cm024
cm024 New Reader
July 18, 2011 2:04 a.m.

In advance, I would just like to say Im sorry for this mini rant Im about to have, but I just have to say:

Why do we do it anymore... Why do we love motorsports and customization and tuning so much?

(Just follow me here)

I remember growing up as a kid (which Im still not very old) seeing daily drivers and up and coming tuners (mainly imports) just starting to break 400hp and then 500hp and then 700hp...and it seams like yearly that number has just continued to rise. Then engines have gotten more complex and Importers started pushing stroked motors and Domestics started doing serious EFI systems and turbos and VVT...and anybody that could afford to do the R&D could design big HP units...and now any Joe on the street can have 500hp on tap as long as he will shell out the money.

And all of this is great and fine, and Im glad to see the industries I love advance and become more consumer friendly, so that we might all be able to enjoy big power.

But when will enough be enough...it seams like nobody thinks logically anymore.

We're past the days of drag racers racing with what they brung and trying to beat the tree (bracket racing.) Instead we just have people diggin in there pockets and finding more HP. We've got guys that run True Street and 10.5 and just care about the biggest power for the fastest time. And if we lose today or this year..."Who cares?"...Next year we'll push more CID or add more Nitrous or run a bigger Turbo or maybe two...

What happened to the days when lighter meant faster...and draggers dropped weight off their cars. What happened to the days when we decided AutoCross and Pro-Touring was best suited for a car with aerodynamics and proper weight distribution...not some butchered Muscle car (which I really dont get...there are more muscle cars now being run, restored, and modded than when they were originally produced...I swear 1st gen Camaros multiply yearly...or some GM plant is still only making that year range to date.)

But seriously...I just get so disheartened by probably the thing I love the most. I never feel like Im gonna have enough money to produce the fast Pro-tourer...Im never gonna beat the guy that just ran 9.78 in his True Street muscle car. I just wont ever have the money to continue to throw at a car...no matter how bad I want it to be the best or the nicest.

Im just curious I guess...do any of you ever feel like this...Do any of you ever wonder..."Why is it necessary for a Saudi to have a 1400hp SUV...Why must the Redneck go 9.38....he cant even TURN...Why must the Pro-Tourer go around such a tight course...Is he being chased in some crowded parking lot?"

In advance...thank you for your site and your time...I can already tell from the two days I've been here...that the people that populate this site work for the vehicles they have. We are on a budget. We do it because its more satisfying to DIY than to pay for it to be done. We dont care how it looks, we just want it to be ours...made the way we want it and to perform the way we can handle it.

fasted58 HalfDork
July 18, 2011 3:59 a.m.
cm024 wrote: Why is it necessary for a Saudi to have a 1400hp SUV...Why must the Redneck go 9.38

..... because they can

JoeyM SuperDork
July 18, 2011 5:10 a.m.

You said a lot there...more than I will try to address point by point. Do have similar feelings? Yes. I have skipped the last few months of autocross. Part of that is because I have been busy working on the car am building, but parts of it is because it is discouraging to know that my best effort at an autocross will still be slower than the majority of people there...I just don't have the time or money to spend getting good at it.

I know that others here will disagree. Some people just have a more competative nature. Those that do probably get more reward or benefit from winning.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
July 18, 2011 5:19 a.m.

More because MORE!!!

Will HalfDork
July 18, 2011 5:59 a.m.

Maybe I can explain the pro touring/muscle car autocross thing. It's not that guys want a great car to autocross, and they decide a first-gen Camaro is the best tool for the job. It's that a guy decides he wants a first-gen Camaro, because he's attracted to the car for aesthetic or sentimental reasons, but he wants to make it fun to drive. Nothing wrong with that mindset at all.

KATYB HalfDork
July 18, 2011 6:16 a.m.

and things can be done cheaply..... we managed to build a nova with junkyard scavvenging and a lil money 11 grand. that was a daily driven car with 4 wheel disc brakes and prettty dang good suspension that ran 10.5's that included price of the car.

July 18, 2011 7:03 a.m.

Because racecar?

JoeyM SuperDork
July 18, 2011 7:19 a.m.
jimbob_racing wrote: Because racecar?

-1 (stupid meme)

Taiden HalfDork
July 18, 2011 7:39 a.m.

Junkyard builds are looked down upon these days, because it makes you look poor (as if that's a bad thing). I prefer junkyard builds, because it requires an amount of creativity!

Zomby woof SuperDork
July 18, 2011 9:23 a.m.

