Best Beginner Racecars for CHEAP | WheelHouse

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
today’s sponsor, GUNK. That’s right, they’re
a company called GUNK. GUNK Wipes are a brand new, waterless way to clean grease, grime,
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like oranges. (sniffs) Tough on grime, but not on your hands. GUNK Wipes have better
scrubbing performance than the other guys, with no scratching, no rinsing, and no residue. (sniffs) Oh, another huge thing
I love about GUNK Wipes is that they don’t have isopropyl alcohol, so the moisture will not evaporate while it’s in your toolbox. GUNK Degreasing Wipes are available now at Walmart, Auto Zone, Advance
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)

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. What would you guys and girls recommend for drifting? I would like to start drifting and I’m not sure what I should start with and I’m only looking for something for a beginner nothing to hard.

  2. Club racing I have a Mitsubishi Mirage that I plan on converting into a lancer evo 5 with a 4g63 awd. Going to need sponsors when I start a channel and start converting do you have any good ideas and tell me what you think about my idea

  3. Wheelhouse, the only thing keeping donut media interesting, what ever happened to science garage, miracle whips, and prestado?

  4. I came here to see what you had for rally, but also learned that autocross might be a cool way to start racing too.

    Great video. You guys are the best.

  5. Awesome video guys! Stoked that some of our content make the cut. Feel free to subscribe and I'll have more for ya soon 😉

  6. I would love to do club racing in a Miata or that e36.

    Also I love me some rally so getting into that with a Subaru would be sweeeeeeeeet

  7. Do you have a video for tips on finding a group to drive with that DOESN'T involve social media? There's not much in the way of driveable race tracks near me other than a drag strip and I'd rather not just floor it and wait. I like turning corners. Just seems like a complete lack of automotive groups that exist outside of social media.

  8. My first cars was a firbird 1987 with a shitty v 6 2.8 .
    I blow up the engine on nos then swich for a cheap small LS .

    I was eathing all those fucking 4s !!! I live in canada and trust me there a lot of them !

  9. Learned to drive on dirt roads and have lived on them most of my life, my daily which I thrash is an 07 subaru impreza wagon n/a ej253, with 08 forester struts

  10. Finally some 4th gen Camaro love!!!!!!!

    Drag racing: Built 4th gen Camaro
    Offroad: Built 4×4 E-body Plymouth Barracuda

  11. Here in Europe, almost all those cars you mention, have been shipped to Africa, because of the emissions rules.

  12. Subaru fan boy here lol I rallycross my Hawkeye 2.5 5speed impreza great lil non turbo with good gearing for rallycross driving. It's no where as fast as my sti but pushing my personal limits on dirt with it is fun. Oh and yes my headgaskets are great on both subies lol

  13. I'm the dingus that wants to go rallycross or drifting with my crown vic. No rhyme, no reason, no sense, it would just be hilarious from my perspective because it's such a dumb idea. I'm braced for the hate.

  14. WHY does no one ever mention GM G body cars? They're EVERYWHERE! Cheap af, full frame, RWD, V8, you can stuff anything from a 231 V6 with a turbo to a 572 BBC in them. Perfect cars to mod.

  15. I wouldn't mind seeing more car sudjestion on drifting. Or all the types of racing, maybe individual videos if possible. Great video.

  16. ALLL of them the harder part is that i have ….mazda 2 funn litle car not that fast but i love that it has ''zom zom'' riten at the back 😀

  17. Breaking News: Toyota CEO recently stated in an interview that he wants to bring back the MR2, WITH THE HELP OF PORSCHE.

  18. I’d love to try any of the racing above, hopefully I can soon get one of the beginner cars in the video once I put more hours in. 🤙🏾

  19. In Europe the prices of that cars are completely different 🙁
    We wanna know here in EU what are the most cheap cars to race with 😀

  20. Why are excluding m3s from this conversation assuming you can find one to match your price point? I've seen some earlier m3s hoviering below $5k

  21. Enduro racing! I prefer to use a 1985-1986 Pontiac Bonneville with a carbureted Chevy 350. Lighter than the Caprice and it takes a hell of a beating. Bring 2 extra rads with you to the race tho..

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