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Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
1/16/18 9:46 a.m.

        Tearoffguys has campaigned 9 cars since our attendance. Setravalanche , Mistsubishiwatanabe , Mercury   > Cougars " All Girl Team "   Mazda RX 7, Swallow Doretti, Triumph Stag , Sunbeam Alpine Tiger , MGB and a Jeep Commanchero . Awards include "Most SPectacular failure , Wheel Flew off and Our Prize for "Worst Attempt to Bribe Judges "  We brought Old Wrestling Plaques that where damaged by water in The Cougar  . We brought a Stuffed Hog Head and Our Skool Bus Has Made one appearance .   Fastest Pass 13.3 in The Stag .  And we also WON a Slot  Car Track ! Thanks  GRM ...   >>>>  2 kegs this year <<< #2kegs

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/16/18 10:21 a.m.
Danny Shields said:

Love these jewels of Challenge history! Keep 'em coming!

I am impressed that most of the GRM staffers who took part in the original $1500 challenge are still working there after two decades. Tim brought the SVO, JG prepared an Omni GLH, David ran a Honda Civic Si. They got things rolling, and the readers took it from there.

I hope folks are enjoying.  I am not sure whether they were being well received.  Some of the morsels and jewels that are coming took some effort to research.

I love the history and success of the $1500 Challenge.  I took vision to come up with the idea and share it.  It took guts to pull money out of the pocket and make it real. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
1/16/18 10:35 a.m.

I don’t have any place here in challenge history  yet, except wishing i had begun earlier all those years of trying to get challenge efforts off the ground.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
1/16/18 10:42 a.m.
Patrick said:

I don’t have any place here in challenge history  yet, except wishing i had begun earlier all those years of trying to get challenge efforts off the ground.

Same here.  Im digging the trivia though 

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/16/18 10:44 a.m.
Patrick said:

I don’t have any place here in challenge history  yet, except wishing i had begun earlier all those years of trying to get challenge efforts off the ground.

No one is making a living building or racing Challenge cars.  Folks have come and gone as the season of life changes their curcumstances.  College, illness, employment all factor in.  You may be new to the circus, but your new blood is needed and appreciated.  I am confident you will leave a mark in the history book.  It won't be easy...believe me I know.  Took 11 years to get our first win.

spin_out
spin_out HalfDork
1/16/18 10:58 a.m.

Sometimes I get caught up in finishing position, and forget that it's really the time that counts.  In our best finish we took 7th at the autocross, 7th at the drags, and ended up 4th overall.  Of course they award prises for finishing position, so it's easy to focus on that .  I thinking Patrick snuck into a 3rd place finish in $2017 by doing well over all, but not taking a trophy in the three individual events.      

Wheels, thanks for posting all these tidbits.  

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
1/16/18 11:46 a.m.

One of our greatest Achievements is beating Mike Cornish Plan B racing in the Drags !  We  blew his doors  off ! 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
1/16/18 11:56 a.m.
spin_out said:

Sometimes I get caught up in finishing position, and forget that it's really the time that counts. 

Wheels, thanks for posting all these tidbits.  

Haven't been since $2004, made several attempts after but life got in the way.  We (wife, son & Rufus were there) had a wonderful time, NEVER left the parking lot!

 

pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
1/16/18 1:47 p.m.

I entered three cars last year.  That has to be some sort of record...

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/16/18 3:31 p.m.
pimpm3 said:

I entered three cars last year.  That has to be some sort of record...

We don't like to talk about mental capacity (read record low IQ) or sanity.  The Dork term was started about 10 years ago.

There's your record right there.........................................^^^^^^

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
1/16/18 4:04 p.m.

                            I am Likely More A Trouble Maker Than A History Maker But I'm Gonna Try.

 I tried to come First Time around 2002? when I went to register a Man  introduced himself(on the Phone) as the New Guy.  He said they were Full Up with Cars and I couldn't get an entry. I heard that Half didn't Show.  Any way It was a Great Car and I Hammered the Mountains for a few Years Up Here,Oh Yea And Lost Interest in GRM.  But the Bug Caught up again a Couple years ago and I Finally came Down This Past Year. So I will be there for 2018 and am a HUGE Fan Of GRM and the Challenge. I Have a Car already and will Clean and Polish and Improve until October.  

                                        FIERO's     To The Front.

        New Guy,  It is All Good, I may be the Biggest Fan Of this Whole Thing And try to Promote it at Least Once a Day. Hell I would Put up A Stand at Car Show's if it would Help Promote this Event.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
1/16/18 4:23 p.m.

New guy from 2002-ish isn't with us anymore. This is an excellent example of why he's not.

Margie

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
1/16/18 4:26 p.m.

In reply to Marjorie Suddard :

i remember that guy.   he wasn't a good fit.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
1/16/18 4:39 p.m.

   

Sorry for Him, But Imma So Happy,   to be Here Today.

Stampie
Stampie UltraDork
1/16/18 5:18 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:

New guy from 2002-ish isn't with us anymore. This is an excellent example of why he's not.

Margie

Did you get another patio 2002-ish?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/16/18 5:50 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Q: Why no 2000 event?

A: As I understand it and a general paraphrasing...

The $1,500 event in 1999 was done as just a magazine article.  Tim said to the staff, "racing doesn't have to be expensive. Lets prove it..."  He gave to them each $1,500 budget to bring a car.  I remember Tim himself brought a Mustang SVO.  The event was opened to readers also in the hopes to have a few more cars there.  

