Automotive Building and Touring Magazine

2K for 2G Grand Touring Car Challenge

2K for 2G Grand Touring Car Challenge

The used car market is awash with cars under two grand, but can the average driving enthusiast find a grand touring car good enough to take them 2000 miles for $2000 with less than $200 in repairs? To increase the difficulty of the challenge, can you drive it in less than 36 hours? 

This is about touring cars. Where luxury and power converge. A proper touring car has plenty of power and we want to weed out some pretenders, so the bar is set at 250 horsepower. Not earth shattering, not exotic car territory, but enough power to separate serious cars from the masses of gutless blob average commuters.

I have taken a 2240 mile trip, in 35 hours, in a 20 year old, 2-door, 2-seat, 260HP V8, with about 160 k miles on the clock that only cost $1750. While this sounds like perfect bargain basement touring car numbers, I left out one detail, that trip was in my 1996 Dodge Ram pickup. My old beat up truck made the trip with no breakdowns. Only stopping for fuel and a couple meals. See more about that trip

But this is a touring car challenge and trucks, which are the bargain basement of big horsepower, do not qualify. Hence the challenge when faced with a $2000 budget. 

This is a vehicle challenge, not a driver challenge. When I took my epic trip to get doors for my car project, my son went along and we switched off driving every time we got fuel, which was about three and a half hours. For this challenge co-drivers are welcome to prevent driver fatigue.

For this challenge your car must be:

A car, not a truck or SUV

Rear wheel drive or AWD

2 door or 3 door hatchback. 

2 seat or 2+2 

250+ hp in Automobile Catalog (unbiased reference source), or 250+ on a dyno sheet if motor swapped.

Sound too easy? You may be surprised to find out how little horsepower is pushing around our daily drivers. I’ll save you a bit of research, No V6 Camaros or V6 Mustangs at all, no Mustang GT’s before 99, no Mustang Cobras before 96, no V8 Camaros before 1993, no Corvettes before 92, No BMW M3’s before 2001…none of them make 250 hp. 


Start with $2000. You must keep $200 in reserve for repairs.

Three options for the challenge: 

Option A: spend $1000 on car and up to $800 in repairs and upgrades, with $200 road repair reserve


Option B: spend $1500 on car and up to $300 in repairs and upgrades, with $200 road repair reserve


Option C: spend $1800 on car and $0 on repairs and upgrades, with $200 road repair reserve

Once you have your ride selected and any repairs and upgrades done, drive your car on a 2000 mile round trip. Eboladrome to Budapest and back, or Orlando FL. to Austin TX. and back, or LA to Denver and back, with less than $200 in repairs.
Can you beat this challenge?

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