$2017 Challenge: Celebrating the Country’s Top Low-Buck Builders

Georgia Tech Wreck Racing claimed an extremely close overall win.
Two killer drag Datsuns. Left: Patrick Guzowski's Team Alavanche 280Z finished third overall. Right: Andrew Nelson's 260Z set a new all-time event record with a 9.521-second run.
This Mazda RX-7, built by high schoolers won the Spirit of Mazda Award.

Gainesville, Florida, October 24, 2017 – This past weekend, forty teams of low-buck builders redefined what it costs to go seriously fast. Competitors built cars quick enough to dominate your local autocross and drag strip—all on a $2017 budget. The overall win at the Grassroots Motorsports $2017 Challenge sponsored by CRC and Miller Electric went to Georgia Tech’s team of engineering students.

On that $2017 budget, Georgia Tech Wreck Racing built a Honda Insight that can autocross faster than a new Honda Civic Type R. Challenge veteran Andrew Nelson created a Datsun 260Z that can gobble a quarter mile faster than a new Dodge Demon (9.521 seconds). Ever seen a miniature Mystery Machine van powered by a Hyabusa engine? The $2017 Challenge is where wacky fantasies become reality.

A car can’t just be fast to win the $2017 Challenge, though. It has to be pretty. After a day on the autocross course and drag strip, teams broke out the wax and clay bars, polishing their entries to a mirror-finish, and preparing their presentations for our team of judges. Only the team that could do it all–build a fast car and make it presentable–would win the overall title.

After 10 years of developing different platforms, Georgia Tech Wreck Racing finally found their answer: a mid-engined, Subaru-powered Honda Insight. They won the autocross, laid down a respectable 13.893-second quarter-mile time, and claimed first place in the concours. That performance earned them a narrow overall win over the turbocharged, nitrous-breathing LS-powered Mustang of Dark Matter Racing.

This year’s event also attracted five other school teams, with a group of home-schooled teenagers claiming the Spirit of Mazda Award with their RX-7 roadster. Dean Case, Communications Officer for Mazda Motorsports, personally presented the award. Smith College Racing, another school team, finished seventh overall, making them the top-placing Mazda at the event.

Click here for full results. A photo album will be added to our Facebook page with more images from this year’s event.

About the Grassroots Motorsports $2017 Challenge: For 19 years, the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge has pitted the country’s most resourceful car builders against each other. The only limit? Their wallets. Teams have just $2017, increasing each year by a single dollar, to build a well-rounded race car that will be featured in the pages of Grassroots Motorsports. The three disciplines of the competition are autocross, drag racing and concours. The $2018 Challenge will be held at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida on October 12-13, 2018. More details are at grmchallenge.com

About Grassroots Motorsports: Grassroots Motorsports magazine has been the leading publication for amateur motorsports in the United States for the past 35 years. Its goal is to be your personal guide to the sports car world, and it does so by providing the best editorial content, events, and experiences possible to its 50,000 readers.

Thank you to our partners CRC Industries and Miller Electric Welders for helping to make this event possible.

Look for full features on the standout entries–plus a run down of the entire field–in future issues of Grassroots Motorsports. Subscribe here.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more $2000 Challenge news.

Comments

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secretariata
secretariata Dork
10/22/17 12:01 p.m.

 Congratulations to Wreck Racing, Corinth Holders High School Automotive, and Smith College Racing!  It's awesome that these 3 teams all wound up with top 10 finishes!

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
10/22/17 4:56 p.m.

Does Andrew  Nelson have a build thread on this BADBOY ?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/22/17 7:17 p.m.
759NRNG said:

Does Andrew  Nelson have a build thread on this BADBOY ?

We did a photo shoot on the car so, well, you can probably figure out what that means. It's an update to a Z he has run before, but it's now way more radical. And longer, too. 

Thanks again to everyone who joined us. Great people. Awesome builds. Late nights. Fun stuff. 

Hope everyone gets home safely. Please check in when you do. 

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
10/22/17 7:42 p.m.

Is there a way to see how we were scored on the concourse? We're very happy with the score, but it would be nice to see what we could improve to grab a few more points. 

It's not that I'm competitive, this is just how I get once we start keeping score. laugh

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/22/17 8:19 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I just arrived home after leaving the banquet. Drove, slept, drove, ate, drove, slept, shopped at Summit Racing, drove, shopped at Trader Joe’s, drove, ate some dinner, drove, and arrived home in a nutshell. Few gas stops mixed in there....

Had lots of time to think about next years build for the potential subclasses.... wink

ckosacranoid
ckosacranoid Dork
10/22/17 8:27 p.m.

I am in a hotel about 2 hours from the Tail of the Dragon. I am taking the subby there in the morning to run the dragon with the outback of the beast as a couple of people called it this weekend....

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
10/22/17 9:48 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

How many of us stopped at Summit on the way home?

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
10/22/17 9:52 p.m.

My first ever challenge.  My first ever drag race.  My first ever driving a Miata (no really) and I got to drive two (the Tire Shootout and a much more...rustic '96).  And now I'm picturing a cheap Suabru wagon of my own if that ends up being the sub-class next year.

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/23/17 12:48 a.m.
759NRNG said:

Does Andrew  Nelson have a build thread on this BADBOY ?

