Best Bang for the Buck Track Car - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Best Bang for the Buck Track Car

I have been doing the occasional track day with my Maserati QP. Obviously it isn't designed to be tracked especially given its weight, however it has been a blast taking it around corners at speed, something you could never do on NA highways.

Having really fallen in love with tracking my car, I would like to get a car primarily for the track. I am not interested in being the fastest per se, but having a car that is lighter and more appropriate for the track.

Of course I would like a Ferrari, but 430 and 458 are not possible at this time (maybe I will win the lottery!) My question then is, what would be the best bang for the buck Ferrari taking into consideration foremost trackability, but also initial purchase price, initial set up, and ongoing maintenance. (If you think that I should just get another marque, feel free to suggest that e.g. used Cayman)

I rather suspect there will be a variety of answers on this. I already have asked around at local Ferrari track days and surprise surprise, no consensus! I'm hoping with the larger number of forum members, I might be able to get a more statistically valid answer.
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post #2 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 01:58 PM
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Spec Miata.
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post #3 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 02:40 PM
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What is your performance expectation? My opinion is that the most manageable and best bang for the buck Ferrari would be a 308QV, particularly one that is fully modified already. You can get good performance and all of the perks of a Ferrari chassis and for a lot less money than a modern car or a built race car. You could pick up someone's $150k build for pennies on the dollar.


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post #4 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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Spec Miata.
+1

The ideal track car is one which you can stuff into a tire wall, dust off your trousers, and go buy another one. If you have to worry about breaking it, it's not as fun to drive.

1983 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
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post #5 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 02:51 PM
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What is your performance expectation? My opinion is that the most manageable and best bang for the buck Ferrari would be a 308QV, particularly one that is fully modified already. You can get good performance and all of the perks of a Ferrari chassis and for a lot less money than a modern car or a built race car. You could pick up someone's $150k build for pennies on the dollar.
If you ever find one of those let me know
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post #6 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 03:15 PM
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A Ferrari for that purpose is a bad idea. The myth that they are a race car for the street is just that....a myth.

Far too much needed for most to make them a suitable track car (just like any other street car) but those mods are not cheap and off the shelf. Then there is the repair expenses even if you don't crash it.


The fact that your question asked best bang for the buck tells that money does matter. A Ferrari track car is for someone who can grab $100,000 worth of hundreds and light a cigar with it. If that does not describe you and you want to go pretty fast (much faster than any 308) get a BMW 3 series. If you want to go faster get a Camaro and if you want to go fast get a beater Corvette. All of those have a ton of off the shelf stuff for pretty cheap to make them good track cars and they'll blow the doors off anything Ferrari at a dollar ratio of about 5:1.

I like Ferraris but they are a dumb idea for a track car.
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post #7 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 03:45 PM
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Honda S2000. I have seen examples of already prepped for track for well under $20k. Of course one has to consider condition, etc. the S2000 is extremely well balanced and highly regarded in the auto cross and racing community.

Steve
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post #8 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 03:50 PM
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I think it depends on what you want to do with a track / race car.

After attending Road America with the Ferrari Club and watching CCR it was just a matter of finding the right Challenge car.

Now I need a cigar
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post #9 of 72 Old 09-07-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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I have been doing the occasional track day with my Maserati QP... it has been a blast ... would like to get a car primarily for the track...
I love Peter Egan's quote about driving on track; “Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty.”

Glad you're enjoying yourself. No matter what price range you target, many people like best the stripped down, beaten-up pieces of crap they can slap stickers on, weld doodads, sit on the fender and repair with duct tape.

I was on track once with a guy who brought a crew and was running special high octane in some awesome Ferrari Scuderia something-or-other. He WAS having a blast, but so were the rest of us.

1983 308 GTS Quattrovalvole

Last edited by Brian A; 09-07-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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post #10 of 72 Old 09-16-2013, 12:13 AM
 
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Mine is a 1996 Cobra Mustang Race Car. 557hp at the rear wheels. I have less than $30K in it. Bought it used. Great fun. I can even intimidate all those $150K+ Porsches with it. LOL...
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post #11 of 72 Old 09-16-2013, 05:13 AM
 
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Hand down it would be the e36 M3. Extremely balanced track car and much like the miata, when you crash it, purchase another one. Parts are cheap and easy to work on. I was very impressed with the balance of this car and I run past C6s and bigger v8s all day!

e36 just started a spec series too and they also have BMW club racing.
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post #12 of 72 Old 09-17-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
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Honda S2000. I have seen examples of already prepped for track for well under $20k. Of course one has to consider condition, etc. the S2000 is extremely well balanced and highly regarded in the auto cross and racing community.

Steve
Seriously? You're suggesting a convertible as a track-only car. Not the smartest thing I've ever witnessed, I have to be honest. Sorry if that seems harsh, but even with my limited exposure to track events, I have seen friends of mine hurt and a convertible has no place on a track from a safety point of view. It is too floppy for serious track word as well - I love the S2000 but it is a road car, nothing else.

As for the OP's question. I have considered buying a 308 to prep as a race car. It would cost a similar amount as a 360 Challenge. Brian is absolutely right - running a Ferrari as a track car is seriously expensive, particularly if you damage the car.

Let's put it this way: running a 308 on track is not unlike the depreciation on a new Ferrari. Only go there if well heeled.


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post #13 of 72 Old 09-17-2013, 05:06 PM
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Spec Miata.
Sheesh, another one.... This one is even worse. Sure, a Miata is cheap and fun but my word it would take 5mins to get around a medium length track.

BMW e46 325i stripped out to lighten it, with roll cage, makes much more sense.


