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[...] he or she probably expects no less. [...] just as in choosing clothing, the right fit is important. [...] history can be of value.
TECHNICAL BUYING USED Purchasing a used racecar can be fraught with peril, but there are ways to cut the risk and ﬁnd a well-loved car BY RICHARD S. JAMES Y our neighbor probably hasn’t owned the model you’re considering purchasing. You probably won’t be able to comparison shop many of the same car. And particular class, there are other things to ﬁgure out. Obviously, competitiveness is a key consideration. Unless you’re just starting out and are looking there’s not a CARFAX to be found. for a starter car that you can learn You’re on your own. On the other the ropes in before acquiring hand, there’s no loud guy named something more expensive or closer Carl with a frightening plaid sports to the top of the class, you’ll want coat, obnoxious tie and outdated something that isn’t the weakest sun glasses asking you what he can link in your racing chain. You’ll do to put you into this car today. want a car that can win out of the Plus, when you start going over your box or with little development. prospective purchase with a ﬁ ne-tooth Race results, the marque win comb, the current owner is probably chart in the Record Book section not going to be offended. In fact, he of this magazine and talking with or she probably expects no less. Run competitors in the class are the best that leak-down test. Crawl under sources for that information. Those the car to look for stress fractures. who race in or against the cars you’re Break out the levels and string. considering likely know the strength This is the joy – and pain – of and weakness of the different models. buying a previously loved racecar. It Sometimes those are more important is, in many ways, both easier and than outright lap times or the number harder than buying a used road car, of wins. A great car at Road America but certainly no more a decision to be might not be the car to have at Lime made lightly. Not only are you about Rock or Thunderhill. to part with a signiﬁcant amount The next consideration is of money, you will eventually be availability of parts and support. If it’s putting your life in the hands of this a purpose-built formula car, sports machine and its proper preparation. racer or GT chassis you’re considering, Choosing the right racecar can not one of the ﬁ rst things to note is if the only make the difference between manufacturer is still in business, and winning and losing, it can make is it still producing parts for the car. A the difference between a trip bargain can get expensive in a hurry home and a trip to the hospital. if you have to have your uprights custom-machined. However, even RESEARCH if the company isn’t still producing Long before you start peering into parts, that doesn’t mean they’re not the classiﬁed ads in SportsCar ’s available, notes Neil Porter of prep Marketplace, your research should shop and dealer Porter Racing. be well under way. The ﬁ rst step is “Depending on how popular the iSTOCKPHOTO.COM / DORIANGRAY to ﬁgure out what kind of car you car is, there might be people making want. While you may already know suspension pieces, body parts, etc., to what type of car you want to race – service those,” said Porter. “So, even formula, sports racer, tubeframe or
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