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racea911
racea911
9/16/11 1:55 p.m.

Hey guys, I'm hoping I can get some sensible answers from some car guys that are living in the same real world I am. My Porsche club friends look at me like I'm crazy when I bring this up and since GRM is my favorite car magazine I think I might find like-minded people here.

I have a couple of beautiful, old 911's, a 1970T and a '73 Carrera RS replica track car with a 2.9 liter motor. The '70T is slow as molasses but the track car is wickedly fast. My daily driver is a '99 e36 M3 that is my favorite car I have ever driven. I keep waiting for it to fall apart or become unreliable like I know it has to based on this forum's opinion of them.

Anyways, when times were great for my business, racing and restoring Porsche's wasn't such a big deal. However, my track car hasn't hit the track since 2007 and is just covered in dust. I now have a couple of kids and am more concerned about paying for braces and putting money away for college than dropping $10k to rebuild a 125hp 911T motor. The pricing on Porsche's is just wacked.

So, I have been thinking for a few years of selling both Porsche's and turning the M3 into a weekend/track days car and getting a sensible new car, Mini, Fiat 500, Scion FRS (still waiting for its release).

What I would really like to do though is find an old Datsun 510 and build it as a fun/track days car. Has anyone done anything similar? Ferrari to Fiat? Porsche to Pinto? My Porsche racing buddies, who I don't even hang with anymore because not going to the track makes it so I miss it less, would rather have a Porsche sit and gather dust and deteriorate than think about driving something else. I say Datsun to them and well, they don't get it.

Am I underestimating the costs with tracking a 510, a BMW 2002, a Miata, an e30 325is? In order to be competitive in my old class, it was $1k a weekend just for tires and $20k motors and that's just obscene to me now. Any advice? It's been so long since I got in a track car on a track that I think driving anything would be more fun than staring at cars in the garage.

Thanks

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/16/11 2:05 p.m.

Pics of this '73 RS replica please?

I can tell you I race an E30 with most of an E36 M3 under it... and it is only because I do all of my own work and fabrication and camp in my trailer at the track that it costs less than $2k a weekend.

rotard
rotard Reader
9/16/11 2:10 p.m.

Price for 73 RS? lol

imirk
imirk Reader
9/16/11 2:15 p.m.

Miata?

and Pics or ban :P

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/11 2:16 p.m.
racea911 wrote: So, I have been thinking for a few years of selling both Porsche's and turning the M3 into a weekend/track days car and getting a sensible new car, Mini, Fiat 500, Scion FRS (still waiting for its release).

this is the best option imo. but you gotta do what you want to do

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:20 p.m.

Aren't my AutoX friends funny?

Here's the '70

And my canyon carving/daily driver favorite

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
9/16/11 2:21 p.m.

You should drive the cars you have.

If you haven't driven the Porsche in 3+ years, put it someone else's hands who will. I'm certain between the two cars you can put together an amazing 510.

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:23 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Pics of this '73 RS replica please? I can tell you I race an E30 with most of an E36 M3 under it... and it is only because I do all of my own work and fabrication and camp in my trailer at the track that it costs less than $2k a weekend.

I should have said I'm not looking to race competitively in a class. Just do track days.... but isn't that how I transformed from a '70T that was the fulfilling of a dream to a dedicated track car that I spent stupid money on. Once you've done the slippery slope can you avoid it or are you doomed to repeat it?

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:24 p.m.
rotard wrote: Price for 73 RS? lol

Not a real one, it's a replica built on a '73T. I think the real deal is now in the few hundred k range.

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:28 p.m.
ReverendDexter wrote: You should drive the cars you have. If you haven't driven the Porsche in 3+ years, put it someone else's hands who will. I'm certain between the two cars you can put together an amazing 510.

I don't want to put together an amazing 510. I want to put together a sensible 510. I want to sell the track car and put that money into opening new lines of inventory in my business and let it turn over a few times a year. Then I want to take the money from the black one and put together a pretty cool 510 in the $10-12k range and have a little left over.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/16/11 2:30 p.m.

I would say that the sale of those will more than cover the cost of a race car. Especially this time of the year it is the end of the season here in the NE and deals abound.

