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Old 08-12-2018, 08:53 PM   #1
Drives: 2009 Yaris S
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Socal
Posts: 332
Nugget's will save us all

So I will open with a Disclaimer:
The following is the expressed opinion and view of the writer, and not WheelWell Co. Or the governing administration. As such there might be grammatical errors, political incorrectiveness, and general lack of common courtesy. The write means no ill-will and is generally to be referred to as not all that bright, or just plain stupid. If this upsets you then, please refer to your local safe space and get the hell off my page.

GOOD EVENING fellow Wheelwell-ians/Wheel-mates, (honestly might we consider the name Lugnuts for the forum members?) today's topic is based on the personal insight that the aftermarket and tuning community while has gotten bigger, has also gotten more expensive. And with new tariffs on the horizon and outside countries retort for them, I can only expect that new car costs will be on the rise. Couple this, if you will, modern day technology where super 7-speed dual clutch automatics are the norm, and your standard simpltonian 3rd pedal is now a “Luxury feature.” Yes, there are some manufacture's which will produce SOME makes with a manual option, some even their base models. More recently, Toyota comes to mind with their new 2019 Corolla (totally not an iM) Hatchback.

True to form the world of modification and aftermarket is becoming scarce and expensive. We are still buying 80s-90s-00s cars used and driving them further into the grave 20 years later. I am for one guilty of this as I just finished test driving a first year MY99 S2000, on the sweltering drive back down to San Diego it had occurred to me here I was looking at an almost 20-year-old car for kicks that cannot be fulfilled by the same cost per smile that can be had in such unit.
In truth, that is what society wants, LugNuts, we are a dying breed. Jeremy Clarkson alluded to this in his review of the 2011 Aston Martin DBS. That the blood rushing, seat of the pants car is to be “consigned to the history books.”
Folks, an electric car just beat that world record time attack at Pikes Peak. The Future is here, and the tuning culture is desperately fighting to maintain what we have.

How? Well, the BRZ/FRS and new ND2 are all grand steps towards keeping the love of driving alive. Here is the problem with them, and really any other like soul'd car with a manual gearbox, it will cost you 400 dollars for the next 7 years. (another gripe 7-year loans? Are you kidding)
Now then, what is a college student to do if he has the Need for Speed, but his wallet is the size of a singular billfold? Enter the Nugget.
A 'Nugget,' a coined nickname spun off the popular Mighty Car Mods show, in which the general consensus is that you are buying a cheaply made car, that comes with an inherent lack of danger, for the simple reason it has a manual, you can mash the gas and row through gears and be honked at for going too slow.

Ah, yes the Slow car – Fast mentality. Surely I haven't forgotten about the Miata, and even some other well to do cars like the aging but still quite good 350z and E36/46 brothers can be had. Yes, you would be smart to bring them up, and for some, that car is a really good option. But what if this college student is not a mechanic. Or better yet, does not have space to modify his car, and cannot stand to have his car be down for longer than a few hours? And what of reliability, you can find cheap cars all day long scrounging through forums, and other media outlets, but if milages hasn't had them succumb to worn parts, then age. I go back to the Honda S2000 being 20 YEARS OLD. Given another year, it'll be old enough to buy itself a drink. Back when I had launched myself into the car world; a 20-year-old car was in the 1980s!

So what am I referring to? Single owner used B-segment hatchbacks. Small, nimble, reliable, fuel efficient, cheap to modify, cheap to own, cheap to thrash, and most importantly – Cheap to buy. It is no secret I own a 2nd owner 2009 Toyota Yaris, with its venerable 1nz-fe engine (brother to the 1nzfxe Prius engine) it pushes 106 hp and redlines at a lackluster 6800 rpm. And that is key, because this engine isn't exotic, in fact, nothing is. The frame is a modification of the earlier year Toyota Echo hatchback, and it shares its underpinnings with the Scion XB, and iQ and more recently the Prius C. The Transmission is a C50 series variant which Tom (who should be reading this, props to you, you wonderful mad human being) has thoroughly dissected and hails from the late 80s. Here, in the 2000s? If it's not broke, don't invest more R&D into a new transmission. Very much so this car is the better bits (read simple) of the Prius and rolled over tech from Corollas and experimental cars.

