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bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/18/24 12:54 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

I am now curious as to this really bad idea and how I can be of assistance in a couple years....

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/24 12:58 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Resistance is futile. 

Also please remember that we (fans, subscribers, participants, friends) look toward improvement as judgement of success. The optics we gauge are reflected by comparison to those mega-growth YouTube types not realizing that success for the Challenge is not a million clicks but quality builds that help grow the readership, not necessarily the event. 

Personally I want to see more if the Smurf blue NC with the 8 speed Bimmer trans and the ridiculously intoxicating WOT boost wail. I want to see time spent on the underdog type folks that show up with average appearing cars that are so good they leave you speechless like Robs RX8.

Personally I would like to see more people who didn't build cars show up and enjoy the event. That's what I think is missing.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/24 2:06 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

average appearing cars that are so good they leave you speechless like Robs RX8.

Personally I would like to see more people who didn't build cars show up and enjoy the event. That's what I think is missing.

I wonder if the radical builds scare more people away than they attract?

I have unfinished business with MonZora, but life is going to keep me from competing in 2025. So if she's compliant to the 2026 rules, she'll be back. If not, I'm 100% all in for the Envelope class in 2026. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/18/24 2:13 p.m.

I still think that you will get more cars if you run the event in a more populated area. But it seems like most people here don't want to drive more than 5 hours to an event. I remember a lot more cars years ago, and a lot more cars from out of state in the old days. Maybe it's the price of gas.

I drove a $600 Suzuki Swift all the way from Texas to Gainesville for the event. Drove it. Did not trailer it. Tools, parts, suitcases and everything else I needed had to fit in the car. Everybody I knew here in Texas thought I was crazy. I can remember after multiple fun runs at the drag strip realizing that I still have to drive the car home about 1,000 miles and that this should be my last run. Maybe they cars that aren't trailered need to be in a different class. If there are any left that don't get trailered. Extra points for sleeping in a tent at KOA camps to save money if you have to drive two days or more.

If I ever do this again I will tow it behind my $500 Dodge Pickup truck and sleep in the camper that I plan to put on it to save money. 

 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
4/18/24 2:28 p.m.
bobzilla said:

In reply to Mndsm :

I am now curious as to this really bad idea and how I can be of assistance in a couple years....

I have to really sit down and read the rules. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
4/18/24 2:33 p.m.
Mndsm said:
bobzilla said:

In reply to Mndsm :

I am now curious as to this really bad idea and how I can be of assistance in a couple years....

I have to really sit down and read the rules. 

You're right. That's a bad idea. 😂😂

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
4/18/24 4:06 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

It's not what's in them, it's what's not in them. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/24 6:11 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

The radical builds are radical. Everyone loves them. Even the ones that need floppy dog ears. 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/18/24 6:12 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Resistance is futile. 

Also please remember that we (fans, subscribers, participants, friends) look toward improvement as judgement of success. The optics we gauge are reflected by comparison to those mega-growth YouTube types not realizing that success for the Challenge is not a million clicks but quality builds that help grow the readership, not necessarily the event. 

Personally I want to see more if the Smurf blue NC with the 8 speed Bimmer trans and the ridiculously intoxicating WOT boost wail. I want to see time spent on the underdog type folks that show up with average appearing cars that are so good they leave you speechless like Robs RX8.

Personally I would like to see more people who didn't build cars show up and enjoy the event. That's what I think is missing.

Dude.  Thank you!

 

High praise indeed!

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/18/24 7:51 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

To a certain extent, this is intentional, and it's a reason we've survived so long and have no plans of going anywhere anytime soon. We are intentionally not a mass-market media company, one that dumbs down its content and tries to be all things to all people, or tries to game the algorithms to get as many eyeballs as possible at all costs. We're a niche media outlet, focused on serving a small community of about five million people (all of you) as best as we possibly can. How do we find more of you? We don't carpet-bomb the scene with bland ads promoting action or drama or whatever. Instead, we hope you tell your friends about us and let the club grow organically.

So, rather than spend a five- or six-figure amount of money to get a YouTuber to join us on camera, or to buy some boring ads telling normal people we exist, we spend money to host the $2000 Challenge. It's our way of supporting our community and fostering its growth, both online and in the real world.

