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Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
10/18/16 2:10 p.m.

Thought I'd give you guys a preview of an article I'm working on for the magazine because I'm pretty excited about it.

End goal: Identify the top 10 Challenge cars of all time. We have over 15 years of results and incredible builds, but which ones performed better than the rest? It's kind of like Fantasy Challenge.

Since we don't have results spreadsheets from any of the early years, I've been punching into an Excel doc every team and car that has entered the $2000 Challenge over the years, along with their scores in the event's 3 categories. Those entries will be ranked using a unique scoring system that will allow an even playing field to compare times and scores, taking into account the different autocross course lengths over the years.

Bonus: This will also finally gather all of the Challenge results over the years into one archive for your convenience.

So, any guesses as to who has built the best Challenge Car? (We don't know for sure yet, either. Still punching in numbers.)

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
10/18/16 2:19 p.m.

I'd say odds are good it had a Hong Norr sticker on it.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/18/16 2:25 p.m.

It's high time you update, or add to this list- https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/25-choice-challengers/

It's 7 years old now. There has been as many challenges after this article as before.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
10/18/16 2:27 p.m.

Corvette sucker car is still at the top of my list. Wartburg too.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
10/18/16 2:37 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

This article is supposed to be an updated (but slightly different and more complete) version of that article. Instead of us picking our favorites, we're seeing who could have won if all the cars competed in their prime at the same event.

Oh and we're not just ranking the top performers. All Challengers will be present in the complete rankings.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/18/16 2:45 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote: Oh and we're not just ranking the top performers. All Challengers will be present in the complete rankings.

As it should be- at least one of the 25 never even ran, but it's still one of the coolest projects of all time.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
10/18/16 3:20 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Corvette sucker car is still at the top of my list. Wartburg too.

I'm partial to the Wartburg too, and honestly this year's parking lot build could be in my top 10. Also the Team Alavanche Datsun

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
10/18/16 3:26 p.m.

Maybe not the best of all time but very high on the list...Jeep XJR.

I was there for those years and it left a significant impression on me. It still amazes me today mostly because it did so well the things that it seemed it was not built for.

To see a Miata do as god and Mazda intended is one thing but to see the XJR perform is more of an unnatural act. Like witnessing something great.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
10/18/16 3:30 p.m.

The Gutty Honda/Subaru was amazing also. This was a car that is more amazing in person than it is in pictures. It was all in the little details.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
10/18/16 3:31 p.m.

My vote would be for the Zamboni.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
10/18/16 3:39 p.m.

Of course, Sucker Vette and Zamboni!

Lets not forget Hasse's frame swap on a classic 49er.
The full story

Also Scaries

GVX19
GVX19 Reader
10/18/16 3:43 p.m.

The Bat Van !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/18/16 3:45 p.m.

The Mongrel Motorsports Monster Miata was the first Challenge car that really blew my socks off. The attention to detail on that car was amazing.....amazing enough that it prompted us to change the rules!

I'll also never forget the first time Andy Nelson competed. He fired up that Nova and everyone in the paddock knew the game had changed.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
10/18/16 3:46 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Of course, Sucker Vette and Zamboni! Lets not forget Hasse's frame swap on a classic Mercury Led Sled. Also Scaries

Jhaas (rip) car was a 49 chevy

John Brown
John Brown MegaDork
10/18/16 3:54 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: The Mongrel Motorsports Monster Miata was the first Challenge car that really blew my socks off. The attention to detail on that car was amazing.....amazing enough that it prompted us to change the rules! I'll also never forget the first time Andy Nelson competed. He fired up that Nova and everyone in the paddock knew the game had changed.

The yellow BMW was as detailed.

I hope someone has a video of Andrews first Autocross on the GP track somewhere...

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
10/18/16 4:05 p.m.

Bryces AWD Hybrid Fiero of Destiny is high up my list too...if only because the story behind actually getting it to Gainesville was as cool as the car itself. Too bad it caught fire before it could truly be competitive (IIRC?)

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
10/18/16 4:08 p.m.

The Mongrel 2002 in $2002 was incredible! The level of fabrication and custom machine work that went into the car was astounding.

pimpm3
pimpm3 Dork
10/18/16 4:51 p.m.

I think it would be interesting to see each categories top 10 as well.

One of my top concourse memories is John hiring cheerleaders and a DJ for his presentation. It was incredible and proved the concourse is just as important as the performance categories.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/18/16 4:54 p.m.
John Brown wrote:
Joe Gearin wrote: The Mongrel Motorsports Monster Miata was the first Challenge car that really blew my socks off. The attention to detail on that car was amazing.....amazing enough that it prompted us to change the rules! I'll also never forget the first time Andy Nelson competed. He fired up that Nova and everyone in the paddock knew the game had changed.

The yellow BMW was as detailed.

I hope someone has a video of Andrews first Autocross on the GP track somewhere...

Didn't someone send out a CD of that event? I seem to remember getting one.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/18/16 5:26 p.m.

I've never been to the Challenge - but the ones that stick in my mind as a long-distance observer are the Sucker Vette and the Mongrel Miata. Also, Batvan.

GVX19
GVX19 Reader
10/18/16 6:02 p.m.

In reply to 2002maniac:

You have a grate point. But with a name like your's. I don't think I can trust you on this on

oldtin
oldtin PowerDork
10/18/16 6:09 p.m.

The Warburg was a legendary creation, but that year the condor e30 was just wicked fast and could turn.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
10/18/16 6:25 p.m.

The Warburg did complete The Trifecta of Crap!

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/18/16 6:28 p.m.

The BatVan was the best non-runner in the history of the Challenge. Hands down.

The Nelsons first car, the drag missile swiss cheese Nova was a harbinger of things to come. 10 seconds for $2000?

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock UltimaDork
10/18/16 6:30 p.m.

I'm going to third Bat van. Could a non runner make the top ten list?

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