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bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
8/31/14 12:37 p.m.

After attending the Put In Bay Road Races Reunion for the second time,I've got the bug. I'd like to buy an entry level vintage race car, something like a Spridget, pre-1973. I've never shopped for this type of car before. Can you guys provide some links to good places to look?

oldtin
oldtin UberDork
8/31/14 2:33 p.m.

Svra, vscda, hsr, or scca message boards/classifieds. Spridgets and spits are about the cheapest way in. There's also old scca ita or itb cars a bit past their best used by date. Check your sanctioning body on rules for what gets a pass or which rules (usually 67 or 72 scca gcr except for safety items). Some are pretty strict on mods, others give a wink or have a mod class. Also, how competitive are you? In my area guys will spend 12k on a tr4 engine build that will only last a season to be at the front. A mid-pack build is more DIY and still gets good racing in

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
8/31/14 3:34 p.m.

As oldtin mentioned the websites for the sanctioning bodies in you area would be best but don't limit your search there. You can also check local SCCA forums, very often there are some regional cars to be had very cheap.

While I am a Japanese car guy a Spriget or Spitfire is a good choice as they are light (easy on tires and easy to tow) and have simple mechanicals.

I like my Datsun 1200 for the reason mentioned above, plus parts are still relatively cheap. I race against a group of guys in Spitfires, we are battling for 6th through 12th overall and have a great time. I bring this up because before you buy, go to some more events and see what run groups have some good dicing mid-pack...........this is where entry level cars tend to run. A Datsun 510 makes a good car as well, they are getting pricey but you can still find ex-SCCA ITC cars for decent prices.

A couple of things to keep the budget low; I actually buy take offs i.e. used tires, they are only a few tenths slower but the price is half. If the motor is tuned moderately (75% of full race motor) the resultant compression will allow the use of pump gas (again half the price), the cam timing will allow you to get away with the stock gearbox versus buying a close ratio one and as mentioned you can avoid the 7k - 12k race engines. The other benefit of this is not having to pack 200lbs of stuff. I use a 1990 E250 camper van as a tow vehicle, my spares (which I keep in storage hatch) include a starter, alternator, water pump, theromstat, fan belt, hoses, gasket set and various fluids. Due to the moderate tune on the motor I seldom need to work on the trackside.

   Tom
Woody
Woody MegaDork
8/31/14 3:46 p.m.

Here. Look here:

http://newlondon.craigslist.org/cto/4610941317.html

Woody
Woody MegaDork
8/31/14 3:57 p.m.

http://nwct.craigslist.org/cto/4605064525.html

Woody
Woody MegaDork
8/31/14 5:00 p.m.

Have you considered something like a TVR or an old Mustang?

TR8owner
TR8owner HalfDork
8/31/14 5:22 p.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

I agree with the forums/message boards. Also just go to the track and let people know that you're in the market. I raced a Spitfire in the early 70's and was looking for another one and started talking to Triumph racers at the track. Later that day a guy approached me and told me he had a TR7 race car for sale. Bought it on the spot since the price was really good.

BillBall
BillBall New Reader
8/31/14 6:14 p.m.

Also, there is this http://www.race-cars.com/carsales/complist.htm

Woody
Woody MegaDork
8/31/14 7:17 p.m.

You should find some familiar parts under this one.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/lgi/cto/4642630246.html

atm92484
atm92484 New Reader
9/1/14 7:51 a.m.

+1 for good ole Craigslist. There have been two Spridget racecars listed in my local area within the past year.

I bought one of them and started road racing this past year. So far I've managed to do the weekend long SCCA/vintage driver's school put on by the region, the double regional the following day, a SCCA race, and the PVGP.

If you're thinking about it a Spridget is a great way to go. Cars are cheap, parts are cheap, they're simple to work on, a ton of people have them (good spares supply at the track), and the vintage crowd is awesome. Most importantly you'll have to run a vintage legal tire (I'm using R888s); in 13" size you're talking $600/set and I still haven't finished off the set I bought in March. Brake pads/linings are also pretty reasonable. I don't think you can get a racecar with much cheaper consumables.

Do it - you won't regret it. ;)

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
9/2/14 6:38 a.m.

This is a pretty cool car- http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-cars-sale-wanted/312065-74-gtv-race-car.html

Well, I'm a little biased on how I think the car is cool. It's mine, and for sale. Still.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/2/14 8:49 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

Yes it is. Its a little out of my price range, but I'll give it some thought.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/2/14 9:18 a.m.

I was never a huge Volvo fan, but that car seems like a no-brainer way to get into vintage racing on the cheap. It's been for sale for at least a couple of months. At the very least, you could find a cheap turbo Volvo donor with a five speed and have lots of safe, track day fun...why am I still typing instead of hooking up my trailer?...

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/2/14 9:20 a.m.

In reply to Woody:

I appreciate you posting it, but its just not what I'm looking for.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/2/14 9:22 a.m.

Understood.

wspohn
wspohn HalfDork
9/2/14 12:00 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: Well, I'm a little biased on how I think the car is cool. It's mine, and for sale. Still.

