Journal: Have You Bought A Car Because Of How Well It Did In Racing?

Have You Bought A Car Because Of How Well It Did In Racing?

By Michael Banovsky
February 5, 2016
10 Comments

Of course, I know the answer for many of you is “yes”.

It was for my father when he bought a Mazda RX-3 back in the day—and a Racing Beat exhaust to open it up a bit to sound more like what was on-track at the time. He moved to a Porsche 914 from there…and the period “Gilles Villeneuve” Momo Prototipo for it was just the sort of thing you’d see in a race paddock during the late ’70s.

Through watching results from Formula 1, IMSA, SCCA, rally, and sports car racing successes, the saying, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday,” certainly shaped my family’s impression of what a desirable car is.

What I really want to know is which car, which race, or which results inspired you to buy a car. Did it have to win Le Mans in period, or does it have to run at the front of the pack in modern competition? Does a class win at the Nürburgring with a lightly-modified-for-racing vehicle get you excited? Or maybe the sight of someone like Jim Clark hustling a Lotus Cortina to within an inch of its door handles in period is enough to imagine yourself doing the same along your local B-road.

After watching a race on Sunday, have you bought on Monday?

Image sources: Alex Bermudez, Andrew Schneider, Yoav Gilad,  iedeiblog.com

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Tony murphy
Tony murphy
5 years ago

I built a jaguar c type replica in the 80s. After it was stolen i got another one 8 years ago. Still run it most weekends dreaming lemans fanasies

Michael May
Michael May
5 years ago

Almost always!

Vincent Brick
Vincent Brick
7 years ago

1995-1999 Dodge Neon. I grew up around old Mopars, and I was aware of the Neon’s SCCA success (1500 podiom finishes in 4 years IIRC) from the magazines my Pops subscribed to. I was 23 in 2001 and had wanted a performance car my whole life, but it had to be a reliable daily too, and I’ve never had much money, so it was a natural choice. It allowed me to get involved with auto-x a little, win some money bracket racing, and 13 years later I had owned four of them, each one dead reliable. I’ve now moved on to an E30, but I still have a lot of love for the 1st gen Neon, a highly underrated car I feel underserving of the disrespect and outright hate they have always been on the receiving end of. A shame so many who modify them have such poor taste.

Mark St Clair
Mark St Clair
7 years ago

No but later was very pleased when I did my research of the race history of the type.

Datsun 240Z
BMW 2002
Porsche 911

Julian Le Maistre
Julian Le Maistre
8 years ago

Hello Michael,

That’s a very interesting question. Yes I certainly was influenced by the racing background of the 911 model I bought. I bought a 1968 US Porsche 911 short wheelbase two years ago.

It had no known history and it took me a year to find any leads as to who had owned and worked on the car in the US. It had been beautifully race modified.

Shortly after buying the car I discovered it had been delivered originally to Brumos Motors in Florida. The ’68 SWB coupe was the model with which famed racer and Brumos owner Peter Gregg won the 1969 Trans Am although this historic car appears to have been lost.

The 911 coupe and 911 L were newly homologated for the 1968 race season and won Porsche their first major race a rally victories – at Le Mans, Monte Carlo and in the new Trans Am. During the early 1990s my car had found its way to North Carolina where it turned out to have been modified by a successful SCCA racer. In 2012 it was imported into Switzerland by a highly respected collector and German racing driver who raced Chevrons and Lolas in the 1970s.

I feel that there is something special about buying a car with racing associations even if it was not necessarily raced in period. My own car has turned into my every dream of discovering a car with a fascinating but hidden past. No one had bothered to do their research.

The car’s early history and possible earlier race modification is still the subject of ongoing research. It has many similarities with period photographs and race records of Gregg’s winning ’68 coupe which is the icing on the cake for me.

Due to its past I asked world renowned 911 rally company Francis Tuthill Limited to restore it and build their own version of its race engine. This year they won the Monte Carlo rally with their team car – the first 911 to win at Monte Carlo for 30 years. Having a Tuthill race engine feels rather special and is a lot of fun.

One of the great things about owning an early 911 with a race stance is the admiration and interest it gets. Its not at all an ego thing for me. I feel more like I am taking part in something special and historic each time I drive it. Sometimes when our awful English weather prevents me from driving it I get into the car, close my eyes and imagine its 1969 and I am waiting for the start of the Trans Am somewhere sunny. My Brumos ’68 proudly flies the Brumos and US flag in London, GB whenever I take her out. She is loved by one and all.

With Best Regards,

Julian.

Erik O'keefe
Erik O'keefe
8 years ago

I’ve bought my cars/motorcycles based on how interesting their drive trains are (which is usually derived from racing). Examples:

Porsche 944 turbo – turbo is on the cold side of the engine leaving room for long tube headers with an awesome external waste gate. Also at the time I’d never heard of and FR car with a transaxle.

Ducati (any) – Desmo and dry clutches!!!!

E46 M3 – ITBs and SMG (To be honest I find my M3 technologically boring, it just drives so nicely)

rene Porsche
rene Porsche
8 years ago

My 3 cars are more or less inspired by racing :

-Porsche 911
-Alpine A110
-BMW Z4 (less evident)

J David Weiss
J David Weiss
8 years ago

Yes, but normally stacked with other make/model experiences… True for my Porsche, BMW, Alfa, and others…

M3racer
M3racer
8 years ago

All of my daily drivers have been inspired by racing. E30 M3, Mini Cooper S, Lotus Elise, and Fiat Abarth.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Short answer [ yeah … I hear’s y’all sniggering out there ] …

No !

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