How To Get Into Cars: Handling Mods

As a budding automotive enthusiast, you finally took the plunge and scored yourself a sweet project car. After going through it from top to toe, you’ve done your basic maintenance and it’s now running like a top. Now you’re getting comfortable, you’ve set your sights on turning your humble ride into a corner carving machine. Here’s a guide to get yourself started.

It’s All About Grip

When it comes to creating a handling monster, the aim is to create a car that sticks to the road like glue, and is controllable when it does break loose. Having a car that handles predictably at the limit is a big help when you’re pushing hard on track, particularly for an inexperienced driver. And, whether you’re hitting the canyons on the weekend or trying to slash your laptimes, it’s always nice to have more grip. Through selecting the right parts and getting the set up right, it’s possible to hone your car’s cornering ability to make it a rewarding experience to drive fast and hard.

Wheels and Tires

A good set of semi-slicks will shave seconds off your laptime, but beware – they’ll wear incredibly quickly in normal road use. Source: Speed Academy

No other part on your car has as much effect on handling as your wheels and tires. No matter your suspension set up, no matter what you’ve done under the hood, it all comes to naught if you’re driving around on bald, slippery tyres. Your tyres are what connects the car to the road, and thus it’s the first place you should look to upgrade when you want to go faster in the bends.

There’s a few factors that come into play when selecting wheels and tyres. You’ll want a set of wheels that are nice and wide so you can fit fat tyres with plenty of grip; however, your car’s geometry and guards will limit how far you can go here. High-powered track builds will often go as far as cutting sheet metal and fitting overfenders to fit wider rubber, while lower-powered builds can often get by without such extreme measures. Wheel diameter is dependent on your car’s suspension setup. Most cars have a certain wheel size that is the best tradeoff between performance and having a good selection of tyres to choose from. Early Miatas do great with 15″ wheels, while an RX-7 is more at home on 17″ or 18″, for example.

Lightweight wheels are a great way to improve handling, but come at a price. Carbon fibre wheels are the latest tech in this area, but cost a fortune. Forged wheels are a more usual choice for the amateur track racer. Source: Carbon Revolution

Weight also plays a big role. Wheels and tyres count as unsprung weight – the weight that is not supported by the suspension components. Reducing this weight makes it easier for the suspension components to do their job of keeping the tyres in contact with the road, thanks to lower inertia. Additionally, they’re also rotational weight, and reducing this helps the car accelerate and decelerate more quickly. Lightweight wheels are expensive, but performance gains can be significant. Serious track fiends will spend big money on a set of lightweight forged wheels, with even lighter carbon fibre items slowly entering the mainstream at even higher prices.

Tyre compound is important, too, and depends on how you’ll be using the vehicle. For street use with the occasional track day, a performance road tyre is best – think the Hankook Ventus RS4 or Michelin Pilot Sport 4. If you’re looking for super-sticky race tyres that you can still drive on the road to get to the track, consider a semi-slick like the Nankang AR-1. Alternatively, if you’re trailering your car to events, you can go for an all-out racing slick. Don’t use semi-slicks or slicks for normal driving duties, though – they’re dangerous in the wet and will wear out incredibly rapidly! Of course, if you’re in the rally game, you’ll be eyeing specialist mud or gravel tyres instead.

Wheel and tyre upgrades are often the cheapest way to make big gains in laptime at the track. Without good tyres gluing you to the road, any other mods you do will be far less effective, so it pays to do this first.

Shocks And Springs

Likely the next area you’ll want to consider is upgrading to a better set of shocks and springs. Typically, cars come with a setup that balances comfort and handling. Often, enthusiasts are willing to sacrifice the former to get more of the latter.

One option is to source a set of lowering springs to drop the ride height of the car. This lowers the center of gravity which helps improve handling, with the drawback of making bumps and potholes more difficult to deal with. Often, such spring will be stiffer than stock to help keep the tyre in contact with the road better, albeit at the cost of a harsher ride. Such modification is often done in concert with a set of performance shock absorbers designed for the lower ride height. This is a good choice for drivers looking for better handling without compromising too much day-to-day drivability.

