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Old 12th January 2011, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
stinchy
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Good, inexpensive track day car.

I did my first track day (in a street car) this past weekend and had an amazing time. Though it did surprisingly well, I was forced to realize that my 67 mustang would give my nerves far too much of a workout to take to the track on a regular basis as it was my first car. The mustang is far from stock, but still has manual steering and brakes (all upgraded heavily of course) that made the car very fun to drive at the limit.
So my question is what is a good replacement track car? I want something light, responsive, quick, inexpensive, and preferably easy to work on. A real plus would be to have manual steering and brakes. What do you guys suggest for a good track car?
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Old 12th January 2011, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

MX5/Miata.

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Old 12th January 2011, 02:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

+1 on the Miata.

Meets all your requirements. And, if it is quick it is because of your driving, not because of your "handling in a straight line". A Miata will teach you a lot.
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Old 12th January 2011, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

There is only one answer to this question, and it is Triumph TR8.

Seriously, Miata. There are probably 30 Spec Miatas for sale right now for under $8k that will make perfect track cars. The handle great, stop great, the motor is reliable and they teach you (as Ron said) great race/track day skills.

Nothing else comes close for under $20k I think, and everythign over is expensive to maintain and STILL probably not much faster.

Miatas are amazing cars. Just about the most balanced, dead on out of the factory chassis I've come across.

In fact, if they have one flaw, it is that they are too good. No drama on track. I can do the uphill essess at VIR at 105 mph, flatout, basically while picking my noise and scratching my balls. Or vomiting, which I tend to do during endurance races.
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

I am heavily considering a Miata...There were many on the day I went out, and looked to be quite quick.
Any other choices? My buddy has an s2000 that seems well sorted.
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
Or vomiting, which I tend to do during endurance races.
Yay Jeff. Leaving a nasty mess for your co-driver and teammate. That was the foulest car I ever had the displeasure to get in.

S2000 no better than a Miata IMHO. Both are a bit fugly and don't have a lot of power, I'd go with the Miata for ease of use and repair plus inexpensiveness. Hard to beat a Miata for a track car.
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

IMO the Miata for sure. Much easier and less expensive to chase repairs than the
S2000. Very inexpensive to pick up a spec-Miata right now too. You'll have great fun!
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Miata again...

Ask a fellow here named Tom Leonard / 429 Mustang - I believe he Autocrosses one..

If FWD is your bowl of rice then I would get a Honda Civic CRX. Reasonably good looking, Darned near bullet-proof drive-train and you can make the darned things run anywhere on the track..
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Agreed on the CRX.

Another FWD car that does well on track is the DA Integra. Good power.

Still, Miata is the way to go.
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Toyota MR2 first generation cars if you can find a good one.
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Old 12th January 2011, 03:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Mid engined cars can be a bit dicey for a track newbie. Hard to get a cage in too. Good motor I agree, but I think a Meotter is a much better "My first Track Car."
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Old 12th January 2011, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Definitely the MX5 (Miata) the Cobra guys can learn a lot from them
Its the smart choice
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Old 12th January 2011, 11:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Miata is definitely a good one.

If you're into racing something a bit older, an old alfa romeo is pretty fun - either a GTV or Giulia Sprint, both are fairly cheap to race, very lively and fun, and competitive if prep'd properly. Loads of comraderie amongst the Alfa guys without any of the pretense. An older 911 or even a 912 is a lot of fun to race as well - very easy to prep for track time, loads of performance parts out there, lots of "experts" willing to share information, very competitive p-car crowd.

You can buy old alfa and porsche track cars relatively cheaply and wouldn't have a lot to do to at least be on the track and going fast and having fun.

Good luck!

ps. or you could go for something really fun and funky like a Hillman Imp or MG midget.
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Old 13th January 2011, 10:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Miata again again.

My first was a turbo car (still have it, its for sale) and was THE MOST fun ever. but not good to learn in.

My daily driver is a V8 Miata and still tons of fun.

I would say, rear drive and reliable - you want to learn to drive, not fix stuff.

Have fun!
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Old 20th February 2011, 01:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Well for me it would be a Lotus Seven great fun and easy to work on and great fun to drive. I started with a Birkin and enjoyed every moment.
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Old 20th February 2011, 05:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

I would also consider a Hona S2000 or a Mazda RX8!
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Old 20th February 2011, 08:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

How about a DSR (D-Sports Racer) It will run circles around any street car! Mine is for sale to fund my GT40 purchase! It weighs 800 pounds and is powered by a 1000cc Yamaha R1 motor. PM me if interested.

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Old 20th February 2011, 10:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

How about attending a few track days without a car and getting to know some of the clubs members. Track day cars come up for sale all the time but the good ones usually get sold to someone in the circle.

Very good value for a sorted car that you can watch run and get to know. Then when you want to move up to can sell it right back into the same circle of people. It can be possible to buy a car run it for a couple of years and sell it for what you paid for it. This happens all the time.

Late model Mustangs, Camaros, other old race cars that are not really competitive anymore with a pump gas V8 on board can really be inexpensive. You get the benefit of a much safer car than a streetcar in a old B production or American iron type car with a full cage and fuelcell in it.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 04:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Here's some info for you guys in California.
Steven Page has a Crusade.
Bring Back Formula Atlantic Racing to Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca) for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion - The Vintage Racing League
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Old 23rd February 2011, 09:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Good, inexpensive track day car.

Darnel - That is an awesome car... Have you had it to Blackhawk Farms or Road America? Lap times?
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