Class 5 only

bhernquist

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Thanks! That's some excellent first hand experience. Yes, I noticed the BITD rules are more restrictive than the SCORE rules, but even under the SCORE rules the Grabowski Suburu is clearly illegal, even to a mere amature observer like myself. It's not like you need to go over it with a micrometer and a tape measure to see that. But then, as explained above, there is a gentleman's understanding not to enforce a bunch of the rules.

You took the smart and safe route, which makes sense so you don't end up having hassles on race day. But there is clearly a disadvantage to hauling a couple hundred pounds of VW sheet metal around to comply with the letter-of-the-law, when some of the people you are racing against have just slapped on some lightweight glass and aluminum body panels and called it good.

There are also the obvious limitations needed to get the cage in the body, notably width, that you've accomodated. Hat's off to you!

Got any pictures?
I've been racing Class 5 since the 1980s and am so happy with the group of guys that have pushed to revive it - Zac, Ben, the Belks, and even the Grabowskis - the "Dale Earnhearts" of the class. The "extra" weight of the steel is not a big deal as they are merely skins and I love the "vintage look/feel". My car scales at just under 2700lbs, with all spares, tool bags and 15 gal of fuel - in line with all of the "competitive" cars. The Grabowski car is bitchin and I'm not worried about racing it nor that its not a "Baja Bug". I bet if they didn't call it a "Crosstrek" most people wouldn't "know" its not a Baja Bug... Look at your options, CRUMCO builds a bitchin car and of course Jake's can't be beat...Hope to see you at the races. Rage and Parker both will have great turnouts for the class.
 

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DrZero

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I've been racing Class 5 since the 1980s and am so happy with the group of guys that have pushed to revive it - Zac, Ben, the Belks, and even the Grabowskis - the "Dale Earnhearts" of the class. The "extra" weight of the steel is not a big deal as they are merely skins and I love the "vintage look/feel". My car scales at just under 2700lbs, with all spares, tool bags and 15 gal of fuel - in line with all of the "competitive" cars. The Grabowski car is bitchin and I'm not worried about racing it nor that its not a "Baja Bug". I bet if they didn't call it a "Crosstrek" most people wouldn't "know" its not a Baja Bug... Look at your options, CRUMCO builds a bitchin car and of course Jake's can't be beat...Hope to see you at the races. Rage and Parker both will have great turnouts for the class.
Wow! What an awesome looking car. Just gorgeous.

So, I take it the first picture is the buggy with the "skin off" and then the second is with the skin on. Are the "doors" actually a second layer over the black (aluminum) body that I see in the first picture, or is it the same thing only painted? Regardless, it's looks real nice. I guess you got General Tire sponsorship, too, congratulations on that as well.

I'm looking at both CRUMCO and Jakes based on everything I've read here. If I'm reading your description right you had yours custom built in Mexico, but with 30 years racing the class I'm sure you new just what you wanted and how to build it. I think a standard chasis is the way to go for me, I don't have the knowledge to have someone build a one-off like that.

Good luck to you in your upcoming races!
 

Zac Reish

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You will spend more on a crumco chassis trying to get it to be competetive and stay in one piece than you will buying a brand new jakes fab car. That is by far the most competetive chassis on the market. He has them dialed and can win on day one. That and if you ever sell you will get your money back. I dont think there is a single car for sale right now that can win in a competitive race. Jakes Fabworks, penhall, lothringer, and Cole Brooks engineering have the ability to build race winning cars. Crumco's have won a lot of races but they dont come out of the box competetive. On my car Jake did the front suspension and cole brooks engineering did from the A pillar back and rear suspension. I’m Really happy with my car.
 

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DrZero

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Thank you for your several helpful comments on this thread. Your car is also very cool looking, and you are a big inspiration to get out and do it. I've read the 250 posts backlog here, so I have a mini-history of what's been accomplished since 2012 in Class 5 - and from all of that, and it's clear, like Bhernquist said that you're one of the pioneers.

Also, I've always liked the way green looks in the desert. Being an old guy I remember fondly the total domination of the KX-500 in Baja and off-road in the 1990s. Danny Hamel, Destry Abbot, Larry Roeseler and Ty Davis, among others. When two-strokes ruled!

Obviously, your knowledge is hard-earned and I appreciate you sharing it with me on this thread. Thanks!
 

McCredie A

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I would keep in mind you do not need to have the best of the best to start. You can have a mid shelf car and still have a ton of fun. You will learn a lot by just getting out there. At that point you can make upgrades as you see needed or sell it and build your dream car.

The point of my message is do not think you need the best of the best to go out, have fun, and be competitve. Like Ben said a good experienced driver means a lot. Start getting the experience sooner than later.
 

DrZero

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I'll let the normal guys reply to DrZero, I would just like to say that his profile is NOT my burner account, nor is he a paid employee of Precepts Motorsports. 😁🤐
OK, they have. So I'm interested in your perspective too, now! Please share them!