I had found mine for 5200 dollars with 85,000 miles on the clock, a 5-speed manual, and 3 door. The prior owner had already started the modification process, but at 5200 dollars, I had a solid reliable car that still gets 32 mpg, CARB legal, turns on a dime, stops on a sliver, and while funky, remains mostly under the radar from local enforcement. My roommate, Leonard, we will call him. Has been the prophet to me about the B-Segment cars. He has owned a single owner Mazda 2 which was Mazda's answer to Ford's Fiesta and the mighty Honda Fit. Likewise we have similarly modified our cars to meet SCCA Pro Solo STS class, while maintaining a daily status with the car, full interiors (mine does now at least), Air con that works, good radio, wipers, brakes, CARB legal, and most importantly for the San Diego commute, 30+mpg and shared bolt pattern with the Miata world, which means.. 200 treadwear tires from any brand and all the sizes. Even the wheelbase that would make a Miata doublecheck their own waist ( NA Miata: 89.2, Mazda 2: 98 flat, Yaris: 96.9)

Couple this with the aftermarket, there's no point without the mod world, the B-segment cars have a HUGE catalog to choose from. It turns out that Pacific Asian countries love their micro cars and modifying them. The Honda Jazz and Mazda Demio ( Fit and 2 to you uncultured swine) are some of the more popular cars, while my Vitz (yaris) had a certain performance model that was only Japanese market, making it highly customizable. This rolls over other cars as well, Local market Fiesta's and Sonics even have the option of coming boosted! The Ford even came in a mighty mouse 1 liter version (I would LOVE to find one, with a shtick)

And here is a bonus for you track day bro's, the hype hasn't caught on, even the B-Spec racing league hasn't made these cars desirable, junkyards are chock full of wrecker cars that make it easy to get bits and pieces. When was the last time you saw a 350z in the yards? Doesn't exist, vultures know to part them out for dollars on the dollar.

Which rolls into Pricing, On clist in the local big city there are no less than 7 Yarii for sale with manual the most expensive starting at 7000, Honda Fit? 4, cheapest under 3 grand, the list goes on. Do you want to talk mod parts? Leonard sent me his spreadsheet (mine is a bit more.. flamboyant) Car: 2011 Mazda 2 at 72k miles: $5000 USD, KW coilovers: $1000, Wheels/Tires: 500, Brakes-pads/lines/rotors: $240, Subframe bracing/sway bars: $490, catback exhaust: $260, add another 200 for misc bits and pieces and you have: $7690. My yaris is a similar story, 2009 with 85k Miles, already came with rims and tires, roll bar, harnesses, bracing, and brake lines. All I added was a 240 dollars in shift linkage bits to shorten the throw, an NRG seat and Wheel (which is optional for most for me I needed helmet clearance) : 560 and EBC brake pads vs the Hawk pads with new rotors and rebuilt calipers for 740. 6740 total invested (granted should you buy a stock yaris to get it to the same level your costs would exceed 10 grand in total) But the point is for that cash you have a car that will do everything you need it to, and then be available to thrash at your local track day, and without the need of exotic tools or a lift.

So friends, please do us and our children a favor, buy the Nugget, keep the tuning world alive, make the daily a weekender/racecar, foot to floor it everywhere (mainly based on necessity..) and stay out of debt.
7-year loans... the hell are they doing.

- Craig is a sleep-deprived sailor who uses his limited spare time to test drive cars he cannot afford, helps others maintain financial integrity and is a hero just for fun.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:33 PM   #2
Captain Yaris
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Drives: 2016 Yaris 3 Dr Super White
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Well said!
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:46 PM   #3
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Drives: 2015 Yaris LE 3door 1F7
Join Date: Feb 2017
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yes nuggets will save us all.
Checkout My Build Thread:

Im autistic about 3rd gen yarises. ask me anything.
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