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Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/21/21 10:22 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
 

If you need it to race, it's part of the race car budget.

There have always been people who want instant gratification and people who are able to work towards a long-term goal. That hasn't changed, that's just people.

Nailed it in both counts.

I have $175 worth of specialty tools to service the Polaris Clutches on the F500. I probably could have bought them for less money if I waited for used items to come up for sale

I'd love to say it was a long term goal as to why I slowly plugged away at getting the Datsun built but in reality racing is a complete addiction for me. Read I'm content with buying crack 4 times a year rather than not at all.

AaronT
AaronT Reader
9/21/21 10:35 a.m.

Who are these mythical people financing racecars? 
 

As has been said before: the absolute cheapest ways to drive hard are autox or rallyx. If you want to go wheel to wheel your cheapest option is a race kart. You'll end up racing wheel to wheel a lot more in a kart than in some random vintage class. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/21/21 11:56 a.m.

So one thing we haven't touched on in all this back and forth is being competitive with little to no budget. If you're going to go racing on the dollar amounts I'm talking about do not plan on being competitive. 

Frenchyd will remind us that he was competitive for little or no money but the reality is he was only able to do that because someone else was putting money into his racing (albeit indirectly via his labor).  So you would have to calculate the number of hours times a wage, to get a true measure of his costs.  This is a very different scenario than my prepping the car myself, I don't work at a level that someone would pay me to prep or service their race car. 

In the Datsun I've managed a few top 5s overall; these were at my home track that I have literally thousands laps vs people who've been to the track 4-5 times.  Also my top 5 finishes have been 15-20 seconds back from the lead trio at the end of the race.........so not really competitive. I drove my heart out for a couple of those top 5s which made it even more fun. 

So with all that said, while I may not be running up front, I've had some really fun races in the Datsun and the F500. You can have a lot of fun for not a lot of dollars, one of the reasons I like vintage racing is it's as much a social event as it is a race weekend. 

 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
9/21/21 12:16 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Matt B (fs) :

I prepared a Jag for Chump Car. Then went and watched them. I'm glad I did.  While many were great drivers there were enough clueless novices to scare the heck out of me.   
    I actually had $500 in my car track ready. But turning over all that work to somebody with the $500 entry fee and required safety gear didn't seem very prudent.  

That's fair. I haven't run with Chump/Champ, but felt comfortable with our Lemons races.  I find that people are pretty well behaved there on average.  Jay and crew do not tolerate much aggression or incompetence. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 1:00 p.m.

Tom1200 has it right, Vintage racing is a social event as much as a race.  The right crowd and no crowding .  
    That's the nature of Vintage racing.  The rules cut off groups at certain points. If the cut off was in the right spot you could be competitive for very little money.  Some clubs slightly shift the cutoffs around to give others a chance to be at the front.  
 Group 3 for example was cut off at Dec 31 1959. 
 Devin bodies were made right at that period. Small block Chevy, Devin body, and a chassis you could be right at the front. For a tiny investment. 
  Yet someone owning a Ferrari, Maserati, Dtype Jaguar, probably couldn't keep up in spite of spending multi million dollars.  
     Taking a mold off a Devin is so easy.  I did it rather than patch up a multi damaged body saving much weight and returning the body to sound.  
       Same with Group  1. A Ford Flathead and a single seater body ran away with Group 1 at Elkhart Lake this weekend. That one had a well documented province. However most cars in Group 1 don't have any documented race history.  It's not a requirement.  I can envision dozens of very competitive cars for a tiny investment. 
      My budget for the Jaguar XJS is inside the $2000 challenge limits. But in the group 6 class ( Trans Am type cars)  there are several cars racing with potentially  similar budgets.  Dodge Dart, Ford Falcon, etc.  

    Tom1200 has it right though, those cars are up against guys with $100,000 or more annual budgets, so No! Winning is not a probability  or even a likely possibility. ( although I did podium finish once with a Corvette with a challenge budget  when everyone else broke or blew up). 
      That's the fun of Vintage racing, newer faster cars in a class have an advantage that's hard to beat. Yet as Tom1200 points out running mid pack has its rewards as well. my Buddies MGTF was faster than my MGTD  (Or maybe he was a better driver?)  but I'd claim first in the non aerodynamically advantaged class. ( his headlights are flared into the fenders while mine stood up proud like God and Her majesty ordained!!!   OK so it's a nonsense excuse but it's about fun!   
      


        

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 1:07 p.m.
AaronT said:

But Who are these mythical people financing racecars? 
 

As has been said before: the absolute cheapest ways to drive hard are autox or rallyx. If you want to go wheel to wheel your cheapest option is a race kart. You'll end up racing wheel to wheel a lot more in a kart than in some random vintage class. 

