need track/autocross advise - should I buy this? - Toyota Tacoma Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

So a friend of a friend is selling this open wheel car... I have never done any racing other then noob street racing and mountain twisties. I really want to get into autocross and make my way to building a nice car for track use in a year or two. My friend gave me info on a car his friend is selling that Im thinking is a step in the right direction.Owner also sent me a video of it on jacks running and sounding pretty solid in drive and reverse.

From what he told me on the phone.. It has been crashed many times.. have had multiple owners and every repair has been professionally done and everything is logged including all the races its been in. He said it has about 80hp and weights 900LB including driver. Owner told me it can keep up with small cars and karts. But normal or large cars cant see it well in mirrors so its kind of dangerous. Also I have a VW expert friend that used to build and race with the same type of motor this car has and he will go with me to check it out to make sure its all legit.

My question is... is this a good buy and a good move to get into racing on the cheap?
What are my options of where I can drive this car? autocross? open track days?
Can I make this street legal by adding lighting?
What is the most I should pay for something like this?
What can I flip it for in case Im in over my head and need to let it go?

Here is info the owner gave me... and some pictures..

Rebuilt 1650cc with 2 barrel Weber carb; engine is literally almost new with less then 8 hours on it. Runs well, starts great, idles smooth, everything on the car is fully functional; it's test drivable as is. Super-Trap muffler, ATL fuel bag is included but out of date; still available from ATL. Race harness in great condition but out of date also, dropped 1 inch floor, ballast weight, aluminum floor pan, digital tach, quick release steering hub, an inexpensive steering wheel is included (should be replaced with one to your liking), frame rails are straight. I have a large folder full of paper work for this car including Log Books, SCCA Homogilation Documents, History Photos, Receipts, Factory Chassis Manual, and much more.

Well over 5,000$ worth of parts and labor done on this car. Engine was completely overhauled in 2006, receipt shows over 3800$ in parts and labor including; Main, Camshaft, Rod bearings replaced, Clutch kit, Starter, Piston and Cyliners replaced, Crank case overhauled and replaced, Cam replaced, Rods, Lifters, Cylinder heads overhauled, New Carb.

I have some spares; a few plugs, some seals for master cylinders, a set of brake shoes, has 4 wheel drum brakes and swing axle box. Side pods straight, rear glass good shape, front glass slight damage from previous owner changing hoop side bars. Two nose cones; one good, other not so good but serviceable. Fox suspension/shocks front and rear, Brake bias handle & valve at side pod in ****pit for adjustment on the fly. Some parts and fittings for fire suppression system such as bottle and valve. Feels like lightened flywheel, but unsure of this. Car currently has parts for non-ackerman steering, parts for stock ackerman steering are included and pictured below.

Comes with two wheel sets; Stock 15 in rims with 195/65/15 car tires (in good shape) and 13 in Diamond rims with Hoosier tires. The Hoosier tires are all almost completely fresh but are now 6 years old and I would not trust them for anything other than a low speed test drive or pushing the car around. Fiberglass seat and strut. Quick lift stainless steel pad lift jack for car. Car is aligned for road course.

Could make a fun track day car for CHEAP.
Very few of this model made. This one happens to be Chassis #8 according to it's SCCA certificate.
Will need some tailoring to fit driver but well worth the effort.

It has not been used competitively for many years, last used in Solo 1 (Autocross) class in Primm, Nevada. It is currently unable to compete in Formula Vee or Formula First class. Though just the engine alone could be sold to obtain some extra money to revamp this car for Formula use. As with any used race car you should have a trusted mechanic (perhaps your self) give everything on this car a once over, you should also expect to spend a little time and money fitting this car to your stature/comfort.Added will include fluids to service car such as 6 quarts synthetic motor oil,brake fluid for clutch slave and brakes if wanted,all are clean but will offer these to sweeten the deal.









Any input would be appreciated since I am pretty clueless right now. I figure that it will be easier to get into racing going this direction then buying a Miata and building it for track.

P.S. I am an ase certified tech and a smog tech..

Last edited by Stockrunner408; 09-30-2012 at 01:46 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:25 AM
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

I'm still unclear what you'd plan to use it for. You mention the classes in which it can't currently compete - what class or type of track event would you be using it for?

I think it would take more than just lights to make it California street legal - particularly with the open wheels.

Just my .02 ...

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 03:04 PM
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

just get a miata to autocross.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 09:02 PM
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzu View Post
just get a miata to autocross.
I agree..