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post #14 of 72 Old 09-17-2013, 05:25 PM
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Seriously? You're suggesting a convertible as a track-only car. Not the smartest thing I've ever witnessed, I have to be honest. Sorry if that seems harsh, but even with my limited exposure to track events, I have seen friends of mine hurt and a convertible has no place on a track from a safety point of view. It is too floppy for serious track word as well - I love the S2000 but it is a road car, nothing else.

As for the OP's question. I have considered buying a 308 to prep as a race car. It would cost a similar amount as a 360 Challenge. Brian is absolutely right - running a Ferrari as a track car is seriously expensive, particularly if you damage the car.

Let's put it this way: running a 308 on track is not unlike the depreciation on a new Ferrari. Only go there if well heeled.


Onno
I thought about the 308 - but once I realized safety came first it just made more sense to get a car that was intended to be on the track.

Agree with you about the S2000 but they most likely have a full cage - which is why I suggest going with a Challenge car vs a 308.

After going to Elkhart Lake and watching 2 guys crash their street Ferrari's and then another flipping a 360 Spider - decided if I am going to play hard do it right. My 16M was a blast but I wasn't racing just tracking like the guys who wrecked their car. One is always going to push their cars and skills harder and deeper into corners it's one heck of a feeling when you nail the sweet spot.

Anyway the best car for your buck is the safest including the gear.

I went and bought every piece of the best racing gear made. Stilo helmet hans device Sparco suit shoes gloves cool suit etc almost 10k later I am ready to go and feel comfortable about going hard.

The car is replaceable guys - you are not.
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post #15 of 72 Old 09-18-2013, 07:05 PM
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i hate to say this but....a very good track prepped corvette can be had for 10-20k and would be hard to beat in the right hands.



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post #16 of 72 Old 09-18-2013, 07:46 PM
 
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I can understand going to a track-day once or twice, especially one with instruction available, to learn something about high performance driving in your Ferrari. I've done some track days to learn the capabilities of various cars and, later on, as set-up sessions for my race car. Track days have a valid purpose.

But having a dedicated "track day car" (not used for racing and not used on the street) just doesn't make any sense to me. If you live in the U.S.A., check out the SCCA amateur road racing program. For the cost of a track day Ferrari, you can get a genuine race car all set up for real racing. It's not going to be a Ferrari, but you can certainly get plenty of performance at a reasonable cost. And maintaining it is affordable too.

Yes, driving fast on a track is fun, but it's NOTHING compared with the fun of genuine racing, even racing at the very bottom of the SCCA food chain. Competing with other drivers in similar cars with similar skills is a real hoot. It's safer than taking a stock car to a track day since your cheap race car will have a roll cage, you'll have a fuel cell, a fire suppression system, a fire proof suit, a "real" helmet, and plenty of track side emergency equipment staffed by experienced workers, not just a single ambulance to satisfy the insurance company. Plus, your cheap race car is going to be set up so that you don't have to baby it; for example, it will have a brake cooling system at least.

Unfortunately, the warning about real racing being addicting is true. It's just so much fun it's hard to believe it. I'd much rather be the guy running mid pack in a relatively cheap and slightly ratty road racing BMW, Corvette, or what-have-you at an SCCA regional race than the coolest guy at a Track Day Event who all the pimply faced kids admire because he shows up with a nice looking Ferrari "track car".
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post #17 of 72 Old 09-18-2013, 11:04 PM
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hmmm

I have a track car. Apparently that's already worth a debate.
It is a ferrari. That appears to be even more foolish.
It started as a road car. That's apparently plain stupid.
I crashed it one's. That is stupid ()

however most of the reaction are based on money and cost. Nobody talks about the fun of owning/building/driving. I'm not a money guy. I cannot afford buying a very costly to drive challange car. However I could afford a near dead 308 as a starting point

And than the fun began.
rebuilding suspension, figuring out the best bang for the buck for track use. the challange of replacing the brakes by a partly F360 setup. Actually making bodypats to save weight ( my doors are 6Kg compared to the stock 37). Replacing all glass, stripping the car to a bare minimum ( I removed over 250 kg all together
Increase power by adding a turbo ( yes i did...) seeing an increas in power to just under 300bhp
Looking for the right wheels, the right tires, locating a FIA compliant rollcage ( try it for a 308)

Yes i could have done this all with a miata or BMW, yes laptimes probably would have been better. Yes, after the crash i would have simply bought a new one. The fun would not be there....

But, for crying out loud, we supposed to be Ferrari enthousiast!! Why do we buy ferrari's ( espacially a new one with a 5 year depreciation that could buy you a nice house in spain)
I always thought because we do love the brand, we want to be part of the myth.

All this rational talk about a ferrari track car and cost does not give me the feeling I'm stupid but it does give me the feeling that most of you are passionate on paper only.

just my 2ct and not intended to hurt anybody

currently a '87 euro 328gts, a '83 euro 308gts and 2x 308gtb. (and still some old Audi's)
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post #18 of 72 Old 09-19-2013, 04:39 AM
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Agree [email protected]

I know a race weekend will cost 10k in the 360 - no issues just to run.

Watched a 430 spend 30k to run all out for the weekend but he also won.

The current Challenge Ferrari's spend 60k per weekend minimum.

Sorry to hear about your accident - but reading your thread it looked like you started enjoying your car from day one and that's what it's all about.

I will add some pictures in hopes everyone else does the same.
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post #19 of 72 Old 09-19-2013, 04:49 AM
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If you ever find one of those let me know
Doug, keep checking this site Ferrari Race Car Listings
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post #20 of 72 Old 09-19-2013, 04:54 AM
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Doug, keep checking this site Ferrari Race Car Listings
Ty - will do!

Pretty much decided on another 360.
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