You are going to need to learn more about cars by getting your hands dirty before dismissing a majority of our suggestions.
RTC. Let me put it to you like this. . We have talked Via PM. About many cars and options. And you know i'm the real deal. Also, i told you that the regular posters on this thread know their stuff. Only from different angles, (sports driver, test driver,varied ownership, etc) @Al916 has a great track day car. And skills to wrench on it himself. He can afford to. @Horndog has a killer Supra. He no doubt put in a ton of work and $$$. Members have Bimmers, Tesla's, and all kinds of awesome.
Myself? I make enough money to buy whatever i like in time. More than a salary man does. But i just like to wrench. And save the hero cars of my youth. With the skills and access to make it happen.
You, are a Med Student. Who needs a "first fast car". The one you will remember fondly later. No matter what you drive. We all have one. And i'm sorry, you can't have a "pretty, well sorted, performance car that is easy to work on" in your budget. Sacrifices need to be made. The criteria for a budget fun car are:
1. Does it run? And strong?
3. Clean title
4. Easy to work on with basic tools
5.not messed with too much
6.parts support, both oem, and aftermarket.
7.performance potential (track day fun)
8.looks not embarrassing to drive, GF will get in it.
All of these are important. A shortfall in any area will cost money. So manage it. Pick a well sorted runner. Only needing the cosmetic mods to make it "your own style". Or something that has one cheap to fix problem. In this aspect. Knowledge is an upper hand when shopping. You have us for that.
The very best car, that is 7/8, that i could find until now is this:
A 99 Integra Gsr.
- clean title, stock engine/box, low miles,simple mods, handling is spot on. For the most part, an absolute diamond in the rough. The only sacrifices being cosmetic.
A few months later? Looking fresh. Everything it should be. You enjoying it. And thinking about where to go from here. . .Edited by Thrift Vader - 7/23/16 at 7:43am