Rants

Rites of passage

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Perhaps its a side effect of getting old or perhaps its a consequence of the amount of strange alcohol i have been drinking lately, but I have been paying more and more attention to a cultural shift in American culture. When I grew up and for generations before, the last major right of passage for any American teenager was passing the driving test and getting your license. Sure there may be some others, like graduating high school, or your inevitable 21st birthday inebriation but lets face it, most teenagers have been drinking long before their 21st arrives so adding legitimacy to it is hardly the event it once was, and graduating high school is less of a right of passage anymore given the fact that most public high schools are little more than holding cells that serve to destroy any semblance of self esteem a youth might have then at the end give you a degree that can later be exchanged for 1 job flipping burgers. There is no real difficulty in attaining a degree (though i guess the same could not be said for surviving the North American high school experience intact, but that is a different topic all-together), and in fact it is virtually mandatory. (more…)

Release the Skinny

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Hello internets, Anorexicpoodle has convinced me to get up off my butt and start contributing to this site. As if conjuring Duff Man in the middle of August in the arm pit of Bakersfield wasn’t enough, now I have to share my thoughts with the world. In the same vein as other self indulgent online articles here are a couple of things I think I think about Ford.

1) First and foremost they make cars that I want to own. Now these aren’t cars that I wouldn’t mind owning but cars that I would be proud to own. Carpocalypse sure did kick start something in the big three and it shows with what Ford is pumping out these days. They started taking queues from their European division and they remembered what a turbo charger can do.

2) I love Australians, yes the women are hot but more importantly it is some of Ford Australia’s products that make get me froggy. Ford America brought over the Fiesta from Europe and I see these things all over the place. Is there some worldly reason they won’t bring Falcon to the states? Drop a slightly detuned 5.0 Coyote motor in there and it would be a riot. Worst case scenario I get stuck with a 4 liter turbocharged inline 6 booo hoo. I am sure I can figure out what to do with a 4 door sedan that makes 360hp with 390lbs of torque. Oh I know, go embarrass the hell out of some BMW owners.

3) SHOnuffff, yeah that is right the rein-visioned Taurus SHO. Never in my right mind would I have thought I would be walking onto the lot of a Ford dealership and asking to look at Taurus. It happened about a month ago and you know what it felt good. With a solid interior, robust power train and a trunk that has more capacity than a truck bed it is a well rounded package. To top it all off the power is derived from a boosted motor and sent to all 4 wheels. Can you say American skyline?? I think it could be the best American sedan under $40k if only it had a RWD bias.

That is enough out of me for now but I will be back as long as I don’t choke on a chicken bone or something.

On everything that is right and wrong with the automotive aftermarket

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So dear readers (my pluralization of that is pure optimism at this stage) we have been working diligently on putting the LeMons racer back together and managed to fit some new goodies to make testing easier, namely a passenger seat so we can do ride-alongs when testing to get better feedback and for teammate critiquing.  We are booked into a track test day on Sunday at Streets of Willow and things are looking good when on my way to the shop that Saturday morning it occurs to me…….we dont have eye bolts for the passenger side harness. No harness, no ride-alongs, and anyone familiar with racing knows that if you need a specialty part on a weekend, good F-ing luck. (more…)

The Time of Legends is Past

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I know this is supposed to be about our race effort, but I think this topic is both pertinent and relevant so here is how this is going to go down…Im going to get out my soapbox and rant a bit and in return, ill never tell anyone about that trip to Vegas or why you needed those pills…deal? I thought so.

So last night I sat down to watch LeMans with Steve McQueen and, of course since I’m a complete petrol-head, i was in 120 minutes of ecstasy, but as I was watching it I started taking notice of all the little things, and I’m not referring to plot subtleties (there is almost no plot) but rather the differences in what motivated the characters in the movie and how they carried themselves. What I am referring to here is the insatiable drive for achievement. To race for the sake of racing and compete for the sake of competing, even if no sponsorship or big dollar endorsement is on the line. This is of course not unique to this film, but it is a theme that is carried out amongst all the truly great films for those of us with a touch of pre-mix in our blood and carries over to real life for those with a thirst to go 1 inch farther just for the sake of it, or 1 mile faster just because. One has to recognize the willingness of these men to drive what were basically road-going missiles equipped with only the barest safety features and the most rudimentary understanding of aerodynamics and take them at over 230mph through a circuit composed of country roads, and this is no fiction, this is the truth of motorsports past. This was our concord moment, the zenith of endurance racing lunacy, achievement for the sake of achievement and the moment at which speed and safety met at their most polar of opposites. (more…)

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