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best Autocross cars


rharris19
01-18-2003, 03:13 AM
What do you all think is some of the best cheap autocross cars. i was thinking something along the lines of a miata or a porsche 914? any suggestions, because i am about to get into it pretty heavily and racing my friends jetta just isn't cuttin the butter.

Cbass
01-18-2003, 06:00 AM
Toyota Corolla GTS, a Porsche 924, the Mazda RX7 is as always a great choice...

A good choice many overlook is the Chevette... these things can be had for $50, and a rebuild with high compression pistons, a cam, and some basic exhaust work can net you 175hp. That's not very impressive, true, but stripped out, the car weighs less than 2000 lbs, and it's a very torquey engine.

Aftermarket support is nil, but a set of swaybars you can pull off something a stock 300ZX will make a huge difference, and you can always add stiffer springs, and good shocks.

Pimped Pontiac Acadian!

http://www.wktechnical.ca/customizing-complete.jpg

If you want to get into engine swapping, a naturally aspirated Buick V6 will have one of these cars into the 12s... :D

RACER D12
01-18-2003, 08:01 AM
WRX, STI(when it comes out), EVO8(WICO), any 3 series BMW, M3 if you got the cash, VW GTI, ford focus SVT, honda Si, S2k,civic,Audi a4, A4 avont, RSX.

Thier are lots of cars that could autocross I tried to give you a few different classes of cars because you will see so many different kinds of cars in autocross.Its not as limiting as drag racing or rally.

rharris19
01-18-2003, 01:49 PM
nice pic, is that you? thanks for all the suggestions. i think i may end up getting something like a civic as a track car, because they are cheap and all i am going to be using it for is the track. I am thinking of getting an e36 m3 soon, but i have heard that the insurance on those is crazy.

RACER D12
01-18-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by rharris19
nice pic, is that you? thanks for all the suggestions. i think i may end up getting something like a civic as a track car, because they are cheap and all i am going to be using it for is the track. I am thinking of getting an e36 m3 soon, but i have heard that the insurance on those is crazy.

:hehehe: I wish that was me. Cant afford a BMW yet, still in high school:(

rharris19
01-18-2003, 02:24 PM
i wish that was me too, but its not :(. Anyway, i am going to go to the next meet here and figure out what people say about different cars. i have seen alot of miatas perform pretty well, so i am still kinda leaning towards those, but i am concidering something like an older civic hatchback.

RACER D12
01-18-2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by rharris19
i wish that was me too, but its not :(. Anyway, i am going to go to the next meet here and figure out what people say about different cars. i have seen alot of miatas perform pretty well, so i am still kinda leaning towards those, but i am concidering something like an older civic hatchback.

Miatas are light so that would be a good pick but, I would try not to fallow the crowd be different.

Also what kind of budget are you on?

rharris19
01-18-2003, 03:03 PM
not really too sure. i just started a new job and i pays really well, but i am not sure how long it is going to last. so i was thinking around 6000.

fatninja19
01-18-2003, 03:58 PM
Oh.. 6 g's is plennnnty...

Hpefully...My plan for my 92-95 civic with b16a2 swap will have a budget of 7g's....

Cbass
01-18-2003, 06:36 PM
There are any number of good cars you could pick up for $2000, do a complete suspension overhaul, decent weight savings, and a little engine work...

I say get a Porsche 924! Be different! It's very light, has 2.0 liter 4 cylinder, available NA or turbocharged. They're very reliable, and have awesome handling, especially with a bit of money put into the suspension.

http://www.porsche.ru/924/924turbo.jpg
http://www.rosehome.co.uk/924front.jpg

Or get a Corolla GTS... It's very light, comes stock with a limited slip differential, RWD... Perfect autocross car.

http://www.sdsefi.com/features/corolla.jpg
http://www.ssdiv.com/sho.jpg

fatninja19
01-18-2003, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by Cbass


http://www.rosehome.co.uk/924front.jpg

Or get a Corolla GTS... It's very light, comes stock with a limited slip differential, RWD... Perfect autocross car.

http://www.sdsefi.com/features/corolla.jpg
http://www.ssdiv.com/sho.jpg

And Cbass sure does mean the GTS from model years 85-87 :)

R1-rider
01-18-2003, 07:21 PM
autoX relies very little on the car.

My uncle who races in the SCCA took his chevy lumina automatic to an autoX event and got the lead time against many tuned and 5 zero cars.