We have a build site.  It will be linked in after GRM has a chance to pick thru it and pull pics.  It has pics of the engine parts including the pistons that have the valve pockets clearanced with a belt sander, the scored cylinders, the piston that bounced off the cylinder head and the rusty lifters.  The only thing missing is pics of the cracks in the cylinder heads.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 7:24 a.m.

Dumb question- how did the insight win the concourse?  

From all of the pictures that you've posted, and the video I've seen- it looks very thrashed together, with not so elegant fender flares and a complete missing rear of the car bodywork....  

Other than getting the engine to fit in the back of the car to drive the rear wheels, the appearance execution looks terrible.

That seems rather odd, to me.

(maybe a lot of my time was just saved)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/23/17 7:35 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Probably the same way a giant doorstop on top of sketchiest mid engine chassis in history did last year- a completely loony concept is worth more concours points than a beautifully executed but more typical build.

Ashyukun
Ashyukun UltraDork
10/23/17 7:45 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

It's something that we noted in going through the scoring from this year and had noted before (and why we took the 'Don't Judge Me' option this year with it being available)- the judges have historically been far more biased toward radical and bizarre builds than very clean lightly-modified & mostly stock cars. It's not wholly surprising from the standpoint that the Challenge is more a car building competition than a driving (hence why there are pro autocross drivers) or shining/polishing competition. It's definitely something that new pariticpants need to be aware of, since a traditional concourse obviously hinges very much on how clean/shiny a vehicle is.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/23/17 7:46 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Unfortunately, there is more to the concourse then just how it looks.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/23/17 7:49 a.m.
Ashyukun said:

In reply to alfadriver :

It's something that we noted in going through the scoring from this year and had noted before (and why we took the 'Don't Judge Me' option this year with it being available)- the judges have historically been far more biased toward radical and bizarre builds than very clean lightly-modified & mostly stock cars. It's not wholly surprising from the standpoint that the Challenge is more a car building competition than a driving (hence why there are pro autocross drivers) or shining/polishing competition. It's definitely something that new pariticpants need to be aware of, since a traditional concourse obviously hinges very much on how clean/shiny a vehicle is.

I pitched an article to Ed Higginbotham while we were going over some other things and hope we can get that done to guide future first timers through what to expect for/from the event.  Some people have been there for years and still don't get it though laugh

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 8:23 a.m.
Ranger50 said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Unfortunately, there is more to the concourse then just how it looks.

I get that.  But looks should matter a LOT.  Especially when "execution" is mentioned, but when I see the big body gaps and the waviness of the flares- only credit for powertrain execution was given credit for, and no consideration for the questionable body finishing.

I thought it should look good on the cover of a magazine.  Find me an angle of that whole car that would look good on a cover.

It's totally awesome that they transplanted a motor like that.  Totally awesome.  But it's not the first time.  And it's by far not the best that anyone has done it.  Other than it being fast.  So overwhelming points to just that feature does not seem quite correct.  

I know it's unlikely that I would actually make a car anytime soon, but the plans that I did have would have put me way back in the "fabrication challenge" just because of my car choice- there's no need to do that kind of work.  And without the need, there goes the points.  Basically, this car winning the concourse very much ends any dreams of coming back and making the ultimate Alfa autocrosser.  (the reasoning behind that- noting how the top autocrossers finished in the top 10 overall, and that's what I prefer)

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/23/17 8:55 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Oh trust me, I COMPLETELY agree with you. But looking at the scoring sheet, it’s 0-5 pts per category. How do you score “crappy” work, when you have already done the radical swap in a already crap car, etc? I do believe there should be a “finished” project look towards the scoring. To me, for an example, the Mystery Machine is way more finished then then the Insight.

Again, this is the challenge and nothing makes sense.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 9:07 a.m.
Ranger50 said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Again, this is the challenge and nothing makes sense.

And that is high on the reasons that I don't plan on returning. 

The dynamic scoring is very clear.  The concourse is very not clear, and given that my car would start at a major disadvantage, it makes it kind of pointless to even try.  It's a lot of effort to do a challenge, I know that very well.  If I do it again, it will be with the goal of winning the autocross and using that finish for a top 5 overall.  Which I can't if I don't have the "radical powertrain swap" because I chose a competent car to begin with.

Sorry to bitch, but I was talked out of the concourse scoring conversation.  And this is somehow where that thread went???  

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/23/17 9:09 a.m.

Reading the forum coverage has been really fun. I wanted to go to the challenge years ago when I first heard about it, and that's how I ended up being a member here. Somehow the actual *going* to the challenge never happened despite this gradually morphing into my only online hangout spot. SO - I'm hoping to make 2018 the year. I have two kids, one of which is 6 months old right now, so that's gotten significantly more difficult than when it was just me and my wife 10 years ago when I first heard of this circus. But I'm going to start making plans now and see if it's possible for me to make it.

Three different ways I'm considering: whole hog, building a car, towing it down with my 1970 Ford. Or, building a car, and towing it down with a rental or borrowed truck. OR, tagging along with another team's build. I know which one is easiest and most likely, but I'm not usually one to do things the easy way.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 9:15 a.m.

I just noticed that the corolla running on bump stops got over 20 points in the concourse. 

Other than running on bump stops, and gutting the car- what did it do to deserve that high of a score, too?  Technically, the Smith Miata did more fabrication, welding the cage up.  And only got .5 points more.  

And the former racer probe- the pictures and videos of that car- it looked remarkably clean.  What did it have wrong to justify only 16.75 points?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/23/17 9:21 a.m.

