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Discussion Starter #1
Since we have quite a gamut of people and ideas here, I'd like some serious input, please.

What would you folks suggest for a good autocross car? The parameters are: It has to be able to be found for relatively cheap, front engined, rear-wheel drive (so I'm a dinosaur, so what?), and prefer carbs over fuel injection.

Whaddya say? :confused:

Thanks!
 

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It all depends on a few things.

Will you want to drive it on a daily basis or even occasionally on the street?

What class do you think your interested in?

What do you consider inexpensive?

How much do you want to invest after you buy it?

How serious about AutoX are you? Do you want to win Regionaly or Nationaly? This will determine whether you get a Fun car or a Fast car. Not all Fast cars are fun to drive for anything but AutoX.
 

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85 16V Corrola.

But I think they're moving up in class due to our resident hot shoe.

Older RX7/RX3. Don't know about the EFI on those.

Datsun 510/BMW 2002.

Old 240 or 260Z

Jay W
505/287 Dakota
 

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I'm surprised that Randy hasn't posted here yet. The 91-95 NA MR2 is a very cheap, and very competitive option or ES. You can find one easily for $3500 in good shape. There are cheaper ones than that out there, and Allyson and I are trying to find them. One of the problems with those though is that they are usually far away. I get quizy when I think about buying a car far away, because you never know what you'll find when you get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
serautoxer said:
Will you want to drive it on a daily basis or even occasionally on the street?

What class do you think your interested in?

What do you consider inexpensive?

How much do you want to invest after you buy it?

How serious about AutoX are you? Do you want to win Regionaly or Nationaly? This will determine whether you get a Fun car or a Fast car. Not all Fast cars are fun to drive for anything but AutoX.

It will very probably not be driven on the street. I don't want to have to pay insurance and titling/registration fees on yet another car.

Not sure of the class, but I will probably shoot for a Prepared class (I *like* all-out racing tires :D).

I have to have the purchase price under about a grand :( .

I guess I'm not serious enough at this time to contemplate Nationals. Regionals, maybe. I haven't driven competitively in about 25 years, but the reactions seem to still be there, and they are all rear-wheel-drive. I drove an '89 Celica and an '00 Eclipse V6 at events here, and it wasn't pretty!

I appreciate the input so far. I am taking notes. I lean towards an old Datsun Roadster, because that's what I used to have, but I'm not limiting my choices beyond what I already mentioned.

Thanks to all so far, and in advance and all that sh...er...stuff.
 

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Just think of it as a low cost 914!

Actually a 914 can be had for about the same price, and the guys on the Porsche forums say that it's very competitive (but they didn't say what class) and it's also the cheapest Porsche out there, easy to work on, and a blast to drive, oh and it can have lots of power.
 

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datsunbucky said:
It will very probably not be driven on the street. I don't want to have to pay insurance and titling/registration fees on yet another car.

Not sure of the class, but I will probably shoot for a Prepared class (I *like* all-out racing tires :D).

I have to have the purchase price under about a grand :( .

Bucky what you're asking is a hard thing to get for under a grand. I don't think it's possible to get a Street Prepared car ready and setup for less than 5k?

You need a cookie jar to store some extra cash, that way your wife and son don't notice small amounts of money that go into the cookie jar (and then you can just say you only spent a grand on the car, while in reality you've spent more because a chunck of the money came from your stash).
 

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Chris Robertson said:
Just think of it as a low cost 914!

Actually a 914 can be had for about the same price, and the guys on the Porsche forums say that it's very competitive (but they didn't say what class) and it's also the cheapest Porsche out there, easy to work on, and a blast to drive, oh and it can have lots of power.
It violates one of his requirements though. Engine is not in the front.
 

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Yeah, but up until you start to spin the 914 behaves a lot like a front engine. And it ain't easy to work on. you still have to access most the motor from below.

Unlike the MR2, which is mid-engine all the way.

Jay W
505/287 Dakota
 

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Chris Robertson said:
I'm surprised that Randy hasn't posted here yet. The 91-95 NA MR2 is a very cheap, and very competitive option or ES. You can find one easily for $3500 in good shape. There are cheaper ones than that out there, and Allyson and I are trying to find them. One of the problems with those though is that they are usually far away. I get quizy when I think about buying a car far away, because you never know what you'll find when you get there.
Yeah, I saw the requirement for a front engine and a carburetor and knew I had no clue. :)

Chris, there a LOT of MR2 people that will help you to look at a car for you if it's out of town.

