Buying a used race car, Second-hand race car shopping

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Buying a Used Race Car

January 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Features

You cannot spend all your life as a spectator in auto racing. There has to be a time when you get behind the wheel and try your own hand at auto racing. There are many events where you can make a start and tracks where you can enjoy practicing, or perhaps even just driving alone at high speeds. You will be in the market for a second hand car which you can race, sooner or later, if you stay with car racing as a pastime. Here are 3 top things to read every morning before you set off for an auction or a show to pick up a used race car to start your own career in auto racing:

  • The seller matters more than the merchandise! A second hand car may not look like you can show it off on a first date, but you should be more concerned about the antecedents of the team or an individual selling it. A reputed team will not harm its image by selling you a lemon. A trusted friend, or someone who has the patience to answer your questions, can make up for many doubts which you may have about a purchase. Engage the seller in discussion, and prefer someone who will be available on the telephone, or even for a quick face-to-face meeting for all kinds of things which will crop up after you have driven a used car home.

  • Look for all parts except the main one! The number of new or recently installed parts in a used car matter a great deal. The engine block and its key components are not likely to be amongst them! Used cars buyers commonly get nasty surprises when the engines of their recent purchases fail miserably. Perhaps the previous owners did not even know, for engines are notorious for hiding budding problems, until they literally blow up in your face. You may feel encouraged as a seller sings praises of the engine of a car up for sale, but you should discount such talk in your best interests. Try to value a used car in your mind more for the new and recent parts which it has, because that translates in to real savings for you over the term of your ownership.

  • Cut your deck by a third. Keep enough of your budget for keeping your used car track ready, and for actual racing as well. Avoid stretching your funds so much over an irresistible purchase that you have to just keep it in the garage to admire! Be prepared for unforeseen expenses in maintaining your used car.

A good way of ensuring that you take care of all 3 of the buying points is to attend auctions and fairs and to network with auto racing professionals. Love at first sight does not work in car racing, and you need to look around and shop hard before you buy a used race car.

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