Home » $69 Nachos And $88 Empanadas: Food At The Miami F1 Race Was Absurdly Expensive. Here Are Four Project Cars You Could Get Instead

$69 Nachos And $88 Empanadas: Food At The Miami F1 Race Was Absurdly Expensive. Here Are Four Project Cars You Could Get Instead

Miami Grand Prix Menu Cost Topshot
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The world’s fastest autocross event happened last weekend, otherwise known as the F1 Miami Grand Prix. As one of America’s few Formula 1 events, its opulence is off the scale, and possibly best represented by this Tweet containing a picture of the official menu. If you’re prone to sticker shock, you might want to avert your eyes.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Since the items are said to serve four, the nachos end up costing about $69 a person, and the empanadas are around $88 a head!

Miami Grand Prix Menu

If I’ve done the math correctly, every menu item together adds up to $4,565, which is a lot of money for what is essentially the menu for any restaurant with the word “social” or an ampersand in its name. The world is abuzz about this, with The Daily Mail writing “‘Fyre Festival vibes’: Miami Grand Prix is slammed for extortionate food prices as fan shares snap of awful $42 ‘Wagyu steak sandwich’ – and menu lists lobster rolls for a HUGE $450.” Wow that’s a long headline. Motor1 wrote “Nachos For $275 Were On Extravagantly Priced Menu At Formula 1 Miami GP.”

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Anyway, you could buy an entire project car for the price of all the items on that small menu, so I went poking around the online classifieds for a few select picks.

1983 BMW 320i – $4,500

E21 320i Miami Grand Prix 1

When it comes to classic BMW 3-Series models, there’s certainly a hierarchy. The E30 gets all the glory, but that doesn’t mean the E21 is a bad car. In fact, these little oft-forgotten 3-ers are fun, affordable classics, combining a little bit of 2002 charm with modernity more in-line with the vaunted E30. While Europe was able to enjoy inline-six power, American-market E21s came with the M10 four-cylinder engine. Being a late 320i, this one features fuel injection and a jaunty 101 horsepower. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but with little mass to shove around and five forward gears to row, the 320i is still a fun little runabout.

E21 320i Miami Grand Prix 2

Beneath the heavily-oxidized paint lies a remarkably nice interior with nice door cards and remarkably well-kept seats. Given that this one’s up for sale in Sacramento, I wouldn’t expect any huge rust problems either. Plus, the owner claims to have Euro bumpers, and those have a value on their own. Best of all, the E21 320i has a distant F1 connection. The batshit M12 F1 engine of the ’80s used the rugged M10 engine block as a base, maxing out BMW’s engine dyno at 1,280 horsepower.

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1963 Datsun 320 Pickup – $2,500

Datsun 320 Miami Grand Prix 1

While this Datsun pickup truck is firmly in project territory, it’s a truly unique ride that’s worth fixing up. Although the exterior is very well-worn, I reckon the patina just adds to the charm. This is a surviving early Japanese pickup truck in America, you almost never see example of the genre that are this old. The seller has gone to the trouble of pulling the interior to assess floorpan condition, and I don’t see a ton of daylight. Grind back the surface rust, patch whatever holes exist, and you’re pretty much good to go.

Datsun 320 Miami Grand Prix 2

As with many classic Japanese cars, everything’s so adorably tiny. Power comes from a tiny little 1.2-liter E-1 four-cylinder engine with dual carbs making 59 horsepower and 67 lb.-ft. of torque. The seller claims that it runs and idles on starter fluid, which means this little truck is eager to live again. Plus, it’s only $2,500. That’s only like five F1 Platters at the Miami Grand Prix.

2004 Mazda RX-8 – $4,300

Mazda Rx 8 1

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Secretly, the RX-8 was the best-driving Japanese sports car of the 2000s. You can keep your bump-steering AP1 Honda S2000s, I’ll gladly revel in the RX-8’s lithe chassis and willing two-rotor engine. If you’ve never driven a car with a rotary engine, it’s an experience worth having. These powerplants make the process of internal combustion feel massless, freely surging to redline on command.

