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Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 8:55 a.m.

OK, yet another, another, another what car thread. The thread on the $6k race car, the $1.5k HPDE car and the ‘why what car thread’ thread got me thinking. This is mental masturbation, I’m not shopping for a car, just pondering, but we all love to do that anyway.

What is the most capable 100% stock car there is for autocross/track days, or Rallycross for $3k all in.

Now here’s the catch. First off no Miata’s I’m calling for closed cars only so you wouldn’t have to add a bar for track work. Also I’m not calling for the most competitive, just the most fun to drive 100% stock.

The $3k is for the car, I would assume a set of 200TW tires, a set of high performance street/track pads and possibly a set of something like OEM replacement or KYB shocks (Not Koni’s or Bilsteins) on top of that if needed, but nothing else. No mods, no work needed. Buy the car in good condition and drive it. Not X car for $2k plus x, y, z parts. A stock car! I’m wondering what the most fun is all round without wrenching. Cars like the E30 jump to mind, but people complain about the slow steering unless you swap in an E36 rack etc. The assumption is you can buy the stock car and use it as is.

If you’re thinking of older cars where bushings might have worn out, you need to consider being able to buy one in the $3k price cap that has already had those parts replaced. This is a use it as you find it car, not a project car.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
2/13/14 9:05 a.m.

If you can find one, what about a clean CRX Si?

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
2/13/14 9:06 a.m.

E36 or Civic of some kind?

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
2/13/14 9:14 a.m.

My vote would be for an 328is E36 with the Sport Package.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke HalfDork
2/13/14 9:14 a.m.

RX-7. Or Civic/Integra.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 9:24 a.m.
Klayfish wrote: If you can find one, what about a clean CRX Si?

I haven't seen a non rusted out or non riced out CRX outside of a magazine in over 10 years. Fun cars though, I just wish they'd been sold with a real engine stock over here. They came stock with a 150 VTEC B16 in the UK, I was appalled when I moved here and found they only came with boat anchors.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 9:25 a.m.
dj06482 wrote: My vote would be for an 328is E36 with the Sport Package.

That's a good one. My step daughter sold her 328is (not sport package) to buy a freeking Acura MDX

Where would you find one and what seperates the sport package from the regular is?

alfadriver
alfadriver PowerDork
2/13/14 9:28 a.m.

uh, SVT Focus??

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
2/13/14 10:00 a.m.

Aw11 mr2??

I don't know much about them but it seems like a food suggestion

jmackk
jmackk New Reader
2/13/14 10:11 a.m.

AW11, ae92, B13 Sentra SE-R for momentum cars that are cheap on consumables.
If you trust in thrust, third gen or LT1 F-body, Z31 300ZX, or 86-95 5.0 Mustang... might be a bit difficult to find one with the magical combination of performance suspension, v8 and manual in that range though and the Z will probably be N/A.
Maybe a well worn Porsche 924/ 944 as well.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
2/13/14 10:31 a.m.

EG Civic.

Your best bet for a car is going to be to watch various marque specific boards and be prepared to do a fly and drive.

Jerry
Jerry Dork
2/13/14 10:41 a.m.
icaneat50eggs wrote: Aw11 mr2?? I don't know much about them but it seems like a food suggestion

That's my suggestion (again). Mine was pretty solid at $2k and almost rust free having lived in FL before the PO brought it here 6 months prior.

sanman
sanman Reader
2/13/14 10:57 a.m.

I'll add in an often forgotten choice... The second gen ford probe gr or mazda mx6 LS with the 2.5 liter 6. Nice handling and an engine that revs to 7k.

The last gen celica is dropping into that price range as well and handles really well.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 12:24 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: uh, SVT Focus??

Needs an LSD though. My SVT Contour could put it's power down way better than my Focus coming out of a tight corner.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 12:26 p.m.
sanman wrote: I'll add in an often forgotten choice... The second gen ford probe gr or mazda mx6 LS with the 2.5 liter 6. Nice handling and an engine that revs to 7k. The last gen celica is dropping into that price range as well and handles really well.

That's a good one. I was very tempted by Angry Corvair's one he had for sale before I bought my Saab, great cars, it just didn't hit my emotional buttons, but it is a very very good choice. I never cared for the Mx6 styling, but I loved the Probe.

nicksta43
nicksta43 UltraDork
2/13/14 12:28 p.m.

What about a (can't believe I'm saying this) ZX2?

fanfoy
fanfoy HalfDork
2/13/14 1:12 p.m.

My vote goes for B15 Sentra SE-R Spec V. They are hard to drive in Auto-x, but they are great on a track.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Reader
2/13/14 1:30 p.m.

I would mention an E30. I haven't driven many old performance vehicles in this price range.

Powar
Powar SuperDork
2/13/14 1:54 p.m.

You already own my pick.

Matthew Huizing
Matthew Huizing Reader
2/13/14 1:56 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Where would you find one and what seperates the sport package from the regular [328]is?

1995+ E36 M Sports suspension:
Leather Sport seats w/ movable front cushion.
16x7 wheels (instead of 15x7)
25.5 mm front sway bar, 18 mm rear sway bar
Sport springs/struts/shocks

None of it is a big deal. The separate (and rare) LSD option is worth more. FWIW: I am selling all the M Sports suspension stuff from my 325i along with a set of Koni Sports.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
2/13/14 2:09 p.m.

with the "100% stock" criteria applied, I'd have to say FC RX7. It has a very robust chassis, well handling suspension, great steering, light and good power output (especially with the Turbo II).

A close second IMO would be the E36 b/c of the drivetrain but the chassis is weak (subframes and sheet metal ) and suspension is rather soft comparative to the FC and it would probably require more things to be repaired in order to be 'reliable'.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 2:15 p.m.
nicksta43 wrote: What about a (can't believe I'm saying this) ZX2?

Damn good idea, especially in ZX2 guise

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
2/13/14 2:16 p.m.

P.S. everyone, as I said in the first post, this isn't an 'I want a car' thread, it was just a mental exercise. I have all the cars I want / need until Boxster/Cayman/Alfa 4C comes my way.

stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
2/13/14 2:17 p.m.

Third gen Camaro.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
2/13/14 2:26 p.m.

Keeping with your whole "can't be a project", has to be pretty much good to go, in that price range, 95-99 Neon. Depending on where you live, a 92-2000 Civic EX Coupe.

In the $3K price range, its going to be hard to find cars in general that don't need some refreshing before you can take them out for autocross/track day/rallycross time. Look and see what you'd be interested in that tends to go for $1500-$2000 in your area for a "typical" example, then start looking for the "nice" ones, with prices to match.

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