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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

15 responses to “Friday Fun: $30k Challenge”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    “…and your phone is vibrating with an alert from your bank.”
    I don’t see how I’d know the call is from my bank before answering it, but if my phone starts vibrating my first step will be to grab a fire extinguisher before cautiously unplugging it from its RJ11 wall jack.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      As an answer, though, I’d drop $29,900 on this ’54 MG for track use and spend the other $100 on a battery for my ’68 SAAB 96. It tows just fine but is reaching the point of needing a battery.

    2. 0A5599 Avatar

      RJ11? That’s fancy. Next, I bet you try to convince us you have one of those sophisticated rotary dials that lets you call the number without going through an operator.

    3. outback_ute Avatar

      Take the chewing gum off the bell?

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Which one is the track toy?!?

  2. ptschett Avatar

    “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.”
    Reminds me of the morning after I thought it’d be a good idea to use “99 Oranges” schnapps in mixes with Coke, because it was cheaper than the 80-proof triple sec I’d been using…

  3. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Well, shit, I’d buy ten cars, and still have ten grand left to make two of them street legal.

    1. salguod Avatar

      That’s my kind of thinking.

  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I assume this in in lieu of any vehicles that we may already own, and not in addition to? I could re-purchase my GTO and my Trollblazer for under the $30k cap, and have enough left over to buy a full Pedder’s suspension and a GMM Ripper short throw shifter to make the GTO into a competent track beast. The 9-7x Aero tows a car trailer well enough.
    If it’s in addition to: This RX7 looks interesting, but at $28k, it leaves little for a tow rig.
    I suppose I’d have to go with this for $1400, and hope I could get it running for less than the remaining $600.

  5. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Alright, for the track car, I’m going with this Pirelli World Challenge TCB Mazda 2 for only $14k.
    For a 4×4 tow rig, it’s gotta be a cargo van, so this ’06 Ford Econoline Quigley conversion fits the bill for $10900.
    The five grand I have left will be spent funding a season of racing.

  6. Maymar Avatar

    So I’m using cheaty rules again, and converting $30k USD to CAD (which comes out to about $39,250).
    I want to say my track car would be this ’21 Ford Model T Speedster (, but I’m damned if I know where I’d track it.
    More importantly, I found a V10 Touareg for under $20k (, which is hard to resist. It can tow a 747, a track car should be no problem.
    So if I’ve got a Ferdinand Piech-era V-Dub, why not get something else German of dubious reliability? So, Boxster (

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      I’ve got no issue with that, I’d do the same. For example the cheapest C5 Vette I could find for sale in Oz was $AUD48k, even if it looks much to nice to use as a track rat. Even a C3 resto project is asking $10k (not getting mind you).
      US$30k is currently AUD$39k, so I’d go for a modern-build pre-war open wheeler race car beause they look to be ball of fun to race plus running costs should be reasonable (eg they use normal road-going radial tyres). This 1939 Dodge is asking $25k.
      For a off-road/tow/whatever car I’d go for the Toyota Prado cousin of the 4Runner (not sold in Oz), which can be had as a manual, 3.0 turbo-diesel with a 47.5 USgal fuel tank (well, twin tanks) for good towing range, can pick up a decent one for $15k.