Help buying or building a Supertourer

Help buying or building a Supertourer

Author
Discussion

Kellerman

Original Poster:

42 posts

2 months

Monday 2nd May
quotequote all
Hi all,

I'm looking at a purchase of a late 80's, 90's or early 00's BTCC touring car. With a budget of around £40k, I'm obviously looking at something non-works obviously, maybe something ex-independent?

My first question is, what's happening with prices? Rising? Steady?

My second question is the possibility of building a tribute from a road car. My main goal is a high revving 4cyl, on throttle bodies. Sequential box is a must too, as it a comprehensive cage and high-end suspension. I can probably live without centreloc wheels, air jacks and comprehensive fire supression.

My questions regarding building one are the harder parts of fabrication. I understand they've got "tubbed" inner arches to accomodate wider wheels and also reworked subframes, uprights for better geometry. And things like adjustable anti roll bars.

How feasible is a road car conversion along these lines?

Some general guidance to achieve the result would be appreciated.

I have no interest in racing it, it's purely for track days so I can pretend I'm John Cleland.

Scrump

17,820 posts

135 months

Monday 2nd May
quotequote all
There are two really good threads on here that you may find interesting.
One is an ex race Astra and the other is a tribute Cavalier. I will see if I can find the links.

Edit:
Astra https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...
Cavalier https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

Edited by Scrump on Monday 2nd May 11:32

CanoeSniffer

856 posts

64 months

Monday 2nd May
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I saw a posting on Facebook recently for a half-finished Laguna ‘super tourer’ build for sale. I’ll see where it was posted.

Edit: Track Time Classifieds. 1998 Renault Laguna, £8500. 182 F4R engine fitted on Jenvey ITBs. Described as 80% complete.

It’s floated right to the top of the classifieds page when I just opened it up but if you need help finding it the sellers name is Andy Ray and it’s being sold in Cramlington.

Edited by CanoeSniffer on Monday 2nd May 12:29

The Wookie

12,980 posts

205 months

Monday 2nd May
quotequote all
Just FYI the reason the supertourers seem surprisingly cheap (considering the legendary status and compared to other racing cars) is because they’re pretty much bespoke from the ground up, for the day they were effectively front wheel drive formula 1 cars with a roof.

Spares (for example things like uprights) are hard to come by, if you want to make replacements then the parts tend to be complex and therefore expensive to reproduce, and that’s assuming you can get the drawings

They’re also pretty complex and expensive to run on a race weekend with short lifting hours so generally it’s not a cheap way of going racing!

Some bits you can save money on (not going full tonto on the engines for example) but others you can’t by all accounts

If you’re building a replica or tribute then obviously none of this applies!

DanielSan

17,564 posts

144 months

Monday 2nd May
quotequote all
The Wookie said:
Just FYI the reason the supertourers seem surprisingly cheap (considering the legendary status and compared to other racing cars) is because they’re pretty much bespoke from the ground up, for the day they were effectively front wheel drive formula 1 cars with a roof.

Spares (for example things like uprights) are hard to come by, if you want to make replacements then the parts tend to be complex and therefore expensive to reproduce, and that’s assuming you can get the drawings

They’re also pretty complex and expensive to run on a race weekend with short lifting hours so generally it’s not a cheap way of going racing!

Some bits you can save money on (not going full tonto on the engines for example) but others you can’t by all accounts

If you’re building a replica or tribute then obviously none of this applies!
Isn't there also some issue with having to use the period 90's laptops and software to run them also?

The Wookie

12,980 posts

205 months

Monday 2nd May
quotequote all
DanielSan said:
Isn't there also some issue with having to use the period 90's laptops and software to run them also?
Yeah probably although to be fair you could just replace the old hardware with more modern stuff although another expense for the development process of getting it all working!

LukeBrown66

2,243 posts

23 months

Tuesday 3rd May
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word of advice, they might be cheap to buy, but they are anything but cheap to run for all sorts of reasons, PC tech, knowledge, parts,

Remember the budget for running them was almost limitless in period, so rebuilds where almost every week, and they were very intricately built, many years of running with less than delicate hands will probably make them a bit wobbly round the edges, and unless you can afford to get a pro to rebuild one for probably 2 or 3 times your budget, I would think it might be fun but expensive! And a very interesting journey!

Kellerman

Original Poster:

42 posts

2 months

Tuesday 3rd May
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies gents

I think a pastiche might be the answer.

Something K20 powered (280bhp / 9000rpm), sequential, trick off-the-shelf suspension and some heavy camber.

Should be 90% of the performance for maybe 30% of the cost.

andy97

4,389 posts

199 months

Thursday 5th May
quotequote all
Might be possible to run a BTC-C specification car as these were built specifically to be run less expensively in the post Super Touring era, had some common parts(i think) and less exotic technology.
Tony Ryan at “Touring Car Spares” is a very good source of info and spares and will probably try to sell you an ex works Vauxhall Astra he has had re-commissioned.
It is in Racecarsdirect.com (or was)

The other probably more cost effective route is to buy something like Gen2 SEAT Cupra SuperCopa or a more recent TCR which are pretty sophisticated cars really but sort of “touring car light” in spec. Quite a lot about and probably lots of spares and support available.

You havent said what you want to do with it! Race in a historic or club series or something like Britcar, or maybe just do track days?

£40k maybe a but light even for a TCR but if i had the budget thats what i would look at. A SEAT might be available for about £25k and they are good cars too.

