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sesto elemento
sesto elemento Dork
12/17/15 6:58 p.m.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/17/15 7:10 p.m.

GM X-body. This is the Nova, Phoenix, Ventura, Skylark, and Apollo of the 70's.

Why? Because its a Camaro/Firebird underneath. Performance parts are cheap and easy to install. Caged roller ex-drag cars can be had for a song and you'll have the only out there for sure!

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/18/15 2:55 p.m.
pointofdeparture wrote: I love Corvairs and know you can make them handle, but how hard is it to get one to go fast while staying air cooled?

I think 200hp at the crank is pretty do-able and reliable. Won't kill the V8s in the straights, but these still do pretty well in vintage races I believe. A real expert should be able to add details.

BTW you can get both worlds of Chevy - Monza plus Corvair = Corvair Monza:

frenchyd
frenchyd Reader
12/19/15 5:20 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture:

Life is too short for boring cars.. Shelby had the right idea, a big engine in a small car.. It doesn't matter if the handling isn't absolutely state of the art. You can always make it handle.. Look at the Car Shelby started out with, A flimsy cross leaf suspension AC. Then compare it with his 427 monster..

There are big powerful engines out there and small cars.. Put them together and you will have cheap fun and a lot of ways to make it faster..

My thoughts would be a small roadster say MGB with a really big motor. a Jaguar V12. I see cheap MGB's often on Craigslist and Jag V12's shouldn't cost over $300-500 If they do buy one from the auto auctions.. take what you need and resell the rest for scrap/or part it out if you have the space and time..

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/19/15 7:08 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd:

If you find a low powered car boring, you are doing it wrong.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/19/15 8:18 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd:

the 427 was an ill handling monster compared to the 289.. which IMHO was the perfect blend of power and handling... It was also much prettier than it's more raw and powerful sister

XLR99
XLR99 HalfDork
12/19/15 8:50 a.m.

Would a Crown Corv-8 converted Corvair be legal for any kind of vintage? My dad built one with a mech FI 327 Corvette engine. He claimed he could FTD at gymkhanas(sp) with it back in 1969-72.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
12/19/15 8:51 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd:

LOL, a Jaguar V12 is not THAT powerful without some serious work, and the MGB would take some maaaaaajor surgery to make it fit, let alone run and drive and not be that fast...and then you have the issues of putting a 680 (!!!) pound engine in the front of a sub-2000 pound chassis. A Rover V8 makes soooo much more sense.

I would be super happy to build a 150-200hp four or six cylinder car if this build comes to fruition, maaaaybe a LS1 Monza if all the right pieces fell in my lap, but I'm not as passionate about those as I am the Italian and Japanese candidates.

frenchyd
frenchyd Reader
12/19/15 9:38 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver: 318 horsepower stone stock plus a massive amount of torque in a nearly straight line.. or 450+ with a few simple and cheap mods in a car around 2000 pounds. Or if I want insanity they made over 750 horsepower on pump grade fuel last long enough to win LeMans

Yes there are more powerful engines out there but few with as much torque. That's how to go fast without spending a fortune.. Cheap, Big torque, stone stock motors that have all the good pieces in them.

The way to make a MG go around corners is already well known and not expensive.. Or swap out some of the MG pieces for Jaguar pieces and get great handling and brakes. Wilwood already makes brakes that will bolt on the Jaguar spindles. While it might take a little fabrication skills to put the Jag rear suspension under the MG it's pretty basic stuff.. Once done it would be an amazingly fast pocket rocket with a whole lot of development potential

frenchyd
frenchyd Reader
12/19/15 9:42 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine: If you are going to build either I suggest that you build the 427. That big anchor is a lot of fun when you pull the trigger. OK the 289 was a better balanced car.. Yawn!!!!!!

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/19/15 10:48 a.m.

There was an IMSA Monza near me that was for sale for $7500 for at least 15 years. I think it finally disappeared a year or two ago.

frenchyd
frenchyd SuperDork
4/29/18 9:35 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture :

IIt makes sense to take older luxury cars Jag, BMW,Mercedes,with cosmetic and interior issues  or even flood cars. it makes them cheap. However they are still mechanically sound. If you strip the heavy luxury stuff out.  That automatically makes the car lighter and faster.  Then because the springs raise up as the car get’s lighter you chop a coil or two from the springs which lowers the car back down and increases spring tension.