Adjustable coilovers are the go-to choice for those after serious handling gains. However, there’s often a trade-off to be made with regards to comfort. Source: KW Suspensions

Alternatively, a more popular option on modern cars is to switch to a coilover setup. This is most common on Japanese cars, where the coil spring is placed over the shock absorber in a single assembly. Coilover setups often come with adjustable ride height and damping, allowing the car to be set up with a more aggressive alignment. Camber plates can usually be added too, further improving adjustability – useful when trying to dial in the ultimate setup for race applications. The trade-off is that usually, coilover setups are aimed at more serious track use, and can give quite a harsh ride on the road. However, they make a great choice for those spending plenty of time at track, chasing every last second of laptime.

Swapping out shocks and springs is a good way to hone your car’s handling, but it’s also an easy way to ruin your car, too. It’s important to buy quality parts and understand the effect they’ll have on your car. A $200 set of eBay coilovers, for example, will do little more than make your car handle like a brick on wheels. A $3,000 set of Ohlins race shocks will do great at the track, but may be a little much for going down to the shops. And those lowering springs you scored off Craigslist might have eliminated your car’s body roll, but you’ll struggle to get in and out of your sloped driveway. The key is to improve your handling without going too low, or too stiff, and ruining your ride.

Sway Bars

Aftermarket swaybars are a great way to tune the handling balance of your car. Source: Brian Cuison

Sway bars are components that connect the left and right suspension components to help reduce body roll. They’re not fitted to all cars, but are relatively common and have a big effect on handling. Installing stiffer sway bars can help reduce body roll which can be disconcerting during fast cornering.

Additionally, they can be used to dial in the oversteer or understeer characteristics of your vehicle to your liking. Installing a stiffer front swaybar or a softer rear swaybar can help reduce oversteer, while installing a softer front swaybar or a stiffer rear swaybar can reduce understeer. They can also be removed entirely where applicable.

Aftermarket swaybars are available for most cars that have sporting pretensions. It’s a good area to consider tweaking when you’ve begun to find the weaknesses of your setup after doing some basic upgrades. If you’re upgrading to a set of aftermarket sway bars, you’ve probably already lowered your car with a set of shocks and springs, and so scoring a set of adjustable end-links will help you get things installed just right. Skipping this step and using stock swaybar links can lead to problems with pre-loading the bar, and can make installation difficult. Additionally, some cars need extra bracing when installing uprated bars; be sure to research common setups for your vehicle to avoid nasty surprises.

Bushings

Installing a fresh set of bushings can make your car feel brand new, and reduce play in your suspension and steering. Upgrading to stiffer polyurethane parts can sharpen handling, but comes with a penalty to noise, vibration and harshness. Source: SADfab

Bushings are the stiff, yet flexible components that connect parts of your suspension together. Usually, stock bushings are made of rubber, with a steel sleeve in the middle to locate bolts and allow movement in your suspension components. They serve to help isolate road vibrations from the rest of the car and act as another damping mechanism in your suspension system.

If you’ve got a project car that’s over 20 years old, it’s likely that the factory rubber bushings have grown tired and are beginning to perish. Replacing them with a fresh set can help reduce play in your suspension and steering, and make your car feel like new again.

However, there are upgrade options, too. It’s often possible to order aftermarket bushes made from polyurethane instead of rubber, which can help sharpen handling up significantly. This is due to the greater stiffness of the polyurethane material. The drawback is that often, these bushes can squeak if not greased regularly, making them a pain for regular road use. For some popular sports cars, like the Mazda Miata, it’s possible to instead source aftermarket bushes that are still rubber, but stiffer than stock. These can be a good choice of those wanting an upgrade in performance without dealing with the headaches of polyurethane bushes.

Setup And Alignment

It’s possible to do your own alignment at home, though most elect to hand a list of specs to a dedicated alignment shop. Source: Bernice Loui

So, you’ve thrown a whole bunch of parts at your car, and now you’re ready to go faster, right? Wrong. It’s one thing to fit upgraded suspension components, but without the right setup, you’re going to have a bad time. Between adjustable dampers, camber, toe, and spring rates, there’s a lot you need to get right to keep your car pointed in the right direction.

For the novice, this is where it’s crucial to learn from the experts. Finding a local alignment shop that’s comfortable working on modified vehicles is key; your local Lube ‘n’ Tyre isn’t really up to the job here. They’ll be able to help guide you with the right alignment settings to give you sharp turn-in and predictable handling. They’ll also be able to give you tips on how to set your dampers and whether you’ve got enough tyre for the job. Other great sources of informations are forums and car clubs – other owners with similar vehicles will gladly tell you how to set up your car properly. They’ll tell you not only what parts are good, but how to get the most out of them by getting your setup right.

