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Old 03-06-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
carsismeZ06
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Cheap, fast, "tunable" car (read more for better description)

I was wondering, what would be a good car that I could buy that would be a good track-day car, and also a fun one to upgrade. I was thinking of getting a small hatchback or coupe and making it lighter, small engine/transmission upgrades, and overall a better track car. Any ideas?
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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Cobalt SS? I've also heard RX7's with an LS dropped in can be quite enjoyable :p
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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dodge neon srt-4. very light and tuneable. also which track are u talking about the drag strip or auto cross. im assuming the auto cross. the neon srt-4 would be a very good car to tune and race
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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Honestly I'd pick up a ls1 fbody and go from there. Gut the interior, throw on some koni 4/4's and a set of Sam Strano springs, and you're good to go. Not as small as a Cobalt or a skittle but for the prices they are going for now, and the sheer potential those cars have, its your best bet.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Mazdaspeed 3 cheap and fast. Handles pretty good too. Or an older Evo.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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miata with an LS swap. small, light, RWD, and powerful
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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Mazdaspeed 3 cheap and fast. Handles pretty good too. Or an older Evo.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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4th gen f-body.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
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Yeah, I meant autocross.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
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Old Evo, 300zx, SRT-4 Neon, Old VR6, Cobalt SS, or get an old Fiero and somehow fit a second gen 3.8 in there
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:12 PM   #11
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What type of tracking do you want to do?
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:19 PM   #12
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i would go with an RX-7, with or without an LS, they are fairly common around here (fc and fd) and a fd rx-7 with an LS7
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Old Evo, 300zx, SRT-4 Neon, Old VR6, Cobalt SS, or get an old Fiero and somehow fit a second gen 3.8 in there
i don't know about the 300ZX for the cheap category, sure you can pick one up fairly cheap, they take a good bit of service and can be pain to work on. plus the second generation 300 weighs about 3500lbs for a 2+0 with T-Tops (if you want a slicktop those are not cheap, unless you get lucky and someone doesn't know what it's worth, and you can't find one that's TT from the factory). oh, and if the timing belt snaps you're SOL.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:24 PM   #13
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You are talking about the not being cheap but the rx7 dude....how about not being reliable. I have heard constant terrible things about the rx7. Along the lines of "I have it more at the shop than at the track." An LS swap would be a must. It's not cheap but if you want to go ape shit crazy get something with a 2JZ or a SBC.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:27 PM   #14
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I'd go with an older evo or sti, or even a new evo if you could swing that kind of money
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #15
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Mazdaspeed 3 cheap and fast. Handles pretty good too. Or an older Evo.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #16
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Cobalt SS, cheap, sturdy, nurburgring tuned suspension already.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:14 PM   #17
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Turbo Cobalt SS.. Rides on rails with TONS of aftermarket and will put down over 300wtq with just a tune.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #18
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Turbo Cobalt SS.. Rides on rails with TONS of aftermarket and will put down over 300wtq with just a tune.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:54 PM   #19
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how about an Omni GLH

CHEAP and can be made into great autox cars. i think they tip the scale at about 2100, and can be built to make 350-500bhp pretty easy

ugly as sin, but what a sleeper

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Old 03-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #20
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e36 M3 BMW- or e46 depending how cheap they're getting
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:49 AM   #21
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Evo VIII or IX is your best bet. Inexpensive to mod and for big power. Not too heavy and no FWD to deal with. Less so with an 05-06 WRX STI as you have to upgrade the turbo for power earlier.

If you just want a fun car that is all about carrying speed and an extension of your body get a club spec miata. It's the most raced car for a reason.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:56 PM   #22
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Go to a local SCCA (or whatever is close) rally and take a look at which class you might like to race in and which cars do well in that class and what mods are allowed.

I understand that most clubs have a "run what you brung" and/or unlimited class but you'll probably have more fun racing against cars that are about as fast as yours. Otherwise you'll find yourself "racing" against secession of new guys in their daily driver who are just checking it out and/or the JOs in six figure super cars.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:25 PM   #23
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Go to a local SCCA (or whatever is close) rally and take a look at which class you might like to race in and which cars do well in that class and what mods are allowed.

I understand that most clubs have a "run what you brung" and/or unlimited class but you'll probably have more fun racing against cars that are about as fast as yours. Otherwise you'll find yourself "racing" against secession of new guys in their daily driver who are just checking it out and/or the JOs in six figure super cars.
Yes, do this ^^^^. Most local clubs have dinners and other for fun type stuff- show up and ask. They are almost scary honest about what cars will do what (not a lot of posturing against the guys who have actually been humbled). Make sure you understand what will kick you up a class too, a friend of mine has the Mazdaspeed and he changed the BOV to a sturdier one because the stock one failed. This changed his class and ended up costing him quite a bit to feel competitive again.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:14 AM   #24
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As a couple have said, the Balt SS/TC or even an SC are good starters for auto-x and such, better handling right out of the manufacturer than the SRT4. I would also say and Miata/MX-5 is a good choice there too, turbo it and there you.
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