Amateur racing is a niche hobby. It requires a lot of money, but perhaps most importantly, it requires a car. Poking around on the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) website shows several different classes anyone can join. SCCA-participating cars are grouped according to type and modifications.
Open-wheel formula cars can participate in their own class as well, and that’s where F1 Authentic comes in. F1 Authentic is Formula 1’s official store for authentic merchandise. It sells signed memorabilia including photographs and helmets, it sells steering wheels, and even fully functional race cars.
What kinds of F1 cars are for sale right now?
Most of F1 Authentic’s current inventory is composed of show cars. These are non-functioning race cars that showcase the livery they had when they were raced, on the original chassis. The engine is not included in these show cars. Mika Hakkinen’s 1999 championship-winning show car is for sale as a rolling chassis, as well as the Racing Point from 2019. The Racing Point show car depicts Sergio Perez’s livery.
F1 Authentics also has the Benetton from 1998 for sale as a fully functioning race car. F1 Authentics carries out inspections on the cars when they come in for sale. This particular Benetton underwent an engine overhaul, and the carbon fiber suspension was replaced with new steel, although the original carbon suspension will come with the car. It also features a rebuilt gearbox, and new wheel bearings.
Do not worry if the F1 car you want isn’t there
F1 Authentics might show slim pickings for running race cars, but it stipulates that many of the cars it has aren’t displayed on the website. You can contact F1 Authentics to find out what else it has for sale. Although prices aren’t listed, you can bet it won’t be cheap. Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco Grand Prix winning McLaren Ford sold from Bonhams in 2018 for just under $5 million. Granted, that is a famous car, so the Benetton that’s for sale on F1 Authentics may not reach that price.
How difficult is it to find an F1 car for sale?
F1 cars aren’t actually that difficult to find for sale. Depending on who drove it, whether or not it won a race, or a particularly famous race, the price could be quite low. Michael Schumacher’s F2004 could fetch a mountain of cash, whereas his teammate Eddie Irvine’s Ferrari would go for a lot less. A vintage F1 car’s price comes down to the engine, and if whether or not it’s complete, as it’s the most expensive part of the car.
How affordable is it to drive an F1 car?
The answer to this question is “not very”, depending on how much money you have. An F1 car with its actual engine needs constant rebuilds and attention. F1 Authentics states that the Benetton needs a new set of gears every 300 miles of racing. The wheel bearings need to be replaced every 1,000 miles, and the engine only has between 1,500-2,000 miles left.
It’s horrifically expensive not just to buy, but to maintain, and it requires a lot of expertise. When something costs this much, it’s probably a good idea to factor in a crew to make sure the car doesn’t cost anything more.