I’ve come to the conclusion that the time has come for The Garage to take our readers through the resurrection of an old race car. Not a top flight resto and build like we saw through Gary Faules’ eyes with Lucky the GT350R, but a bare bones, grassroots resurrection and build. I think it would be a lot of fun for us and for our readers.
Of course, to begin this process, we need a car. Ultimately, I’d like to get our grubby little hands on an old race car that someone has more or less forgotten about and left under a growing pile of rubble in some dark corner of their shop. Maybe the engine blew up and the owner decided it was a lost cause. Maybe it was picked up as a next project that someone never got around to. Maybe some unfortunate soul passed away and the family wants their parking spot back. You get the idea.
The problem here is that I am that unique combination of a racer who actually works in the new car side of the automotive industry. That means I am uniquely challenged as a purchaser. Why? Well, let me give you a few fun facts that aren’t often discussed out in the open.
The Racer as a seller:
The Racer who is selling a car always believes that the car he’s selling is the most special of it’s kind ever raced and is therefore worth 30% more than the original car sold for new 25 years ago. Because it has lots of expensive performance parts. The reality may be that the car was built for a single marque series by a backyard Tim Allen wannabe who bent pipe (not tubing) for the roll cage around the old oak tree. The car ran as a back marker for half a season 24 years ago and never completed a race. Near the end of that season, a front wheel came off and destroyed one side of the car as it was flailing around, attached only by a tie rod.
The Racer as a buyer:
The Racer as a buyer is a funny creature. Because he is “A Racer”, he feels he is entitled to receive everything for free or pretty close to it. The budding racer still believes that “Racer’s Price” is anything other than retail plus 15%. Because he is part of that mystical brotherhood of racers, he actually thinks that you want to basically give him your pride and joy.
The car industry guy as a seller:
Will sell you a pile of crap for 3 times what it’s worth. If you express concern that the price is too high, he will tell you to go Eff yourself because he knows there is some other sucker who thinks he’s a racer who will buy his lies and his car.
The car industry guy as a buyer:
Deals with cars all day long and knows that the half baked attempts at performance work that some guy did to a car 25 years ago destroyed what little value the car had to begin with. Even worse, there is every likelihood that the guy was a hack and actually managed to make the car slower than it was when it left the factory. He will offer you 50 bucks for the car, even though the scrap value is 70.
So where does that leave me? I want a rough, battle worn project that won’t cost a fortune to buy, resurrect or race. I don’t want to spend more than 500 bucks because I have access to limitless talent that won’t cost me a bundle, even though I’m a talentless hack. It could be a sports racer (there were lots of those in Ontario in the 60’s) or a roadster or maybe even a small sedan of some sort. Just no open wheeled cars, because I just won’t fit!
So if anyone has a long forgotten racer tucked away in the corner, drop me an e-mail. We might even be able to make a deal.