darkbuddha HalfDork
11/2/22 5:21 p.m.

I had a couple questions regarding "free parts" in the rules.  I know that if I receive something for free from someone I know (i.e. a friend), it must be FMV'd. But in instances where I receive something from someone I don't know (random stranger, fellow forum/group member, etc.), what's the deal? For example:

1) I'm offered something for free, unsolicited, from an individual I didn't/don't know. Free?

2) I post looking for something and I'm offered it for free from an individual I didn't/don't know. Free?

3) I'm offered something from a business I have no personal connection with as a "sponsor" (solicited or unsolicited) with no money exchange involved. Free?

I have been offered stuff, but haven't taken anyone up on their offers yet.  I'm hesitant to do so without knowing whether these are acceptable "free parts" scenarios. My impression is that all of these offers are simply offers to help a guy out with the project, not me personally.

What say you?  And if they are legit "free parts", what kind of documentation is acceptable for these instances?


Stampie MegaDork
11/2/22 6:26 p.m.

In reply to darkbuddha :

It's hard to explain without a case by case basis.

For example if the local shop that puts my tires on says hey that's cool that you race an old Mustang we threw in the valve stems for free.  Nope not free I'm paying them for the tire mounting so I'll include the valve stems in budget.  Not a real world example just one that came off the top of my head.

Real world example.  When Lil Stampie was in third grade they had to do a project.  Each kid got a state and they made a poster about the state.  Lil Stampie made a poster of a Porsche 930 rear using the state licence plate.  Yeah I know I make cool kids.  They show off the posters on Friday morning at the school and since I'm off I offer to help set them up.  I overhear a couple of other dads helping say "You can tell this kid is a car kid."  Yep they're looking at his poster. I start talking to them about cars and say that I'm picking up a BMW 2002 the next weekend.  One of the dad's says "Hey I'm a propery mananger and years ago someone left one of those on one of my properties.  I've been holding onto it in case I ever run into someone that needs a parts car.  Do you want it?"  Hell yeah.  My thought was free to budget because I'd never meet this dude before that morning.  He had be holding it for someone like me and I dropped into his lap.  Not literally just figuratively.  Just to make sure I asked on the board and it was agreed the parts 2002 was free to budget.

That help?  From your generic examples I'd say all free but if in doubt ask here with the specifics and we'll tell you.

nocones PowerDork
11/2/22 6:40 p.m.

Another Example.. 

I inquired about some $40 Outback wheels on Facebook Marketplace.  After confirming with the guy that he still had them (It had been 8 weeks), he said If you want them just come get them out of my garage.  So I copied that part of our text exchange and put it in my build book for my $Free Outback wheels.  

CrustyRedXpress Dork
11/2/22 8:10 p.m.

I turned down a version of #3 when I was building my car for 2019. I don't think sponsorships are clearly verboten in the rules, but at the end of the day it was basically an inside deal with his shop's stickers on the window of my car.

For me to accept anything free it had to be freely available to anybody who came up and grabbed it. Think an exhaust on the side of the road that you pick up, or some rustoleum that somebody sets out for trash pick. up. Agree that the previous examples work as well.


Bigben Reader
11/3/22 1:45 a.m.

How about an old roll bar cut out of a car that was getting a new cage. The car owner was going to scrap it and offered it to a coworker of mine. Said coworker knows about my Challenge exploits and gave it to me because he's sure I'm going to kill myself if I don't put some roll protection in my car.

Is it free, is it budget at scrap metal value, or is it some other value?

Stampie MegaDork
11/3/22 6:36 a.m.

In reply to Bigben :

I'd say that was an inside deal and scrap value. 

darkbuddha HalfDork
11/3/22 11:15 a.m.

Yeah, I've literally picked up stuff from the side of the road, usually taking a pic of it sitting road-side.  Things like sheet metal from appliances being thrown away or plastic garden edging or construction materials from dumpsters.  I'm going to claim scrap value on the louvered stainless sheet metal I got from replacing our old a/c system, even though it should probably be free given that it was just going get trashed by the a/c company doing the replacement install. Otherwise I think I'll just post for consensus if/when I have other instances where there may be some actual debate.


MuSTANK Reader
11/4/22 10:06 a.m.



Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
11/4/22 10:32 a.m.

Here's what the rules say:

Free parts must be known to and available to the public (eg. sitting in a ditch on the side of the road). Free parts must be supported by documentation (bill of sale saying free, screenshot of a Craigslist curb alert, photo of a dumpster overflowing with nitrous kits, etc.)

“Free” parts given to you by a friend must be added to the budget at fair market value.

Any inside deals—parts, whole cars, trades, donations, stolen parts, etc.—must be added to the budget at fair market value.

darkbuddha HalfDork
11/4/22 10:49 a.m.

Any inside deals—parts, whole cars, trades, donations, stolen parts, etc.—must be added to the budget at fair market value.

I clearly didn't read the rules carefully enough; DONATIONS says it all. That's the clarification I was looking for. Thanks Tom.

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