Journal: What Classic Car Would You Turn Into A Track Toy?

What Classic Car Would You Turn Into A Track Toy?

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
January 3, 2018
39 comments

Most of us have had the privilege of attending a handful of vintage racing events in our lives so far, whether they be the Mt. Olympus-types like the Goodwood Members’ Meeting or the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a simple down-to-earth VARA weekend, or even just a handful of E30s banging doors at your local circuit. There are plenty of reasons to attend both sides of that spectrum, for no matter how fast the cars go and how far the lap times fall in modern motorsport, the allure of historic competitors—downright archaic as some may be—is simply, special. It’s a live look into the past, and while it’s rare to see somebody flogging these cars like the drivers in period, it’s far from accurate to say they’re just doing parade laps (okay, some “races” are like this, but you get the point).

I’d so much rather attend a vintage racing event with “mid-tier” cars actually on track than walk around a bunch of static million-dollar-plus machines doing nothing, and when I inevitably have to drive back home from a day spent leaning on the fences and not wearing earplugs when I really should be, I always play the dangerous game of rationalizing the purchases necessary to build my own proper track car out of something born before the year 2000. I have far too many hypothetical builds in my head, but there’s no point in being close-minded, so I’ll turn it over to you guys: which classic car would you turn the dials up to 11 on? As you can see by the photos, I’ve tried to keep things a bit more on the realistic side, but feel free to spill the beans on your 917 fantasies too!

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HenridupPeter J SmithBrett EngelHans GoossensClayton Williams Recent comment authors
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Henridup
Henridup

I do admit I am an Alfa Romeo fanatic and the Giulia Coupe is my greatest love, but frankly, I really respect and love all the cars listed here. The more populated the track is with a variety of toys, the better the quality of the competition. And the sweeter the sights and sounds! so, YOU decide what you want! 😀

Brett Engel
Brett Engel

I was always impressed by how Lotus cars seemed to “punch above their weight”, lapping faster than many larger cars. Finally in 2001, I found a 1967 Elan that had some “race prep”.
After 4 years of weekends/evenings, this was the result. First picture is at the 2016 Clifton hill climb, where we placed 1st in Vintage.Second is at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Wilcox, AZ

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Hans Goossens
Hans Goossens

I would take a porsche 924/944, and drop in an f20c or k24 Honda engine. Maybe not the fastest combination, but a lot of fun I think.

Clayton Williams

My dream is to get a classic Mini and go all out: b series Honda motor swap, disc brakes all around, slightly lowered and stiffer spring suspension swap, widened stance a bit, etc. This would be my forever car.

Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith

If I still owned it, my ’77 Triumph Spitfire 1500. All the people saying Mustang, or, 911 have no imagination. Where’s the challenge in taking an already fast car, installing a roll cage, and, calling it a “track toy”? The fun is starting with nothing, and, making it something, through your own blood, sweat, and, tears!

gašper jelenko

Considering what do I have in my garage or in my backyard now. I want to do a track oriented build with a 84′ mk2 vw scirocco or a 76′ mini 1000. But I’m more drawn to scirocco as the parts to service this car are more obtainable at local parts stores. And car had a minor fender bender in the back and it was bodged togeher so it would fit the racing style

Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith

I would point out, as a former owner of a ’74 Mini 1000, that parts, though maybe not available locally, are INCREDIBLY easy to source thanks to the internet. They’re surprisingly inexpensive, too.

Ummagumma
Ummagumma

Maybe not necessarily vintage, but I always wanted to modify a Saab 900. Just because it’s basically never been done before… At least not to the extend I’d like to take it!

pope400
pope400

When I decide to tear into my billions, I think it would be interesting to take a pre-war Rolls-Royce to Dallara. Money is no object, and I want a sub 8 minute Ring time.

Filip
Filip

Restomod track ready BMW 2002

francofort
francofort

Without doubt, one of the best cars for vintage racing is the Alfa Romeo 105 Giulia GT. very successful track cars in their day and very tuneable. Parts availability through specialist such as Classic Alfa, Alfaholics and Paul Spruell is very good with loads of performance options to chose from.

Samuel Barman

Definitely an Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 : Lancia Delta 4WD plus a sweet 4 cylinders turbo. What do you need more?

Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith

If I could get it back, my ’82 GTV6. It already handled like a dream, and, that 2.5 had lots of untapped potential!

