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Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
7/26/19 9:39 a.m.

For me, it was the $2004 Challenge. I had heard of Grassroots Motorsports from long-time GRMer Mad Scientist Matt who mentioned it in some capacity on a now-defunct forum. I remember buying the August 2004 issue at Borders and reading the Challege results articles a million times. Sadly, I could only repeat that process in 2005, as I had no one with whom I could team, and that's when I saw Chuck Ellis' 1978 Mercedes-Benz 6.9. I have always been a fan of big cars, but my copy of Road & Track (I think it was them) with the Brock Yates' story of flogging a 6.9 from New York to Road Atlanta has always stuck with me. So too, did the big Benz at the $2005 Challenge. Nostalgia, I guess. And when putting together the story of the past winners of the $2000 Challenge, I was delighted to see the Mercedes once again. I wonder where Chuck and his 6.9 are, now?

 

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/19 10:20 a.m.

The sucker vette was the first i remember standing out and making me want to challenge. Must've read that article 17 times.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
7/26/19 10:31 a.m.

There was a certain MG Midget that I think won the event. Was it a Turbo Pinto engine?

 

Found it. Was the Reign of the Clown era.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/26/19 10:48 a.m.

This may have not the magazine's finest moment but, for me, it was an image that took the event to a new level of "curiosity." even though the "legend" may have been greater than the actual story.  

This was not my first impression of The Challenge since I was here, online, for the year 1999, $1,500 event but this image was a "game changer".  Might have represented a "high water-mark" (low water-mark) that put some changes to the event but it did fill me with the mystery that "I need to get to this event!"  

$2006's Boss Hong

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/26/19 10:48 a.m.

The Cheaparral and Zamboni are the earliest standouts I remember. I probably first heard of the GRM challenge in the mid-2000s. This board always came up when I was searching for insanely cheap fixes and wacky ideas for cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/26/19 11:00 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Cosworth Vega power. You can check out some more early $2000 Challenge cars right here.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau SuperDork
7/26/19 11:03 a.m.

I first heard about the $2000 Challenge as a college freshman in the fall of 2009. I had never heard of GRM or the Challenge. The Wreck Racing team had their turbo E30 on display in the central area of campus, recruiting new members along with other teams like Formula SAE. I was instantly drawn to the team when I saw they were building a real car with junkyard parts, not just a fancy little go-kart. I didn't get involved until two years later, and by then Wreck Racing had taken their first win at the 2010 Challenge.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
7/26/19 11:16 a.m.

Reading an old Hot Rod Magazine from 2004 in around 2007/2008. I remember them remarking on a Triumph TR6 with an Eaton blower set up to run on propane and how it "did not run as planned"

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/26/19 11:26 a.m.

The little $2011 Honda n600. I would love to know what ever happened to that car.

Build Thread

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/26/19 11:41 a.m.
NickD said:

Reading an old Hot Rod Magazine from 2004 in around 2007/2008. I remember them remarking on a Triumph TR6 with an Eaton blower set up to run on propane and how it "did not run as planned"

Anyone have a copy of that issue? I might have written that piece for Hot Rod. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
7/26/19 11:42 a.m.

Not sure if Guido's car specifically caught my eye, but the idea of the $1500 really resonated with me, as I had a CRX HF just sitting in my back yard when discussions about that started going on.  Thankfully, I was already part of this board when the concept of the competition got started.

And that resulted in a Challenge car from 2002-2004, a Turbo Alfa Spider.  

NickD
NickD PowerDork
7/26/19 11:42 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:
NickD said:

Reading an old Hot Rod Magazine from 2004 in around 2007/2008. I remember them remarking on a Triumph TR6 with an Eaton blower set up to run on propane and how it "did not run as planned"

Anyone have a copy of that issue? I might have written that piece for Hot Rod. 

I'm sure I still have it, I just have to dig it up

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
7/26/19 1:06 p.m.

Been following since the beginning.  The first car that really stuck out for me was the old 3 series with a big block swapped in.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
7/26/19 1:09 p.m.

This monster.  1983 BMW 320i with a caddy 500

spacecadet
spacecadet Dork
7/26/19 1:13 p.m.

I've not followed the challenge very strongly until about 3 years ago. I met my now good buddy Adam who was a part of the Gutty CRX team. Spent some time talking with him and it got me interested and then I started actually following the challenge.  

Getting involved in the forum last year started to light the fire a bit more... 

Reading about the Insight from Wreck Racing also got me more interested last year. The stupidity and ingenuity and force of will involved with that one 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/26/19 2:31 p.m.

I first heard about the challenge when someone was building a turbo civic for the $1500 Challenge over on the yahoo groups jyturbo mailing list.... 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
7/26/19 3:14 p.m.

Nelsons showing up and running 10’s for $2000 sent shockwaves through the drag racing world, and then I decided I had to come over here and try that challenge thing.  

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
7/26/19 3:27 p.m.

I vaguely remember the board discussions leading up to the first event. I think Guido & all the related smack-talk from those early events sticks out in my mind more than most of the cars, though I think he sort of set an example of how to make a cheap car look(at least) as fast as it was. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
7/26/19 3:32 p.m.

When I first started reading the mag, RX-7's far outnumbered Miatas as Challenge participants.  Certainly not the case anymore.

The Cheaparral sucker Vette probably the most amazing build, but there's been many others.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
7/26/19 3:37 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I just searched for the “money shot” from right before the authorities arrived, and I’m afraid it may be gone forever crying

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
7/26/19 3:51 p.m.

I think I remember discussing the challenge around christmas in '00/'01 with friends.

I was reading the locost forums/kimini/dpcars a lot at that time, so... First car I really remember was Kent Finnerty 'Living Room' Laser Locost in 2005?

I think I created a now-defunct forum account to try buying it.  It's probably a good thing I didn't.  After that I lurked and followed his midget build, and some of the gutty build;  plus the n600 mentioned above.  etc.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
7/26/19 3:59 p.m.
Patrick said:

Nelsons showing up and running 10’s for $2000 sent shockwaves through the drag racing world, and then I decided I had to come over here and try that challenge thing.  

I think(?) that was the first or second year we were there. The looks around the paddock when it did the first burnout/made its first pass were priceless. “What the berkeley was *THAT!?*” surprise

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/19 4:33 p.m.

Mongrels concours level v8 miata is the first one I really remember.  Andy Nelson going into the 10s in a bug really sticks too.  

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
7/26/19 5:38 p.m.
poopshovel again said:
Patrick said:

Nelsons showing up and running 10’s for $2000 sent shockwaves through the drag racing world, and then I decided I had to come over here and try that challenge thing.  

I think(?) that was the first or second year we were there. The looks around the paddock when it did the first burnout/made its first pass were priceless. “What the berkeley was *THAT!?*” surprise

Very much this.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
7/26/19 5:41 p.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

Yea, you're gonna need to tell me some more about that marshmallow toaster

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