Ten Crap Cars That Are Somehow Amazing On Track

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Terrible on the road yet shockingly fast on track, your next cheap race car is here.

10.) Lancia Delta


All it took for Lancia to turn this otherwise-forgettable hatchback into an iconic rally monster was 4WD, a turbo, and some Martini livery.

Suggested By: JayHova, Photo Credit: Brian Snelson

9.) Ford Festiva


This cheap econobox wasn't exactly what you'd call a high watermark for Ford, but with well under 2,000 lbs. to push around, the Festiva is surprisingly quick.

Swap in a more powerful Mazda B6T, as many have done before, and you have a serious track car on your hands.


Suggested By: thisvelogist, Photo Credit: Grant.C

8.) Geo Storm GSi


Geo is mostly forgotten now, but the Storm GSi was relatively light and powerful, translating into good performance.

1,000 Jalopnik points for whoever swaps a GSi drivetrain in a Wagonback body.

Suggested By: TurboS60, Photo Credit: order_242

7.) Saturn SC


One doesn't hear Saturn and think "race car," but the SC proved to be excellent in SCCA competition. They were so good Grassroots Motorsports wrote an article about how to make an SC racer.

Just imagine the satisfaction of turning up to the track and beating people, in a Saturn.


Suggested By: Justin Huges, Photo Credit: Saturn

6.) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X


Beneath all the rally performance, the EVO X is still a Lancer, which means it's a horribly outdated economy car. But, if you can live will all the cheapness, you get a hell of performance car for short money.

Suggested By: 50fridge, Photo Credit: Mitsubishi

5.) Old British Sports Car


Classic British Roadsters are horribly unreliable, and poorly built, but there's a reason you see so many MGBs, Triumph TR4s, and Austin-Healey Sprites tearing up the track at vintage races.

Tame all the electrical gremlins, and you've got a tossable, fun vintage sports car.


Suggested By: As Du Volant, Photo Credit: lecates

4.) Rear-Engined Škoda


Older rear-engined Skodas like this 130 weren't known for being particularly great, but on a rally stage, everything changed. These things often dominated their class, including 17 (!) consecutive class wins at the RAC rally.

Suggested By: tapzz, Photo Credit: Donna Rutherford

3.) Mini


The original Mini was designed to be a cheap, small, and fuel efficient city car for the UK. Thanks to its tiny footprint, it inadvertently became an excellent race car that's still popular on track today.

Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane, Photo Credit: Mini

2.) Dodge Omni GLH


The Omni was a rather boring front-drive econobox from Dodge, but in the hands of Carroll Shelby, the Omni was turned into a first-rate hot hatch. GLH stood for "Goes Like Hell," which in this case, was an accurate statement.

Clearly, Shelby had the midas touch.

Suggested By: RedPir8Roberts, Photo Credit: Alden Jewell

1.) Chevrolet Cobalt SS


Even if the recall debacle hadn't happened, the Cobalt would have been remembered as one of GMs worst cars, if it would have been remembered at all. The SS, though, is a a much different story.

With forced induction, and some suspension massaging, Chevy turned the Cobalt into a genuine performance car. The SS was so good, we named it a future classic.


Suggested By: DjM1390, Photo Credit: Chevrolet

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Top Photo Credit: Chevrolet