What is a vintage car?

Bro_Gill

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Since some folks don't seem to want to run vintage cars in vintage classes, let's talk about it. Should old cars (really old cars) be left as old cars to be run as vintage cars?
 

TRAVISD

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That is a tricky question. If you have a "vintage" chassis but the car has been updated throughout the years to today's standards, is it still "vintage"

What do you call a guy with a 57 Chevy with a LS engine? Is it still a "vintage" car?

My truck for instance is the same as it was in 1988. Original shocks, wheels, transmission, etc. I think it is vintage.
 

ACME

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It's up to the owner.

Take a 69 Chevelle: Do you want a frame off stocker, Restomod, Pro-touring or a Gasser?

IMO If you have an old Raceco and want to update it it's your call. To me if the car has history that is important to the sport and/or owner I'd prefer to see it kept as OG as possible within reason. Example: If the lower beam tube is hammered why not graft in a larger diameter arm? Or if a torsion housing is thrashed and the car was C/O with spring plates: Why not update it to a pivot and make an OG looking bushing arm if you want to be period. If you have a Hewland that costs a fortune to keep alive these days: why not update it if you're going to drive/race it?

A great example is the Richardson class 9. It's kept it's history but if a; larger class 9 legal shock is on it, Intermediate bars replaced the OG short bars, the OG Wright rack is pitched for a Magnum and newer better seats and comms are in it to me it's still that car...

If it's a driver and not a glass slipper, why not make it last. But then I prefer to let people make their own decisions.
 

Dirty Harry

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Its up to the owner what they do with their car, but it isn't up to them whether it is "vintage" or not. I love Pro Touring cars but I don't consider them to be vintage at all. To me, vintage is synonymous with original. If you put an LS engine in your 70s race truck or bypass shocks on your Chenowth, it is no longer vintage in my opinion.

I think that what Walker did to his Dodge (linking the rear and replacing the bed with glass bedsides) in order to win a plastic trophy at the Mexican 1000 is a travesty. If you are going to do that just start with a new truck, don't erase a piece of history.
 

Bro_Gill

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There is a difference between changing a Wright rack to a German Auto rack and short bars to intermediate bars as both were available to use in the build when Richardson's car was built new. But what if he put in Howe power steering, changed the rear to IRS, lengthened the car 15 inches and put a 6" wider front end on it? Still a vintage 9 car? Kind of like the BelRay bullet. The first time Bud and Malcolm decided to run it at NORRA, the updated to a wider beam with taller shock towers, fox shocks, etc... The next year, Bud turned the car back into the car as it was raced in 1977, even using the original Bilstein shocks, the modified link pin front beam, etc... As it was raced and now a true vintage race car. This issue has come up a few times over the years at NORRA. The A-armed V8 powered 'vintage' Baja Bug racer? Yeah, people can make their own decisions, I have -ZERO- problem with that. But at some point, someone is gonna have to say it isn't vintage any more.
 

TRAVISD

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And this is where a fine tuning of the rules needs to come into play. It can still be a "vintage" car but not raced in a "vintage" class.

In my opinion, if you are racing it in a "vintage" class of a said year range then the parts on your car should be from that time period as well.
 

Gary Plagman

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Question: Who hear would race on a 40 year old Tires,like Firestone Parnelli 1000 from 1977.

Can you find That old tire ? but this is a Vintage Racer.

And Yes I would run on those tires.
 

Bro_Gill

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Many tires and some very close to those time periods are still available. BFG had ATs back in the early period. Yeah, it's updated a bit, but still an AT. The Mickey Thompson tires are very close match to the Sand Blasters/Gates Sand Command/Cepek Baja Racers. I don't thin it's tires as much as shocks, transmissions, suspensions, etc... If a car has 2.0 Foxes or Bilsteins, run new ones. If a car has 16 Rough Countries, run 16 take your pick of newer 2.0 shocks. I think that is the point. If a car had 2.0 Foxes, but you change it out to 2.5 bypass and coilover, you just made it not a vintage car so much anymore.
 