For those that aren't aware, we've formalized the instructions handed out during judging, which now fully explain the three different categories, and we've removed all of our staff from the judging panel. Together, the presentation and innovation categories make up 60% of the score, and I'd agree that Georgia tech pegged the innovation category. They also had one heck of a presentation for the judges, with cool stuff like exact values to illustrate the stresses put on their rear suspension members. They clearly practiced their spiel, and it paid off. That's how they were able to beat some prettier cars that were less wild and presented more humbly.

I know that the concours will never be popular with engineers, because there is no single correct answer. But, look at the results and it's clear that thinking about all three categories does pay off. Presentation, meaning only what you do and say during your three minutes of alloted judging time, is worth a full 20% of your concours score. A great example of this (besides Georgia Tech's presentation) is Calvin Nelson's sunbird, which was presented with a full-on homebuilt injector flowbench demonstration. That's the kind of stuff that gives you a winning edge in the concours.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/23/17 9:23 a.m.

That Corolla was different than the one running without springs. It was an AE86 with a 4A-GZE swap, and it was beautiful. The springless corolla earned a 14.

The Probe, well, didn't have that great of a story. I love the team and the people behind it, but they bought it already fully built, added a few modifications, and brought it to the Challenge. Those sorts of lower-effort builds (no offense Jeremy) didn't seem to resonate with the judges this year.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 9:32 a.m.

Tom, 

Thanks, but honestly, your explanation makes it even more confusing.  The max score in the concourse is 25 points, and 60% of that is 15 points.  So even if they did the best of the best, and super explained what they did, the most they could have gotten was 15 points out of maximizing the presentation and innovation part.

Given how the car looks, I don't see how they got the other 7.75 points out of 10 left.  

And then you point out that presentation is 20%- but that's part of the presentation and innovation 60%, right?  You can't double count presentation.  That can't be 15 points for "presentation and innovation" and another 5 for "presentation", right?

I still don't understand how they got that many points with a car that looked like that.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 9:33 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

That Corolla was different than the one running without springs. It was an AE86 with a 4A-GZE swap, and it was beautiful. The springless corolla earned a 14.

The Probe, well, didn't have that great of a story. I love the team and the people behind it, but they bought it already fully built, added a few modifications, and brought it to the Challenge. Those sorts of lower-effort builds (no offense Jeremy) didn't seem to resonate with the judges this year.

I thought the High School car was the one running without springs.  

pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
10/23/17 9:35 a.m.

No offense taken, I actually really like the concours portion of the event.  With the exception of the truck we ruined for the parking lot build, the concours helped all of the vehicles I was involved in.

A great example is the 1984 c10 my friends kids built.  They had a great presentation and a good story and it really moved them up in the standings.  They lost to the blue c1500 in the drags and the autocross but ended up beating him based on their story.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 9:56 a.m.
pimpm3 said:

No offense taken, I actually really like the concours portion of the event.  With the exception of the truck we ruined for the parking lot build, the concours helped all of the vehicles I was involved in.

A great example is the 1984 c10 my friends kids built.  They had a great presentation and a good story and it really moved them up in the standings.  They lost to the blue c1500 in the drags and the autocross but ended up beating him based on their story.

Your point makes sense- head to head, some more points for a better presentation is great.

But a great presentation does not make lipstick on a pig look great.  That's my question, really.  How does a poorly executed appearence car get so many points just because of the presentation?

hobiercr
hobiercr Dork
10/23/17 9:59 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

No. The high school car was a true FULL build. If you find their link to the gofundme page you can see they stripped the entire chassis, had it on a rotisserie and did an extremely clean and finished build. Their black paint was a mixture of all the leftover black paint they had. It really turned out well.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
10/23/17 10:03 a.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

That high school car was my vote for Challenge Favorite.  If they had offered it for sale like the $2018 truck, I might have a more crowded garage today.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 10:03 a.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

Ok, thanks for clarifying that.  I was just watching the streaming coverage.

 

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
10/23/17 10:29 a.m.
hobiercr said:

In reply to alfadriver :

No. The high school car was a true FULL build. If you find their link to the gofundme page you can see they stripped the entire chassis, had it on a rotisserie and did an extremely clean and finished build. Their black paint was a mixture of all the leftover black paint they had. It really turned out well.

Not only did they have it on a rotisserie...they built their own rotisserie!

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
10/23/17 10:55 a.m.

I should have spent more time listening to the presentations. I think there are points to be had there for us "normal" builders. The highschool and college kids seem to have that as part of their daily life so can do well at it. I did watch the Smith kids do their poster presentation and it was as good as a poster you'd find at a graduate level technical conference. The Nelsons and a few others know how to highlight cool stuff, and frankly their cars are full of it. I think it might be as much a matter of pointing out cool stuff as having cool stuff. If the judges have to look for it, it doesn't matter, even if you spent 100 hours on it.

Attending gives me a different view that just reading about the Challenge in the magazine or on the forum.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
10/23/17 11:11 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce :

What I realized this year, and the fact the judges & process were different certainly contributed to it, is you really need to pick the points you want to highlight for each category and focus on them. Nearly every build will be too much to cover in 3-minutes, so pick what you think stands out the most, and cover the rest in your build book.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/23/17 12:48 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

... and we've removed all of our staff from the judging panel.

So bribery WAS working!

Trackmouse
Trackmouse SuperDork
10/23/17 1:29 p.m.

