Sunday, August 24, 2008

A First Local Motors Location coming clear

This past weekend, Dave, Mike, and I spent the best part of three days in the Mountain West watching, learning, and physically following one of the toughest off-road races in the world, the Best-in-the-Desert Vegas to Reno. For those who have never physically seen an event such as this, when you picture “off-road race”, you should NOT be picturing laborious, four-wheeling, crawls on tough terrain, but instead 120mph passes over vicious terrain by the most bomber, high-wheel travel, well-equipped machines in history…then multiply that by a minimum of 9 hours of action.

These vehicles (the “professional” among them at least) are part space ship and part back-country for one of the most excellent combinations of style and function in motorsports. And the racing like golf, and UNLIKE NASCAR, is not only about the winning but also about the sublime beauty you experience on the way to the finish line.

(A competitor descends from the Mountains at 120 mph about 15 miles away)

Taking part on the vestiges of the Pony Express Trail, the Vegas to Reno race is about as close to modern day cowboy and old west history you can experience. Even the race organized food was terrible and the media basically non-existant due to the sprawl of the event, both of which factors added immensely to the authenticity of the sport.

Put all this together and you have a tailor made picture of the backbone of a part of Local Motors’ seed clientele – the people for whom our product’s flame burns brightest. For the past 4 months, we have been exploring the depths of geographic based auto design, and this weekend we have seen the fruits of our labor come to bear. Detroit, Munich, Tokyo, and Seoul are motor cities whose name carries little interest here and whose populations are under-represented, Cities whose spirit run deep in this sport are, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Dallas and citizens from these LOCALe’s turn out in droves. Though they may utilize parts and pieces that come from the world’s mo-towns, their vehicles are unmistakably stamped with the mark of these home-towns.

If nothing else, this post should give you an inkling of where we are targeting our first facility location. Stand by for more information on our location choice in the weeks and months to come, but, after the announcement of the Rally Fighter, consider this a second railroad spike in the ground.

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