Good entry level race car?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Jordan, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. Jordan

    Jordan Guest

    I am looking to get into track racing. Therefore I'd like to build a car for racing. My budget is probably around 5 grand with all the modifactions. So far I have considered 2nd gen rx7, Miata, 240sx and porsche 944. Does anyone else have any suggestions of other cars or opinoins on any of these cars?

    Thanks in advanced,
    Jordan
     
  2. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    low-budget racer

    Hi Jordan, thanks for the question.

    As a long-time SCCA racer, maybe I can offer some help. Many of us get started racing on a tight budget. Some (like me) continue to have a low budget!

    The cars you have mentioned are pretty good choices. The 944 might be the only one I take exception to. And then, only because the costs for modifications and upgrades is usually higher than for the other ones you mentioned. Its a good car, but can be a lot more pricey long-term.

    Other cars to consider include my personal favorite, the Corolla GTS (AE-85 or AE-86). They have the same engines as the MR2 of the same year, but can usually be had a lot cheaper. check out www.club4AG.com

    Also, think about the Sentra SE-R, and older Celicas.

    My thinking is to get the car as cheaply as possible, have a good platform to build on, with many aftermarket mods available. Put the money in the upgrades.
     
  3. guru220

    guru220 Everybody to the limit!

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    mr2's are great fun to drive. i have an 87 NA and its pretty quick as is. not anything to be really proud of but the handling is what is its strong point. there are a few SCCA MR2s out there, have a look at www.mr2faq.com message boards, there is a ton!!! of great info if u search it or just ask around. the replys are fast and usualy accurate. have a look. BTW lucky bastard i wanna race cars! my dream job/hobby
     
  4. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    Guru

    Stop sitting on the sidelines then. Find your local chapter of the SCCA. You can get started in your daily driver, by competitn in Solo II (auto-cross) competition.

    Autocross is safe, fun, and very educational. The skills you learn on an autocross course will make you a better, safer driver on the road too.

    go to www.scca.org and look into it. I promise youu won't regret it

    Ed
     
  5. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    Jordan

    I keep thinking of other alternatives...

    If you can find a 240 or 280Z, they make great starter cars. DOHC Neons have a lot of upgrades available, and even better if you find a Neon ACR! First generation Miatas can be had within your range, and there is a ton of stuff for those too. As much as my colleague hates them, I also suggest older V-8 Camaros.

    Still though, for my money - the Toyotas are the platform of choice
     
  6. guru220

    guru220 Everybody to the limit!

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    im poor so i cant really back it up. looking into it thought... looks cool!!!
     
  7. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    That's the good thing about Solo II competition. The largest class on any given weekend is the bone-stock, street tier class. Guys that come out and drive their every-day car, on every day tires.

    Granted, someone on race tires will have the advantage ove a street-tired car in almost every circumstance. However, its a lot of fun, safe, and fairly inexpensive. National dues are only $65/yr (I think), and typically you pay $20 per day to run at an event. If you don't join and you just drive a couple of events, you pay a higher non-member price, typically $30 per day.

    Go to an autocross and ride with a couple of drivers too. you will find that most of us are willing to take passengers on a run or two. Just understand that, if the class is very competitive a driver won't add the extra 100+ pound driver on what could be a deciding run.

    Anyway, hope you come join us some time!
     
  8. ae86andkp61

    ae86andkp61 Guest

    Yup. From your list, I would recommend the Miata, but all of them are decent choices.

    I would also strongly urge you to look into the Corolla GT-S and/or the early MR-2. Excellent starter cars....hell, excellent cars for any racer. :big grin:

    Take a look around in some of the advertisements where racers are. It is a A LOT cheaper and easier to buy a car that has already been prepped for racing...rather than buying a street car and paying for all the mods yourself. I would start with the SCCA newsletter, SCCA website, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine and website http://www.grmotorsports.com and just the pits or bulletin board at your local racetrack on a race weekend. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  9. ae86andkp61

    ae86andkp61 Guest

    Depending on where you live, NASA can also give you a very good way to get involved in entry level racing. SCCA does a great job everywhere, but NASA offers a bit more freedom and sometimes a younger crowd. Check to see if there is a chapter in your area....they are very active in CA, but here in the Northwest it is all SCCA or conference.
     