That puts the shock absorber an inch or two lower than it’s normal ride height which restores the shock absorber to better functioning.  So far all you paid for is the car. The rest just takes time. 

After you sell off whatever you can from that just Toss the required safety stuff in it. Add required numbers and you can go racing. 

Great for the following 1975 -1996.  Jag XJS  Most  reliable 1992 and newer Jaguar XJS either the V12 or the 4.0 six cylinder with the 4.0 making nearly the same horsepower ((except the R version) which has near 400 hp)  and being over 400 pounds lighter. For endurance racing it has a 24  gallon gas tank .  It handles like a big Miata.  Only not as slow. 

The V12 version scares the heck out of people Open the hood and all you see are hoses and wires, it looks like your worst nightmare. But take everything above the valve covers off because you don’t need it to go race with. and suddenly it makes sense.  A beautiful V12 that once the stuff for pollution and luxury is removed it’s a massively simple engine. Anything but scary. 

The really great thing about the V12is it’s so complex looking very few people even try.  You can find them with less than 100,000 miles even 40 years old. And it’s unbelievably stout . It begs to be raced. Plus starting prices are just barely over $1000 for decent examples  

I’m sure people familiar with BMW and Mercedes-Benz will chime in here and confirm their good choices.  

 

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
4/29/18 11:25 a.m.

Zombie thread

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/18 11:47 a.m.

zombie thread, yes.. but the point is still well asked. Honestly, I cannot think of anything from the 70s that can hang with even a modern Camry without a lot of work. When Toyota's workhorse appliance can twist 300hp from it's engine, exactly what from the 70s can match that without doing a LOT of work

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
4/29/18 11:51 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

Nothing that is inexpensive, that's what.

 

I saw an early C3 motoring around keeping up with modern machinery, but it was far from stock AND it appeared that the driver was working hard for every moment.  Granted, it looked awesome, but it was also like watching the scared cat desperately trying to run away from Pepe la Pew nonchalantly prancing along.

 

 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
4/29/18 1:09 p.m.

Porsche 924 with the 924S/944 engine dropped in. You can find them all day for cheap on CL. Stock handing is very good, but the 924 has a wimp of an engine. However, if you're willing to go into the 80s, early 944s or the late 924S will hold their own on a trackday (and the 924S is basically identical to the regular 924 except the extra 50+ hp, so it's still really a "70s car"

Other option - bmw 2002 or e21 (or early e30) with the later e30 M20B5 dropped in will be similar.

I mean, anything vintage can be quick enough with more power and modern tires, especially if it's something that handled well in the first place...

frenchyd
frenchyd SuperDork
4/29/18 2:15 p.m.
mad_machine said:

zombie thread, yes.. but the point is still well asked. Honestly, I cannot think of anything from the 70s that can hang with even a modern Camry without a lot of work. When Toyota's workhorse appliance can twist 300hp from it's engine, exactly what from the 70s can match that without doing a LOT of work

I think he was asking about the 80’s  in which case, A C4 Corvette?    Or a 450SL Mercedes?   XJS Started in 1975 production continued for 21 years with only minor changes.  Not Familiar  with BMW. 

All of the above would easily take to turbocharging at not a great cost or a lot of effort. 

frenchyd
frenchyd SuperDork
4/29/18 2:19 p.m.
irish44j said:

Porsche 924 with the 924S/944 engine dropped in. You can find them all day for cheap on CL. Stock handing is very good, but the 924 has a wimp of an engine. However, if you're willing to go into the 80s, early 944s or the late 924S will hold their own on a trackday (and the 924S is basically identical to the regular 924 except the extra 50+ hp, so it's still really a "70s car"

Other option - bmw 2002 or e21 (or early e30) with the later e30 M20B5 dropped in will be similar.

I mean, anything vintage can be quick enough with more power and modern tires, especially if it's something that handled well in the first place...

I think you’re on the right track.  A 924 with the V8 ? Did they still make the 928 into the 1980’s? 

A lot of cars from the 1970’s and 80’s can accept either earlier non pollution versions or simply remove the pollution limitations. I know it’s possible to kick a 300 hp V12 up to 500 horsepower while spending well under $500  I’ve already done it.  

