You did an excellent job building the Le Baron from scratch and racing it for very little money. You and Speedy Cop are two of the most ambitious Lemons builders. You have my respect for that.
The two of you have probably built and fielded the most cars in Lemons too.
This all started out with this:
Alternative title: Raw nerve ointment, please.
Alternative, alternative title: Show me how you built your $500 crapcan with your checkbook.
Please give me a spreadsheet of a $5000 build of a Lemons-legal $500 car that cannot be done more cheaply and with still a reasonably equivalent level of safety.
Many people posted $500 LeMons-legal cars with approximately $5000 build costs.
The time and money spent to build these cars plus the $1300 minimum entry fee makes an expensive toy.
I've raced the Z about 25 times in Lemons over 10 years. You've probably built and raced twice as many cars in that time. We represent opposite sides of the racing spectrum. The Le Baron was a once and done short-term approach. If I were doing that it I'd go about it like you. I represent a long-term approach: build it right/well once, run it a long time and it will cost less.
We built the Z with the intention of multiple races like many other people do and it's where you get a $5000-$500 car. We could have saved money in the short term but sometimes those savings cost you more in the long run. That happened with the second Z. Both the Z's are still racing today!
Aside from wanting a long life span out of the car. We built the car to race it. We'd like to win but the point here is we can wrench in the garage for free! We spend tons of time preparing for races but not much on parts. When race weekend comes we want to get as many laps out of our entry fee dollars as we can.
The Le Baron was 150% more per lap than the Z.
Add in the purchase, build, and transport costs...
We have raced the Z 25 times or so in Lemons over the past 10 years. That averages the $5000 build-cost down to $200 per/race.
Transportation costs do not seem relevant to the build cost to me. It would cost about the same to transport any car. It's part of our overall budget which is an expense we chose to take when we decide to go to a race. It's cheaper for us to tow 700+miles to Barber or Road Atlanta than pay the high entry fees to race at Circuit of the Americas 130 miles away.
While MSR 2017 was WAY more expensive than normal, Barber 2018 was cheaper than normal since the repairs were pretty cheap and we raced on old tires:
Here was our Barber Pre-Race Budget:
Entry Fee: $1300
Duct Tape and Bailing Wire: $200 (car repairs and maintenance)
If you take out the Entry Fee and Transportation cost, we were on track for $200.
After entry fees, our biggest expense is tires. Today's 200 treadwear tires don't have the life span of the tires 8 years ago. We could race on cheaper tires but we do like to go fast too.
Over the long haul the car is pretty economical to race, even in A-Class.
1973 Datsun 240Z