Best Beginner Racecars for CHEAP | WheelHouse
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Best Beginner Racecars for CHEAP | WheelHouse

– I love racing more than I love myself. And while self love is important, and mine is probably lacking, going fast is more important. You wanna go race on a shoestring budget? It can be done. Here are my picks for the best cheap cars you can buy for five grand or less, to get started in in five
different kinds of racing. (soft music) Yo, big shout out to
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ton of awesome options for these forms of motorsport, and what I’m mentioning here is just a handful of great places to start. If you think you have better
ideas, I wanna hear ’em. Drop your suggestions
in the comments below. (claps) Let’s get started. Drag racing. (car engines rev) Drag racing! (car engines rev) First up is one of the simplest
and most accessible forms of grassroots motorsports, drag racing. The sport means a lot to me. I raced Junior Dragsters as a kid, I drove a Sportsman car
with my dad, in college, and I crewed on a Funny Car team. I love it. (belches loudly) You can’t go wrong with a Fox
Body or SN95 Ford Mustang, or a fourth gen F-body Camaro. This Camaro, we found for 4,200 bucks. It already has a nitro setup. The easiest way to go fast
with a ‘Stang or a Camaro is to get the V8. All these cars have a solid rear axle, which is what you want for drag racing. It helps the rear tires
maintain better traction when the suspension squats
under hard acceleration. There are pages and
pages, books and tomes, and tablets of institutional
knowledge and support for modifying Mustangs and Camaros online. Affordable aftermarket
parts for these cars are super available, and
they’re fairly simple to work on yourself. If you’re more into the
sport compact scene, the Dodge Neon SRT-4, and
the first or second gen Mitsubishi Eclipses are good choices. We talked about both these cars in our “Fastest Cars You
Can Buy For Cheap” episode, and they’re naturals on the drag strip. (car engine revs) Number two, autocross. (funky music) Autocross is a great way to
get into racing on the cheap. I absolutely love it. You can take anything you want
out to your local autocross. I take my Mustang, but it’s kinda slow. If you want a real car control challenge, look for any generation Toyota MR2. They’re mid-engine two-seaters, which is pretty ideal for
overall balance and handling, but it also means the rear end is gonna whip out around you real quick if you try to dodge those
cones a little too fast. That’ll speed up your
reaction times in a jiffy. Here’s a turbo second
gen for 5K that we found. Other great rear-wheel-drive
options under five grand are first and second
gen Miatas, of course, I love the NA and NBs. The first and second gen RX-7s, not sure if you can find
one of those for five grand. And the Porche 944, get one of those while they’re still cheap,
’cause for some reason, they’re going up, even
though they’re kinda ugly. There are a bunch of rad front-wheel-drive autocross car too. The Mk1 and three, Golf
GTIs can do really well. GTIs have a bonus spectator
entertainment factor too, because they can lift the rear wheel when cornering really hard,
it’s really funny to watch, (dog barks)
it’s like a little dog peeing on a fire hydrant. I love it. Older Civis, CRXs, and Acura Integras, with double wishbones, are great too. The fully independent suspension keeps the tires’ contact
patches on the pavement, so you get better traction. The original Dodge Neon
is a super hot pick too, and it doesn’t even have to be turboed, especially if you can
find of the R/T models, those things dominated
SCCA ProSolo autocross back in the day, and
they’re still great today. (upbeat music) Number three, club racing. If you wanna raise the stakes,
and drive a little faster, any of the cars I mentioned for autocross will easily take you onto the
racetrack to go club racing. Independent suspension helps
with traction even more on road courses that might
have elevation changes, and banked corners, and raised curving, and all that kinda stuff. Horsepower is a little bit less important, since the cars are generally grouped with others that have the
same power-to-weight ratio, or you might race in a Spec class where every car is pretty
much the same anyway. So, doesn’t have to be