You can buy a nice BMWCCA IP and NASA GTS3 car for under $20k (well under if you shop well) and race it a whole season 3 sets of tires and pads. They are bulletproof for the most part and engine rebuilds can cost as little as $3k and as much as you want to spend for a top end "cheater" motor.

I'll trade you a '90 911 C2 RS America clone with a '92 3.6L making 239 to the wheels... it is a suspension, roll cage and cubic dollars in seat/fire/etc away from PCA or NASA glory .

No?

How about a 90 E30 chassis with a BMWCCA & NASA logbook, 10pt cage, full race suspension, S52 making 245 to the wheels at 2200lbs wet... and a set of new Hoosier slicks + spare wheels?

Did I mention I like the RS clone?

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:32 p.m.

The problem with returning to the track with my Porsche is that I fear the "eventualities" right now. The motor is very close to fresh as is the trans. My experience with Porsche's after racing them for years is that they are as bullet-proof as you can expect a car to be, but when the time comes, a trans rebuild is in the $4k range and just labor to rebuild the motor is $5k with machine work being another $3k and parts on top of that. It is near impossible to do a stock rebuild for less than $10k and the motors are too complicated for me to build. A race motor is the price of a brand new Accord.

That whole scene is for people that are living a different life than I am.

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:36 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Did I mention I like the RS clone?

That car if I sell it would be going to a friend of mine. He has a standing offer to buy it since I let him drive it back to back with his a few years ago on track. His is the white with red Carrera replica in the first picture.

nocones
nocones HalfDork
9/16/11 2:37 p.m.

Sell all of them buy a miata track/weekend car (super low cost to run). And a fun lower cost DD. You probably could end up with a year or two of college out of the deal.

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:38 p.m.

I just want to drive a car that when I look up the price of a part I think I am reading a misprint. But not the same type of misprint I think I'm seeing when I look up a Porsche part.

Dang.... that might have been GRM worthy right there

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 2:48 p.m.
nocones wrote: Sell all of them buy a miata track/weekend car (super low cost to run). And a fun lower cost DD. You probably could end up with a year or two of college out of the deal.

I KNOW the Miata is the smartest choice. I have a sentimental spot for the Datsun 510. When I was a teen ager growing up in Chicago I had a really nice '68 Mustang. I came out to visit my cousins in Los Angeles and brought pics of the Mustang because I knew my cousins were car freaks. When I went over there they were working on this really low, primered, boxy looking thing and I remembered thinking, what a piece of e36 M3. <--------- that feature is lame by the way

And they just kind of scoffed at my beautiful Mustang in the pics. I was pissed and I said, it's better than that piece of e36 M3 you are working on and they said "oh really?". They took me for a ride over Mulholland Drive in that 510 and I have never looked at muscle cars the same way again. They were a big part of that late 70's early 80's Mulholland Drive race scene. I have wanted a 510 since that day.

imirk
imirk Reader
9/16/11 2:53 p.m.

Heh the filter is awesome: Mother berkeleying piece of E36 M3 Bob Costas shiny happy person

The tin worm can be a harsh mistress with the 510

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/16/11 3:02 p.m.

Don't let the Miata pushers get the best of you! As a guy who raced old Porsches... they are just not going to give you that raw sight/smell/sound thing that an Abarth or a 2.0L 911, Trans Am prepped 510 or 2002 will - even if they are more reliable and competent.

If you are used to an E36 M3 every day ... I built an E36 M3 into a BMWCCA IP car over time by starting out driving it to the track. If you don't go vintage - it IS the right answer. It is much faster than a Miata out of the box with similar reliability and it can hold 4 tires, cooler, tools and luggage. With good suspension and engine mods and some weight loss - they still are among the fastest cars at any track day including the Porsches and Vettes. Most parts are cost effective until you get inside the motor.

dculberson
dculberson HalfDork
9/16/11 3:05 p.m.

The forum censors sh-t into E36 M3 not to say that the M3 is sh-t but to say that it is THE sh-t. As in, how the cool kids use it. That's a compliment!

nocones
nocones HalfDork
9/16/11 3:08 p.m.

