Cardinal Coupe: As quick as a C8 without the high price?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2r__xTuXvDk

A purpose-built track car that can be maintained with a visit to your local auto parts store? Look no further than the Cardinal Coupe by Fields Auto Works.

[How to get GT4 lap times without the GT4 price | Fields Auto Works Cardinal Coupe]

Just how capable is the Cardinal Coupe? We took it to our official test track, the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park, to find out.

Presented by CRC Industries.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Dork
7/6/23 8:57 a.m.

Starting at a low price of $49,999 Pricing for assembled rolling chassis w/o powertrain

Wonder what I could get a new c8 for without a powertrain.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/6/23 9:08 a.m.

Hmm...  it's an interesting car, but I'm not so sure about the "without the high price" part.

Minimum $50K for the base rolling car.

$7K for a Eco-Boost crate engine from Ford Performance (sure, could save a few $ for a used engine, but in a $50K chassis - why?).

$2310 for the manual trans control pack from Ford Performance.

$3600-ish for a Tremec from Ford Performance (plus the bell housing; clutch bits, etc.)

So looking at well over $60K for a car that will be extremely track-focused and may be a PITA to get street registered.

I watched JG's video on the car and it definitely looks like fun, but it'll take a very specific type of buyer to choose this over other options for dedicated track cars. 

Looks are subjective, so I won't even take that into consideration. I'll just say it looks very... purposeful. 

calteg
calteg SuperDork
7/6/23 10:15 a.m.

What will happen first?

A) You getting a Cardinal bought and built for $65k

B) You finding a zero option C8 for $65k

fanfoy
fanfoy SuperDork
7/6/23 10:29 a.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks are subjective, so I won't even take that into consideration. I'll just say it looks very... purposeful. 

That's a very polite way of saying it. 

I'm glad they made it. It really is an nice little car. But I don't see how it could sale in any numbers when this, cheaper, faster, better looking, just as easy to service, built by a long standing company, thing exists:

 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/23 10:59 a.m.

The more Chris and I hung around the thing the more the looks grew on us. Sure there are a few odd details, but ultimately it's a handbuilt car and there's just things that robots can design and do when it comes to forming that people can't.

But proportionally, the thing is just fabulous. It's tiny, but it has presence. And despite its diminutive size, there's crazy space inside,and great sightlines. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
7/6/23 11:39 a.m.

I always feel like a wet blanket on these things but  a used SCCA P2 car can be had for 25K to 40K.

Now that's not a frontline P2 car, those are 60K, but it will absolutely suck the paint off of the cars mentioned here.

With that said I do thing both cars pictured above are really cool.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/23 1:10 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

You're not wrong, but that P2 car is also going to have limitations. Like, it demands a trailer, and forget running a TNiA, or taking it to a Cars & Coffee.

But, yeah, measured on pure lap times and driving experience, there's a LOT of ways to go fast that aren't necessarily expensive or as complicated as people think they are.

Patientzero
Patientzero Dork
7/6/23 1:43 p.m.

I finished ahead of several C8's at LS Fest in my Mustang for much less than $65k.  I sell my Mustang to someone for $65k though if you're interested.  wink

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
7/6/23 2:21 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

You're not wrong, but that P2 car is also going to have limitations. Like, it demands a trailer, and forget running a TNiA, or taking it to a Cars & Coffee.

But, yeah, measured on pure lap times and driving experience, there's a LOT of ways to go fast that aren't necessarily expensive or as complicated as people think they are.

Years back one of the locals out at Spring Mountain had road registered their Radical............."hey man it's a street car"

Realistically that is dilemma with formula cars and sports racers.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/6/23 2:28 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

You're not wrong, but that P2 car is also going to have limitations. Like, it demands a trailer, and forget running a TNiA, or taking it to a Cars & Coffee.

But, yeah, measured on pure lap times and driving experience, there's a LOT of ways to go fast that aren't necessarily expensive or as complicated as people think they are.

Well, without wipers that Cardinal isn't legally driving to Cars and Coffee either. And I suspect it has no HVAC to make the trip pleasant - coupes are a little more challenging than convertibles when it comes to managing the temperature and sound levels of the driver environment. So it may not be a very effective street car - once you've got it registered. 

In terms of like vs like, how does it compare on-track to a FF Roadster or Coupe? Or a Caterham? Because it's more of a competitor to those than a C8.

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