For starters I'll get this out of the way. Yes Street Legal Racing Redline is an old game that is littered with bugs and hiccups. From release SLRR has never been a stable game and most likely always never will be with new operating systems and hardware that it was never meant to run on. Luckily there are two website in which I've found with an extremely dedicated community that is willing to help anyone with any problems. They are currently working on complete rebuilds of the game itself to bring it up to date, you can see this here: http://streetlegalmods.com/index.php and http://vstanced.com/page.php?id=407 .
Now on to the game itself. It's hard to find a starting point as the game is very in depth and offers hours of gameplay due to the fact that you build a car from the frame up. You must build the engine, drivetrain setup and even match tire sizes to the wheel. Once you have built a car you can start tuning it or upgrading it by stripping it for weight or adding turbos or superchargers. Once you start adding mods the possibilities are endless.
So you begin with little cash and must go to the used car dealership to obtain your first vehicle. These cars will always have problems whether it be a blown engine, tranny or entirely missing both. Money management is crucial at first; get this car in running order and hit the street. There are three tiers to move up in, green, blue and then into red. To move up you must challenge people to races around the city during the day that either you or the AI will set a route for. Once your reputation has built up a bit you can then go into the night time drags. These races are what move you up the bracket within each tier until you eventually hit the top and you may also race for pinks in these. But beware as you may lose your ride and if you do and don't have the money to build a new one your game will be finished.
Once you do you will be able to enter the RoC (Race of Campions) after paying a fee to enter. The RoC is a desert race with a large cash pot and car as prize. And you may do this race as many times as you like as the game never ends. Graphic wise the game isn't the best. After all it is from 2003, developed by Invictus and published by Activision. The game presents a very early step into soft body damage physics and does so nicely considering what was available in 03. Making mistakes such as sliding sideways into a curb or tail whipping a tree has large repercussions. This on top of the AI traffic and police chases make for some very exciting and very frustrating moments. Overall I would say the game is worth a shot. Despite all of its issues the game can be fun. Whether taken seriously or using cheats to just build cars and go drifting on the test track. There is something in it for every driver.