…choose a historic racer
An excellent place to start is with a sports-racing car: they are the perfect introduction as they are real racing cars but not as tricky and twitchy as single-seaters.
Start with a small-capacity car, like the Lotus XI. It is a delight to drive; you can really make it sing once you learn to enjoy the handling of one of Colin Chapman’s greatest designs. There are plenty of spares, and Tony Mantle at Climax Engine Services will get the best out of the engine. A drawback is the price. Decent examples cost at least £50,000.
An option for £15,000, or less, is the Lotus 7 – another very practical yet exciting sports- racing car. According to Robert Brooks of Bonhams – who has spent years at the sharp end of the grid – both will give you a thrilling but straightforward route into historic racing. These cars cost little to run, and help is on hand from the Lotus XI register, the Historic Sports Car Club and the Vintage Sports Car Club.
More economic still might be a small capacity saloon car, for example a Standard 10 rather than the more costly Lotus Cortina or Mini Cooper options. Top Hat Racing, now part of the Masters series, runs great races for saloons, and founder Julius Thurgood is an expert on finding a suitable starter car.