Buying an Old NASCAR Stock Car Seems Like a Good Idea

Illustration for article titled Buying an Old NASCAR Stock Car Seems Like a Good Idea

That is, it does until the engine blows up.

Back in February, one of the guys helping run Chris Forsberg’s continued efforts in Formula Drift picked up a retired Toyota stock car from NorCal. The window banner reads McReynolds (presumably Brandon McReynolds, who raced Toyotas like this in the K&N Pro Series West) while one of the crew guys says he thought that the driver was a guy named Eric Holmes (who also raced Toyotas like this in the K&N Pro Series West and won with ‘em). Here’s what it looked like when the car rolled into LA back in February, down from NorCal:

Provenance of the car or no, it is a real deal stock car, 800 horsepower and wheel tethers and all.


They are remarkable deals, these things, probably as much performance as you can get for the money, as these stock cars are simple but fast, and have that disposable quality of “obsolete race car” that makes them well-priced for what they are. Anywhere between 10 and 20 grand can get you something that raced at Daytona. Here’s one on RacingJunk and here’s another.

The thing is while most track day cars are production cars made to go faster, buying an old stock car is very much Race Car Shit, and that means that it really wants to be run with a full crew. Warm everything up to temperature, all that stuff.

Anyway, Forsberg finally got to take the car out, running the eighth mile with fellow FD pro Ryan Tuerck. Forsberg did one pass, with a 0.499 reaction, for a 7.9466 at 94.38. Not terrible for a first run.

But a second never came. Oil pressure went to zero, the old owner assured the team that it was likely just a bad gauge or sender, but lo it was not. The engine gave out between the burnout box and the starting line.

But! Nothing is too expensive or difficult to fix on a stock car like this, as Forsberg notes.

Honestly, I’m not deterred. I still want one of these things.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.



So what options are there for something that “IS RACECAR” but doesn’t require full crew handling?