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Apexcarver PowerDork
12/19/17 11:52 p.m.

some deals still exist, but they have to be the right car as some have too much following.


What would you think of a TR8? (flying doorstop), seen some go cheap-ish lately that were cosmetically needy.


I recently got a spitfire rolling chassis with trans / no interior for $60.


My bugeye restoration project, I had $4500 in it initially.   They are too cute, and desirable, one year later (sprite mk2) and its half the value (or less)


what are your price absolutes and regional pickup abilities?   I'd be happy to pass along anything I hear through the grapevine.  I see a lot of Jag stuff here around DC.  I kinda get your speed expectations.



I know this will be WAYYY left field from what you want, but sit and have a thought on this.   Just get an old stock car set up for roadrace stuff.   I semi-regularly see some needing love for cheap, especially if its without a drivetrain and if it comes that way likely needs a full going through (teardown/rebuild)  Its probably the cheapest, easiest, etc way into the kind of event and speed you are wanting.  I get it, you are a jag guy, but I suspect that market has priced itself out of a reasonable range.   The added bonus in a perverse turn is that many became displays and are now cheap ways to get back racing if you are up to the rebuild.


for instance  https://www.racingjunk.com/Vintage/182518154/90-s-Monte-Carlo.html?categoryId=4438&offset=6&from=category











frenchyd Dork
12/20/17 10:21 a.m.

In reply to Apexcarver :

i like what you are saying, as far as something like s TR8  while it may not be to my tastes I’m sure it had a following.  

Those interested in that car in general ( maybe not specific deals)  will have noticed a increase in prices reflecting the last 5 years  improved economy.  

What I have noticed most intently is how projects have really taken a steep climb in cost.  $500 projects are now asking ( and sometimes getting) $5000

Yes Jaguar in particular but so many car projects just have gone out of sight.  Have you priced pickup trucks lately?  Project prices have gone from $500 or less to over $10,000 for  simple short box step sides

Part of what I notice too is in the past so many projects were found by my network  of friends customers and hobbiests with a slightly different car focus.  

I let that wither a little and I’m recontacting them to see if that will bring me to the cars I like at a price more in line with my thinking

Apexcarver PowerDork
12/20/17 7:44 p.m.

pickups are in their own special breed of hell right now. The new market has gone luxo-price INSANE. The fact that it is insanely easy to make a new truck more expensive than a new corvette is mindblowing.



another thought...  I dont have answers here..   whats the difference between a TR7 and a TR8 that you wouldnt likely change anyways in a racecar build?   I think TR7's are one of the cars in the almost "Give away" catagory.  Spitfires seem to be as well, but I wouldnt want to do a build to race anything resembling a stock one (fragile swing axles that break and flip you with only solution being $1500 in axles or some such crap)


If I was going vintage racing, square body spridget, wont find much cheaper.   Either that or a vintage Formula Vee.  Personally been looking at some Club Ford (Formula Ford) stuff for a smidge more coin.  But you seem to hunger for big bore sports/sedan, which to my (admittedly young at 32) eyes see as a contradiction to the word "cheap"  Its like a friend once told me, champagne and caviar taste on a cheap beer and french fry budget.   Sorry to say it, sucks to say it. Hope you find a way around it. I really do. I commiserate with your aspiration. 


TR8 may be a fun loophole, but the only builds I have seen are "all the money", so I would massively research before undertaking.   At least you have the amero-british rover V8 heart!


Hell, even I remember 10-15 years ago, sunbeam tigers were relatively cheap.  Now, forget it!


Some of it I blame on the auction / status symbol crowd.


Look for  a ragged  out already - racecar thats not a desirable base chassis and fix it to be yours is almost likely the best bet.  

yupididit SuperDork
12/21/17 8:05 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

pickups are in their own special breed of hell right now. The new market has gone luxo-price INSANE. The fact that it is insanely easy to make a new truck more expensive than a new corvette is mindblowing.



I think that's because new pickups are infinitely more useful and practical than a corvette. Either way they aren't anywhere near the same category of vehicles. Only thing they have in common are the price points. You do get a lot more vehicle and utility in a 70k truck than a 70k Corvette. 


Frenchy there are still lots of sub $1000 projects out there. Just nothing you'd like (Jaguars). For the rest of us, the pickings are location dependent more than price.

frenchyd Dork
12/21/17 7:45 p.m.

