What class to run with kids?

usmcgunrock

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So I have been around racing for 20 or so years and have been involved in just about every class in one way or another. I was just looking for some input from people that are running the two classes I am looking at or have been in the position I am in. I have been looking at either class 11 or 2000 to build a car to race with my two 14 year old kids. The few big factors are ease of driving as I would like to have them be able to work into the driver seat. Budget is that of a medically retired vet working as a machinist, so not very big. Car counts as I like having competition and the challenge, my therapy from my military experiences.

I am currently involved with co-driving a class 11 and am up to date on what it will take to build a competitive car for that class but what about class 2000? I was thinking a Toyota pickup built light and simple? Or is there are other class I should be looking at?
 

green787

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I suggest the '79 thru '83 Toyota 4wd straight axle.... It looks right.... and now you can put a V8 in them because I guess at some point a Toyota made a V8 pick up truck....... The size of "stadium trucks" plus all wheel drive like the latest Trophy Trucks..... Let's start a new class....!!!! 🤑

Copy of Toyota1000.jpg
 

turbodon

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You're gonna need more budget in class 2000 IMO. There are guys with 500hp and 4" shocks in that class now.
I'd go with an 11 for sure.
Dollars to speed ratio, I believe a 1600 is the fastest you can go for cheap-ish.
Example: 1600 car compared to other vehicles at past weekend MORE race. 1600 car did as well as 53min lap. This is faster than any 2000 truck, 1400 truck, 1400 pro truck. on par with some 5u's and class 10's. There are nice cars available turnkey in the 25k range.
 

AshtonP9

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So I have been around racing for 20 or so years and have been involved in just about every class in one way or another. I was just looking for some input from people that are running the two classes I am looking at or have been in the position I am in. I have been looking at either class 11 or 2000 to build a car to race with my two 14 year old kids. The few big factors are ease of driving as I would like to have them be able to work into the driver seat. Budget is that of a medically retired vet working as a machinist, so not very big. Car counts as I like having competition and the challenge, my therapy from my military experiences.

I am currently involved with co-driving a class 11 and am up to date on what it will take to build a competitive car for that class but what about class 2000? I was thinking a Toyota pickup built light and simple? Or is there are other class I should be looking at?
1600 or 9 for sure, I just started racing a 1600 at 15 and it really teaches you how to handle a car and keep it together but also how to push and go fast. Personally, I would stay away from the trucks. They are much slower and I think more cost to stay competitive because the classes are wide open and they seem to break much more.
 

Antique Mercury

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1600 or 9 for sure, I just started racing a 1600 at 15 and it really teaches you how to handle a car and keep it together but also how to push and go fast. Personally, I would stay away from the trucks. They are much slower and I think more cost to stay competitive because the classes are wide open and they seem to break much more.
So I have been around racing for 20 or so years and have been involved in just about every class in one way or another. I was just looking for some input from people that are running the two classes I am looking at or have been in the position I am in. I have been looking at either class 11 or 2000 to build a car to race with my two 14 year old kids. The few big factors are ease of driving as I would like to have them be able to work into the driver seat. Budget is that of a medically retired vet working as a machinist, so not very big. Car counts as I like having competition and the challenge, my therapy from my military experiences.

I am currently involved with co-driving a class 11 and am up to date on what it will take to build a competitive car for that class but what about class 2000? I was thinking a Toyota pickup built light and simple? Or is there are other class I should be looking at?
Jeepspeed 1700 to start. My son ,daughter and wife were all riding at 14. Cars are safe , roomy pretty reliable. Very affordable as racing goes.
 

T.martin

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Depends on what organization you want to race in. If you are good with BITD, then Jeepspeed is the best entry level. Get a hold of Mike Barnett for leads on already built jeeps. My 15 year old is one of my co-drivers and loves it.
 

usmcgunrock

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You're gonna need more budget in class 2000 IMO. There are guys with 500hp and 4" shocks in that class now.
I'd go with an 11 for sure.
Dollars to speed ratio, I believe a 1600 is the fastest you can go for cheap-ish.
Example: 1600 car compared to other vehicles at past weekend MORE race. 1600 car did as well as 53min lap. This is faster than any 2000 truck, 1400 truck, 1400 pro truck. on par with some 5u's and class 10's. There are nice cars available turnkey in the 25k range.
Yeah 1600’s can be fast. Seems like a lot of very good racers have come out of that class. I don’t know if my back (military injury) could handle it. The whole skipping over everything.

