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Event

Veterans of the Car World

10th October 2017 — by Phil McCusker

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“You’re in the desert… why would the car need wind-shield wipers?

Imagine spending the week, looking at impressive builds in the worlds biggest car show, SEMA. Sounds like a dream…. Right?

No. Las Vegas has been the hub of one of the largest Automotive events for several years, the show itself has been going for a lot longer than I have been around, but there are some guys that have been tinkering with cars, for as long as the SEMA show has been around, and probably before.

We were looking for something else, less crazy than the builds we spotted at SEMA…

Cue a 3 Hour drive via the Mojave Desert, to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Next to a Man Made lake in Arizona, stands 43 Square Miles of desert town, steeped in Military history after being founded as an Army Air Corps camp back in the 1950’s so it makes sense that we stumbled upon a Veterans Car meet.

I have always been a fan of the car culture in America, the builds are often insane and I have always had a soft spot for american muscle.

This green ’63 Thunderbird was no exception, the fine attention to every detail was obvious that this car had been built with a lot of love over the last few years, for a car that was over 50 Years Old, it was in better condition than most show cars that I have seen in the UK.

Small Details, when in the Desert, you don’t need everything. The minimal yearly rainfall, means that you can get away with not having wipers, not that I can imagine the torque heavy V8 that breathes life into the Green machine would be fun to drive in the Rain!

This Richard Petty inspired Plymouth Belvedere was a throwback to the ’66 & ’67 NASCAR Grand National Season, was it a genuine Petty Car? I Sadly don’t have the answer for that, perhaps it is, going by the Trophies that were found near the car.

“Fast Toys, aren’t just for the Boys”

I found an amazing atmosphere in Lake Havasu, everybody had the time for everyone else, there was no, I’m better than you Chevy Guys, you Ford Guys, nothing, the feeling of a passion bringing people together in one place was overwhelming, for some of them, this wasn’t the first time they had met, with many having served tours around the world, from Vietnam all the way to some of the most recent campaigns.

As I walked around, having video called some people back home in the UK, scanning the array of metal that surrounded me, I found myself looking for smaller details, oddities and just general cool things

I then spotted something that looked a bit out of place.

When I first cast my eye over towards this Chevy Nova, I noticed a POW MIA Ribbon on the back, nothing unusual to find in the United States, they are very proud as a Nation when it comes to their Military, but as I looked closer I found that there was not one, but two Hummingbirds, one hidden below the Ribbon, signifying the sacrifice that someone has made, for their Country, that they were so proud of, that they felt the need to defend it at the ultimate cost.

This was an unusual sight, but a prime example of the dedication to the cars here, this was a C6 Generation Corvette, but the rear end took a moment, it has a ’63 Stingray rear end, which you would almost take for granted the amount of work that would go into this, the paint, the general thought process to come up with the idea in the first place is just beyond what I could dream up.

I will return one day to Lake Havasu City, hopefully with some cold hard cash and head for the Docks in a piece of American Car history.

Words & Pictures – Phil McCusker

Event

FBS goes Live at Japshow finale

2nd October 2017 — by Craig Toull

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The 5th round of the 2017 Fueltopia Barrel Sprint took place on 1st October and saw the FBS championship integrating with the Japshow Finale at Santa Pod Raceway. The Barrel Sprint track moved to the Live action arena to provide entertainment to those coming straight through the gate, giving the spectators a grandstand view of the action from the top of the hill. The smaller width with less run off, brung the concrete blocks closer alongside the track, giving a new mental challenge to the drivers.

The morning practice began on a wet and very greasy track surface, this causing even the current championship leaders a few teething issues. Once the drivers had dialed in the conditions and the surface started to dry the times started to drop. Practice continued until lunchtime and the drivers started to prepare themselves for qualifying, with only a few weeks to go until the Gymkhana Grid Finals in South Africa some of the drivers had made rather drastic alterations to their vehicles (including totally new engines, addition of race fuel and whole new engine calibrations) and this gave them the perfect opportunity to test the cars before they are loaded onto a boat.

After a short lunch break a further 30 mins of practice was given to the drivers before qualifying. This also saw the return of Jake Archer in a borrowed car take to the track. Qualifying began after the practice session and it was soon very apparent that there were going to be some very close battles.