I'm glad to read this actually because I run a small company in much the same fashion: I'm intentionally smaller and keep to my odd niche even though I'm asked a lot why I don't hire 10 people and get bigger jobs.

 

Thanks for telling us a location and approximate time so we can plan.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/19/24 11:19 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I'm not gonna lie. As one of the max-effort builders here, the reality of knowing how little exposure your multi-thousand-hour build will get, even if it wins, is a tough pill to swallow. Obviously the community here is awesome. I practically live on this site. The sponsors and prizes are incredibly generous. But when you put in that much time and effort into something so obscure and niche, you hope for a little more clout and recognition in the broader car world. Don't get me wrong, building has to be first and foremost a personal goal, you can't do it for anyone else but yourself, but it is a little disappointing and somewhat frustrating when you attend local car shows, or even SCCA autocrosses, and have to explain what GRM and the $2000 Challenge is. I like that GRM is small, and I think it's smart to stay intentionally small to a certain degree, but like...there are Challenge attendees with more youtube subscribers than GRM the professional media company...

I don't know. It's a weird complaint. And maybe not even valid. And it's not my company. And obviously whatever I'm feeling is my problem not Tom's. But as a builder it makes it harder to put in that sort of effort when there are fewer builds to compete against, and your car is basically useless outside of the Challenge, and hardly anyone will even see it anyway. It feels weird but human to admit, but a certain amount of "big-ness" and notoriety matters, at least to me. More spectators, more actual budget builds, more exposure (whatever that means in this modern day and age), it makes it worth building for and traveling to. The whole point of the Challenge is proving to the world you can amazing things on a budget, and that world is a big place. I'm sure there is a middle ground that keeps the community tight and awesome. Just my opinion as a long-time GRM fanboi and builder and past winner. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/24 11:59 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I've always said that a huge draw of building a challenge car is that you get a little spot in the magazine. Which IS a really cool thing.

You don't get to see the real time counter of how many people read about your car in the magazine however. 

I guess this is only to say - I see how you feel but I push back a bit.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/19/24 12:01 p.m.

I think you should have more than one event a year and franchise the other three out to the locals for each event. For instance, somebody from Texas can put together a crew and cover the costs of flying somebody out here from the magazine to show us how to do it. You don't need the magazine staff to set up all the events. Set up a separate local corporation to rent the hotel and the track. Let the local crew do all the work. Same rules. Same event. Different location. Let the entry fees cover everything, and if we make any money at all it is paid it back to the magazine as a franchise fee. Or hire people and make them part time employees of the magazine during the event. There are different ways you could set up the organization. The point is to set it up without working the current magazine employees in a new location.

Set up three more events a year. Texas. Southern California and someplace up North. If you spend a lot of time building a car, you now have four places across the country to show it off. Kind of like crapcan racing. There is more than one Lemons Event in different parts of the country. SCCA has different regions. So does PCA. This could be the same.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman UltraDork
4/19/24 12:05 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Other than having your own youtube channel to gain views what events really give a lot of coverage? or any basically guaranteed coverage?  
 

Edit: only asked because my viewing is basically just Cleetus, 1320 video or new car reviews.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/24 12:15 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Build the car you want to drive after the Challenge.  Forget who said it first but it's very valid.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/24 12:17 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds like you're the point man for Texas.  Get the ball rolling and if you do well maybe you can convince 2 other people to do Cali and the North.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
4/19/24 12:34 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I hear you, and I'd be thrilled if you never had to explain who we were to anybody, either. But the fact that we're being compared to companies 650 times our size (seriously, that's roughly the number) tells me we aren't complete screw-ups when it comes to promoting ourselves. laugh And FWIW, if you attended any autocross within a few hour's drive of the $2000 Challenge in the months leading up to the event, you would have likely seen some advertising for it. 

Here's how I see it: For 40 years now, we have competed against a constantly changing roster of much bigger, richer companies. They tend to prioritize growth at all costs, hoping to capture the market, get rid of us, and then cut costs and raise prices. So far, none has been successful, and we've continued to slowly grow all these years.

We don't beat them by spending money on advertising, buying 5.71 million YouTube subscribers or buying anything else. We beat them by being honest with our community and producing real content. In a world where algorithms make many of your content decisions for you, we're certainly trying as hard as possible to appease the algorithm gods, but aren't going to shovel money into big tech companies for the privilege. 

