Motorsports Monday: 2009 Volkswagen GTi

To call the TireRack sponsored “One Lap of America” anything other than a grueling competition would be a disservice to the event. On par with some of the greatest endurance races in the world, the 7-day, 3,200 mile trek around the United States has an added twist – you have to drive your race car between stages. Now, that’s something that occurs in the World Rally Championship – but they cover far fewer miles and have pro teams, pit crews and major automotive manufacturers backing them up. To say that the One Lap is a amateur-only event would also be misleading, but it is far from a strictly professional series – and where else would you see a Honda Odyssey win at anything? Combining several different classes of cars, you get the spectrum from classic performance muscle cars through modern super GTs. The winner of class “SSGT2 SB” in 2014 was a Volkswagen GTi – one of a trio of cars prepared to dominate the event. When you consider that the cars that ranked above them were super GT royalty – Corvette ZR-1s, Viper SRT-10s, Boss 302s and a plethora of Nissan GT-Rs – the level of performance from the GTis is drawn into perspective. Now the builders are moving on, leaving these seriously potent track weapons available at a fraction of their build cost:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1995 BMW M3 “Track Package”

It might not be Motorsports Monday, but with the weekend just around the corner, it’s a great time to contemplate a track day car. This 1995 BMW M3 comes to us by way of our friends at Euro Werkz and represents the first year for the E36 M3 in the US market. This example has been worked over, with additions such as an adjustable suspension, floating brake rotors and four point roll bar. While it’s done up decidedly for competition, this M3 is also street legal. In addition, a Chevrolet pickup with trailer comes as a part of the package, in case you don’t want to drive the M3 to the track.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Track Package at Euro Werkz

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Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche Cayman

I really like the concept of the Cayman. Mid-engined, manual gearbox, rear drive and a lighter chassis are a return to the roots of Porsche – the Auto Union Grand Prix cars first designed by Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s. Dynamically, it’s hard to fault the Cayman, too – on track, they’re simply magnificent, dispatching corners and straightaways with ease, rippling pavement in braking zones. I was lucky enough to spend some time on track in a then-new ’09 fully loaded S; it immediately put you at ease, the capabilities of the chassis left plenty in reserve even when you entered corners at seemingly inappropriate or inadvisable speeds. Fit and finish-wise, they’re a Porsche through and through; beautiful paint, striking wheels, and luxurious interiors. The soundtrack is pretty great, too. One area that I’m not convinced? The looks; some look great, while others look slightly out of proportion to me. One great upgrade that you can do that really makes the Cayman look more purposeful, though, it to equip the front end with big-brother 911 GT3 items. The result is much more aggressive, and paired with some racing graphics, a huge rear spoiler and the right bits inside, you’ve got yourself a budget Cup car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche Cayman on eBay

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Coupe Week Motorsports Monday: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3

There’s something that is inherently appealing to me about the idea of a aluminum V8 engine swapped into a Porsche 944. Sure, you could argue that just buying a 928 would scratch that particular itch, and in many ways you’d be right. But say you want extra power and cheaper operating costs? These are things that the Porsche 928 doesn’t particularly excel at, coupled with the more complicated and fragile electronics of the 944’s big brother. The smaller, lighter 944 then seems to be a natural choice; with near perfect weight distribution and bits that swap in easily from the higher-horsepower Turbo model, you can have a track-ready sleeper for about the same price as a decently sorted 928 – but choose the right engine, and you’ll have much more motivation at your call. In the case of this 1987 944, that choice would be the all-aluminum 6.2 liter V8 from the new Corvette – the LS3, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.ft. of torque right out of the box:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday RS Style: 1979 and 1987 Porsche 911s

