Monday, 11 March 2019



I am often asked to advise on the purchase of cars suitable for historic racing. Many inquiries come from enthusiasts who want to get a start in historic racing but find the marketplace to be a minefield of opposing criteria as to what car is eligible for which event or race series. My main advice to these inquiries is to do your homework before parting with your cash! But getting a good staring point is often the $64,000 question! Looking for cars certified by race organisations such as the FIA, HRDC, HSCC etc automatically gives the prospective purchaser and insight as to the versatility of any one car. Do note that some cars, such as single-seaters, have a very limited and specialised application. When starting out, a good point to consider is the versatility of the car in question. Is it road legal? Is it just a circuit racer or can I Sprint or Hillclimb it as well? Could I use it in European events? One might never find a car than satisfies all criteria but the more versatile the car, the better the options are for those starting out in historic motor sport. 

Here I have picked out a few adverts for cars that I consider warrant looking at. Not all will suit everyone but I trust that these selections of mine with give a better perspective to those enthusiasts who want to get a start in historic racing and get a better understanding of what to look for.

These Lancia Fulvia Berlinas are relatively unknown as competition cars and wholly underrated when compared when compared to their sleek Lancia Fulvia Coupe siblings. Thus these Berlinas do not carry the price tags commanded by the Coupes and offer tremendous value by comparison.
This car has a great provenance, having won a Hillclimb Championship in 2018. Converting it to a circuit racer would be straightforward and from an HRDC angle ( it would sit well in the 'TC63' class structure of HRDC 'Touring Greats' and HRDC 'Coys Trophy' plus being eligible for HRDC 'Allstars' too. Whilst it may not repeat its event-winning form within the framework of the HRDC, it would certainly not disgrace itself and would make a welcome and most interesting addition to the HRDC grids. 
At an asking price of £13,950, this worthy Lancia offers a good footing on the ladder of 'proper' historic racing.

Whilst these Berlina versions of the Lancia Fulvia range are considered to be relatively rare, here is another proven example that is currently on the market. Recently updated with new safety equipment, this now U.K domiciled Italian competition car carries older FIA historic documentation, which may prove to be an asset in opening up entry to a wider range of historic events if updated and renewed under the new FIA HTP (Historic Technical Passport) system. Taking the trouble to do this sometimes laborious process can really pay dividends to the wise purchaser who can invest the time in doing so.
With the vendor having reduced the price of this little Lancia to £11,950, one cannot help thinking that this interesting competition car surely merits closer investigation.


Now here is what I would call a 'sleeper'. This car has been posted for sale a couple of times and remained unsold. Why? Well it's because the presentation of the car is not telling the prospective buyer quite what it is. The detail finish is not what is usually associated with that which is favoured by most historic racers: Firstly the advertising needs to be removed as most historic race series' regulations do not allow commercial advertising on historic cars. Then there is the issue of various chrome detail fittings having been deleted in the build of this racer, contrary to normal historic practice, which advocates such detail to be retained on this genre of race car. The lack of bumpers (often a requirement of pre-'60 race series regulations) also detracts from the accepted overall presentation of such cars.

All these aspects and a lack of interior trim (also a general requirement of period regulations)  send out a negative vibe to prospective purchasers. But here is my point: If one can see past these omissions, reading through the mechanical description of this Wolseley 1500 there looks to be a very sound basis of a good historic race car here. Indeed, if one can negotiate a fair price that gives room for representing this car in a proper period manner, then there is a great deal to be had here. A little vision will go a long, long way with this particular historic racer. A car well worth consideration.


Here we have another worthy historic race car that is surprisingly proving hard to shift for the dealer offering the car. Armed with current FIA HTP papers, which are valid through to 2026, this is a well presented historic race car that would be just at home on a race track or on an International road event such as the 'Tour Auto'. Maybe the car being right hand drive puts European buyers off despite the fact that RHD is a generally regarded optimum driving position for clockwise race circuits.

Driver's seating position aside, this is a car worthy of closer attention. Simply as a road-going Jaguar Mk.2, this example looks to be in great shape and, for that, already establishes a strong market value. Add the subtle race preparation, excellent period-correct presentation of  this car and one wonders why this car has not been snapped up before now?

The fact that the car resides in Sweden should not deter a buyer. Transportation is easily sorted as I have found through buying many cars from the Scandinavian countries. I know the dealers involved and their reputation and product knowledge is excellent. Here is a typical example of a car not selling through a misplaced perception that there are too many hurdles to overcome in obtaining the car. An astute buyer could easily build up a good dialogue with the vendors and through such transparency, I predict that a sensible deal for a great example of this genre of competition car would be easily achieved. Well worth an exploratory phone call.