Gary Plagman

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Many tires and some very close to those time periods Yes Date Code on tires. and DIA not over 32". Shock no over 10" for 1980
X - Tire.jpg
DSCF3197.JPG
 

Rory

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Believe it or not, I love Martins passion for vintage. You would be hard pressed to find anyone more of a purist about vintage buggies or trucks then Martin. With that comes his absolute hatred of anyone changing old school stuff to new school stuff. Martin and i have talked on many occasions and for some reason he never seems to offend me about his way of thinking because I already know how he feels about it. Now, do I think Martin needs to work on his tact a little??? Yes. Do I think Martin cares about his tact? No. Hahahahaa.

Funco 279 2.jpg

Photo credit Gary Prichard

How I think Martin thinks about Vintage: He is a purist when it comes to off road racing and he has been around since the early days and can tell you the difference between an early Hi-Jumper and a Funco....both of which look identical. I think that when Martin hears "Vintage" he has the mind set of those guys that race in Monterey in old Cobra's, Porsche's and Ferrari's. Those cars are as close as you can get to original, even the nuts and bolts are sourced out to be era correct. If you have updated anything that is not for safety your vehicle is looked down upon.





Vintage racing for off road racing at in its infancy. Right now there are not enough TRUE vintage race cars to have a TRUE vintage only race. NORRA is trying to change that but it's a very fine line on how to go about making 40 years of racing technology work for everybody to make it fair. No one wants to lose and I have heard some people say that NORRA is not a real race. To those people I say that, you are not a true competitor if you can line up and don't really care if you beat the guy sitting next to you.....IMHO.

I think one of the reasons this thread was started was because of Matt Parks Raceco he is restoring/rebuilding. I have talked with Matt about his Raceco and think it is a great build. He is trying to keep it somewhat old school but has taken the liberty on making it cheaper to build and maintain along with making it more comfortable. Does it fall in the lines of vintage? Well, how the rules are written for NORRA, yes. In a purist mindset, no. There is nothing wrong with what Matt is doing as he is trying to build a car to go race NORRA in the vintage class...


photo credit Matt Parks.

Why do I think this bothers Martin? In a small sense it bothers me too but I'm not as vocal about it. Once you start cutting up an old race car it is not an old race car anymore......kinda like you can only be a virgin once. I think Matts car had already been altered a little and the front beam was going to have to be replaced. But think of all those old cars that were 100% original and someone started cutting it up to update shock mounts, coilovers and gawd knows what else. Those cars are now lost to us because trying to put them back to original would cost more than its worth.

What if you find an old race car but that's all it is, an old race car with little to no real history? Good question. I don't have the answer to that. I pissed off more than a few people with the DirTrix race car because it was Mark Lundell's (RIP) old class 2 car....



I kept it original from when he sold it to some guys back east but since it wasn't an old Walker Evans, Parnelli Jones or Mark McMillin car I wanted to put my personal touch to it. Soooo, I decided to paint the car the way I think it would look if I owned it back in the mid to late 80's......

DSC_0203 (640x426).jpg


To each his own.

Until Vintage racing in the desert starts to come into it's own, this argument will continue. Auto racing has been around for over 100 years but Off Road racing started 50 years ago so we have some catching up to do. I think Martin is just trying to get people to look ahead a little before they take the sawzall to these old race cars.... although a little tact can go a long way. Love ya Martin!
 
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bajatime

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Way to say it Rory. How can you go back on a car that already has been hacked. My car is far from original, but I bought it that way. I'll race in what ever class it fits into. I think Norra has made a class that fits most cars even the one's that have been hacked. The objective here is to have fun in whatever you build. We don't make money doing this so love it or quit.
 

