Original Build Expenses


We chose to build our car from the "ground-up", knowing that this was not the least expensive way to get a 5/1600 car.  We chose this path for a variety of reasons but most importantly, the desire to create "our own" version as a "Father - Son" project.  Yes, we could have purchased a used car for much less than what it cost us to build our own; that's what I'd recommend anyone else do (unless they really want a project of their own and have the skills to see it through).  We didn't try to "pinch pennies" anywhere in the build; we bought the best components we could find, our costs reflect that.....  You can build a 5/1600 for less but this is how we did it (2007 costs, most are actual, some estimated - if you see a "round" number, it's probably an estimate but close):



1962 VW Beetle Chassis
DMV Fees
Fiberglass Hood
Replacement Floor Pans
Rear Fenders
Aluminum Skid Plates
Mastercraft Pro 4 Seats

Total Chassis Expenses




Specialized Tools

IRS Pivot Jigs
Link Pin Bushing Tool
Front Trailing Arm Bushing Reamer
JD2 Model 3 Tubing Bender and Dies

Total Specialized Tools Expenses




HD IRS Pivot Brackets


4130 Spring Plates (swing axle plates cut for IRS)


5/1600 Rear Trailing Arms


Rear Microstub/Brake Assemblies


King Kong Rear Torsion Adjuster


Rear Trailing Arm and Torsion Housing Bushings


Rear Stub Axles


Rear Torsion Bars


HD Spring Plate Caps


Rear Shocks (2)


Front Suspension Beam $565.25
Front Torsion Packs $265.50
King Pin Spindles $892.80
Front Trailing Arms $828.32
Link Pins/Bushings $112.76
Front Wheel Bearings $74.72
Front Shocks (2) $1606.00
Total Suspension Expenses




R&P Steering Box $427.70
4130 Tie Rods $54.00
Tie Rod Ends $145.52
Steering Wheel $176.25
Steering Wheel Adapter $40.00
Steering Shaft bearings $22.68
Steering Shaft Material $78.00
R&P Mount $16.46
Universal Joints $101.40
Total Steering System Expenses (No Power Steering) $1062.01



Disk Brake Master Cylinder $38.17
Brake Lines and Hardware $205.00
Residual Pressure Valve $19.29
Brake Fluid Reservoirs $40.00
Brake Light Switches $16.00
Parking Brake Valve $32.84
Front Hub/Disk Brake Assemblies $817.20
Total Brake System Expenses $1168.50


Wheels and Tires

Front Wheels (2) $440.00
Rear Wheels (2) $460.00
Front Tires (2) $266.02
Rear Tires (2) $280.62
Tubes (4) $45.00
Total Wheel and Tire Expenses (No Spares) $1491.64


Safety Equipment

4130 Roll Cage Tubing $799.45
Window Nets $64.85
Safety Harness Assemblies (2) $250.00
Required Interior Fire Extinguisher $50.00
Optional On-Board Fire Suppression System $400.00
Required First Aid Kit $50.00
Total Safety Equipment Expenses $1614.30


Fuel System

Fuel Safe Aluminum Container Fuel Cell $1346.20
Fuel Level Sender $131.25
Fuel Filler with Splash Guard $100.00
Vent Hose $22.32
Fuel Filler Hose and Elbows $50.00
Total Fuel System Expenses $1649.77


Electrical System

High Torque Starter $185.00
Battery $89.69
Wire and Misc. Electrical Parts and Connectors $200.00
Solenoid Switches $50.00
Horn $50.00
Oval LED Tail Lights $75.00
HID Head Lights (5) $1900.00
"Race Air" Pumper and Hoses $350.00
Switches $150.00
Aux. Fuel Pump $50.00
Total Electrical System Expenses $3099.69



Race Radio Package $549.95
Race Intercomm $459.95
GPS $499.99
Engine and Electrical Gages $200.00
Total Electronics/Instruments Expenses $1709.89



Engine $6000.00
Transaxle $4000.00
Oil Cooler $377.11
Oil System Plumbing and Fittings $350.00
Air Filter and Hoses $340.00
Exhaust System $279.10
Oil Filter Adapter $75.00
Oil filter $125.00
Race Prepped/Lightened 930 CV Joints $748.63
930 Spline Axles $600.00
CV Flanges and Boots $150.00
CV Bolts $75.00
Transaxle Mid-Mounts $58.00
Release Bearing $25.03
Shifter and Shift Rod Assembly $200.00
Total Drivetrain Expenses $13402.87


Grand Total: $38,201.52
(I didn't include all the misc. hardware - nut/bolts, tabs, etc.. Figure a few hundred more for that stuff)

We actually have more than that invested at this point, when you consider all the spares needed to run a race, the addition of power steering, and some other upgrades along the way......  Given that you can buy a good used 5/1600 car with spares for 1/3 to 1/2 of this amount, you need a really good reason to build one yourself!  Don't forget the "personal" safety equipment costs - helmet, suit and HNR come to around $2000 for each occupant.....  Don't go cheap on the safety equipment!

Yes, it can be done for less; as I said at the beginning, we used the best components we could buy.  We have never DNF'd a race due to a parts failure, I believe that's a direct result (we've only DNF'd once: the 2012 Baja 500 due to a crash).   Often, the finishing order in long distance (Baja 500 and '1000) 5/1600 racing is determined by who has the least amount of "down-time" due to mechanical problems/failures.  For shorter "sprint" type races (San Felipe 250), any down-time at all makes a win very difficult.  Proper parts selection and preparation are key to minimizing that down-time.  Choose wisely. 

You may have noticed that I have not included any labor in the above numbers (we do all our own fabrication work).  If you have to involve (pay) someone to do all the fab. work for you, it'll get even crazier.....