In reply to Apexcarver :

I have a solution in my driveway already.  If I can do it.  Early this year my network found me a really nice Jaguar XJS .  for $500 Rust free Southern California car in my preferred color with a nice interior, solid mechanicals  etc.  all it needs is some assembly which for me is child’s play.   I brought it home over the Easter break.  

But it’s too nice to gut and turn into a race car.  I’ve got the pieces, skill and equipment to do it  but with only 90,000 miles, a nice interior and the right color I should just assemble it, buff it, and drive it. 

Put the 5 speed dog ring gearbox with the Tilton triple disk clutch and bellhousing in one that isn’t so pristine.  One that doesn’t have flawless fenders so I can carve them up to use as patterns for flared fenders made of carbon fiber.  ( a pattern can have a gob of bondo over rust holes and dents because it’ll be thrown away as soon as the mold is made) 

Interior is going in the trash  on a race car to do it to one so close to perfect seems a sin.  Same with chrome trim and all the accessories.  

The car should be kept as a survivor not cut up into a race car.  

So since Easter I’ve been looking.  Suddenly $500 cars are $5000 and more.  Last fall I turned my nose up on a 6.0 liter V12 convertible in nice running shape because he wanted $1200  today’s price would be more than 10 times that!  

At the same time I bought my XJS for about the same money there were three more.  Including one XJS lump ( Chevy conversion) for $100 or offer 

now where are they?   

yupididit SuperDork
12/22/17 9:00 a.m.

$399 jaguar.

I emailed him. Might call later today. I have to go that way to pick up some excursion parts today. 

frenchyd Dork
12/22/17 3:40 p.m.

In reply to yupididit : now that is a reasonable price for a XJ 6  that needs work.  Probably get it for less if it’s been for sale for a while.   

likely not injectors, realistically more likely a ground wire is loose on the fuel pump.  Have to check pressure to confirm   


12/22/17 10:43 p.m.

Been following this thread the past couple weeks. Here's my observations


You're almost 70 years old.

You're patient and willing to wait decades for the right car.

You have a 84 XJS sitting the driveway since Easter you say you could easily put together, yet it sits unused because it's too nice to use as a race car and apparently you already have a daily driver. Meanwhile you spend your time (you could use working on the car) looking for a cheaper crappier one to build into a race car even though it would take more wrench time to start with a crappy one.

At 70 your future wrenching time is limited as well as your time as a competent driver on track at race speeds.  And even though you're patient you can't really wait decades for the right car to come along anymore.

Once you find, then build, then start racing a crappy one years will go by. Then once you start racing that will take your free time between prep and events. When will you fix the nice one?

I'll suggest you just dig in and get to work on the 84 (time's a fleetin son). Build the racecar you want while selling off all the nice interior parts and so forth so that others (who buy those expensive project cars) can get parts (from you at high prices of course) while you sink the cash from the parts sales into the 84 to speed it's transformation.

frenchyd Dork
12/23/17 3:39 p.m.

In reply to NOT A TA : 

You make a clear and cogent arguement.  Your point are mostly valid  with only two exceptions.

 First I can turn the 84 in my driveway into as much as $5000 with almost no cash input and about a months worth of work.  If I strip it now is not the time to sell interior parts, trim and other un- needed things.  Best time is spring. So I would have to store them for months, assuming they sell.   Selling a car like that is best done in the spring.  Buying a cheaper version is best done now.  

Getting a car stripped only takes a few days at most then it’s put on the rotisserie and the undercoating, sound deadening is burned off using a propane torch.  My shop is underneath my house. SWMBO would have a size 12 fit if I stink up the house so I roll it outside which because it’s on wheels is easily done.  Unless there is snow which I’ll have for another 4 months or so  

 My point is now is the time to look and hopefully buy a project.  4 months from now is the time to start building a race car

Second I’ve started with rough cars before. There is a point where rust repair stops being a simple patch and bondo and becomes structural.   I know that point and would pass on that.  Floor pans, trunk pans, can be done in a few days if not too serious.  Rocker panels another day.   Rust repair is cheap if not serious  luckily many Jaguars are not driven much if any during the winter but still suffer from depreciation and expensive repairs  which makes them candidates for my needs

Money is my prime concern.  I’m on a fixed budget and just the required safety gear  and upgrades will eat up my discretionary funds  for more than two years so even if I finished it tonight it would be close to 2 years from now before I could go to my first race.  

