Posted by on Dec 4, 2009 in Racing |

Shopping for a race car is not like shopping for a street car. But it’s just as frustrating.

I’m looking for a Honda S2000 to race for the next several years. The ideal donor would have high miles or even a blown engine (because the second thing you do when creating a race car is rebuild its engine) and a ratty interior (because the first thing you do is strip out that interior, which in a race car is nothing but fuel for a potential fire), and would thus be relatively cheap.

Now S2000s ain’t Civics, that I grant you; in the four model years I seek (1999-2002), roughly 30,000 were sold in the U.S. But these tend to be second cars for enthusiasts, well maintained and garaged. Between that and the time of year – late fall is the best time to buy a convertible here in the northeast – I thought I’d have an easy time of it.

Not so. Everybody who wants to part with an S2000 seems to think it’s worth $2,000 more than I’m willing to pay.

So I’ve lowered my standards. Where once I demanded a completely straight car with a virginal unit body (or tub, to racers), now I’m willing to look at flood victims and wrecked chassis like the dreamboats seen here. Hell, why not? Sooner or later it’s going to look like this anyway.

BTW: The picture at left speaks for itself. In the one at right, there’s a giant, jagged hole in the oil pan, and a close look shows the entire subframe is toast. So much for that new-car smell.

I’ll keep you posted.