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everything has it's price
Since the arrival of the Juno, the Westfield has been hardly used. As such I've decided I should probably sell it. Last year I managed 3 trips out in it. One was admittedly the Nurburgring, however one of the others was for it's MOT. Which says a lot about how little it's being used. This year I'm making more of an effort (I've just got back from Anglesey a page back), but I'm also going to put a little more effort into selling it also.
It's one of those things. It doesn't cost anything much to keep or run, so I'm not really bothered if it sells or not. It just seems a shame that such a cracking car is sat doing nowt when it should be being used. As such, when I cleaned it up yesterday, I got the camera out and snapped some bang up to date pics.
A little on the philosophy of this car. The conclusion I came to after running a Westfield with a bespoke high power engine was that it was brilliant when it was worked. But a royal pain in the arse when it didn't. Plus when they go pop they're vastly expensive to rebuild/repair/replace. I think this is a mistake that most people buying a track car make with their first nail. They are seduced by the power. If not, they will be and set out on the road of upgraditis, turning their car into essentially an expensive race car anyway. Everyone does it, I know I did with my first.
But you're not racing, it doesn't need to be the fastest thing out there. Indeed that can be massively frustrating in itself. You want to go with the flow and have a challenging drive. That doesn't mean the biggest engine or the stickiest tyres. Often that actually means the exact opposite. I still believe that the most fun you can have on a race track is in a Caterham Superlight on 13x6 wheels running Yokohama A539s. Not the fastest thing in a long way, it makes up for it by being very light and making the most out of it's modest power and limited grip. Anyhow, that's my philosophy and this car sticks by it. I think the balace is pretty much nailed on.
In my opinion a track car should also be reliable. But things will inevitably break/wear out with track use, so when they do they should also be cheap and easy to sort out. That's why the engine is in mine is boggo with the nice expensive bits bolted to it (it even runs on regular unleaded). If it blows up, a new engine is 750 quid. Bolt the nice bits to it and you're away again. You could do it yourself with an engine hoist.
I understand the hypocrisy of that last paragraph considering I also co-own a vastly expensive race car. In my defence this also follows my thinking on all cars: If you want to go faster, buy a faster car that was designed in the first place to go that quickly.
You can only go so far with a car that was essentially designed in the 50's. When you start creeping over 200hp you're going to start battling the inherent flaws in the design. Mainly aerodymics. It may look small, but it has all the aero of a block of flats. You can try and combat it with super wide slicks and bolt on wings, but you're really fighting a losing battle. That's the point to move on to a proper slicks and wings racing car. Even Caterham have reaslised this with the release of the Caterham/Lola.
Back on track. The final thing I wanted to do with this car was get away from towing. That's why it's actually pretty good on the road. As the more track oriented a car is, the more horrible it will be on the road. Whereas this is economical (amazingly), rides well and is reliable. It's a nail you can actually enjoy on the road still. Though not as much as pure road nails as there have to be some compromises to make it run well on the track.
The reason for the compromise is that towing is a pain. Having to store the trailer somewhere, go get it, load up, then repeat it all when you get back. Getting to tracks then buggering about with tyres is a pain. This is a car I want to get into and drive. Again, it's not really the ethos a lot of people stick to when having this kind of car, but it is a lot less hassle all round, and I've been there, and done that. CBA these days.
So there it is. If you fancy my idea of a track day toy. Drop me an e-mail. The price is £8500. It's always for sale if you're prepared to pay for it, but please bear in mind that this is the price it will take for me to be parted with it. My heart says keep it anyhow, it's only my head that's writing this page.
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