Gdaddy None
April 18, 2013 5:25 p.m.

Hey guys, looking for some advice. Anything you can share would be much appreciated.

So am looking to buy a Miata for autocross/tracking casually (10-20 times a year), gonna keep the car mostly stock. First time owning a RWD car and racing it.

Originally, I planned on buying a car, tracking it, and selling it 3-5 years later for a more powerful car. But my friend says a track car will have no resale value in the end, so his advice is keep it cheap. Based on this, my plan is to keep it cheap, around $5000 or so for an NA or NB.

So the question is, is the car gonna be scrap after I'm done with it, or would a NC be a viable option as well?

Did you bang up your first track car? Or was it still good for resale?

mistanfo SuperDork
April 18, 2013 5:37 p.m.

Anything that you put on track should be something that you are willing to walk away from, financially, emotionally and otherwise. I'm not dying that every car that touches tires to track is destroyed, but that things do happen on the track, and may not be of your own fault, but they are still your responsibility. I wouldn't worry about resale, but I also will say that a well sorted HPDE car certainly has value to someone getting into the game, so I won't agree that they have no value.

motomoron Dork
April 18, 2013 7:09 p.m.

In reply to Gdaddy:

I bought a beautiful BMW e36 M3 about 6 years ago. At the moment it's sitting by the garage, filthy and un-driven since the last time I took it to an event I was instructing for a couple sessions. Last time before that was the NASA July VIR where I got 2nd in TTC.

It's fun/stupid to drive on the street what w/ the roll bar/seats/harnesses, noise/vibration/harshness.

I keep thinking of "restoring" it, putting the stock interior back and doing some dialed-back instructor sessions, but I have a set of Hoosier R6s w/ heat cycles left and it's all vinyled for NASA TTC. So I guess it stays 'til the Hoosiers are cycled out.

I'd guess that out of all the HPDEs I've been to - many - I've only ever seen a couple cars actually written off. I have seen plenty of broken stuff though. Track time is much harder on street cars than race cars. The M3 thats idiotic on the street can do 20 minute sessions at race pace on a 104 degree day, all day long. It never overheats, the brakes are endless, and as long as you keep it in gas and tires, just keep going.

Regarding resale, it's a car that will most likely be sold in track trim as they're in demand that way, Miatas are as well.

Keith Tanner MegaDork
April 18, 2013 7:20 p.m.

Haven't banged up a car yet. That's mostly up to you. Preparation and using your brain are the two key elements - and that includes staying clear of people who are random. Track day organizers do everything they can to be safe, and if you stay within your limits you'll be fine.

I'm not going to say things haven't broken. But everything has been fixed by replacing those broken things. Stuff breaks on the street too.

As for the effect on resale value, that depends on what you do. If you strip it out, pull the top, bolt the seats to the floor and paint it rattle-can black, well, yes. That will limit your market. But if you only do sensible modifications and don't rat the car out, it'll do just fine. I doubt any casual buyer looking at my street Miata would be able to tell that it has been used on the track - and it has.

Mmadness Reader
April 18, 2013 7:35 p.m.

If you are going to modify your car for the track, I would advise purchasing one that already has the modifications. Usually, they aren't significantly more money than an unmodified version and in some instances, they are less.

mistanfo SuperDork
April 18, 2013 8:58 p.m.

Oh, I haven't seen that many destroyed cars, but it hurts a bit more to hear that it was someone's DD, or that they still have payments on it. I've seen cars totaled due to a bit of oil or coolant dropped by another car. Not fun. I just like people to be aware of what can happen, and I don't think that there are many (if any street insurance policies that will cover an accident in HPDE, since it occurs on a "racing surface".

Still, I would find an NA or NB Miata, upgrade the radiator, make sure it has goods pads and rotors, add an approved bar of your choosing, and hit the track.

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