Tony Ford wrote:
> A road racer once told me if I was going to race that I should buy a
> proper race car and forget running a stock class car and all the
> expense it entails making it raceworthy. I'm inclined to believe him
> now. Is it any easier to run in a more rules-stable prepared or
> modified class? Or does it just appear so to me?
Yes, this is all true.
> And monetarily, would I have been better off to have gotten a decent
> dedicated race car (FM or CM?)?
That's tougher to say. Obviously, an FM or CM car cannot be your
daily driver, though you can certainly use almost any daily driver as
a tow vehicle (you don't need a truck). So there's some up-front
additional cost in having a separate vehicle for competition only,
plus of course the trailer and the garage space. But it certainly
does compare favorably to having a dedicated production-based car for
The initial purchase cost of an FM or CM car is quite good compared
with most Stock classes. You can easily get into both for under 10K,
possibly well under. You'd be hard pressed to spend over $20K, even
if you really wanted to (if you bought an expensive car and then paid
someone to do a complete frame-up rebuild including motor and gearbox,
or if you bought a brand new Formula Ford or Sports 2000, you might get
there.) It's certainly a lot less than a Corvette Z06 or a Boxster
or a new M3 or whatever... even less than a new Miata, assuming you
already own a suitable tow vehicle.
The big problem with starting out in a Real Race Car is that there's
no passenger seat (though I have seen some S2's with one, the weight
of a passenger can really screw up the handling). Also, it may be too
tempting for some, since there are so many things you can change -- and
thus, so many ways to thoroughly screw up the setup. But if you have
self-discipline and you buy a car that's already set up, that second
point can be ignored.