The first thing you need to know are the rules of the particular enduro event you are going to enter. Here in the Central Vermont area you will find two types of enduros.
8 Cylinder enduro races are as rare as the “old boats” you would want to run in one. My old 1979 Ford Thunderbird was one of the best cars I have ever driven in a race.
The 4 and 6 Cylinder enduros are more common. Little cars can be found all over. I drove a 1997 Ford Escort Wagon last year.
The 3 things you must look at when choosing your enduro car.
1) Price. You don’t want to spend a lot. The car more than likely will be heavily damaged over the 200 laps of a typical enduro. I paid $50 for that little Escort wagon.
2) Solid Car. Not only do you not want to spend a lot on a car you know is going to get wrecked, you want to find the most solid car for your money. Driving a rusted junk in an enduro race is begging for disaster. I will use an example from one of my earlier races…
It’s 1994 and I’m driving a 1979 Buick LeSabre in the annual Enduro 200 at Thunder Road. It’s only about 100 laps into it and I get caught in a big pile-up. Some yahoo that was looking somewhere else plowed into my car and my trunk lid popped open.
Once the wreck got sorted out and the survivors got rolling again, I noticed that I was being black flagged.
“Why the heck are they black flagging me for? A popped up trunk lid should not be a problem in an enduro, right?”
I chose to ignore the black flag for a couple of laps. The flagmen got pretty frantic and were leaning out over the cars trying to get my attention.
” They really want me to pit. I better go get that trunk lid strapped down”.
When I pulled into the pits, my crew guys told me to shut the car down.
“What? Strap that lid down and let me get back out there’.
“There’s nothing to strap it to!”
My car had completely disintegrated from the rear wheel wells back. One frame rail was bent 90 degrees and sticking out straight.
The gas tank had been dragging on the track. That’s why those flagmen had been so frantic.
The moral of the story. Please choose a solid car for your enduro racer.
3) How much will you have to invest to get your racer race ready? If you’re starting from scratch, it’s going to cost you about $500 to turn a street car into an enduro racer. That’s materials. If you’re paying someone to work on your racer, plan on a lot more.
How well does the car run? Choose a car that runs well and will take very little mechanical work to get race ready.
Enduro racing can be a lot of fun if you build a strong car that can survive the chaos of this type of racing. To build a strong car, you have to start with one and that’s what this article was all about.