It goes without saying that the Porsche 911 is one of the most popular modified chassis ever conceived, and a fair amount of those modifications are track-based. The results are sometimes mixed; however, one of the more popular trends which I think is pretty slick is backdating 911s. It’s ironic, since for some time it was more popular to update the looks of many of the older race cars to new 964 or 993 bodies. However, the surge in pricing in the 1960s and 1970s 911 market has resulted in many backdated cars coming to market. Obviously, the advantage is that you get a better driving and more powerful car with more options than original, but it’s got the look of the sought after early models. However, probably the biggest advantage is that of price; with a lower entry cost, prospective buyers aren’t afraid to use the 911 where it is well suited; driving fast on a race track. Today I have two different takes on backdated 911s, both with a nod towards the mega-buck RS model. Which is the one you’d choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1972 Porsche 911T and 1980 Porsche 911SC

A rather sad thing is happening within the Porsche world; the 911 is increasing in value so rapidly that its original dual purpose nature is being threatened. The 911 was, for some time, one of the few cars that really was effectively track-ready right out of the box. While it’s seldom been the all-out fastest circuit car available the 911 has been the dependable choice; lightweight with enough power to thrill you and enough idiosyncrasies to challenge you as a driver. Today I’ve rounded up two track-ready examples that still can be street driven; both 3.0s but with different yet classic interpretations of the 911 design, which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Porsche 911T on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche 911GT3 RS

One of my favorite aspects about the Porsche brand is they have never been timid with color. Even to this day, you are able to tailor your Porsche specifically to your preferences via the Porsche Exclusive program, giving you the option of having one special Porsche. This orange 911GT3 RS is not the result of a Porsche Exclusive order, but is fetching nonetheless. This example for sale has over $60,000 in upgrades and while it appears to be a dedicated race machine, it is still street legal. It comes with a lot of extras, including a custom trailer, representing quite a deal for the next owner, especially if you consider what the entry cost is to a new 911 these days.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911GT3 RS on Rennlist

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Motorsports Monday: Mild or Wild M3s

Going to the track is like any other addiction; it has its highs and lows. You may start going with a stock car, but soon you’ll feel the need to modify the suspension, beef up with wheels and tires, throw on some racing brakes, strip the interior and all of that heavy stuff that slows you down like air conditioning, sound deadening, and seats. Then you drop a cage in and hit the track; all smiles, no doubt, but it’s been an expensive journey and your track weapon is really only good at fast laps for a small percentage of its existence; the rest of the time, it just sits or is exceptionally uncomfortable and inconvenient as a daily driver. Plus, modern cars have gotten so expensive and complicated, with enough computer aids that they can nearly lap themselves. What is an enthusiast to do, then? Well, you can look towards some perennial favorites that helped to establish the reputation of BMW; the M3. In this case, I have two examples that are set up to hit the track – a racer E30 and a street-drivable but track-biased E46. Which is your flavor?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M3 on eBay

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Motorsport Mondays: 1986 BMW 325 NASA Spec

Most of us who are car enthusiasts have a desire at some point or another to go racing. Ever since watching my uncle work the Sports Car Club of America ITE circuit with this ’88 Corvette, I was hooked. The constraints of urban living make having a dedicated race machine a bit impossible, but one can dream. This 1986 BMW 325 built to National Auto Sport Association specifications seems like a good place to start satisfying the urge for those who have track day visions.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325 NASA Spec on eBay

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1995 Porsche 968 Club Sport

For all the air-cooled Porsches that we feature, there is still one outlier that is the ne plus ultra when it comes to P-cars for me. The 968 Club Sport. This was another one of those forbidden fruits to US customers, but a formula which enthusiasts copied in earnest by either cobbling together a few of the more performance oriented options available at the time, such as the M030 option package, or by way of the aftermarket. Out of the box, the Club Sport was ready to hit the track, with about 222 pounds shed from the curb weight by way of deletion of luxury trimmings and complimented with a more aggressive suspension setup. This Club Sport for sale in Maryland has been worked over a bit to make it even more fearsome for track days.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 968 Club Sport on Rennlist

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