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Micks63
12-12-2006, 06:23 PM
My son and I would like to get into racing next year and are in need of advice.

A few things we already know: 1) Its not cheap 2) It costs less to buy a done car 3) You need a roll bar 4)Our defn of racing: Show up, take laps, don't get hit, don't hit anyone else, have fun and improve for next time, have fun.

We would like to race vintage and a spridget or spit. No autocross, road courses (as we are only 30 miles from Nelsons Ledges). We like working on them because they are easier then some others and usually cost much less to buy.

I've read the HSR SVRA and SCCA web sites and am completely confused as to which car fits in what class and what mods are allowed and not allowed. Are there cliff notes to the rules?

Basic question is what is the newest (cheapest) spridget/spit that we can race and what class?

WhatsThatNoise
12-12-2006, 09:26 PM
Brit = Production class (generally)

Sure you want to burn that much cash?
(And get thrown into the fire)

Ever watch a race there?

aeronca65t
12-12-2006, 11:29 PM
Most of us who are active racers would tell you the same thing.....go to a number of races and flag or otherwise volunteer.
Also, just hang out in the pits and talk to folks who are racers. Spend time looking at the cars close up. Take lots of pictures and even take notes.
Bottom line: show up at the track, look around and learn.
The rulebooks are not really meant to be a full explaination about how racing works.....to be honest, you'll learn much more from a few weekends of flagging than anything else.

And for what it's worth, your confusion isn't surprising...it's pretty normal. One of saddest things I see are folks who never come to the track, but build a race car in their garage. Usually, the car ends up an expensive disappointment.

As for cars, I love Sprites, Spitfires and other Brit roadsters. But if I were new to all this, I'd buy a small econobox racer already built (Honda, Saturn, Neon,etc.) and use that as a tool to learn about road racing....you can dump it later on and then get an interesting car. Your first car shouldn't be "all about winning" or being "highly competative"....you just need a safe, reliable car to get seat-time and hone your skills.
I'd look at a car for SCCA ITC to begin with.

WhatsThatNoise
12-13-2006, 06:35 AM
To start with, you want a disposable piece of junk like this.

https://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f312/dlg208/IMG_3736Large.jpg

My Brother's Pinto is on the frame machine now.
(And mine should probably get yanked also since I'm at the limits of adjustment)

Get something cheap & reliable
(No "Bomb" engines or delicate cars)

Sure I love Brit. cars......But my baby ain't getting center-punched by no dang wabbit. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Simon TR4a
12-13-2006, 10:50 AM
To answer your question more specifically, SCCA allows far more modifications than any vintage race organisation.
This makes it expensive to prepare a competitive car, and there is more of a "hardcore racer" attitude among the drivers, so fixing bodywork a few times each season is to be expected, something you said you wanted to avoid!

Your driving skills and level of experience will determine your lap times, not what car you are driving. Autocross is actually a good way to learn the skills, and can be done in a car with very little preparation, even your daily driver.
Simon.

ChrisS
12-13-2006, 04:23 PM
This past year I bought a Midget race tub that included the cage and some ancillaries. I built / assembled the engine, drive train and suspension. Ran the car through some Solo II events and time trials to sort it out. On the TT weekends I worked the race events to get some more experience. Since you already have a Midget, as I did, it might make sense for you to go that route. This tub may still be available and it isn't too far from you https://prodracing.com/prodcar/viewtopic.php?t=6572&postdays=0&postorder=asc&star t=20 it is nice if the seller is willing to lend some advice as you go through the build. Don't worry about rules for wheel to wheel cars yet. Just get some experience and if you like it then you can spend the money on a fully prepped car.

Taz
12-14-2006, 08:05 AM
If you are interested in a good tub. Good condition. Need a miner rust repair, but very very solid. Its in Pittsburgh Pa. Free. come and get it.. Its a 76 midget. I offered it to Nial but he has not got back to me yet. I am sure he would give it up for a fellow racer.

Carl

aeronca65t
12-14-2006, 08:11 AM
Yep. Taz offered it to me, but I can't do anything right now.
If you want it, go for it!

JerryB
12-14-2006, 05:36 PM
""""""""My son and I would like to get into racing next year and are in need of advice.

A few things we already know: 1) Its not cheap """"""'

I can be somewhat expensive ..Ican think of one person who races with us and is on Social Security and still races6-7 times a year with us.....he's a real scrounger, tires etc. It can be as expensive as you want it to be....a tractor trailer or an open trailer...we have em all.

""""""It costs less to buy a done car"""""

Generally yes.....BEWARE of "this car is ready to race" type ads.

"""""3) You need a roll bar """"

Sure do.(see your item 2)...and a fire system and a fuel cell...a suit and gear and so on.

""""""4)Our defn of racing: Show up, take laps, don't get hit, don't hit anyone else, have fun and improve for next time, have fun. """"""

Pretty much the definition of vintage racing. With most Vintage Clubs if you have contact its probation. More contact and you out.

