Monday, September 14, 2009

Vintage Racing - Looks Fun & Expensive...

Ever since George and Daisy gave me Hoodlum, their old (and wrecked) 1976 BMW 2002, I've been plotting toward building it to be a vintage race car.

As part of that research, I went down to the VARA races in Buttonwillow over the weekend. Learned several things:
1) Damn glad I don't live in/near Buttonwillow.
2) Vintage racing is far more expensive than I feared.
3) It looks damn fun.

I knew it wouldn't be a cheap sport to get into, but when I met a guy who spent $60,000 on his car and trailer and assorted sundries this spring, I knew it wasn't going to be in my budget anytime soon. (Unless sales of The Portable Dad really take off...) Yes, it can be done for a lot less, but a lot less is still a lot.

What the trip helped me decide were next steps. My original plan was to build the car for autocross now and try not do do any upgrades that would have to be redone for full racing - so, for instance, don't install lowering springs and sport shocks now and have to replace them with a full coilover suspension later. This weekend showed me to worry less about later.

I'll build the car to be a good autocross and track-day car, but still street legal and enjoyable.
If the budget ever allows for a full-on race car some day in the future, (like this '02 in the photo) I'll build another car or rebuild Hoodlum then.
In the meantime, I've got work to start...

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