If your just getting your feet wet, start small with something you'll be able to drive.
A car like the one your looking at will bump you into a much higher class where people have 10, 20, 30+ years of experience over ya..

You can't just jump in the ring with the champ because you think you can box

Is anyone as lame as I am to catch that lines origins? haha

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 11:25 PM
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockrunner408 View Post
This one happens to be Chassis #8 according to it's SCCA certificate.

<snip>

It has not been used competitively for many years, last used in Solo 1 (Autocross) class in Primm, Nevada. It is currently unable to compete in Formula Vee or Formula First class.
hah ! i know this car. friend and fellow Las Vegas racer previously owned it. they call it a Formcar, and if i recall correctly, it is a 1963 ? could be wrong on that... there were two of them here, and i get them mixed up. i have driven it.

it is set up as a F Modified class Solo V. you are correct, it cant run in Formula V road racing... and if you saw a modern Formula V, you woulddnt want to either... lets face it, 1960's technology will not compete with 2012 technology. the norm is having a $15k Rebello built Formula V engine, in a modern chassis.

it is questionable if it can be used for track days... depending on the organization, they may want a lot more safety equipment... maybe even want the bar turned into a cage.

however, if you just want to play in autocross, it will do fine. but if a modern Formula V, or a F500 that also runs that class shows up, dont expect to even be close. all depends how competitive you want to be, or if you care.

for comparison... the car has never been close to my Street Touring 1989 Civic, and the Formula V had a very good driver. ( i am almost always in top ten, and often top 5 out of 60-80 entries )

but, if it is cheap enough, it may be fun. just know, VW engines require a lot of wrenching to keep them alive when being abused. the previous owner can tell you that, and he is a VW and Porsche nut. i can also verify that from my 72 2180 powered 914. that engine hated high rpms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzu View Post
just get a miata to autocross.
agreed. no other car is as competitive right out of the box. no modifications needed... just run E Stock, or C Stock for newer ones. while people are developing the FR-S for C Stock, the Miatas are still killing them. it's hard to beat suspension that is so well designed right out of the factory. personally, i am not so sure the FR-S is ever going to catch them. suspension sucks on them.
the most common answer to someone asking what car they should get, is a Miata. there are many directions that you can take the car as your skill and interests go. many classes they are competitive in, in autocross and road racing.

the only other suggestion i have, is a Shifter Kart. you can autocross it, wheel to wheel race it at kart tracks, and road race it on road racing tracks. i have a 125cc and a 250cc. and no, the owner of the Formula V is wrong... most super fast cars cant keep up with the 125cc, let alone the 250cc. but a used 125cc shifter kart can be bought for $2k-$3k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
A car like the one your looking at will bump you into a much higher class where people have 10, 20, 30+ years of experience over ya..
it has happened before... one guy i know was a natural... he actually won at Nationals in his second year. of course, out of the at least 5000 autocrossers i know, including most of the national competitors, he was the only one. it is not a natural thing... it is an acquired skill. no matter how good a person thinks they are on the canyons or around street corners, someday they will go against a national driver that will make them think they are a 16 year old that just got their licence.
i've been doing it for 22 years now. it took 10 to get that piece of wood in my avatar. all i can say, is dont get discouraged, and dont give up. you will get better as experience is gained.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

Thanks for your replies. I went to see the car last night and wasn't that happy with what I saw. It is a 1983.. It looks cool as hell from far away but the frame is not tube, its square. the rear suspension was kind of weird, and my vw buddy told me the engine is not worth much. The dude wants $1700 for it, but many parts are outdated and need upgrading to be considered for any class. I guess Ill wait on a good miata deal and go from there. Unless he wants to sell it for under a grand, then maybe Ill pick it up just to have some fun in.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:00 AM
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FYI, square tubing us still tubing, doesn't have to be round to be called that.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:47 AM
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzu View Post
just get a miata to autocross.
Yes, do this. I picked up my 1990 Miata in perfect running order with a crappy roof and blown rear shocks for all of $900. All of that was easy to change and the car handles amazingly with the Tein coilovers and rims/tires I added.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
I agree..

If your just getting your feet wet, start small with something you'll be able to drive.
A car like the one your looking at will bump you into a much higher class where people have 10, 20, 30+ years of experience over ya..

You can't just jump in the ring with the champ because you think you can box

Is anyone as lame as I am to catch that lines origins? haha
Jessie says that to Brian in the first Fast and Furious movie when he tries to join the race against Toretto, JaRule, etc.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: need track/autocross advise - should I buy this?

pretty much decided to look for a good miata deal. that crappy car did look fun to drive though.
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