I've posted before that I'm not a huge fan of sharing plans until they're final. But I appreciate all of the feedback in this thread and feel comfortable sharing this:

The $2000 Challenge is currently an amazing way to build community and gather editorial content. But it has so much more potential. For four years now, I've been dedicating time and money behind the scenes to investigate what it would take to "push the $2000 Challenge to the next level." This process has included a few different venues and a few different companies that focus on events with hundreds of thousands instead of hundreds of people in attendance. We're making progress, and I believe the $2000 Challenge (and GRM events in general) have a very bright future. But again, we're small and we care about the community first and foremost. 

I've long said that 100 cars at the $2000 Challenge would be a major milestone. Hopefully we'll hit it in 2025. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/19/24 12:47 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

That's an intriguing idea. I think it could work, although I'm sure that a lot of the success of GRM in a time when the car enthusiast publications are disappearing is due to their close involvement in every event from a core group of people including the founding family, as well as the production and editorial teams. 
Handing off the running of a signature event is a big decision. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/19/24 12:48 p.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds like you're the point man for Texas.  Get the ball rolling and if you do well maybe you can convince 2 other people to do Cali and the North.

We would have to convince the Tom and the Magazine Management to go along with a hairbrained scheme like this. They may not want to.

Mrs. Snowdoggie works as a Creative Director for an ad agency. She does Fortune 500 stuff like Toyota and Johnson and Johnson. She has also worked with Richard Rawlings and Gas Monkey Garage. A lot of those Gas Monkey T-shirts are actually her design. She knows a lot more about promoting car events than I ever will. She has connections to other people here in Dallas who put on big charity events and such. She would be the point person for something like this. I would have to talk her into it.

I'm just a paper pusher and a part time grease monkey.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/19/24 12:51 p.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:
Stampie said:

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds like you're the point man for Texas.  Get the ball rolling and if you do well maybe you can convince 2 other people to do Cali and the North.

We would have to convince the Tom and the Magazine Management to go along with a hairbrained scheme like this. They may not want to.

Mrs. Snowdoggie works as a Creative Director for an ad agency. She does Fortune 500 stuff like Toyota and Johnson and Johnson. She has also worked with Richard Rawlings and Gas Monkey Garage. A lot of those Gas Monkey T-shirts are actually her design. She knows a lot more about promoting car events than I ever will. She has connections to other people here in Dallas who put on big charity events and such. She would be the point person for something like this. I would have to talk her into it.

I'm just a paper pusher and a part time grease monkey.

I posted, then read your next comment. You're way ahead of me, and I'm interested to see what else you have to say.

 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
4/19/24 12:56 p.m.
Andy Neuman said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

Other than having your own youtube channel to gain views what events really give a lot of coverage? or any basically guaranteed coverage?  

Define events with coverage? 
 

Sick week/summer/66, HRDW, and Rocky Mtn race week have a decent amount of coverage in print and digitally without resorting to fb or the tubes. Now Cleetus has his fdrm+ up and running for some events outside of Bradenton....

I can easily jump onto floracing and get coverage for the outlaw radial series or lights out/no mercy events.

I get my NMRA coverage either attending the local events, under 6hrs one way drive, or waiting for my event recap email on Monday if I haven't had my FB feed filled with friends posting about the event. 
The only events I really don't get coverage for is World Cup at MIR or Yellowbullet nats at Cecil....

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/19/24 1:07 p.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

Build the car you want to drive after the Challenge.  Forget who said it first but it's very valid.

It's very valid unless you like winning  devil

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/19/24 1:16 p.m.
maschinenbau said:
Stampie said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

Build the car you want to drive after the Challenge.  Forget who said it first but it's very valid.

It's very valid unless you like winning  devil

I drove the Suzuki Swift for two years as a daily driver after the Challenge. Then I blew up the head and sold it on e-bay for $400 more than I paid for it. Not a bad run, but the car wasn't anything near fast. I think I was 71st out of 73 cars, or something like that.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/19/24 1:30 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I'm looking forward to the future of the Challenge too. Don't take my ramblings personal. I trust the event is in good hands as always. 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/24 1:30 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I like driving winning cars. wink

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