Teggsan New Reader
7/23/12 8:06 p.m.

Not quite "grassroots" but reasonable GT-RA and GT-WC cars are available for +/- $20K. Tube frame, typically Ford 302 power and Mustang or other Ford running gear, purpose built race cars. The claim is that running costs are modest.

Anyone have experience with these cars? I know they used to be used for racer training at places like Texas World Speedway and Road Atlanta.

Teggsan New Reader
7/23/12 8:09 p.m.

Here's an old article by a guy who did a Panoz racing school in a GT-RA:


Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
7/23/12 8:19 p.m.

Some time ago the Panoz driving school sold off all their school cars when it closed its doors.

They seemed to be a bargain, but the word was they were pretty rung out and ragged, as you might expect. They were designed to be cheap to race and repair, though, and there were a number of cars sold that weren't used in the school and may be in better shape.

Point is, if you are really serious, know the history and if it is a school car, walk away or be sure you know exactly what condition it is in. Right down to magnafluxing all the stressed pieces.

Teggsan New Reader
7/23/12 8:35 p.m.

In reply to Basil Exposition:

Good advice. I'm sure there are good ones and bad ones. Wire Wheel (www.wirewheel.com) apparently sold off many of them and has a few left.

Could easily be that the ones that are left are the worst. Don't know.

friedgreencorrado PowerDork
7/23/12 8:38 p.m.

SCCA GT2 legal. I've been hearing that they have to put up with a lot of restrictions these days, though.

peter HalfDork
7/23/12 8:46 p.m.

A friend had/has one. The word was that the cockpit was too tight for comfort. My friend is neither particularly tall or wide, but modestly both. You might want to do a test-fit before purchase.

Will Dork
7/23/12 9:36 p.m.

I drove one at Road Atlanta once. I didn't care for it--the brakes and steering seemed very heavy, and the fit and finish was atrocious (yes, even by race car standards).

Not everyone will agree, I'm sure, but that's how I saw it.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/23/12 9:38 p.m.

The Panoz GTS is GT2 legal. The GT-RA and GT-WC (nearly the same car) were not quite as racy as the GTS, and featured a lot more stuff that had been swapped in from a Mustang donor car (brakes, steering, trans, rear end, etc). The GTS used more dedicated race components.

They're basic, but easy to drive. If you can find a GTS it's really a pretty decent race car. The GT-RAs would probably make a pretty good track car, and could probably be built into a much faster buggy for not much money. I found them to have plenty of room inside, and easy ingress and egress for a full-tube race car.


stuart in mn
stuart in mn UberDork
7/23/12 10:11 p.m.

My cousin has one, I think it's one of the old school cars. I haven't driven it personally, but sat in it and it seemed roomy enough to me (I'm 6'1", 225 lbs.) As far as I know it's been pretty reliable for him.

Teggsan New Reader
7/24/12 1:39 p.m.

Appreciate the comments. I'll probably keep an eye out for one to sit in to see if I fit.

bravenrace PowerDork
7/24/12 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Teggsan:

If you get serious, give Hayes a call at Wire Wheel. He's a straight shooter, and will describe his cars accurately.

Strike_Zero Dork
7/24/12 1:44 p.m.

I looked at these a while back . . . but for similar money (and my close proximity to roundy round country), I think a retired Stockcar would fit the bill as well as a one of these . . .

Teggsan New Reader
7/25/12 7:43 p.m.

I've been in touch with Hayes at Wire Wheel. Will probably go there next time I'm in Miami (close enough and I go there about once a month) and see what's what.

Jaynen HalfDork
12/9/12 10:40 p.m.

Good thing I searched I was just browsing wirewheel and looking at some of these. It seems impressive in general what you can get in already built race car for around 20k


dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/10/12 8:42 a.m.
Jaynen wrote: Good thing I searched I was just browsing wirewheel and looking at some of these. It seems impressive in general what you can get in already built race car for around 20k http://www.wirewheel.com/1998-Panoc-WC-race-car-due-in-soon.html

Am I the only one looking at that and thinking that if I add a couple of bits I could put it on the street?

fidelity101 Reader
12/10/12 8:49 a.m.

Panoz buggy would be pretty fun

jimbbski Reader
12/10/12 9:54 a.m.

I have a friend that races one. It's just a tube frame car which means that you can change what ever you want to make it yours! He raced this car in the New Trans Am series, which has multi classes and won his class with the car.

Jaynen HalfDork
12/10/12 9:56 a.m.

Yeah you can buy GTA stock cars which would be similar for similar money I guess it depends on what you want to do.

It does almost look like you could make it street legal :)

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