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      01-17-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
SeeYaLater
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Track Day Car Selection

After only 1 event in the new M3 (2200 Miles), the front end looks like it was sandblasted. I think I now want to keep the M3 as my "nice" car and get a dedicated track day car that I wont mind if it gets a little messed up. I still want to drive it to the track (45 mins to Homestead or PBIR), but it wont be driven elsewhere. This will be for HPDE type events and not competitive racing in any specific class.

Years ago, I used to do lots of HPDE and AutoX events in a 96 GTI VR6 with mostly suspension mods and it wasnt so bad for 170HP fwd. I also had a '84 GTI that I built for ITB, but ended up selling before I raced it.

So I've narrowed it down to the following 3 cars below and would like people's opinions if you have had any experience with these cars.

1) E36 M3 ($7000-$8000): PROS: Lots of available parts/support. Probably the fastest car on the track of these 3. Least expensive of the 3. May be able to find an existing track car in price range. CONS: Starting to look dated. Being a 15 year old car, it will have more maintenance problems and may constantly need something done to it.

2) 2004 VW GTI R32 ($10K-$12K): PROS: Newer car, so less maintenence will be required. Looks more modern then E36. Blue R32 looks really cool. AWD. CONS: Will probably not be as quick as the other 2 on the track. Doesnt seem to be much support online for racing, even on VWVortex there arent many that track it (except 1/4 mile). Not RWD.

3) 2000-2002 Porsche Boxster/Boxter S ($9K-12K): PROS: Mid-Engine well balanced car. Still looks modern. Some available support/parts for track car. CONS: I have no experience working with Porsches. Could be costly to own. Convertible, so would need hardtop.

I think the E36 M3 would be the best choice, I'm just worried that because it's so old it's contantlty going to need work done to it and I just dont want to spend all my time fixing the car, I just want to go to track, have fun, drive it home, repeat following month.

I dont' want a Miata or E30 M3, cause I know someone will suggest those. E46 would be good too, but more costly to buy and more costly to run.
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      01-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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i'm not a track junkie by any means, but in order to use the E36 as a track car, you will most likely upgrade brakes, suspension, wheels, some engine work, etc... basically most things that would / could go bad on a 15-y-o car, wouldnt you? so being a 15-y-o car kind of becomes a non-issue? or am i missing something here?
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      01-17-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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I race a 1999 Spec Boxster (2.5L) in PCA and NASA, great car for the track. You'd need to watch out for typical engine issues like intermediate shaft bearing failure, D-chuck and oil starvation...oil issue is fixed with an accusump and baffled pan. Upside is everything else you can beat on for a long time before needing attention, stock brakes are solid.

I race against E36's in GTS2, great cars, M will take more care and cost, you might consider a non-M. The few E36 M3's that get tracked hard in my area do very well and appear to be reliable.

Let me know if you need any info regarding tracking a Boxster.
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      01-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchM3dreamer View Post
i'm not a track junkie by any means, but in order to use the E36 as a track car, you will most likely upgrade brakes, suspension, wheels, some engine work, etc... basically most things that would / could go bad on a 15-y-o car, wouldnt you? so being a 15-y-o car kind of becomes a non-issue? or am i missing something here?
Yes and no. I'm not looking to do a $30K track car build and change every single thing on the car. Just some coilovers, brakes, wheels, etc.. and go have fun. But with an older car, now every single little thing is starting to wear out. One day your alternator breaks, next the starter, etc, etc.. and it becomes more of a headache than enjoyable.

consolidated: I was looking at some Spec Boxsters and they seem pretty good, not cheap however ($25K+) Since I wasn't going to run in that class, I figured might as well look at the 2000+ with the larger engine or the S. I think if I was going to spend $25K, I would get either a used Radical or Exige.
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      01-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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I recently took my MkVI GTI to the track and it was a blast. Not as fast as other cars but able to hold my own, but with the DSG and some minor tuning the car is great. My car brand new was in the low 20's and I have put about 5K into it. Around VIR, which is a long track, I was only 3 seconds slower than my M3, since I could only get up to 125 in the straights. I would get the VW.
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      01-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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GTR

...or C6 Z06
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      01-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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Did you consider S2k? Should around boxter money, and should be more reliable and easier to work on.
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      01-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin_D View Post
GTR

...or C6 Z06
So the M3 is too nice for the track but a GTR or Z06 isn't??