Two pages and no pics. I am miff. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/23/17 1:54 p.m.
alfadriver said:

Dumb question- how did the insight win the concourse?  

I agree. 

See my other thread:

A judge's perspective...

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
10/23/17 2:25 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

I finished 4th on dynamic score, 2nd (tied !!!) in autocross. I had gone to Gainesville knowing a stockish Miata wouldn't score well and I was persuaded by a couple of the other competitors to do the concourse. I gained a couple of points, but still got passed by 4 slower cars in the concourse. I could argue both ways. I know how the concourse works and chose not to waste a lot of time on it, so I expected to drop down the order. On the other hand I wouldn't miss the concourse one bit if it were to disappear. What I would like to see would be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place recognition for overall dynamic scores. I'd shoot for that and just skip the judging. That's the musings of an engineer.

In any case , I'll be back next year. Build the Alfa and bring it. I doubt any pile of Italian crap can successfully take on precision Japanese engineering anywaywink. Since I'm a transplanted Canuck I'll propose a side bet where, like in curling, the winner buys the beer.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/23/17 2:31 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk :

LOL.  An Alfa with an Alfa motor got FTD before a Miata did with a Miata motor at the challenge.  laugh

Still, BTDT.  Have less of a reason to come down, again.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/23/17 3:04 p.m.

For what it's worth, I LOVE that the Insight won the concours- I've always thought normal concours events were kind of silly, and am really glad that there's somewhere that doing something insane and making it work is worth more than perfectly polishing whatever some large manufacturer cranked out years ago.  If I'm the target market for this event, then GRM is nailing it.

Maybe we need to call it something else since it doesn't work the same way as other concours events?  In FSAE it would be called "design judging." 

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
10/23/17 3:47 p.m.

My goal for next year is to "win" the dynamic score, take the 12 at concourse, and leave the trunk and hood closed to "keep 'em guessing".

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
10/23/17 3:50 p.m.

We have an update on next year's event date. It will not be on October 19-20 like we thought. It's looking like it will be the weekend prior: October 12-13, 2018. Just waiting on a final thumbs-up from the track.

stafford1500
stafford1500 HalfDork
10/23/17 3:59 p.m.

This year was so much fun for me that I will be back.

Additionally, an old friend who lives nearby came out and within an hour or so had a subscription and was starting to formulate his own build for next year. 

Thanks for putting the show on.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/23/17 4:17 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham said:

We have an update on next year's event date. It will not be on October 19-20 like we thought. It's looking like it will be the weekend prior: October 12-13, 2018. Just waiting on a final thumbs-up from the track.

No...... you can’t. :sadpanda:

 

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Dork
10/23/17 5:28 p.m.
Trackmouse said:

Two pages and no pics. I am miff. 

I am Groot!!!

Bob_Wanner
Bob_Wanner
10/23/17 5:40 p.m.

First Generation Insights have the best CD of any I.C.E. production car, and weighed stock around 1800 lbs. Cheap used ones are available for any race endeavor, I highly recommend them. 

 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
10/24/17 1:54 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

I know that the concours will never be popular with engineers, because there is no single correct answer. 

I think it depends on how you 'sell' the concours to engineers. Remember, engineers are trained to do is believe that their ideas are great and to be able to prove that they are right. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/24/17 6:41 a.m.
Bob_Wanner said:

First Generation Insights have the best CD of any I.C.E. production car, and weighed stock around 1800 lbs. 

 

Not that one!

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/24/17 6:46 a.m.

 

I liked Calvin's car. I love Pontiac's the car looked good .  what does a Fuel Injector test stand Have to do with the Concours?  seems to me that was more a distraction to the Judges.  'but That was Kool ' you say,  then go to auto zone or your Fav. auto parts store and be Mesmerized by the Spray Pattern. those tools get passed around from Store to store on a regular basis to sell New Injectors, anyone finding that Interesting doesn't know anything about cars. like 5th graders. Calvin I like your Cars so keep it up and see you next year.

Now the Funny Car,  If you all just FMV the basic parts the answer is NO.  I hear all the love for Poppa Nelson, He was Rude to me. I can Only assume it's because I DO know what it takes to Run 9's.  Once you convince yourself that you are Legal it's easier to Convince others that you are Also.   Ask me how I know.  a Friend that was there that also Raced Professionally. didn't look at it for more than a minute and walked away shaking his head.        Awesome Pass though. 

  I already got on the boy's from GT,  Sadly he Agreed with Me,  Lol Lol Lol.  Go Jacket's

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/24/17 7:16 a.m.
Ed Higginbotham said:

We have an update on next year's event date. It will not be on October 19-20 like we thought. It's looking like it will be the weekend prior: October 12-13, 2018. Just waiting on a final thumbs-up from the track.

berkeley dude!  I need that extra week with what we're looking to accomplish.  