The rules being opened up in 2000 has made me hesitant to run that class. Too bad they don’t just run 7100 class rules across the board.
 

usmcgunrock

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Depends on what organization you want to race in. If you are good with BITD, then Jeepspeed is the best entry level. Get a hold of Mike Barnett for leads on already built jeeps. My 15 year old is one of my co-drivers and loves it.
Depends on what organization you want to race in. If you are good with BITD, then Jeepspeed is the best entry level. Get a hold of Mike Barnett for leads on already built jeeps. My 15 year old is one of my co-drivers and loves it.

What is the ball park $$ right now for building a good one from scratch? And it seems like bitd is the only one really getting car counts right now in 1700? I have always liked watching them bounce along. Kind of like watching the old moss brothers bronco. I also like that it isn’t very hard to go from 2wd to 4wd setup depending on the race.
 

E.Hagle

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I would buy an already built 1600 car and go have fun. There will be plenty of work to do in the garage with you and your kids. If you’re worried about your back, nothing is smooth in the desert. Our class 10 can hit giant whoops at 90 but going 30 through 1ft chop sometimes feels like you’re being hit in the heart with a brass punch. 1600 had competition, its affordable, and its fast. Or buy a UTV
 

jon coleman

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1700 is a cheep guys class.....period, you can finish most races with a real bucket xj, lots i mean Lots in the junk yards, uni bodys, so a porta power& big hammer will fix most anything crash wize, 4wd, 2wd, it dont matter stateside, but 4wd in the BaJa for sure, find a 2wd 5 speed sport model, 4.0 of course , about a 96 or newer,it can easily be converted to 4wd auto, header , mild cam, comp cams timing chain set, late model equal length intake, port the head ( mild is fine), 62mm tb with injectors& and a spacer too, and the motor should pull 95 on the lake beds, but, bone stock minus the catalytic converter it will Still haul butt, sore back wise they can be gnarly on the ' stuff' factor at speed, heavy straight 6, 10 inch travel up front, just pay attention, but chop& small chatter they float across nicely also Very easy to drive into turns, whooped out sand berm types, most state side type, low center og, & wide , they take great effort to ' bicycle'
 
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Bro_Gill

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Instead of 11, if you really like VWs and want a class where everyone runs 2 seats, go 5-1600. Same tough race suspension parts as a 1600, great for learning how to keep a car upright, rules have been stable for years, and once you have the car, maintenance costs for a year will probably be cheaper than an 11. Class 2000 let the dogs out when they got rid of the same engine/chassis rule.
 

43mod

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Cheapest TL you can find . Run old 2.2 engines and in sportsman , 1400,class 10 ,7 open . Tough as hell and would be pretty damn cheap to run w no fiberglass or class spec parts/ upgrades . 2.2 engines can run on gravel and salt water ,2.4 not so much .
 

Zac Reish

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11, 5/16, or 1600. I'd get a 1600. You're backs going to get hammered no matter what car you're in if you're trying to win. If you're trying to favor your back you're not going to win. If its for the boys the 5/16 or 1600 is the best car to help them grow their abilities for many years. There are bad ass race car drivers in class 11 that can win in any class in the desert. Just because the cars are not super fast doesn't mean you will be able to be competitive with the drivers and teams that are super fast. The only draw back to a 5/16 and class 11 is the body is a bitch to work around and or replace when they or you roll it and the access is limited because you can not pull the body panels off of it. Both will be a ton of work and build good driving habits.
 

Viola1685

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I always like seeing these threads it’s nice to see people still wanting to get their kids involved.

I would say exactly what some others have been saying. Start them in a 1600 and they end up being great off road racers. 1600 is fun and competitive and teaches you a lot about the desert. I started in a champ car which is basically an old 1600 without upgrades. Over the course of about 4 years we slowly did the upgrades then finally built a new 1600. A lot if the top guys all started in 1600. A 1600 car is something you can put in the garage and the kids can learn how to prep it and fix it. At the end of the day they are fast, and those cars take a beating and just keep on ticking.
 

MTPyle

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I think it depends on what kind of races you want to race. If you do 1600 you will only want to do the small races Mike More Snore.

If you do jeepspeed, TL, or some heavier options you can do larger BITD races like Mint and V2R.

