Choosing A Race Car, Sports Car or Off-Road Vehicle Type To Build
Choosing a car to build involves answering some important questions about the type of project you want. The questions provided below cover a number of aspects to consider but bear in mind that there is no requirement to “think small” just because your budget is small or just because you are a beginner.
Race and Road Car engineering, after all, is possibly the most powerful expression of creativity available today and it is the passion for this experience that makes a successful project–not an endless budget, time or opportunity.
To help you consider what type of vehicle might interest you, check out our Car Types guide which provide helpful information about many types of cars, trucks and other vehicles.
|How much money do I have to spend on a car project? How much can I afford to spend annually on maintenance and transport?
Knowing your budget will provide insight into what projects are financially feasible in the short-term, and what projects could be feasible if resources were applied over a longer term.
|How much time can I apply to this project?
Your time commitment will factor into how long your project takes and can affect long-term motivation for bigger projects.
|What tracks and sanctioning bodies are in my area or transport range?
If you want to go racing, you need a place to do it that is within range and an organizer for the racing.
Production or Donor-based car racing is usually available in most areas where there is a race track and even in some areas where public roads or parking lots can be closed.
Scratch-built car racing is usually available in areas where there is a race track. Like production-based or donor cars, scratch-built cars can participate in time-trial (Autocross) racing on closed roads and parking lots as well.
|Do I want to race in an existing sanctioned racing series or do I want to build my own unique vehicle?
Depending on your dreams, you may have a racing series in mind or may want to build a prototype of a new race or road car or offroad vehicle.
|For sanctioned racing, what classes are available and do they require a donor or scratch-built car?
Production or Donor-based car racing is usually available in most areas where there is a race track and even in some areas where public roads or parking lots can be closed. Above and beyond the cost of the donor vehicle, the build and racing costs of donor-based cars is generally lower than scratch-builts. Build time is also usually lower.
Scratch-built car racing is usually available in areas where there is a race track. Like production-based or donor cars, scratch-built cars can participate in time-trial (Autocross) racing on closed roads and parking lots as well. Scratch-built cars generally cost more to build and take a longer time to build than donor-based cars, but a lot depends on how minimalist a scratch-built car you choose or how exotic a donor car you choose.
|What kind of car type really gets you excited?
Choosing a car type should include more than just "What's available", but also what you like. If possible, test-drive an example of the vehicle type to see if you like the feel. Consider too, that not every type of machine needs to be raced to be thrilling. Consider dune buggies, offroad trucks and sports cars too.