I was reading at post over at Moparts.com that raised the question: “Should I build a Pro-touring car OR purchase something new”. Since this is something that recently went through, I decided to throw out a decent (albeit a bit long) answer. For those of you that are in this predicament, well… I hope this helps.
“Our old cars are wonderful machines. They have styling that can’t be matched, can be made to perform wonderfully with enough time, talent and money, and at days end will always make you feel good. However, think about what goes into making that happen. Think about the countless hours of trouble-shooting problems and chasing ghosts like squeaks, rattles, vibrations and electrical issues. People get frustrated, lose and then regain interest, but ultimately, everybody is still always, in some way wrenching on their cars.
Now please don’t misunderstand me, this is NOT a bad thing as it’s part of the hobby, and God knows I’ve been down and continue to go down this road on a daily basis with my cars because I love them. HOWEVER, and this is dependent on your individual needs, you have to decide on WHAT you want to do with your car, and WHY you want to do it.
I’m very fortunate as my job allows me to get behind the wheel of some the best cars out there, both new and old ranging from a Bugatti Veyron to the wickedest pro-touring cars on the planet. This has taught me a couple of things:
1. You can have the best suspension, engine, and build that money can buy. But if YOU can’t drive it, you’re ass out. That means SEAT TIME, SEAT TIME, SEAT TIME and MORE SEAT TIME. With that being said, a good driver could probably kill 85% of track day guys whilst driving a V6 Honda Accord.
2. MONEY: I’ve got a TON of cash wrapped up in both my cars (Charger/Daytona). Yet I went out and purchased a new Mustang for just over $30k that will kill them both. Tack on some real suspension, wheels and tires and now, for under $40K I’ve got a car that will run with the best of the best, regardless of the manufacturers. I’ve got 13 track days on that car since May with the only maintenance being fluid, tire and brake pad changes. That’s it – not one single issue, not a single worry.
3. Piece of mind. I don’t worry about my Mustang. I bought it as a track rat / semi-daily driver. Now, if I crash it at the track will that suck? Yep… but not as bad as stuffing the Charger or Daytona into the wall.
Also keep in mind that before I purchased that car I contemplated taking that money and putting it into the Charger. 6.4 HEMI, new trans, suspension, etc… etc. At days end though, I’d still have a beautiful looking car that was 18-feet long, weighed almost 4,000 lbs and STILL didn’t handle like a slot car. Plus, I’d be chasing gremlins and trouble shooting. I’m too old for that. Now, I just want to have fun.
Charger / Daytona = Hot Rods and will keep forever
Mustang = Track Car / semi-disposable
Different cars for different needs.”