R1-rider
01-18-2003, 07:24 PM
btw I would take a stripped miata with some engine touch ups.

rharris19
01-18-2003, 07:37 PM
For an autocross does it really matter that much if it is rear wheel drive or wrong wheel drive, or is it just adjusting to how the car would handle with the different conditions. i am new to autocross, so i haven't really had the chance to drive different cars.

R1-rider
01-18-2003, 07:47 PM
RWD cars are much more balanced as far as weight ratio between front/back goes. Also, when exiting a turn the weight is shifted onto the rear wheels, where you want the tractions, while entering a turn the weight is on the front but not from the engine, from braking. Ideal setup for autox would be a midengine AWD car... but untill then, Miata is the winner.

RACER D12
01-18-2003, 08:29 PM
MR2 would be a good pick Rwd and mid engine but not in your 6k range. Have you looked at 240sx's thier cheap used. If it were me I would go germen used BMW, Audi, porsche,cough-VW-cough! but im a bit biased.

rharris19
01-18-2003, 08:39 PM
I have thought about a good used mr2 because of the fact that they are Mid-Engine and RWD. Yeah i have been driving a VW Jetta the last 2 times that i went, but i need to get my own car to race with seeing as thought it is my friends.

rharris19
01-18-2003, 08:41 PM
i will look into that 240sx idea too

Fliquer
01-19-2003, 02:03 AM
If this is going to be a pure autocross car, then I'd suggest a miata or an older GTI (when leather was NOT an option). Basically anything with a very short wheelbase that is also very light and torquey.

Cbass
01-19-2003, 07:13 AM
RWD is a big advantage, and the car matters a lot in autoX... A good driver in a Yugo is going to post much slower times than a decent driver in a Skyline.

The Miata is a very good pick, it's quite light, has a good suspension setup, but I would still prefer the 84-87 Corolla GTS, because many of them left the factory with a limited slip differential, which makes a massive cornering difference.

Both weigh around 2100-2200 lbs, with a slight weight advantage going to the Corolla. The GTS uses a DOHC 1.6 liter engine making 115 hp stock, and that can be tuned to aroujnd 140 fairly easily.

I don't think the Miata is really in the price range, because finding a good condition Miata, and going to town on the suspension is going to strain that budget.

The 240SX has a big advantage over either cars, in torque. It has a 2.4 liter 4, and similarly good suspension. However, the car weighs around 2800lbs, and if there is one thing an AutoX car should be, it's light.

A dedicated Corolla GTS would make the best autoX on a budget, if only because it comes with the LSD. You could pick one up for around $2000, spend $1500 on the suspension and good brake pads, $500 on the engine, get a good set of wheels and tires, and still make your budget. For that amount of money into a car, you're not going to get better braking and handling.

Cbass
01-19-2003, 07:20 AM
Another good choice would be the first generation, second series, RX7. I'm not sure whether all GSLs came with 4 wheel disc brakes, or just the GSL-SE... either car is excellent, and it is the most popular cars in E production racing, and a perennial favourite at autocrosses everwhere.

Good power potential, around 2300lbs stock, the downside being it doesn't have independant rear suspension (which is killing me right now :mad: )

RACER D12
01-19-2003, 08:41 AM
You could get a mini S right now mini's are a fad car in a year or so their should be ton for sale. Just like the VW beetle they were a fad still are kind of but for a while everyone wanted them then a year later their was a ton for sale used.

Mini has a 1.6 liter inline 4 115bhp (2300lbs i think)
Mini S has a 1.6 liter inline 4 supercharged 163bhp 2490lbs

However their is a turbo kit for the Mini gets it up to 200hp and their are more coming out a 250hp kit and a prototype 400hp kit

Cbass
01-19-2003, 10:10 AM
Yeah, but they're FWD... understeer! It's better to have a RWD for autocross.

rharris19
01-19-2003, 11:54 AM
400hp in a mini, that would be insane

Fliquer
01-19-2003, 03:47 PM
IMO, unless the skyline has a driver who can swing the rear around the corners fairly well, its not going to beat a GTI or a Yugo in tight autocross. Same goes with the heavier 240sx's, FDs, etc. Big wheels + less than 2400 lbs + very short wheelbase = a LOT of grip. Even the earlier boxy civic hatches can whip thru a relatively tight course quickly.

Now if it was a longer, more open track-like course with uneven surfaces(insert mountain pass here), then RWD would be essential.

Cbass
01-19-2003, 04:46 PM
Even on a shorter, tight track, RWD is an advantage, unless you have problems controlling the car. The Skyline would still have a major advantage in acceleration and braking, and the handling disadvantage would be minor.

