Ended up finding a '87 Toyota MR2 in good shape for $2K. I have all Winter to tinker with it & get set for the season. Now I'm interested in tires. I keep hearing about snow tires, then I hear that "Rallycross" tires are even better than snow's. The hunt is on.
Snow tires are great - Rally tires can be expensive, though. Lassa seems to be the best compromise of longevity/grip/price.
The "hot" deal would be to find someone selling used. That's what I did - got a set of 2-event-use tires AND wheels for less than about what a new set of Lassa's would cost, with shipping.
Keep your ear to the ground, deals are out there to be had.
In the meanwhile, snow tires bought in the springtime are the word of the day (closeout on tire rack or discount tire).