Why build your own race car when you could have the convenience of ordering one from a local dealer?
10.) Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
Created from a mix-match of Ford parts with some proper race bits, the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt brought to life the idea of an economy, factory drag racer. Back in the day, these could run 1/4 miles at 11.61 seconds. On modern tires, a Thunderbolt has put down a 9.23 1/4 mile. That’s impressive.
9.) Ferrari 458 Challenge Cars
Ferrari 458 Challenge, the only proper gateway to modern gentlemen’s racing. If these cars can survive most of the inexperienced, money-driven drivers that they have seen so far, I have no doubt these are some of the best factory order race cars a hard-earned dollar can buy.
8.) Porsche 917
Though the “production run” was limited, if requested, Porsche would sell you or at least lease you a Porsche 917 for race use. With wins ranging from Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship to Can-Am, the 917 was one of the most successful and innovative race cars of its time. And if you really had it in with them like Count Rossi did, they would even bring your race 917 back into the factory, slap some turn signals and proper mirrors on it and make it “road legal”.
7.) Ford Mustang GT350R-C
After its debut at Watkins Glen earlier this year, we finally got a taste of what we can expect from Ford’s new insane flat-plane V8, and oooooh did it taste good. That motor mated with the completely redesigned suspension setup has shown us just how capable these new Ponycars really are and also that Chevrolet’s customer-run Z28R racecars will no longer be dominating the Continental Tire SportsCarChallenge. Good thing too, I was getting sick of seeing the Stevenson Camaro liveries in the front of the pack.
6.) Ford Fiesta R5
With wins across multiple rally platforms, the R5 has proven itself as an easy to work with, low(er) budget rally car. Though mainly run in European rallies, just a week or so ago I saw a couple of these guys destroying some of the best rally stages of New England at Rally America’s New England Forest Rally, and boy can they handle their dirt.
5.) Ferrari 250LM
The Ferrari 250LM was one of the most iconic and easy-to-obtain race cars from the mid 1960’s, reader 365Daytonafan would be happy to explain why and how:
The question has a really wide scope but as a car you could buy drive straight from the factory, take the registration plates off and go and race with it, the Ferrari 250LM was pretty hard too beat . It won Le Mans in 1965. Yes later cars such as the McLaren F1 GTR won Le Mans but even they could not be driven directly to the circuit and raced without modifications.
The bio on the one at the RM auction in Monterey shows that a 250LM could be ordered from the dealer.
4.) Mazda MX-5 Cup Cars
Though they’re not cheap, they’re a lot more cost-effective than most other factory-order options. Because of this, MX-5 cup cars are arguably one of the best starting points for any road-racing driver wanting to get deeper into the sport. To this question, the Miata is a indeed a very viable answer.
3.) Porsche 962
With over 75 chassis that were sent off to private customer-owned teams, these cars were raced by a lot of different people in a lot of different liveries.
Did they get the job done? I think yes.
2.) McLaren F1 GTR
With success almost everywhere it raced (including overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans), McLaren F1 GTRs were rare to disappoint. Just look at them up there, tracking in and apexing all pretty-like and whatnot.
1.) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars
The Porsche 911 Cup Car series serves as one of the best and most popular intermediate levels of spec-GT racing around the world. As a spec class direct from Porsche, the cars are easy to get parts for, easy to adapt into from other race cars and are incredibly competitive with other GT3-level racers. Even if you’re not using your Cup Car for racing, you can still take it down to the track and use it as a rather expensive track day toy without major issue or concern.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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