If you race a 2200lb 120hp Corolla GTS against a 2200lb 120hp Honda Civic with equal drivers, the GTS is likely to turn faster times.

fatninja19
01-20-2003, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by Cbass
Even on a shorter, tight track, RWD is an advantage, unless you have problems controlling the car. The Skyline would still have a major advantage in acceleration and braking, and the handling disadvantage would be minor.

If you race a 2200lb 120hp Corolla GTS against a 120hp Honda Civic with equal drivers, the GTS is likely to turn faster times.

Perhaps Fliquer means on ultra tight courses.. like the you-never-get-to-the-top-of-second-gear type of tight....

Cbass
01-20-2003, 04:46 PM
Bah.

Layla's Keeper
01-20-2003, 08:29 PM
Caterhams OWN autocross. They have since they were Lotuses. In order to get into the same league of extreme grip, ultra light-weight, and torquey 4 with tight first two gears, there is but one choice on the cheap...

Triumph Spitfire.

Seriously, it's the only one of the small (less than 1600cc) inexpensive British sports cars with all-wheel independent suspension. And I believe there's a bit more than 100lb ft of torque coming out of its engine (1100cc's, if I recall). That doesn't sound like much, but in a car that weighs in at around 1400lbs, is FR, and has a less than 100inch wheelbase, that'll get things moving and turning in a heartbeat.

They're fairly plentiful, though they can be needy. But the reward is a sweet driving car with a lovely Michelotti designed body that will never fail you in an autocross. Just get some slightly wider tires on 14inch Minilite wheels and bolt in your rollbar and you'll never look back.

Cbass
01-20-2003, 10:20 PM
Damn, should have thought of the S7 first...

Yeah, either of those would fit the bill, and very well at that. You can pick up a california kept Spitfire for around $1500, and then put the rest of your budget into an engine rebuild, suspension upgrades, and a good differential.

DemonZX
01-20-2003, 10:24 PM
I hate to say it, but what about the Miata?! Throw a supercharger on, a decent suspension, and your flying!

Cbass
01-20-2003, 10:30 PM
924 all the way :D

Just get a good tranny from a 951 S :D

Layla's Keeper
01-21-2003, 10:57 PM
Heck Cbass, the guy said he's chopping on the cheap. I just used the Caterham as a guide for what it takes to win autocross.

Believe it or not, DemonZX, the Miata's big for autocrossing. Common, but big. Plus there's too much natural body lean. You've got to snake through those cones, and starting out with an inch and a half of travel helps a ton.

Well, at least it's big around here. Remember, Ohio is the home of the SCCA Runoffs. There are more super-tuned racing classic British cars around her then at Donington Park.

Cbass
01-21-2003, 11:01 PM
Miatas are really good pics for autoX, but they aren't the best value for the money.

When it comes down to it, a 924, RX7 or a GTS can be picked up for less than $2000, and the rest of that cash can be put into suspension, gears, tires, you name it. The same is true of the Spitfire, but you've got to remember, I'm a Porsche/RX7 Nazi ;)

DemonZX
01-22-2003, 08:27 AM
Zig Hial! or however you spell it!

racingbreed20
01-22-2003, 08:43 AM
Well dont leave the Buick Reatta out of the race!!:(

Fliquer
01-22-2003, 09:30 AM
like the you-never-get-to-the-top-of-second-gear type of tight....

Xactly. Theres a big difference between a corolla and a skyline

Polygon
01-22-2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by RACER D12
WRX, STI(when it comes out), EVO8(WICO), any 3 series BMW, M3 if you got the cash, VW GTI, ford focus SVT, honda Si, S2k,civic,Audi a4, A4 avont, RSX.

I think you missed the part about it being cheap. ;)

While I'll agree the STI is a great choice it is also VERY expensive. For inexpesive I would go with a Toyota Celica GTS All-Trac Turbo or an older MR2 Turbo.

