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ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/2/14 2:24 a.m.

So I am starting a project (obviously) but I want to use this car as a daily driver as well. I am too attached to my E30 to even think about putting it onto a track. Since I'll also have this car as a just in case I think it's a good time as any to get a project started. Anyways I have some options but I was thinking of going the luxury route. I want a car that's good for drift/time attacks.

I could go with an old Supra, I know they're not too bad and have a good stock engine. I also know that the SC300 has the same engine and is a little heavier, but it's a Lexus and should be fine driving. I've also been looking at the Mercedes-Benz 190e. Lastly one of the routes that has been tempting me is the BMW e34 series.... Again, it's a little heavy.

Since there is a variety of people and this isn't a dedicated forum to a particular vehicle, I decided to pose the question to you. Which would you go with and why? I am leaning towards the Lexus SC300, but I don't know how I would drop the weight, or how I would in any other car. I also do not know how strong of an aftermarket these cars have. I have only really done some American Muscle and some AWD projects with others before. This will be the first time I've done an entire project on my own. Thanks in advance!

Edit: If there are any other models you recommend don't be afraid to list them in case my research hasn't done me well.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/2/14 6:23 p.m.

What is the draw towards luxury? You listed e34 - what about e36M3? They're easy to find and are quick to convert to track car.

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
7/2/14 6:56 p.m.

Sounds like you need to narrow down exactly what you want to do with the car (like what sanctioning organization and events you plan to run). If you don't figure that out first, you'll likely be left with a car that isn't as fun, competitive, cost effective, or enjoyable as it could have been if you picked the car based on what you planned to do with it.

If you're interested in SC300's you can read a little about my ChumpCar build here: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/chumpcar-1992-lexus-sc300/75586/page1/

I have been pretty impressed with the car in general, but it wouldn't be competitive in most forms of racing due to the size and weight. It just happens to fit the current ChumpCar rules pretty well. Also, the aftermarket is pretty poor compared to things like the Hondas or Miatas, or even BMW's.

I like the suggestion of an E36 BMW for a good combination of luxury and performance right out of the box.

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/3/14 2:45 a.m.
dcteague wrote: What is the draw towards luxury? You listed e34 - what about e36M3? They're easy to find and are quick to convert to track car.

I guess the draw towards luxury is that nobody has them out there. The E36 is a great platform but to splurge on the M3 would be a bit too much. It's going to be a piece by piece project and I don't know if I have to funds to buy it outright. I could also buy one from a lot or take a loan, I just don't want to make payments because it'll send me even further behind.

Edit: Did some more research on the M3 e36. It's not that great stock and I can buy a base model and do a JZ engine swap apparently pretty easily. Looking more into it. Thanks for the recommendation!

JohnyHachi6 wrote: Sounds like you need to narrow down exactly what you want to do with the car (like what sanctioning organization and events you plan to run). If you don't figure that out first, you'll likely be left with a car that isn't as fun, competitive, cost effective, or enjoyable as it could have been if you picked the car based on what you planned to do with it. If you're interested in SC300's you can read a little about my ChumpCar build here: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/chumpcar-1992-lexus-sc300/75586/page1/ I have been pretty impressed with the car in general, but it wouldn't be competitive in most forms of racing due to the size and weight. It just happens to fit the current ChumpCar rules pretty well. Also, the aftermarket is pretty poor compared to things like the Hondas or Miatas, or even BMW's. I like the suggestion of an E36 BMW for a good combination of luxury and performance right out of the box.

Thanks! I figured that maybe the SC300 had a good aftermarket since it used the Supra engine. I assumed that some crossover would be had but I assumed way wrong apparently. Thanks for the link. I appreciate it!

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 Dork
7/3/14 7:38 a.m.
ShooterMcGavin wrote: I figured that maybe the SC300 had a good aftermarket since it used the Supra engine. I assumed that some crossover would be had but I assumed way wrong apparently.

I wouldn't say way wrong. It's just that there weren't too many MkIV Supras produced and very few of them actually race. There are parts available for common upgrades, but they can be expensive and difficult to find. Additionally, some of the key parts are different on the SC300 vs the turbo Supras (like the brakes, transmission, etc).

It doesn't have the worst aftermarket, but again, parts aren't really common or cheap, like some of the other makes/models that are very commonly used in racing.

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/3/14 1:36 p.m.

In reply to JohnyHachi6:

Again, thank you for the very informative post! I think I'll go with an e36. They're easy t fix on the fly like a Miata, have good weight, are fairly common so if I need replacement parts it's easy to find them. I guess throughout my research I read a ton about people saying they were the least exciting out of my options.

Thank you guys for keeping it straight and simple with me :)

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/5/14 3:31 a.m.

I've changed my mind again and am now looking at an MR2 First Gen. I test drove 3 different e36's today and I can say none of them were for me. I will look for more with the Mr2 doesn't pan out though.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/5/14 7:06 a.m.

MR2 is definitely not luxury so if you're open to a broader range of cars, I could suggest many more. What's the budget you're working with? Are you limiting the search to rear-drive?

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/5/14 9:42 p.m.

I was thinking luxury, and I don't want to pay much for a base driver. I have about 2-3 grand to start. It's just seeming to become difficult to find a car that calls for me. I don't have a limit, but I'd like something in the North West. I know it's not a lot but this is just a fun car for the most part.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/6/14 6:28 p.m.

