Feature Listing Double Take: Kachel Motor Company’s 2006 Porsche Cayman S and 2007 Cayman S 3.8

While the Porsche 986 Boxster might have been the car that saved Porsche with its massive popularity, the 987-derived Cayman was what made the mid-engine design popular with track enthusiasts. Especially in more potent “S” form, the Cayman is a giant killer with sublime vehicle dynamics and plenty of punch even without a turbo. The 987 refresh in 2005 fixed many of the perceived visual faults of the 986 Boxster design with a slant towards a more aggressive look. The Coupe added a smooth, flowing hatchback line to the 997-inspired exterior, creating a lightweight, 7/8ths scale mid-engine 911. That it was less expensive than the traditional flat-6 lineup didn’t hurt, either. It was, and remains, a hit.

It was no surprise then that immediately these Caymans became popular with track enthusiasts and racers alike, spawning their own race series in the PCA. But you don’t need to fork over $100,000 for one of the rare Napleton Interseries cars to have a lot of fun at the track, as Kachel Motor Company proves with this duo of Cayman S racers:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche Cayman S on Panjo

Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 928S LS1

I’m a big fan of unusual track cars. I’m not sure why entirely, but there is some satisfaction in taking the path less traveled, perhaps. Maybe it’s just having something a little different than the norm. If you wanted to go to the track with a V8, there are any number of possibilities from Mustang to Mercedes. If you wanted to go to the track in a Porsche, 911s, Boxsters, Caymans and 944 Turbos abound. But to combine the two? Well, that means 928, and traditionally speaking, the 928 hasn’t been a great track car even though one raced at Le Mans in 1983. Complicated, heavy, expensive and well, old, the 928 doesn’t immediately strike you as an ideal track attacker. But what if you swapped in a 400 horsepower LS1? They do call it the “German Corvette”, after all…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 928S LS1 on eBay

1995 BMW M3

$_57 (6)

When looking at E36 M3s, there are many different approaches. Do you want the lowest mileage example around in case they go the way of the E30-dodo? Perhaps you’re looking for a driver-quality, mid-mileage example. Is it four-doors or nothing? (For my money it would be!) Or maybe you’re a bit more adventurous and 240hp just won’t do so you’re after some performance mods, maybe even a supercharger?

These are all rational approaches to one of the best performance bargains available today and illustrate what a broad spectrum of driving enthusiasm the E36 M3 can fulfill. For today, however, just one item composed my rubric: WHICH ONE HAS THE BIGGEST WING? Well, folks, I’m confident I’ve found it, and as opposed to the rear-view problems monster wings typically present, this one avoids that problem altogether by just placing the spoiler higher than the roof!

Now, the reason this car has a GT3RS-rivaling spoiler is because it’s been fully outfitted for the track. A supercharger and upgraded exhaust/suspension/brakes combine with a rollcage in the bare interior to make this M3 all about the go, not show. Which rationalizes the wing a bit – sure, it looks silly, but with the S52B30 putting out over 400hp at the crank now, some high-speed stability is a prudent priority. Somehow registered for the street, this complete track build clearly demands a closed course so you can exercise this E36’s full potential instead of garnering Nelson Muntz-ish “Ha Ha!”s from the general public.

Click for details: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche Cayman S

Yesterday, our editor Paul sent me a quick message with a link enclosed – “Enjoy a late birthday present!” he said. The link was to the movie Le Mans, the 1971 classic staring Steve McQueen piloting the equally iconic Gulf-liveried John Wyer run Porsche 917Ks. But while that combination would be emblazoned in history as the defacto color for the Porsche 917, to me the more memorable combination was the car that actually won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours. That was the magnesium-framed number 22; a pale white car that debuted an equally iconic combination for me as it was sponsored by Martini Racing. Later in the 1970s, the livery would become more famous as the multiple winners with both 935 and 936 chassis, but few remember that the connection went back into the era of the light-blue Gulf cars. The Martini livery is still popular today, carried on by a proud tradition into Formula 1 as well as being recreated by amateur enthusiasts in the Porsche Interseries, a Cayman-only race program that notably offered drivers to run famous Porsche colors. Very few can afford the opportunity to even see 917s in action – never mind own one. But a Cayman S racer? While not cheap, they’re considerably more affordable than you’d expect:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche Cayman S on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