A great practical example is the SuperMiata alignment page. With the original Mazda Miata being one of the most popular track cars of the last three decades, there’s a huge wealth of knowledge on how to get the best out of the vehicle on track. The page describes several different alignment setups, along with their intended use and what other parts or modifications are necessary to make it work. It’s a useful resource for those new to customizing a car for handling gains. Similar resources exist for many popular cars. Failing that, it never hurts to ask around your local club or alignment shop!

It’s All About Compromise

When you’re choosing parts for your project car, it’s all about doing the right research and deciding what trade-offs you’re willing to make. The choices you’ll make for an all-out track car are different than those for a weekend canyon carver that still needs to get you to work on Monday.

While these recommendations won’t win you a national title in your first year, they’re a great place to start for the beginner. Swapping out these parts is mostly achievable in the garage at home, without too many expensive tools. Through observing what parts others have used in their builds, it’s easy to get an idea of what parts you’ll want to achieve your goals. Good luck slashing those laptimes, and happy hacking!

31 thoughts on “How To Get Into Cars: Handling Mods

  1. Tire pressure is a big one. You can alter your handling with a few PSI difference. On the 300ZX it was like 28psi for under 100mph and up to 32psi for up to 140mph. Of course you better be paying for those speed rated tires or don’t even bother flooring it! You can add some air to rears for more overseer, of course you lose traction.

    1. My wifes toy is a 300ZX TT and mine is a C6 corvette. What is interesting is the 300ZX is ballsy enough that the turbos are kind of muted. I had a Mercury Capri for a while, a little turbo 4 banger, and that was a gas to drive. You could really feel the turbo spool up on that car. None of them were fun to drive in sub optimal conditions. I had to take the Z car out once in winter and that was a real un fun experience.

  2. I myself am a huge car guy. Best advice I can give is to buy quality aftermarket parts. You should also take into consideration if you have AWD, RWD or FWD as they all handle differently and will respond differently to each mod.

    Don’t forget to get a TUNE by a reputable tuner — when doing engine mods it will alter your Air/Fuel ratios. If you’re cramming more air into the motor, it has to know how much fuel to throw at it, otherwise it will run lean and you can blow your whole motor. You also don’t want it to run rich.

    Also register and check forums on your car make/model — much useful advice from people that know about your specific vehicle.

  3. On my 1997 SAAB 900, the biggest handling gains came from new bushings, figuring out how to get -1 degree of camber all the way around (very hard when everything is hard bolted or WELDED together), new tires, and stiffening the chassis up. Stiffening the chassis came down to a front subframe brace, and a steering rack brace (the latter helping much more than the former.)

    Everything else I did provided an incremental increase in handling, at best. And everyone’s recommend handling upgrade for those cars, a larger (22mm, vs. 18mm) rear anti-roll bar, did help corner turn in feel, but greatly increased liftoff oversteer…

    Also, you have to remember that tuning your engine power level factors into handling. I boosted my stock 2.0L B204L from 185HP, which the chassis can gladly handle, to north of 215HP, which it cannot handle at all. The torque when the turbo rolls into full boost actually twists the front end enough to lift the passenger (right-hand) tire. 🙃

    1. I had a Saab 900 NG, which I believe was based on a GM floorpan rather than SAAB. The torque twisting (it had a FPT) you mention was actually enough to crack the bulkead eventually. Quickest car I ever owned, but the rust got it in the end.

      1. I have had quiet a number of SAABs over the last nearly 40 years and the 2003 convertible while the prettiest (lol) my goodness what a floppy chassis. Just driving around town you can see it twist. Chopping the roof of a car doesn’t do it any good..

        1. The sad thing is the NG900s and OG9-3 convertibles added about 150lbs of extra steel fitted at the Valmet plant to stiffen the chassis, and they’re still that bad!

