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frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 8:20 a.m.

I understand that because of rarity projects cars of the 40’s 50’s60’s and 70’s  are insanely high. 50% or more of finished values.  

So I focused on cars of the 80’s figuring with all the pollution limitations and federally mandated safety regulations they’d be wonderfully cheap,scrap prices cheap. 

They aren’t,  even rust bucket parts cars are commanding 2/3/10 times scrap prices.  It’s like the whole world suddenly became used auto  parts dealers. 

 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
12/2/17 8:47 a.m.

in some places, 25 years or older mean "no further emissions" testing... and on top of that, most cars before 1990 or so don't have airbags... which some states require you to keep even after 25 years.  So, I could see there being a premium for those kind of shells to build from.

ymmv

Suprf1y
Suprf1y PowerDork
12/2/17 9:20 a.m.
frenchyd said:

 

So I focused on cars of the 80’s

 

 

So did a lot of other people.

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
12/2/17 10:03 a.m.

I do like the 80's car myself as that is when "most" manufactures turned the corner, and lots of turbo cars with proper gear boxedevils

 

 

And I have four 80's cars

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 10:03 a.m.

In reply to Suprf1y : 

So that’s it?  Entry level for racing is going to remain at the silly level for the foreseeable future?  

Vintage Sports car Racing entry level for anything  that’s capable of serious performance level starts at $10,000 because the shells start out at thousands of dollars?  Trackday cars  with serious performance potential are nearly the same cost.  Oh maybe if you’ll accept a 4 door something, or a bare bones economy car you can wind up a few thousand dollars less.  

Chumpcar racing with $500 shells had an over $5500 track ready price  except the few who were able to buy a former race car at a modest price that had the expensive bits already done   

By the time you build the cage and required safety equipment.  Wheels tires and brakes, engine transmission, capable of lasting 24 hours you had thousands of dollars and an awful lot of time invested.  

 

BoxheadCougarTim
BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
12/2/17 10:28 a.m.

IMHO there are three issues at play here:

  • The eighties kids (like me) wanting to buy the cars that they wanted to buy when they were 18 but couldn't afford back then. That's affecting everything from aircooled 911s to AE86s.
  • New car prices keep going up and family incomes aren't keeping up. At least in places where cars don't self-recycling within a decade, that's putting a floor under the prices.
  • For collectible stuff, too much money chasing yields that aren't there if you want to diversify. That's create a big surge in "alternative investments" over the last decade and is affecting prices of collectable stuff and at the same time changing what's considered collectable.
BoxheadCougarTim
BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
12/2/17 10:29 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Racing is the automotive equivalent of sailing (aka ripping up Benjamins in the shower).

I'm pretty sure racing has always been at "silly" price levels even for entry level, either in time or money.

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:42 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadCougarTim :

ive been able to sail cheaply and race sports cars cheaply.  The trick is buy cheap, fix with a eye to cost benefit.  Race with a mechanical sympathy. 

Engine weak? Don’t take it past redline, short shift, use the chassis/brakes instead of the engine. 

You may not win but you can have a fun dice and enjoy the hobby.  

Decades ago I spent $300 on a Corvette,  I knew with my tiny budget I’d be the slowest Corvette.  But I had a darn good dice with a CP 240Z and a DP XK 120  nipping both at the line.  Turns out I finished 3rd in class too because the fast guys blew up. 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:47 a.m.
BoxheadCougarTim said:

IMHO there are three issues at play here:

  • The eighties kids (like me) wanting to buy the cars that they wanted to buy when they were 18 but couldn't afford back then. That's affecting everything from aircooled 911s to AE86s.
  • New car prices keep going up and family incomes aren't keeping up. At least in places where cars don't self-recycling within a decade, that's putting a floor under the prices.
  • For collectible stuff, too much money chasing yields that aren't there if you want to diversify. That's create a big surge in "alternative investments" over the last decade and is affecting prices of collectable stuff and at the same time changing what's considered collectable.

You’ve probably hit the nail right smack dab center.  The economy has been strong after the 2008 debacle  and money had to go someplace.  Muscle cars, Ferrarri’s, Jaguars, and Porsche’s  could have a lot of money spent on them and still wind up in the Black with the strong  markets

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:52 a.m.
sleepyhead said:

in some places, 25 years or older mean "no further emissions" testing... and on top of that, most cars before 1990 or so don't have airbags... which some states require you to keep even after 25 years.  So, I could see there being a premium for those kind of shells to build from.

ymmv

So if you want to race or restore something with a modest budget where do you look?  Is it possible to run SCCA regional races with a $5000 budget?  Run not win but not be embarrassed either

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
12/2/17 12:55 p.m.

I think you're mixing up asking and selling prices. There are so many free ways to sell cars now that people list their cars with ridiculous prices all the time. You have to sort through the chaff and take time to find the deals. People that actually want to sell. 

plenty of cars still change hands for <$1000 but many of them spend a few months listed at much higher prices before finally selling for that. 

ArthurDent
ArthurDent HalfDork
12/2/17 12:55 p.m.