Mazda Rx 8 2

This particular RX-8 is an Ohio car, so it’s on the crusty side of things. Expect to do some light welding on the sills. Sure, this one has an oil pressure light that comes and goes, but forward propulsion is sure to last longer than the food at the Miami Grand Prix. On the plus side, it does have a remarkably low 87,271 miles showing on the cluster, and it’s a genuinely usable sports coupe with decent rear seat access and all manner of modern amenities.

1973 Ford Maverick – $3,500

Ford Maverick 1

Normally, a Ford Maverick isn’t what most people would build a fun little street car out of. This economical compact car succeeded the Falcon in North America, and it was normally regarded as perfectly ‘70s transportation. However, this one’s had some work done. We start in the engine compartment where we find not a Thriftpower inline-six, but a five-liter Windsor V8. Even better, it’s hitched to a five-speed manual gearbox which means you can slam gears with the best of them. Or at least, you could if this Maverick ran. The seller claims that it needs wiring done and engine accessories fitted, but that doesn’t seem to bad when you look at the rest of the car.

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Ford Maverick 2

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a four-door Maverick this minty. From the pristine interior to the decent black paint, this is a remarkably presentable car. A set of period-correct mag wheels up the curb appeal, while raised white letter Cooper Cobra tires are just the icing on the cake. Sure, the tops of the quarter panels could use wet-sanding and the trunk needs a respray, but those small details aside, this Maverick is visually perfect.

So there we go, four wicked project cars you can buy for what the entire menu at the Miami Grand Prix cost. I know, people in the real world aren’t buying everything on the menu, but these concession prices are insane. Don’t get me wrong, carne asada nachos do sound pretty good right now, but give me the deep-fried monstrosities found at regional racetracks over a $275 plate of nachos any day of the week.

(Photo credits: Craigslist sellers, Twitter/Jonathan Schaff, Dh16dh – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago

Also… of the cars, I really like that old Maverick. And the RX8 too.

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago

Anyone who has been to Miami shouldn’t be surprised.

On a normal day you’re paying $20+ for a Mojito with well rum and the check will include a 20% service charge and an extra line for you to fill in the tip. Bring an event to town and all the prices climb.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago

That “steak sandwich” just looks like a glorified cold cut sandwich. And it looks more like ham than beef.

Expensive food doesn’t bother me.

Expensive SHIT food does.

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago

That’s definitely ham. it is certainly not Wagyu beef.

It looks like the cook wanted to make a Cuban sandwich. He should have just ordered that. He could have saved a couple of dollars and it would have been a netter sandwich.

Seriously, though, who orders Wagyu beef from a stand selling giant pretzels with cheez wiz?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

Absolutely tracks that the guy who overpaid $42 for a Sandwich of Unrecognizable Steak was a crypto dork, too. Crypto! When getting ripped off is your whole vibe.

FWIW, the Mail noted that this was, in fact, some weirdo high-end offering at the race and there were other still-overpriced, but more normal food vendors at the track:

According to News.com.au, there were hamburgers on sale for $15, fries for $4.75 and steak chaufa for $21 at various food spots.

Miami just seems overpriced as hell as a rule, though. Really disappointing to see COTA raise its prices yet again for next year when they’ve already priced out a lot of the locals here, too. That’s not how you keep momentum going when you’re building up a brand at all. F1, what are you doing?

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
9 months ago

That “wagyu steak” sandwich just looks like sliced ham and a little bit of BBQ sauce. It looks like they got the order wrong. Although I can’t imagine any sandwich being worth $42 to me.

For the other stuff, why does everything serve four? That makes me think that the menu isn’t for a normal concession stand and is instead for some type of suites, club seats, or other premium option. Catering options for that type of seating at a sporting event is always absurdly overpriced to the point of being a scam (because the people setting the prices know they can get away with charging whatever they want). It doesn’t make it right, of course, but it puts it in perspective.

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

Yeah, it has to be a catering menu. A concession stand isn’t going to send you back to the temporary grandstand with a platter that feeds four and no surface to place it on.

I would bet that price includes plates / napkins and also delivery to your table / booth / wherever they put the people who spend way too much on watching one turn in a parking lot. Maybe they deliver this to the people sitting on the boats in the fake marina.