So every year the concours is bitched about by non competitors.  Every year I understand it a little more, but every year the judges are different so it doesn't matter year to year what has changed.  I can guarantee if last year's judges judged this year I would have scored higher because they would have seen all the areas the car improved.  With the exception of svrex none of the other judges had ever seen the car before.  I think I kinda prefer that, as it puts everyone on a similar playing field if you're bringing a multi year car.  I looked at the GT car as "oh great they brought the magic fall apart honda abortion again " until I watched it stay together and talked to one of their 5th year program kids while we were cleaning the cars.  They deserve points for realizing the faults of previous designs and engineering ways to make it work.  And I'll be damned if they didn't edge me by a hair in the dynamic scoring to bump me to 3rd.  I was impressed by every one of those kids, the high schoolers as well.

someone brought up recognition for Dynamic scores.  I'd like to see it as a ribbon under the car in the challenge issue in the standings like 1-3 in autocross and drags do, to help indicate the top all around racecars prior to concours.  Until this year that was all I cared about, this year I put lots and lots of hours into the overall impression the car gives.  Mechanically my work speaks for itself, with a little pointing out, but it was hard for me to put metal fabricating aside and get creative with the looks and transform the Datsun into something it wasn't before. And you know what? I'm in love with the car all over again.  

thanks for the great weekend everyone, I have a blast when I remember to keep it fun.  Next year we're shooting for the overall win while having as good as time not worrying about scores as we did this year.

build an all around car, build a car to excel at 1/3 the event, buy a car that sucks at all 3 and win the party.  It doesn't matter, just show up.   If you show up and still don't get it, it's probably best you stay online and armchair quarterback away all year.  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/24/17 7:31 a.m.

In reply to GTXVette :

Dial it down, dude. 

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
10/24/17 7:32 a.m.
GTXVette said:

 

I liked Calvin's car. I love Pontiac's the car looked good .  what does a Fuel Injector test stand Have to do with the Concours?  seems to me that was more a distraction to the Judges.  'but That was Kool ' you say,  then go to auto zone or your Fav. auto parts store and be Mesmerized by the Spray Pattern. those tools get passed around from Store to store on a regular basis to sell New Injectors, anyone finding that Interesting doesn't know anything about cars. like 5th graders. Calvin I like your Cars so keep it up and see you next year.

Now the Funny Car,  If you all just FMV the basic parts the answer is NO.  I hear all the love for Poppa Nelson, He was Rude to me. I can Only assume it's because I DO know what it takes to Run 9's.  Once you convince yourself that you are Legal it's easier to Convince others that you are Also.   Ask me how I know.  a Friend that was there that also Raced Professionally. didn't look at it for more than a minute and walked away shaking his head.        Awesome Pass though. 

  I already got on the boy's from GT,  Sadly he Agreed with Me,  Lol Lol Lol.  Go Jacket's

I normally don't respond to these types of comments, but I think I can answer a few of the questions/comments you have. 

I believe you missed the point of the injector test stand. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a home made injector test stand, because that is only mildly interesting. What was cool about it was I took a set of stock injectors and decapped them, making them flow like $400-$500 injectors. I did not even operate the thing in front of the judges. It was just there to show the difference in flow between stock and decapped injectors.

By "funny car", I assume you are talking about my dad's Datsun. The cylinder heads were cracked when we bought them. Then we fixed them with help from some friends. I don't think it would be fair to have to FMV a part you bought cheap because it was damaged, after you fixed it. The engine was worn out when we got it, but we ran it anyways. I will talk to my dad about posting the pictures of the cylinder walls. I could go on..

Hope that cleared a few things up for you.

danneskjold
danneskjold New Reader
10/24/17 7:34 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Dumb question- how did the insight win the concourse...it looks very thrashed together...the appearance execution looks terrible.   

You just sound butt-hurt at being beaten by a bunch of highschoolers. After seeing some of the wild builds this year I can't wait to go for my first time in 2018.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/24/17 7:40 a.m.

In reply to danneskjold :

Nah.... butt hurt is just a natural state. Alfa hasn't been to the Challenge since 2004! cheeky

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/24/17 7:42 a.m.
danneskjold said:
alfadriver said:

Dumb question- how did the insight win the concourse...it looks very thrashed together...the appearance execution looks terrible.   

You just sound butt-hurt at being beaten by a bunch of highschoolers. After seeing some of the wild builds this year I can't wait to go for my first time in 2018.

LOl.  ok.  At least everyone knows you can do really bad fiberglass work and it will be overlooked.

Go for it, you'll have a good time.  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/24/17 7:43 a.m.
TheV8Kid said:
GTXVette said:

 

I liked Calvin's car. I love Pontiac's the car looked good .  what does a Fuel Injector test stand Have to do with the Concours?  seems to me that was more a distraction to the Judges.  'but That was Kool ' you say,  then go to auto zone or your Fav. auto parts store and be Mesmerized by the Spray Pattern. those tools get passed around from Store to store on a regular basis to sell New Injectors, anyone finding that Interesting doesn't know anything about cars. like 5th graders. Calvin I like your Cars so keep it up and see you next year.

Now the Funny Car,  If you all just FMV the basic parts the answer is NO.  I hear all the love for Poppa Nelson, He was Rude to me. I can Only assume it's because I DO know what it takes to Run 9's.  Once you convince yourself that you are Legal it's easier to Convince others that you are Also.   Ask me how I know.  a Friend that was there that also Raced Professionally. didn't look at it for more than a minute and walked away shaking his head.        Awesome Pass though. 

  I already got on the boy's from GT,  Sadly he Agreed with Me,  Lol Lol Lol.  Go Jacket's

I normally don't respond to these types of comments, but I think I can answer a few of the questions/comments you have. 

I believe you missed the point of the injector test stand. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a home made injector test stand, because that is only mildly interesting. What was cool about it was I took a set of stock injectors and decapped them, making them flow like $400-$500 injectors. I did not even operate the thing in front of the judges. It was just there to show the difference in flow between stock and decapped injectors.

