So you're a car nut, a gearhead who enjoys wrenching on a car to make it neater and faster. If your tastes run to small block chevys. mustangs and the undisputed king kong of American V-8s, the 426 Hemi, you've got plenty of magazines out there, including the grandaddy of them all Hot Rod. The rising import drag market has spawned a couple of mags, particularly after the film The Fast and the Furious. Stock Car fans have their own series of circle track magazines. But if your cup of tea involves turning both left and right there is a magazine for you: Grassroots Motorsports.

Grassroots Motorsports emphasizes a more European motorsports traditions: road racing, rally and autocross. Actually, they began as AutoX because it was intended for autocrossers. But there was also a need for coverage of club racing, and the owners started to do some road racing themselves. But they aren't snooty, and very much interested in racing as it is done by amateurs across North America. That means their project cars are less how to hop up your Z-06 Corvette --- that's being done by others --- and much more about how to restore and competition prep that old Porsche 914, Merkur XR4ti or Corolla GT-S your buddy found. Handling and brakes are every bit as important as the motor mods. The show how to get good results on a budget. They understand that most of us aren't living off a trust fund. They do projects for us.

One of their most intersting series is on the $2004 challenge, where each year the competitors are allowed to spend one dollar per year, AD. Including tires. A certain amout of horsetrading allows for creative budget expansion, but not more than 50% of the stated budget. They competitors compete on an autocross course, a drag strip and a concours. One team charged a Formula Vee with a major shot of nitrous. Another turned a 2.2 powered Chrysler minivan in to an eleven second quarter-mile terror. Other competitors have gotten in the tens. A ford V-8 shoehorned into a Mazda Miata won in 2003. A volkswagon van got the small block V-8 from a stock car and subframe from a Chevy Malibu, along iwth a striking set of bat wings. Ingenuity and horse-trading rules when you have to build a hot car for $2K.

The magasine covers SCCA races, including the Runoffs, Vintage, Improved Touring, and autocross. GRM profiles older performance cars and tests new ones like the Mini Cooper and Subaru WRX STiwith an eye toward competition. There are lessons on racecraft. Information on motorhomes, brake fundamentals, all the anciliaries to the racing experience. They're racers.

If you're a motorsports junkie, like I am, this is the magazine for you. It shows how real people go racing. Both thumbs up and my prehensile tail as well. I can feel the hair sprouting on my knuckles as I read it, but read it I do.

Grassroots Motorsports can be found online at or at 455 Granada Blvd. Ste 89, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

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