They have a reputation for being a bit heavy, underpowered and prone to understeer – all things that make track enthusiasts cringe. But let’s not forget that the B5 Audi A4 carried on a proud tradition of successful touring cars; it was entered into nearly every series and notably won a few championships – the ’95 and ’96 Italian Superturismo Championship and the ’96 British Touring Car Championship, besting the popular favorites BMW and Alfa-Romeo. Such was the continued dominance of the quattro drive system that in every successive championship the Audis were entered in, they were eventually banned from the series. But the resurgence of Audi to the forefront of Touring Cars proved to be a boost for sales of the popular B5 chassis, making it an instant favorite amongst fans who traveled to the track. While Audi changed priorities in the later ’90s from the BTCC and ITC, there were nonetheless several teams who ran examples of the A4, notably in the “World Challenge” sanctioned by SCCA. With liveries inspired by the classic A4 Super Touring, the more production-based A4 World Challenge gained mostly safety equipment and competed in the lower “Touring” class against the likes of the Acura Integra and BMW 325i, while after 2001 the S4 was introduced to run with the big boys. While not nearly as fast or special as the STW A4s which carry unique Audi Sport chassis numbers, an example of these lesser A4s captures the look at a fraction of the price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro on eBay

Motorsports Monday: E30-off – 1989 v. 1990 BMW 325i

A funny thing happens when you go to the track often. People arrive with generally a slower car in stock form. The immediate experience most have, once hooked on heading to the track, is that their driving is not the limiting factor, but the speed of their car. So the story goes, with searches of the internet resulting in stiffer suspension, chips and exhaust, engine mapping and dyno runs, camber plates and coil-overs, sticky rubber and the lightest wheels possible – even if they’re ugly. Why? All in the quest of speed. However, once those drivers get towards the top, a few strange realizations occurs: first, there will always be someone with more money (often, a lot more) who will turn up at the track with a weapon capable of making your turned up and tuned up ride look positively slow. The second is more profound – the guys in the slow cars are coming off track with bigger smiles. It’s simply very satisfying to drive a slow car fast, and it turns out that those drivers get closer to the edge and experience a more pure driving experience. Anyone can plunk down $110,000 at your Nissan dealership and go and let the car set fast lap times. But it takes panache to take a step back and enjoy an older, slower car – to hone your skills and make yourself a better driver. While there are several cars from the 1980s that will afford you that opportunity, arguably the most popular in the German car realm is the venerable E30:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325i on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC – REVISIT

The 1992 Volkswagen Corrado track/race car that I wrote up back in September is back up on eBay, this time with a lowered “Buy It Now” by a thousand dollars to just below $6,000. This really strikes me as a fantastic bargain for the track; less money than some people put into modifying their daily drivers for track duty by a long shot!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC Race Car on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 22, 2014:

Motorsports Monday: 2000 BMW M Coupe LS2 Swap – REVISIT

The wild LS2-swapped M Coupe has popped back up on eBay, now with a substantially lowered price to $36,500. There’s a lot of custom engineering that you’re getting for free at that price, and it all looks very well executed. I originally incorrectly believed the car was vinyl wrapped but was corrected by the seller that it is in fact painted matte orange. I love the audacity of the build and it’s just not possible to get more speed for less money in the German car world. This is one really cool setup for a track car and much more unique than the typical M3 or Porsche Turbos!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M Coupe LS2 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 15, 2014:

Motorsports Monday: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC VR6

For a long time, enthusiasts have claimed that you need to have rear wheel drive to enjoy a car’s dynamic abilities or have a successful race car. However, while limited in their application, front-drivers have a very long and successful track record dating back to the 1960s. Let’s not forget the Mini, SAABs and even some early Audi rally efforts which used front-drive platforms and were winners. In touring cars, Audi ran Coupe GTs and front-drive 4000s in Group 5 and later Volkswagen took the idea of the performance hatchback to their Golf platform in the GTi. Wildly popular as a budget racer since new, the Golf’s basic layout and platform evolved into the Volkswagen coupes – both Scirocco and later Corrado. While the early Sciroccos also gained much success in SCCA racing in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Corrado introduced a new level of performance with the VR6 engine. While the torque-laden application would seem on the surface to be a bad match for a front driver, the Corrado when properly set up is truly an impressive car and massively quick – a great alternative to the E36 chassis, for example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC VR6 on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 2000 BMW M Coupe with LS2 Swap

If I haven’t previously voiced my displeasure with the “Lime Rock Park Edition” M3, allow me to do it now. On the face of it, it’s something I should love – a track that I grew up with and still love to frequent, one of the most historic homes of motorsport in the country tied to one of the best German cars out of the box, celebrating a union with one of the best driving schools – Skip Barber. But the Lime Rock edition is more or less a special color (which, incidentally you can purchase at any point given enough money and checking BMW’s “Individual” boxes properly) and a little track map of Lime Rock inside; you know, in case you forget where you are in the middle of the “Big Bend”. The color, I’ll admit, is pretty awesome to me and of course the competition package E92 was pretty amazing out of the box – but the premium demanded for these Lime Rock cars was simply outrageous in my opinion. What should the Lime Rock Park Edition have been, in my opinion? Well, I think the builder of this M Coupe got it right – stripped down for lower weight, big downforce and 100% more power:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M Coupe LS2 on eBay