Getting Started - Page 2
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Thread: Getting Started

  1. #11

    Default RE: Getting Started

    >Just one problem with this philosophy: eventually we wlll
    >have no more cars if nobody builds them. It's like small
    >aircraft: theyr'e crashin' 'em faster than their buildin'

    Good point. That's why I tell people to build their SECOND car, and not their first. That way they'll know what they like and don't like, need and don't need, etc....

    BTW, a note on airplanes. Because they keep crashin' em, and new ones are like $250k a pop (I think David Richards owns part of Cessna), used airplanes are a great investment. You can buy a reasonably equipped, mid time plane for $25k, fly it 50 hours a year for five years, and sell it for more than you paid for it. Try that with a rally car!

    Dennis Martin
    [email protected]

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  3. #12

    Default RE: Getting Started

    I went the buy my first car route and am building my second as we speak. I definitely recommend buying your first car. Much less headache and you'll be out there sooner. Plus it helps you figure out exactly what you want out of a car and makes it much easier when it comes time to build your next. Or I guess it can make it harder if you get like me and have three good platforms available to start from.
    Grant Hughes - 1985 Merkur XR$TI Group 5
    885 Parfet St Ste C
    Denver, CO 80215

  4. #13

    Default RE: Getting Started

    I agree with Jimmy, buy the first car built. I bought a car that was built and could have sold the parts for more than what I paid for the car. The car had issues and had never finished a rally it was entered before I bought it. We worked on the car and it is reliable now (besides some of the common rally tear ups that happen, like hitting the side of a mountain). Rallys are hard on cars. The Alfa Romeo Milano I bought is not the ideal car to rally, but it still keeps me racing. Many ask me why a Alfa? I can only resond "it was a deal". I believe that the DNFs the car had before I bought it was the learning curve of building a new car. Do you want to go through the same learning curve while paying for entry fees? We have learned alot from having a car to race, instead of spending time building. Choose a car that you can get parts at the local auto shop to fix when that rock knocks out that part that you thought a rock could reach. It is alot funner running than building, and it will save you money overall. Talk to the local inspectors, they will know where there is a car that some one wants to sell. When I had my car inspected for the first time, I learned I could have bought his old rally car for the same price locally, instead of driving thousands of miles to pick up the car I bought. There are those unpublished cars for sale in a barn or under a tarp in the back yard.

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  6. #14

    Default RE: Getting Started

    I went the buy your first car route.

    It may be quicker in theory...

    I spent 8 months looking for the car and another 4 months waiting for the motor to be rebuilt.

    Now I'm trying to have a motor oil leak fixed that was "overlooked", and am back waiting again.

    It's been over a year and I'm missing events left right and center.

    When all is said and done, I will probably agree with the buy your first car concept... unless you have an open cheque book.

  7. #15
    100 K right 4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, USA.

    Default RE: Getting Started

    I am a fan of building. Based on my expereince with 1 car my first that I built (with lots of help from others in the area). It took much longer, cost a little more, but it was a priceless expereince I know more about the functioning of a rally car than I would if I bought a complete car. I also know how to fix anything on the car when it breaks and know where the weak points and problem spots in the car are. I would do some things differently if I were to build it again but it is safe reliable and fun.

    Matt Smith
    Viva NASA Rallysport

  8. #16
    100 K left 2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    La Belle Province.

    Default RE: Getting Started

    The new racer response...

    Competeing in P1 in an old Justy, maybe I'm not one to talk, but I'm all for building your first... If you have the welding skills. I don't think you can really get an accurate picture here, because most people will be biased towards what they did.

    As to the drivetrain choice, sometimes I wish we had started with a group2 capable car, but the Justy is really in a class of it's own, short, underpowered 4WD...

    Pros for building (you building, not paying a shop)

    1.It may not be significantly cheaper, but the cost will be spread out over a few pay cheques!

    2.You can race an unfinished car quick, ie suspension not "finished" electrics not totally redone etc. put a cage in and go race.

    3.You will know all the weak points in the car, and can be easy on it untill they are improved.

