The origins of the $2000 Challenge | Column

Tim
By Tim Suddard
Jul 5, 2022 | $2000 Challenge, Column | Posted in Columns | From the Aug. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Like all good stories, this one began with friends, a campfire and a race track. 

Nearly 25 years ago, we were sitting around during an evening at Road Atlanta. The track had gone cold, and the conversation turned to all the excuses often heard about racing–like why it was seen as too expensive or complex to do. 

After a few beers, someone–sadly, …

This content is available for GRM+ members only.

You can read it for free in 27 days or subscribe to GRM+ to read right now.

Subscribe now

Join Free Join our community to easily find more $2000 Challenge and Column articles.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
7/5/22 11:48 a.m.

I'm sure beer was involved.

It certainly was when we decided to turn two rusty carcasses of BMW into a single race car. I still blame Guido.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/5/22 12:08 p.m.

Back in the glory days of eBay when you could buy cheap dodge turbos. And find $800 projects on local eclassifieds. 

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/5/22 12:12 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Inflation has definitely made it harder. I feel like my serious years were in the sweet spot of available cheap lsx truck motors and pre 2020 prices on everything going up.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/5/22 12:21 p.m.
alfadriver said:

Back in the glory days of eBay when you could buy cheap dodge turbos. And find $800 projects on local eclassifieds. 

Idk, here's what I found in literally three minutes of searching. Wishbone Civic, Camaro, or Celica. Take your pick.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1452724905149089/

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/756461232209262/

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/746292516569956/

 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/22 3:41 p.m.

Inflation has made it harder but technology and rule changes have made it easier. Chinese turbos, cheap and fully programmable ECUs, and tires no longer being in budget all add up. 

If you take the median score of the top 1/3rd of the drag race I bet the times have gone down, maybe significantly.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
7/5/22 5:00 p.m.

The best way to know where you're going, it to remember where you came from.

spkorb
spkorb New Reader
7/5/22 5:36 p.m.

My first autocross was in that old V8 Monza in the $1500 Challenge and it was WET!  The workers just kept picking up cones and everyone had such a fantastic time.  The vibe was unmatched except at successive events.  I didn't even pass tech at the drag strip and a competitor Phil Kime was right on the case with a solution to fix the problem and we raced later that evening... against a turbo minivan with an enormous nitrous tank running low 14s!

spkorb
spkorb New Reader
7/5/22 5:40 p.m.

In reply to spkorb :

I wish I had tried to buy that Mazda Cosmo that showed up.  It didn't compete but if I had had the cash I would have another project I hadn't gotten around to yet :)

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/5/22 8:04 p.m.

A lot of good.....  well ideas start over beers.  It was a bar conversation in Hawaii that led to Ironman triathlon.  The guy winning the first one also lost....  because beer.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/6/22 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Always better selections in Florida. It's been a while since i saw an $800 Alfa in Michigan. 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/7/22 7:31 p.m.

Forgot one clarification- eBay was awesome before every Tom Dick and Harriet sold new stuff on eBay- so back when it was almost all stuff people decided to sell to clean out their storage. 
 

it's still working, but finding stuff 22 years ago was more fun. 

Our Preferred Partners
Vd9IDtKKatE9SC7PLpVcTcbHvps9yw7VwzvFZyjGYGLpLr6mV5Im6aNlrufpts2v