I've got an old Volvo 240 wagon that's beat to heck and back, used to DD it when I was in highschool and early college.
Scrap Value is ~$180, I've had it on craigslist for $400, and I've told myself I'd take $200.
If I were to use it as a starting point for a Lemons build, what can I use as my base car cost?
I'd start selling parts off the car and document that.
However much you sell off the car, that's what i would personally claim the value of the car to be => thereby netting you a starting cost of $0.
If you showed you sold off a ton of parts off the car and "get it", I doubt you will be scrutinized much if at all. If you sold the air freshener to your wife for $500, you clearly didn't get the spirit.
Honestly, if you get laps for a Volvo 240 wagon (which I highly doubt), enjoy your race and ask for a residual afterwards.
Of course, if this Volvo already has a 5.0 or an upgraded turbo swapped in, a trick suspension and a shitty theme, expect to be sweated.
Myopic Motorsport's #888 Bosozoku Texino Thunderbird (1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing)