View Full Version : What do I ask the seller

01-03-2002, 06:10 PM
I have located a reasonably priced 84 CRX for ITC, it's a prepared and previously raced car, what would you ask him to asses the cars quality, price and race worthiness?


Dom Pirinchinci
01-03-2002, 08:29 PM
My top few ideas, and they're more gneral than Civic specific (These are reliable cars as a general rule):
1. How many times has it been on its head?
2. Get leakdown and compression numbers, as well as the number of races since the last engine rebuild.
3. How dead do the shocks/struts feel? They ain't cheap.
4. Recent lap times at a track you know (obviously, driver has something to do with that, but if it can be driven fast once, it can be again)
5. What do you get for spares?
6. How much duct tape and baling wire is holding the car together? I don't care how fast the car is- if it's been maintained like a rental car at the airport, you don't want to deal with it. Having a hub fly off on Saturday morning puts a real damper on the rest of your weekend.
7. If you know somebody neutral that has seen the car running lately, they can give you good input.
8. I think being able to talk to the guy after you buy it is important. Not only can you make yourself feel better by whining to him about what a piece of crap car he sold you, he can save you lots of time by helping you out with all the quirks he forgot to tell you about when you were buying it. Advice like that, fueled by a few beer donations, saved me lots of work last season!
9. Does it have lots of chrome? Chrome is fast. Especially on Hondas.

01-03-2002, 11:05 PM

10. "May I please see the logbook?" It should have a complete history of the races on the car, perhaps with notes of on-track incidental damage, tech irrgularlities, etc. The logbook number must match the stamped number on the cage, for starters. Check for tech stickers on the car as well, to see if they match the info in the log book, and be sure that no pages have been removed from the book itself.

11. "Do you have any written set-up, parts life or maintenance records for the car?" Stuff in the current owner's head is useless but written notes are helpful to you as well as indicative of the care that the car has had in the past.

12. "Do you have copies of qualifying or results from races run?" A lot of racers hang onto results sheets - if they are reasonably happy with them. This would help answer the "how competitive is it?" question.

13. "Are the receipts for any parts purchased available?" In addition to providing some indication of what was spent on the car, it is REALLY useful to be able to go back to the original retailers for replacement parts, specs, advice and so forth. Also helps paint a picture of service on the car.

14. Check the date on the belts and see if it has a full fire system and cage that meets the new diagonal requirement. If not, consider the cost of fixing these critical items in the price.

Beyond this, it is like buying any used car, starting with cleanliness. A crappy race car is not likely to be a well-cared-for race car, quite frankly. Also, be aware that the stuff that gets called "spares" is often baskets full of broken and/or used up junk. Don't let this factor sway your judgement.

Get someone who KNOWS Hondas to go with you to look at it, to be sure that it is all there and correct. If you get it home and find out that it has the wrong transmission and brakes in it, you face (more) bills. If it is illustrated online somewhere, let all of your IT.com pals know and we will scope it out for you, or take digi pix and post them so we can all give it the critical eye...

My cynical advice is to try to arrange to hang out with someone while they are still running a car that you are interested in and then pick it up at the track, right after they finish their last race with it. That way you know you are getting the real deal.


01-04-2002, 04:46 PM

As also mentioned by some other buddies:

<font face=\"Verdana, Arial\" size=\"2\">Also make sure you get all of the \"trick\" parts and not just enough parts to prevent the car from falling on the garage floor. I would think it would be desirable to buy the car right off the track onto your trailer if possible. If the car is fast, you want all of the parts that made it fast.</font>

Just thought I'd share, these sorts of posts are very educational for the rest of the kids too.