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Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything

Posted by john vanlandingham 
fiasco
Andrew Steere
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
March 15, 2013 10:33AM
Quote
modernbeat
Back to the clubbie thing, that's sort of what is happening in Texas. After a drought of rally related events a few people that really wanted rally in Texas have groomed a couple properites, one for rallycross and the other for rallysprint. They've started a grassroots group of rallycrossers and have been introducing them to rallysprint. They help each other find appropiate donor cars and a number of them have teamed up to build rally cars and get into rally proper.

Having a simpatico land owner and/or cheap land with no oppressive zoning restrictions makes getting single venue event going so much easier. Land is so damn expensive on the coasts, and racing is only slightly above nuclear power plant on the list of desirable uses for land.



Andrew Steere
Lyndeborough, NH
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Iowa999
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
March 15, 2013 05:09PM
Quote
Anders Green
This results in the dozers getting faster and faster as each one goes through, with those at the back of the pack reaching the dangerous top speeds of SEVEN MILES PER HOUR!



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darkknight9
Kirk Coughlin
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
March 16, 2013 05:07AM
Damn. They really covered you well is Sweden. I mean all of the available programs and if you raced like near total health coverage? Months paid vacation after a year of work? Damn. John, you may yet change my opinion on swedes.



Kirk Coughlin
Woodbury, MN and River Falls, WI

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crankshaft
Aaron Gibson
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Wow, great article! As a dirt bike rider, I'm greatly impressed!
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KTurner
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
May 06, 2013 05:10PM
Quote
Iowa999
Quote
Anders Green
This results in the dozers getting faster and faster as each one goes through, with those at the back of the pack reaching the dangerous top speeds of SEVEN MILES PER HOUR!
REVENGE!






-KTurner
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Dazed_Driver
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
June 05, 2013 04:41PM
"The price of gasoline"

Fuck you! haha

Sweden looks nice. When I have more time I'll read the whole thing, vs skim the pictures.



Welcome to the cult of JVL drink the koolaid or be banned.
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DR1665
Brian Driggs
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 03:20PM
Quote
john vanlandingham
We need clubs.
We'll never have them.
We'll stay microscopic and in permanent crisis..
1 in a million

I agree. Strongly. See pages 48-49. More coming next month.
Never, ever give up. Clubs exist. We're not looking in the right places.
AND > OR thinking. We need to focus on things we have in common more.
1-in-a-million == 7,000+ just like you on a planet with 7,000,000,000 people.

Seems like I come across mention of LeMons or ChumpCar on pretty much every board I visit. It's almost weekly. I hear about it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and so on. Guys are pooling resources and slapping together absolute heaps for the express purpose of turning hot laps in slow cars. These championships are growing like weeds - and they require a modicum of safety equipment.

What would it take to make a LeMons-legal car legal for stage rally? Is that an invitation what might could be extended one day? Is that a group which might be targeted for inclusion? Could the rigors of pseudo-WRC-vanity be relaxed eversoslightly to encourage growth?

I don't know, but I felt compelled to bump this one.

They may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.



Brian Driggs | KG7KCA | PHX, AZ | 89 Pajero
alterius non sit qui suus esse potest
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DaveK
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 04:01PM
Quote
DR1665
What would it take to make a LeMons-legal car legal for stage rally? Is that an invitation what might could be extended one day? Is that a group which might be targeted for inclusion? Could the rigors of pseudo-WRC-vanity be relaxed eversoslightly to encourage growth?

We have a guy locally that's taking a BMW 325i that ran chump earlier in the year out to a hillclimb which ties to RA or NASA construction rules. Biggest thing is probably that a rally car needs more cage bars....lot of chump cages are pretty bare bones and sketchy looking to me.

Dave
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NoCoast
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 04:03PM
Quote
DR1665
What would it take to make a LeMons-legal car legal for stage rally? Is that an invitation what might could be extended one day? Is that a group which might be targeted for inclusion? Could the rigors of pseudo-WRC-vanity be relaxed eversoslightly to encourage growth?

Brooks Freehill is doing a CHCA gravel hill climb in his BMW Chumpcar this weekend.
I would if I had more money. Full time student = broke.

What it would take.
Little bit of special care when building the cage to make it rally legal. Really just two roof bars instead of one and the a-pillar support are required above/beyond what Chumpcar requires. Plus passenger door bars if you want a codriver. Of course, Rally Solo does exist...



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
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DR1665
Brian Driggs
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 04:27PM
Just struck me as worth mentioning. Every forum out there has a guy on a Lemons/Chump team, it seems. It's one thing to tell a guy, "Rally is easy. Just invest about $6,000 into whatever piece of shit you want to race." It's another thing altogether to tell a group of 4+ guys, "Rally is easy. You just need to add a couple bars to your cage, maybe think about skid plates if you want to finish."

Of course, I've been wrong for years. smoking smiley



Brian Driggs | KG7KCA | PHX, AZ | 89 Pajero
alterius non sit qui suus esse potest
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fiasco
Andrew Steere
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 05:28PM
Quote
DR1665
Just struck me as worth mentioning. Every forum out there has a guy on a Lemons/Chump team, it seems. It's one thing to tell a guy, "Rally is easy. Just invest about $6,000 into whatever piece of shit you want to race." It's another thing altogether to tell a group of 4+ guys, "Rally is easy. You just need to add a couple bars to your cage, maybe think about skid plates if you want to finish."

Of course, I've been wrong for years. smoking smiley

Having defected from rally to LeMons...here are my thoughts.

For most people, it's going to be $6,000 for a team to put a car on the track for LeMons/Chump.

Car $500, Cage $1,500, Seat/Harness $500, Brakes $500, tires $500, 4x silly suits/helmets + HANS $3,000. OK, maybe a little more thank $6k if you're starting from zero.

