What’s Your Vote For The Best Drive-There-And-Back Track Car?
Photography by Marco Annunziata, Rosario Liberti, Mark Brown, and Jayson Fong
My days on the track are more limited than I’d like them to be, but one of my best “motorsport” memories came from driving there and back in my friend’s souped-up E30 a few years ago. It didn’t have air-conditioning nor a radio, but if you’re on your way to do some hot laps with your buddy those creature comforts are forgotten in the course of conversation; mainly, “What do you think will show up?” It turns out that the answers to that question were wheeled out of trailers more often than not. Cars shod with slicks and big wings, serious-businsess-type bucket seats with fixed backs and room for a HANS device.
They had to be towed to the track either because they weren’t road legal or their owners wanted to bring a rack of spares while keeping the mileage off. That’s all well and good of course—nothing wrong with having a nice setup to cart your car around with—but after a few acclimating laps we started to overtake some of those cars with his license-plate-wearing Bimmer on DOT-approved rubber. Who knows why—maybe they were training or breaking something in or just taking it easy that day—but the sensation of looking out the passenger-side window as we passed them made me pretty giddy.
There’s something to be said about a bonafide “track-day special” but I know I’m not alone in preferring the kinds of cars you can take to the store for some cold beers once the day is done and your brake pads are a bit thinner than they were in the morning. With modern stuff this isn’t that exceptional (a GT3 can run errands one day and eat up almost anything that shows up to the track the next), but there are still a lot of cars that we call “classics” that can pull it off too. That is, if they’re maintained and properly cared for. So with that said, what do you think makes for the ultimate do-it-all car for, excuse the pun, the road and track? No need to keep it stock, but it’s fine if that’s your preference.