I for one!! I started out with a $300 Jag in 1976 and this year I started out with a $500 Jag. 
    You don't have to restrict yourself to Autocross  or Rallycross. ( I hadn't considered that, potentially that could be done on a modest budget  and at least the European versions that I've seen are wheel to wheel) 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
9/21/21 2:17 p.m.

Frenchy, I've been reading your posts for years. You seem to have a lot of valuable experience and knowledge on some subjects. However, your tone is usually very, "do it the way I did it 40 years ago or you're doing it wrong".  You're talking to a lot of people here who are successful racers in today's world in a wide array of racing formats. 

when was the last time you raced a car?  Stop telling everyone how they should be doing it and go do it. SHOW us your perfect plans in action.  My 2 cents. 

AaronT
AaronT Reader
9/21/21 2:28 p.m.
frenchyd said:
AaronT said:

But Who are these mythical people financing racecars? 
 

As has been said before: the absolute cheapest ways to drive hard are autox or rallyx. If you want to go wheel to wheel your cheapest option is a race kart. You'll end up racing wheel to wheel a lot more in a kart than in some random vintage class. 

I for one!! I started out with a $300 Jag in 1976 and this year I started out with a $500 Jag. 
    You don't have to restrict yourself to Autocross  or Rallycross. ( I hadn't considered that, potentially that could be done on a modest budget  and at least the European versions that I've seen are wheel to wheel) 

Perhaps it's prudent to realize the follies of your youth are oft not repeated by the youth of today ;). Very few on these boards would finance a car that will be raced w2w.

Also, I didn't limit the options to whatevercross. I quite clearly offered an option that will have you engaged significantly more w2w battles than vintage and will likely cost less money.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 2:36 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Money is money.  When you don't have much of it to spend you figure out other ways to achieve your goals.  That's what I'm trying to share.  
      I understand the world has moved on.   Hopefully others will figure out that it doesn't take a big stack of money to have fun.  
    I've never said a Miata is the only answer.  Yes it's a well worn path that's often shared.  You won't need to figure anything out. They are a known commodity. 
     But I spoke about racing last weekend.  A sizable event.  Some very modest cars. I was there to confirm the car I'm currently preparing  would be welcome even though it wasn't specifically mentioned in the rules.   
 So yes I did have to step away from something I love deeply.  Life happens.  I'm back and you're free to accept my suggestions or not.  
Good luck. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 2:48 p.m.
AaronT said:
frenchyd said:
AaronT said:

But Who are these mythical people financing racecars? 
 

As has been said before: the absolute cheapest ways to drive hard are autox or rallyx. If you want to go wheel to wheel your cheapest option is a race kart. You'll end up racing wheel to wheel a lot more in a kart than in some random vintage class. 

I for one!! I started out with a $300 Jag in 1976 and this year I started out with a $500 Jag. 
    You don't have to restrict yourself to Autocross  or Rallycross. ( I hadn't considered that, potentially that could be done on a modest budget  and at least the European versions that I've seen are wheel to wheel) 

Perhaps it's prudent to realize the follies of your youth are oft not repeated by the youth of today ;). Very few on these boards would finance a car that will be raced w2w.

Also, I didn't limit the options to whatevercross. I quite clearly offered an option that will have you engaged significantly more w2w battles than vintage and will likely cost less money.

 

I'm sorry, do you have enough cash on hand to pay for your racing?   Most don't. That doesn't mean they can't race.   The approach I've  used is buy the car/chassis/parts. With a few hundred bucks ( cash, sort of a down payment).  Then as you get money buy the items  in the priority you need them. It's a time payment plan with no interest. Or loan approval required.  
 Fair enough. I'm an old geezer. But I'm stepping back into racing on a tiny budget. 
  A budget not even big enough to pay for a used go-kart ( Geezerdom).  Or decent autocross car.  In fact not even enough to race the challenge. 
  I like that!   It's a serious part of the fun.  Overcoming obstacles.  This is just one.  I'm absolutely certain I'm not alone.  
I know I won't talk anyone into doing what I'm doing but maybe I'll show them the way around.  Look at Carrol  Shelby Modest? You bet!  Overcome odds? Absolutely.  
  Look at many of those we admire.  

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/21 2:54 p.m.

Carrol Shelby modest?

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
9/21/21 2:58 p.m.

For what it's worth I may not agree with most of you most of the time, but I'm glad you're all here. The perspectives and advice of this boards are it's strongest suit. It'd be a sad day without hearing about a jaguar v12 being the best engine for a golf kart engine swap.

<Feel good moment over, back to the budgetary battle to the death>

Riley_88
Riley_88 Reader
9/21/21 3:04 p.m.

