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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/23/24 2:41 p.m.
feature_image

The most extreme Nissan Sentra? Try this SCCA GTL-spec, tube-frame race car.

The Sentra features a laundry list of modifications and upgrades that includes a built SR16 engine, Schwitters 5-speed gearbox with straight-cut gears, 12-gallon fuel cell, carbon fiber driveshaft and adjustable coil-overs on all four corners.

Per the seller, the car is billed as a complete package that’s ready …

Read the rest of the story

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/24 4:26 p.m.

GT4 Sentras were such a thing back in the day. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/23/24 4:51 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Good to know. I never saw anything like this before, so I figured it was worth sharing.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/24 5:57 p.m.

As I recall, some of these GT4 Sentras were previously bodied at B210s.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/23/24 7:11 p.m.

GTL, my old class (kinda) as I was in GT5 right before they combined it and GT4. At that point, if you didn't have a tub car you really struggled to be competitive. It was nice to be able to de-tune it to switch to HP.

Ah, the good old days when I was single and had a body that worked...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/24 7:35 p.m.

GT5 and GT4 cars were just the coolest BITD: Minis, small-bore Datsuns, Toyotas, a couple of Hondas.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/24 8:35 p.m.
Colin Wood said:
feature_image

The most extreme Nissan Sentra? Try this SCCA GTL-spec, tube-frame race car.

The Sentra features a laundry list of modifications and upgrades that includes a built SR16 engine, Schwitters 5-speed gearbox with straight-cut gears, 12-gallon fuel cell, carbon fiber driveshaft and adjustable coil-overs on all four corners.

Per the seller, the car is billed as a complete package that’s ready …

Read the rest of the story

And something I always found interesting about these Sentras: base-model taillights and not the full-width ones as found on the SE-R. These cars were factory supported, as I remember, so just surprised that Nissan didn’t go all the way, so to speak, regarding branding. Or maybe they wanted to separate the GT4 and Showroom Stock efforts. Either way, a favorite of the modern, tube-frame GT4 cars. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/23/24 9:08 p.m.

Ironically my Datsun started as a GT-5 car.

Before I went down the single seat car path this is where I thought I would go.

I bought a chunk of parts from Tom Neeley; including the entire front suspension and brake set up that's on my car today.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/23/24 9:53 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

GT5 and GT4 cars were just the coolest BITD: Minis, small-bore Datsuns, Toyotas, a couple of Hondas.

And a random Mazda GLC, because why not buy an even more obscure race car. I like to think I was paving the way for the Miata. Mine was an '80, RWD.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/24 9:56 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

Back in the day, you’d find a rear-drive GLC in the GRM parking lot. 

It was blue. 

j_tso
j_tso Dork
5/23/24 10:04 p.m.

I like how silhouette racers don't always have to be those of GT cars.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/23/24 10:53 p.m.
j_tso said:

I like how silhouette racers don't always have to be those of GT cars.

 

The rules manadated the roof had to be from the original car.

j_tso
j_tso Dork
5/23/24 11:43 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

were there width limits as well? If it was just the roof required I'd expect more wing and widebody action.

Just found out about this 1982 Nissan March Super Silhouette and I'm in  love with it! : r/vintagejapaneseautos

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
5/24/24 1:17 a.m.
hobiercr said:

GTL, my old class (kinda) as I was in GT5 right before they combined it and GT4. At that point, if you didn't have a tub car you really struggled to be competitive. It was nice to be able to de-tune it to switch to HP.

Ah, the good old days when I was single and had a body that worked...

First SCCA driver school I did was in a 1972 Toyota Corolla 1600 Deluxe GT-4 car.  First race was on the club course at Sebring in the season finale for points.  11 cars showed up for ASR, and 9 GT-1 cars.  I was the only GT-4.  I don't think I ever touched the steering wheel with my right hand during the race, because I was either shifting or giving a point by.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/24/24 9:14 a.m.
racerfink said:
hobiercr said:

GTL, my old class (kinda) as I was in GT5 right before they combined it and GT4. At that point, if you didn't have a tub car you really struggled to be competitive. It was nice to be able to de-tune it to switch to HP.

