Grassroots Motorsports is the devil. Hold on, wait a minute. Let me back up just a bit and start over. A few months ago yellowcar (Toby) and I went to Fredericksburg, VA to pick up a free parts car. Someone was offering up a 1988 BMW 635CSi for free, first come, first serve. All one needed to do was bring a truck, trailer, and their own set of wheels to haul the thing away. You see, the car belonged to this guy's kid, and together they'd dumped thousands of dollars into maintaining it since the kid bought it in 2000. But the kid graduated from college, got a better job, and no longer needed the car. Tin worm got the best of it and when the automatic transmission finally kicked the bucket they decided that enough was enough and decided to park it next to the house under a pine tree. It sat for about 2 years as the dad slowly pulled parts off the car to sell on eBay in an attempt to recoup some of his losses. Finally, mom was sick and tired of seeing the ugly shell in the driveway and demanded dad get rid of it ASAP. I e-mailed the dad and he said that someone else had already called first dibs. Okay, fine. I told him to let me know if the deal fell through as I was still interested. Sure enough, two weeks later, the guy called me back and asked me when I could pick it up. Toby kindly offered to help me out and we went down there one Saturday morning to take a look at it. Sorry for the crap pics. The car was pretty much picked clean. Gone was the interior, radiator, alternator, power steering pump, hydraulic brake accumulator, throttle body, AFM, airbox, various electronic relays and control modules, ABS pump, front and rear bumpers, lights, etc. However, the car reportedly had a strong running 3.5L motor which would be great to have as a spare for my black 1984 BMW 633CSi. It also had some newer suspension components but they were stock and therefore of little value. The car had been converted from hydraulic self-leveling rear suspension to standard coil spring and damper arrangement. However, the car did have good glass, the front end and hood was clean, as were the doors. The delicate aluminum windshield trim alone made the entire effort worthwhile as it's no longer available new and used examples are expensive. Once I got the car home I cleaned it up a bit and took a closer look at what I had. The front fenders are trash and there is significant rust to the rear wheel arches. They all do that. In fact, my black 633CSi is going to Classic Chris' Restorations (run by our very own Joe MacInnes) for this exact same repair in a few months as soon as shop space opens up. I found some more rust in the sills and around the tail lights but it wasn't significantly worse than my black rust bucket that I've been driving around for the past 2 years. However, I don't really need two rust buckets and it looked like this parts car was indeed destined for the scrap heap after I finished pulling the motor, hood, doors, and glass. The other POS, my 1984 633CSi But then laziness set in. It was winter, the weather was cold, the days were short, and I had very little desire to go outside and work in a cramped carport. To drop the transmission I would have to work underneath the car while supported on jack stands. It was not an ideal situation. So I procrastinated. I talked to a few people about my plans. Some said I was crazy for even going through the trouble. Why was I washing my time with this old junker? Why don't I just sell all my project cars and get a new car? These are valid questions. My newest and most reliable transportation is my 1991 Mazda Miata with 130k miles on the odometer so I really could use a newer, more comfortable, practical, and dare I say normal car for daily use. I really don't like working on cars, I much prefer driving them. But sadly I'm not in the economic position to drive a Porsche 997 GT3. I could probably afford something newer and semi-sporty but I don't relish the idea of a car payment every month. Nothing new in my price range appeals to me and everything used in my price range will likely be a money pit. This is the dilemma many of us face when deciding whether or not to purchase a new car or hold onto the crap we've got now. Speaking with a close friend one day he mentioned it would be a real shame to send such a cool car to the crusher. I wondered aloud if I would regret crushing a 635CSi. It's not a rare car by any means but it'd be like me hearing a story from an uncle about him crushing an Austin-Healey 100 back in the day just because it had a bit of rust in the fenders and he couldn't be bothered. Nowadays people spend $10k to buy JUNK Austin-Healey 100s just for the opportunity to spend another $60k fixing it up. The more I looked at the white 635CSi sitting in my carport the more I saw some potential in it. Sure, the car needed some work, but what car doesn't? I wasn't up to the challenge of a full-restoration since these cars are incredibly complicated. I cringed at the idea of getting the rear seat air conditioning working again. However, turning it into a race car wouldn't be that hard. Race cars don't need fancy interiors. Race cars don't need to look pretty. They just need to be safe, go relatively fast, and be fun to drive. Since the car was already stripped down it was easy to imagine a roll cage, racing bucket seats, and some fender flares covering up where the rust once was. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea, after all? Originally, I was thinking I would simply turn the white E24 into a drift / time attack/ HPDE car that might see occasional street use (for instance, to transport it to an auto-x event or to simply cruise in). Such a car would be low, stiff, and fast with a big turbo for big HP. Then I read an article in the BMWCCA magazine Roundel about Targa Newfoundland and I watched a bunch of videos on YouTube, which made me want to build the car for open road rally. Such a car would have lots of wheel travel to soak up bumps and it would have to be very reliable to withstand the brutality of such events. The entire vehicle would sacrifice weight for strength; the cage would be more robust, major mechanical components like engine, transmission, and differential would have skid plate protection, etc. Then Toby gave me the latest issue of Grassroots Motorsports magazine where they talked about their Berzerkley project carfor the $200x Challenge. Don't get me wrong - racing ain't cheap. But it doesn't have to be expensive, either. The GRM $200x Challenge could be a great advertising tool for my friend Ben's race fabrication shop, Kaplhenke Racing. Generally, people start with better cars but starting with a free parts car ain't a bad way to begin. From there it's just a bunch of elbow grease, some beer and a few good eBay deals away from glory. Thoughts? There are lots of reasons why this is a silly idea and there are plenty of other good starting points for race cars. Smart money buys a race car that some other sucker already built. However, I've already got this car and the knowledge to fix it up. I think it'd be cool to have both a race car and street car version of the same make/model vehicle, especially one as cool as the E24 coupe. This project would give me something to do and I can save money by doing much of the fabrication work myself or with the help of my friends' race shop. My justification for moving forward with this project probably looks pretty pathetic to an objective observer, like a drunk trying to rationalize why he drinks. I guess I'm just looking for direction, reassurance, or a reality check.