I would just like to go on record as saying that I think pro touring is the stupidest of all the "trends" to be fabricated by the hot rod magazine industry. Every time I see a muscle car with 18's on it, I want to throw up.

glueguy Reader
July 18, 2011 9:37 a.m.

Do it for the enjoyment, the self-satisfaction of tackling the obstacles that arise in a project, and the zen time in the garage. The absolute nicest or the best or the fastest? Meh, I'm beyond that. I'll leave that to the teenagers mall dress code, the country club and the professional racers that get paid to reach the checkers first and have a team working their butts off to get there. Among the best? Really nice that I did in my own garage? I can aspire to that.

Sounds like you need to research the $20xx challenges here. Creativity rules, and there are some stupid fast (straight and cornering) cars built.

FlightService HalfDork
July 18, 2011 9:45 a.m.

I agree, mainstream speed ideas literally has turned into a drag & drop exercise. Who ever spends the most wins, who ever can cheat the rules the most wins, (remember the sucker vette? I still they lied their ass off on that one)

I like the $20XX challenge because, for the most part, the most creative wins. And wow some of the creations are awesome. (I like the VW "32 Ford" with the 350 chevy myself)

Now days it's not run what you brung, it's buy which class you can afford.

81cpcamaro New Reader
July 18, 2011 9:50 a.m.

As for Muscle cars, most do buy what they like/love and then modify it for whatever they are doing. Nothing wrong with them at an autocross or PDX/HPDE, in fact I love seeing them doing something other than sitting at a car show. Enjoy your car how you see fit. I used to go drag racing many years ago, but got tired of it. Crowed tracks, long waits tend to take the fun out of it. Plus drag racing is really a cubic dollar sport. One of the reasons I autocross now. I tend to favor muscle cars for my autocross cars, but that's my choice. I have surprised a few people who thought an old muscle car couldn't handle well. To the OP, yes there seems to be more first gen Camaros now than GM originally did. Since they make completely new bodies now, probably going to get worse, but at least it may allow some of the originals to avoid being cut up.

JoeyM SuperDork
July 18, 2011 10:03 a.m.
FlightService wrote: I like the $20XX challenge because, for the most part, the most creative wins. And wow some of the creations are awesome. (I like the VW "32 Ford" with the 350 chevy myself)

...and the washing machine floors! I can't believe that you forgot the floors. Andy's car is what inspired me to make my car out out scrap metal. Here it is in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyJChiCIeNo

petegossett SuperDork
July 18, 2011 10:29 a.m.

Time for Miata therapy?

parker New Reader
July 18, 2011 12:38 p.m.

Cubic dollars won't buy you an autocross win. You have to be able to drive also. I've posted faster times in my Neon than many a Viper or Vette.

Capt Slow Dork
July 18, 2011 12:49 p.m.

One of my favorite things about autocross is putting the smack down on some over weight, over powered, under tired muscle car with my Miata.

JThw8 SuperDork
July 18, 2011 12:50 p.m.
parker wrote: Cubic dollars won't buy you an autocross win. You have to be able to drive also. I've posted faster times in my Neon than many a Viper or Vette.

This^ I had a sad little Yugo once upon a time that with the right driver (not me but a kid who drove for me) would beat up on corvettes and BMWs in an autocross.

There are still lots of low buck racing venues out there with the GRM challenge heading the bunch.

I certainly didnt set out to build the fastest car with the wartburg, sometimes it's best just to be inspired by building the wierdest (and I didn't even accomplish that) but the point is you have to find what motivates you and go for it. If being at the absolute top of the heap is what does it for you then you'll probably have to throw money at it, but as so many deep pockets builders have found that will only keep you on top until someone with deeper pockets comes along or every once in awhile some underdog with skills and ingenuity happens on the scene and embarrasses them all.

Right Andy? ;)

81cpcamaro New Reader
July 18, 2011 12:59 p.m.
parker wrote: Cubic dollars won't buy you an autocross win. You have to be able to drive also. I've posted faster times in my Neon than many a Viper or Vette.

That is one of the things I like about autocross, driving ability matters, a good car just helps the cause even more. That's also why I stopped drag racing, the ones with the most money tend to win. Driver ability cannot turn a 14 second car into a 10 second one.

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
July 18, 2011 1:04 p.m.

MY two cents: me thinks you've gottten a little bit caught up in the omipresent hype over the latest and greatest whatever with a gazillion hp...JThw8 seems to put his finger a bit on what you're missing. And there is always the satisfaction of doing one's personal best, and being happy with that. There will ALWAYS be someone faster, quicker, more hp, etc...And you can take advantage of what the other guy spent on R&D to make your ride better. And he just spent those bucks, not you.

