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Old 01-18-2006, 09:27 AM   #1
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What would it take to build a NASA Spec Focus?

Hello all. If you haven't read through the "Spec Focus" thread and rules, take a look. It looks to me like a fantastic opportunity to get out there and road race a focus on the cheap. (As cheap as Road Racing is.) Let's take a look at what it would cost to build such a car.

Shell $2K - $3K - This would be some sort of salvage titled Focus that does not have any frame damage and relatively easy to repair damage. The best choices would be;
Theft Recovery - Look, the car comes pre-stripped for convenience!
Door Impact - Hey, doors are cheap, and as long as the frame (esbecially B Pillar) are fine then you are good to go!
Flood Damage - Glug glug glug... You were going to have that engine rebuilt anyway, right? Plenty of Katrina castaways. Saw a Katrina Flood SVT on my salvage site last night.

Racing Bucket $400 - Used of course, but as long as it fits and it's cheap, who cares? You'll probably want 2 to take people out on track...

Engine Rebuild $0 - $500 - $1500 - Do you leave it as you got it, get a good one out of another wreck/rebuild yourself, or have it rebuilt professionally. Doesn't look like BHP is going to be a deciding factor, although I think that with gearing and in the rules, the 2.3 Duratec with the 5-speed gears is the best option.

Roll Cage $2500 - Professionally welded and installed. Yeah, let's not look for "Bargain" safety equipment.

Tires $900 - You'll probably need at least 6 Hoosiers for a season, about $150 a pop. More if you want to buy Wets and do a lot of Practice/Development laps. As this is the only part of your car that actually touches the ground, again not a place to cheap out on. <Note to NASA, spec tires make a real difference in keeping competition level and expenses down, just a thought>

Wheels $0 - $4K+ - Huge range, depends on if you just stick with the stock rims or get a set of 6-8 good lightweights.

Suspension $600+ - They did a good job of keeping this spec, so costs shouldn't be that much.

Torsen LSD $200 - $600 - Used vs. New

Off-Road Pipe $50 - Just have it fabricated at a local muffler shop. It's a race car, so nobody will care.

Interior / Weight Reduction Sawzalls are $149.99 brand new, + the free (slave) labor of your friends and yourself.

Alignment / Setup $0 - $400 - Either somebody in the local SCCA or NASA has all the tools (corner weights, alignment tools, etc.) and the knowhow for the settings or you go get it done at a race shop.

Personal Cost $0 - $2000+ - Maybe you already have a suit, gloves, shoes, a helmet, and a Competition Liscence. If you don't, all that together will probably cost about $2K to get going.

So in total, not counting the things I have missed and you will point out...

$7150 cheapest, $15K at the top end

And just to let you guys know, that's still darn cheap racing. Of course, there's the cost of the tow vehicle, trailer, racing gas, track fees, travel expenses, maintenance, "I had an Ooops on Track" fund.... Figure another $4K - $6K a year for just competing in the series.

Let me know what I missed, and what you think!

Don't waste another minute waiting on parts, or anything else. Just get out there and start racing! You will suck at first, and you will be slower than many other cars, but the only thing you will regret is not starting earlier...
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