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      05-03-2011, 05:46 PM   #23
Erhan
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Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
Not to change your mind, as I think you are heading in the right direction. But, given identical circumstances, the ZO6 is pobably the safest car you mentioned.
Possible, I will do some more research.
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      05-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #24
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The Z06 comes with a decent stability control program. If you're not confident on the track, leave it on.

Non-Z06 corvettes can be tracked but the Z06 comes with a lot of nice upgrades that make it more reliable as a track car in addition to faster. Brake cooling, for starters.
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      05-03-2011, 06:33 PM   #25
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Any used car can be questionable depending upon history etc. Not to dwell on that issue, I favor BMW if you talk track, and an E36 M3 would make a great car for that purpose. If whoever owned it used it as a DD, then for legal street driving it would be great also. Buy it right and spend some money on it afterwards to obtain comfort in day to day operation. Properly prepared for the track is a separate topic.
Good luck, and have fun at the track.
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      05-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #26
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The 350Z is a terrible track car. Ask me how I know.

Even the "track" pack, the brakes aren't designed to be used in high performance applications. It wasn't until I put in over $3,000 worth of brake upgrades was it adequate for any serious track use.
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      05-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #27
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Used Boxster S. Great track car for a beginner, mid engine very balanced, good brakes, light weight etc... Downside is some clubs don't allow convertibles
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      05-04-2011, 01:58 AM   #28
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The C5 Z06 could be too much car for an inexperienced or timid driver but it is an excellent track car and it’s a car that a novice driver could grow into. I also believe that it is one of the more reliable track cars you can find in your price range. If your fiancÚ really is a bit nervous about tracking a car then it may not be the best one to start with but I definitely suggest considering it as a future upgrade at least.

As for a good beginner car the 350z will work but brake upgrades are a good idea especially the brake lines and fittings and of course the pads and fluids.

If you are going to go with a subaru the get an STi instead of a WRX. You can easily find 2006 and newer models in you price range. Check the nasioc forums, you may have to shop around. They are great track cars even in "stock" form, of course upgraded pads and fluids are a must for pretty much any car that you track.

The s2000 is better than both the STi and the 350z in stock form but it is a convertible and therefore has more constraints on where and with what groups you can track it.

I've driven all of the cars mentioned above at the track. I owned a 2004 wrx, a 2004 STi, a 2002 S2000, and a 2002 C5 Z06. I can safely say that the C5 Z06 is the track car that i enjoyed the most.

Any of the cars mentioned in this thread could be great dd/track cars assuming you start with a car in good shape and you do the proper mods to make it track worthy especially any of the M cars. Check the forums that are dedicated to the car you intend on tracking before buying that car to make sure that you know what you are getting into when it comes to prep work.

good luck with your decision and let us know what you end up choosing.

Last edited by Ice323; 05-04-2011 at 02:30 AM.
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      05-04-2011, 02:18 AM   #29
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Oh and by the way, you can do much better on the price than the Z06 listing that you posted but you have to look around a bit. I also wanted to clarify that even though I think highly of the C5 Z06, I do think it might be too much car to learn on unless the driver is able to keep his or her nerves (and ego) in check.
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      05-04-2011, 03:19 AM   #30
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As someone who has been instructing for several years, who personally loves GM (460whp GTO in the direct family)

Unless you feel very confident of your 'road racing' and 'car' knowledge, do not learn on an Corvette. Yes, they are fantastically fun, and one of the cheapest cars to run (especially per hp) but THEY SIT ON A LEAF SPRING across the entire rear part of the chassis!!!! They do not communicate well with people who do not know how to communicate with them (especially newbs). I see a Corvette as a drivers car for an EXPERIENCED driver. It doesn't communicate and the chassis can teach you bad habits that will keep you slower for longer. This is why you see so many Miata's, and other slow cars smoking more Z06's then any other seriously fast track car at D.E's anywhere....You aren't going fast unless you know how to drive one fast with their bulky/easy to money shift transmissions/bad seats that comes standard/questionable chassis responses. However, once you learn how to grab one by the neck..addicting.

E36's can be criticized for different reasons. They make you feel like a "D.E Champion." These cars will make you feel ready for club racing after one season of doing track weekends. Not because of you, because of what the car is "magically" letting you do. Yes you are going THAT FAST and this amazing chassis is making it THAT EASY, the problem is when it snap oversteers (they lean towards understeer until...) will you be ready???? (Practice your drift skills in a wet parking lot before taking one of these as yor track cars). They are fast, they will teach you a lot but they can be very unforgiving should you forget some quick correcting

The problem with WRX's are they aren't STi's. They kinda suck actually as factory stock track cars. LOTS of upgrades to get in on par with say even a 1993 325is with weight reduction and G&G coil over kit in terms of consistency and lap times. Like thousands into your already more expensive car + more money for tires + more money for brakes which don't dissipate heat. I'd look more into this car for an autocross car...

