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Thread: Any pre-1975 sports cars worth a damn for racing/HPDE? (pre-CA smog)

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    Rookie CentralCoaster's Avatar
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    Default Any pre-1975 sports cars worth a damn for racing/HPDE? (pre-CA smog)

    Are any of you guys tracking something 1975 or older? I'm curious what platforms are worth considering, like Porsche, Corvette, Mustang, fbody, Datsun, etc. I've rarely seen anything out there older than my 85 Corvette every time I go to a roadcourse or autoX.

    The idea would be to have something fairly stripped for racing and street reliability, and to be exempt from CA smog laws. A track-only car isn't of much use to me.

    A newer diesel powered car could be smog exempt too but I wouldn't expect anything there would fit the bill.

    Some semblance of an aftermarket parts support is also a plus.


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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of quick 70s/early 80s Porsches but I'm guessing those are pretty expensive.
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    A 510 would be cool if you could find one that wasn't first a restoration project. 240Zs are usually better kept. A 260Z would work, too.

    RX3 or 4
    BMW 2002, but those are getting pricey
    Early GM F body (1967 to 1975)
    Mustang notchback (1964 to 1968)

    But I'd take a Miata over any of the above any day and just pay for the smog tests.

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    Datsun 510's are quite popular, and some guys (Adam Corolla included) have had good luck with 610's.

    The 510 was kind of a BMW clone, and they can run very fast laps. See the example below (a track car, but you will get the idea):

    http://bringatrailer.com/2012/06/25/...71-datsun-510/

    The Mazda R100 series was also very successful on drag strips and on the track:

    mazda r100 racing - Bing

    Not to mention the RX-7, which really is a great little car. Bobby Cee's Racer's Edge used them, so you could drive one on an open track day. His cars are fully caged and you can drive all day for $275 (including a $75.00 membership at the track). The cars do need some shocks, but his instructor drives them in the low 1:40's - not bad for a sub 90 whp car. Faster than most guys who show up for HPDE events in some very impressive cars.

    Mazda RX-7 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 12-04-2012 at 07:18 PM.

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    RX-7s are subject to smog tests.

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    Senior Member Johnny_Se7en's Avatar
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    914 Porsche, take the Volkswagen engine out and cram a Chevy small block in for instant fun.
    If nothing happens and there is no one around why did it not happen?

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    ^^ The NASA SoCal chaplain has one that was a 914-6, but now has an aluminum-block LS engine, which he said was lighter than the flat six. Kind of a cool car.

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    Senior Member Todd R's Avatar
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    A 1966 Mustang was my first tracked car... You can make them handle ok by making a few basic modifications (lower the front control arms by re-drilling 4 holes, lower stiffer springs/bigger sway bars). Today the sky is the limit on suspension setups for the early Mustangs which were not available when I had my car. I enjoyed the car when I had it as it was my first car and I learned a lot.

    A picture from my first track day....

    mustangtr.jpg
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    Senior Member granth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post

    BMW 2002, but those are getting pricey

    But I'd take a Miata over any of the above any day and just pay for the smog tests.
    Take it from a guy that has both of these track cars (one BMW 2002 and Miata) both alot of fun. If all you want is a beater/street/track car BMW 2002's are still cheap. You can get a square tail (74/75) cheap, the part that the $$$ start to add up are all the OEM chrome bit's and period correct stuff. But if it's a beater/street/track car who cares right? But I will say the BMW does take a more effort to go fast, but if you know the right people (just like any other car) it can be done within reason. I think the BMW will make you a better driver, because Miata is so easy to drive, with the BMW you need to get up on the wheel a bit more. Also I hear the BlackBird (Moti) would love to put a cage in a BMW 2002 for you...

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    I've got a buddy that just bought a 70 911S to Vintage race ... Very cool car & very expensive

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    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    I can't think of any other model with the years of development and aftermarket support of the 911.





    It's definitely worth a damn.





    The wing only bolts on for track days. The rest of the time, it's a regular driver.




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    Member 5:04's Avatar
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    I'm with Jack. Old cars can definitely move when you put some time and money into them.

    My 911 is a '76. I could go much faster with a modern car for much less money, but where is the fun in that?

    8224941412_4ddeda2988_b.jpg
    8223866581_5dda69dfbb_b.jpg

    My car is "street legal", but would be terrible to DD.

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    Old timer craZee's Avatar
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    1975 Datsun 280-Z, no smog, no turbo, unlimited parts available and fun right out of the box. Good for tall guys as well.

    240-Z's are almost twice the price for a car in the same condition. They are a little lighter than the 280 but have a 2.4 motor instead of a 2.8 motor so no real advantage except from a collectors standpoint. 260-Z's are dog's, acknowledged by the fact that they only made them 1 year.

    510's are fun as well but expensive due to the cult following and underpowered unless you totally tweak the motor. I put an S-2000 motor in my 510 which makes it a fun track car and super dependable. It was a ton of work however.

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    likes to left foot brake. passmenow's Avatar
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    a 74/75 911 would be the least expensive pre smog 911 platform.
    73 and older long hood 911s are a little more expensive.
    Try a 74/75 911 with an 80s 3.2 (230hp) or a 90s 3.6 (280hp) and a close ratio gear box, very reliable.
    But a smog legal Miata or S2000 might be cheaper to buy and service.
    Better yet a truck and trailer and a dedicated race car = then just smog your truck not your track toy.

    I'd consider a early Trans Am Replica, 70 Mustang or Camaro but it might not be reliable enuf to drive to the track.
    Video of my registered and insured pre smog 911.

    a_jl39363s.jpga_jl39583s.jpga_jl39558s.jpg
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    74 911 RSR+.
    88 Imsa Camaro.
    93 Imsa Camaro.

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    Alfa Romeo GTV. What a great way to look cool going slow.

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    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I'm digging this thread.

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    Senior Member Silversprint's Avatar
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    Older 911s are getting super expensive. I have a 70 911 targa and it's unbelievable what these cars are selling for now. As indicated before the only affordable pre-smog years are 74-75.

    911s are fantastic however most survivors are just too nice too expensive to track. I think the 914 would be much less expensive. A subaru or LS1 swap in a 914 makes for a fun little toy.

    Here is a pair of 914s that were on ebay recently. Including a trailer. I believe the cars are still available.

    Porsche 914/6 Race Cars | eBay
    MR2 Spyder 2zz turbo
    Mazda RX7 FD
    Porsche 911E

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    Haven't read into how to do the whole no smog pre-75' cars thing... Can you just get a pre-75 and add more modern parts to it like a 70' VW Beetle with a 90's 1.8T running midship with a Miata front/rear subframe and suspension? Just how far can you go with this? Do you simply need a pre-75 VIN (with a body attached, of course) and you're good to go?

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    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    Yes.

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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    If you are going to swap stuff, don't forget about looking for a 912, perhaps? If you just want the bodyshell and a pre-smog VIN, that might be a less expensive starting point.

    Steve

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