      2. They’re based on the GM2900 platform; aka Opel Vectra A. From memory, I think the bulkhead cracking was limited to the right-hand drive cars, thanks to the hole from the steering column being right where the torque loads are the strongest. The god-awful 2″ thick bushings on the steering rack that prevented it from bracing the bulkhead don’t help either…

  4. The first $5000 you spend on your car should go to the loose nut behind the wheel.

    Newbies to track driving tend to think speed is 90% car, 10% driver. Veterans know it’s the other way around. An experienced track day driver will get in a beat up old Kia and dust the lap time you just put up in your AWD GTR with an obnoxious exhaust system and two grand in rubber under it.

    Take that money and do track days in your unmodified street car. Choose ones that offer instruction and check your ego at the gate. Everyone thinks they are a good driver. The track will show you that you are not, and that’s okay. We all start somewhere. Do every track day you can find, relentlessly. Get every minute of seat time out there that you can. Do NOT practice your performance driving on ANY public road. Children, dogs, and cyclists occupy those roads and the risks are higher than you think they are.

    When you think you’ve found the limits of your current car, get an instructor or professional racer (often the same people) at a track day to drive it. Watch as they find 10 seconds of lap time that you didn’t think were there.

    After a few years of that, then spend money on safety equipment next. A cage. Harnesses. Fire suit. Learn to use them.

    If that all sounds “boring” because you wanna bolt shiny bits on to your car right now, darn it, well guess what- it’s WAY more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. The physics and the forces are all the same in a slow car, but everything happens sooner and gentler at the limits. You will learn much faster and safer in a basic car. If you go out there in your Gallardo on your first day, you’ll know when you blew an apex because you’ll wake up backwards in the wall.

    Be safe out there, and learn to drive. You’ll have way more fun, and you’ll learn what a waste of mine 99% of car mods are.

    Oh, and if you REALLY wanna have fun after a few of those track days, join a 24 Hours Of LeMons team and really learn what driving is all about. That money you were going to put into a fart can exhaust to annoy the people who live in your local canyons is way better spent on your LeMons race car.

      1. Some stock parts are pretty decent. North American Fiberglass has been building Shelby Cobra replicas for a long time. Dunno if they still do but they used to race one with totally stock Mustang II suspension just to show how good it is.

        Reasons why the 1974-1978 Mustang and Pinto front suspension is so popular for customs and street rods.
        1. Low vertical height. It fits into vehicles with little space often with little or no alteration to the side panels of the engine bay.
        2. Zero bumpsteer. That’s as long as the stock dimensions are not fiddled with or are replicated exactly.
        3. Frame rail spacing is identical or very close to many cars of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Years ago my father and I were building a 1927 Nash street rod. This was before the replicas of Mustang II front suspension were available. We cut the front crossmember out of a Mustang that’d been hit in the rear. After cutting out the Mustang’s frame rails the crossmember slid onto the Nash frame and stopped exactly at the location required to have the wheel center line at the original location. Made sure it was angled correctly for proper camber and welded it in place.

        The 1971-1973 Pinto front suspension has some differences. Shorter arms and the trailing link/bar on the lower arms is a different angle. The back ends of that bar attach directly to the frame while on the 74 and up there’s a three piece subframe they connect to on the Mustang. Dunno if the 74-81 Pinto has that.

    1. I totally agree with that.

      Usually the first mods that come for the car are to make it safe and reliable, i.e. do all the maintenance the previous owner swore he did but actually did not, change those worn-out ball-joints, shaky bushings, shocks, brakes. Usually OEM-style parts don’t compromise too much between handling on a road vs track. Also check for anything loose or cracked you don’t want to break while driving.

      The first performance and safety mod is actually the tires. OEM size is usually good, the bigger is not necessarily the better as it might change the suspension/steering geometry. Don’t forget that most performance tires suck on wet pavement, winter-tires give a “mushy” steering feedback when hot but are still good in the wet. Tires (and anything made of rubber) are generally rated for 5-7 years and will degrade over time. Steel wheels look bad, but they bend instead of cracking like cheap alloy wheels, and they usually bend before damaging you car’s subframe and suspension.