By "funny car", I assume you are talking about my dad's Datsun. The cylinder heads were cracked when we bought them. Then we fixed them with help from some friends. I don't think it would be fair to have to FMV a part you bought cheap because it was damaged, after you fixed it. The engine was worn out when we got it, but we ran it anyways. I will talk to my dad about posting the pictures of the cylinder walls. I could go on..

Hope that cleared a few things up for you.

Calvin, you have more grace than I. Posts like that make me want to scream. 

I will say, as a judge, that your presentation was completely understood by the judges, and absolutely relevant. No question it increased your Concours score. 

(Plus, I learned a little smiley)

lnlogauge
lnlogauge Reader
10/24/17 7:52 a.m.

I didn't participate in this challenge, or any other. I just watched the videos, followed along with amazing builds, and checked out the results. I have nothing to gain, or anything to lose. 0 eggs in this basket.

The 9 second car listed a purchase price of 100. Looking at craigslist in every area I can choose in my search,  the only sub 1000 shells are rusted up hunks of remains, waiting their fate at the scrap yard.

If the very first item on your purchase list is questionable, it doesn't say much for the trust of the 2000$ goal. 

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
10/24/17 7:56 a.m.
lnlogauge said:

I didn't participate in this challenge, or any other. I just watched the videos, followed along with amazing builds, and checked out the results. I have nothing to gain, or anything to lose. 0 eggs in this basket.

The 9 second car listed a purchase price of 100. Looking at craigslist in every area I can choose in my search,  the only sub 1000 shells are rusted up hunks of remains, waiting their fate at the scrap yard.

If the very first item on your purchase list is questionable, it doesn't say much for the trust of the 2000$ goal. 

The car was purchased over 10 years ago. They were not as valuable back then. It was $100 because some one abandoned it on the side of the road and never reclaimed it.

 

Edit: I knew I should have kept my mouth shut laugh. I did not want to get into this. If you want to get into every line item, you can talk to my dad. I do not know all of the details he will be able to better answer your questions.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/24/17 7:57 a.m.

I truly feel I am more like you Guy's than My post may seem, I try to Hit all the Local Swap meet's and often spend more than I make. I know a deal when I see It. I do Not Have the tools or Talent to Weld Heads so I know what it's worth.  I am a Carb Guy so I thought that Injectors need be Very Precise and don't know how one would regulate a Decapped Injector , I should have come down for a demonstration.

 The engine I was planning on using next year I got from a Boat with Minor issues that the owner thought were Major,he had the wrong Pushrods, no you can't have it back.  I built a Dominator I got for 35 dollars I thought no one would believe it so was looking for another. If ya'll's is good Mine is too.  see you next year.  

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
10/24/17 8:02 a.m.
GTXVette said:

I truly feel I am more like you Guy's than My post may seem, I try to Hit all the Local Swap meet's and often spend more than I make. I know a deal when I see It. I do Not Have the tools or Talent to Weld Heads so I know what it's worth.  I am a Carb Guy so I thought that Injectors need be Very Precise and don't know how one would regulate a Decapped Injector , I should have come down for a demonstration.

 The engine I was planning on using next year I got from a Boat with Minor issues that the owner thought were Major,he had the wrong Pushrods, no you can't have it back.  I built a Dominator I got for 35 dollars I thought no one would believe it so was looking for another. If ya'll's is good Mine is too.  see you next year.  

Glad I could clear a few things up for you. Sorry if we were rude, or came across that way.

Hope to see you next year as well.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/24/17 8:23 a.m.

 

Paul, the Scream Machine will Have a seat Just for You. Lol,  Ain't Scared to say what I think. I'm too Old to worry about it. I like you anyway,  If your Journey's bring you over this way you must stop by. But I feel that way about Les and he won't Talk to me Either. Laffin' again.

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/24/17 9:01 a.m.

1. GTXVette.  I sent a PM to you earlier apologizing for any rude or out of line comment.  While I don't recall even approaching something rude to anyone, I am not about to say it did not occur.  I will say I do not recall.  And, have had to apologize for things most of my adult life because my intent and impact don't always align.  6 days ago I was informed that I wrote something offensive and hurtful.  I reread it 3 times in the tone in which I meant it and wrote it, and I couldn't see the errors of my statement.  I then reread it in a negative tone an could see the offendees point of view.  I apologized to that person and I sincerely apologize to you.  Please reply to my PM and let me know what I said.  The board is not the place for these details. 

2. We are building cars with $2017.  We are not building $2017 cars.

3. $100 car was not only the price, it was the delivered price.  Those cars are available in our area.  We walked away from a 72 240Z 2-3 weeks ago for $200 and it was/is in better shape then the one we used in this build.  I bought a 75 280Z for $49.95 off eBay.  We learned early on that one of the keys to the Challenge is buying a cheap car that can be sold down to zero.  If you start high, you may or may not zero the car, and you definitely limit your parts sales.  To date, our most expensive car used for a Challenge platform was $300. 

