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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Auto Parts, and Amazon. I think it’s a great product. Check GUNK out in the link below. Get GUNK. (sniffs) Honestly, there are a
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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Why no mention of Boxster in this video? This subject is close to my heart. Thank you for this video. I have been saving for a mid-engine cheap racecar, and while the MR-2 was a close second for me, I currently have my eye on racing a 986 Porsche Boxster because they not only look better BUT, are also about the same price as the MR-2. BIG QUESTION: How do they compare with maintenance costs and reliability? Can you do a video on 986 racing?

  5. Wow you've blocked Civics out of your mind a lot… Hear stories about guys that would drive their Civic to a track and be faster than cars that were trailered there… Also current World Time Attack record holder at club level on many tracks.

  6. I'd love to hit up a track and drift with my Miata, but I only got to drift on the street and in empty parking lots before it fucking exploded. Usually they're pretty reliable but 300,000k plus going up a hill that feels like a 35 degree grade will not do your engine any good.
    Also if you feel your car struggling, don't floor it harder haha

    When it has been reborn I will have a track day, but it may be a bit of a drive. Every track around here is a 1/4 mile drag strip. As good as drag strips are I would like some mother fucking variety

  7. 2:09…that was mt 93 notch back 5.0 manual with 3:55 gears! Should have died every night I owned it in my early 20's. If I blasted passed you well past 120 mph in Columbus Ohio about 25 years ago there, my apologies. Miss that car. One year only color coral reef blue.

  8. Um, drifting was cool. Now, it’s everyone’s game and thus lost its luster.
    I am no longer into racing so, who knows what road I will take. 🙁

  9. I'm hurting please Please, Please if  you are able, if not please share with someone who can. I have the GoFundMe and also use cashapp or PayPal. I need the chair to get out of the house and whatnot.
    Pay pal Brandon48134
    Or cashapp $heartsAcefam

  10. I Autocross a 2001 Lexus IS300. Paid $1000 for it. It’s essentially a Japanese M3. Just cheaper to maintain, much more reliable and 2jz yo!

  11. For $5k, how can you not have mentioned karting?? Karting is the most grass roots form of racing there is and is definitely within the $5k budget to get set up. And where can you race in club classes for less than $5k? Maybe $5k to purchase a spec miata /e30 car…but you still need safety equipment and will drop minimum $5k tracking it.
    And drifting isn’t racing!

  12. Rally or difting for a crown vic p71 is great hell yeah why not drag racing. They can handle good for its size and they are cheap as dirt. v8 power RWD with a posi if you get the p71 check the vin. Strong long lasting 4 door mustang. Also for cheap drag racing odd choice but a early 2000s chevy/gmc pick up 1500 with even just a 4.8 or 5.3 is great for everything on this. A ebay turbo and wheels with a make a beast out of one these trucks. Just find one with 180.000 miles up and 2wd with a long bed and two more doors with some rust and dents like an old work truck. super cheap and easy to work on. Mine beats foxbodys and irocs all day it has 298.000 miles and runs like new … sorry thats a lie IT RUNS BETTER THAN NEW! Super strong pickups I love them. Also look a z71 Cuz the rear end has better gears.

  13. My goal is to get into dragracing with a gbody cutlass i dont know why but ive always liked the 86 cutlass supreme

  14. I wish I had a place to store a race car… or the money. However, I might say fuck it and take my Mazda 3 to an autocross event. Should be fun.

  15. I actually bought my 92 miata from drifting. Replace out the diff from a 1.8 engine and new suspension and I've heard they're driftable. Put a turbo and they drift like a champ.

  16. What about the Ford Fiesta lmao I have the N/A version and the thing can still hit 125mph so it’s no slouch for a 1.6L 😂 😂

  17. You said the Neon SRT-4 yet the Cobalt SS is a slightly better option. Better aftermarket support and a better transmission

  18. My roommate used to take his built Sunbird for autocross. Got him third place among Subaru's and Mitsubishi's one time.

  19. Had a 350Z Fairlady. Love it to death. Made it hot pink and souped it up with a aftermarket ECU, a body kit and big mofo wing because *GT*, baby!!
    A Miata broke its wishbone and my fair lady ended up in the barricade, pun intended.
    You’ll simply love that darling of a car.

  20. Have done track days for both single seat formula ford and rallycross. Have also used my old GTI in a run what you brung event. All awesome and dirt cheap for the experience value.

  21. for autocross an club racing you missed out on the r53 minis, things are tanks and quick as fuck as long as you point them in the right direction

  22. I would love to get a 2004-2007 Subaru WRX and learn to do Rally Cross. Then, when I inevitably crash it I can use the parts to build a Factory Five 818c kit car and try Autocross racing.

  23. In Canada we have 15 year import laws, not 25 and right now RHD 350z are so cheap. Best bargain chassis out there right now.

  24. I would try rally cross with a mercedes Benz S500 4matic
    Stupid right
    Just for fun
    They got V8 that’s 345 buff hrsprs
    And somewhere about 250 torque

  25. In my country old compact Fiats are very popular for cheap amateur rally mashines. They cost almost nothing and weight 700 kg

  26. Beginner tuner/racecar starter pack:
    1. $1300 Japanese beater with 83 horsepowers
    2. Muffler delete
    3. K&N filter aka cold air intake
    4. Cropped springs
    5. Massive windshield sticker front and back(+5hp)
    6. Absolutely not a single hp gain
    7. Broken down/abandoned on the curb side

  27. my rally car would be a ford sierra just because is the only car i've driven and it was a great rally car of the 80's, and my track day car would be my favourite car of all time the s13 240sx.

    not that you needed to know all this but whatever.

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