Ariq Thufail
Ariq Thufail

Definitely my ’74 VW Standard Beetle. Any car’s a race car if you try hard enough.

Andy Williams

Pretty hard to beat the wary 105 Alfa Coupes or Pre 73 911 Porsche, but heading down a more affordable path my choice would be the lightweight good HP options that provide scope for plenty of development :
1. MGB GT V8
2. Datsun 240Z
3. Alfa GTV6

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Steve Goudy
Steve Goudy

A Fiat 124 Spider, set up likes the works rally cars from the 70s.

Dominick Toscano

To many to choose from,
My old 3.8 jag sedan
55 tf1500
1966 charger ,would be cool beefed up for the occasion!
All these cars are gone now.

Rubens Florentino

First choice: 69 Mustang
Second: GTA Alfa
Third: E Type Jag

Melissa St. Joan
Melissa St. Joan

A Mustang or 911

Tim Cain

I like all the emphasis on Alfa’s. I can justify taking any relatively high production, slightly rusted favorite (no SS or Zagato) and focusing the restoration on track fun rather than show quality. As long as you save all the original parts and try to maximize bolted-on instead of welded-in modifications, you are bringing the car out of the rusty ravages of neglect and enjoying it mightily. Keep those old parts for the next restoration, in case you ever get too old for the track.

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Paul Ipolito
Paul Ipolito

Here is my suggestion.

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ArcherOnCars
ArcherOnCars

I always fancy a DeTomaso Pantera Group 5 replica. Maybe put a modern Roush engine and updated KW Suspension.

But my dream is to create a Super Saloon style replica. Maybe Aston Vantage with wide arches, extreme aerodynamic like Marsh Plant Aston Martin and V12 twin supercharged from newer Vantage 600.

Aldiansyah
Aldiansyah

AE86 using 4AGE black top 20v group A engine,close ratio transmission , workin a nice footwork and little bit chassis reinforcement it will be nice

Dennis White
Dennis White

I guess an Alfa 105 is too easy an answer. How about a track-prepped Jag XK140?

Mayank Gupta
Mayank Gupta

An Air-cooled 911, please…

Dan Rhino

Mazda RX4 74′ Coupe…

jolocho
jolocho

I was going to suggest something similar. While it’s awesome that Mazda still runs its old Le Mans racers at events globally, pre-RX-7 cars are under represented. Since vintage events restrict engine options, RX-4 would be a good choice because it came with a 13B and there are still plenty of parts available compared to the 10A and 12A.

Brian Grant
Brian Grant

Mini.

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

Here’s a nice Falcon.

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sector7gwagen
sector7gwagen

My ’55 Bel Air post stripped out with an Art Morrison chassis riding on Goodyear Eagle Billboards and Cobra knock-off wheels. Something about throwing a shoebox Chevy around a track – aerodynamics be damned – is so appealing to me.

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Rubens Florentino

Such a gorgeous 55. Congrats…

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

Class A Sedan Ford Falcon Spint as seen in SCCA club racing in the late sixties would be my choice.

Second choice would be any Alfa Romeo especially a Tubolare Zagato.

Mike McKelliget
Mike McKelliget

Don’t overlook the humble 240/260Z coupe. Comparatively cheap to buy (although this is starting to change), independent suspension, 5 speed gearbox, 50/50 weight distribution, light weight and a bulletproof 6 cylinder engine which can be tweaked to make good power.

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ScoutingForZen
ScoutingForZen

While my immediate response was an Alfa Romeo GTA, I feel like that would take away from that car’s ability to be a joy both on and off the track.
I’d probably go with a Lotus, especially a 7.

Sifu Alex
Sifu Alex

1970 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm. Seems to be theme here.

Or a classic Mini!

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Fredrik Assarsson
Fredrik Assarsson

Hypothetical builds stuck in your heads drawing board or not – get them down on paper, then find it, and then get that down payment down on paper!

Me? I’m keeping it somewhat cheap and simple and going for the cheapest type of rusted out 105series Alfa and building what others build on the coupes!

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Robert Lidstroem
Robert Lidstroem

Looking forward to see it! Great and odd idea!

Robert Lidstroem
Robert Lidstroem

This would do 🙂 My 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT Veloce!

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Tauseef
Tauseef

A Lancia Fulvia or an Alfa GTV6