Ranking the best track toys you can buy for $10,000
Although an expensive hobby, having a fun day at the racetrack is the dream of most gearheads and racing enthusiasts. But, sports cars don’t come cheap, and taking a new road car to the tracks is a sure way to rack up the bills. However, there are affordable prices Used vehicles that are designed to give you the satisfaction you crave if you are on a budget. Besides their affordable prices, these race cars are light, nimble and solidly built to withstand abuse.
Plus, aftermarket and factory parts are readily available, tech support is plentiful, and the cars themselves are relatively easy to repair. They might not be the fastest or most expensive cars on the track, but they’ll put a smile on whoever’s behind the wheels. So it’s time to let go of the fear and pursue your track dreams even as you consider this ranking of the best track toys you can buy for $10,000.
ten 2001 BMW Z3 ($9,495)
The Z3, introduced in 1996, has a certain appeal and excellent road manners that have made it popular with all driving enthusiasts. During its short production run, engine options changed from the initial 114 hp I-4 to the 3-liter I-6 in 2000-2002 models.
With 228 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque on tap, the 2001 Z3 blasts through the quarter mile in 14.13 seconds at nearly 96 mph. With its well-tuned suspension, superb steering and excellent brakes, it’s a joy to drive, and examples like this blue roadster are affordable.
9 2006 Ford Mustang GT ($9,910)
Although the base model of the 2006 Ford Mustang line had a 4-liter V6 engine, the GT model featured a 4.6-liter V8. The all-aluminum engine, mated to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission, was good for 300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.
It does the quarter mile in 13.8 seconds, handles superbly, is composed in the corners and has strong brakes that provide excellent stopping power. A new one back then started at $26,321 for the GT Premium coupe, but today you can find a good one with a Price of $9,910.
8 2006 Mazda MX-5 ($8,995)
Thanks to its low weight and easy-to-tune nature, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is not only a best-selling roadster, but also a track-day favourite. Everything about it is perfect – from the affordable price and reliable and efficient 4-cylinder to the 50/50 front/rear weight distribution.
For 2006, one of its best years, the US-spec MX-5s got a 2-liter I-4 engine that put out 170 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. These nimble, simply styled babies are fun to push around the slopes and are available for cheap at used car dealerships.
seven 2013 Scion FR-S ($9,850)
Jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota, the Scion FR-S boasts a well-balanced chassis and a low center of gravity that gives it well-sorted handling. Thanks to its small size and light weight, the FR-S is a good basis for modifications and is therefore a favorite of racing enthusiasts.
Power for the 2013 model comes from a Subaru-sourced H-4 engine that produces 200 hp and offers excellent fuel economy. As a track car, the Scion FR-S offers pure driving pleasure at affordable prices for good higher mileage examples like this automatic black base.
6 1989 Chevrolet Corvette ($9,900)
Between 1983 and 1996, General Motors produced more than 350,000 Chevrolet Corvettes, which is why they are among the best used sports car bargains. For less than $10,000 you get a reliable little sports car with iconic ’80s looks and a V8 mill powering the rear wheels.
What else? In addition to the availability of aftermarket parts, C4 Corvettes can be tuned to perform better. This red coupé from 1989 with a beige interior and 93,323 on the odometer is up for grabs for up for grabs for $9,900.
5 2011 Mazda RX-8 ($9,471)
Although it disappoints with poor fuel economy, the 2011 Mazda RX-8 is a unique sports car that deserves the attention of racing enthusiasts. The high-revving 1.3-liter Wankel rotary engine under the hood develops 212 hp or 232 hp depending on transmission choice.
Boasting athletic handling with responsive steering and good road grip, the RX-8 is fun to drive and easy to live with. This Sparkling Black Grand Touring Automatic with 4-wheel disc brakes costs just $9,471.
4 1998 Porsche Boxster ($9,995)
With the most victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche passes on its rich racing heritage to each of its models. The 1998 Boxster has a strong chassis and is powered by a water-cooled 2.5-liter flat-6 engine developing 201 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque.
Being a Porsche, it doesn’t disappoint in its driving dynamics thanks to near-perfect front/rear weight distribution, light weight, low center of gravity and powerful brakes. With their styling starting to look a little dated, Boxster 989 prices fall below $10,000 as this 1998 model.
3 2003 Toyota MR2 ($9,900)
When it comes to mid-engined sports cars with cheap price tags, nobody does it better than Toyota in the MR2. Small, light and reliable, an MR2 of any generation is a good choice for adrenaline junkies looking for a reliable track toy.
The 138 hp developed by the 2003 model’s 1.8-liter engine is enough for the 2,195-pound car while its mid-engined layout produces near-perfect handling. Also, the 2003 MR2 has huge tuning potential to make it work better, and used ones are cheap on the market.
2 1998 Mitsubishi 3000GT ($8,500)
Although pitted against more modern sports cars, the sleekly styled 1998 3000GT is starting to show its age, it’s still an affordable track car. With the considerable weight of the vehicle, the 218 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque available in the SL model do not cringe.
However, the good news is that it excels in handling, cornering and braking and can be tweaked to perform better. While the prices of some 3000GT models increase steadily, if you know where to look, you will always find vouchers below $10,000.
1 2007 Nissan 350Z ($8,900)
The Nissan 350Z is not only one of the best options for an inexpensive track day car, but it’s also a great enthusiast’s car. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can easily be tuned to produce 400 American ponies for believable performance on the track.
Plus, the 350Z is well-balanced, sounds amazing, handles deftly, has powerful brakes and has a large community of dedicated enthusiasts. Always one of the most successful performance cars, they frequently show up for less than $10,000.