If you're willing to go to the MR2, have you considered a Miata? They're cheap to find, modify, and handle well. With turbo or other mods, you can get serious power into them. I personally hate them, but there's a reason there are so many at the track.

[edit] - one other thought - go find someone that decided to abandon their current track rat that's already done the hard work, and left you with the modifications you want to make. There are many people who give up on their project cars, or who have done some autox or HPDE events with dedicated cars but have kids, move away from the sport, etc. and sell their cars. It'll be much cheaper than starting from scratch (ask why I know).

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/8/14 12:07 a.m.

In reply to dcteague:

I know, and the Miata thing isn't an issue except it seems like everyone is over pricing their Miata. It's a 1700$ Car tops and people try to sell them for 3-4k+ if I could find a well priced one I'd buy one. I also hate them but the mods are wow for them. 350z bracket and the v8? Sick.

NordicSaab
NordicSaab New Reader
7/8/14 7:24 a.m.

This may be left field, but what about a beater e30? Even a 318 with crank windows... You can get into these cheap, under $1000, add coil overs, sway bars, a seat and some fluids and you've got a great beginning track car.

I had one for a couple years and it was a blast; I just wish I had the time and skill I do now. It would have been a much better car.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
7/8/14 7:51 a.m.

There's a big reason that few people race luxury cars with the exception of BMW and Porsche. From the outside, BMW and Porsche seems to be the only luxury brand in the 80s, 90s, and 00s that engineered a car or two specifically to be a fun car to drive, and be really refined. Besides the E30 and an old supra, I would look at a 944 and a C4 Corvette. The C4 seems to be starting to bottom out with the depreciation because of the C7, but cheap ones in good condition are still around $3500-5500. You do have to pay for the luxury, however...

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/8/14 2:32 p.m.
NordicSaab wrote: This may be left field, but what about a beater e30? Even a 318 with crank windows... You can get into these cheap, under $1000, add coil overs, sway bars, a seat and some fluids and you've got a great beginning track car. I had one for a couple years and it was a blast; I just wish I had the time and skill I do now. It would have been a much better car.

I've looked at e30's for a while, and none of them are under 1k that I have found. Almost everything I have looked at has had major issues. The best one I found was for 7 Grand and the cars aren't worth that much. They are fun, but I want something that doesn't need a ton of restoration at first. I know I sound picky but I don't want to pay for a shell.

Cone_Junkie
Cone_Junkie SuperDork
7/8/14 2:37 p.m.

A friend of mine autox's and drifts an older q45. Looks like a lot of fun to me

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
7/8/14 3:10 p.m.

With 2JZ Lexus there is a lot of material out there to convert to turbo if that's what you are interested in.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/8/14 7:16 p.m.

How about VW - like a Carrado?

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/8/14 7:19 p.m.

How about VW - like a Carrado?

Or something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mazda-RX-7-Turbo-1991-MAZDA-RX7-TURBO-2-TRACK-CAR-W-UPGRADES-HKS-RECARO-RTEK-WIDEBAND-MORE-/181455927466?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2a3f9db8aa&item=181455927466&pt=US_Cars_Trucks

another option: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MG-MGB-MGB-with-aluminum-head-Weber-Hardtop-Vintage-race-rally-/151348065548?forcerrptr=true&hash=item233d0c350c&item=151348065548&pt=Race_Cars_Not_Street_Legal_

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
7/8/14 9:57 p.m.

I like the FC RX7 suggestion. It may not be a luxury RWD car, but it was made for fun, and is a light chassis.

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/10/14 1:02 a.m.

Doesn't the FC RX7 have the duo rotary motor?

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/11/14 12:57 a.m.

Alright, I think I have found a sick deal on a Nissan 300zx too... It's the Z31 model... I am in wayyyyyyyyyy over my head at this point and am thinking scrapping the entire luxury thing all together.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/13/14 6:36 p.m.

The top 2 cars from GRM's recent listing for CrapCan racing was the E30, and Miata. 5, 6, and 7 were the Z cars, RX7, and Mustang. Those 5 are good bets.

If you go with the z car you found, you should check out their "good" and "bad" info on the car - a few weak spots you'll want to know about going into the car.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
7/13/14 6:46 p.m.

Z31s are under-appreciated. Because of that some parts and support may be harder to come by. It's not a bad choice though.

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/14/14 4:26 a.m.

In reply to kanaric:

That's what I've been reading recently. I think I'll just pick it up. It's in good shape and it keeps sounding better and better.

dcteague wrote: The top 2 cars from GRM's recent listing for CrapCan racing was the E30, and Miata. 5, 6, and 7 were the Z cars, RX7, and Mustang. Those 5 are good bets. If you go with the z car you found, you should check out their "good" and "bad" info on the car - a few weak spots you'll want to know about going into the car.

That's awesome! I've read every other article except GRM's. I guess that's kind of stupid of me. The Miata is out of the question at this point. I've looked at quite a few and nobody wants to go below 3k. I don't get it. There's half a million still on the road so supply and demand isn't really explaining why people want more than 2k. shrugs Thanks for the heads up :)

ShooterMcGavin
ShooterMcGavin New Reader
7/25/14 9:13 p.m.

Alright, I hope this isn't too much to ask, I found a Lexus LS400/Toyota Celsior for cheap. Would this be an pretty good or is it too heavy?

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