The best track car you you’ve never heard of, according to Randy Pobst | Video

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pG_v_YNU3yI

Sure, the Fields Auto Works Cardinal Coupe offers a lot on paper–300 horsepower, a 1750-pound curb weight and a sub-$50,000 price tag–but how well does it actually perform on the track?

[The Cardinal Coupe from Fields Auto Works: Supercar performance without the supercar price | Video]

Pro driver Randy Pobst recently put one through its paces at Mid-Ohio to find out.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/10/21 3:44 p.m.

Curious how much rear tire is under that thing to really be able to use 300+ hp in an 1800 lb chassis with what looks like no downforce. 

Hasbro (Forum Supporter)
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/10/21 5:43 p.m.

 Steve Hoelscher will be at PRI this weekend, booth 4211.

 

jb229
jb229 New Reader
12/11/21 2:58 a.m.

It looks so good on just about every aspect... except why did they choose that grill?

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
12/11/21 9:36 a.m.
jb229 said:

It looks so good on just about every aspect... except why did they choose that grill?

Man seriously, that's just... unfortunate.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/21 9:40 a.m.

Colin

Track ready at 65k not 50k. 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
12/11/21 12:57 p.m.
dean1484 said:

Track ready at 65k not 50k. 

There are a LOT of really cool track toys that can be had for that kind of $$$$$.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/21 1:06 p.m.

In reply to Hasbro (Forum Supporter) :

They should swing by the fullrace booth and have it churning out 600rwhp via an upgraded EFR by the end of the weekend. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/21 6:03 p.m.

Did I spy accommodation for a license plate and lights?

Kit car registered in a lenient jurisdiction, anybody?

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/11/21 6:24 p.m.
Rodan said:
dean1484 said:

Track ready at 65k not 50k. 

There are a LOT of really cool track toys that can be had for that kind of $$$$$.

Yeah agreed. Looks great but in that price range there are a bunch of well proven race cars that have whole series dedicated to them, and can still do track days. That kimd of money gets you a Radical or an NP-01.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
12/11/21 8:25 p.m.

Cool car. The video needs less talking and more engine noise. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/13/21 5:37 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:
Rodan said:
dean1484 said:

Track ready at 65k not 50k. 

There are a LOT of really cool track toys that can be had for that kind of $$$$$.

Yeah agreed. Looks great but in that price range there are a bunch of well proven race cars that have whole series dedicated to them, and can still do track days. That kimd of money gets you a Radical or an NP-01.

Neither of which have any path to being street legal.

Cardinal has so many options for what can fit between the frame rails if you really wanna be silly.

The old school streamliner Zagato design is super functional and I really love it.

There are lots of cars that you can buy for $60k..

But you'll find a combination of powerful and heavy cars with extremely expsnive consumables and high running costs..

Or custom prototypes that aren't street legal and may or may not have service intensive drivetrains.. also increasing running costs and possibly downtime.

Cardinal has a specific buyer, and if you look at it and don't see the potential... it's probably not you.. or at least it's not you YET.

Being a trackrat who chose a car with as cheap of consumables as possible.. it makes total sense to me.

I've also spent time around the car and seen the value of an overbuilt powertrain that uses essentially a mustang GT350 drivetrain behind a OTS Ecoboost mustang powertrain, in a package that weighs roughly half of what a GT350 weighs and the uprights at all 4 corners use the GT350 bits so you have overbuilt parts there too.

I see, a fast car with cheaper consumables, a reliable drivetrain and straightforward parts availability.

Fields has a good formula here.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/13/21 10:10 p.m.

The possibility of making it street-legal does distinguish it, but I can't imagine wanting to drive it anywhere except to and from the track.  Even then I would have a hard time pushing a car like that near it's capabilities on the track knowing that it was my ride home.  I suppose it's perfect for the track day junkie who has a good amount of disposable income but needs low running costs, and will deal with all of the inconveniences of a purpose-built race car but has no aspirations of W2W racing and nowhere to store a trailer.  I guess that's a niche that needs to be served, but you're right that I don't really get the value proposition. I know that the JustTrackIt guys are getting one and it will probably be perfect for their needs. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/13/21 11:00 p.m.

How much could you put a basic FF GTM Together for?   The problem is it kind of looks like FF has stopped production. 
 

I have always wanted to build a GTM. 
 

 

 

twentyover
twentyover Dork
12/13/21 11:25 p.m.

Back half looks kinda like an old Marcos. If they could make the front end look kinda like an old Marcos, I'd be a happy camper-

 

but still unable to afford a 60K track toy  :(

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/13/21 11:56 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

These were about $100k to build properly IIRC. The driveline costs went up a bunch over time..

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/14/21 12:00 a.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

You need to be a REALLY hardcore track rat with true disposable income and a penchant for something really quick before the economics of a track car like this one to really start making sense to you IMHO.

I get that it's not for everyone, but the FAW crew has a good car here... and their other projects in the pipeline are also VERY cool.

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/14/21 1:39 a.m.

Funny I saw that and thought it was a 68 Marcos GT.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/14/21 9:24 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

Their website says they have all orders for 2021 and 2022 taken. Not sure that means they have stopped production. 