super powerful, just good. I’ll explain. Honestly, there are probably more classes for the low-powered Civics
and Miatas than anything else, because they’re so much fun to drive, and affordable to race. They aren’t fast, in
the traditional sense, so they’re considered momentum cars. Once they’re up to speed,
their goal is to maintain as much of it as possible
through the corners. (car clanks) That’s where their lightweight and independent
suspensions help out a lot. 15-inch wheels and tires
are ideal for these cars. Lemme tell ya, both of
those are a lot cheaper than 17s or 18s. It’s tough to beat Civics and Miatas in the bang for the buck department. But older BMW 3 Series are also popular, as long as they’re not M3s. Replacement parts and upgrades for these aren’t as expensive as
you’d think, either. Spec E30 classes are
super popular right now, and they look like a
really damn good time. (engine revs) Number four, rally cross, slash rally. If you wanna get into
rally cross or rally, you might wanna look in another direction. The obvious choice is
something all-wheel-drive, that has rally heritage, like a first gen Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, or a Bugeye WRX. Gaskets. Watch out for bad head gaskets with the EJ25 motor in the 2.5RS. We found one with some body
damage for only two grand. Let’s be real that body
doesn’t really matter, ’cause you’re probably
gonna crash it anyway. Rally sounds scary, but also very fun. Front-wheel-drive cars can also
be really quick in the dirt. You can be on the throttle for longer than you would be with
a real-wheel-drive car. And with their simpler drive trains, they’re a bit cheaper and
easier to fix and maintain than an all-wheel-drive car. The first gen Ford Focus is a great pic, especially if you can find
one of the SVT models, those are sick. If the Focus was good
enough for Colin McRae, it should be good enough for you. He was a much better driver than you are. The Toyota Celica has a
rally history as well. If you wanna go in a more
unexpected direction, pick up a cheap Volvo 240 or 740. Real-wheel-drive is a special
challenge on loose surfaces, and if you can master that, you can drive pretty much anything. Parts are cheap and plentiful, and Volvos are crazy stout, yet surprisingly light on their feet. And you might not know it, but Volvo does have a legit racing heritage. The 740 was even offered with a turbo, and they all make awesome
engine swap candidates, if you wanna get a little creative. K20 swap that (beep). (funky music) Number five, drifting. It’s one of the most
popular and exciting ways to participate in motorsports these days, and one of the most interesting, since the competition isn’t
based entirely on speed. Unlike the other forms of racing, to drift, you’re gonna need a
car that’s rear-wheel-drive, and has enough power to
break the back tires loose. Something with an LS V8 is
definitely nice to have, but it’s not really necessary. The number one go-to drift car, the Nissan 240SX has less
than 160 horsepower stock, and yes, they will drift stock. The S13 and S14 both have an exceptionally well-balanced chassis,
and a longish wheel base that make them some of
the best cars to slide. But truth be told, you might
not find an S14 for under 5K. But the early 350Zs are
another great choice, and they’re starting
to come down in price. They’ve got plenty of power, and there are definitely
more of them around than the S13 and S14s. Obviously, there’s a ton of aftermarket support and knowledge about
both the 240s and 350s, and you really can’t go wrong with either. I love the 350Z. I’m gonna turn low car into a drift car. The E36 BMW 3 Series also
has a well-balanced chassis, and is capable as a drift machine. There are plenty of these
out there for cheap, so what are you waiting for? Pick your poison and start racing. The cars I’ve chosen aren’t necessarily hard and fast rules, they’re
just good starting places, but if you look close
enough, you’re gonna see some really wild stuff at a drift event. That’s why it’s so cool. (chill music) Drag racing, autocross,
club racing, rally, I wanna try rally cross so bad, drifting, of course, I wanna try. I wanna do every kind of racing. Lemme know in the comments
what kind you wanna do, and with what car. I’d love to hear it. Again, thank you so
much for watching Donut, and watching WheelHouse, it’s just like, it really means a lot to me, man. (imitates karate chopping) (intense music)