And it's not a bad idea to consider you can get plane tickets to many places pretty cheap, and it may be a good investment of $150 or so for the ticket. You can go in with a round trip ticket and tell the buyer you want to look at it. If it's not what you want, you walk and take the plane back. If it is, ROADTRIP! :)

Let me know if I can help.
 

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If your looking into something that is gonna run Full slicks, you most likely want to look into what is eligible for EP.

Some of the fun cars in EP could be the following. A good portion of which are gonna be British cars (unfortunatly)

Triumph TR4/6
Bugeye Sprite
MG Midget
Datsun 510 or earlier roadsters
BMW 2002TII
Corolla GTS 85-86

Some other interesting cars, not so competitive though.
Alfa Spyder
Alfa GTV till 74 or GTV6 in the late 70's early 80's
Porche 924/944 non turbo
Nissan 240-280Z
Nissan 240SX
Nissan 200SX mid 80's
Mazda RX7 or RX3 as mentioned before
Lotus Europa


That's about all I can think of, all these cars you should be able to find inexpensive and in not so bad shape here in Cali, as opposed to where I was (Mass.) However, any of them are gonna need a bit of work before they are race worthy.

The first thing I would do on any of the above listed cars is replace any and All bushing material, and Flexible Rubber(Guibo) Joints for axles or drive shafts
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again for all the input. The thousand buck target is strictly purchase price, with upgrades/improvements being on top of that. I have no delusions about being instantly competitive, as it took me about 5 years to do everything to my old Datsun. What I really want to avoid is something that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hades of ever being competitive.

I would consider mid-engine. I was trying to flatten out the learning curve a bit.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Yeah, I saw the requirement for a front engine and a carburetor and knew I had no clue. :)

Chris, there a LOT of MR2 people that will help you to look at a car for you if it's out of town.

And it's not a bad idea to consider you can get plane tickets to many places pretty cheap, and it may be a good investment of $150 or so for the ticket. You can go in with a round trip ticket and tell the buyer you want to look at it. If it's not what you want, you walk and take the plane back. If it is, ROADTRIP! :)

Let me know if I can help.
I've been on a mid engine kick the past couple of months, so I kept forgetting about that rule.

As far as looking for an out of town MR2, flying there to check it out is what Allyson and I were thinking about. I just didn't think about seeing if another MR2 owner could check it out for us. That would be a huge help, especially since I would hate to be driving home only to have car trouble in the middle of no where. I'm looking all over the nation for a car right now. We aren't in a super hurry though (well really after April 15th buying a car will be much easier financially).

Bucky is body damage and stuff okay? How about a salvage title (assuming you get the frame checked out first)? If you go with those two options a lot more cars will come close to the 1k limit. Right now there is a 240Z on ebay going for $1,000 http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6187&item=2405660487&rd=1 the price hasn't moved in 3 days. The seller said it was a donation, so I don't know what kind of condition it's in. But that is an option, and as people have said on the solo2 forum it can be competitive in FP I think, and maybe a few other extreme classes.
 

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I can't believe that we are having this conversation again ;) But then again, why not. This IS a car related forum :D

I vote for the 1991 Nissan 240sx. It is rear wheel drive, but it doesn't have carbs.
 

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Gunnar said:
I can't believe that we are having this conversation again ;) But then again, why not. This IS a car related forum :D

I vote for the 1991 Nissan 240sx. It is rear wheel drive, but it doesn't have carbs.
I think he wants carbs because he knows how to work on them. Gunnar do you know if 240sx's are competitive in any of the prepared or moded classes? Everyone has their own tastes :)
 

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Chris Robertson said:
Gunnar do you know if 240sx's are competitive in any of the prepared or moded classes? Everyone has their own tastes :)
I have no idea! :) But then again, I have never looked into that. I know that if you get the single overhead cam model, it makes a very competitive ITA car. But then that is not autox is it? NOPE!

Sorry dude!
 

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I think what Bucky wants is validation of his choice of a Datsun roadster.

If that's what you want, go for it. In the past, they have done well in CSP. They'd probably do OK in EP, too. There are a couple listed on recycler.com for prices ranging from $1500 to $3500.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Datsun 1600 is my sentimental favorite. It was my first new car, and I am intimately familiar (NOT THAT WAY!!) with their construction/design and what it takes to make one go better and corner in a more fun manner.

Anyone want to buy a '76 GMC Suburban with a 454 and turbo400 trans? Thousand bucks! (Hhhmmmm, I wonder if that's why he wants to keep the purchase price to a grand?)
 
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