Selling the nice one would really help in that regard.  Getting me about 1/2 way to race ready. 

yupididit SuperDork
12/23/17 3:51 p.m.

Sometimes when I go see my grandpa, I can't tell if he's stalling or trolling me. I feel like this is what Frenchy is doing to us. 

Wants to build race car.

Has an xjs he bought for $500.

Refuses to use it because too nice.

Reflects on the days of $300 XKE's 40 years ago.

Complains that all the xjs project cars are thousands of dollars now.  (They arent)

Has a clean $500 xjs to use.

Wants too find a crap xjs to turn into race car. 

Complains crap project xjs are too expensive.

$500 xjs still there. 

Agrees that he should use said xjs.

Stalls and talks about how rare they are now (they're not) and might regret using it as a race car. 




frenchyd Dork
12/23/17 4:30 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

Well I am stalling  you.  I needed to think this through. I ‘m not sure what trolling is but... Sometime this morning I started a budget  of required safety gear  finishing costs, upgrade costs etc.  

Then I took a serious look at my budget , including the discretionary portion and made assumptions.  In the end I came up with two years. 

If I started now that’s the earliest I’ll be ready financially.  Since it won’t take me two years to get a car ready there is plenty of time to explore other options. 

Here’s what I’ve decided to do.  For the next few months look for an affordable project. Meanwhile do what is required to make the 84 retail ready for sale this spring when the market should be as strong as it will get.  

If no new candidate shows up the 84 gets stripped and put on the rotisserie if one does it goes on the rotisserie.  

12/23/17 11:51 p.m.

Meanwhile the clock keeps ticking.................... and a year will have passed since the 84 arrived when Easter rolls around in a few months.   IF the car is ready to sell in April,  AND it sells quickly,  AND you find another car to build you're still no closer to having a running race car as far as the amount of time you will need to put in to actually building the car. If it doesn't sell you spend more time taking the car apart to build race car while the clock keeps ticking.

I'll suggest you stop spending time looking for a crappy car that costs more than you want to spend and spend the time over the next 4 months getting started with the race car project and selling the unneeded parts from the car you have along with the misc parts you have hanging around you'll never use for other projects (because the building race car, maintaining it,  and using it will consume your time). The project will be moving forward, stuff you'll never use will be going away, and you'll have cash to work with. In other words, stop procrastinating and build the race car. If you start selling off stuff you'll be surprised how quickly those tax free dollars add up allowing you to build quicker.

I've been selling parts on Ebay, Craigs list, forums etc for many many years. Late Jan- April is the best time to get top dollar for all the trim, interior etc. so if you spend the time NOW loading Ebay instead of searching for a crappy car you'll have a pocket full of cash. Don't believe me? Start listing all the "spare" parts you're hoarding ( not the 84 parts right away) you know you'll actually never need. I know you've got them, we all do, that's why they let us hang out here, we share a common trait. One of the items I sold this week was a mid 60's square bore iron 4V Pontiac factory intake. Rare, yes, valuable, no, would I actually ever use it myself, no, so why have I dragged it around the past 20 years? ummmmm, I guess  just because I couldn't throw it away knowing it would have value to someone. Now I don't have to move it again and have $50.00 more to spend on my race car project. I sell a half dozen or more random items like that a week I've accrued over my lifetime. If I don't get rid of them they'll all end up in a dumpster in the driveway when I'm dead (almost 60 and no relatives within 1000 miles) because no one would know what they are or spend the time to liquidate.


Don't forget, black/gold livery.

frenchyd Dork
12/24/17 9:30 a.m.

In reply to NOT A TA :

You are right in that gear heads tend to be hoarders.  I can be just as guilty ( maybe more so) as anyone.  

On the other hand I know when being brutal is called for.  Example?  I got a free very early 1975 rust free low mileage Jag XJS   Intended to build a race car. I hung onto that for almost a decade and a half but when time came and no buyer came forth I wound up giving it away. 

I was tearing my house down to build new and it would have been in the way and or destroyed during construction. 

In  fact I pretty well cleaned out the shop except for certain irreplaceable or parts that could withstand construction.  

I was right  I found an affordable replacement    and I believe I’ll find another so I can sell this one and put some money in the race car fund.  

Money I don’t have, time I might.  I raced with a guy in the Bahamas who was 86, he drove the car down from New England raced it and drove back.  


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