$500 Chump Car Build??? – You Decide

First, I don’t have an axe to grind (but that’s beside the point, so if you think I’m grinding on an axe, so be it – I don’t care, this is about something else).  Chump Car accepted the following vehicle as a $500 build – it’s their game, so it’s their call.  Some people, it turns out, would like to understand how they got there.    

I  know that this topic is very interesting to many people (because lots of them find this blog while searching for “chumpcar cheaters”, “chumpcar penalties” and things like that).  I believe that discussion about these things can be productive (and interesting).  My original plan was to write a story about how a car that was the subject of some “sideways” looks (by me and others) was built.  The owner / builder of the car was quite offended that anybody (me, specifically) wasn’t particularly impressed by his $500 build claim, and had offered to show me his receipts and build log as “proof” of it’s compliance with the rules (as if I don’t know what it costs to build one of these things…).  As soon as I declared my intention to accept the offer, it was rescinded.  If you care to dig into the genesis of this discussion you can read it here – and,  if you like math (and complicated obfuscations) there is even some data from the builder to crunch.   

I like Eddie (the owner) and those on his team that I know – I was the lead instructor at his SCCA Licensing School a couple of years ago and specifically recall that he is a nice guy and a competent driver (he even used my number on his car – that was sweet of him…).  And, for the record, I like and respect many of the guys whom I’ve filed formal protests about at “real” races in the past (yes, I am a guy who will write a protest when the option exists).  These sorts of discussions will always be part of racing – even if we were racing slot cars.   

Chump Car was adamant that they would enforce the $500 build rule – this is the original source of confusion (if you write a rule and then clarify it’s meaning, please enforce your rule – I took the time to read it, please don’t insult my intelligence).  My suggestion is that a mechanism be established for competitors to have a path to follow regarding conflicts in rules interpretation – currently there is none.  At 24 Hours of LeMons races, for example, that mechanism is “The Peoples Curse”.  And again, this is a different deal, and if Chump Car chooses to rely on the “Benevolent Dictator” model, we’ll either live with it, or not.  In any case, I’ll probably still write about it.    

Rather than risk continuing to sound like the transporter of a bunch of sour grapes, I’ll simply post pictures of the car in question during the build process and let the builder (and readers) fill in the “blanks” as he see’s fit.  I’ll even start by identifying what I think the biggest “blank” is – it’s that it doesn’t “add up”.  For the record, I obtained these pictures from the Facebook photo album that the owner dedicated to the build process.  These pictures became available to me recently when a “friend” was tagged in that album.   

My point (in guiding you to the big “blank”) is that parts have value – all parts.  Safety equipment is excluded from the $500 budget, so don’t count any of that.  The Chump Car rules also place no value on labor or team theme (which includes paint, hookers, whatever…) – I’ll presume that means that you can’t credit yourself for labor done in the build process, either…  Look at where this car started and how it ended up.  Consider the following…   

  • Does this look like $500 worth of stuff to you?   
  • Parts have value – start adding them up 
  • Where did the parts come from? (are they special magic parts?) 
  • Or, what is the value of a complete, parts shedding, Miata donor car? 

If it turns out that using previously acquired parts (assigned zero value) to build a Chump Car is within the rules, then so be it.  That is a can of worms that might be interesting to explore, and I know just the guys to do it.   

salvaged from the weeds - nice find guys!!!

look ma, we got a race car!!!


"the bath"

this is the first build photo posted after "the bath"

that's the top that doesn't fit - so, it was "free"

$500 worth of parts... who woulda thunk it?

never mind the "Adrenaline Racing" sticker - we'll cover that up

 There’s a nice photo that shows what could be the “donor car” in the background that should go here.  It was saved on the Facebook page in a bitmap format which doesn’t work in the blog program.  The point is that Eddie has stated that a complete donor car existed – and to be fair, I wanted to point that out.   

Tail lights, rear finish panel, aftermarket rear bumper - $$$$ ????


One response to “$500 Chump Car Build??? – You Decide

  1. Pingback: Chump Car Photos « Meet the Road

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