TROPHYSEDAN

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Good Post.
When i did the Water Boy Jeep i tried to stay the way it was raced in the 80s. the only thing i changed was the Shocks. I walking around the swap meet looking at 30 year old shocks while there are By Passes next to them. yes they thought i was nuts. becouse i couldnt find kits for my Ranchos. that and a GPS
im with Martin. Vintage is old school cars. every time i look at the 57 i see a Green or orange car on BFG tires. long live off road racing
im looking for a 70s CJ to build next Giddy Up Go
 

LantanaTX

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For us, vintage is to be as accurate as possible. We tried to trace the history of our car but only got as far as knowing it was built by the Arris's. Since we had the iconic Bel-Ray Bullet in the shop we decided on a museum quality replica of the Bel-Ray before it became the Bel-Ray Bullet, when it was the ISS Bicentennial car in 1976. We even have the 40 year old shocks on the car. The only difference was adding a quick release to the steering wheel. After racing our first NORRA with it we added a pumper since open face helmets are frowned upon.




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tapeworm

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"Bro_gill" isn't even a bro. He's an old retired fireman that hijacked my account years ago. Yes, he is upset that old cars are getting cut up, but I also think he is upset that people are building these old cars to these new NORRA rules and calling them vintage. It's not so much that new nuts and bolts are being used, but that these new nuts and bolts are being used and people are still calling it vintage.

Replacing the beam isn't a big deal, but upgrading it to today's standard and still calling it vintage isn't in the spirit of vintage racing.

Anyways, some really cool stuff being done to this car and it's neat to see and I hope you have fun with it at the end.
 

ACME

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There is a difference between changing a Wright rack to a German Auto rack and short bars to intermediate bars as both were available to use in the build when Richardson's car was built new. But what if he put in Howe power steering, changed the rear to IRS, lengthened the car 15 inches and put a 6" wider front end on it? Still a vintage 9 car?.

No because a 9 car cannot have PS, be more than a 100" WB, be 6" wider or have IRS... Also older cars were built pre Magnum racks.

I get both sides of the debate Bro but again; IMHO if there is no real iconic history to a vehicle, personally I don't think there is an issue with anyone changing a car to their preference.

Using the Vintage mentality then all vintage 5-16's should not have PS and 99% of all the vintage cars should not have 1 heim on them most, should have drum brakes and no class 11 should have a longer than stock rear shock and it should mount in the stock location.

Not starting a battle but see both sides of the coin
 

Gary Plagman

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How would you class 1 and 2 cars form the 1970 to 1980 as vintage cars.

These cars are custom non production cars so how can they be a vintage car?

PJ Bronco & MT Truck chalanger?
 

LantanaTX

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How would you class 1 and 2 cars form the 1970 to 1980 as vintage cars.

These cars are custom non production cars so how can they be a vintage car?

PJ Bronco & MT Truck chalanger?

I am not sure I follow your thinking, but anything that raced in the '70's is vintage. The real question is how much can you upgrade and still be vintage. The fairly loose rules are determining that now.


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Bro_Gill

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No because a 9 car cannot have PS, be more than a 100" WB, be 6" wider or have IRS... Also older cars were built pre Magnum racks.

I get both sides of the debate Bro but again; IMHO if there is no real iconic history to a vehicle, personally I don't think there is an issue with anyone changing a car to their preference.

Using the Vintage mentality then all vintage 5-16's should not have PS and 99% of all the vintage cars should not have 1 heim on them most, should have drum brakes and no class 11 should have a longer than stock rear shock and it should mount in the stock location.