    4.When it breaks, you'll know how to fix it, or at least be only blaming yourself (stupid rad at Defi!)'ll learn a ton real quick.

    6. you will probably have driven the car before changes begin, you can judge whether you like the car first.. and you can see what the changes do to transform it.


    Get to know your scrutineer before you take in the finished product, have them look it over during the build process. Things are easier to chage when they are only tack welded. and adding bars after the cage is painted is more work. (didn't have to, showed up with too many to begin with...)

    make sure the whole shell is free of rust (silly Rusty Justy)

    Strip the WHOLE interior the first time, and do paint it soon after.

    Race it cautiously at first, to see what is wrong, and where

    Things I wish I had done...

    Given myself more time... more then a month, really tired at first race

    Car with less rust... what would be insigificant on a street car, is a nightmare on a rally car.

    Seam welded the strut towers and front sub frame during inital build, not after bending things... silly practice jumps!

    Just build it

  9. #17

    Default RE: Getting Started

    Everything that matt f said. Building a rally car may be one of the most difficult things you've ever done, it certainly was for me. If I bought my first car I probably could have put off learning about some really important stuff that you NEED TO KNOW. If your sure what you want then build it. BTW matt see u @ black bear? I'm booking rooms if you guys wanna stay over let me know.


  10. #18
    CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Manistee, MI/USA and Simmern, RLP/Germany

    Default Getting Started Means Never Finishing

    This is a ongoing subject and I must say a heated one as well.

    Buying you first car is a very good idea. There are plenty of cars out there that are preppared to competition level. It's best if you buy your first and see first hand what you need and don't need.
    And too top it off, most are affordable.
    (P or G/2 cost factor... $3.000.00 - 7.000.00 USD)

    Building your car is frustrating and fun if you like to fabricate and work on cars in general. You can build it with your personal touches so to say. One thing is for sure, your local scrapyard dealer and parts store will love you. You will secure their retirement plan.
    (P or G/2 cost factor... $8.000.00 - 15.000.00 USD car not included)

    It's basically up to you how much you want to put into the sport before you can get out and actually run the car. And as for what type of car...?
    Something you can find parts for in your area. Brands like VW, Ford, Honda are a good choice. These cars are popular on the road and you can find parts at any junkyard or parts store.
    But it's like I said, and others too, it's how much time you want to spend in the garage. Your wife might not like that either. :+

    Whiplash Rallye Sport
    (Rallying is not a crime)

  11. #19
    200 square left
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Waterbury Center, Vermont.

    Default RE: Getting Started

    Going back to your first post you said you wanted to do rallycross and then rally in the future. If your going to rallycross for a while then I would not buy the prepared stage car now. Find that 2wd car that you like, a Golf would be my preference but Sentra's and Civic's can be good too, then build it up over time. Volunteer to work some rally events and meet the people as others have said. You can learn more than you can imagine by working an event. When you decide it's time to rally one of two things will have happened; you will have built up your car some and the transformation to a stage car will be easier; or you will realize that to get on the stages sooner you need to sell the rallycross car and buy a preped car.

    This scenario is what I will I had done.

  12. #20
    Slid'n around 'n havin a ball randyzimmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Buffalo, NY, USA.

    Default build or buy

    Since this is a pinned subject now, I'll need to throw in a comment.

    As far as knowing how to fab cars, I built pro Tran-Am cars for factory teams from tubing, sheet and billet. When it came to Rally cars, I knew nothing about the special needs and conditions of rally events so I bought.

    My choice was a brand of car I wanted but one that had a terrible result record other than it "always" (8 for 9) finished.

    I learned so much from looking at how things were done on that car that it cut my learning budget to the cost of the car, not a bunch of DNFs and needless purchases.

    As far as knowing the car by being the one who built it, that assumes the new owner simply plops in the seat and drives. I went all through my new purchase but before changing anything, I tried to notice what was different and why it may have been done that way before touching it.

    The bought car went 17 events in 13 months and DNF'd only once. That was when I rolled and the oil ran out while upside down before we continued.

    I cannot think of anyone who started by building their own car who has done it better or more cost effectively.


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