Before you go out and spend your hard-earned money on a rally car, talk to the club members who are involved in rallying and ask them their advice. If they’re competitors themselves, they’ll often know the traps to avoid, and the tricks for building a competitive car, and even what car to choose.
While the sight of World Rally Cars flying through the air at supersonic speeds might set your blood on fire, just remember that to purchase one of these will cost you well over $1 million – and that’s not including the running costs for a season!
Not everyone has the ability or the skill to be a world class rally driver, so you’d be well advised to look at what other club members like yourself are driving.
An early Datsun 1600 or Stanza, a Ford Escort, Mazda, Suzuki, Corolla, Ford Fiesta or Hyundai Excel are all good “toe-in-the-water” options to help you launch your rally career.
World-beating they’re not, but they’re often cheap to run and not too expensive to fix if you should happen to crash (as you will at some stage!).
A classic Escort or Datsun might be your entry into rallying, or perhaps something more modern.
Once you’ve got the hang of rallying and feel you’d like to move up the ladder a bit, you can then think about a more suitable and quicker car.
Of course almost any car can be a satisfying rally car – it just depends on the level of commitment you have to offer, or the type of car you’re particularly interested in.
An important decision to make at this point is whether you want to build your own rally car or buy one that has already been built by someone else.
This latter option can sometimes work out a lot cheaper and with a lot less hassle, because somebody else has already done all the hard work, often bought and fitted the right bits, and set the car up properly for rallying, before losing interest, upgrading to something faster, or simply having run out of money.
Building a rally car from scratch can be expensive, so you may choose to buy one already built.
Front, rear or four-wheel drive? The possibilities are endless when choosing a rally car.