Real race enthusiasts want to drive race cars, and unfortunately many of them just aren’t street legal yet. If you’d rather be at the Indie 500 than taking the freeway to the office, here are a few ways that you can make your vehicle more interesting and fun to drive. Give your automobile a full race car makeover with a little money, time, and elbow grease.
Low and Slow
It sounds counterproductive by race standards, but it will make sense once you lower your car. Many race cars drive low to the ground to create better aerodynamics and increase speed. The first step to making your run of the mill street car look like it belongs on a track is to lower it with coil overs. Unfortunately, once you’re lower, your car has the potential to scrape whenever you hit a bump or drive on uneven ground. To prevent this, most lowered vehicles choose to drive slower and more carefully than other models.
You can lower your vehicle at aftermarket or specialty garages. Most stock garages won’t alter your suspension this way because it can void the warranty. Check on your warranty specifics before making any big changes, but if you’re feeling brave and want a change that will turn heads, lowering your car is step one.
Get a Kit
Ever wonder why the Honda Civic you see in race movies looks so much cooler than the one in your garage? It’s because it’s rolling with a lip kit, side skirt, and rear lip kit. These kits are extensions to your own vehicle, and can change the entire look of a car. It makes your car appear lower, sleeker, and professional.
These kits are easiest to buy in stock colors, so if you’re keeping your car in its original shade, it shouldn’t be hard to find a kit to suit your purpose. If you’re repainting your car, talk to your body man about adding the lips and skirts before you buy them. They’ll need to be painted to match the rest of your vehicle.
Paint it Right
Race cars are always painted to express speed, courage, power, and poise. Whether you’re brave enough for stripes or flames, or you just want to update your vehicle with a new coat of clear, a paint job makes a big difference. New paint can turn an old car into a vintage car in no time. Make sure that you have the car painted professionally with the appropriate products. Homemade paint jobs tend to look cheap and splotchy, and will give your vehicle more of a rally car look than a NASCAR look.
It isn’t enough to change the body of your car, you’ve got to upgrade your tyres to suit your new paint and trim. Aftermarket wheels, hubcaps, and performance tires will have your car looking like a million bucks, even if you only spend a few thousand. If you don’t have a lot of money to make these modifications, look around online for a pair of used wheels that are still safe for road use, but don’t cost a fortune.
If you can’t afford the best in tyres, clean your set up with a tire brush, cleaner, and some polish. Once those babies are sparkling like their brand new again, it won’t matter which brand you’re rolling on.
Once your car looks like it belongs on the track, it’s time to make it sound like it belongs on the track. Upgrade your engine, exhaust system, and even your head and tail lights to higher grade products. Turn that tiny purr into a roar by adding a resonator to the tail pipe, or if you’re feeling brave, turn your exhaust system into a full cat-back exhaust with aftermarket parts.
Making upgrades to your engine and exhaust will also give you more torque and horsepower, and have you feeling like you could take on just about anybody in a street race.
For more information on racing, race news, and driving tips, check back with our blog regularly. At American Spirit Team Johansson, we are constantly updating the site with the latest information on everything racing.