100 thoughts on “Best Beginner Racecars for CHEAP | WheelHouse

  1. If you want to really keep the cost low go “rallying” in a gambler. $500 cars going off road hitting waypoints and picking up trash in a car not designed for off-roading. Mostly just for fun but that’s the point of racing 🤣

  2. Almost every race style mentioned can be done with a Camaro or mustang for cheap you can find Camaro for 2000 pretty much any where

  3. 2g eclipses are good for auto cross when they have coilovers. 1g eclipses do very well in rally, built like tanks and fast.

  4. Could tell the part about how you cant find a good 240sx under 5k now a days coming because i was just shopping for one lol i have an s10 instead 😂

  5. The $4200 z28 add says it has 10 cylinders. I have a hard time believing it comes with a nitrous system.

    Time stamp 1:56

  6. The z31 is an extremely underrated car. They are cheap and extremely easy to turbo and modify for more power in terms of cost. The stock VG30 can handle a max of 400+ and more if modified abit. The only problem is those who know the car will swarm one if it's available to get parts. Another problem is the lack of aftermarket, so prepare to learn some DIY.

  7. Id throw the Ford ZX2 Escort in there. Ugly, but they handle pretty well and have a VVT 4 banger under the hood. Also, dirt cheap.

  8. I love drifting I would like to do it in a Supra but I have a Toyota Tercel 😂😂I’ll still do it there 😂😂lmao

  9. You can get into oval racing super cheap too. Honda Civic, Acura integra, Nissan Sentra, saturns, Pontiac sunfires/Chevy cavilier, dodge neon, ford probe, Ford Focus, all are run in the 4 cylinder fwd class and can all be super dominant. I bought my integra for 600 bucks then threw a cage in and some safety equipment. And only 2000 late you can be a competive racer with a car that will last for years honestly imo the cheapest way to go racing

  10. Lol I own an 88 MR2 Supercharged I picked up with 110k miles for 3K 😂 love it and it's my daily, fun cars!

  11. I'm at a tie between rally/rally cross and drifting. For shits and giggles, I want to try rallying my '06 Forenza Wagon.

    Yes, it's crappy, I know, but I got it for 5K and it's on its last legs. Might as well have fun with it, you know? Before it dies.

  12. BRUH, you can't call the 944 ugly while saying nothing about the rx7 fc, they're styled almost exactly the same

  13. Racing I'd like to try and cars I'd do it in

    1.Off road
    Jeep Cherokee
    Toyota (most anything 4wd)
    Most any 90s-00s compact 4wd SUV (Geo Tracker, Kia Sportage, Suzuki Samurai and many more)

    Nearly everything Subaru
    Nissan Pulsar
    Ford RS200
    Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

    3.Auto cross
    Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4
    BMW E36
    U.S. rebadged Holden Commodore of some sort (Pontiac GTO, G8 and Chevy SS, Caprice ppv)

    Foxbody mustang
    Lexus SC300 racing
    I just wanna get something kinda cool into the 24 hours of lemons

    Anybody that shares or really likes any of my ideas, let's make some type of team. I can't afford all this.

  14. I already drag race a 2003 mustang cobra with 1000 hp but I’ve been wanting to 5.0 swap a fox body mustang so that’s probably the next project

  15. I wanna try rally with some crap stick shift and mud flaps. Crap cars are the best cars. I can shift and deal with traction as long as the engine keeps turning. Doesn't matter how fast it is. #swingit #sendit

  16. I wish cars were affordable in Argentina most of the cars you listed go over 10k usd here and that is way over the average yearly pay

  17. Them e36 series seem like one of the better all around choice. I'd love to cross rally some time and I'd love to own a WRX like a daily driver, but I think racing an e3 would be fun.

  18. Easy if you’re in New Zealand or Australia. Need a track car? Commodore. Rally car? Commodore. Dirt car? Commodore. Drag racing? Commodore. Drift car? Commodore. They’re a ton cheaper than miatas, millions of them so you can get parts easy, and if you’re willing to drop a couple 1000 more then you can get an ls1 in it aswell, and even if you don’t like Holden, ford falcons are also really cheap and have the Barra aka “Australia’s 2jz”

  19. Kansas Region SCCA has a rallycross division and I welcome you to come out to anyone of our events and ride with us. We welcome newcomers by giving ride alongs and if you're game I've got a car to share whenever. Look us up on FB Kansas Region SCCA and ask for William.

  20. I've had amazing luck with my 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer ES sport, cheaper to mod, reasonably quick and with a monster rear sway bar, good tires and a ralliart snorkel, she holds her own vs civics in autox

  21. Nolan you forgot the BEST car for autocross AND rally! The 2007 Honda Fit is an often overlooked legend that *dominates* any lowish horsepower racing league.

  22. As an e36 owner, I 1000% recommend them. They are so much fun, seriously capable but still tail happy enough to keep you on your feet. Especially the 6 cylinder ones.

  23. I'm in the process for setting up my Lexus IS300 for some drift in the future. Nothing crazy, just for casual fun.

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