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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend/colleague has the unfortunate situation to have to retire his 1986 944 Turbo due to a cracked block and the lack of another replacement. He has maintained that car since new and tracked it too many times to remember. He has rebuilt the engine 3 times and now, during dyno testing, the block cracked due to a bad valve. So given the lack of replacement parts he is considering moving on to something "newer". The question is what should that be. He is a big guy like myself (at least 6ft, 200+lbs, and not a spry chicken). But he is an amazing driver and mechanic. For me, the ultimate car would be a GT4 but it is not the most serviceable car and comes with a good price tag. In my mind, the best choice is an SPB but they come with their own issues and not always readily available. So what would you suggest and bring the facts to back your suggestion? Thanks in advance - we have until next season but I am sure he would want to get started ASAP.
 

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There are a lot of options depending on how fast he wants to go, what types of groups he wants to run with, and whether or not W2W racing is on the horizon.

I went with a BMW E36 M3, partially because I got a great deal on it, 'Sie spricht Deutsch', and the car was ready-to-race and in excellent condition. On the NASA racing circuit there are quite a few BMW E36 and E46 chassis out there and lots of manufacturers make performance parts.

A property set up E36 handles and brakes really well (even coming from the excellence of a 981 Boxster) and it's rather inexpensive on consumables. He would probably feel right at home moving from a 944 Turbo. My lap times with slicks are comparable to what I can turn in my 981 Boxster S with street tires, though you have to drive it differently.

Unfortunately, I recently blew the engine at COTA racing with NASA. We're in the process of rebuilding it. Not sure if it was my newbie racing skills or another root cause. The S52 engines are getting a little more difficult to source blocks and heads. However, there are plenty other engine variants you can drop in.
 

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Thanks an E36/46 does seem like a good next step for him. We were toying with the idea of dropping in an all electric LS1 - figuring this has likely already been done. Any thoughts on an EV? He is a very smart guy (e.g. labs). Thanks in advance.
 

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Thank you Boris & LedB, I knew you guys would come up with something. I was thinking perhaps a new EV motor because my friend loves to tinker. He is a superb tinkerist and would love the idea but the cost is likely too much as he is in retirement. But this -- this -- it's such a great idea -- I wonder.
You have to understand that he has an exceptional paint job (red) on his car, and striking wheels - his car is always the center of interest for newbies coming into the sport. Ignoring paint, he demands respect on the track and for good reason. My car always pales next to his - I hate to park next to him :) He recently took the solar plunge and he did it in exhaustive detail - as is his want - anybody working in a lab knows the personality. I feel bad that he has to give up such a prize car but I know he could trounce me on the track even though my car has 100+tq on his so I want him to have his moment in the sun (not the first). So keep them coming. I am trolling the 944 boards to see If an LS8EV is an option.
 

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Thank you Boris & LedB, I knew you guys would come up with something. I was thinking perhaps a new EV motor because my friend loves to tinker. He is a superb tinkerist and would love the idea but the cost is likely too much as he is in retirement. But this -- this -- it's such a great idea -- I wonder.
You have to understand that he has an exceptional paint job (red) on his car, and striking wheels - his car is always the center of interest for newbies coming into the sport. Ignoring paint, he demands respect on the track and for good reason. My car always pales next to his - I hate to park next to him :) He recently took the solar plunge and he did it in exhaustive detail - as is his want - anybody working in a lab knows the personality. I feel bad that he has to give up such a prize car but I know he could trounce me on the track even though my car has 100+tq on his so I want him to have his moment in the sun (not the first). So keep them coming. I am trolling the 944 boards to see If an LS8EV is an option.
Have you ever tried a purpose built race car? After testing one at a track day my dream is a Radical SR3, but a Spec Racer Ford (SRF3) is another option. I started racing Formula 2000 cars and they were great. I think the best things about purpose built racing cars is their light weight. All of the above are in the 1300 - 1500 pound range and the light weigh makes me feel extremely connected to the car as if I was wearing it. I should preface this by saying that I've never won a race and I'm not very experienced. But after racing a purpose built race car my Boxster S can't really satisfy me on the track. It was a stretch driving the Radical, but it was so good I can't forget it.
 

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If he wants to keep his 944, maybe something like this...

 

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Have you ever tried a purpose built race car? After testing one at a track day my dream is a Radical SR3, but a Spec Racer Ford (SRF3) is another option. I started racing Formula 2000 cars and they were great. I think the best things about purpose built racing cars is their light weight. All of the above are in the 1300 - 1500 pound range and the light weigh makes me feel extremely connected to the car as if I was wearing it. I should preface this by saying that I've never won a race and I'm not very experienced. But after racing a purpose built race car my Boxster S can't really satisfy me on the track. It was a stretch driving the Radical, but it was so good I can't forget it.
I'm thinking hard about making a committed jump to w2w and if I so it'll likely be SRF3. Why race a big dumb sedan around when you can drive an open cockpit purpose built race car? Consumables are so much cheaper and there's zero mod budget required. The fields in my region (NER) are large and it looks so fun.
 
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