Question: What Car Most Needs a Spec Racing Series?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
question what car most needs a spec racing series

After my idea for a DUI Telepresence Crown Victoria Racing series failed to attract the shadowy Eastern European investors I’d hoped to line up, I got to thinking about spec racing. Everybody in a spec racing series runs the same kind of car, which makes parts easy to get and (in theory, though sure as hell not in practice) puts the focus on driver skill rather than vehicle price. There’s Spec Miata and Spec E30 and Spec Neon and all the rest, but it’s sort of boring watching those races. Spec racing needs better cars, and we’re going to pick the best one right now!

The key to a good spec-race car is availability and cheapness. You need the kind of car that you can find under tarps in countless side yards across the country, that’s so common in junkyards that The Crusher gags when it sees yet another one approaching. One of my top choices, therefore, is Spec Eighty-Eight. The downsized B-Body Oldsmobile 88s of the 1977-1985 model years are omnipresent in junkyards, they’re tough full-frame monsters that can take a lot of punishment, and they came equipped with a wide assortment of torque-happy Oldsmobile V8s. Plus, “Spec Eighty-Eight” just sounds cool.

But maybe racers would prefer something a little more modern, with four-wheel disc brakes and electronic fuel injection. That’s why Spec Leganza is the way to go! Imagine a track full of Guigario-styled Korean pseudo-luxury sedans, each with a screaming 136 horsepower under the hood. I predict that Spec Leganza will be bigger than NASCAR within five years.

My all-time top choice for a spec racing series is, of course, Spec Dynasty. Inspired by the French Cathouse Red interior of this junked ’93 Dynasty, I’ve been pushing Spec Dynasty to racy types ever since. So far, there hasn’t been a run on solid examples of Dodge’s mid-size luxury sedan of the late 1980s and early 1990syet. The rules of Spec Dynasty wouuld permit badge-engineered sibling New Yorkers of the same era, which would lead to heated rivalry between the Dynasty and New Yorker racers. OK, now it’s your turn. Spec Scoupe? Spec Tempo?

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  • Banger Banger on Jun 28, 2012

    I gotta say Spec Versa. They never have made a performance variant of the Versa and there are boatloads of them now approaching beater status. I would say Spec B15 Sentra, but there was the SE-R, which would have to be disqualified, else you'd have to handicap all the rest of the "regular" Sentras.

  • Tinker Tinker on Dec 13, 2012

    Citroen 2CV in full James Bond spec.

  • Norman Stansfield This is what you get when you run races to keep the cars bunched together for more excitement. F1 doesn't seem to have this problem after the first few laps.
  • SCE to AUX Too many cars = more wrecks. With today's speeds on essentially the same old track, starting with half the cars could reduce the congestion at the end. Or maybe it would increase the problem because the herd wouldn't thin early on.I say no overtime - finish at 500 miles and no more.
  • Garagezone There was an Indy 500 yesterday? Hmmmm...
  • Mark Morrison Sad it just reminded me how good TTAC once was … required daily reading.