      But the most important is the driver:
      – Drive go-karts on a track, try to follow good pilots, it will help you to feel and understand how to drive, what to look for and how to react once you screw-up
      – Drive on an empty parking-lot to try how your car feels and reacts, especially on the wet or snow/ice. Same for trying “driving techniques” at low-speed, like double-clutching, heel/toe, left-foot braking, experiments with no ABS. But don’t abuse by causing too much noise, leaving skid-marks/fluids or behave/look dangerous around people
      – Get ready for when something goes wrong. It comes sometimes from the road, the car or other users (but yourself most of the time). You should react safely not to make things worse
      – Check your car for worn-out and broken stuff, stop when something doesn’t feel right
      – Know when and how to have a break, sometimes for the engine or the brakes (allow them to cool properly), and sometimes for you
      – Don’t be stupid on an open-road, this is usually the hardest point
      – Recognize when you screw-up and try to learn from that

    2. So accurate! Some people spend 90% of their time with the car in the garage and spends thousands upon thousands on a car the almost never drives, but if i ever were to get a project car/bike i would get a older, small and then-popular car that has cheap parts, since you have a lot more money for going to track-days and fixing it when it breaks.
      The funnest car i have ever driven was my friends Suzuki Alto from 2002 that had an exhaust leak and no power-steering. It weighed about 700kg, was on worn winter-tires in the summer, had like 45 horsepower and (to my then inexperienced ear) sounded like an F1-car because the limiter was around 8000 rpm. A friend had a newer 150 hp golf which was faster, sure, but extremely boring in comparison. He lived in a very flat and rural area that had a lot of T-junctions, and we had a “lap”, which was basically a square around a field near his house, with no blind corners or anything, and just more fields around them, so there was absolutely nothing to crash into, and the main danger was flipping it when going off the road. We spent whole afternoons racing around that square and the topspeed was usually around 75 km/h, which was perfect since the speed-limit was 80 km/h.
      Best summer in my life

  5. Tires.
    Tires.
    Tires.

    Not just for performance, just for getting safely down the road.

    Stock almost universally suck.
    Even the after market version of the same tires is usually an improvement, though still not usually the best choice.

    A good set of tires is often the difference between staying on the road and going off it. (or for off road tires, getting back to the road.)

    I don’t view it as a hack to put good tires on your car, but it can certainly change the performance, and handling, particularly during low traction events (rain, snow, gravel, sand, etc.)

    I know a lot of people who have never changed their tires, they are usually people who get new cars every 3-4 years… and those people have never realized just how much their car sucks at driving because of stock tires… and when they sell it they usually complain about how it does in the snow, and rain, and how it doesn’t handle like it used too…. because their tires are worn out and they didn’t bother to put an upgrade on there.

    1. Tires aren’t as sexy as lowering springs or fancy shock absorbers and anti-roll bars, but they by far make the most difference in handling.
      If you want to see it in action, go to an autocross event. Autocross is a precision driving competition that highlights a vehicle’s handling, not just in steady state cornering, but with the dynamic suspension forces that occur when a car changes direction. Tires are the single most important variable in events like this other than driver ability (practice).

    2. A while ago, I bought a worn out Ford Probe GT for the Grassroots Motorsports $2004 Challenge. The first thing I did besides some minor repairs was to take it to a driving school event, then I bought some race tires for it and spent a couple racing sessions just practicing driving it and fine tuning the tire pressures to give the car the best balance. Sure, the tires cost more than the car I’d put them on, but they made a better improvement than anything else I could have done.

    3. This. Not track related, but moved last year onto my first hybrid SUV (one careful owner) … it had a massive amount of torque steer under heavy acceleration – twitching between 40-50MPH – whoever traded it in changed tires to get it through its MOT test a few months earlier.

      They were cheap and nasty, though “recommended” by the folks behind the counter, what I saw was the edges of the tires just plain rubbed off. Paid the extra for decent tires and the handling improved somewhat. The torque steer is still there, as it’s apparently a ‘feature’ of the car, but at least I won’t have to buy new tires every couple of months.

  6. Also for the hackadayers, add canbus logging, maybe even add a secondary canbus for things like G forces, suspension movement, live tire pressures, tire temp across the INNER carcas etc. ODB logging helps, but its often much too slow. Then figure out how to analyze it. Take a look at what this guy adds to the E46 M3 (or in my case S54 swapped E30 with DTM suspension): http://airventdisplay.no/

  7. When it comes to tires everyone always assumes: wider = better. This isn’t necessarily true. IIRC it comes down to the ability to utilize a softer rubber compound and wider tires generally facilitate this. But not all wide tires are created equal.

