Achtung! Bockwurst! Paffenstücken! That's not even a real word! Anyway, there's something to be said about the many, many German cars you see at the track. Some marques and models even have their own racing series. Others just make a glorious noise at full throttle.
Here are a variety of German cars for racing, tracking and even off-road shenanigans. Alternately, if you have any mechanically masochistic friends or family who still need a gift, we've got them covered, too.
All those grazed knuckles and time spent in the "service position" can be worth it when the car runs well, though. Join me on a magical wander through the wacky German-engineered offerings on the Internets.
You knew this was coming. YOU KNEW. All of Opposite Lock probably knew this was coming, because it's one of our own's ads. He needs the funds for ice racing! We should support that.
(Why he's not ice racing a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Porsche, I don't know, but he should pick up another one and do this.)
This is a stupidly nice price for a relatively low-mileage 1987 944, and that's why it's here.
944s are great, and this one comes with a limited-slip differential, the meatiest factory swaybars (M030 package), Koni Yellow shocks and two sets of wheels.
There's some cosmetic issues, but meh. It's a track car! (Or it should be if it isn't already.) You're probably going to cover it in tire boogers and rock chips, anyway.
The power steering pump is out, but that's a common issue and honestly, I like the manual rack on these cars for track use, anyway. There's a slight oil leak and a wonky sensor for the oil level, but that's any old 944.
I already have one 944. 944s give you more fun per dollar out of any of the Porsches out there. Buy this so I don't.
(He has a 924 for sale, too, by the way. Again, buy it so I don't.)
This is the first biodiesel road race car in the United States, and it comes with no shortage of places to race, either. It just ran the 13 Hours of VIR, has current logbooks for NASA and SCCA and wouldn't be out of place at the likes of AER or WRL, either.
There's good reason why many Le Mans prototypes run on diesel now: the fuel economy is fantastic. Biodiesel takes a waste product and turns it into glorious, glorious speed. And think of the torque! Glorious, fun torque for days!
Sure, you could get a Spec E30 and have a ton of fun there, too, but why not pick up something a bit more unique?
Merry Festivus, Jalopnik. It's not a manual or a turbodiesel, but it's close enough to the holy grail that I'm going to say BUY IT.
Sure, it's a bit heavy and big for a track car, but it wouldn't be the first time I've seen a big E-class hooning around a high performance driver's ed event.
That 5.5-liter biturbo V8 is enough to drown out any worries about being the biggest car at a track day, and let's be honest: panoramic sunroofs look better at high speed.
Go ahead, shred your tires. You've got ample space for spare wheels in this, so you can come prepared.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but it's a 959.
That's all I need to say: Porsche 959 for sale.
Whether you'd want to squirrel this 10,250-mile example away to be sad and un-hooned in a collection somewhere or run it like it deserves to be run is up to you. It's a 959, legally imported into the United States by Bruce Canepa.
This may be the more comfortable Komfort trim line, but the twin-turbo 2.85-liter flat six can make you feel delightfully uncomfortable at the push of the throttle. Six-speed manual. All-wheel-drive. A spot on the place of every "Best Supercars Ever Made" list in existence.
Bonus: it recently had its major service done by 959 expert Mark Allin. Worry-free ultra-rare supercar hooning awaits.
You know you want it.
Dinan is one of the most respected BMW tuners, and up for sale is Steve Dinan's personal World Challenge race car. This is one of the few 5-series race cars out there, and it features an M60 V8 engine swap up front along with numerous other upgrades, including a massive Garrett T04 turbo.
Over 850 horsepower in a four-door sedan. Who wouldn't want to race this car?
The ad states that it will need a full ground-up restoration to return to raceable condition, but all the necessary parts will be supplied. If StanceWorks' photos are current, it has more than a few battle scars left from its World Challenge days.
The RS America is the ultimate 964: a rear-engined, stripped-down, flat-six rocketship. It was a limited-production car made to commemorate Porsche's original 911 Carrera RS.
Contrary to Porsche's pricing strategy now, this race track ready stripper model was the cheapest Porsche 911 on sale when it debuted—a full $10,000 less than the 911 C2.
This example features a few additional features over the completely stripped down RS America, such as HVAC and a radio. Additional upgrades over stock include moving to Euro ride height, a chip and larger brakes.
It's had some minor paint work, but it only has 77,000 miles, too. You should add to that.
Want a Dinan, but not ready to go full racecar? Here you go: tons of street-legal fun for street, track and everywhere in between (autocross, anyone?).
1995 was somewhat of a golden year for the BMW M3, still rollin' with OBD-I and no traction control. This car's classy Avus Blue paint was only available in 1995, too.
This Bimmer sports a host of fun upgrades, the most amusing of which is a Dinan Powerdyne supercharger.