S2000s, hardly a complaint. Amazing gearbox, amazing motor. They can we twitchy in the wet/dry (like an E36), but such a great feeling chassis and balance on a good set of tires. (many clubs say no to verts, be careful).

The 350z is also a great chassis, but they can be rough around the edges. Ever heard the term "coffee grinder" paired with a 350z. They grind your teeth with motor/drivetrain vibration especially paired with lightweight flywheels and stiff 'track' bushings (poly and aluminum). The motor/drivetrain doesn't have much refinement and the car will cost you more to run then a similarly preppred E36/S2000/Miata (w/ tires/brakes) but won't necessarily be any faster.

You pretty much nailed Mustangs. They are great, but i'd say.. for people who want that feel/'style' to begin with. They need to be woken up to play on the track, but come prepared with everything you need to have a good platform sans the real feel that IRS/lightweight/more directed steering of mostly foreign cars provide. I'd say there's a brute force you're trading for some weight distribution here (get what i'm saying?). It can be worth it.. There's nothing like tearing up a blown shelby down the back straight of Road Atlatna (meh, until the braking zone).

Make sure you know what you like, these cars can have personalities. You have to find the harmony with you and the car, so start on something you want to work with
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      05-04-2011, 04:07 AM   #31
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I pretty much agree with everything that Onurleft just said, especially that last bit about starting with something you want to work with.
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      05-04-2011, 09:49 AM   #32
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Thanks for the amazing feedback guys.

We will test drive a 350z and hopefully a s2000 this weekend.

My only problem with E36 M3 is, it is hard to find a low mileage one. The lowest mileage I've seen in 200 mile radius has 83000 miles. That kinda worries me.
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false

In terms of Subaru, the one she likes is 2008+ hatchback. They're over priced in used market, and new ones are hard to find due to earthquake. And in all honesty, I prefer something without a turbo..

Let say, if I convince her to get s2000, can we run it on track if we put cage and hard top?
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      05-04-2011, 10:01 AM   #33
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The problem with the 350z is that none of its problem shows up until you're at the track. It is a very impressive "street" car.

I started tracking my 350z when I was but a "C" level driver, and even for an intermediate level driver, I absolutely ate through an entire set of pads in 5 20 minute sessions. The car had 4,000 miles on it at the time. By the end of the 5th 20 minute session, the rear rotors were backing plate on rotor. Did all the required upgrades, brake fluids, stainless steel brake lines, track pads...etc. Never had a single weekend where I did not have an incident with the brakes. Set me back nearly 1.5 years in driver's learning/improvement since I was never able to get any consistent laps together, and by the time I was able to pick up the speed the brakes would fail.

Ended up having to purchase an RB big brake kit just for the floating rotors, and combined with hawk DTC-60s to cure most of its ills. There's just no cooling to the front and rear brakes. NONE. For a car that makes 300+ hp and weighs 3,400+ lbs, the brakes were BARELY adequate for the street.
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      05-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #34
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Thanks Hack. She probably will spend some time with car control clinics and autocross this year. And HPDS next year. So that gives us time to save up for BBK.
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      05-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhanh View Post
Thanks for the amazing feedback guys.

We will test drive a 350z and hopefully a s2000 this weekend.

My only problem with E36 M3 is, it is hard to find a low mileage one. The lowest mileage I've seen in 200 mile radius has 83000 miles. That kinda worries me.
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false

Let say, if I convince her to get s2000, can we run it on track if we put cage and hard top?
A hard top will never come into it but you may need a roll bar.

Some clubs will let you run an S2K in stock form since it does have factory roll-over protection. Some clubs will require a roll bar that allows you to pass the broomstick test, and the strictest I've encountered is Badger Bimmers that require a full SCCA roll cage and log book.

I would check with the clubs in your area and find out what the rules are specifically for S2000's or any other open car you might be looking at. Around here there are a couple of events I can't do but I have plenty I can do throughout the summer to keep me entertained.

The one major problem with the S2000 is that you have to hack up the interior pretty good to fit a roll bar. Lots of cutting of trim pieces and makes it difficult to go back to stock.
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      05-05-2011, 03:35 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhanh View Post
Thanks for the amazing feedback guys.

We will test drive a 350z and hopefully a s2000 this weekend.

My only problem with E36 M3 is, it is hard to find a low mileage one. The lowest mileage I've seen in 200 mile radius has 83000 miles. That kinda worries me.

I would not be concerned about an E36 M3 with 83000 miles on it. Research on this will agree with my point (i'll save you the time). I'd actually recommend one with more than 50k on it and good compression numbers<-- this is what matters. From my experience E36's w/ more than 75k will dyno more power than one that hasn't been used (this can obviously vary). Buying a car that's been "sitting" is not a good idea for the track. These M50 based motors like to run and that they will do for a very long time. What's important here is -- does it have records? does it have good compression numbers? 120,00 miles would not hold me back from buying an E36 that passes these two with flying colors..

