used to have a PFC, now has a Celica ECU (2000 so the rev limit is something like 8500 or 8600)
Has a CEL which I never read but there would be some kind of evap code (induced when the swap was done - some hose or PCV) that causes the engine RPM to go up and down after a fill up, then it settles. LR said that was normal for a swap (???).
No doubt has a trouble code for there being no cat

There are 2 engine mounts replaced but I don't like the degree of vibration caused by changing the one at the bridge mount.

Top has no tears or rips.
I don't wash let alone wax the car. I've just been driving it .

I think this car can only be sold to someone who wants to work on it, taking it in the direction THEY want (color paint, for example) and knows what they are doing. Perhaps a former Spyder owner. Now I could do or pay for all the work to be done to make it look nice, but I don't want to. If I keep it, it will be parked and "restored" or made more presentable slowly while I drive something else. I suppose it would be worth $12K then. The mods I did were well chosen for reliability/materials/performance. It aint a turbo, for example. That engine is probably good for 100K more miles if properly maintained and not money shifted.


So what is it worth?


Most likely it will be sitting in the garage gathering dust for a while if I keep it. I'm definitely buying a new car whether this is sold right away or not.
 

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I guess the big question is whether or not you still love owning it enough to make it 'new' again- it will require some money and time obviously, but is that worth it to you?

Are you tired of the Spyder after all the mileage and looking for something newer (convertible or not) or something different?

On the other hand, if the Spyder is a favorite car of yours, and you start seeing progress in the improvements, you may 'fall in love again', complete the project, and have a really nice droptop again. If you keep it and do nothing for a while, that may be the trigger to sell. My brother has a MC in his garage that he's had for a very long time, doesn't drive it, and thinks about selling it, but hasn't done so (it's a Kawi ZX-9 and he primarily rides his Vmax, so the ZX never gets used, and has obviously depreciated).

Lastly, if you sell, despite the fine upgrades, I'm sure a buyer will try to lowball you based on year and overall mileage (I know as mine is an 04, and worth more - to me- than to a potential buyer, so I won't sell). On the other hand, if it sits on your property, it continually depreciates anyway.

Best of luck in the decision- I'm sure it'll be hard to part with it if you sell.
 

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Well Kevin, I shared a pm with you about buying a Mini Cooper S and enjoying it to the point where having it and the Spyder redundant. Of course that is not to say equal, just that I found driving the Mini almost as enjoyable, so it was easier to sell the Spyder which I did a couple of months ago. Sold to a guy who found it on Spyderchat and as we talked before and during the transaction, I felt good about selling the car to him as opposed to someone who was just interested in good gas mileage.
Of course you won't get a price that reflects all that you put into it. I kept looking at what others were selling similar year/mileage Spyders for on our site, also decided to sell in spring. You being in Florida, season probably doesn't matter. I guess the issue is that if the car no longer interests you, then it is depreciating, collecting dust and waiting for the next repair. I really wanted to sell my car when it was working well, as opposed to selling something with problems.
After thinking about selling the Spyder for the past year (so many times I would take a great cruise and think "I would be nuts to sell this great-handling car that I put a lot of thought and money in"), the reasons to sell outweighed the reasons to keep. I took 1/2 the funds from selling the Spyder and modded my Mini in one shot, no dragging it out for 2 -3 years and fighting with the wife every time I wanted to spend $200 - $500 for a mod--just one big skirmish over moditis--and now I am set!
So, I closed the book on the Spyder chapter of my life, will probably be the best-handling, purist car to drive that I ever will have owned. The folks on this site were responsible for 90% of the mods and repairs made on the car, the camradarie and support from so many made the time spent on Spyderchat always something I looked forward to!
My biggest concern was that the moment I sold the car through time eternal would be that I would kick myself for having sold it--to this date I must say I haven't missed the Spyder--which is good for me. I do have a 1/18 AUTOart version sitting right here at my computer to help when I miss it!
My suggestion is to take your time and think it through, it took over a year before I felt comfortable with selling, then when someone made an offer, it was een tougher to accept!!
 

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Well, just read T-Bone's reply. Not sure if I said anything:confused: that is helpful, but I think I agree with him too!
 

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KB, keep it.... find an old barn to hide it in, cover it, jack it up... lock the door. Your great grand kids will be snooping around one distant day and be amazed at how cool grandpa is.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, it is decided. I will keep it. It won't gather dust forever. I will bring it back to my old appearance standards, back to something presentable at my own pace, which could be a long time given other things of greater interest. I'll get a different car, which takes the pressure off what to do and how and when to do it. More time to think how to change it.

I would not get enough for it right now - and that has always been the case. It is my baby. I will drive it when I appreciate it more and it is in better condition. Although it is "just a car", it is a very special one. I've put so much time and work into it. I'm thinking of just making it look new inside and out and that's it.

So I'll trade our Prius (we just bought a CRV AWD to replace that) for something as a daily driver for me. It could be very different from a Spyder and that's smart if the Spyder is resurrected. Although I bad-mouthed the Subaru BRZ styling, I've been swayed by its "feel" - that subjective factor so critical. It is "BR" for Boy Racer, though, and I'm not that anymore. There's also the WRX, GTI, and Mini (maybe a JCW to make my daughter jealous in her S). My wife has to be able to drive it if I use the CRV to take a kayak down on the beach (which I have done in my Spyder, fearing getting stuck in the sand). No sense getting another convertible.
 

