The 944 downed the mighty Audi Quattro in 1986 and the practical Porsche still shines today. Just look out for a whining transaxle
Ford Focus ST170, £3500: You could argue that at its advanced age the future has already arrived for the Mk1 Focus ST170, but still prices remain stubbornly low. You can get into a runner from as little as £750 but there are signs its fortunes may be turning. For example, we spotted an immaculate 2002-reg with 45,000 miles and a good service history for £3500. Strong money when you can get into a 2007-reg Mk2 ST with 60,000 miles for the same price, but the ST170 is much rarer and blessed with a really sweet chassis.
Clash of the classifieds
Brief: Find me a cool JDM car for £10,000.
Honda Beat, £6999
Honda Civic Type R EP3, £9490
Mark Pearson: Small is beautiful, as Michael Schumacher noted many years ago. Wait, what? No, it was EF Schumacher, in fact, but whatever, he was right. Cars are too big, too heavy and too complicated now. What you need is a low, light, analogue, mid-engined two-seat roadster like this delightful 1992 JDM Beat. No car was ever more nimble. Its like a McLaren F1 but without the vulgarity. What you got, Max?
Max Adams: I have also gone for a Honda, but mines a 2003 Japanese-spec Civic Type R. An EP3, no less. It may look like the regular hot hatch, but this Championship White example gets a raft of go-faster extras that UK-spec cars missed out on: a limited-slip differential, close-ratio gearbox, better brakes, stiffer anti-roll bars and, oh yeah, more power.
MP: The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the bold. My little thing is a gorgeous companion on a summers day. A lovely naturally aspirated engine and swift responses. Manga/ anime features, too, so plenty to look at. I like yours but isnt it a bit crashy?