Edited by andy97 on Thursday 5th May 12:44

Olivera

5,361 posts

216 months

Thursday 5th May
quotequote all
Isn't there a vast, vast difference in complexity between the early super tourers, and the very late cars? The early post Group A super tourers don't look particularly complex at all - the tech looks ancient and very much serviceable today. It's obviously not going to be cheap to keep it in period spec and running in tip top condition, but something like this isn't going to be impossible to run:

https://girardo.com/car/1992-bmw-e36-318is-schnitz...

indigorallye

545 posts

202 months

Thursday 5th May
quotequote all
andy97 said:
The other probably more cost effective route is to buy something like Gen2 SEAT Cupra SuperCopa or a more recent TCR which are pretty sophisticated cars really but sort of “touring car light” in spec. Quite a lot about and probably lots of spares and support available.

You havent said what you want to do with it! Race in a historic or club series or something like Britcar, or maybe just do track days?

£40k maybe a but light even for a TCR but if i had the budget thats what i would look at. A SEAT might be available for about £25k and they are good cars too.

Edited by andy97 on Thursday 5th May 12:44
I have a Supercopa and love it. Factory built race car, and as close to a touring car as I'll ever get. It's pretty trick underneath too.
As for TCR, you'll be needing £60k + to get anything close to decent. Any car under that bracket will be old, probably battered and needing a lot of work. There is a MASSIVE difference between the early ones and the later ones.

pablo

16,420 posts

250 months

Thursday 5th May
quotequote all
Interesting idea, I like it! Prices for genuine period cars, works or independent, are going up as you'd expect now they would be eligible for various race series being established for the era, it’s only a matter of time really. I think there are already supertouring era classes in post-historic saloon races at big events.

If you want a period styled replica that wouldn’t be eligible based on some non-period mods then why not look at a 2000ish Accord. I know nothing about them but I assume you might be able to drop a K20 in one?

As another slightly less obvious choice, what about the Primera GT or an Alfa 156? Donor cars readily available, loads of parts around too…

LukeBrown66

2,243 posts

23 months

Friday 6th May
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No such thing as independent, most indy cars were ex works anyway from a few years before apart from a few privately built cars.

andy97

4,389 posts

199 months

Saturday 7th May
quotequote all
andy97 said:
Might be possible to run a BTC-C specification car as these were built specifically to be run less expensively in the post Super Touring era, had some common parts(i think) and less exotic technology.
Tony Ryan at “Touring Car Spares” is a very good source of info and spares and will probably try to sell you an ex works Vauxhall Astra he has had re-commissioned.
It is in Racecarsdirect.com (or was)

The other probably more cost effective route is to buy something like Gen2 SEAT Cupra SuperCopa or a more recent TCR which are pretty sophisticated cars really but sort of “touring car light” in spec. Quite a lot about and probably lots of spares and support available.

You havent said what you want to do with it! Race in a historic or club series or something like Britcar, or maybe just do track days?

£40k maybe a but light even for a TCR but if i had the budget thats what i would look at. A SEAT might be available for about £25k and they are good cars too.

]
The other possibility would be an ex Clio Cup car or a MINI challenge car - both will be professionally (works) built and be better/quicker/ cheaper (probably) than any home built “touring car” special built from a road car unless you have some serious engineering skills.

And I see now that you did say what you wanted to use the car for - track days only. Apologies for missing that!

IanUAE

2,878 posts

141 months

Monday 9th May
quotequote all
Contact Jonny @ clubtropicalinternational on Instagram, let's just say he knows quite a bit about super touring cars.

JohnS

927 posts

261 months

Monday 9th May
quotequote all
This K24 powered Primera was advertised for sale earlier this year, but has since started racing again this season with the same owner so hasn't been sold.



Owners contact details are on the original advert if you were interested...

https://racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/125241/b...




ChevronB19

3,640 posts

140 months

Wednesday 11th May
quotequote all
The Wookie said:
Just FYI the reason the supertourers seem surprisingly cheap (considering the legendary status and compared to other racing cars) is because they’re pretty much bespoke from the ground up, for the day they were effectively front wheel drive formula 1 cars with a roof.

Spares (for example things like uprights) are hard to come by, if you want to make replacements then the parts tend to be complex and therefore expensive to reproduce, and that’s assuming you can get the drawings

They’re also pretty complex and expensive to run on a race weekend with short lifting hours so generally it’s not a cheap way of going racing!

Some bits you can save money on (not going full tonto on the engines for example) but others you can’t by all accounts

If you’re building a replica or tribute then obviously none of this applies!
Wookie is right - HSCC Supertourers started off with late gen cars that cost more than recent F1 to run, and weren’t much faster than much simpler cars like RS500’s, M3’s etc. They had a brief spike in value, but lots were offloaded at big loss once people realised the time and investment required.

Having said that, in about 2000 I very nearly bought an ex works Williams Laguna rolling chassis for 2.5k, argh…

(I did, however, profit by buying a Colotti F1 60’s gearbox for the same amount that I immediately sold on for 5k, so not all bad).


Edited by ChevronB19 on Wednesday 11th May 10:45


Edited by ChevronB19 on Wednesday 11th May 10:47

Kellerman

Original Poster:

42 posts

2 months

Wednesday 11th May
quotequote all
JohnS said:
This K24 powered Primera was advertised for sale earlier this year, but has since started racing again this season with the same owner so hasn't been sold.



Owners contact details are on the original advert if you were interested...

https://racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/125241/b...
That's exactly what I had in mind! Although it doesn't say if it's sequential or not.

Thanks

bozla

90 posts

128 months

Wednesday 11th May
quotequote all
Try looking for a Vectra challenge car. They do sometimes pop up and should be about £10k these days. V6 with sequential I believe.

Kellerman

Original Poster:

42 posts

2 months

Wednesday 11th May
quotequote all
bozla said:
Try looking for a Vectra challenge car. They do sometimes pop up and should be about £10k these days. V6 with sequential I believe.
Close... Quaife straight cut gears, but not a sequential.