 

If you want cheap then try looking for something with an extra set of doors. I picked this very solid 1961 Pontiac Laurentian for under a grand.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
12/2/17 2:22 p.m.
frenchyd said:
sleepyhead said:

in some places, 25 years or older mean "no further emissions" testing... and on top of that, most cars before 1990 or so don't have airbags... which some states require you to keep even after 25 years.  So, I could see there being a premium for those kind of shells to build from.

ymmv

So if you want to race or restore something with a modest budget where do you look?  Is it possible to run SCCA regional races with a $5000 budget?  Run not win but not be embarrassed either

Honestly, I have no idea... I was thinking that some form of 'H Production' car might fit those parameters... and went to see what the rules for it were, and then I remembered why I generally stay away from SCCA.  Instead of having something simple like "two/three door cars, with less than 1.8L engines, lb/hp ratio of not less than 17#/hp, track width not greater than .5" wider than stock, 205 width tires", I've gotta dig through a table to find every car they've allowed compete before in the class (?)... and that's not getting into deciphering the safety requirements.

I wonder if the hpde+ class at GridLife isn't an option?  More limited prep, easier rules format, and cheaper rubber?  Less about "door-to-door" and "I'll take that apex from you"... but then again, you're less likely to have to hammer metal back into shape because of someone being more willing to sacrifice bodywork for a "W".
 

 

Suprf1y
Suprf1y PowerDork
12/2/17 3:12 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Suprf1y : 

So that’s it?  Entry level for racing is going to remain at the silly level for the foreseeable future? 

 

I don't know but put it in perspective. What was a 50's car worth in the 80's? You're talking about 30 yr old cars and they're starting to become collectible by people in the right age bracket. Prices will collapse when the economy does though, just like they did in the 80's. We're pretty deep in the current economical cycle. It has to come pretty soon.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
12/2/17 4:39 p.m.

Nice Laurentian!  I think you got a hell of a deal on it.  I've been a 1961 Pontiac fan all my life; my dad  bought one in 1963 and I've continuously owned at least one of them myself since 1976.  Mine have all been the US models, though.

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:44 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead :

i agree that SCCA  has made a mess of the rules.   I understand it a little better because of the decades I raced where only SCCA ran road races.  

I read Gridlife’s rules and they are simple but not really the way I’d like to go racing.  I could be all wrong,   It might be exactly what I want to do.  Guess you have to attend an event or two to find out.  

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:46 p.m.
ArthurDent said:

 

If you want cheap then try looking for something with an extra set of doors. I picked this very solid 1961 Pontiac Laurentian for under a grand.

Not exactly what I’d like to dive inside of a fellow competitor at turn 5 Elkhart Lake with. 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/2/17 11:50 p.m.
dculberson said:

I think you're mixing up asking and selling prices. There are so many free ways to sell cars now that people list their cars with ridiculous prices all the time. You have to sort through the chaff and take time to find the deals. People that actually want to sell. 

plenty of cars still change hands for <$1000 but many of them spend a few months listed at much higher prices before finally selling for that. 

I’ve watched auction prices enough to know that project cars that sell, sell for 50% of a finished car’s market value or more!!! 

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
12/3/17 1:31 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

What auctions? What cars? If you're looking at being a trailer or someplace similar you're looking in the wrong place for a bargain. Craigslist, local car forums, make specific forums, etc are my main hunting grounds for a deal on something like this. And again you have to be careful to separate asking price from selling price. 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/3/17 2:04 p.m.
frenchyd said:
ArthurDent said:

 

If you want cheap then try looking for something with an extra set of doors. I picked this very solid 1961 Pontiac Laurentian for under a grand.

Not exactly what I’d like to dive inside of a fellow competitor at turn 5 Elkhart Lake with. 

Maybe not, but the look on his/her face would be priceless..BWaHahahaaaa......not to mention the ytube videowink

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
12/3/17 2:06 p.m.

Also look in the local beater section on book of faces as I have seen a few deals pop up, but you have to be quick.

 

Paul B

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
12/3/17 2:37 p.m.

What are you looking for.  Post it up.  Grm has been known to let good cars that need some loving for stupid cheap!

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/3/17 3:42 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

I check out local scrap yards, on line insurance auctions, local dealer,  his back row which he offers to wholesalers, I don’t follow Craigslist except for a few cars that keep reappearing without much change.  If it’s been for sale for a long enough time I might give a call and suggest a realistic price. 

I network with various club members 

My favorite is back yards.  Tarp covered cars, Or when I’m doing charter work. look around barns space inside is usually reserved for things still of value but behind or along side the barn might be interesting. 

The only reason I check out places like BA Trailer  Hemings,  etc is to see market prices.  

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/3/17 3:44 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

What are you looking for.  Post it up.  Grm has been known to let good cars that need some loving for stupid cheap!

 Stupid cheap doesn’t mean much if I need to spend a grand or more to go pick it up. 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead HalfDork
12/3/17 7:26 p.m.

so, it sounds like you want to do door-to-door racing, and not "time attack"

I think you've covered the first couple of important questions:  Variety, Yearly Budget, Competitiveness

now comes the details:
how many weekends a year can you devote to it?
Do you already have a tow-rig?
Do you already have a race license?

Those couple of questions should help narrow things down further, then it's a matter of picking a direction, and figuring out a way to make it happen.

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