Stumped on holiday gifts? Have more cash than usual sitting around? Why not buy that special someone a race car? Here are five of the most interesting finds we found across the Intertoobz.
$4,000 - 1992 Formula Vee
Ever fancied open-wheel racing, but don't have Scrooge McDuck's money? Check out Formula Vee. The flat-four engine is from a 1964-1967 Volkswagen Beetle, and many other parts on the car are straight outta Herbie.
Many famous names got their start in Formula Vee, including Emerson Fittipaldi and Keke Rosberg. The Sports Car Club of America still runs a Formula Vee class, as do some vintage racing organizations.
This is a 1992 example that needs a bit of work, but comes complete with logbooks, a seat mold, lift and spares—all for $4,000. Considering that brand new cars cost $15,000, it may be worth fixing the clutch and vinyling over the rough bodywork to pick this older example up on the cheap. The Beetle components mean that everything should be relatively simple and less Project Car Hell than you'd expect.
For the price of a boring street Miata, your impossible-to-buy-for special someone could go race a formula car. I'm just sayin'.
$140,000 - 1959 Lotus 17
Have a little more cash to play around with, but still like the idea of picking up a vintage racer? Good, because you need this Lotus 17.
Only 21 of these cars were made per the ad, with only six or seven of those currently residing in the United States.
This car races in SVRA's Group 4 along with all of the other big historic events such as Monterey Historics. The ad states that it's not only ready to race, but they have the full history of the car dating back to the 1960s.
This is a pristine example in British Racing Green. At 815 pounds, it certainly fits Colin Chapman's "add lightness" mantra well.
The only people I know who would hate to see a vintage Lotus outside with a big goofy red bow on top are the folks who've had a bad time racing a vintage Lotus. If your special someone still has that Lotus itch to scratch, you can't go wrong with a well-sorted example like this.
$48,608 - Mitsubishi Mirage Proto
Perhaps you want to get your ungiftable someone a shiny new toy instead of a sweet vintage find. That's okay. We've got your back.
Filed under "things that just needed to be done," the enterprising tuners at Dytko Sport stuffed the Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's engine, transmission and suspension into the humble little Mirage.
This is the Mirage Evolution that the world deserves.
As this is a new build, the turnaround time for a Mirage Proto is six to seven weeks, but you can add a number of upgrades, like a sequential gearbox and a MoTeC ECU.
Comes complete with a FIA homologated roll cage, ready to rally.
$45,000 - 1998 Chevrolet Corvette
Remember when Speedvision was a thing? And it was a thing that sponsored World Challenge? Ah, memories. Here's a '98 ex-Speedvision World Challenge GT-class C5 Corvette.
Per the ad, this was the first Corvette C5 to win a pro race. Since then, it's been professionally maintained and updated each year by race mechanics.
This big blue slab of 'Murica is guaranteed to go fast and sound wonderful, making deep, growling noises that only your empty stomach is capable of when you forgot to eat all day.
It also comes with spare wheels and tires (bonus: tires only have one race on them) along with several other spares.
Guaranteed to make bald eagles weep with its exhaust note.
$6,728 (reserve not met) - 1969 Datsun 2000 Fairlady Roadster
Are lower-speed motorsports more your ungiftable's style? Particularly, ones with lots of twists and turns? Here's a fantastic autocross car that won SCCA Solo D Prepared state championships in '08 and '10.
The Datsun 2000 is one of my favorite vintage roadsters of all time. They handle extremely well and have just enough power to be fun. Here's an excellent example for autocross and track day use.
This is a cosmetically imperfect 2000, but has a long list of items that have been done to make it go faster and handle better, including a blueprinted engine, race prepped transmission and limited-slip differential.
$5,600 - 1966 Lincoln Continental 4x4
So, your ungiftable likes short, twisty races, but prefers to do it in the dirt? Do they not care about winning at all, but really just want something ludicrous and silly?
I present to you the best possible gift for the person who really has everything: a lifted Lincoln Continental 4x4.
Guaranteed to be the most hilarious thing you could possibly take to an off-road race, this features 37" Humvee tires and is mounted atop the chassis of a 1979 Ford F250.
Need a tow vehicle? Here's one with a whole lot of extra class...and a dump bed for good measure. Just look at that rear bench seat and those long, classic lines.
The 460 cubic inch engine will tow whatever tiny race car you want to throw behind it.
Or just race the Conti. That's a good option, too.
$54,900 - 1990 Shelby Can-Am
Can-Am was one of the rowdiest series around, and the SCCA briefly revived the name for a slightly less rowdy pro spec series in the early nineties. These Shelby Can-Am cars were powered by Dodge V6 engines and featured identical Can-Am-style bodywork.
While the Shelby Can-Am series was discontinued after only six years, these cars are still out there, eligible to run with certain vintage groups. Most of these went to start a new series in South Africa, but here's one for sale in the United States.
This rare Shelby Dodge racer would make the perfect gift for the Mopar fan who's already got enough Hellcats and Vipers to hoon.
$349,900 - 1988 Benetton B188
Is that special ungiftable looking for Project Car Hell? How about Formula One Project Car Hell?
The listing does not say whether the car runs right now or not, so it could be a safe bet to assume based on the price and lack of information that it's a cool car kept around for show.
But wait! That's a travesty. This is a car Alessandro Nannini scored two third place finishes in at the British and Spanish Grands Prix in, and also the car that set the fastest wet lap for the German Grand Prix that year.
The Ford DFR 3.5L V8 was the most powerful non-turbo engine for the 1988 season, pumping out 620 hp. It's begging to be raced again.
Of course, getting it back in working condition will be a beast, given the number of bespoke parts that go onto a Formula One car. To the right racing nut, however, this is the perfect opportunity.
This car is located in Japan, but the seller guarantees that all shipping and customs clearance costs are included in the price.
So, there you have it: eight solid options for an ungiftable who wouldn't mind the whole cheesy giant-bow-on-a-car spiel. It's a giant bow on a race car! You can't go wrong.
[Edit: I'd originally said that the F1 car won the Japanese Grand Prix, but that was Nannini in the B189, not the B188.]
All photos belong to their respective "for sale" listings.