"""""""""Basic question is what is the newest (cheapest) spridget/spit that we can race and what class? """""

The newest depends on what the club(S) you are gonna run with allow. With some the Production car cutoff is 1972...with others its 1967...and so on.

Spit. large selection of years.....
Spridget.....Bugeye your paying for the 'worth more body'...otherwise a large selection of years.
$6 k might buy you something decent that needs a complete go thru. $8 k might get u something decent.....and they go up from there. (at least out west here).

"""""Are there cliff notes to the rules?...""""

Many clubs have basic rules rather than a telephone book sized book of rules. Reread the posts above about voluntering/working/going to races and hanging out. Talk to the RIGHT folks...(those that run at the front and seem to know the drill). Again....beware the "this car is ready to race" line.

I also sent you a PM.........JB

Bob Claffie
12-15-2006, 09:11 PM
Having done both, I don't see much advantage to autocrossing as preparation for racing. Good for sharpening your reaction time and shaking the basic bugs out but thats about all. IF I was to do it all over again I would get into SCCA "spec Miata" racing. Relatively inexpensive, cars are almost identical so you test yourself against other drivers not other cars. Second choice is vintage Mk1 Spitfire with a Mk3 engine (slight cheat). A lot of scoop out there on preparing the cars, parts not too expensive, cars are easy to work on. Careful which old timer organization you choose as their rules and requirements are unique for age of the car and allowable modifications in preparation. Good luck, Bob

Hap Waldrop
12-16-2006, 10:07 AM
A spridget is a good choice for a LBC racer, because more than probably any other car in road racing it aftermarket supported the best, if you can think of it, someone makes it and sells it, with other cars you more on your own. I raced SCCA for 20 years, it is more serious than most vintage groups, the drivers overall as group are better and faster. SCCA has way to race a Spridget in HP now that is more cost effective and reliable, in vintage its more about how the car looks, period wise, but under the hood, it's wide open so for example a top notch vintage engine is way more money than a "limited prep" 1275 SCCA motor. I don't buy into the old myth, that SCCA guys will run over you, because I've done for 20 years and well over 100 races with very little damage. Vintage events are more relaxed atmosphere overall and while there are some fast guys in vintage, there's also alot of "slugs" to dodge, but vintage is fun as well. I'm making the transition to vintage because I don't have the desire to go the SCCA runoffs anymore, and too many major vintage events close to home, so I'm going to give vintage a try, been crewing there for a few years now. It's all fun, just pick a route and go for it. Oh and if you go with a Spridget, go 1275, it the best path by far and one of the best LBC motors going, I know I build them all.

jlaird
12-17-2006, 05:08 PM
Ahhh Hap, could it be that it is because each year you too are getting closer to becomeing vintage. Haaaaa

Kidding aside, we start loosing our reflexes, eyes, and balance. No way I could race safely with the big guys any more. Not my safety really, theres.

However, I can dream everytime I hear a happy engine.

WhatsThatNoise
12-17-2006, 06:01 PM
Seems like early 60's are when people make the switch from SCCA to vintage.

Don't know if it is reflexes or if they just get tired of pulling dents out of their cars.

We have Bill Emery in our region, an inspiration to many of us who have been late arrivals to the sport.
https://www.britishcarforum.com/ubbthread...0&fpart=all (https://www.britishcarforum.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=PRI2&Number=280873&page=0 &fpart=all)

jlaird
12-17-2006, 07:12 PM
As 68 young last Sep. let me tell you it is age, pure and simple. It sneaks up on all of us. Oh you can still do, just not as hard or as long. Like I said reflexes and eyes are not near as good.

But life is great, enjoy every minute and restore an LBC that would die otherwise. Or at least keep a good one happy.

Hap Waldrop
12-18-2006, 08:27 AM
Heck at the runoffs in HP, I'd still be considered one of the younger ones at 46 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I think in SCCA prod when you consider, prep level, driving experienece, most drivers peak in their 40s, some even in their 50s. If you were to ask me who I thought the top 5 production SCCA drivers, all but one of them would be 40+. My choices to go vintage are pretty simple, I'm not wlling to do everything it takes to win SCCA nationals and go to the runoffs every year 1000 miles from home, I dominate SCCA regionals in my class to the point of boredom, so vintage will be something new and different for me.

jlaird
12-18-2006, 01:29 PM
Ahhh, ok. Makes sence to me. But you are still a youngster. Just wait, hehe.

Bob Claffie
12-18-2006, 06:25 PM
Wow! This is confusin'. Spent some time this PM going to the various vintage/historic racing web sites.

Looks like the VSCCA is the "elite" group preferring old and unique and exotic cars, not for your average Joe. If I read it correctly their cutoff is 1959.

