You can’t blame an auto racing fan for fantasizing about owning a race car and taking it for a drive across the neighborhood. If you have read so much about cars that you’ve found this post, you’re maybe guilty of it, probably doing it as well. Indeed, race cars are the coolest toys, especially for big boys.
As car enthusiasts, you should know by now that not all automobiles are built for a single purpose. Manufacturers made race cars specifically for racing (hence, race cars). On the other hand, regular vehicles were produced for daily transport, while other automobiles were made for heavy-duty functions.
So, can you buy a race car and take it to the streets?
Well, yes and no. Here’s why.
Assuming that you have the resources, yes, you can own a race car to satisfy your car addiction. But, taking it for a ride in the public streets may be a little tricky. Some race cars are so built to run only on race tracks that driving them through the public roads may cause unprecedented troubles.
Racecar builds are much different than regular cars, making the former illegal on most public highways. It is why street-legal race cars exist. As the name says, street-legal race cars are race car models authorized to roam the streets legally.
What are Street Legal Cars?
You can say that street-legal race cars are a hybrid between a race car and a regular car. A street-legal race car retains the build that makes race cars run super-fast while incorporating the safety features required by the law in regular cars. It means that after all, you can buy that priced race car of yours and worry less about the legal stuff; ensure that the model is street legal.
Now, what does it take for your race car to be street legal? Well, state laws may vary, but in general, here are some of the features that your bad boy must have before traversing the public road legally.
- A hood
- License plates
- Seat belts
- A muffler
- Regular, round steering wheel
- Fully-functioning horn
- Well-functioning brakes and emergency brake
- Required lights such as headlights, brake lights, taillights, and reflectors
- Good clearance
Another point to remember is that even if your race car is street legal, the law still inhibits racing it through the public roads. You can’t just perform any type of auto racing on public highways! It is essential to consider that these roads are intended for regular commuters and drivers who may not share the same driving skills.
So, if you want to test your racing prowess, you can take your race car on a proper race track instead.
Lastly, remember that making your car street legal would require a decent amount of money and time. You can expect it with all the adjustments and overhauls that you have to make in your car. Some car parts may be replaced and calibrated, and you may have to remove some of them altogether.
Some Examples of Street Legal Race Cars
The road to building a street-legal car is costly and challenging. But, if you are still planning on purchasing one, we’ve got something for you. Here are some examples of street-legal race cars that can help you decide.
1. BAC Mono | $215,000 +
Mono runs from 0-60 mph in such short 2.7 seconds, hitting about 170 mph on the straights, all thanks to its power-weight ratio. This magnificent beast powers up through a 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that produces 340 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Its cutting-edge tech and all-new aerodynamics are crucial to its performance, which explains why it comes at a hefty price.
2. BMW M2 Competition | $58,900+
With two turbochargers on its straight-six engine, producing up to 405 horsepower (not to mention the standard six-speed manual transmission), one can genuinely say that BMW M2 Competition is another beast for the track.
3. Ariel Atom 4 | $74,750+
Ariel Atom 4 may have gained the reputation of a fun car (which is a pretty good thing). Still, with the all-new chassis, body build, aerodynamic elements, and a beastly Civic Type R engine, you can imagine all the things you can achieve with this street-legal car. The 320 horsepower within this little monster is enough to catapult itself to 60 mph in mere 2.8 seconds, and 100 mph in 6.8 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 162 mph.
4. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE | $70,495+
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE boasts its precision braking, steering, handling, and grip. The performance goes perfectly well with its menacing looks, featuring standard black mirrors, rear spoiler, and front splitter. Aerodynamics-wise, the car’s design allows for increased downforce for the track with its three-piece mounted blade-style spoiler and a large front splitter.
5. 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 | $74,095+
Powered by 5.2L Supercharged Cross Plane Crank V8, this slick beast can produce up to 760 horsepower with 625 lb-ft of torque. It allows for the car to reach a top speed of 180 mph. The front grille, which is probably the first thing you’d notice about the vehicle, is almost twice the size of the GT350. It’s not only aesthetics, though, for the front grille allows for about 50 percent more airflow towards the engine.
6. 2021 LOTUS EVORA GT | $99,150+
If you’re a Lotus fan, you’d undoubtedly love what they have come up with, the 2021 Lotus Evora GT. Featuring a mid-mounted, supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 that results in an impressive 416 horsepower and 317 or 332 lb-ft of torque, this sexy Lotus can easily bolt through the streets in a slick fashion. With an extended carbon pack, the vehicle significantly reduced its weight and improved its aerodynamics, reaching a top speed of 188 mph. It might be a little pricey, but it is indeed worth it.
7. SCUDERIA CAMERON GLICKENHAUS 003CS
Although built to be more for the tracks than the SCG 003S, the 003CS is still considered a street-legal car that does an effortless job knifing through the track and street corners. With a carbon fiber chassis, body, subframes, and rear wing, this beauty weigh about 2200 pounds of net aerodynamic downforce. Its BMW 4.4-liter reverse flow twin-turbo engine delivers up to a staggering 750 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, giving it the power to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in mere 3 seconds. Another neat point of this is fantastic vehicle is that you can tune it up either for the track or the road with just a few adjustments.