There are some great suggestions here for ways to compete on a budget. It's good to see that there's a variety of interests as well...some want to go autox'ing, others prefer HPDE days and some won't rest until they can bang wheels racing in a pack on the track. All of these sound great, we just have different goals based on interests and where we're at in life. 

I found an ideal solution for us this summer. I have two boys, 13 and almost 16.  Both are interested in racing but are also involved in other sports, part-time jobs, etc as well. I would love to be racing w2w but for various reasons getting a car and racing on track isn't in the cards right now. Thankfully, within 20 minutes of our home there's an "arrive and drive" kart series.  No, it's not perfect but it's really good, a ton of fun and I get to go racing and so do my boys. We pay $70pp (CAD) for 2 practice sessions, 2 qualifying races and a feature race. No extra fees for anything, even if a kart was to get damaged. We race once every 2 weeks (and can go more often if we want to) and are up against some really talented drivers and some maybe not so talented drivers...and we learn a lot from both. We do of course miss out on getting to wrench on the kart throughout the week, but it means I don't have to find the time to do that work and my garage is empty...ok, it definitely isn't empty but I don't have a kart and trailer taking up any room in there.

I wouldn't be surprised if one day we end up buying a kart, or three, but for now we're racing wheel to wheel for very little money and having a blast doing it.  This isn't the answer for everyone but I can't think of a cheaper way to get on track and race w2w in comparable equipment to everyone else out there.

Mark

j_tso
j_tso Reader
9/21/21 3:12 p.m.

In reply to Riley_88 :

You don't even need a trailer for kart

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/21/21 3:23 p.m.
frenchyd said:

First decide what you'd really like to drive.  Not something to settle on if nothing better comes along.  

I'm going to expand on this in a slightly different direction.  That choice you just made, on what you want to drive?  Set it aside for now.  Go buy the closest thing to that which is already prepped for the type of racing you want to do and fits your price point, and race it.  You're going to learn A LOT when you first start that you can apply to that dream build, and wasting time and money making preparation mistakes before you actually start racing is bad for the budget.

Once you've raced the other thing you bought for a while, then maybe it's time to consider the car you wanted in the first place.  Does it still seem like a good idea?  What's good about it?  What needs to be addressed?  What did/didn't you like about your previous car that you can carry over or do differently?

Then, sell that first thing and build your car.  DO NOT prep something with no experience just because you want to race that specific car.

Riley_88
Riley_88 Reader
9/21/21 3:25 p.m.

In reply to j_tso :

Alright, but can you carry 3 karts that way? wink

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 3:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Carrol Shelby modest?

He sure started out modest. Perhaps he overplayed the chicken farmer bit a little(?)    As for the rest of that, he probably did what was needed to achieve what he did. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 3:54 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:
frenchyd said:

First decide what you'd really like to drive.  Not something to settle on if nothing better comes along.  

I'm going to expand on this in a slightly different direction.  That choice you just made, on what you want to drive?  Set it aside for now.  Go buy the closest thing to that which is already prepped for the type of racing you want to do and fits your price point, and race it.  You're going to learn A LOT when you first start that you can apply to that dream build, and wasting time and money making preparation mistakes before you actually start racing is bad for the budget.

Once you've raced the other thing you bought for a while, then maybe it's time to consider the car you wanted in the first place.  Does it still seem like a good idea?  What's good about it?  What needs to be addressed?  What did/didn't you like about your previous car that you can carry over or do differently?

Then, sell that first thing and build your car.  DO NOT prep something with no experience just because you want to race that specific car.

Good argument. Perhaps valid to some.  
My counter? Learning is not just about steering and stepping on the throttle.   It's also about fixing mistakes.  Every car goes to the race track with tools and equipment.  Repairs/service work  are required even with high dollar pro teams.  If you are wealthy enough  to have others to do that for you  then I guess you wouldn't be here.  
    Besides if you want to really extract everything out of the car without hurting it, build it.  You'll learn limits, develop a bond(?).  Yeh, a connection you can't as the spacer.  (The spacer is what's between the steering wheel and the seat ). 
     This is weird but I get a very tactile feel of a car by holding the pieces in my hand and just rolling them around.  Make no mistake I crack test things and examine them under magnification.  But before they start to go together  I hold them, feel them, study them. A time study guy would probably tell me it's a waste of my time.. 

Yet when I'm on the hairy edge, about to fall off the world, I am that much more confident.  Maybe a fraction too confident. But diving into the corner is no time to hesitate. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/21/21 3:58 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

My point is that one inevitably makes mistakes in what parts are on the car, and how they're installed, adjusted, driven, etc.  Let somebody else take the depreciation hit the first time, buy a used race car, do your learning there, come out ahead when you build one yourself later.  Used race cars are rarely worth the sum of their parts, and are therefore more of a bargain than building one yourself.