Pretty car and a fair price, IMHO.

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
9/2/14 12:25 p.m.
wspohn wrote:
alfadriver wrote: Well, I'm a little biased on how I think the car is cool. It's mine, and for sale. Still.
Pretty car and a fair price, IMHO.

Not too many people buying vintage race cars these days. Now that there will be ads in GRM and CM, we'll see if that helps.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 HalfDork
9/3/14 3:08 a.m.

Yep, it's addictive stuff. I've been crewing for various VSCDA Spridget drivers the last two seasons, and it is fun. In fact I just started building a 74 Midget to run.

Are you thinking of going back to a Bugeye, or staying with a square body? The Bugeyes cost more but are way cool.

From what I've watched, there are usually a couple very fast Midgets (and a Bugeye with a 1275), and the other slower 1275's and 948 Bugeyes tend to run together. This is the group I'm hoping to keep up with.

Attending events is great advice to get in the mix and find out who is selling what. A lot still gets done by word of mouth.

bravenrace wrote: After attending the Put In Bay Road Races Reunion for the second time,I've got the bug. I'd like to buy an entry level vintage race car, something like a Spridget, pre-1973. I've never shopped for this type of car before. Can you guys provide some links to good places to look?
bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/3/14 7:29 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android74:

The group that runs at PIB isn't sanctioned by any other organization, but have their own set of rules, which overall are pretty loose. But the main racing classes are limited to 1963 cars and older, with engines under 3.0l. They then have a class that allows cars between '64 and '73, also with the 3.0 limit. Then they have an exhibition class where you can run almost anything as long as it meets the safety requirements and you have a license. And while I could potentially run one or more of my current cars in that class, it's really not racing, as they line you up according to your qualifying times, and usually the spread is so great that, well, it looks boring.
I don't know much about spridgets as far as changes from year to year, but I actually prefer the square body to the bug eye, so I guess that's good as far as buy in costs.
One thing I'm wondering about is the difference between buying a good street car and building it versus buying a race car. I figure that usually the race car would be the better choice, but there are a lot more street cars available from what I can tell. my friend that raced a bug eye at this event runs a pretty stock car save for safety equipment, and he ran mid pack in his class. What's your take on that?

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/3/14 8:19 a.m.

I just posted this over on the GRM board, and afterwards thought I should have posted it here.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/me-at-the-pibrrr/90373/page1/

atm92484
atm92484 New Reader
9/3/14 8:51 a.m.

I would buy whatever Spridget has no rust. I've seen ex-SCCA rollers with acceptable cages go for less than $3k. You'd probably need to remove the flares but your chances of finding no rust are better. My buddy bought a running and legal Sprite for $4500. It has a 1098 so there are faster cars but it hasn't stopped him from having fun and outrunning 1275 powered cars. For comparison I paid $3300 for mind and it hadn't ran since 1981. It was rust free and I wanted a project. It is built exactly how I want it though.

I currently have a 1098 in mine that hangs with mild 1275s (it was the engine in the car when I got it). I will be doing a 1275 this winter for reliability reasons. If you follow the current LP rules for 1275 HP cars you should get a fairly inexpensive race engine that is prepped to vintage rules or just run a stock 1275 with headers and have fun.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
9/3/14 9:29 a.m.

I'd start with a broader view than just what PIB allows. Pick an organization you think you'd race with regularly, or at least one closer to you. It seems virtually every vintage race organization has different rules and different ideas about enforcement. For example, some won't let you run a 1275 in a Bugeye. Some will.

I'd recommend a 1275 for both reliability and parts availability. The 998's and 1098's aren't raced as much anymore, and getting some bits and bobs can be difficult and expensive. Not that prepping a 1275 for racing can't be expensive, as well.

Of course, it is usually cheaper to buy a built car rather than building one. Ex-SCCA cars are relatively cheap, but then you've got to retrofit the fiberglas (yes, Maro, that's the correct spelling) with steel panels and maybe do a bunch of other stuff, like remove IRS, to make them legal for your vintage organization.

That said, another source of potential cars might be the classifieds at prodracing.com. Occasionally a vintage-legal car comes up there. It is also a good source of prep tips.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/3/14 10:25 a.m.

In reply to Basil Exposition:

I'm not limiting myself to what PIB allows. I was just explaining what their requirements and race structure were. Whatever I buy will have to be eligible to race there, which I guess was my point.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
9/3/14 12:45 p.m.

In reply to Basil Exposition:

What year spridgets came with the 1275 engine?

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
9/3/14 1:14 p.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

1966 to 1974, though most racing organizations allow them in earlier cars, though some not in the Bugeye body, as I said. 1975 saw the 1500 Triumph engine introduced, which is generally considered inferior to the 1275 and doesn't meet most organizations' cut-off date.

There are a couple of variants of the 1275 block, as well. Generally speaking, the later blocks are better. I think there were some made in '67 that were thinner castings and not as durable. The 1275 also lived much longer in other British cars and the blocks were further strengthened into what they called the A+ (hard to find on this side of the pond). There was even a turbo version in the 80's in a MG saloon.

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