Friday Fun: $30k Challenge

Welcome back to Friday Fun, the game in which you spend theoretical money in as logical or illogical manner as you desire. Consider it a way to let one’s automotive imagination run as wild as it would like, or to remind it of how great a reality can actually come to fruition with real money.
This week, we’re a little more grounded than last week’s $100k, three-car parameters. In fact, this Friday’s “game”– let’s call it the $30k two-car challenge, for reasons that escape me– are very doable for many people out there. It involves an imaginary thirty-grand finding its way into your checking account for use on two cars, and an expiration date looming in the near future for when said money evaporates along with your hopes and dreams of using it to create a fleet of machines you might or might not otherwise drool over. So click past the jump and play along, and be sure to let us know what you would do with your money.

You wake up one morning feeling strange. Your head hurts a little, things seem to be rotating slightly, and you can’t put a finger on where you remember the ceiling above you from. But you know two things: you’re alive, and your phone is vibrating with an alert from your bank.
After logging in to the bank’s app, you find something shocking: a new checking account has been made with your name on it, and in it lay a cool thirty-thousand dollars. There’s a note on the deposit made by an anonymous source saying words you’ve only dreamed of: spend the thirty grand immediately, or it’s gone. Oh, and it can only be spent on two vehicles: a dedicated track car, and something capable of pulling said track car and also of off-roading, daily duty, and whatever usages it may find around the house. Stipulation: the majority of it has to be spent on the track car, as you’ll have to compete with it in both road course events and autocross as well.
You log out of the app, get out of bed, pull on some clothes, and find the nearest computer so as to hunt for your two new finds. $30K with your name on it. Spend it at will. Two vehicles? Challenge accepted.
What would I spend my cash on, you ask?
Dedicated track car: C5 Corvette

Source: LS1Tech

It’s all the rage these days when discussing performance bargains, but the C5 is a genuinely good platform to start with for not only a daily driver capable of performance driving but also for a serious track machine. Solid examples can be had for $12k, and I’d budget about $5k for upgrades: brakes, suspension, wheels/tires. Forced induction doesn’t interest me for what needs to be able to run at full-throttle and high RPMs for extended periods of time, so I’d forego that and in place spend my time stripping out anything unnecessary so as to reduce weight. Obviously an intake, exhaust, and tune would be in order, so all-in let’s call it $17k for the Vette. A reliable, fast, great-sounding track car for $17k. Not a bad way to spend more than half my theoretical budget.

Source: CorvetteForum

Tow vehicle / off-road truck / daily driver: fourth-gen. V8 4Runner

This would be perfect but maybe this isn’t so realistic for $13k…. —– Source: Pinterest

It’s no secret that I’m in love with the 4th-gen. 4Runner, but the 4.0L V6 would be fairly stressed towing a 3000 pound car on what would likely be a 2000 pound trailer. So, the logical way to get around that: Toyota built a 4Runner with the 4.7L V8! It’s not a towing monster by any means, but will certainly get the job done and more comfortably than the 6-cylinder at that. Unfortunately for daily use it has full-time 4WD, but it’s not a deal-breaker. A good one can be found for $11k, so I’ll use the leftover $2k in my $30k budget on a good set of 33″ tires and a 2.5” lift to clear them. Capable off-road, comfortable every day, and still totally worthy of pulling a track-car-laden trailer. Game, set, match.

…Alright, this is more likely. Still awesome. —– Source: RME4x4

Between the C5 and 4R, my $30k would go a long, long way in creating an ideal track car and tow-duty/off-road vehicle to supplement it. As was the case last week though, ask me again in 2 days (or even 2 hours) and the answers could very well, and likely would, be different. Such is the glory of the imagination though.
And how about you? Obviously $30k a semi-realistic, not-so-wild-that-it-can’t-happen fantasy that you too can play out, so what would you do with a bank account filled with a time-sensitive thirty-grand that could only be spent on two vehicles? Go ahead, pick your poison, and let us know what you’d do in the comments.
P.S. – Next time we’ll do things differently. Very differently.
Lede image courtesy of Insurance Tips and Rates

By |2017-02-24T13:30:00+00:00February 24th, 2017|All Things Hoon|15 Comments

About the Author:

Ross Ballot
Automotive ADHD, personified. Current owner of an NC Miata Club PRHT. Lover of all things off-roading; amateur autocrosser. Perpetually looking for the next vehicle he will regret.