Not starting a battle but see both sides of the coin
But that is the point. So if someone finds an old race car, say a true class 3 Bronco from the 1970s/80s with 3 Gabriel Rough Riders on the front and 3 on the back of each corner with straight axles, etc... and decides to 'update' it, would you still consider it vintage with widened TTb beams, coilover and bypass shocks, linked rear end and a wheelbase stretched because they use a latter model TTB chassis under the old body that was widened and stretched to also fit the new wider longer wheelbase? There are NOT a lot of ld race cars out there. It was the type of sport we run that creates this issue. To find an old one and save it, regardless of the history, should be somewhat important to someone. Case in point. My step father-in-law had the last Shelby King Cobra. When he got it, it was in pieces with no real race history as it was purchased and used as a parts car by the Shelby Team to keep their other King Cobras racing when that was their job. The other cars were all destroyed racing over the years. He bought this one to be his school car when he was racing TransAm in the GTO class and thought it would be a good ride for classes. Fast forward and old race cars become high dollar 'investments'. When he had the car, he removed the aluminum ($$$) body and had a 917 body splashed and put on the car as a cheaper and easier to fix alternative for school use. Now with the increase in value, it became important to verify the car's past, get signatures from Carroll Shelby, and return to the car to what it was like back when they were raced. He did all of that. Not because the car was driven by Dan Gurney or won at Laguna Seca, but because it was an old race car that there aren't many of and it points to the roots of where we are today.

I have been buying up Phoenix Factory shocks, have some Wright stock style race spindles, and Wright Rack and pinion, etc... to be used on one of the 2 old race car chassis I have squirreled away or maybe I will go out and buy that old funco SS2 sitting in the dez waiting to be rescued. But I will build an old school race car, not updated as that is what they raced back when the guys who were my heroes were winning in Baja and the desert southwest.
 

LantanaTX

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But that is the point. So if someone finds an old race car, say a true class 3 Bronco from the 1970s/80s with 3 Gabriel Rough Riders on the front and 3 on the back of each corner with straight axles, etc... and decides to 'update' it, would you still consider it vintage with widened TTb beams, coilover and bypass shocks, linked rear end and a wheelbase stretched because they use a latter model TTB chassis under the old body that was widened and stretched to also fit the new wider longer wheelbase? There are NOT a lot of ld race cars out there. It was the type of sport we run that creates this issue. To find an old one and save it, regardless of the history, should be somewhat important to someone. Case in point. My step father-in-law had the last Shelby King Cobra. When he got it, it was in pieces with no real race history as it was purchased and used as a parts car by the Shelby Team to keep their other King Cobras racing when that was their job. The other cars were all destroyed racing over the years. He bought this one to be his school car when he was racing TransAm in the GTO class and thought it would be a good ride for classes. Fast forward and old race cars become high dollar 'investments'. When he had the car, he removed the aluminum ($$$) body and had a 917 body splashed and put on the car as a cheaper and easier to fix alternative for school use. Now with the increase in value, it became important to verify the car's past, get signatures from Carroll Shelby, and return to the car to what it was like back when they were raced. He did all of that. Not because the car was driven by Dan Gurney or won at Laguna Seca, but because it was an old race car that there aren't many of and it points to the roots of where we are today.

I have been buying up Phoenix Factory shocks, have some Wright stock style race spindles, and Wright Rack and pinion, etc... to be used on one of the 2 old race car chassis I have squirreled away or maybe I will go out and buy that old funco SS2 sitting in the dez waiting to be rescued. But I will build an old school race car, not updated as that is what they raced back when the guys who were my heroes were winning in Baja and the desert southwest.

Wow, I didn't know a King Cobra still existed! As far as your Bronco example, if you go to the NORRA site and click on 2017 entries, most early Bronco's that have not been updated are entered in the Legend Era. There are other Early Bronco's entered but they are in later era's that match the updated technology they may have. Some of the updated Bronco guys would like all the Bronco's to race together but NORRA won't allow it. If you update your Bronco you will not be racing with era correct ones. So to answer your question, an updated Bronco is not vintage when Bronco's owned Baja, but may now be a later vintage depending on updates. Race organizers added classes so that cheap old race cars could be updated and raced. I think this is why so few old time capsules can be found. If you really want to know how bad a$$ the pioneers of our sport were, race an old car as raced back in the day. You will have a whole new respect for they guys who started our sport. I have a whole new respect for Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp.


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burro8

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True Vintage. 1968 racing Burro buggies.
 

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