Lawrence Brown
Lawrence Brown
9 months ago

If you buy a rust belt RX8 factor in a couple g’s for oil cooler lines. But, yes, run it up over 100 every day after work. Oh, and keep a can of starting juice handy. Way more fun, faster and reliable than old British sports cars. Miss my ’04!

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
9 months ago

Not only are 4 door Mavericks a thing but there actually a kinda famous one.

Gapp & Roush built one called the Taxi in, I think, 1975 to get around some rules in pro stock and run a longer car and a few more cubic inches.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
9 months ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

Biggest red flag I can see with that one is the puffy padded (read:aftermarket) vinyl top. God only knows what’s underneath it.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
9 months ago

Those prices make perfect sense when you consider all the carbon offsets they have to buy.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
9 months ago

I’m still trying to understand if that pathetic looking sandwich was actually the Wagyu sandwich – in which case outright fraud because that is not Wagyu steak and I’ve had better Oscar Mayer bologna from the grocery store. Or is it a miscaptioning of the picture? In any case I’d feel completely ripped off at $10.

Regarding the asking price for the E21, are they nuts? I actually think it’s an attractive platform but that kind of money for that example is insane.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
9 months ago
Reply to  OrigamiSensei

That same thought has been in my head off and on for the past two days. It’s either fraud or he was handed the wrong item. I would have marched my butt right back to the concession and ask if they really expected me to believe that was even steak, let alone Wagyu.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
9 months ago
Reply to  JerryLH3

At Arby’s it would be considered Wagyu. Just sayin’.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
9 months ago

For a brief second I was thinking I was on Defector and this was the notable Arby’s Night commenter.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
9 months ago

Love the “seat” in the Datsun pickup!

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
9 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

The only material that will outlast MB-Tex.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
9 months ago

F1 is full of goofy luxury sponsors. The entire image of the sport is making you overspend on showy trinkets for clout. The food being a ripoff is the least surprising thing.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
9 months ago
Reply to  Rabob Rabob

True. I looked at prices for Austin, Mexico City, and Vegas for this year and decided I’m not in the correct income bracket to be an F1 fan.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago

As much as I dislike the noblesse oblige atmosphere that surrounds F1 generally, somehow, the weird Americanizing of it that was on display this past weekend was even worse. Like, LL Cool J seemed an odd, dated choice.

And I still don’t understand the Fast n Furious bit near the beginning of the broadcast. Was it b/c of an assumption that “fast cars woo!” is as complex as our understanding goes?

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The driver intros were a real WTF moment for me. I was very confused, but I felt OK about it because the drivers seemed equally confused.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

For $69, those had better be the best nachos in the world. Is anyone here able to confirm?

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Probably a plate of Fritos with a slice of un-melted American cheese on top to keep with the Fyre fest vibe.

Bruce McDougall
Bruce McDougall
9 months ago

F F1. Attended at COTA once and also got to see Stevie Wonder so two things off of my bucket list, only one of which would I do again.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
9 months ago

If you have the income to go the races, do you really look at the menu prices?

The maverick looks like a nice sleeper.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
9 months ago

What @dogisabob said. I saw a super sano-looking ~1991 Volvo 740 wagon on CL in the Bay Area for $4500 (it’s gone now). As far as these go, my own tastes dictate the E21, but I like the Maverick. FYI It’s a ‘73, not a ‘72. Whatever those seats are, they look good and it’s remarkable how right the back seat looks. Also never really noticed that the first-year Fox body’s goofy low door handle location was a carryover from the Maverick.

Last edited 9 months ago by Theotherotter
Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
9 months ago

Fuck a project car. You could get a REAL car for that price! A running non-project car you can use as a daily driver with no problems.

How much is food in European F1 races?

For ticket prices alone, it’s actually cheaper to fly to Europe and attend a race there.

Europe actually has consumer protection and antitrust laws, and they actually enforce them.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
9 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Tell that to the Spa ticket holders from the rain out “race.”

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Parade laps count as racing!

Anoos
Anoos
9 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Someone wrote into an F1 podcast that they traveled from the US to Europe for 2 or 3 weeks and attended 2 races for less than it would have cost for them to drive to the Miami race. It may have even been for less than tickets only to Miami, but can’t remember for sure.

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