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      07-23-2012, 02:08 AM   #1
FR01
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Just curious what everyone thinks. We track out M3 and mod it out with a mix of performance, longevity and safety parts. Looking at a roll bar for sale and thinking about seats got me thinking, what about a track only car? Modding as we know is one of those things, once you start each piece we buy now can drive another purchase.

This is outside the wear and tear and not being 100% track or 100% DD. Before I go towards SC or weight reduction etc. I'd like to get lap time as close as possible to a test drivers time. Meaning at Laguna, 1:42.9 (consistently pit that time or near it in avg as a measure of skill) with a stock car, tires, mid-morning and no traffic. My mods to date have been more towards longevity with a slight performance enhancement. Hopefully experience and skill can get me as close to that time before going down suspension or more power.

Then I came across these 2 beauties and really got me thinking.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/cto/3141431651.html

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/cto/3147975494.html

For 10K i can have a car that's built, sorted out, tested and has much more safety than a DD with some tires and brakes. Granted its an M3 with the S65 and the amazing engine sounds. It's amazing in its own right, to drive it like the good Germans intended to. Yet the price of mods and decreased versatility would and an and opportunity cost.

I wonder what's everyone's take on that opportunity cost. Oh BTW I have a truck so all I really need is a trailer if I do go down the path of a 944 (more power than a Miata)
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      07-23-2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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I think about this all the time, too. I was recently on track with a guy who was driving an E36 M3 that he had converted to a track car. He managed to strip 400+ lbs of weight out of it, upgraded the suspension, bushings, mounts, steering rack, etc., and with an engine chip, upgraded intake and race exhaust now makes around 270hp. So he's just as fast as I am, but has the benefit of a half-cage, race seat and harness, and he isn't beating on his daily driver.

I don't have the luxury of space or $ to get a nice tow vehicle and decent trailer--that's part of what's holding me back. But you seem to have the correct elements in place--you should do it. The car in Los Altos seems like the better one, and it's a bit cheaper!

An E92 M3 in several years could possibly make a very desirable track car--imagine our cars, with that screaming V8, stripped of several hundred pounds and with upgraded suspension/mounts/bushings and a full cage/seat/harness.

Last edited by paradocs98; 07-23-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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      07-23-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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^^ My thoughts exactly. And I've thought seriously about doing this on an E36 platform...
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      07-23-2012, 08:27 AM   #4
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If I had the space and a trailer, I would get a dedicated track car in a heartbeat.

Basically, pretty much everything on a streetcar is the opposite of what you want in a racecar: stiff bushings (even uniballs, completely unsuitable for a street driven car), suspension, weight reduction, rollcage, race seats etc etc.

The weight of a comfortable street car is your biggest enemy on the track.

So either you mod your car for dual purpose (like I did) which is very enjoyable and gives you a decently fast car on the track and a balls-out fast daily driver, but is also alot of $$$.

Or you get an all-out racecar which for sure will be even faster and also more reliable on the track.
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      07-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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I too have thought about this. Most recently when I was passed on track by a 944 nearly identical to the example in your first listing. He was all over me through the corners.. I just about had to apply the brakes to let him pass down the back straight, but overall he was definitely faster.

The same day I had a ride in a buddy's lightly modded and lightened E36 M3, and realized what an incredible platform that is to build a race car. It had poise and balance where my car just doesn't.

But the reasons I won't go this route (yet)..

I have to travel >100 miles to get to any track
I don't have the space for a truck, trailer, etc.
I'm not mechanical.. and my impression is that racecars are constant work.

Plus, tracking my E90 M3 is great fun, and it doesn't take many mods at all to make it a very capable track car while sacrificing little to nothing on the street. I've got a front BBK w/ Pagids, EDC, an Apex square setup inbound, and I feel like I could stop there without wanting for additional on track performance anytime soon. I also don't feel like I'm harming the car fundamentally (outside of consumables). Many members here have tracked these cars for many years and thousands of miles with complete reliability.

Finally, after having it on track, relegating this car to strictly a dd just doesn't seem right..
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      07-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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^^^^Sounds like most, if not all, of us have been thinking about the same thing.

Plus, the reasons for not doing it yet sound the same also (no space for truck & trailer, some of us not mechanically-inclined, simply can't spend a LOT of time on maintaining a dedicated track/race car, etc).
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      07-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC3
^^^^Sounds like most, if not all, of us have been thinking about the same thing.