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Kevin,
I am very much in the same boat as you, although my Spyder is not nearly as heavily modded. Bought my Spyder new in 2000, modded it somewhat to improve to the point that it became a weekend car and track toy, and then stopped at some point. My Spyder has only 74K miles on it and I don't drive it very much anymore. Just occasionally when I need a pick-me-up or thrill. I have a much nicer cushy Lexus to drive as a daily driver and another more practical hatchback as an everyday beater/hauler of stuff.

But lately I've been thinking about getting a newer sports car and have basically decided I want a BRZ. I do believe spiritually no other car besides the Miata carries the same soul as the Spyder (without paying substantially more). When I had some mechanical/smog issues with the Spyder I thought about just trading it in and being done with it. Don't really need 2 sports cars, right? Well the local area Subaru dealers are price gouging and initial production numbers are limited just like I remember happening when the Spyder first came out, so I haven't been able to secure a BRZ yet.

But driving the Spyder again recently has made me realize I don't really need a new car, just want one (more reliable, more tech, more comfy, etc.). So I've decided I will probably keep the Spyder, even if I get a new one. It's a special car to me too, my first sports car, and what got me into autocross, track driving, and becoming an all around auto enthusiast. And of course catching the modding bug. Since that car I've always been concerned about performance and handling when it comes time to select a car. So I'm glad you're keeping your car too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My Spyder is basically no tech and I like it that way. What do you need besides a tach and some temp. gauges? At one point, I added tech (Copilot, tablet PC, etc) to it and I am actually happier driving it without that stuff because now it is just driving. There is no substitute for that elemental, light, midengine thing MR2s have other than an Elise and my wife can't drive one of those - she can't drive my car at all. Next car, she has to be able to drive in case I take the CRV AWD to the beach.

By the way, CRV EX-L (we got AWD) is one hell of a nice vehicle. No wonder they sell so many. The Prius it replaces will be traded for my new car. Really really nice for many purposes (but obviously not corner carving LOL).
 

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By the way, CRV EX-L (we got AWD) is one hell of a nice vehicle. No wonder they sell so many. The Prius it replaces will be traded for my new car. Really really nice for many purposes (but obviously not corner carving LOL).
KB, since we both have owned a Spyder, a Mini and now I see a CRV, I agree with you on it being a nice vehicle. The CRV is my wife's vehicle, and it has been fantastic! Not much acceleration, but just a reliable, bullet-proof car! Hers is a 2000 with 190K and running great!
 

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You're definitely not going to find another elemental car like the Spyder these days (except maybe the Aventador J which is out of my reach). I guess the tech things I am looking for, are the things that would make my Spyder a little more livable as a daily driver... navi, bluetooth, iPod. More trunk space. :lol: But you're right, when I drive the Spyder, just to drive it, I don't care to have most of those things at all. The navi's nice because I like to explore random back roads sometimes, but we all carry smartphones these days right?

I just went for a 1.5 hour drive in the Spyder today and didn't turn on the stereo once.

Rather than spoil the purity of the Spyder with these things I think I will keep it, and eventually add the other car.
 

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You're definitely not going to find another elemental car like the Spyder these days (except maybe the Aventador J which is out of my reach). I guess the tech things I am looking for, are the things that would make my Spyder a little more livable as a daily driver... navi, bluetooth, iPod. More trunk space. :lol: But you're right, when I drive the Spyder, just to drive it, I don't care to have most of those things at all. The navi's nice because I like to explore random back roads sometimes, but we all carry smartphones these days right?

I just went for a 1.5 hour drive in the Spyder today and didn't turn on the stereo once.

Rather than spoil the purity of the Spyder with these things I think I will keep it, and eventually add the other car.
You can very easily add a head unit with navigation and Bluetooth or just Bluetooth to make the Spyder more like a fully optioned car.
 

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I think that you should keep it. I've come to realize that my Spyder makes me happy. Every time I drive her, I smile. Don't get me wrong, I love my RAV too, she has been a real trooper for the almost 10 years (her birthday is in September) that I have owned her, but there's something about the Spyder that makes me feel special. I think its because she is special.
 

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I would keep it. I traded in my first spyder, a solar yellow 03, in for a WRX. Boy did I regret that decision. So much so that last spring I was looking for a spyder to replace it. Next year I will probably trade in the Mustang for a new one, the spyder though is to be refurbished (paint and a new top this summer, possibly new shocks, seats next summer).

As far as another daily driver, get something comfortable. A BRZ, Mustang, etc sounds like something you may like. I can't explain the fun I have just taking the car out for a spin after work, there is nothing like that with the exception of maybe an Elise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have all new coil packs - to fix a problem with one of them - and it runs beautifully again. I am driving a different car now and have basically lost interest in this car. 10 years of Daily Driver duty will do that to you, besides I have other interests and a Volvo C30 is my main squeeze now. It would cost me money to fix up dents and replace carpet and other cosmetic items and I am just done with putting money into the car. Therefore I will either part out the car at my leisure or sell "as is". I would need to get around $10K for it or I'll start doing a whole lot of "lefty loosey" on it starting sometime in January.
 

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I'd hate to see a mechanically sound Spyder parted out, but do what you must.

I'm going on 13 years of ownership and I'm still enamoured with the car.
There just isn't anything else out there that interests me.
Well, maybe a McLaren F1, but that's unrealistic.
 
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