One of our most senior (35 year member) road racers acquired 2 VW Golf GTIs (Mk IIs, 16V 2.0L, full roll cage, full road race suspension, stripped) that needed a little TLC. He's finishing the reconditioning this winter so that come spring they will be available for rental use within the club. I am going to rent one of them out for about $300 a day for track days, then probably more for the eventual wheel-to-wheel racing when I get used to driving them on the big track. For that $300 a day, he will transport, teach me about roadcourse driving & racing, do all the upkeep, and take all the risk in case I do any damage. Since they will be just going back on track after a rebuild I will be participating in their development and learn about car set-up and race tuning as well.
It may sound like a lot to some, but compared to buying and owning a full race car, a trailer to tow it on, a tow vehicle, upkeep, veteran instruction from the start, and no crash liability, it's a screaming deal.
I definitely like the thought of starting out with a car with a lot more chassis/suspension/brakes than horsepower, and a FWD so that I am more comfortable with it's dynamics coming in. Just like in SoloII, it's best to start out with a "momentum" car that forces you to drive the right line to begin with, and not be able to cover your mistakes with a lot of horsepower. Once you can drive a "slow" car fast, you can drive anything fast...
Don't waste another minute waiting on parts, or anything else. Just get out there and start racing! You will suck at first, and you will be slower than many other cars, but the only thing you will regret is not starting earlier...