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NVR2L8

What is the best "100% bone stock" HPDE car?

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NVR2L8

I am new to the HPDE scene, ran my first 2 events last fall in my '09 Z06. As expected, I am hooked, and ready for the 2009 season. I plan on driving in at least 10 events.

 

My question: I am looking for a HPDE car for my 16 year old son. I am not highly mechanically inclined, but I can handle the basics (brake pads, fluids, etc.). I also live in a pretty rural area, not much access to speed shops or race car mechanics.

 

I do NOT want somebody else's heavily modified car that would take a genius to figure out, no matter how cheap the car is. Besides, my son needs "seat time", not HP or a perfectly tuned and prepped car.

 

I would like to know what would be the best "100% bone stock" car for my son for HPDE driving, something that will perform well right off of the lot. Now, I don't mind minor upgrades such as roll cage, seats, brakes, etc. Bottom line, I need a car that is very reliable and simple to work on by a generic shop (GM, Ford, etc.)

 

So far, I am considering the following:

 

1. 02-04 C5 Corvette

2. 2005 Mustang GT

3. Track prepped Miata (Planet Miata, etc.)

 

So, am I on the right track? All constructive input is appreciated. Thanks.

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jason

C5. Shares a lot of parts with the C6 and if you can work on one, you can work on either. And, worse case, a C5 crashes very well.

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Robnie0723

A momentum car like the Miata can be much better to learn in at reasonable cost.

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obzezzed350

350Z =p

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dbright007

A 90's miata is cheap, bulletproof, and safe.

Great car to really learn momentum and driving, and if you make a mistake it one of the easiest cars to "catch".

Parts are dirt cheap and very available - intakes, headers, exhausts are everywhere. Upgrades are simple and have been tried and tested. The car has been around so long, everything is available

If you stick with spec miata sized wheels and tires, they can be had for cheap. 1000$ on a vette might get you tires. 1000$ on a miata and you can get R-comps, the wheels to put em on, and have money left over.

It is a great car to learn on, and once you are ready to move up you can sell it for what you paid. The value on em doesn't decrease.

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fastduo

The Miata is a great car and he will have fun....But, get ready for an upgrade when he is going to want to catch dad in the Z06. The Miata's are very popular track cars so it shouldn't be too hard to sell it when you are ready.

 

I have and HPDE 06 Mustang GT and stock they are very quick and handle very well. They are heavy and do require maintenance on the brakes when you get going fast. Ducting is a must on a Mustang.

 

Good luck and I think it is great to get your son into the sport!

PBOCDaytonaOct31-Nov22008DL-31144.jpg

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mcmmotorsports

Well, here is my twocents.gif.

Having DE'd a 2004 Mustang GT, a 1995 Honda Civic, a 1996 Mustang V6 and a 1985.5 Porsche 944, I can say that the most fun and most valuable STOCK experience I had was with the Porsche. With that said, not sure that the 944 is what you would be looking for as most of the vehicles you listed were newer. BUT, if the end result is competition for your son, maybe getting him out there in a 944 would not be a bad idea. Perfect weight balance, just enough HP to learn with, good brakes and GREAT reliability. Okay, off with my 944-SPEC Director hat.

Considering that you already have a Vette and I am sure your son would like to be like dad, I would personally go with the Vette. The only thing that worries me is the HIGHER HP that the Vette has vs the other choices. Not the greatest school to learn from but a great school nonetheless. In addition, BONE STOCK they offer many race quality features, suspension, brakes, hp...kinda like a race car in street trim.

 

Stick with the Vette (unless you wanna come play with a Porsche)

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laze1

I recommend a Coupe or Sedan instead of a convertible for a Noob driver.....accidents do happen....The Miati is a great choice,,,but maybe NOT the safest car

Edited by Guest

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kbrew8991

MR2

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laze1

I second this suggestion (350Z) They are readily available as used cars, plenty of parts availlable cheap, pretty much bullet-prove, and very safe to drive for two reasons; They don't have any bad handling characteristics / easy to drive pretty quickly, and are a very solid built Coupe body style.

 

You can get a decent 2003-05 350Z for approx $15K (or less), add some track-brake pads and fluid, and you are ready to go....and they are pretty fast with 287HP to 300HPdepending on model...a well driven stock 350Z can run with many cars MUCH more expensive.

 

I have a basically stock 2006 350Z Grand Touring and run pretty well in TTB...and let my kids/wife drive it in HPDE with no concerns about the car...only the driver..

 

 

350Z =p

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Keith

You favorite street car in your price range = the best "100% bone stock" HPDE car?

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almost heaven

My Mustang wasn't a good HPDE car until I put wider (255), ultra summer tires (220 treadwear goodyear f1s - ok maybe not ultra summer) on it and upgraded the suspension. It's also expensive to repair or replace if banged up or worse, nor do I want to put a cage in it, which I think would be good to do even for HPDE. I also think a high hp car isn't the best thing to learn high speed driving / racing with; similar to the idea of running r-comps your first several times on the track (not).