Qualifying results were in and it would see a top 16 format in RWD, top 4 in AWD, top 3 in U1 and top 2 in FWD. Battles commenced and results started to come in, the times were that close it came down to reaction times on the 3rd and 4th position battle for RWD, Ryan Milton vs Philip Staniford in their turbocharged MX5s, the win went to Philip in his military inspired MX5. The final battle seeing Mike Newland and Adam Elder go head to head for 1st place, Adam taking the top spot and putting Mike in 2nd.

Again in the 4WD class reaction time would be the deciding factor, after a quick check it was found that with only a 0.1 second reaction time difference we would see Jonathan Buck get the top spot, with Dmitrij Sribnyj taking 2nd and Andrew Stevens in 3rd.

U1 class would see Andy Biddle taking 1st place, Nick Biddle taking 2nd and Tim Eardley taking 3rd.

Front wheel drive class only involved 2 drivers this weekend, Sean Franklin in his Ford puma and Jake Archer borrowing Seans puma. The win would unexpectedly go to Jake in the borrowed car.

The final round of the year takes place in 2 weeks time at Santa Pod Raceway and if you would like to be involved then visit the FBS website for more information, make sure your car meets the minimum requirements and turn up with your driving licence for a chance to be on that podium.

Photos and words by Craig Toull

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EventReviewsTopic

Night Sessions

13th September 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Welcome to Night Sessions!

Largely unplanned and often last minute, Night Sessions is a place for small, opportunistic features that take place once the sun goes down. Treat it like automotive postcards. You won’t find any detailed descriptions, just a few headline facts and a few pictures.

Paul Beechey starts us off with our first Night Session with his stroked SR22 powered S14a. With 520bhp and aggressive Wisefab steering kit it’s intended use of a drift car is pretty evident.  I was visiting family down on the South East coast of Kent when I found myself with a spare hour in the evening. A quick message and before long, the unmistakable SR bark could be heard outside my front door.

Grabbing my camera gear I ran out the door and slotted myself into the bucket seats. As Paul demonstrated how the turbo spools up just after 3000rpm I tried my best to navigate to a quiet industrial estate where we set up to grab some quick pictures. Satisfied with what I had shot, we headed back so Paul could get back to his family and I could get back to my beer.

 

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (SHOOTINGDAVE)
Instagram: @ShootingDave

Reviews

Ryan’s Red Rocket

18th August 2017 — by Dave Cox

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At car shows like Players Classic, there is a wealth of high quality builds. Picking a personal favourite is hard enough. I didn’t ENVY the task to be taken on by the judges.

However, as I was meandering around I came across Ryan’s Red Rocket. A red s13 that really caught my eye. It’s low ride height, aggressive wheels and smooth body work resonated with me.

I started making up some assumptions about the car as circled it. It wasn’t a drift car, definitely not built for time attack. And if I am being honest here, not a show pony either. All of this was fine in my eyes. Someone had just built this to have fun with.

I liked the idea of just having a car to be a fun car. Not something to smash up drifting or constantly stress about racing. Ultimately, something I would like to achieve myself one day.

I caught up with Ryan over instagram (ah, the wonders of social media) to find out a little more about the car. It turns out this is exactly why he built the car.

With the help of his friends he added fibreglass over-fenders and wings and set about painting the car Dr. Pepper red. It’s this colour that caught my eye when walking past. Not usually being a fan of red cars, this paint certainly set off the look.

A SpecR SR20DET was swapped in and a full stainless steel exhaust added. So it should have some go and sound nice! It was the wheels that stood out, not the usual choice but they look pretty aggressive. They are 17inch Extreme Offset Wheels.

They didn’t come in s13 PCD so Ryan re-drilled them. The manufacturer then saw the result and has since started making them. Ride height has been addressed with HSD Dualtech coilovers.

The gold bolts on the wheels really help draw your attention to them. It’s the small little details like this that I like.

Projects like this have a certain attainable feeling about them. They aren’t massive budget, they can still be used on the road and more importantly you are building memories. This was built on driveways by Ryan with help from his friends. I am envious of that D.I.Y. mentality.

One day I will get round to doing it myself. One day.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (SHOOTING DAVE)
Instagram: @ShootingDave

 

Reviews

Boost Is King at Gatebil

8th August 2017 — by Dave Cox

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During my last blog post, I mentioned that above all, Boost Is King at Gatebil.

Walking around the paddock will quell any naysayers. Everywhere you look, the all too familiar chrome snail can be found making elbow room inside engine bays.