Budget Friendly Track Day Specials
We recently wrote how ANPR was having an effect on motoring, and with speed limits seemingly reducing in a number of places (not that we’d ever condone speeding on a public highway), it’s getting tougher to enjoy motoring for the sake of motoring.
Track days have always been a way to blow off steam, to let your horsepower run free, and to not worry about speeding (unless it’s seeing what you can achieve), but for many people, the risk of damaging their car is just too great … even if you’re a driving god, you can’t count for other drivers or mechanical problems, and circuit driving is a completely different discipline than road driving.
That’s why you need a track day special. A budget track day special.
Using a car specifically for track days makes great sense … it doesn’t matter so much if you bend it, you can run any type of tyre that you want, it can be set up purely for the track – comfort being irrelevant in the pursuit of lap time, and of course, if you do manage to try and pioneer the worlds first externalcombustion engine (by blowing a chunk out of the block), you won’t be stuck trying to get home.
Even with a limited budget (let’s say around £1,000), you can buy the makings of a great fun car.
Each of these cars is available right now, for less than £1,000.
Toyota Celica 1.8 VVT 2002
Currently listed at just £600, the little Toyota looks quite sporty from the off. Add in some decent suspension, junk the interior and you’re 90% of the way there.
It doesn’t have enormous horsepower – just 140, but that’s no bad thing while you’re learning the ropes – it’s fast enough to get scary if you get it wrong, slow enough to be controllable.
Vauxhall Astra 2.0 Turbo 2001
OK, it’s a left hand drive, but with 187 bhp and just under 50,000 km, what can you expect for £750?
Left or right hand drive only really matters on the road, and with a sniff under 200 hp, this thing should be guaranteed fun. Just the same as before … get to work on the weight reduction, some decent tyres and suspension and you’d give s great many of the ‘faster’ cars a run.
Volkswagen Golf VR5 2001
What would any car list be without the ubiquitous Golf?
2.3 litre motor with 170 bhp on tap, smooth and revvy and quite literally thousands of custom parts and tuning shops available – roll-cage through to supercharging kits and everything in-between. All this for a lovely jubbly £850.
Mazda MX-5 1.8 2000
For less than £300, this little Mazda could be the one. Sure it’s rough around the edges, the seller says that the engine hesitates slightly, but for £300?
The MX-5 is blessed with handling, great weight distribution and a sportyish engine. By the time you’ve spent another £500 - £600 on it, this would be a great track day tool.
MG MGF 1.8 1999
This particular car doesn’t have an MOT, love it or loathe it, the MGF did have a good chassis and handled well. It could do with a little more power, but there’s plenty of specialists out there to help with that, and for £350, you’d have change left over.
Bin the hydrolastic suspension for something with springs and you’re on your way.
Toyota MR2 VVT-I Roadster 2002
Surely this is the car of choice. Easily upgraded to 240+ horsepower, with brake, suspension and handling kits widely available, this particular one even comes with the factory hardtop.
It’s priced to sell at just £650, and will give you everything that you need from a track day toy.
Definitely our pick of the bunch.
Making The Right Choice
Whatever you choose, whether you keep it road legal or specifically track use only, we have the perfect private car number plate for you … after all it is a toy. (And if it’s track use only, you can always fit the reg to your towing vehicle) - TOY 5
Find out just what other options we have, contact our friendly team today and see why we’re the best registration company in town. Or online.
For those shopping on a budget, at Absolute Reg we sell cheap number plates to buy.