I love the perspective from somebody just getting into class 5 because I have some of the same questions.
Are you another lurker who is thinking about getting involved in Class 5? One problem for me is that I live in Vancouver, WA which is far from both the races and the builders. I don't consider it a show stopper, but it's a factor that has to be dealt with. It would be awesome to drive around to see a lot of this stuff.
 

DrZero

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I would keep in mind you do not need to have the best of the best to start. You can have a mid shelf car and still have a ton of fun. You will learn a lot by just getting out there. At that point you can make upgrades as you see needed or sell it and build your dream car.

The point of my message is do not think you need the best of the best to go out, have fun, and be competitve. Like Ben said a good experienced driver means a lot. Start getting the experience sooner than later.
Thanks. Great advice I will take to heart!
 

Bro_Gill

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There is a great Baja Bug builder in Oregon. Check out Muddy Rudder. Dave Brown was a very fast wheel man in a Class 5 for years and still builds great cars.
 

Big Whitey

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A 13 year old home built car just won the Baja 1000, when the jakes fab works car that was entered heard that old car was coming to win he backed out so you can’t say jakes are the best. Nice and expensive yes. it is normal that the builder with the most chassis out will have a better win ratio. I’m finishing a new Pehall car soon and am looking forward to driving a new much better build than my old one. Like many have posted. It is a drivers class and truly has the best and most helpful people of most any of the racing classes out
 

Big Whitey

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We had a plan to finish, we aimed for 32 mph average which is a low speed average and I never did check at the end what we ended up at, counting delays for stuck and broken trucks from 225 to 340 we lost quite a bit of time. I looked at the gps about the time I got out and average showed 34 ish .
Why am I pushing it? Ben backed out and owns a jakes car. I am allowed to give him some ribbing. After all I took second to him last year. Do you deny that if there are 5 jfw cars,one penhall and 1-2 each home fabbed or other builders cars the best odds of winning a given race would go to one of the Jfw cars
 

Bro_Gill

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You just made 25 mph for the race. Not knocking the finish (well, yes, I have a right to a little,) but for an unlimited 5 car, 25 mph is what 11 cars do. That is almost painfully slow.
 

steve0we

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You will spend more on a crumco chassis trying to get it to be competetive and stay in one piece than you will buying a brand new jakes fab car. That is by far the most competetive chassis on the market. He has them dialed and can win on day one. That and if you ever sell you will get your money back. I dont think there is a single car for sale right now that can win in a competitive race. Jakes Fabworks, penhall, lothringer, and Cole Brooks engineering have the ability to build race winning cars. Crumco's have won a lot of races but they dont come out of the box competetive. On my car Jake did the front suspension and cole brooks engineering did from the A pillar back and rear suspension. I’m Really happy with my car.
Great looking car..... Whats up with the rear bumper? Drops the MIC and walks of stage....
 

PRECEPTS

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Guys
I'm sure you are all aware of the Class 5 Coalition Series for 2020, but just in case you haven't heard about it, here's the details;
Three races for points, Parker 425 in Jan, MORE 300 in May and MORE 250 in Sept. Plus bonus $ for RAGE. $7500 cash, trophies and Kartek cash for parts. Top three point finishers will divided the cash %50, %30, %20. Stock engine rules will apply. Pump gas, 91 octane only. Contact drew@belkfarms.com for more info. Please note the engine rules by the promoters are not necessarily the same as the coalition stock rules and the coalition points are basically a class within a class.
 

ksmith

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OK, they have. So I'm interested in your perspective too, now! Please share them!



Are you another lurker who is thinking about getting involved in Class 5? One problem for me is that I live in Vancouver, WA which is far from both the races and the builders. I don't consider it a show stopper, but it's a factor that has to be dealt with. It would be awesome to drive around to see a lot of this stuff.
Let me start by saying I live in Eugene Oregon. If you are ever down this way let me know and your welcome to look over our car and ask questions ect. We built our car back in 2007. Updated to an Ecotec in 2011. Its not a "competitive" car by today's standards, but in the longer races where attrition takes out more than half the field, we have accumulated a good sized wall of podium finishes over the years. We have had a ton of fun over the years racing with VORRA www.vorraracing.com Check them out for some awesome grassroots racing in Northern NV and CA. With myself, Jerry Baker and RadioBirdman on here we could have a solid 5U class at a few races in VORRA next season! The Ecotec has definitely given new life to the class and its pretty exciting to see all of the new builds coming out. I would second Dave Brown as an excellent fabricator/builder up in your area. I remember him well from the old CODRA days (Central Oregon Desert Racing Assoc) He builds a very clean, fast and reliable car.

As for the rules, everyone here has spelled it out pretty well. We didn't push and rules on our car and just followed the rule book. I have a soft spot for full bodied 5U cars. Something about them is so classic and clean and real. Doors that work ect. Its just a different look/feel and I love it! Justin "Bean" Smith is running some of the big races down south successfully with a full body. I loved the Grinch (Zacs car) when it was an oval window full body. Now that its a convert its' still an awesome car and much faster now, but the converts just don't do it for me like the full bodies.
 
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