Maybe this was less true when you built your first race car, I'm just here to say it's true now.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
9/21/21 4:05 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:
frenchyd said:

First decide what you'd really like to drive.  Not something to settle on if nothing better comes along.  

I'm going to expand on this in a slightly different direction.  That choice you just made, on what you want to drive?  Set it aside for now.  Go buy the closest thing to that which is already prepped for the type of racing you want to do and fits your price point, and race it.  You're going to learn A LOT when you first start that you can apply to that dream build, and wasting time and money making preparation mistakes before you actually start racing is bad for the budget.

Once you've raced the other thing you bought for a while, then maybe it's time to consider the car you wanted in the first place.  Does it still seem like a good idea?  What's good about it?  What needs to be addressed?  What did/didn't you like about your previous car that you can carry over or do differently?

Then, sell that first thing and build your car.  DO NOT prep something with no experience just because you want to race that specific car.

I agree with what's-his-symbol. I sorta did something similar when I first bought my ITB Pinto. What I really wanted was a Sports 2000 but didn't have the money or experience for it.  I built up seat time in ITB and knowledge of the 2.0 Ford and had collected 2.0 parts while I was at it. Money was all that stopped me form going to Sports 2.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 4:17 p.m.
Riley_88 said:

There are some great suggestions here for ways to compete on a budget. It's good to see that there's a variety of interests as well...some want to go autox'ing, others prefer HPDE days and some won't rest until they can bang wheels racing in a pack on the track. All of these sound great, we just have different goals based on interests and where we're at in life. 

I found an ideal solution for us this summer. I have two boys, 13 and almost 16.  Both are interested in racing but are also involved in other sports, part-time jobs, etc as well. I would love to be racing w2w but for various reasons getting a car and racing on track isn't in the cards right now. Thankfully, within 20 minutes of our home there's an "arrive and drive" kart series.  No, it's not perfect but it's really good, a ton of fun and I get to go racing and so do my boys. We pay $70pp (CAD) for 2 practice sessions, 2 qualifying races and a feature race. No extra fees for anything, even if a kart was to get damaged. We race once every 2 weeks (and can go more often if we want to) and are up against some really talented drivers and some maybe not so talented drivers...and we learn a lot from both. We do of course miss out on getting to wrench on the kart throughout the week, but it means I don't have to find the time to do that work and my garage is empty...ok, it definitely isn't empty but I don't have a kart and trailer taking up any room in there.

I wouldn't be surprised if one day we end up buying a kart, or three, but for now we're racing wheel to wheel for very little money and having a blast doing it.  This isn't the answer for everyone but I can't think of a cheaper way to get on track and race w2w in comparable equipment to everyone else out there.

Mark

That is a wonderful solution to racing wheel to wheel for your sons.  Also a great way to train them to be your pit crew when it's finally your turn!!!  ;-) 

They are also  the perfect age for that sort of exposure.  If they take to it, excellent!  If not they tried and had other priorities. That's just as OK. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
9/21/21 5:21 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to frenchyd :

My point is that one inevitably makes mistakes in what parts are on the car, and how they're installed, adjusted, driven, etc.  Let somebody else take the depreciation hit the first time, buy a used race car, do your learning there, come out ahead when you build one yourself later.  Used race cars are rarely worth the sum of their parts, and are therefore more of a bargain than building one yourself.

Maybe this was less true when you built your first race car, I'm just here to say it's true now.

Hmm. We seem to be talking Russian and Mandurian. Depreciation on a race car?   Do you mean worn out?  What is the cost of refreshing the wear? Obsolete?presumably it was sold because it could no longer be made competitive and not because it had enough incidents to remove the integrity.  Yes that happens. No there are no Car-fax's on race cars. As I  said, part of the reason to "build your own" is teach you race car mechanics.  
   How do you know how to rebuild a leaky clutch slave cylinder in time to make the race?  Can that. Torn off corner be replaced in time to make the race?  Do you have the skills and judgement to safely repair the body? 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
9/21/21 6:29 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Money is money.  When you don't have much of it to spend you figure out other ways to achieve your goals.  Hopefully others will figure out that it doesn't take a big stack of money to have fun.  

Everyone on this forum is doing exactly what you're describing - maximizing their racing and fun on a limited budget. Your way is not the only way to do it. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/21/21 6:38 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Learning to judge the quality and repairability of a worn car seem like valuable skills to me.  So do field repairs and repreparation between events.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
9/21/21 7:01 p.m.
frenchyd said:

Autocross?  Kissing your sister

karting?  I'm too big

champcar? Drivers are clueless

HPDE? Not true racing

used race car? Unreliable and you have no way to fix it

the only way to have fun and race a car on a small budget is to build an oddball from scratch and go vintage racing  

 

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