I guess it depends on if you can do the work youself or have to pay for it. If you could build a 510 yourself that would make you happy for 5-7k I'd sell the porsche keep the M3 until the 510 is ready and buy a lower operating cost daily (possibly tow capable unless your family mobile covers that) I would imagine a trackday toy 510 would be near the operating costs of a miata unless you get silly with huge power tires and brakes.

Klayfish
Klayfish HalfDork
9/16/11 3:13 p.m.

I feel your pain, believe me. Before my wife and I had kids, here's a partial list of the cars I owned (not all at once, mind you)....FFR Shelby Cobra replica, Dodge Viper GTS, 2 C5 Corvettes, modified GTO, supercharged Mustangs. I didn't do anywhere near as much racing as you, but I did a handful of HPDE and a lot of autox.

Here I sit 3 young kids later. All those cars are long gone. Just sold my NC Miata last month. I haven't been on track in years, just don't have the financial means. My daily driver is now a 15 year old Volvo station wagon.

That said, life is still really good. I like my brick wagon. Hoping to pick up a cheap fun toy in the next few months.

As for the racing, you can find some old SCCA cars for dirt cheap. Last summer I bought a former ITB car ('87 Toyota Corolla FX16 GTS). Paid $800 for it, including a bunch of spare parts. It's in darn good shape. Haven't hit the track yet, but hoping to at the very end of this season or next. The car will be dog slow compared to the cars I've run before, but who gives an E36 M3? I'm out there to have fun.

Hang in there. I say race whatever you can and enjoy it.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette Dork
9/16/11 3:20 p.m.

keep the cars and do a track rental to fend off the feining for racing . I would not part with those , build lemonade stand and make kids work it .

Raze
Raze Dork
9/16/11 4:39 p.m.

I say 'step down' and have more fun. Sometimes budgets don't allow us to 'have it all the way we think we should'. Once you conquer the last part you should still be able to 'have it all'

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 4:58 p.m.

I have been contemplating this for 5 years now. I don't feel a strong attachment to these cars even though I have done a ton of work on them myself. It's almost like I have grown to resent them a little. Maybe I would miss them someday, but maybe not. I have sold a ton of guitars in my lifetime and don't really regret selling any of them because i have always sold them for a good reason and not because I had to. I think it would be the same way with these. And these early 911's, my buddies think 69-73 are the only Porsche's that matter aren't even my favorite of the 911's. I'll take a 993 please...... but then again I'm back in the same boat.

I do think a 510 would be a "step down", or any of the other cars I mentioned except the M3 would be just a tiny step down. I do (I mean did ) battle with those all the time on the track and my car was faster but only barely. And those guys got out of their cars with as big of smiles on their faces as we did. And I think a "Step down" is exactly what I want. It's not that fun when you are worried about $10k missed shifts and balling up a car you can't really afford to just write off.

This is therapeutic...... and I am thinking 510, but dang are those things tough to find and I'm even in So Cal. Like someone mentioned about them rusting out. I have no desire to deal with rust repair. I had a '69 911S that was a rust bucket that I ended up selling. The guy I sold it to put over $100k into it and ended up with a beautiful, $60k car.

racea911
racea911 New Reader
9/16/11 5:06 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: If you are used to an E36 M3 every day ... I built an E36 M3 into a BMWCCA IP car over time by starting out driving it to the track. If you don't go vintage - it IS the right answer. It is much faster than a Miata out of the box with similar reliability and it can hold 4 tires, cooler, tools and luggage. With good suspension and engine mods and some weight loss - they still are among the fastest cars at any track day including the Porsches and Vettes. Most parts are cost effective until you get inside the motor.

We always drove our Porsche's to the track. That's part of the deal. I don't want to deal with a tow vehicle and trailer. The M3 just might be where I end up. I'm just on this boxy little sedan kick right now. I'd love an Alfa GTV but the costs are almost Porsche-like. So that leaves the 2002 and the 510. The 2002's are pretty common out here and I love BMW's, but the 510 is harder to find so in order to make my life more difficult, I'm leaning towards one of those.

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