Plus, the reasons for not doing it yet sound the same also (no space for truck & trailer, some of us not mechanically-inclined, simply can't spend a LOT of time on maintaining a dedicated track/race car, etc).
Me too, same shit. Urban living=no storage.
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      07-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LM3
I too have thought about this. Most recently when I was passed on track by a 944 nearly identical to the example in your first listing. He was all over me through the corners.. I just about had to apply the brakes to let him pass down the back straight, but overall he was definitely faster.

The same day I had a ride in a buddy's lightly modded and lightened E36 M3, and realized what an incredible platform that is to build a race car. It had poise and balance where my car just doesn't.

But the reasons I won't go this route (yet)..

I have to travel >100 miles to get to any track
I don't have the space for a truck, trailer, etc.
I'm not mechanical.. and my impression is that racecars are constant work.

Plus, tracking my E90 M3 is great fun, and it doesn't take many mods at all to make it a very capable track car while sacrificing little to nothing on the street. I've got a front BBK w/ Pagids, EDC, an Apex square setup inbound, and I feel like I could stop there without wanting for additional on track performance anytime soon. I also don't feel like I'm harming the car fundamentally (outside of consumables). Many members here have tracked these cars for many years and thousands of miles with complete reliability.

Finally, after having it on track, relegating this car to strictly a dd just doesn't seem right..
My car has a similar set up...18x10 sq apex, AP BBK up front and Mintex race pads.

As people have said its not the same having driven my M3 on the track.
Yet the street components work against it. If anything goes down that isnt covered under warranty, that will be pricey.

I just have a truck in the family, would need a trailer plus any track car.
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      07-23-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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I tracked my m3 and last year purchased a dedicated track car. I got a well sorted 944 turbo race car for the price of a bbk and wheels for the m3. I cannot even describe the difference. The m3 while being a fun car on the track is a fat heavy street car next to my 944. Plus I have all the safety of a race car. Cage, fire surpression race seats etc,etc. it's such a more raw, exciting and safe experience. If you can deal with a second car, I highly recommend it
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      07-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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[QUOTEI just have a truck in the family, would need a trailer plus any track car.][/quote]

Whats wrong with a tow bar? Very easy to store. Just buy the track car - a new GT3rs would be nice.
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      07-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Some folks drive their dedicated track cars to and from the track. There can be a safety issue though if there is any danger of your unprotected head impacting the roll cage in the event of an accident on the street.

I would love to have a dedicated track car (as I used to...I had a Spec Miata six years ago), but my wife says no. We don't have the parking space and she worries about me getting back into wheel-to-wheel racing.

I can tell you though that tracking the Miata was a heck of a lot cheaper than tracking an E9x M3. You can do an entire season on a couple of sets of tires and all of the consumables and parts are just a lot cheaper and last a lot longer.
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      07-23-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzyj
I tracked my m3 and last year purchased a dedicated track car. I got a well sorted 944 turbo race car for the price of a bbk and wheels for the m3. I cannot even describe the difference. The m3 while being a fun car on the track is a fat heavy street car next to my 944. Plus I have all the safety of a race car. Cage, fire surpression race seats etc,etc. it's such a more raw, exciting and safe experience. If you can deal with a second car, I highly recommend it
What's the maintenance costs for ya? Avg tire/pad cost, etc..

Most fluids/pad changes I can do myself. Dunno about alignment or suspension tweaking.
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      07-23-2012, 10:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FR01 View Post
What's the maintenance costs for ya? Avg tire/pad cost, etc..

Most fluids/pad changes I can do myself. Dunno about alignment or suspension tweaking.
On the 944 I run 245 x 18 up front and 285x18 in the rear. I buy used r6's from some racers I know that will only use their tires for 1 race. $50 a tire. Brake pads are for a Porsche 993 (upgraded) and are ~200 for a set of front race pads

I haven't had to replace the pads/rotors yet tho. I'm still on the set that we're on the car.

The car is a little dreagon slayer. People do not expect the 350-400hp that out handles a miata. And being a dedicated track car that's trailer, I don mind driving it near the limit. Sure pisses off those 997 owners

Used parts are plentiful and not being a dd I do all my own work except I did pay for an alignment. Car weighed in at 2900lbs with me, but I put it on a diet ripping close to 400lbs of motors/doors etc out of it. If I can get it down to 2300 or so it will be competitive in my gt class for pca club racing. The driver might not be tho
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