4. Use your own on line calculator, I have my own calculations.  Our car went 10.4+ at 130 with no nitrous.  It weights 2,455# minus a few parts I removed before the event (probably 7#).  Basic numbers for HP is 392 to 418, depending on which calculator you use.  Are folks not able to build cheap SBCs to make that kind of power?  I don't think there is too much heartburn with that.  Admittedly, we do have an over abundance of SBC parts available since we are in the middle of dirt track and drag racing tracks.  Then add the Power Shot Nitrous that got sprayed gate to gate.  NOS claims 150 HP, we consistantly see 160-170 HP.  I do tune the system with fuel pressure to better match the cylinder weight and don't rely on the the single setting in the instructions.  150 HP should be a 0.9 second improvement.  We saw/see/ran 0.89.  Final HP numbers are 526 to 544 on spray.  Are there any parts or pieces in question?

5. We tested and tested and tested.  We changed parts to match an ET event, not a MPH event.  We adjusted launch rpms, shift rpms, gear ratios, timing.  Did I mention we tested and tested and tested?

6. One of the single most important items that must be employed when building a Challenge car is this....  $20 is 1% of your budget.  Is that part worth 1% of your build?  Is that $40 part worth 2%?  When you look at the smalls and make/build/account for the small expenses, the bigger parts are more attainable and/or attractive for a budget build.

7. Cars with straight line set-ups don't turn (our car).  Cars with turning set-ups don't launch.  There are exceptions.  Ed's $2014 Mustang and our $2015 Bug.  The difference, they were easily convertible from one discipline to the other.  I picked my poison and knew it was a one trick pony.  That alone was/is/could be 1/2-2 seconds in the drags, but 2-3 seconds in Ax.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/24/17 9:40 a.m.
lnlogauge said:

I didn't participate in this challenge, or any other. I just watched the videos, followed along with amazing builds, and checked out the results. I have nothing to gain, or anything to lose. 0 eggs in this basket.

The 9 second car listed a purchase price of 100. Looking at craigslist in every area I can choose in my search,  the only sub 1000 shells are rusted up hunks of remains, waiting their fate at the scrap yard.

If the very first item on your purchase list is questionable, it doesn't say much for the trust of the 2000$ goal. 

Dude, that is not how bargain hunting works. They call it "hunting" because you have to do more than just stroll out on any given day and plunk down your cash. You have to look look look and jump in when the deal is right. It's not going to be handed to you. Just because you don't know how to get good deals doesn't mean it's not possible.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/24/17 9:43 a.m.
GTXVette said:

 

Paul, the Scream Machine will Have a seat Just for You. Lol,  Ain't Scared to say what I think. I'm too Old to worry about it. I like you anyway,  If your Journey's bring you over this way you must stop by. But I feel that way about Les and he won't Talk to me Either. Laffin' again.

Nobody is too old to be polite and rational. Your earlier post was - flat out - calling the Nelsons liars. It's rude and uncalled for. If you did that to their face maybe that's why you got a rude reaction. His follow up here shows he's more level headed than I am.

Instead of "ain't scared to say what I think," maybe you should be "ain't scared to be wrong and learn something new." It's sad to me when people use their age as an excuse to be rude and close minded.

spin_out
spin_out HalfDork
10/24/17 10:09 a.m.
Patrick said:

someone brought up recognition for Dynamic scores.  I'd like to see it as a ribbon under the car in the challenge issue in the standings like 1-3 in autocross and drags do, to help indicate the top all around racecars prior to concours.

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
10/24/17 11:54 a.m.

Have post-challenge discussions always been this dramatic and I just wasn't paying attention? 

Either way, good job to everyone involved.  Even after following the challenge for well over a decade I continue to be amazed at the ingenuity, skill, and dedication that the competitors put forth.  The GRM staff does ok too I guess. wink

I keep telling myself I'll make it down there one day...  

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
10/24/17 12:00 p.m.

In reply to Matt B :

Yeah, in fact there were some that were much, much worse.  This is pretty tame and fairly constructive by comparison.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
10/24/17 12:05 p.m.

In reply to Matt B :

This pretty typical. Every year we spout off about perceived transgressions, then get over it and start on next year's build. I was an initial doubter when I first saw some of the cars in person, but now I get it. I did OK with my sub $1900 Miata this year. I went to Gainesville for four events as a spectator before I made the leap to entrant, and I'm glad I finally did. You should consider coming to spectate if a car build isn't in the cards, it's fun either way.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/24/17 12:13 p.m.
DeadSkunk said:

In reply to Matt B :

This pretty typical. Every year we spout off about perceived transgressions, then get over it and start on next year's build. I was an initial doubter when I first saw some of the cars in person, but now I get it. I did OK with my sub $1900 Miata this year. I went to Gainesville for four events as a spectator before I made the leap to entrant, and I'm glad I finally did. You should consider coming to spectate if a car build isn't in the cards, it's fun either way.

The best part about your entry is that i know who you are on here now

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
10/24/17 12:31 p.m.

here's hoping my Private pm to the Nelsons have released the tension they may have with me, There pm to me has put this to bed.

dculberson do you build cars, I do, I work on them for a living,  I even tried to help you out because you have a young family.  I belive even the Nelsons understand where I was coming from , and as said I think were ok. Now I might Question his HP numbers to Go 9's  'cause I've made 500 and couldn't get Close to that But a well Sorted Car is better than what i had,  My Forte was Round track. 

anyway I have my work cut out for me. and did learn a LOT

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/24/17 12:47 p.m.
GTXVette said:

here's hoping my Private pm to the Nelsons have released the tension they may have with me, There pm to me has put this to bed.

dculberson do you build cars, I do, I work on them for a living,  I even tried to help you out because you have a young family.  I belive even the Nelsons understand where I was coming from , and as said I think were ok. Now I might Question his HP numbers to Go 9's  'cause I've made 500 and couldn't get Close to that But a well Sorted Car is better than what i had,  My Forte was Round track. 

anyway I have my work cut out for me. and did learn a LOT

I hope so.  I'm glad they handled their replies gracefully.  When someone comes to the challenge to experience it the last thing I expect is to get home to their keyboard and question the competitors very publicly and accusingly.  