  10. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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  11. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    I would recemend the AW11, 1st generation MR2.
    The cars have a TON of aftermarket. Especially in the handling area. All kinds of crazy suspension mods...and on top of it all...it has one of the greatest small displacment engines ever. The 4A-GE. You simply cant go wrong with a car like that.

    Oh...and uh...what everone else said too. :fawk:
     
  12. twin_turborx7

    twin_turborx7 Sponsor: DeeperImage.com

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    I HIGHLY rec you race IT-7, SPec-7 (1st gen RX-7s) or SM (spec Miata). Lastly showroom stock is not a bad choice either since you can pick up a totaled/salvage car very cheap and then prep it/make it right for racing.

    You can hardly go wrong with any of the suggestions I listed.

    As for going IT racing, I don't rec it at least in the Southeast a front running IT car spends about $30,000 on the car. Whereas a front runner in the classes I listed is between $5,000-$15,000 IMO
     
  13. V0iD

    V0iD Guest

    I recomend a 3rd gen (88-91, 90-91 in particular) prelude 2.0si. They haul compared to cars of their time and corner like theyre on rails. Since its a b series motor you can find mods pretty easily, and you can even do a b18 vtech head swap to gain a lot of power. I also like the gtu rx-7. That engine can be built for racing very well.
     
  14. autox

    autox OT Supporter

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    yeah, i;m looking to get into racing too, just can't decide which form.....
     
  15. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    Autocross is an excelletn way to start. You can begin in your daily-driven street car, bone stock if you want. It's no more dangerous than getting on most freeways, and can really improve your overall driving skills.

    Also, for the low-budget enthusiats, check our Grassroots Motorsports magazine. I think they have a website as well.
     
  16. old_

    old_ Active Member

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    I would NOT recommend a 3rg gen lude. The b20 engine in that car is one of the worst engines that honda has built. They are different from other B series engines (the ones found in integras and civics) and you can not use other B series parts on them.
     
  17. autoracer1

    autoracer1 Rallyx postponed :wtc: Next one May 10.

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    Guess whats in my stocking this year? :bigthumb:
     
  18. edrox

    edrox A good man, and thorough

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    I like GRM for a couple of reasons: 1) they are all about getting a car ready, as inexpensively as possible. They are about the only car mag that will tell you how to make your own catch-can as opposed to reviewing which manufacturer is better. 2) teh $2003 cahllenge. You have to love an event like this: You have a total budget of $2003 to build and compete a car in three events: autocross, 1/4 mile, and rallycross (I think). This is what brings out the real enthusiasts. 3) the one-off build-ups. I think you can read R&T or MT or C&D for 100 years, and NEVER see them build-up a Volvo 142 for autocross.

    These guys are the best
     
  19. vw16vcabby

    vw16vcabby New Member

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    how come no one mentioned a vw rabbit for a race car? you can find a rabbit gti for under $1500 running, to under 500 w/ mechanical failure. Motors are abundant for the 1.8 liter- they used them from 83 until 92- literally 100 bucks for a motor at a u-pull it salvage yard. Parts from all the vw's interchange between chasis- so a rabbit suspension would work on a scirocco, jetta, cabriolet (75-84, cabriolet until 93, and rocco until 88). In adition, many newer style parts (seats for example from 85-92 models) and wheels (any vw 4 lug) will fit. All 5 spd trannys from 75-98 will fit (020 style gearbox). You can upgrade to bigger front, and rear disc brakes easily, possibilities are endless. Hell, there is a ton of stuff from even the new vw that wil bolt into an older one. And i didn't even mention parts from other vw owned companys like audi or porsche.
     

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