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bigrubberjeep's Avatar
 
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(Ducking) does an older MR2 make a decent track car?

I really want to track more, but my 911 with 915 tranny and the cost has me kind of bummed. Not to mention I don't "really" want to convert my M491 to a track car (yet).

So I'm looking for inexpensive alternatives.

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Old 10-25-2005, 11:10 PM
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Miata!

Miata, miata, miata....spec miata! I think you can rent spec miata's to try.
Old 10-25-2005, 11:15 PM
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I guess I should try one, they just don't scream "SPORTS" car to me. Goo thing is they are light.
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:24 PM
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I've never seen an MR2 on a track.

But I did a quick search, and here's a video shot of MR2 enthusiasts at Willow.

Part One (QT)

Part Two (QT)

The video is, well, straight out of Sillytown. It doesn't convince me that there's a track car there waiting to happen.
Old 10-25-2005, 11:30 PM
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I was thinking more along th elines of 1st gen or 2nd gen MR2, not the one in the silly vid.
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:44 PM
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You'd be suprised how expensive (well maybe not in the Porsche level) it could be to set one up. They can be fun but not huge power there...plus you'll have to do some serious suspension tweaking to get them to corner.

Spec Miata is fun but you're still looking at 10-13K to build one "right"...and still you'll be dealing with only 120-130HP albeit in a 2300# car

Why not a beater 944, which bone stock will do pretty good as a track car...( unless you're trying to win an SCCA ITS race in which case it's not gonna beat the E36 or 2nd gen Rx7's)
Old 10-25-2005, 11:56 PM
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The are really cheap, have very reliable power trains, mid-engine layout, and used parts are plentiful. You can find many first gen MR2s for less than $1000.

Their only draw back is their low horse power (the first Generation). Also they are not easy to drive, due to mid-engine layout. Miatas are faster but more expensive.

The second generation is more expensive.

I starting learning how to drive on a track less than a year ago with the Souther California Alfa Romeo club. There are several first gen MR2s being driven their regularly.

Last weekend at Willow springs:

Husband and wife team leads their class in both race class and time trials.


Another MKI


I drive a 3rd generation, heavily modified MR2. Last weekend was my first time trial. My fastest lap at Willow springs was 1:43 on street tires. I'm happy with that.

Old 10-26-2005, 12:04 AM
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I was just thinking because it was mid engine they would make better "track" car. My idea was, replace body panels with F/G and gut it, keep it stock minus some minor mods. And whala! A cheap and reliable track car that can actually hold it's own.

Aperantly motors and tranny are cheap to R&R. (relatively speaking)
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by zosyn
Miatas are faster but more expensive.
How often do you get to hear that?

A 1:43 on street tires is very respectable, though.
Old 10-26-2005, 12:15 AM
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If you insist...here ya go:

http://itforum.improvedtouring.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=6287
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:25 AM
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Well, there is a perfect example of a cheap track beater. So I miss a shift, big deal.
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:00 AM
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I've seen a couple of Ist Gen MR2's racing in the Midwest. They are rarely in the top half of the field.

I owned an 85 throughout part of college, and I wish I could find one locally for cheap that wasn't rusted out (maybe I should start looking in Cali! The two side by side in the picture posted above look great).

I never drove the car on the track or anywhere near the track when I owned it, but I had fun squirting around in it. Sure you don't have lots of power, it would be fun and cheap on the track I would think.

Those that have driven one on the track, why is it that difficult to drive on the track? I recall the early MR2s liked to toe out in corners which was later fixed (maybe toward the end of the 1st Gen run), right?
Old 10-26-2005, 05:19 AM
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If a miata is faster than a 1st gen MR2, then look into SpecE30 (which is marginally faster than a miata). "i" cars can be had for ~$1000 and can be built to full competitiveness for another ~$4-5k (if you can do some of your own work). They are "silly fun" to drive, reliable, cheap, and tough as tanks. There is no other street car based series thats as fast per the $ spent.

SMD
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:40 AM
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I add another vote for the miata.

Tons of upgrades for suspension, etc... including turbo kits, supercharger kits, and v-8 swaps. Prices are anywhere from 1/2-1/4 the price of comparable Porsche upgrades.
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:28 AM
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A friend of mine had a 2nd gen MR2 that he ran at autocrosses. He told me that he lost oil pressure on high G corners. Maybe his oil level was too low, maybe it was just his car. Any thoughts form folks who have BTDT?
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:30 AM
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I ran a few autocrosses with a first gen and it was OK but low on power. It was a nice platform, designed by Lotus, but wish I had an SC model. A friend broke the tranny and never drove it again.
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:17 AM
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:23 AM
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Track I don´t know, but maybe fly:




Old 10-26-2005, 09:36 AM
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Here is my point about spec miata's. I think you will spend considerably more money to get close to these kind of times with and MR2. Porsche's and Miata's are raced extensively and therefore benefit from a large amount of support. I am sure you can get an MR2 down to these kind of times....but you will definitely spend a LOT more.

Also, think about what you want to do with the car. I wanted to autocross and time trial so because of the people and the organization of the PCA I bought a 73 with 3.0 etc. and sold my street/track miata. The miata is cheaper/as is the toyota but it doesn't come with the PCA / PRC training and track opportunities.

Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca

Race - 1:49.086 Mike Courtney Mill Valley, CA Date: 05-23-04

Qual - 1:49.125 Mike Courtney Mill Valley, CA Date: 04-26-03



Infineon Raceway at Sear's Point

Race - 1:55.678 Rick Maki Los Angeles, CA Date: 08-29-04

Qual - 1:54.619 Marc Kirberg Corte Madera, CA Date: 04-04-04



Thunderhill Raceway

Race - 2:09.471 Rod Nelson Los Altos, CA Date: 09-19-04

Qual - 2:09.873 Rod Nelson Los Altos, CA Date: 09-18-04

Matt
Old 10-26-2005, 09:44 AM
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I bought an 85 MR2 new. It was a really fun car that handled well. I won a lot of AutoX's with it. I'd like to own one again, but I bet the Miata is more bang for the buck, once you get through setting it up as a track car.

Jerry Kroeger

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Old 10-26-2005, 09:58 AM
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