Ah, the good old days when I was single and had a body that worked...

First SCCA driver school I did was in a 1972 Toyota Corolla 1600 Deluxe GT-4 car.  First race was on the club course at Sebring in the season finale for points.  11 cars showed up for ASR, and 9 GT-1 cars.  I was the only GT-4.  I don't think I ever touched the steering wheel with my right hand during the race, because I was either shifting or giving a point by.

Those GT-1 cars come up on you really fast!

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/24/24 9:28 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Are there any photos in the archives? Asking for a friend...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/24/24 9:28 a.m.

In reply to j_tso :

You did get some pretty wide stuff in GT4 and 5. Jack Baumgardner’s GT5 Mini was legend. IIRC we did a feature on that car. 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
5/24/24 9:34 a.m.

Almost every single one of the ASR cars were Florida people who ran the Florida IMSA races in GTO.  Miami, West Palm, Daytona and Sebring were all on the schedule then.  The GTO rules were just different enough that it wasn't easy to go back and forth between GTO and GT-1/Trans-Am, so they just ran ASR, which was the catch all class after Can-Am faded away.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/24/24 9:34 a.m.

No wonder racing was considered a rich man's sport for so long.

A fully tube frame rwd Nissan sentra that is probably slower than a new stock miata.

Don't get me wrong, this car is sooo cool!  I just can't see spending what it would cost to build that car to go...  not very fast.

This car looks like the rules were VERY open during this time for this class.  

 

I just wanna repeat that this car is unbelievably cool.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/24/24 9:36 a.m.

Go here to view old SCCA GRCs, by the way. (No, it’s not a spam link, although that book does predate GT4 and 5.)

ojannen
ojannen HalfDork
5/24/24 9:40 a.m.

I am aware this is going to be a dumb question but what is the pull of the GT class compared to the other full race chassis classes?  The production silhouette is cool but being tied to a specific engine sounds expensive.  Are formula car classes all spec series where the tinkerers/engineers don't have a place to do their thing?  Are people still building new GT3/GTL chassis these days?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/24/24 9:45 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

No wonder racing was considered a rich man's sport for so long.

A fully tube frame rwd Nissan sentra that is probably slower than a new stock miata.

Don't get me wrong, this car is sooo cool!  I just can't see spending what it would cost to build that car to go...  not very fast.

This car looks like the rules were VERY open during this time for this class.  

 

I just wanna repeat that this car is unbelievably cool.

Oh they're plenty fast. Not super long legs, but you're still talking about a 2000-ish lb car with north of 200hp, a close ratio gearbox, super rigid tube chassis and big slicks. It's basically a 3/4-scale Trans Am car with a four cylinder. 

It's kind of a bummer the SCCA GT classes are waning a bit, but I also get it. There's just no place else to run them besides SCCA for the most part, so they have a very limited focus in relation to anything tub-based. Plus, homologated tub cars are getting so good and so esily available and still have factory support for the most part, so if you're going to spend $150k on a race car, would you rather build something for one of the smallest classes in a single sanctioning body, or just go buy a used GT4 car and be able to run anywhere?

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
5/24/24 9:56 a.m.

We borrowed the car from a guy who owned a used car lot.  It was sitting in the back corner of the lot on an open trailer.  It needed some work, so we offered to get it race ready in exchange for me taking it to driver school.  The front was still Toyota, but the back was tube frame.

It had been built by Collins Toyota, alongside a Celica that Clifford Allison drove in the NASCAR Daytona Dash series.  That car ran several races at Sebring as a GT-2 car while I ran this car, and later a 1974 Corolla SR-5 in ITC.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
5/24/24 9:57 a.m.

And yes, that's a Mosler Consulier behind me.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
5/24/24 10:06 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

That Sentra would be about 10 seconds faster around Sebring than the best bone stock Miata.

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