One of my first instructors had a 325i track car and about 2 years ago he replaced the original M50 motor with 293,400 miles on. Over 100k was instructor speed track miles. He bought the car brand new. Numerous club racing M3's have well over 120+K on the clock and WIN. Not to mention many people are running super and turbocharged E36's with well over 100k at the track on un-opened motors. At 127000 miles my old motor put down perfect compression numbers and 226whp (most average 210whp stock, from 20k-300k). When I pulled it out at 141k it had recently dyno'd 251whp with shrick cams and a custom tune. From 127-141k all I did was change the oil. Here's a bold claim, I don't know one car that's cheaper to run at the track then an E36 M3 for the speed you get. Check the prices of Brembo blank rotors/pads/oil/plugs if you question this claim.

Good luck! If your set on something newer, then look into an E46 ZHP. If your set on a low mileage car becaue you plan on racking up thousands and thousands of track miles, don't because you'll wreck it before then :-O....
Anyhow, ZHP's, are incredibly performing (newer) cars with the addition of a limited slip and weight reduction.
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      05-06-2011, 04:33 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onurleft View Post
I would not be concerned about an E36 M3 with 83000 miles on it. Research on this will agree with my point (i'll save you the time). I'd actually recommend one with more than 50k on it and good compression numbers<-- this is what matters. From my experience E36's w/ more than 75k will dyno more power than one that hasn't been used (this can obviously vary). Buying a car that's been "sitting" is not a good idea for the track. These M50 based motors like to run and that they will do for a very long time. What's important here is -- does it have records? does it have good compression numbers? 120,00 miles would not hold me back from buying an E36 that passes these two with flying colors..

One of my first instructors had a 325i track car and about 2 years ago he replaced the original M50 motor with 293,400 miles on. Over 100k was instructor speed track miles. He bought the car brand new. Numerous club racing M3's have well over 120+K on the clock and WIN. Not to mention many people are running super and turbocharged E36's with well over 100k at the track on un-opened motors. At 127000 miles my old motor put down perfect compression numbers and 226whp (most average 210whp stock, from 20k-300k). When I pulled it out at 141k it had recently dyno'd 251whp with shrick cams and a custom tune. From 127-141k all I did was change the oil. Here's a bold claim, I don't know one car that's cheaper to run at the track then an E36 M3 for the speed you get. Check the prices of Brembo blank rotors/pads/oil/plugs if you question this claim.

Good luck! If your set on something newer, then look into an E46 ZHP. If your set on a low mileage car becaue you plan on racking up thousands and thousands of track miles, don't because you'll wreck it before then :-O....
Anyhow, ZHP's, are incredibly performing (newer) cars with the addition of a limited slip and weight reduction.
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      05-06-2011, 05:52 AM   #38
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A 350Z is heaps of fun and will make a good dual purpose car, but for 24K, I think you'd be able to get a 370Z. For a 350Z, I'd get a '07 or newer as it has a better engine and overall more refined....pass on the base car.

Lots of good options mentioned, but looking at your sig, what about another Z4 or maybe an e46 M3. Or brand new, you could get a v6 mustang.
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      05-06-2011, 09:47 AM   #39
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She doesn't like Z4s unfurtunatelly. E46 M3 can be bought for 24k$, yes, but S54 engine is expensive to maintain. She is on budget. We prefer to spend as less as possible for the car, since tracking it will also require some money.

I would do E36 for myself, but not for her. It will be her only car and she needs something cheap to run.

In the mean time, we started considering a Miata. We will test drive one this weekend hopefully.
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      05-06-2011, 09:55 AM   #40
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Miatas (at least pre '07) will be even more limited for tracking in stock form since they do not have any kind of roll over protection. You'll need a roll bar for sure in a miata.
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      05-06-2011, 10:28 AM   #41
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Roll-bar or cage is no problem. We can add that later. This year will be only car control clinic and autox. We're looking for 2009+
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      05-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #42
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+1 for the 350z!
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      05-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #43
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Just test drove a miata and 350z. Both fantastic cars. Miata feels amazing but won't do a good DD.

350z is a track edition. It has brembo brakes. I like the clutch, gearbox and overall feel of the car. People said the ride is harsh but I found it ok for a sports car.

We're considering the z car.
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      05-07-2011, 05:09 PM   #44
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if you're considering the STi, what about the evo x? safe car, better performance than STi, awd relatively easy to drive the shit out of. cheap-ish maintenance. you could probably find some 08s within your price range.

and this is coming from a guy who used to own a STi and currently owns an evo x. i like the STi better but performance of the evo x can't really be beat within this price range.
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