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How about the ultimate 370Z  race car which primarily would involve dramatic weight reduction while retaining the stock body modified as necessary? CF bolt on parts of course but mad attention to every body piece with the aim of lightening them in any way possible without losing strength. Plenty of good aftermarket suspension etc parts available as are ultimate engine builds so that aspect is no problem. But, to emphasise, rip the weight out, the less weight the better the overall performance and the less load on items like brakes which consequentially may not require upgrading which of course involves weight. 

 

Entirely impractical as a project that could be raced any time soon without some subcontracting $ but getting the best out of the 370Z to out Porsche  Porsche would be the aim. And I believe that it could be done but entirely impractical $ wise.

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On 10/11/2019 at 11:23 PM, JMortensen said:

 

That 350Z is crazy fast and shows what the chassis is capable of. Porsche concentrate on making a car that is competition orientated and comfortable enough for it's target market while the 350 and 370 are built to a lower price which means no competition orientated tweaks like extra chassis spot welds for a stiffer body with less metal. Extra metal is cheaper than extra spot welds, it boils down to basics like that. 

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:14 PM, capt_furious said:

... I daily a well-worn Miata ..

 

The more that I ponder it, the more it strikes me how an NA Miata (1990-1997) is today, what the 240Z was 20-25 years ago.. light, simple and beautiful... old enough to be "simple", but young enough to run reliably without constant attention or the need for a restoration.

 

On 9/27/2019 at 5:05 AM, Ironhead said:

...It would have made a lot more sense, in terms of time and money and every other practical consideration to just buy a 3 or 4 year old Corvette.  But, I didn't want a Corvette.  I wanted to build something.

.. A Vette could be as fast or probably faster for less time and money.  But I'm just not interested in Corvettes.

The late Wick Humble (sp?) - unless I'm confusing him with another venerable fellow of the same vintage - had a long-running column in Z-car Magazine.  He was fond of condescendingly dismissing the V8 Datsun, with the quip, "Hey, if you really want a V8 2-seater coupe, why don't you just buy a Corvette"?  The point that he missed, is that even the lightest Corvette is >3100 pounds.  It has, at least in the modern generations, something like a 106" wheelbase.  Sure, it's fantastic at 100 mph, and no doubt could go around the Nuerburgring faster than all but the most aggressively modified Datsuns.  But how does it do at 30 mph?  How well does it negotiate cones in a parking lot?  

 

The whole point of a V8 Datsun, or a V8 Miata, or a V8 AC-Ace, or a V8 MG, or a V8 VW Bug, etc., is to introduce insane amounts of power into a light, short-wheelbase car.  Its ultimate racing-prowess is beside the point.  Its main aim is to produce ear-to-ear grins in an entirely legal street-driving situation.  To get such a grin out of a 911, a Corvette, or even an M3, requires a specialized setting.

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15 hours ago, Michael said:

 

The more that I ponder it, the more it strikes me how an NA Miata (1990-1997) is today, what the 240Z was 20-25 years ago.. light, simple and beautiful... old enough to be "simple", but young enough to run reliably without constant attention or the need for a restoration.

 

The whole point of a V8 Datsun, or a V8 Miata, or a V8 AC-Ace, or a V8 MG, or a V8 VW Bug, etc., is to introduce insane amounts of power into a light, short-wheelbase car.  Its ultimate racing-prowess is beside the point.  Its main aim is to produce ear-to-ear grins in an entirely legal street-driving situation.  To get such a grin out of a 911, a Corvette, or even an M3, requires a specialized setting.

I would add "cheap" to your light, simple, and beautiful characteristics. Cost was the main reason I bought a Z - bought it for $1500 - and the 6 cyl was the reason I didn't buy a 510. I am an autocrosser and started the sport just after the Miata hit the market, so the Miata has been ever-present and always appealed to me. When I finally bought a 99 midway through building my Z, I had a moment where I considered selling the Z and building the Miata instead. From a stock vs stock comparison, they are both slow in a straight line but the Miata is WAAAAAAAAAAY more capable and fun to drive, and you can do the same sorts of things like engine swaps, etc. I sold mine when I was short on cash, but I would like to have another. The prices are starting to creep up on Miatas already though, so I may miss the window of opportunity. That 350Z is nearing the zone as well...

 

Edited by JMortensen

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Having an LS-1 powered 280Z for 16 years now I'd love to be able to incorporate all the "new stuff" that has become available since then.  First off would be an LT4 with a 6-spd behind it going trough either an R230 or a Ford 8.8 IRS.

Brakes & suspension would be TTT.

Subtle Z wide body to accommodate at least 305X17 tires on new Rota wheels.

Keep the LED running lights but upgrade the headlights from HID to LED

Upgrade AC

Upgrade sound system to new Alpine components.

Repaint the car to either a Mercedes or Audi metallic gray with a darker gray racing stripe.

That being said I think I'd just as soon keep all that cash and use it to have fun with the car I've enjoyed since I got it in stock form back in 1992.  It is ssoooo much fun.

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On 10/19/2019 at 10:00 AM, JMortensen said:

I would add "cheap" to your light, simple, and beautiful characteristics. Cost was the main reason I bought a Z - bought it for $1500 - and the 6 cyl was the reason I didn't buy a 510. I am an autocrosser and started the sport just after the Miata hit the market, so the Miata has been ever-present and always appealed to me. When I finally bought a 99 midway through building my Z, I had a moment where I considered selling the Z and building the Miata instead. From a stock vs stock comparison, they are both slow in a straight line but the Miata is WAAAAAAAAAAY more capable and fun to drive, and you can do the same sorts of things like engine swaps, etc. I sold mine when I was short on cash, but I would like to have another. The prices are starting to creep up on Miatas already though, so I may miss the window of opportunity. That 350Z is nearing the zone as well...

 

 

It's quite a dilemma, isn't it!  Miatas are more capable and more thrilling to drive in unmodified form, but between a tight engine bay (and really, tight everything), they're not particularly amenable to engine-swaps.  S30 Z's are the opposite: readily swallow essentially any engine, and also lend themselves to comparative ease of structural reinforcement.  But the baseline Z cedes advantage to the Miata.  We see this in the Miata community, where engine swaps - while entertained with good cheer, whenever a tidy and successful swap is presented - remain a niche endeavor.  Instead of engine swaps, the usual route to Miata power-increase is a turbo.

 

You're right about the price situation.  Prices bottomed maybe 5 years ago.  Low-mileage cream-puff NA-series Miatas now regularly exceed $10K on Craigslist - while, of course, good examples of 240Z's have exceeded that threshold now for a long time.

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