"Affordable" Vintage Ferrari Racing...

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by rob lay, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    OK, don't laugh yourself off the chair quite yet. Everything is relative, so by affordable, I mean tens to hundreds of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands to millions.

    So we're not talking about the 250 GTO/TR or F1 or 512 M.

    I'm talking about possibly a Lusso, 275, or 308 M.

    So I know what a 308 M goes for. I know what a full 275 GTB/C that was built for racing goes for. The prices I'm curious for are the street Lusso's and 275's that back in the day or later were prepared for amateur racing.

    So considering these cars, I'm curious how much they sell for and what organizations they race with. I know a 308 M could do Ferrari Historics racing, but you don't see straight Lusso's or 275 racing in that series.

    So how about the other American vintage racing associations? Should you get a car that already has the cage and other safety stuff or do people buy street cars and add it?

    I know a little about vintage Ferraris and a little about amateur racing, but I know nothing about amateur racing a vintage Ferrari.

    Thank you,
  2. Tspringer

    Tspringer F1 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2002
    I have been following HSR and SVRA vintage racing very closely for many years. I expect to probably start racing in both groups on a limited basis next year and a full effort starting the following year. I am not decided as to what kind of car yet, I may just race my '69 911S since all it needs is a fuel cell and cage to be ready. However, I am leaning heavily toward buying a purpose built racecar, like an Lola, Chevron, or Brabham or such.

    The thing about racing a vintage Ferrari such as a 308 or Lusso would come down to do you really want to get just spanked by guys in bugeye sprites while spending 10 times as much money?

    In the Shell historics series it would be fun, but thats about the only vintage series in the states (and thats pretty limited here) where either car would be remotely competitive.

    I know that winning in vintage racing is not what its all about... but I also know that driving the slowest car on the track and getting blown into the weeds by everyone while spending huge dollars just might not be that much fun. That probably has something to do with why we dont see vintage Ferrari's in most vintage racing today.

    The best/smart choice for HSR or SVRA taking into account costs, affordability, parts availability, competitivness and all that is probably a Porsche. The downside to that is everyone knows this and thus some classes are starting to look like a Porsche spec race!

    For what you would spend on a Lusso vintage race car, I believe you could buy a McLaren M6 or such or even a Lola F5000 car. Think about that.... 1400lb, 500hp, Chevy reliability...... budget lots for tires!

  3. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    Central NJ
    I'm with Terry on this one. A previous owner raced my 330 2+2 (does that mean my car has racing history?!?). From what I understand, it was a handful and hard on the car - all of the mechanicals & suspension have since been rebuilt. Although a two seater would be better, I think this is a very expensive way to participate in vintage racing. That said, nothing sounds as good and you would loose in style!

    I have heard of a 250 swb that has been tweaked (redline of 13.5k) and can keep up with newer stuff but it cost big money to do.


    Art S.
  4. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    Full Name:

    Terry made some excellent points about the cost/competitiveness ratio of vintage Ferraris. You may feel that you know what your vintage racing goals are, but it is a truism that the cost of making a vintage V12 Ferrari competitive will be high and is no guarantee that you still won't be blown off by Jaguar XKs, Aston Martin DBs and probably, depending on the track, Porsches, MGs and Lotuses. If running at the front of the pack is your highest priority, then a vintage Ferrari is probably not the answer unless you intend to run in the Shell Historic series. Even then, the guys who run at the front of that series are very serious racers who commit very substantial resources to making sure that they do run up front.

    Which leads to my second point, which is what clubs and tracks do you want to run? Are you planning on racing nationally at some of the major spectator events, such as the Monterey Historics, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Fall Festival, Road Atlanta etc. or do you plan to race more regionally closer to home?

    There are probably 40 vintage racing organizations in the country and most have a limited schedule of regional events. So figure out which club or clubs make the most sense for you to run in and get their rules on car makes, years and permitted modifications so that you will know what it takes to be eligible to run in each club.

    For instance, in my area of the northeast U.S., the VSCCA is one of the more active organizations, participating in 6-8 track events each year. It also is one of the more conservative regarding car eligibility (1959 or earlier) and preparation (e.g. very limited performance modifications, no full cages, limited roll bar structures, fuel cells recommended but not required, hard compound vintage racing tires only, etc) and so not all cars that you are considering would be eligible.

    There also is a "Preservation" class that is geared toward racing at a less competitive level and with fewer pure racing modifications so that street legal cars can participate.

    Other clubs, such as SVRA, HSR, VARA, etc. have different rules and cutoff years. Each club has different sets of rules governing all those factors, so it is critical to make sure that your car is eligible.

    At a minimum, plan on adding a roll bar with side intrusion protection, fuel cell, competition seat, 6 point belts and external ignition cutoff switch. Many of these modifications can be done in a way that permits dual road/track use, if that is what you want.

    Read up or subscribe to Victory Lane magazine if you want to get up to speed on reports of vintage racing events held around the country by the various organizations.

    Good luck in your efforts! You may find that, once you have tried vintage racing, that it is addictive!


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