Hooniverse Asks- What Car Should My Sister-in-Law Buy?

My sister-in law needs to get a new car. Well, not a new car, but something different from the ’91 fart-canned Miata that has been her daily driver for nigh-on a decade. That red drop top has developed a nasty overheating problem that will require the removal and probable tanking of the engine block to solve. As no one really wants to invest that much time in the beast, she’s looking at replacing it, but can’t make up her mind. Now, she grew up in a household with a lot of impressive iron, and was used to driving to high school in a Pantera or Jag E-Type, so she does have some rarified tastes. Unfortunately, she also is a bit lax in abiding to maintenance schedules so whatever she ends up with will need to be able to go that extra mile ( or 5,000) between oil changes. So far she’s been looking at cars that would not be considered daily drivers even by Jackie Stewart – Lotus Esprits, Elises, Elans, and the like- even an Espada! A boxster runs high on her list, but even that seems somewhat mundane to her. The criteria required are: sporty above all else, sufficiently reliable and comfortable for 50-mile + daily drives, and fit in your pocket small. Living in Southern California means that winter driving capabilities aren’t an important factor. While married, she and her husband are unburdened by kids, so a two-seater would meet their needs. They currently have in their stable a 2002 A4 (her husband’s ride), a Milano, a ’67 Duetto and a clapped-out toyota pickup of indeterminate age. None of these (save the Audi) are acceptably reliable – or comfortable – transportation over the long haul. Her father and I have been pushing for the Porsche (along with an improved maintenance regime) or a newer Miata. She says she’s done with boring Japanese cars, and that a convertible top, while nice, isn’t necessary in her next ride. Any suggestions as to what she should get? Image sources: [forum Miata.net, digiads.com]

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