A couple months ago I blew the engine in my track-day 911, couldn’t afford a new engine, have no garage or knowledge about swapping in a LS1 into a Porsche, and the rolling chassis luckily ended up in the hands on another Opponaut and I went back to finding something I could take to the track, could afford, and wasn’t a Miata because it’s far too practical and intelligent.
No, I went the hard way. I bought a 1992 Corvette with an LT1 engine, a 3.54 LSD, a greatly upgraded suspension, great brakes, aftermarket tune, intake, rockers, and six gears going forward and one going backward. It really needs nothing except stickier tires to go to the track... except one thing... the damn car is a convertible.
What you’re looking at here is ZERO rollover protection. Even with the rock hard aftermarket suspension (yes!) I suspect the car would still be more stable upside down and I’d be headless by that point. As decapitated drivers tend to make racing tracks leery about gaining a negative image, they won’t let you run a car without a roof unless it has a bar or pop-up rollover protection.
But hey, why not buy the cheap Corvette and buy this and how hard can it be to get it installed?
Turns out, it’s a bit of a hassle. You see, I don’t know how to weld. That’s a weld in item. How hard is it to find a welder?
I’ve had a bitch of a time. The manufacturer doesn’t know if the soft top will still work. The installers can’t figure out the directions from the manufacturer. The manufacturer doesn’t have better directions. This is all while I’m trying to find someone who can guarantee that they can install the rollbar before I buy it. So it’s taken me nearly three weeks to find someone who can guarantee he’ll make it work. Of course he can. He’s been fabricating cages for 20 years. So on top of the cost of the bar, plus tax, plus shipping, plus a 5 week estimated wait, I get to hire someone extremely expensive to weld it in.
Moral of this story: buy a Miata. Bolt in kit, what, $300? $600? DIY, one afternoon?
However, I’m still stoked as the rollbar is paid for and will be shipped directly to the welder who is prepared to do the work. Hopefully, somewhere in the next 6-8 weeks I’ll finally be back on the track hunting down Miatas like a man with a grudge. Fingers crossed.