Getting into racing, either professionally or as a hobby – or even just driving a race car because you love the way they feel and look – can be a complex process. But for those who love the unparalleled taste of excitement that rises up behind the wheel of a beautiful muscle car, it’s all worthwhile.

However, buying and shipping a race car can be more difficult than with an ordinary car, so here are some factors to take into account:

1. Choose Top-tier Shipping Methods

If you need your car shipped, race cars and high-end sports and luxury cars really need a professional shipper to handle the job. And you should look for a company that offers hard-side enclosed carriers to maximally protect your race car while en route. This will cost more than regular car shipping since only one to six cars fit in a carrier and because of the added risk and attention, but it’s the standard way to keep these cars in top shape upon arrival.

Check out to to see how race cars are shipped.

2. Decide If You Need the Car Street-legal

Many race cars are not legal to drive on the highway, but have to be carried on trailers (and have to be shipped if purchased long-distance). Others, however, are drivable for everyday use, not  just on the track.

Some drivers can afford one car for the races, one car for at home; some need a single all-purpose car. Some want to show off their wheels everywhere they go, while others prefer to go incognito in a non-race car while off duty. It’s a personal decision, but you have to know ahead of time what’s legal on the road and what’s not.

3. Meeting Safety & Performance Standards

A major area of concern when buying a new race car is that it can already be fully up to standards as to safety equipment, condition, and performance and parts. This will vary from race to race and from car to car, so you have to check out all the details.

The worst thing to have happen is to buy a car and then realize you can’t drive it in the race you planned to enter because it’s off-standard. On the other hand, if you plan to adjust or upgrade the car, that’s fine, so long as it’s not a last-minute surprise.

4. Ensuring You Buy a Fast One

Again, you can make later upgrades to improve speed, but you want to purchase a car with as much speed as possible already built into it.

Three areas to look at are these: first, the aerodynamics. It’s not just about aesthetics, this is key to minimizing wind drag and it’s why race cars are tested in wind tunnels. Second, weight: you want a lightweight, but sturdy build. Composite materials, small storage space (if any), two seats only, and a firmer, tighter suspension are all involved here.

Third and finally, we mention high-speed cornering ability. Rear wheel drive gives you better weight-distribution and control (and less speed loss) around curves than front-wheel, and four/all wheel drive can be even better.

5. Weighing the Costs

Finally, you have to consider the costs. You probably race for the joy of it, not just to win a prize – but research prices and be sure you’re making a wise investment. And take into account all upgrade, shipping (and international shipping, even from Canada, can add a little extra) and maintenance/usage costs as well.

Remember the old adage- “To make a small fortune racing, you need to start with a large one.” And find a race car you love and that’s a great deal. Winning is only the icing on the cake.