Next organization is HSR, they have classes for just about anything you can imagine but with most production cars cut off at 1974. The more "special" the car the more open the
eligibility.

Lastly and the most "open" from my point of view is SVRA. They allow most cars thru 1980 and seem to be east coast oriented.

I am sure there are regional clubs around but the three above are pretty wide spread. Their various web sites have eligibility sections specifying what is allowed for various cars.
Bob

WhatsThatNoise
12-18-2006, 07:20 PM
Yes, I remember what began this all for me.

Around 1987 I watched my first vintage race in Pittsburgh.
Already had the D-Lo but was completely amazed by all of those cars, I never knew existed.
Sure I knew about MG, TR, AH and a few other well known marks.
But these things were curvy, seductive & FAST!

After I got home I ordered subscriptions to British Car and Classic & Collector Car.
And purchased many books on the subject.

Well prepared for the next years PVGP, I arrived w/ many questions.

I was about as well received by the VSCCA crowd as a scab covered, tuberculous coughing, gutter bum.

Skip forward half dozen years.........

I managed to find the car of my dreams and was in the process of putting it right.
I show up to the PVGP again as an OWNER of a honest to goodness VSCCA eligible car.

Well dressed, well spoken & knowledgeable.
Think I found 3 people who would even talk to me.

Good thing I never gave up.

Michael Oritt
12-18-2006, 07:38 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I managed to find the car of my dreams and was in the process of putting it right. I show up to the PVGP again as an OWNER of a honest to goodness VSCCA eligible car. Well dressed, well spoken & knowledgeable. Think I found 3 people who would even talk to me.

[/ QUOTE ]
--------------------------------------
Dave--

Not my experience at all: 2006 was my first season racing and though a new member I was well-received at the three VSCCA events that I attended and was made to feel welcome.

WhatsThatNoise
12-18-2006, 08:27 PM
They were given an ultimatum a couple of years ago, about fielding more cars or else, by the PVGP Assn.

AND the fact other organizations were happy to take over.
AND the VRG was forming.

The VSCCA merely "sponsors" the event now.

There has been a big shake-up in the organization recently, although they are no more receptive than they ever were.

This resulted in reciprocity were it never before existed.
(HSR, VARAC,SVRA w/VRG not VSCCA)

So far as new racers go.......You are generally still regarded as pond scum by the VSCCA.
(Unless you have a D-Type or Cunningham)

Or it is "Blood in--Blood out".
(You bought an existing VSCCA car)

They ARE the reason I bought the Pinto......
I got tired of cutting through their red tape.

BTW....I am a VRG member now. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

Michael Oritt
12-18-2006, 09:37 PM
"So far as new racers go.......You are generally still regarded as pond scum by the VSCCA.
(Unless you have a D-Type or Cunningham)

Or it is "Blood in--Blood out".
(You bought an existing VSCCA car)"
--------------------------
Dave--

Speaking only from my experience I have found folks in VSCCA to be friendly and helpful. I don't know the whole story between the VRG split-off but joined both and I guess that just gives us more events in which to race.

Let me know if you are ever down my way--Michael

WhatsThatNoise
12-19-2006, 07:21 AM
Thanks Michael,

Looking back on it now, I think I was better off starting in the SCCA.

Originally I thought that those years flagging & Auto-X'ing were wasted while trying to talk my way into having someone "vouch" for me
(Yes, I believe you still need 2 letters for VSCCA).

Being clueless & helpless starting out is not a good feeling.

I would now recommend a year of Auto-X, track days and maybe some flagging for anyone wanting to race.
(regardless of vintage or SCCA/NASA)

Things did turn out well anyway.........

And the Elva will always be my favorite ride /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

Michael Oritt
12-19-2006, 08:16 AM
"I thought that those years flagging & Auto-X'ing were wasted while trying to talk my way into having someone "vouch" for me Yes, I believe you still need 2 letters for VSCCA)."
---------------------------
Dave--

VSCCA still requires two sponsors and the membership folks like to hear that someone's interests go beyond merely racing but include all aspects of vintage car ownership including, I guess, rallying and social, etc. That's what my sponsors put down for me, anyway.

Perhaps when that cold sore heals we can get you in--I'd be pleased to write a letter for you once you lose that SCCA attitude!

Best--Michael

WhatsThatNoise
12-19-2006, 08:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I'd be pleased to write a letter for you once you lose that SCCA attitude!


[/ QUOTE ]
Remember....You CAN'T write a letter until they PERMIT you to take off yer noob stripes! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif

Yea...I keep having a dream about nurfing some overly shiny cars with the Pinto /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

Michael Oritt
12-19-2006, 08:48 AM
"You CAN'T write a letter until they PERMIT you to take off yer noob stripes!"
----------------------
I don't know about that but I may very well leave them on for a while to get a little clearance room. I'm told that Stirling Moss always tried to have them on his cars.