 

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
4/29/18 2:27 p.m.
frenchyd said:
irish44j said:

Porsche 924 with the 924S/944 engine dropped in. You can find them all day for cheap on CL. Stock handing is very good, but the 924 has a wimp of an engine. However, if you're willing to go into the 80s, early 944s or the late 924S will hold their own on a trackday (and the 924S is basically identical to the regular 924 except the extra 50+ hp, so it's still really a "70s car"

Other option - bmw 2002 or e21 (or early e30) with the later e30 M20B5 dropped in will be similar.

I mean, anything vintage can be quick enough with more power and modern tires, especially if it's something that handled well in the first place...

I think you’re on the right track.  A 924 with the V8 ? Did they still make the 928 into the 1980’s? 

A lot of cars from the 1970’s and 80’s can accept either earlier non pollution versions or simply remove the pollution limitations. 

 

The 928 was made into the 1990s.  The best versions were made in the late 1980s.

 

The "pollution limitations" in 1970s cars weren't the external components, they were inherent to the design.  No compression and no cam timing/lift, combined with crappy engine controls and engine architecture that required tons of compression and valve motion in order to make any power.  So we had 100hp small blocks and 160hp big blocks.

 

Modern engines make power because they have heads that move air effectively so they can make heaps of power with small cams, and fine engine controls and cylinder head chamber design so they can live with high compression without making tons of NOx, or detonating themselves to death, without requiring a lowest common denominator ignition setup.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd SuperDork
4/29/18 5:24 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

All that is true,  but modern costs a lot of money.  When I race I want to be able to have the car destroyed without destroying my finances.  Yes you can buy insurance but the cost of that adds  dramatically to the per race cost.  Even if you stay local it would be real hard to race for less than $1000 per weekend  which you can’t do if you are asking the insurance company to risk many tens of thousands of dollars. 

Nearly any car you race will require the same safety stuff to race. It would be nice if the cost other than safety was a couple of thousand or less. 

That’s why older is better. Power? A medium sized new Turbo  will cost $106 on EBay. With a built in waste gate it’s $132.  The rest is just tubes. 

And if you worry about being slower than the latest greatest most expensive cars, well you will be. Unless the guy with the new whammer Jammer  is a novice  or worried about scratching his mega buck thing.  The fun comes when your 40-50 year old $1000-2000 car is on the podium with his $100,000+ toy. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/29/18 5:33 p.m.

The answer is always Polara. Zombie Polara.

TurboFocus
TurboFocus Reader
4/29/18 6:24 p.m.

k-swapped corvair gets my vote. how hard could that be?

ace37
ace37 New Reader
4/29/18 6:57 p.m.

Quite an old thread.

Would love to see a 914 with a modern motor from a wrecked Boxster or something shoved in. The 2.5L/2.7L F6 makes around 200hp, and the 914s don’t weigh much. Hard to find cheap these days but they do come up once in a while. 

A local guy had a 240z and had put a 350z motor and tranny in. Took quite a bit of effort and a 350z would handle much better but that was a really cool track car.

As said before though, the best bet would be to find someone else’s cool but now unwanted vintage track project or race car.

ErikTheSwede
ErikTheSwede New Reader
4/29/18 9:13 p.m.

If you don't mind right hand drive vehicles then you should look into the cars that are becoming legal for import like the Celica GT4 or the SW20 mr2. I have seen both go at auction for $1500 to $3000 in really good shape. Tack on $2k for shipping and paperwork and you have the foundation for a hell of a fun racecar

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
4/30/18 8:44 a.m.

As a coda to this post I ended up with a Euro-spec 1985 BMW 535i.

Knurled's point is spot-on. The top-spec "dirty" euro M30B34 engine made a whopping 218HP from 10:1 compression with no catalyst. Unfortunately my car has the "green" catalyzed 8:1 compression version which struggles to make 180. With only 2 valves per cylinder and a poor chamber design their potential is limited despite plenty of displacement.

I'm going to swap in a later M30B35, the final iteration of the engine, which has better intake ports and a much better chamber design, and made similar power to the 10:1 B34 but with only 9:1 compression. With some bolt-ons and modern engine management I should be around ~250 crank HP with lots of torque and a very large area under the curve. Not a breathtaking number by any means but enough to have fun with.

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