Friday, February 27, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom from an Arizona R-A-C-E-R

Tonight Robin, Ari, and I had the pleasure to bring the Local Motors plan to an intime audience of Phoenix die-hards from journalists, to drivers, to activists, to builders, to pilots, and simply enthusiasts. How did I feel?

Nervous.

Exhilarated.

On Message.

Ready to Receive Thoughts....

and that is what we did.

30 seconds into my small presentation, John Martensen, Champion Class 1 Driver, pulled out a napkin and started writing. At first I could not tell what he was writing furiously....then he flipped it around and pushed it across the table saying he had just given us our first local Phoenix, Off-Road, expert feedback.



















Naturally I promised him that this would be a feature on my blog tonight, and voila....vintage John Martensen advice for the Phoenix Rally Fighter, (be careful what you wish for John, we act fast on everything that we hear from experts):

-Fire Suppression
-Low hp with high reliability
-Don't build another vehicle for the "big guys" but something to get the family into racing
-Make it so we can drive to the race, pre-run, and drive home
-On street form what is the sway ability....needs to be much tighter than off-road
-Put a constant amber light in the rear, because in the dust you can only see brake lights if someone is on the brakes
-Include bumpers that can be added to the front and rear for "rubbin" while racin'....we ALL do it
-Mega reflective paint or decals in the desert...people get lost, break down, and finding them from the ground or air can be a total pain in the a$$
-GPS add-on is a must, if this car can go anywhere, then we will go, and we would like to be able to get back
-Spare tires and tools...please no fancy, auto, air ram-jacks that don't work and only scream I have enough money to show off
-Washability and no fussy paint jobs...If I am worried about getting it dirty or scratched and if it is a pain to clean, then I won't use it as hard
-Protect all the glass, in fact, front window probably has to come out for a race.
-A.M. and Z.M. are awesome builder-teachers.
-Please rear view camera. This can be dash mounted, aftermarket, but anything to give a view of headlights from behind can save you from getting hit.
-FLAT TIRE DETECTION...when you are banging up and down on a straight away at 100mph you will not notice a flat until you go to take a turn....then you will wish you had known
-Communications
-Lights Lights LIGHTS, and
-Last but not least.....play "Baja: Edge of Control" on XBox 360, I [John Martensen] am in the game

Rock on John! As promised, you have made the LM Blog and your advice has been immortalized.

We will see you in the Fall for more real live Rally Fighter testing.

If you, as a reader, have any further advice like John's, hewn from years of experience, please feel free to share it so that we can all benefit.

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