If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably seen some posts from me where I’m jabbering on about Diet Dr Pepper. You’ve probably also wondered what the hell I’m talking about. Relax as all your questions will be answered forthwith.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a MotoIQ webcast, the subject being how to find partners to further your racing career. After the host spouted off some horrible statistic like “companies receive a billion sponsorship proposals a day,” I knew I had to do SOMETHING BIG if I wanted anyone to pay attention to me. After all, I’m just starting out and I don’t have a huge history behind me; just personality, drive, and creativity. (Oh, and I’m pretty cute too.)
What, I wondered, taking a sip of my ever-present Diet Dr Pepper, could I do to make a company pay attention to me? A company whose product I used? A company who needed me as much as I needed them? The sugar free deliciousness hit my tongue and shot directly to my brain. I could make a model of my car, using Diet Dr Pepper cans! Brilliant!
First of all, here’s a pic of our new 2/1600 car:
This has all the Gentlemen's Guide to Racing livery on it.
And here’s a picture of my radio controlled model:
After a bit of experimenting, I found that using the chassis from a radio controlled truck and forming the body out of light weight aluminum was the way to go. Most of the logos were cut from a can and affixed with Gorilla Glue, but where the body of the car curved I had to use stickers. I just couldn’t get the glue to work unless everything was flat.
Yes, those are pop tabs for headlights.
The way the car is built means that getting to the battery package is a little difficult. It’s a long story, but I wanted the coilovers to show which meant I had to glue some parts together which means that you have to break that bond in order to get to the batteries. However, even though I sent the car off to the Executive VP of Marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, I did not send him the controller. The only way he will get the controller is if I get a meeting. A risky move, I’ll admit, but I’m a risky gal.
I did a video build journal of the entire thing, which I also sent to Dr Pepper. You lucky people can check it out right here! (Please note that this video is indeed NOT over 9 minutes long. You Tube added about 6 minutes of silence at the end, or I edited in 6 minutes of silence. Who knows?!)
And what was this I said about Dr Pepper needing me like I need them? Well, maybe I’m being a tad optimistic (which is hilarious to those of you that know me personally, I’m sure) but I think Dr Pepper needs me to get back in the good graces of their female demographic. The best way to do that? A bit of rabble rousing between those Dr Pepper 10 guys and their little glorified UTV and me in all my 2 seater 1600 glory. Think of it…battle of the sexes, off road style.
If you agree, feel free to tweet directly to Dr Pepper and tell them how awesome I am. Or post on their Facebook page. And feel free to share this post, just click on one of those little buttons vvvv right below vvvv
Even though I’ve been around air cooled Volkswagens for most of my life, I am still woefully under prepared to ever have to fix one out in the middle of the desert. I mean, I’ve been out there and watched guys replace a tie rod in a class 11, or adjust the jetting on our class 5 unlimited. I think the only two things I would trust myself to do in a pinch would be changing a tire and replacing a belt. And let me tell you, that ain’t right. I’ve got this new 2/1600 race car (see previous post) and I owe it to her and my team to build my skills.
I’ve looked at junior colleges and trade schools within commuting distance (read 100 miles) from DC and come up empty. There are plenty of places that teach automotive tech, but I haven’t found anything that focused specifically on air cooled VWs. So I started researching actual repair shops. I figured there has to be SOMEPLACE around DC that caters to, or least services old skool VWs. And finally, I found one. Metric Autohaus.
The license plate? DA 8BALL
So it came to pass that an unseasonably warm Saturday found me with Robert and his pals up at Metric. They were happy to have me hang out for the day, although I’m sure stunning good looks didn’t have anything to do with it. I walked into a large, 2 part garage with VWs in varied states of repair crowding the space. Ghias, Bugs, Vans, and my favorite, Things! He even had a water cooled VW in the corner.
Have you ever been to one of those shops where everyone is cool? Well this is that shop. It’s not open all the time, and Robert is hoping to turn the place around by renting space to individual wrenchers, turning it into a VW co-op, if you will. The shop has a large parking lot that will one day become the site of air cooled VW meetups and hopefully the starting point for many a summer road rally.
Need a carburator?
So, what exactly do I hope to get by hanging out there? I just want to learn more. My first day there I helped put on a bumper and observed some creative welding and problem solving. I also put my design skills to use, offering up my suggestions for interior and convertible top colors to a gentleman restoring his Superbeetle. In the future I hope to be able to tear down and engine and put it back together. Robert says he has a Type 1 engine that was in a flood and has no hope of ever working again, so I should be able to doink around with that one.
Can I tell you how long I have wanted to write that title? Yes, ladies and gents, the search is over. Mega Monkey Motorsports™ is now the proud owner of a 2 seater 1600 car!
I'm in love already.
They had never raced the 1000 before and even thought their pre-runner fell through and they had some communication problems while in Mexico, they were still able to finish in 25:54;06. When Skiny got back to California he grudgingly decided to sell the car and contacted me.
Team GGTR in the Baja 1000
How, you may ask, was I able to purchase a car in such economic times as these? Well, the other half of Hall Ass Racing, el padre, is kicking in, so in fact we each own half of the car and enclosed trailer it comes with. But basically:
Every penny made from Roadfly reviews since I started there in January of 2011 went into savings
I got a room mate in September and put that money directly into the race car fund
Over the summer I saved everything I made working at Shakespeare Santa Cruz
I institute a One Light On At a Time policy to keep my electric bills under $20/month
I gave up cable
I stopped eating lunch on MWF. I’m not really joking. I kind of did.
It wasn’t easy and of course I still have to continue to save. Flight travel alone is going to kill me, but now that the car is ours I can start getting my partnership packages out to companies who need my help to get the word out about their products! I even have a few tricks up my sleeve to get their attention!
We are still looking to build our team. The fastest man on the peninsula, Steve O’Leary has signed on, and our pal Kenny The Russian is down as well. There was someone I had hoped would be available to co-drive now and again, but that asshole hasn’t called me in weeks so HE’S booted for sure! Take note men: If your girl has a race car, you had better treat her right!
I will not do a full series this year. I want to jump around a bit and see which one I like best. I am hoping that our first race will be the SNORE Battle at Primm in February. 1600 is the bonus class in that race so there will be a lot of entries, and I figure why WOULDN’T I want to race against Luke and Daniel McMillan, Jason Coleman, Cody Freeman, et al? In the next few days I’ll get a full calendar worked up and will post it here.
We will probably pick up the car the same weekend as the Parker race. We won’t race it since the car still needs a good prep, but it will be fun to hang out and shoot the shit with pals, old and new. I’ll probably be sporting some serious pink hair at that point, so please if you see me, don’t be shy! Come on over and say hi and we can chat a bit!
(ps: Jim Graham of Desert Dingo thinks I should call the car Rooster. What do y’all think?)
Michele and I in front of her truck at Powder Puff.
I went to Colorado to see family for the holidays and had plans to drive up to Glenwood Springs to see Michele. Well, 18 inches of snow put the kibosh on that and by the time the roads were good I had family obligations I had to attend to. Ah, crap! Michele and I did get a chance to talk on the phone a few times, and the short story is that due to complications with Michele’s breast reconstruction, we have to postpone our bid for the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles in Morocco until 2013. I don’t want to go into it here because we are both bummed, but know that we will take this year to get tight with manufacturers, expand our social media network, and continue fundraising for breast cancer research. You can read Michele’s post about it at www.teamcouragegazelles.com and as always you can follow us on Twitter @couragegazelles and friend us at www.facebook.com/teamcouragegazelles.