We traveled to Gainesville, Florida this past weekend to participate as guest judges for the Concours judging and to meet the creative minds and hands putting together some really credible race machines built on a $2,012 budget.
A few notable entries included a 1986 Ford Escort with two motors from team Little Lamb-orghini. Up front was a 2.0L Zetec engine from a 1999 Ford Contour; in the back was a 4.6L V8 cannibalized from a 1997 Lincoln Continental. Chris Moore and Paul Blaylock engineered this two-headed monster and figured out how to synchronize power from the two engines to the wheels and installed a custom head-up display in the dashboard above the factory instrument cluster. Even with two engines, the Little Lamb-orghini needed a push start out of the Concours judging area.
The overall winner this year was Shelby Dodge Auto Club 1988 Dodge Aries masterminded by Pat Culkin and Bill Cuttitta. The intercooled 2.2L turbocharged engine features custom calibration and ported heads. The intercooler is actually three stock intercoolers welded together for increased cooling. The material for the fender flares came from an old filing cabinet. Suspension bars, 5-point roll cage, paint and bodywork were all built by Pat and Bill in their Maryland garage. Inner and outer springs were combined as a substitute for a coilover kit because the cost exceeded the budget.
Originally purchased off of eBay for $75, the SDAC Dodge Aries placed in the top three for each judging category (drag, autocross, and concours), and earned the award for Top-Finishing Club Entry. Quarter mile ET of 11.694 seconds was the fastest on a hot and humid day. Their best time of 39.196 seconds on the autocross course was good enough for second place behind the External Combustion Jeep Cherokee which crushed everyone with a fast lap of the day at 38.703 seconds.
Below are the awards presented to this year’s entries — all of which showed commendable effort and creativity with the tight budget.
1: Shelby Dodge Auto Club 122.25 points
2: David Melton 117.72 points
3: External Combustion 117.0 points
1: Shelby Dodge Auto Club: 11. 694
2: Tom Sullivan Integra 12.415
3: Scott Evans Civic 12.925
1: External Combustion: Jeep Cherokee 38.703
2: Shelby Dodge Auto Club Scaries 39.196
3: el Diablo Speed Shop BMW 325e 39.239
1: Shelby Dodge Auto Club Scaries
2: Cobra Kai Racing Group 44 TR7
3: David Melton’s Toyota MR1.5
Highest-finishing car under $1000: Tim McGarvey Nissan Sentra
Challengers’ choice: #36 Little Lamb-orghini
Top-finishing crap can entry: Flying Deuce, Greg Voth/Steve Brozyna Mazda RX-7
Top-finishing one-person team entry: Scott Evans: 6th overall
Best attempt to persuade concours judges:
Karl and Marie LaFollette #18: trophies for valve cover racing, necklaces.
Top-finishing club entry: Shelby Dodge Auto Club
Top-finishing oddball car: Tom Clark, Swallow Doretti
*Most spectacular failure: Mickler Motorsports Fiesta
*Spirit of the Event: Georgia Tech. They earned that shit.
Honorable: McGarvey Brothers car buying shenigans
*Editors’ choice: External Combustion Jeep Cherokee.
*Best underhood detailing: External Combustion Jeep
Highest-finishing classic car: Cobra Kai TR7 4th overall
*Best visual package: Cobra Kai TR7
*Best Engineered: Texas A&M…for constant engineering
Grassroots Motorsports $2012 Challenge, a set on Flickr.