Few things are as cool to car enthusiasts than real-life race cars, specifically those from prominent leagues like Formula One, W.E.C., I.M.S.A., and so on. These highly advanced cars spend a season (or more, depending on the sport) being driven to the limit in an effort to win! However, all good things must come to an end.
Similar to normal road-going cars, race cars also have a time-limit, if you will. The difference, though, is that a normal vehicle can last decades, while racers barely make it through a season in one piece. Yet, every so often, race cars survive their time on-track, but that begs the question: “What happens to race cars that are out of competition?”
The answer is not a simple, one-word solution, rather, a set of many alternate possibilities depending on the scenario. With that in mind, here’s what we about race cars and their fate after retirement…
Exhausting Its Usefulness
Disappointingly enough, not every retired race car has a “happy ending.” In actuality, (to many of the teams) the car had exhausted its usefulness the minute it stopped competing. The route of selling it for extra funds/parting it out, for some reason or another, isn’t always an option, so what’s the next choice? Destroy it.
Yes, it’s very sad, especially for those of us who couldn’t imagine driving such a vehicle, let alone causing that much damage to it. Nevertheless, when you’re a multi-billion dollar sports car manufacturer, the idea of scrapping a few millions is, virtually, nothing.
To see this happen firsthand, here’s a popular video of an old Dodge 318 Dart being scrapped by its driver to use for parts. However, few will do this in F1 or IndyCar.
“It Belongs In A Museum!”
As funny as this Indiana Jones quote may be, it’s very relevant to millions of enthusiasts that believe museums are the de-facto resting place for old race cars. It’s hard to argue with that, too, since these machines are the definition of ‘artwork.’ Like the Mona Lisa, these championship-winning deserve to be put on a pedestal.
In fact, thousands of museums have been opened worldwide for that exact purpose. Sometimes they’re founded by individuals and well-off enthusiasts, while a minority come from the manufacturers themselves. One of our favorite privately owned museums is in Los Angeles, California; known as the Petersen Automotive Museum. Every so often, the cars are cycled out for newer ones, but the legendary status of each slot never changes.
As far as manufacturer-built museums, almost all of the popular racing teams/carmakers have their respective showrooms. Companies like Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz have wild examples (see Ferrari World and Mercedes’ Stuttgart building for more), whilst the lower-budget teams stick to the simple stuff.
Best Offer Gets It
Last, but by no means least, is the one that a lot of normal drivers hope for: a private sale. As stated in the first entry, not all race cars are worth being sold. However, that doesn’t mean that NONE of them do…
Like you and me, rich car enthusiasts also want the chance to own a race car of their own. Not just one that’s a consumer car, but a track-only beast. Needless to say, there’s a large market for that. Retired race cars are sold like stocks from year to year; going from owner to owner. TheStradman (a prominent YouTuber) displayed this recently when he got a Ferrari F430 Challenge, later converting it to fit the rules of the road.
The moral of the story is that, regardless of whether you’re a pro or not, you too can get behind the wheel of some of the world’s coolest racers! That is, though, if you can afford it.
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