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltimaDork
12/14/21 9:52 a.m.

Kinda neat I guess but that's a pile of cash for a track toy.  You could put together THREE K-swap Miatas with top shelf everything for that kind of chedder.

(And Randy Pobst in anything on Hoosiers should be lapping faster than a herd of HPDE dudes trying not to bend their cars)

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/21 4:40 p.m.

This is something that I have wondered about for a while.  Is to try and build a GTM with the basic parts, not the top end of the market parts. Use good quality stock parts store or dealer stuff, not race shop stuff.  You don't need a $2K set of headers when a $750 set will do, is my theory.  Build it to a standard that is good for 95 Percent of us.  Use an LM4 with a cam that is naturally aspirated running on an older MSII, or just pull the LM4 with the harness and ECU.  That will get you 400 HP no problem (this was the marketed HP back when these came out that was "something" back then).  The trans may be a sticking point as I don't think there are any cheap options.  Keep the interior track-oriented say a seat and not much else. You don't need carbon fiber doodads for looks when aluminum will do.  You don't need the Nardi steering wheel when a Grant will do just fine  You don't need a multi-thousand dollar Holly digital dash when analog VDO or autopower gauges will do.  Wheels and tires again think budget.  Stock Corvette takeoffs ?  You don't need fancy paint. . . .   Ok maybe not the John Deer Green Tractor paint but. . ..   Ok I think the car would look cool in that color with yellow or black highlights.  What I am getting at is careful shopping of parts can net you an extremely capable GTM at a fraction of the 100K mark that so many seem to end up at.   

This would actually be a really cool GRM build.  Does a Staff member at GRM want / need a GTM?  Basically building a "kit car" on a budget would be theme.  

Getting what off topic, but this I think is why so many cars (not just the GTM) don't get completed due to an owner not putting together a realistic budget and in the excitement of the moment investing to much in say, a motor and wheels, and tires and then they run out of $$$ to complete the car.

I think I will see about putting together a "Budget Build" GTM and see where that would end up $$$$ today, meeting the advertised specs back when it first came out.  Back when it was introduced, a 400hp motor was big money (think C5 zo6 motors) now days a stock Pickup truck motor can do that out of the box.   

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/21 5:53 p.m.

So we know what Randy Prost thinks. 

What does GRM think is the best track car you have never heard of is?

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/15/21 12:16 p.m.

Seems similar to a turbo or K Exocet in many ways - light, cheap, simple, reliable, and really cheap running costs.  The one thing I really didn't like about the Exocet was the lack of a body on high speed tracks.  This car fixes that but at a pretty steep cost.  Looks like a winner to me.  I'd love one but it's not in the near term budget.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/15/21 12:24 p.m.
dean1484 said:

This is something that I have wondered about for a while.  Is to try and build a GTM with the basic parts, not the top end of the market parts. Use good quality stock parts store or dealer stuff, not race shop stuff.  You don't need a $2K set of headers when a $750 set will do, is my theory.  Build it to a standard that is good for 95 Percent of us.  Use an LM4 with a cam that is naturally aspirated running on an older MSII, or just pull the LM4 with the harness and ECU.  That will get you 400 HP no problem (this was the marketed HP back when these came out that was "something" back then).  The trans may be a sticking point as I don't think there are any cheap options.  Keep the interior track-oriented say a seat and not much else. You don't need carbon fiber doodads for looks when aluminum will do.  You don't need the Nardi steering wheel when a Grant will do just fine  You don't need a multi-thousand dollar Holly digital dash when analog VDO or autopower gauges will do.  Wheels and tires again think budget.  Stock Corvette takeoffs ?  You don't need fancy paint. . . .   Ok maybe not the John Deer Green Tractor paint but. . ..   Ok I think the car would look cool in that color with yellow or black highlights.  What I am getting at is careful shopping of parts can net you an extremely capable GTM at a fraction of the 100K mark that so many seem to end up at.   

This would actually be a really cool GRM build.  Does a Staff member at GRM want / need a GTM?  Basically building a "kit car" on a budget would be theme.  

Getting what off topic, but this I think is why so many cars (not just the GTM) don't get completed due to an owner not putting together a realistic budget and in the excitement of the moment investing to much in say, a motor and wheels, and tires and then they run out of $$$ to complete the car.

I think I will see about putting together a "Budget Build" GTM and see where that would end up $$$$ today, meeting the advertised specs back when it first came out.  Back when it was introduced, a 400hp motor was big money (think C5 zo6 motors) now days a stock Pickup truck motor can do that out of the box.   

I agree with you. and I have also wanted to build a GTM for years. I don't think you'd need to spend nearly 100k. The porsche transaxle is probably not cheap any way you go though. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/15/21 12:29 p.m.

note on the FF site says that GTM orders are fully filled for 2021 and 2022, and they are not taking more orders at this time. 

I bet they are making a new one or updated version. So we may have missed our chance, haha. I bet used ones come up for sale from time to time though, and that would be cheaper than buying new likely. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/15/21 12:32 p.m.

oh yeah, 34k. Looks like most parts you would need are there. Bet you could get it finished for under 40k. 

https://www.ffcars.com/threads/gtm-gen-2-kit-for-sale.639668/

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