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Wanting to buy a Camry. Suggestions?

986 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  brazilgoal
My wife just totaled the family mini-van. She's fine, thanks for asking.

I am wanting to purchase an older model Camry, low cost, that we can add mods to and then pass on to my son for his first car, in 1-2 years. After that we will look for a new car for the wife.

Any suggestions? What gen.? What engine? Low insurance? Ease and availability of mods? Etc.
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i'd get a gen3 coupe for my kid if i had one, a 4 cyl 5spd, not much power, looks decent, its 2dr (all the cool kids have 2drs right...)

as for availability for mods... springs, struts and sway bars are available as well as clutches and flywheels, but you probably have to make a cold air intake and exhaust, you can get headers though

and if you want a bunch more power then you can even get a supercharger, but that's probably more than you'd pay for the car
Gen 3 Coupe or Sedan. Get a V4 Gas-Wise if it's gunna be passed down to him.
It's inline-4 ;)

Straight up, this isn't a good question to ask. Everyone has their opinion, so you won't get much solid info out of it. Last time we had a which Gen is best it just got out of hand and locked.

Pricewise, a Gen3 (92-96) would probably be the cheapest to find. However for a family to drive in I would say a Gen 4 (97-01). V6 all the way around. They aren't too overpowered, but at the same time they aren't underpowered. So your good all the way around :)
id got with a gen 3 also. coup would be nice, but can be hard to find, espcially in a 5spd. my parents had one and it had no troubles keeping up on the highway when we had it loaded down. it was overall a great car.
4 vs 6 with a kid behind the wheel... 4 I'd have to say, I've had both and the 4 is more than enough power to get everyone around. Why encourage hot rodding when it's not neccesary.

As I've said before "You have heard 'Power Currupts' the same goes for Horse power." Of course my first car was a way overpowered 70' Cougar. Weeeeee (I've been currupted)
I have to agree. get a gen 3. they are cheaper than the gen4. the 4cyl is easier to work on i think but the v6 can move lots faster obviously. Like smoking tires said, in the end its up to you. with the gen 4 you would be able to find more aftermarket parts for i think - something to keep in mind since you said you have the intention of modifying it. (not to say that there arent a lot for gen3 though)
Of all the gens I've seen, I can't see a better looking Camry then the newest (Gen5?).
Great sculpted lines in the bodywork, quieter, with even better power from the new 2.4 Inline4.
Gen 3 or 3.5 auto with the I-4 engine.
gen3 I think has more of an aftermarket. The brospeed and ripp headers both work, and to get the headers to work on a gen4 you have to have them modified.
Looks like you alrdy have a camry/ got one?

^And as to his comment. If you wait like 1 year. More parts will come. For most cars, the older it is the aftermarket will get bigger.

If you wait like 2-3 months. Shiftgate performance should have released its turbo kit.
Thanks guys!!!!!

I don't plan on parting with my '03 SE just yet. It's a fun running machine. The stated reason to my son is that insurance on an older model would much less, especially for a teenage driver.

The suggestion of a 4 cyl has strong merit considering my son has inhereted my liking for horsepower.

In summary, I think we'll look for a gen. 3 in an automatic. We may do power mods following the sound, looks and handling mods. It will have to be inexpensive.

Both my kids have had to learn on a stick shift before they get their driver's li.

Tomorrow I'll find out what the insurance co. will pay up on the minivan. I'm ready with NADA and values.

Thanks again for your suggestions. It was very helpful.
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