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      01-17-2009, 02:31 AM   #1
shadowmonk
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Best older BMW to use for track car project?

Hi all,

I have never raced a car on a track, but I want to change that. I also have never really worked on cars before so I figure I could somehow learn both things at the same time. I have some friends interested in helping who know more about this stuff than I do. First off, I know I would like an older (80's or 90's) BMW of some sort to start off with transforming into a track day car. I only want to spend about 3-4k on the initial car and then learn how to work on different aspects as I go along. Any recommendations as to what's a good car to start with would be great, or any other advice for a noob who wants to learn this sort of thing. Thanks!!
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      01-17-2009, 03:16 AM   #2
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well 3 series ummm I'd say e36. E30 would make a sick rally car though.
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      01-17-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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E36, look around for a good one. I'm sure some on here will comment about what to look out for...
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      01-17-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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E30
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      01-17-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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E36 M3 can be had for about 12 grand
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      01-17-2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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E 30!
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      01-17-2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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I think an early 330i E90
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      01-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #8
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E30.

Two people have mentioned the E30 and now you have a third.

Best car to set up for the track. Remember, you're going to be doing a LOT of changes to the car (including lots of required rule changes for racing.)

You can get into an E30 itself for not a lot of $$. But the rest of the stuff will cost $$. (and extra sets of rims, lotsa tires, brake pads, race standard fluids, are things you'll always be sinking money into.)

They make great conversions. You don't need M3 power, etc.. You need a car you can change out for the track. Cars take a beating on the track. Unless you are a millionaire, it's an expensive hobby.

btw, join BMWCA and go find some indie tuners in your area. Check for events, club racing, etc.. and just talking with a local race prep company is great info.
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      01-17-2009, 07:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replys! I will probably check out a used E30 based on what people have said here. And yes, I need something cheap because I understand the extra stuff you do to the car is where the cost comes in. I don't need anything super fast, just something that works!
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      01-18-2009, 03:23 AM   #10
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e30 m3. but probably wont get it at the range ur looking at...
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      01-18-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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best track rat for the money is an e36m3...e30m3s are better but more money and more rare...
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      01-18-2009, 12:50 PM   #12
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e30 M3, or better yet find an awesome 2002!
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      01-18-2009, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rroof View Post
e30 M3, or better yet find an awesome 2002!

I used to race (SCCA) a 2002tii. Back when I was just a puppy. Like racing go-karts.
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      01-18-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
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E30

Simple, solid platform, easy to modify, well tested (by others doing the same thing), parts cost/availability.
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      01-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #15
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e36 m3
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      01-18-2009, 06:23 PM   #16
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The E36 is a much better platform to work off of...
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      01-18-2009, 07:09 PM   #17
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      01-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist View Post
E30
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      01-18-2009, 08:00 PM   #19
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Miata, okay, that's out of bounds but. E30 spec is a fun series I'm told. Consider looking into local race series, SCCA, NASA, club races...and think about buying what you might consider racing down the road, Spec Pinata (MX-5), E30 spec, Honda, 944 spec/cup...

There are a lot of deals to be had on racecars, the economy is taking it's toll on expensive hobbies. Buy it track prepped and save a ton a money and set-up time. Let the first guy take a bath. You can find deals for 40 cents on the dollar. Three 944 Cup spec cars just sold for around $5K on the E coast.
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      01-19-2009, 01:31 AM   #20
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Good ideas....miata is another option I was looking at.
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      01-19-2009, 02:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowmonk View Post
Good ideas....miata is another option I was looking at.
Spec Miata under SCCA sanctions is a great option. Remember you'll have to do the accredited driving school thing first (you can rent a car, too.) Jim Russell in NorCal is the closest to you (I think)? Then get your permit, a few races and then the license. At least that's the way it used to be (I lived on the East Coast at the time and went to Skip Barber.) We used to run an old Austin Healey in HP class; pretty slow compared to modern cars but challenging.

Start saving money, it gets expensive
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      01-23-2009, 07:16 AM   #22
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Good to see the transformation under way D...some good advice as well cheers guys, i think we're gonna run it pretty standard to start with and see how it goes from there....agree with better brakes etc, but just getting the thing lighter is our top priority at the minute....
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