Get some protective film/clear bra and keep tracking the E92!
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      01-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeYaLater View Post
consolidated: I was looking at some Spec Boxsters and they seem pretty good, not cheap however ($25K+) Since I wasn't going to run in that class, I figured might as well look at the 2000+ with the larger engine or the S. I think if I was going to spend $25K, I would get either a used Radical or Exige.
Yeah, lots of cost in the base build of any racecar, cage, mech/elec/interior strip stuff you wouldn't do. S motor definitely more fun for a track car.

I'd try to keep it a street car no doubt, once you cage it the future market for it will be severly diminished.

E36 M3 seems like the best option in your list, the modded/street one that Dave coaches in does about a 1:55-6 at TWS. AND, it has a roof! A real downside for me when you talk about S2000s and Boxsters w/o a cage/bar.

The two guys I race with with FWD VW GTIs are both looking to get into a RWD car.

GTR...wrong idea.
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      01-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
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So the M3 is too nice for the track but a GTR or Z06 isn't??
I like to go fast...
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      01-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
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GTR...wrong idea.
If you have the money the GTR is by far the fastest car around the track. If you do not have the money, buy something else.
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      01-17-2012, 04:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin_D View Post
If you have the money the GTR is by far the fastest car around the track. If you do not have the money, buy something else.
You must podium at every DE.

Did you even read the OP?
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      01-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #13
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GTR or Z06 would kinda defeat the purpose of a affordable track car. Either way, I would rather drive the M3 then a GTR or a Vette.

I'm not into the S2K, Miata, Minis, Neons although I know they are decent track cars, and I don't really want a car I'm not into.

The R32 would probably be the car with the least maintenance I think because it would be the newer car of all these. I'm owned several VR6 cars and it's a great engine. Not sure how reliable the Haldex 4WD system is however.

I'm going to keep looking at for cars for sale and hopefully a E36, Boxster, R32 pops up with most some of the work already done. I've seen a few E36 M3 track cars with cage, etc.. go for around $10K
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      01-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consolidated View Post
You must podium at every DE.

Did you even read the OP?
I did. He should take his E90 and quit crying. A DE track car is a waste of money. Get a track car if you are racing.

I was responding with GTR because you M3 folks seem to love them. And yes, of course I podium at every DE. That is why I go duhhhhhhhh
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      01-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #15
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I'm going to 'test drive' a Formula Mazda this weekend. Have you ever considered FM?
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      01-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I did. He should take his E90 and quit crying. A DE track car is a waste of money. Get a track car if you are racing.

I was responding with GTR because you M3 folks seem to love them. And yes, of course I podium at every DE. That is why I go duhhhhhhhh
Hookers and strippers are a waste of money too, but it doesn't mean they're not fun once in a while.

I could keep taking the E90, but everything has a purpose. I want my E90 to be my nice car, my SUV to be my DD and my track car for the track. When you try to use one to do it all, you end up doing everything half-ass. It's like tools, every tool has a purpose, you cant use a multi-tool for everything and expect it to be the best.
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      01-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #17
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Hookers and strippers are a waste of money too, but it doesn't mean they're not fun once in a while.

I could keep taking the E90, but everything has a purpose. I want my E90 to be my nice car, my SUV to be my DD and my track car for the track. When you try to use one to do it all, you end up doing everything half-ass. It's like tools, every tool has a purpose, you cant use a multi-tool for everything and expect it to be the best.
The M3 is a multi tool. It has 4 doors, it is fantastic around town, and it is fantastic on track.

Strippers and hookers are not a waste of money
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      01-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #18
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Strippers and hookers are not a waste of money
High-maintenance girlfriends/wives who don't carry their own weight are a waste of money

At least it seems Hookers get the job done and carry their own weight
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      01-17-2012, 07:05 PM   #19
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Man next time get a clear bra.

Get a real sports car. Lightweight for faster responsiveness, cheaper consumables. RWD to develop your driving skill.

Boxster, S2000, Elise, Miata. New Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S rwd 2.0L.
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      01-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #20
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I like E36 vehicles! I tracked a 93 325is for 10 years until I took $5,300.00 for it 4 months ago with 163k miles. It was awesome, actually not much slower than E36 M3 and cheaper parts. I always like putting up my driving skill to reel in a more HP car. Sebring Baby! Go for the E36!
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      01-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #21
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Buy an already built track car. Way cheaper than upgrading. I'd add looking into 944/944 turbos also
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      01-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I think if I was going to spend $25K, I would get either a used Radical or Exige.
where can you get an exige for 25k?
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