I don't feel the need to defend myself if ever accused of anything, my conscience is clear, but if you've gotten the night/weekend calls from andrew and calvin that I have while they're asking for LS info and checking to make sure my build is on track while trying to salvage some pistons from a rusted up block, you would come away with a greater appreciation for what they can accomplish.  Andrew's email isn't flywithjunk for no reason.  He's a cheapskate in the most endearing sense i can use that word in.

Make sure to come say hi next year and we can have a laugh together. 

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/24/17 1:13 p.m.
GTXVette said:

here's hoping my Private pm to the Nelsons have released the tension they may have with me, There pm to me has put this to bed.

dculberson do you build cars, I do, I work on them for a living,  I even tried to help you out because you have a young family.  I belive even the Nelsons understand where I was coming from , and as said I think were ok. Now I might Question his HP numbers to Go 9's  'cause I've made 500 and couldn't get Close to that But a well Sorted Car is better than what i had,  My Forte was Round track. 

anyway I have my work cut out for me. and did learn a LOT

It's all good.  John was the person who I cut short in a conversation when the wife needed me.  I left the conversation knowing I needed to get back to him and missed seeing him at a better time.

HP numbers.  Crazy conversations will always circulate around them.  I suggest that folks use the on line calculators.  I have developed my own equations.  I know where they came from and what the limitations are in the empirically derived formula.   At the end of the day, we race cars and not dynos.  That's why I hate HP conversations. 

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/24/17 1:15 p.m.
Stefan said:

In reply to Matt B :

Yeah, in fact there were some that were much, much worse.  This is pretty tame and fairly constructive by comparison.

Yup

 

Stampie
Stampie SuperDork
10/24/17 1:17 p.m.

Maybe I have a different approach. I only spend a few mins in the lanes looking at Andrew's Z but I instead of looking at it with an No way could that be $2017 I looked at it with Where did he save money?  Within minutes I saw multiple items that he saved money to put where it counts. I also learned that free melted lexan is better than spending $40 on your nice new lexan. 

John Welsh
John Welsh MegaDork
10/24/17 1:25 p.m.

It is easy to disbelieve the Nelson's capabilities when watching from the screen.  I recommend you go and see and then you too, like myself, will be a believer.  

I will ask the other competitors this...  What did you adjust on your car for Friday night's specific dew point or barometric pressure, or what ever it was that Andrew was monitoring?     Yeah, that level  of attention to detail.  

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/24/17 1:25 p.m.
DeadSkunk said:

In reply to Matt B :

This pretty typical. Every year we spout off about perceived transgressions, then get over it and start on next year's build. I was an initial doubter when I first saw some of the cars in person, but now I get it. I did OK with my sub $1900 Miata this year. I went to Gainesville for four events as a spectator before I made the leap to entrant, and I'm glad I finally did. You should consider coming to spectate if a car build isn't in the cards, it's fun either way.

A Mason does not look at a pile of blocks and says I am building a wall, if he is one of us he says I am building a cathedral.  We are building cars with $2017.  We are not building $2017 cars.  Everyone on the outside misses that point.  Everyone on the inside takes pride in it. 

 

wheels777
wheels777 SuperDork
10/24/17 1:31 p.m.
Stampie said:

Maybe I have a different approach. I only spend a few mins in the lanes looking at Andrew's Z but I instead of looking at it with an No way could that be $2017 I looked at it with Where did he save money?  Within minutes I saw multiple items that he saved money to put where it counts. I also learned that free melted lexan is better than spending $40 on your nice new lexan. 

Funny story.  In 2004 I came to my first Challenge.  I was convinced I could build cheap cars.  I was schooled.  In 13 Challenges, I have learned how to cut $3-400 out of builds I did pre-2004.  That is why I love seeing the cars parked together under the pavillion.  It's class room time.  I learn a new trick EVERY time.

GSmith
GSmith HalfDork
10/24/17 1:45 p.m.

In reply to Ed Higginbotham :

That's important info and maybe should be a sticky (?)

I was already planning a birthday return trip (10/20) but there's plenty of time to adjust travel for now. 

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/24/17 1:49 p.m.
wheels777 said:
Stampie said:

Maybe I have a different approach. I only spend a few mins in the lanes looking at Andrew's Z but I instead of looking at it with an No way could that be $2017 I looked at it with Where did he save money?  Within minutes I saw multiple items that he saved money to put where it counts. I also learned that free melted lexan is better than spending $40 on your nice new lexan. 

Funny story.  In 2004 I came to my first Challenge.  I was convinced I could build cheap cars.  I was schooled.  In 13 Challenges, I have learned how to cut $3-400 out of builds I did pre-2004.  That is why I love seeing the cars parked together under the pavillion.  It's class room time.  I learn a new trick EVERY time.

I'm afraid I opened a can of worms when I told you about Summit Racing's clearance racks.  That's my number one resource for big $ parts at challenge budget prices.  couple that with the $25 off $100 coupon and I scored a sorely needed $400 torque converter for $135.  

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