Or, it's time for a new hobby. Or a new project.

oldtin Dork
July 18, 2011 1:41 p.m.

My 2 cents say stop buying into somebody else's hype. People promote checkbook builds because those products/advertisers pay the bills. If someone buys into it, it just means they may not have the capability, time or determination to figure it out on their own. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but pick a car/style/competition and you could create a lot of it on the cheap if you get creative about it. You also have higher odds of actually having something unique - which ultimately has more value than a rolling catalog display.

FlightService HalfDork
July 18, 2011 2:41 p.m.
racinginc215 wrote: Why do you care what everyone else does?

I think the op is frustrated about doing his best and not winning. I get it.

Grizz Reader
July 18, 2011 3:06 p.m.
cm024 wrote: What happened to the days when we decided AutoCross and Pro-Touring was best suited for a car with aerodynamics and proper weight distribution...not some butchered Muscle car

I'm trying to understand this, so in your eyes, it's only acceptable to butcher muscle cars for drag racing? I guess the guys on here who autocross station wagons and trucks are butchering them as well?

cm024 wrote: (which I really dont get...there are more muscle cars now being run, restored, and modded than when they were originally produced..
Good? How is this a bad thing? The more people who build their cars to handle, the more companies will make parts to get the cars to handle, maybe then the idiotic "Hurr, muscle cars are only good for drag racing/stupid rednecks can't even turn" memes will finally berkeleying die.
cm024 wrote: .I swear 1st gen Camaros multiply yearly...or some GM plant is still only making that year range to date.)
If GM did that, more people would buy GM cars.
cm024 wrote: But seriously...I just get so disheartened by probably the thing I love the most. I never feel like Im gonna have enough money to produce the fast Pro-tourer...Im never gonna beat the guy that just ran 9.78 in his True Street muscle car. I just wont ever have the money to continue to throw at a car...no matter how bad I want it to be the best or the nicest.
No offense meant, but if you're only having fun when you win, you don't love it that much.

cm024 wrote: Im just curious I guess...do any of you ever feel like this...Do any of you ever wonder..."Why is it necessary for a Saudi to have a 1400hp SUV...

Because he wants it.

cm024 wrote: Why must the Redneck go 9.38....he cant even TURN...

cm024 wrote: In advance...thank you for your site and your time...I can already tell from the two days I've been here...that the people that populate this site work for the vehicles they have. We are on a budget. We do it because its more satisfying to DIY than to pay for it to be done. We dont care how it looks, we just want it to be ours...made the way we want it and to perform the way we can handle it.

So basically, your whole rant was about people with money and no real skills building cars that are faster than yours? I'm not intentionally trying to break your balls, but doesn't that seem a bit childish?

racerdave600 HalfDork
July 18, 2011 3:27 p.m.

Let me give it a try. I've been autocrossing since the late '80's, and I've noticed a few trends through the years. First, it takes a lot more money now to run at the front of the pack, as I assume it did in the '80's compared to the '60's or '70's. Cars today in general are a lot more expensive and we didn't have things like remote reservior shocks to spend money on. A good off the shelf single adjustable Koni was more than enough to win. Our tires would last a whole season and still have life left. My last full season of autocross I went through about 7 or 8 sets of R-comps, and if I had a co-driver, a single event would toast the tires.

Also, people did tend to use older cars if they weren't in the stock classes, in many cases they were pretty beat up but could still post a good time. In general though, there was a performance plataeu that didn't start accelerating until the early 2000's, so it was still possible to use them against the newer iron. Plus there were a good supply of old 240's, RX7's, British and Italian cars, many cheap to begin with. Cars today start out much higher priced.

If it weren't for the Miata and Civic, I often wonder how many fewer people would autocross at all.

As for why people want all that hp...well, i think it's the same as why we build challenge cars, because we can. Technology has advanced that far and there is no bringing it back down until it is obsoleted. I wonder when/if electric cars get to be the norm, will we start the hp was over again from the begining?

MCODave New Reader
July 18, 2011 4:26 p.m.

To the OP - maybe it is time to try running, bicycle racing or triathlon? I'm not saying that you still may not lose, but at least in those sports it is harder to just buy speed.

I remember reading an article about Greg Lemond (first American to win the Tour de France). After retiring from bicycle racing, he decided to go into some sort of motorsports. After a while he got frustrated by the fact that he could be beat by some fat slob with no self-discipline just becase the slob spend more on his car. It just didn't jive with his mentality that you had to work hard and sacrifice to win. So maybe you need a sport where discipline and hard work count more than money.

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