A few weeks ago, our friends at Grassroots Motorsports Magazine held their annual festival of affordable speed insanity, the $2017 Challenge, which is held every year at the Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. For those not in the know, this contest pits cars against each other in three events: Autocross, Drag Racing, and a car show they call the Parc Exposé . And the best part: you have to keep your budget under the dollar amount of the year the event takes place, save for safety equipment and one set of tires. It’s an honest budget speed contest that remains one of the most exciting events on the calendar every year. And nearly every year, you can count on PACC Racing to show up with some truly impressive rides built for pennies on the dollar.
The “PACC” in PACC Racing is a fancy acronym for the Nelson Family (mom Paula, dad Andrew, and sons Calvin and Cameron). We’ve mentioned these guys before, as they usually bring some of the coolest, fastest hardware to the GRM Challenge and other budget events. Dad Andrew regularly aims to set the record for the fastest pass in the 1/4 mile portion of the event, firing off a 10.263 second pass at the $2016 Challenge with their famed, bright yellow VolksRod. This year, they set out to beat themselves in a ride that has been over a decade in the making: a nasty, stretched wheelbase 1974 Datsun 260Z they dubbed The SR-71D. After about a decade of design and building, and after a few broken engines, the car clicked off an unbelievable 9.52 second pass
In traditional BangShift fashion, let’s get straight to the pictures!
And of course, there’s footage of the historic pass. Check it out below:
Going that fast for this cheap is truly an accomplishment. Having helped build a few different cars for this event myself, this is one of the only “budget cap” events that really adheres to the actual, real-world budget. You get a free set of tires and some safety equipment as exemptions, and that’s about it. Parts have to come from public offerings, like Craigslist, eBay, or swap meets, and free stuff has to be open to everyone in a public venue, so no sweetheart deals or sponsored/donated stuff. It’s not easy to build a car like this. You’ll find yourself going as far as picking up bits of exhaust that fell off someone’s vehicle on the side of the highway or cutting up a free washing machine for sheet metal to make ends meet. And let’s face the facts: while the Small Block Chevy is about as rare in a race car as water is in the ocean, making a car powered by anything hustle down the track this fast for a real-world investment of around $2000 is not easy. 9.5 seconds in a car that you built yourself in your garage that’s basically made out of discarded scraps is impressive in our book, and it’s 100% Bangshift Approved!
The PACC crew documents all their builds on their website, which you can find HERE. there are TONS more pics of the build there, as well as some of their other projects. Check it out!