R1-rider
01-22-2003, 03:38 PM
Octagon, did you go to the last runoffs at mid ohio?

flylwsi
01-22-2003, 04:49 PM
back to the point...

a competent driver in an average car can run faster than alot of cars... even ones that are faster...

b/c in autocross...

you don't get much over 45-50mph... so...

the older gti is a great option... you can make them oversteer easily.

the crx or older si hatchback isn't a bad option. dominates vettes in alot of autocross events...

the older prelude handles great and has tq. important, b/c you're running at lower speeds where tq is important.

if you had that really good driver in a yugo vs. an ok driver in a skyline on an autocross course... the yugo would win. it sucks. but he'd win. it's not about the car, it's about the driver

DemonZX
01-22-2003, 05:06 PM
Well....Driver is the biggest, but then....braking & acceleration & suspension?. You could be a great driver, but if there is a car that is quicker (not faster) quicker, and more agile I believe the latter would win. Given the driver is not a complete Moron! i.e. part of my crew!

flylwsi
01-22-2003, 05:09 PM
we are talking about autocross though... alot of cars are on a different level there...

most of the time autocross isn't over 50mph, which means you have to be smooth, not just brutally quick...

i understand you point, and my point is kinda lame, but i do know of focus owners that beat vettes at the autocross... and we're not talking wildly modded foci...

but they'd get owned on the street...

you can have the best car, but if you aren't smooth...

DemonZX
01-22-2003, 05:17 PM
Oh, Yeah! If you screw up a shift or over/understeer the littlest bit you will lose your ass to a good driver. I got your point! I was pretty much saying that acceleration is also very imortant. Thats why light cars are so damn good. If you took a stock yugo vs. skyline I do believe the skyline would win. If you modded the yugo a small bit, and put the same suspension on it. Yugo all the way!

R1-rider
01-23-2003, 02:18 PM
AutoX is about 90% driver, 10% car.

I will ask my uncle to send me his VHS tape of him beating lambo's, lotus' and other exotic cars in his Chevy Lumina auto.

Steel
01-23-2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by Cbass
I'm a Porsche/RX7 Nazi ;)

Cbass friiieeend :D

In all seriousness, although i may be a bit biased, an S4 S5 Turbo II with suspension upgrades and some lightening could be a real killa!

Cbass
01-24-2003, 07:34 PM
Sorry I'm a S2 Nazi :hehehe: nah, I love all RX7s

Power is not as important from car to car, but handling and braking are. A yugo at it's cornering limits can hardly keep up with a Skyline using half of it's traction.

The Focus has surprisingly good handling and braking, on par with that of a Corvette. The power doesn't make much of a difference on a short course, but the RWD is still a handling advantage, unless you can't control it.

Fliquer
01-24-2003, 08:37 PM
Whats even more important is the car's lateral grip and turning radius.

Cbass
01-24-2003, 10:12 PM
Yes, both of which I would categorize under "handling".

Fliquer
01-25-2003, 05:29 PM
Well, yea I guess that makes sense....but you can have a car with great handling but a relatively large turning circle (IE honda NSX).

Gonthrax
01-26-2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by Polygon


I think you missed the part about it being cheap. ;)

While I'll agree the STI is a great choice it is also VERY expensive. For inexpesive I would go with a Toyota Celica GTS All-Trac Turbo or an older MR2 Turbo.

Right on, I think an MK1 MR2 would be perfect. You could to several ways with it. Buy a USDM turbo. Or find a USDM with a blown engine for about 1.5k or so, get like a 2nd gen JDM 3s for about 3k, swap um. Get some 15/8s, and lets go :D


Or if you could spend a bit more money, a 944 is a great idea. It's got great weight distrib. FR, nice power. I'm not sure if the gearing would be well suited for AutoX or not tho.

Cbass
01-26-2003, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by Fliquer
Well, yea I guess that makes sense....but you can have a car with great handling but a relatively large turning circle (IE honda NSX).

Good point, short wheel base and low ratio steering are a must here.

Gonthrax, I wasn't aware they made a USDM MK1 MR2 Turbo... I thought they only used the supercharged variant here.

The 944 is an excellent choice, buy for autocross purposes, the 924 is much cheaper, and that leaves more money for suspension upgrades. Put a grand into the suspension of a 924, strip it out, and you have a mean autoX car.

Fliquer
01-27-2003, 01:12 AM
I've never heard of an MK1 turbo mr2 being sold in the usa either. Are you sure youre not thinking of the supercharged ones?

Cbass
01-27-2003, 01:31 AM
I think we're all missing the important fact here... 924 PWNZ J00 :hehehe:

-The Stig-
01-27-2003, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by Cbass
I think we're all missing the important fact here... 924 PWNZ J00 :hehehe:

ummmm... actually it doesnt...:coolguy:

Cbass
01-27-2003, 04:03 AM
Um, I might add your Nova isn't on the road, so yes it does. :P

Also, I think it would take out the blazer no probs :hehehe:

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