We started with a tweaked $300 Merkur that we sold $300 in parts off of, traded the interior for an EVO 8 intercooler. It came with 600 lb. springs in the back and not completely dead shocks. Front got some Monroes and the stock rear springs that were thrown in the pile of parts in the car. Cage material was about $600, we borrowed a bender and notcher and DIY. It's not a wonderful cage (main hoop is lacking in a bit of symmetry, but so is the damn body shell), but Jay Lamm said "Wow, you guys read the rules!" when he inspected it.

We had a seat, bought belts, upgraded the brakes with the usual street XR4 upgrades (2000 Mustang calipers with adapter brackets and Contour SVT rotors front, Thunderchicken brakes rear). Car came with four 15x7 Mustang 10-hole wheels that fit OK, I bought another set cheap.

Including race registration, but not including suits and helmets and a shared HANS, it was about $4,300 to be ready to go to the first event.

Our team works pretty much like this. I'm the captain and do the admin shit and research parts and do a good portion of the maintenance work. Brett does the heavier mechanical lifting. We all pitch in for tires, we all pay equally toward the entry fees. Ted does the towing and pays for a good portion of the fuel, Mike works his sales/marketing magic and gets us a sponsor to pay down expenses.

I've managed to get at least three hours of seat time in each of the three events I've run. The expenses per team are probably about the same or a little more than running a regional rally event, but they're split four (or more if you give up seat time for more drivers) ways.

Is track driving as much fun as a gravel stage? Probably not (but I've never driven a proper gravel stage on proper gravel tires, only the rally equivalent of street racing in a school zone) but you do get the fun of working traffic.

The LeMons vibe is a lot more mellow, as well, unless you start getting serious and try too hard and start racking up black flags. The past few national stage events I've attended I feel like everybody is trying to hard to make rally SERIOUS BUSINESS. Mike mentioned at the last LeMons race that it felt like rallying 15-20 years ago, people were just as excited for the party as they were for playing with cars.

Anyway, I haven't read the Gearbox story yet, since the interface wasn't playing nice with my flaky iMac...what were we talking about again? Canoes?



Andrew Steere
Lyndeborough, NH
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NoCoast
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 06:07PM
I like Chump because I already had a car and steel and seats and harnesses and four or five rally friends that were into helping out. We got to and through our first event with a total of $6328.25 spent. Few missed expenses like the wheel bearing on Sunday morning and fuel in vehicles to get to and from the track 90 miles from home, but whatever. We averaged 1:40 of seat time per driver on the first day of racing. 1:10 to 2:20 per driver. I covered most of the build costs, other three drivers paid $750 or so total for entry fee, tires, brakes, fluids and fuel. It was a little higher than even because I set it up so that I only paid about $400 towards that stuff. Everyone was happy and we're doing another event in six weeks.
The coming up 12+6 hour race in September I have estimated our running budget for the weekend at about $3000. Entry fee, tires, petrol, fluids, pads, and rotors.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
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DR1665
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 06:41PM
@Andrew - I hope your iMac is indeed flaky, as I've had a few issues with the interface on my Android and always chalked it up to probably - like most shiny new things online these days - being designed for Apple products. :/

The thing that speaks most to me about Lemons is that sense of things being simpler. I read about teams winning "Essence of Effluence" awards and taking pride in building ridiculous monstrosities and it just sounds like fun. Not that rally doesn't sound fun, but just as I think about how the money I spent on the built engine for my old daily driver might have funded a used G2 car and a couple rallies, I think about how the money I wasted on a never-happened rally GVR4 might have funded a Lemons car and a full season of competition.

As far as I can tell, consumables and transit notwithstanding, a 5-man team with a ready-to-race car could theoretically spend a weekend racing for about $200 each. Combine that with Grant's anecdotes about 1-2hrs of seat time per event and you have a winning combination.

Now that the Galants are all gone, and I'm left with a 100hp daily driver truck (it's like a riding mower with a windshield and doors), I really want to get something low slung and quick again. Maybe I'll get back into DSMs next year. But maybe I'll find some guys in my area looking to start a Lemons team.

If only there was a gearhead club around here...



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DaveK
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 06:46PM
There have been teams who like to inflict pain on themselves enough to have run DSMs at Lemons...

Dave
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1992 GVR4
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fiasco
Andrew Steere
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Re: Clubs and social structures, build vs buy, Life the Universe and Everything
July 24, 2013 09:14PM
I was able to read the gearhead club story. Haven't poked at any of the links.

There is definitely something with the American go it alone stubbornness that keeps us from being Socialist Car Crashing Crazy People, but I think you see some of the cooperation in the hackerspace community. Grant sort of has a clubbish thing going on with the shared garage/quonset hut.

I think we stoic New Englanders are the worst when it comes to working together. Most of us enjoy puttering either alone or with one or two other people. Brett and I pretty much do the LeMons car ourselves, as we pretty much have the vision for how we want it to be put together. We listen to input from the other two, but too many cooks...especially with a budget ceiling. Judge Phil declared the Merkurian Falcon "Cheatier than hell, but it's a Merkur, so I don't care!" -- but the reality is, any more than three BS laps would be excessive for it. I still bribe them well...and I keep searching for a rotted 76 Chrysler New Yorker so I can make a road-"racing" clone of my great-grandfather's last car (which is the one thing I really ever wanted to inherit, just because it was so full of a 440 cubic inch engine, brown Corinthian leather, and so much failure-prone electric switchgear).

Unless there's living-wage money to be earned racing, there is no point in taking it seriously, so I'll just enjoy puttering at a couple LeMons events per year for now.



Andrew Steere
Lyndeborough, NH
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