It has a few cosmetic issues, but the go-fast bits are all in working order, making for 275 horsepower and 240 torque at the wheels.
I'm just going to post a photo of the interior, with the relevant piece highlighted. The exterior is white and immaculate, as expected. But that's not the selling point of this car. The selling point is that fantastic gated manual shifter.
Gated manual shifters are a rare bird nowadays, and the R8's is a thing of pure beauty.
The distinct click-click-click-click evocative of a classic sportscar will be a joy no matter where you're driving this car.
The V8 certainly adds a nice soundtrack under all those heavenly click-click-click shifts.
What's the happiest shade of green in the world? This one! If there's one thing I've learned from the likes of Krohn Racing, it's that bright lime green looks spectacular on a race car, and this 996 Cup is no exception.
This car comes with a brand new 3.6 liter 997 GT3 Cup motor and rebuilt transmission by G-box, recently installed. So recently, in fact, that its only run time on those components has been one hour of dyno time at Porsche Motorsport North America after they did the engine install.
The only thing you'd need to swap out on this car to get it ready to race are the harnesses and fire bottles. It's been used as a private track day car for the past 10 years, so those items haven't had to stay in current racing spec for a while.
Comes with two sets of wheels: score. You can even pick up the original engine (has 100 hours of track time) as a spare if you want it.
Are you a lover, not a hater of the controversial 996 styling? Then this is the ultimate car for you.
This was advertised as a "Rally Project," but at $700, you can easily sell off a few unnecessary items and fit it into the 24 Hours of LeMons or ChumpCar. Bonus: it's the front-wheel-drive downmarket counterpart of the famous Sport Quattro, so you know what? Rally it, too.
It needs a new windshield and hood brackets due to every racer's favorite facepalm moment: they went out for a drive without fully locking the hood pins down. Oops.
Other than that, it's only been sitting since Spring and looks mechanically intact. There's a new CV axle waiting to be installed.
Rescue this car, I say. Live out your crazy rally fantasies on the cheap. Most rally schools start people out in front-wheel-drive cars anyway, due to the ease of mastering it over AWD. If you're on dirt, don't worry, you're going to go delightfully sideways anyway.
If you're going to buy a modern Mercedes race car, why not get the GT3 version of one of the best sounding cars* in Formula One? Here's an SLS AMG GT3 for sale in Portugal.
The sound rivals the unholy rumblings that your lactose-intolerant coworker makes when they give in and eat a cheese omelette for lunch.
The unique gullwing doors make this car a looker anywhere it goes.
Want to make a stab at, say, World Challenge? This is a wonderfully rowdy option, provided you're good at shooing away curious onlookers whenever it's in the pits.
"OOH, HOW DO THE DOORS WORK? CAN I SIT IN IT?"
Yo dawg, I heard you like racing so I put some racing commemorative editions on your racing blog. This humble Quattro AWD-equipped TT was built to commemorate Audi domination in the American Le Mans Series.
The TT is highly underrated as a trackbeast, but can be a ton of fun. This one-owner example comes with an accident-free CarFax and a lovely, bright shade of Misano Red. It's immaculate.
What better car to take on track than one commemorating a race series?
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, good news! Here's a car prepped for the more regional ICSCC Pro3 class, complete with a current logbook. Pretty simple: buy car, fuel up car, unload from trailer, race car.
If you're hauling it further out to parts where Spec E30 is the standard, you'll need to make a couple tweaks to get it legal, but not too many.
This race car includes three sets of wheels and various spares, because they know exactly what you're probably going to do with it. The seller will even sell you the car's new tires and LED lights for night races with the car if you need them.
The car itself features a long list of new and refurbished parts from the past year, including a refurbished 4.10 limited slip differential.
If you can't shell out $500K for the legendary Sport Quattro, you can always pick up its little bro on the cheap.
Featuring a wonderful five-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive, this car would be a blast both on and off the track. Come to think of it, that pearl white would look pretty sweet covered in dirt.
Here's a half-gutted example with a missing cat for a mere pittance of its original value. Hey, if you're going to strip it out and cage it anyway, they just saved you some work.
Say straight lines are more your thing. Here's a Bonneville record-breaking Karmann-Ghia. BOOM.
How could we leave a Volkswagen off this list? Trabants, Wartburgs, Messerschmitts, I can understand, but VW? Hey, I even raced an aircooled Volkswagen. They're great.
So, here's a Karmann-Ghia powered by a 2,012cc engine, in current spec and ready for land speed racing. Comes with spare wheels and tires because racecar.
The occasionally finger-busting world of Teutonic track cars can be a whole lot of fun, and these cars for sale prove why. If you're not doing that trackday that you'd like to try or out racing because you don't have a car, here's how to fix that.
All photos belong to their respective "for sale" listings.
*The other best sounding car is the medical wagon, of course.