When we started looking we were looking at 1450 and TL as we wanted to stay away from CV’s and transaxles. Then we decided we wanted to do some Baja races and for us that meant a full size truck. 1450 guys don’t race any races but Snore. So we moved into 6100 ans got the cheapest thing out there.

Lots of variables but I would look at your long term goals and budget before you jump into a class.

Another thing to thing about is if you need to build as you go then you need to consider resale. You don’t want to do what we did and dump so much in that you will never get it back.

Building a Jeepspeed or TL could be a good investment as lots of new racers want to get into that. Or 7100 and 7200.

Not saying don’t do the little VW classes. Just know what that means in the long run for races. If you dream of doing the Mint with your Daughter don’t start with a car that you would not want to race in the mint.

Mike
 

Viola1685

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I think it depends on what kind of races you want to race. If you do 1600 you will only want to do the small races Mike More Snore.

If you do jeepspeed, TL, or some heavier options you can do larger BITD races like Mint and V2R.

When we started looking we were looking at 1450 and TL as we wanted to stay away from CV’s and transaxles. Then we decided we wanted to do some Baja races and for us that meant a full size truck. 1450 guys don’t race any races but Snore. So we moved into 6100 ans got the cheapest thing out there.

Lots of variables but I would look at your long term goals and budget before you jump into a class.

Another thing to thing about is if you need to build as you go then you need to consider resale. You don’t want to do what we did and dump so much in that you will never get it back.

Building a Jeepspeed or TL could be a good investment as lots of new racers want to get into that. Or 7100 and 7200.

Not saying don’t do the little VW classes. Just know what that means in the long run for races. If you dream of doing the Mint with your Daughter don’t start with a car that you would not want to race in the mint.

Mike

Mike I think we all do that don’t we dump way more then we ever get back? I started on bike and even there it was always had way more into the bike then could ever sell it for. My opinion when it comes to off-road of your looking at the resale then might not be the sport to get in to. I’m sure every race car owner has way more in to their vehicles then they could ever sell them for.

We have been fortunate enough to sell our vehicles for close to what we originally paid for them but not been close if you add in the upgrades and changes.

I remember getting out pistol Pete’s tt after the Henderson 400 passing countless lapped traffic and telling my dad when I get my own car I don’t want to be out there in anything less then a 10 car mainly being that we only lapped like 2 of them and they had issues. I’m so grateful that my dad was smarter and made me start where i did. Had I not started in a limited sportsman champ car I wouldn’t be the racer I am today or have the knowledge.

I’m not saying that 7100, jeep speed or even 6100 aren’t great classes I just think there’s a lot to the 1600 class that those other classes don’t teach you.

I have a 2 and half year old and another on the way and when it comes time they’re going to be running a 1600 no questions about it. The technology is there but it’s simple enough that a kid can work on it and learn his car and learn how to get to the finish line.

I think at this point that’s my .04 cents but is what it is.
 

J Prich

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Mike I think we all do that don’t we dump way more then we ever get back? I started on bike and even there it was always had way more into the bike then could ever sell it for. My opinion when it comes to off-road of your looking at the resale then might not be the sport to get in to. I’m sure every race car owner has way more in to their vehicles then they could ever sell them for.

We have been fortunate enough to sell our vehicles for close to what we originally paid for them but not been close if you add in the upgrades and changes.

I remember getting out pistol Pete’s tt after the Henderson 400 passing countless lapped traffic and telling my dad when I get my own car I don’t want to be out there in anything less then a 10 car mainly being that we only lapped like 2 of them and they had issues. I’m so grateful that my dad was smarter and made me start where i did. Had I not started in a limited sportsman champ car I wouldn’t be the racer I am today or have the knowledge.

I’m not saying that 7100, jeep speed or even 6100 aren’t great classes I just think there’s a lot to the 1600 class that those other classes don’t teach you.

I have a 2 and half year old and another on the way and when it comes time they’re going to be running a 1600 no questions about it. The technology is there but it’s simple enough that a kid can work on it and learn his car and learn how to get to the finish line.

I think at this point that’s my .04 cents but is what it is.
Great advice IMO. A good chunk of the decision matrix, IMO, is what your medium/long term goals are. If this is a building block for the kids, definitely agree with putting them in something like a 16 car that gives them a lot of skills they can build on and move up from.
 
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