Let's Take it to DEFCON 3
The Escalation Continues - Is there a 12 step program for this?

escalation_dale.jpg (31978 bytes)
Are we going to end up like these guys???

Okay, problem #1. We are running out of space to store stuff.
Wayne has this business called the Phone Guys USA that you have probably heard about. He sold 1.6 million dollars worth of phones last year, which is a lot more that he sold the year before.

escalation_ftires.jpg (6609 bytes)        escalation_ftires_2.jpg (7369 bytes) 
Spare set of rims for the F355, and other used and new Hoosiers lying around

So his business is expanding. He currently pays rent on about 4000 square feet of space to store his bazillion Meridan/Toshiba/etc business phone systems. But, he is running out of space.

escalation_ftires_5.jpg (6641 bytes)              escalation_ftires_1.jpg (13423 bytes)
Some of the tires we have stashed in various parts of Wayne's warehouse

Especially because when I took inventory last week, there were 70 new/used tires sitting around inside his warehouse. That’s right, 70 tires. And he stores his 944 Turbo in the building also. Along with about ten 5-gallon gas jugs. Plus two of my extra mufflers.

escalation_ftires_3.jpg (5322 bytes)             escalation_ftires_4.jpg (9033 bytes)              
I started to inventory and label the tires, but I gave up after the first three stacks.

And the rest of the folding chairs, EZ-Up, support equipment, etc. We store our trailer outside, and it is rusting away. Wayne owns 3 cars, and has a two car garage that he only parks the F355 in. I have 3 cars + my wife’s car and I only have a two-garage. So now we have cars lying around outside exposed to the elements. My NSX is now forced to be stored outside, as I don't want to kick the wife's convertible outside, as it will get all dirty and hard for her to drive in the mornings.  And I don't want a crabby wife because of my car habit......

Rathole Solution #1. We need to buy a building.
Wayne will have to expand anyways sooner or later, right? We decided to split the building 80/20, with my 20% used for Pulp Racing(Rental car biz). We search around for a couple of months, and find a 7500 square foot building that is for sale, AND we get lucky with the price. Now we feel like real estate moguls, since the deal turned out so good. And we solved our problem!

escalation_bld.jpg (11721 bytes)
The new building for PhoneGuys USA and Pulp Racing

Problem #2. We are running out of trailer space.
This wheel-to-wheel racing thing is making the cars more and more unreliable as we are really beating the crap out of our cars, and we need more and more stuff to make sure we are fast and can fix any problems.. There used to be the good old days were we would pack an overnight bag, throw some BFG R1’s on our cars, a small toolbox, and we would drive to the track event, run on the track, and drive back. Our attrition rate used to be really good, I bet we only had to get towed home once in a blue moon.

But now, our attrition rate seems to be hitting the 70% mark, meaning that if Wayne, Doug Ota, and myself are at an event, there is a 70% chance one person will break and need a tow home. This is especially true if we do these two hour enduros. And a 50% chance that two people will need a tow home. This is probably due to the fact that in wheel-to-wheel racing, you are trying to catch the guy in front of you, and it really pushes you to beat the crap out of the car to pass the next car. Now that Wayne’s 944 Turbo has no side windows and no interior, he isn’t particularly happy to have to drive it home a long ways after an event. A couple of times we had to trailer one car home on a Saturday, and come back and get the other car with the trailer on Sunday. Now that is a tremendous pain in the ass. Ota has started to rent a trailer, but it is a hassle to find a trailer and pick it up.

I mean, take for instance this past weekend at Buttonwillow. We packed up Wayne’s trailer + Ford Explorer to the brim. We took EIGHTEEN extra tires and packed them on the trailer. I had my set of racing wheels with used Hoosiers on them. But they would not last through two sprint races, two warm-up sessions, and a two hour enduro. So I had to also take four additional new tires to run in the two hour enduro And two extra for spares just in case. Wayne needed four spares just in case. Doug Ota wanted four spares just in case. 10 five gallon gas cans. An extra muffler for me. A floor jack, EZ-Up, folding chairs, cases of water, air tank, jack stands, timing equipment, a zillion tools, etc.