The article was a hit.  The chatter about the event continued on.  More readers wanted another chance to get in on the action and there was a desire to "do it again."  By the time everything got swinging into place to do another and to allow for some lead time for cars to be found and built, the "next event" would fall into 2001.  It was also at this time that the budget was moved to $2001.  

Yep. We intended that just to be a magazine article--just a one-time deal--so it did take us a few to get our ducks in a row for the follow-up. Tim, JG and I built cars, and we invited our readers. We didn't think any/many would show up. Then we got a call from Jonny Pruitt--in Texas. Uh oh, this is going to be real. The $1500 Challenge (the first Challenge) took place September 24-25, 1999. 

We didn't rent a drag strip for the first Challenge, either, as we just ran during the test-and-tune at Speedworld Orlando. We had our own autocross nearby. To help those who were better builders than drivers, we had Danny Shields there as our "spec" driver. 

I don't recall having a host hotel, either. I want to say that we served pizza for the awards banquet but don't quote me. I remember driving home in the rain that evening. 

Mike Guido took the overall win in his Cosworth Vega-powered MG Midget. He turned a 14.122 at the drag strip. Minds were blown that he built and painted the car for less than $1500. Bill Cuttitta, Barry Miles, Cliff Sebring Sr. and Cliff Sebring Jr. finished second in their turbo Plymouth Voyager. (14.303-second E.T.)

Our $1500 Challenge chief judge was Kirk F. White. Here's a photo of Mark Donohue and David Hobbs at Sebring. Check out the name on the engine cowl. Yes, that's the same guy. 

 

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/17/18 6:01 a.m.

6.  Did you know?

Of the 881 entries, a car originally made by Mazda has participated 127 times (14.4% of the fields).  58 Miatas (6.58%) and 46 RX7 (5.22%). 

sanyarcosean
sanyarcosean Reader
1/17/18 6:43 a.m.

Andrew....  Did you know that little noogie on the trunk hinge of the Nova had a purpose??   :-)  Good Times!!

spin_out
spin_out HalfDork
1/17/18 7:39 a.m.

Wow, I had no idea there were so many RX7s.  I would have bet there were 10 times as many Miatas.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y PowerDork
1/17/18 7:46 a.m.

The $1500 challenge was my introduction to the magazine. Build a race car for $1500? Sounds ike my kind of people. I don't typically save old magazines but I think I still have that one. 

I attended in 03. The only 3 cylinder car to attend the challenge? Probably.  If the new guy in 02 is who I think he is, he did his best to try and submarine my efforts in 03.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/17/18 7:49 a.m.
AngryCorvair said:

I remember wheels777's first post being something like "I'm just coming down to win the drags and learn about the other events".  In those days IIRC Erik Lawson owned the drags with a SBC 280z in the 11's, and I couldn't imagine anyone beating that for $2k.  When Andy fired the Nova in the pits, I think the Earth stopped spinning for just a fraction of a second.  I remember thinking, "oh E36 M3, there's a racecar here!"

I remember seeing the Nova autocrossing. And the speed that team learned how to autocross was amazing. 

But the flexi-flyer look of that car turning corners was interesting, to say the least. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
1/17/18 7:50 a.m.
wheels777 said:
Patrick said:

I don’t have any place here in challenge history  yet, except wishing i had begun earlier all those years of trying to get challenge efforts off the ground.

No one is making a living building or racing Challenge cars.  Folks have come and gone as the season of life changes their curcumstances.  College, illness, employment all factor in.  You may be new to the circus, but your new blood is needed and appreciated.  I am confident you will leave a mark in the history book.  It won't be easy...believe me I know.  Took 11 years to get our first win.

After having so much fun last year I don’t think winning is a goal anymore.  I got a new welder and don’t have a trophy case. I think goal has changed to have fun and do it my way, and a win might be the fruit of that philosophy one day.  Vacation isn’t a place to get too serious.  Hanging out with everyone and playing with cars is way more fun than stress.  

 

Speaking of history, if anyone can send me a picture of the blurb on the blue Datsun from the $2010 challenge coverage issue I would appreciate that, so i can use that as the before to show how far I took the car.  

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/17/18 8:14 a.m.
spin_out said:

Wow, I had no idea there were so many RX7s.  I would have bet there were 10 times as many Miatas.

Highest number in one year for the Miata - (8) in 2017. 

Highest number in one year for the RX-7 - (8) in 2004

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/17/18 8:15 a.m.
sanyarcosean said:

Andrew....  Did you know that little noogie on the trunk hinge of the Nova had a purpose??   :-)  Good Times!!

I never complained once.

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
1/17/18 8:22 a.m.
alfadriver said:
AngryCorvair said:

I remember wheels777's first post being something like "I'm just coming down to win the drags and learn about the other events".  In those days IIRC Erik Lawson owned the drags with a SBC 280z in the 11's, and I couldn't imagine anyone beating that for $2k.  When Andy fired the Nova in the pits, I think the Earth stopped spinning for just a fraction of a second.  I remember thinking, "oh E36 M3, there's a racecar here!"

I remember seeing the Nova autocrossing. And the speed that team learned how to autocross was amazing. 

But the flexi-flyer look of that car turning corners was interesting, to say the least. 

PACC finished 2nd in the Auto-X in 2011.  0.230 seconds off the FTD pace.

Flexi..no.  Roly poly ... bad.  Sean has a picture of the Nova in its full turning glory.

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