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Author Topic:   First Steps
dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted April 24, 2003 12:40 PM  
I am just starting out in racing. I am trying to decide on a car to build. I have some experienced help who thinks I will be better off with a GM metric chassis (I think that is early 80s regals, cutlasses, monte carlos etc). Is that correct?
My help has run these types for several years. My problem with this is availability, I can find a few of them but people want too much. (around $1000 for junk)
Any ideas on another type of car for a beginner driver with limited mechanical skills.
Safety is a major issue in my decision. What is the safest car to use?

odb93
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 537
posted April 24, 2003 02:19 PM  
Dobs,

The safest car to use will be one with a full frame and a good cage.

The g-bodies (monte, cutlass, regal, etc) are good cars. They are very manuverable. However they are harder to find the right set up. They react so quick because of a shorter wheelbase.

Maybe you can swing into the junk yard and find you one cheap. Depending on your rules, you dont realy need much of the car.

The only things that is true cutlass on my ride is frame, floor pans and firewall, shell, and control arms. Everything else we took to the dump.


dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted April 24, 2003 05:09 PM  
What do you think about a camaro or pontiac firebird to start out with? (73-81 models)

redneck racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 860
posted April 24, 2003 05:26 PM  
Dobber the Camaro or the Firebird would probably work. You might also consider the Nova, Omega and the Ventura as some other good choices. Eddie

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted April 24, 2003 05:52 PM  
The way I would go about this would be to think about what class and track you would like to run. After choosing a class and track,the car search should consist of looking at cars that are already built and could use some updating to be ready for this season. Most times,a race car that is for sale can be bought a fair rate,with you as the buyer the setting the tone of conversation,because you are the one with the cash.
To build a car is an idea,but there are some good buys out there to be had. Money to build a new car can add up quickly,so do look at used race cars,but with wide open eyes. Don't buy something that will cost a arm and leg to convert to your track rules,do your homework.
Full frame cars are maybe the best way to go for you as a beginner. Safety is the biggest concern that all racers should pay close attention too. You as the car owner and driver set the safety guidelines you and team should and must follow.

dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted April 24, 2003 06:43 PM  
I have looked at some already built cars. So far I haven't run across one that is in decent enough shape. But I haven't given up yet either.
Some of the cars I've looked at had some considerable safety concerns as well.
I already know where I'll be running and the class I'll be competing in. I have their rules and will be getting started soon.
But with any project I undertake, HOMEWORK comes first. The more I learn now, maybe I'll learn a little less the hard way.
Thanks for all the help.
This is a great forum.

dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted April 28, 2003 06:36 PM  
Anyone ever run a 71 malibu?

chevelle
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 71
posted April 28, 2003 06:47 PM  
My brother ran a '74 Malibu/Chevelle in a Charger class and he says it handled better than the metric cars, and that they are beefier. He's now in a modifed(based on a '68-70 Chevelle front clip). He talked me into using a '73 Chevelle for a RoadRunner(pure stock). It's still under construction. I realize both of these are the newer body style but hope it helps.

NYhick
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 130
posted April 29, 2003 08:38 PM  
As was mentioned before, check your rules carefully. Minimum wheelbase especially. Eventhough some of the used race cars you look at may be junk, they often have a lot of parts you can use. I have a camaro I built two years ago. In looking for parts I found a Nova that was bent and selling for only $400. I bought it, used the seat, roll cage, fuel cell, gauges, motor parts etc....I think you get my point. So look for something like that as well while you are out looking anyways..

gould
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 730
posted April 29, 2003 08:49 PM  
heres an experience i had with buying old race cars and stuff. ive saved a bunch of money. i bought an old modified like early 80's for 150 bucks. it had a 9" for in it with chevelle brakets welded on with a 3rd member. i sold the 3rd member for 75 bucks. i got a guy looking to buy the rest of the mod for the 150 bucks i bought it for!! i also got alot of gimmees. always take the free stuff too. i got a cage that was bent on one side. i cut out the good bars and scraped the rest. it also had a butler seat, aluminum shifter, op, wt gauges and a window net. so basically if you some junk sitting around you might be able to use something off it. gould

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You know when you have had a good night dirt racing when you jump in the shower and the tub is muddy brown for the first 10 minutes.

dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted April 30, 2003 11:51 AM  
I am making some progress, I have several prospects to look at this weekend. I appreciate all the feedback. I should be racing later in the summer.

odb93
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 537
posted May 01, 2003 04:23 PM  
Dob's,
Look around at track websites. Many of them have a classified section.

You might find some good deals there.

dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted May 03, 2003 06:23 AM  
The track web sites helped alot. I have a bunch of possible options now. Thanks for the help guys. Now I have to decide whatI want out of all of them.
I am having fun now!

The Big Dawg
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 23
posted May 03, 2003 11:02 AM  
Dobber40 no matter what way you go ,if you buy a used one it will definately be cheaper. We bought a used one 2 years ago,probably had 3000 in the whole car,thats including a brand new 9" floater,and we won 5 out of 13 races we ran with it,and our average finish was 2nd in the feature.this year we went and built a brand new car engine and all and have close to $16,500 dollars in it.So it is definately cheaper to find someone needing some money and buy it cheap.THE MAIN THING IF YOU BUY ONE USED IS TO CHECK ALL THE WELDS ON THE CAR,AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE GOOD WELDS,I'F THEY DON'T LOOK SAFE ENOUGH TO GET UPSIDE DOWN IN ,DON'T BUY IT!

hsracer58
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 46
posted May 04, 2003 03:46 AM  
Dob's

2 season's ago, we opted to run a 75' cutlas. We got it cheap. After some tweaking, I found that it is much more forgiving than the metric car we were running. It is (in my area ) pretty easy to get parts for, I have 2 in the yard for spares. After the change I prefer the older larger cars, maybe it is just my driving style, but they work for me

Rick

dobber40
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted May 07, 2003 12:36 AM  
The track ended up being my best source. The racers knew where to get tons of stuff. I made an offer on a rolling 85 regal with a cage. The cage was never completed, the welding was mostly just tacked and will need to be welded out. The cage was purchased as a kit but the guys that were building it ran into financial problems.
We will add some gussets and a few additional bars. Since we will weld it out, I won't have to wonder about the welding.
Hopefully I'll be able to get to work soon.



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