Rathole Solution #2: Buy a bigger trailer. I mean a huge one.
So we put a deposit on a Wells Cargo 48 foot, enclosed two car, fifth-wheel trailer. (Update: June 13th, we take delivery of trailer) With observation deck, awning, air conditioning, generator, etc. Some people have told us we will regret getting a triple axle, 48 footer, as it is real hard to turn. But we feel that we really need the space, as now we can put EVERYTHING in it. 


  may_misery_trailer_only.jpg (21331 bytes)
We ain't SCREWING around any more. 

We briefly considered buying a four car Indy-style transporter, and paying someone to hook up their truck and pulling it to our racing destination, but determined that maybe that was a little too much overkill   At least for now…..

 

Problem #3: (you can see where this is going) Wayne’s Ford Explorer won’t pull the 48 foot trailer.
So now we got this huge 48 foot trailer on order. But we ain’t got anything that will pull it.

Rathole Solution #3: Buy truck to pull trailer.
So now we gotta get a big dually diesel truck to pull the 48 foot trailer.  I got a Ford F350 Turbo Diesel.  It redlines at 3400 RPMs, and has about 500 foot lbs of torque.

may_misery_truck.jpg (9484 bytes)
The new towing vehicle, with 88 gallon auxiliary gas tank

Problem #4. Where to store the 48 foot trailer and the new truck.
Especially if we have cars+tools+rims+cameras in the trailer, I don’t want to store it outside, as if someone breaks in, we will get ripped off big time. I also want to make sure the trailer stays in good condition, especially if we go broke doing this and have to sell it one of these days.

Rathole Solution #4. Put it in the new 7500 square foot building.
After all, we got all this space, might as well use it, right?

escalation_bld2.jpg (9046 bytes)
Inside of Wayne's 80% of building.  Notice old trailer + 944 Turbo.

escalation_bld3.jpg (9969 bytes)
My 20% of building is behind this door, and extends entire length of building.

Problem #5. Rollup door is right smack in the middle of the warehouse.
So Wayne will have this huge warehouse full of phones, and his employees will have to deal with a 48 foot trailer right smack in the middle of their inventory. I have a feeling this ain’t gonna work out. Wayne is also quickly getting back to his original 4000 square feet that he started with……

 

Rathole Solution #5. Cut cement wall, install 2nd rollup door.
Cut another hole in the building in the far back, and put another big rollup door.

 escalation_bld4.jpg (11135 bytes)
This what the building orginally looked like.  We had to dynamite to get another door installed.

In fact, cut the door so big, that if the 48 foot two car trailer is too small in the future, make sure we can park a four car Indy-style transport. Hey, it is good to plan ahead….

may_misery_building.jpg (12693 bytes)
The "After" picture, with door big enough for an Indy Transporter

Problem #6. We won’t be able to angle the trailer into the 2nd rollup door
The angle going from the parking lot to the new hole we are going to cut into the building is going to take an act of God to backup the 48 foot trailer into the door properly. We have problems backing up the existing 20 foot trailer into the middle garage door. A 48 footer into the new door will be even harder.

 

Rathole Solution #6 Forklift.
If we pickup a used forklift, and put a ball on one of the lifts, we can then probably easily maneuver the trailer into the building.

 escalation_forklift.jpg (7326 bytes)
We  need to pickup a used forklift, and put a ball on the fork for the trailer

People think that Wayne and I have lost all common sense.  We think we are being extremely logical and analytical about how we approach the problems we face. Jeff mentions that whenever he thinks he is getting out of control with his racing habit, he sees what Wayne and I are up to, and he feels he is totally normal.

When Wayne and I think we are getting out of control with our habit, we look at Mike Duncan. He rented some building space in Huntington Beach, and was going to build up a killer NSX that would be the ultimate club racer. He and another guy stripped down Mike’s two NSXes completely, took them both apart, and were getting ready to build some killer NSXs. Then, he decided to switch programs, and now they are currently building a GT1 car from scratch. They went out and bought lathes, CNC machines, bending devices, etc.   They got some guy over from England fabricating the frame. They got a person doing the bodywork design, and want to put it in a wind tunnel for testing. They want to put a V10 engine in it, and then start racing against the big boys in GT1…………meanwhile, Mike’s two NSXes are sitting in limbo, completely taken apart, as they start to build a Panoz/Porsche killer.......