 

Of your choices, I'd go with the miata and put at least a roll bar in it and hard top would be good too. You can probably find a race miata for less than 5K that would a great learning car. I would do that but I fell in love with an old rx-7 instead.

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dbright007

the car you just described is/was on sale in the HPDE section a week or so ago.

5k$, basic bolt on exhaust and suspension upgrades done, rollbar, seats/harnesses and hardtop in place.

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NVR2L8
the car you just described is/was on sale in the HPDE section a week or so ago.

5k$, basic bolt on exhaust and suspension upgrades done, rollbar, seats/harnesses and hardtop in place.

 

Are you talking about a Miata? Can you post the link?

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Trevor57

If you buy a kid anything with more than 150hp, you are asking for trouble. Get a civic.

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Weed Wacker

I agree with the civic suggestion, cheap, plentiful, forgiving and easy to drive. If you really want something a little newer look for like a '99 or '00 civic si. Front wheel drive, 160hp, great handling and honda reliability.

 

Plus, he can grow the car into a nice PT/TT or Honda Challenge race car.

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NVR2L8
I agree with the civic suggestion, cheap, plentiful, forgiving and easy to drive. If you really want something a little newer look for like a '99 or '00 civic si. Front wheel drive, 160hp, great handling and honda reliability.

 

Plus, he can grow the car into a nice PT/TT or Honda Challenge race car.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but not interested in a front wheel drive.

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mcmmotorsports
the car you just described is/was on sale in the HPDE section a week or so ago.

5k$, basic bolt on exhaust and suspension upgrades done, rollbar, seats/harnesses and hardtop in place.

 

Are you talking about a Miata? Can you post the link?

 

http://classifieds.specmiata.com/detail.php?id=2024

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NVR2L8
the car you just described is/was on sale in the HPDE section a week or so ago.

5k$, basic bolt on exhaust and suspension upgrades done, rollbar, seats/harnesses and hardtop in place.

 

Are you talking about a Miata? Can you post the link?

 

http://classifieds.specmiata.com/detail.php?id=2024" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

 

Car just sold today. Oh well, "You snooze, you lose!"

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obzezzed350

I saw your post on my350z

 

The Z definately outhandles the Mustang but the aftermarket part sector for the Z is more expensive.

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Cheap_Thrills

I'd say the "best HPDE car" is one that you can grow into TT or a race class that matches your interest and budget.

I'd also say, we don't know your son's abilities, use your best judgement of how much performance he can handle.

 

No bias here, I thought long and hard about this. I looked at Mustang, Camaro, C5, Miata and a CRX but went with a Porsche 944 for my 16 yr son and I to share for a track car. It's maybe not as sexy as a newer Mustang or 350Z, but an excellent learning platform that can grow into one of the most affordable Spec class racecars.

Biggest downside is they're not easily tunable as far as HP adding, but my son has had a Mustang and now has a 300zx, both with double the HP of the Porsche and he always preferred to drive the 944, street and track.

 

But if it's to stay a street car and only do HPDE days in, I see alot of younger guys in Subaru WRX's at the track, very popular car. More in the price neighborhood you suggested, and maybe a little more forgiving than a high HP rear drive car.

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aben8057

I have to echo the other's on the Porsche 944. The spec class seems to be growing and parts are readily available out there. The 50/50 balance and low horsepower really teaches you about momentum.

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TurboShortBus

In my opinion, you should buy something that:

 

1. Is reliable and will not overheat

2. Has good aftermarket parts support

3. Is common enough that you can get replacement parts at a regular parts store or mooch some from somebody at the track

4. Is cheap to fix (or outright replace) if it gets bent; plan for the worst this early in the game

5. Will perform reasonably well enough to teach the basics of HPDE (driving technique, the line, awareness, etc...it's not a racing school or horsepower contest)

6. Uses reasonably priced tires and brake pads

 

This is just my opinion, but I would not recommend any of the cars that you listed in your first post as an HPDE starter car (or even a daily driver) for a 16 year old, but I don't have deep pockets, either. It's generally best to focus on the driving first and the car later, but opinions may vary.

 

Mark (the guy who crashed an el cheapo Mustang in HPDE-1)

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TurboShortBus
Besides, my son needs "seat time", not HP...

 

 

So far, I am considering the following:

1. 02-04 C5 Corvette

2. 2005 Mustang GT

Huh?

 

Mark

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FlyingDog

I would say 944, early 80s US (L-jet) 928, or Fox/SN95 Mustang. Parts are relatively cheap and readily available (both stock and upgrades). You have enough power to use it in maneuvering the car, but not enough to be dangerous (stock). They are very safe due to their heavy steel structures. As an added bonus, they're really cheap! If you ball one up, you get another.

 

Stay away from 944 turbos (951), 32V 928s, or S197 (2005+) Mustangs. They are great track cars, but the added complexity and cost (initial and maintenance) is not worth it for a beginner HPDE car.

 

If I had to start for square 1 now, I'd buy a late offset (85.5+?) 944 or an injected (86?-93) Fox Mustang.

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