...still looking for a donor car and we have found a cheap 1983 porsche 944 and a cheap miata near St. LouisThe thing that we like about the 944 is the 2.5 liter engine with more power than the miata. Another thing would be the bragging rights of a porsche drivetrain
but the downside is the transaxle may require more work. Any ideas?
Miata. No doubt about it it.
I've never seen a Porsche transaxle, but Googling for a few pictures on suggests it could be a real packaging problem. If it needed to extend forward of the rear bulkhead, I think your tunnel would be too wide to fit two seats around it.
Also, you should be doing more studying for your English class. You used "cheap" and "porsche" in the same sentence. I'm surprised your keyboard didn't spontaneously combust or something. Even if it's running fine now, you'll redouble your build budget if something German breaks in your car.
Finally, don't worry about the lack of power. My Miata 1.6-powered Locost has all the poop any high school student (or graduate...or drop-out) needs. If I blow this motor up, I can drop a new one in for $400.
Most important of all, you'll be travelling a well-trod path. All the answers are out there, and they work very well. This is particularly important for a school-class project, since you'll be eager to finish it and have so many other exciting things to pursue right now. A high school kid doesn't need a 6-year car project.
Either way, have fun and learn plenty! I am SO impressed with you guys, and with your school!