With great anticipation I am preparing for a trip to Cuba, to follow in the footsteps of one of my idols, Ernest Hemingway. Prior to a week of self-indulgence of big-game tarpon fishing, I will be spending time at Hemingway’s Havana villa, Finca La Vigia. Part of my excitement is the anticipation of seeing all the old-school 50s cars that are still a common site in Cuba. There are an estimated 60,000 pre-1959 American cars still being driven daily on Cuban streets. Talk about a time warp!
It wasn’t until my tour guide asked if I would be using regular taxis or if I would prefer reserving a one of the awesome 50s cars for my tour of Havana. That’s when I began realizing how many choices there were and decided it was time to up the ante. Why not take the next step and go big? Coincidentally, this is the very same conundrum racers face every year.
It’s all too easy to race season after season in the same old class, never moving up, which can eventually lead to burning out on a passion you already know you love. It’s kind of strange when you start thinking about it. When we get started, it’s always in a beginner’s class. Then we move up the ladder from group to group as we continue to feel better about our ability to control a car and go faster. But for some strange reason this is where it seems to stop for many. But why stop here?
Don’t get me wrong, spec classes are loads of fun and the competition is always there. But why not continue getting better by starting to consider the next rung of the ladder, and possibilities that are waiting?
Some racers believe since they already have a car, why start paying for another one? Wouldn’t it be a lot more rewarding to move up to a faster ride, and in doing so, continue moving up that ladder like you dreamed about when you first started? This would allow the adventure to continue.
There are so many choices waiting for drivers and the truth is, when done properly, it doesn’t cost much more than what you’re doing right now. It’s also important to realize you don’t have to commit to buying a new car. Ever consider arrive-and-drive? This is a great way to experience other classes of cars and get lots of feedback from those who have a great wealth of knowledge about them. Just close your eyes and feel yourself driving NASA’s NP01. These cars are extremely fast, fun to drive and probably one of the most affordable forms of racecars to be found, and yes, they are available to rent.
There are many other classes as well within NASA’s ranks and many times other drivers wanting to move up the ladder want to sell their racecars to offset the cost of buying a new car. Any racer worth his or her salt will tell you buying a car that’s already been tested and proven is less costly than building a new one.
My experience has proven, the best way to buy a car is to get prepared first. The best way to do that is decide which class you’re considering, then look around those particular groups. Many times, simply by inquiring with a few drivers if they know of any cars for sale in their class, you will find an attractive offer. The next move would be to let a few drivers within your own class know that you are considering selling your car to offset a move up. All too many times you’ll find yourself doing exactly what NASA makes possible: moving up to a faster class, all without costing an arm and a leg.