  8. When it comes to bolt ons no good deed goes unpunished.
    Make sure the base vehicle can handle your mods and upgrades before plunking down cash on the counter.
    That beefy stabilizer bar might put more stress on a unibody frame than the design can handle,
    perhaps resulting in stress cracks and sheet metal tears in some unusual places causing safety issues.
    Do it right or don’t do it at all.

  9. Very interesting serie. I may be able to enter the hobby by buying the dream car of mine, a Mitsubishi Galant from 2000. Any tips of advice on this particular model/car ?

  10. I have to agree that seat time is the number 1 mod that everyone needs to make.

    I would also add that you need to find others who are running or are experienced with your car.
    I’ve seen drivers, who run small, FWD cars try to give advice and help others running heavier, RWD cars. Unless they know or have experience with those vehicles the information and help they offer doesn’t help.

    Also, start small, before spending the big bucks. Fix the things that can improve your driving like a proper alignment. (Learn to do a string alignment) Learn to make adjustments at the track to improve track handling (such as toe out) but that you can easily adjust back for your drive home.

    Once your skill and control has improved, then plan out the next step. Too many people waste their money throwing parts onto their cars when they can’t drive properly.
    Locking up your brakes or hitting the ABS all of the time is a sure sign you need to improve control. Take a handling course. This should teach you how to properly control your car through turns, slaloms and braking.

  11. Funny nobody mentions Legal Hacks: In most european countries there are overzealous rules about changing spring rates, tires etc… So usually by checking different years and versions of your car (i.e. a VW Golf TDI or a VW Golf GTI) you can find out what upgrades you can do by picking spare parts from a later year etc …
    I have fitted stiffer shocks and lighweigt rims with +1 size tires (all allowed), replaced my “broken” front sway bar and rear axle with GTI versions ;-) and my springs and bushings are from model years 4 years older (10mm lowered and slightly stiffer). All the latter is debateable, but it all fits the VW Golf version I have so you ‘d have to be an expert on that model to notice it at the MOT checks and I know how to handle lift-off oversteer when I get to frisky in cornering…

    Also don’t make choices that mess up earlier good replacements: no point in buying lightweight rims and then add 700g of extra rotational weight per wheen by fitting ventilated disks you’ll hardly use. Just put air deflectors for your standard disks, upgrade the DOT brake oil and grippier braking pads.

    It’s the physics stupid! ;-)

    1. I wanna point out that if you can’t drive safely on crappy tires, you can’t drive safely, only faster with higher impact energies, on good tires. Tires don’t make you safe, driving inside the performance envelope of the tires you’ve got makes you safe.

  12. Many moons ago, I had a little Renault R-8. Once, while working on the carburetor, I got a bright idea. I drilled a hole on the body and fashioned an extra jet from brass tubing. I used aquarium air tubing to connect it to a gallon sized antifreeze jug filled with plain water. I controlled the flow with a modified aquarium needle valve. The jug was lower than the carburetor and no water was drawn at idle, but there was a very noticeable power boost when given a little throttle. I always could tell when the water was exhausted. The system went through a gallon of water for every 10 gallon tank of gasoline.

  13. An interesting aside regarding wide tyres.

    Wider tyres generally won’t give you more contact patch area, they will only change the contact patch shape.
    A narrow tyre will provide a long thin patch, leading to more sidewall flex and potential overheating due to excessive sidewall flex under sustained high speed use. A wide tyre gives you a short and wide contact patch which minimizes sidewall flex and hence lessens heating.

    All other things being equal, there are only two ways to increase contact patch area, either increase the weight on the tyre, or decrease the tyre pressure.

    A wider tyre will also allow for a much lower profile though, which will reduce lateral sidewall flex, and the tyre will tend to stay flatter on the road during extreme cornering which results in less deformation and shrinkage of the contact patch under these conditions.

    So shoehorning those super wide tyres under your car won’t nessecarily give you more grip in a straight line, but can help a lot under sustained use and cornering.

    This is all assuming your stock tyres aren’t so crappy that their contact patch is limited by their narrow width and diameter, wider tyers will provide a bit more contact patch in that case, up to a point.

  14. As part of the biggest upgrade being the driver, check out Harrys Lap Timer, to compare laps.
    Also, if wanting to learn fast track driving, imho, you are better learning in a low powered car, having to push to the limIts to keep up, and learning how to conserve speed.
    MX5/Miata is a great base to work from.
    H

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