If you spend your weekends watching cars compete at Texas Raceway or Dallas Raceway, then you might need to think about getting a car you can enter the races. The key to getting a good race car is to find a model with plenty of power that doesn’t cost a fortune. If you have thought about participating in an event at your favorite track, you might want to consider getting one of these three cars.
NA Mazda MX-5 Miata
The first generation of the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the perfect option for someone who wants to race on a budget. The NA MX-5 Miata is a two-door roadster manufactured from 1989 to 1997. It came with a 1.6-liter engine that can still churn out enough power for you to reach a top speed of 126 miles per hour. The car is also perfectly balanced, so you can maintain control on practically any driving surface.
Mazda kept the MX-5 Miata’s price as low as possible by selling a stripped-down version with few features. If you find a base model, don’t expect it to offer a stereo or air conditioning. You can, however, expect it to give you plenty of power without forcing you to spend more than $5,000. It may not win every race, but the NA Mazda MX-5 Miata is a great way to get started.
Mitsubishi Evolution IX RS
Mitsubishi developed the Evolution IX RS specifically as a rally sport car. The company did everything possible to make this model perfect for racing. In addition to loading it with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine, which accelerates the car from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, Mitsubishi gutted unessential features to make it light and nimble.
There are a couple modifications you’ll want to make to improve the Evolution IX RS’s handling on the track. The first thing to do is add a rear wing that will significantly improve downforce to keep the tires connected to the road at high speeds. Since the Mitsubishi Evolution IX is a newer vehicle (2005-2008), you’ll spend more money on it. Still, you can find such a vehicle for under $25,000. It’s a worthwhile investment if you know you’re serious about racing.
If you love old-school aesthetics, then the Datsun 240Z is probably the right car for you to take to the track. This version of the S30 Datsun Z exemplifies those sleek features of sports cars from the early 1970s. Datsun didn’t just focus on exterior aesthetics, of course. The 240Z has a 2.4-liter engine that makes 151 horsepower. Given the car’s small size and aerodynamic design, that’s enough power for it to blow past most sports cars, including the renowned Porsche 91IT.
One of the best things about the Datsun 240Z is that it’s easy to find. A robust aftermarket encourages owners to keep the model in excellent condition. Since they’re so available, you can often find them for under $4,000. If you really love watching races, then you’ve probably dreamed about getting your own race car. When you decide to take that step, look for one of these three models.