Stephen Brooks is at it again with his video camera. This time around instead of drifting, we get a spotlight on some dope Volkswagens of the Low n’ Slow Club VW from the UK. I’m definitely diggin’ these two uber-low Type 1 Beetles, you just can’t go wrong with a classic design laying frame. However, there are no airbags here. The lows you see are brought to you by static drops. That takes “form over function” to another level.
:: Jonathan McWhorter
Hot rods are slowly becoming a new obsession of mine. A crackling V8 through short exhaust coming out the side of a small roadster and wire wheels wrapped in skinny tires has got to be the coolest form of transportation on the road, hands down. Ben Thomas builds hot rods full time at his shop, Rancho Deluxe, in Melbourne Australia. While the rest of the world progresses with new technologies and methods for making cars faster, safer, and the like; Ben has been working his way backwards. He apprenticed with Porsche for four years at age 18 and since then has stuck with the classics. By classics, I mean 30′s and 40′s era cars. I think that makes the jump from ‘classic’ to ‘OG.’ His pristine 1932 Ford is the perfect example of what hot rods are all about – small car, big engine, and a driver’s seat. (more…)
Keeping with my current obsession with Group B rally and looking to keep a pattern going, I present to you a compilation video of various Group B cars, and more importantly, the glorious sounds they make. While there are always going to be cars that make wonderful noises that make you feel all tingly inside, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that is as aurally pleasing as the likes of an Audi Quattro hammering on the rev-limiter. Everything about Group B was absolutely mythic. The speed, the power, the sound, the driving conditions (whether that be the weather itself or the audacity of the crowds). One might even think that the Gods themselves took on the sport, which would explain the talent behind the wheel. But that’s enough rambling from me. Sit back, turn up the volume, and enjoy! (more…)
While cruising through the internet recently I stumbled across this video of Ari Vatanen, Finnish World Championship rally driver. You might recognize some of his work in the classic short, Climb Dance. Here you’ll see him blasting down the narrow roads on the Isle of Man in the Manx Rally, scaring the crap out of his co-driver in the process.
While I’m sure that we all like to think that we are somewhat competent behind the wheel of a car or are, in fact, very skilled armchair racers, I bet you can’t watch this and not feel a little bit uneasy or say anything other than (or the likes of) “Dear God.” I’m making that bold assumption because, after all, if you’re here and reading this you must have some interest in cars and therefore you can see my connection. This is driving at its purest. Just take notice of how much he works the wheel even when the car is going in a straight line. The amount of skill and absolute balls these men possessed blows my mind completely. One might even say he is a master of sisu, a Finnish word which translates to “driving with guts.” (more…)
For people who aren’t brainiac rocket scientists, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what kind of turbo you need if you’re trying to build a motor that pushes out 500 horsepower. Or 750 horsepower. Or a thousand!
Luckily for those of us that are mathematically challenged, our friends over at Garrett Turbo Systems have put their knowledge in our hands (err, our iPhones… which are in our hands)! They’ve developed an app that will help you decide on a turbocharger for your specific application. This is like having all the smarty-pants Garrett engineers in your pocket.
With some basic inputs on your power goals and engine parameters, the app will recommend the appropriate Garrett Turbos to meet your custom specifications. It will even lay out compressor maps so that you can check things like your efficiency, boost pressure capability, and even turbo speed!
While browsing through our forum's introduction section, a super clean AE86 Corolla from the great state of Texas stood out to me. In his thread, the owner, Angelo, quickly introduced himself and his car, which, in his own words, he "loves dearly and abuse like a red headed step child." Frankly, that's what I like to hear. Trailer queens aren't at all my thing. Read more...
If you’ve heard of AWOL, then you’re probably familiar with their well-produced, high production value webisodes exhibiting all aspects of motoring culture. If you haven’t heard of them, familiarize yourself. Their latest offering being passed around the internet is the short titled “Driftcember.” They covered a local grassroots event in West Virginia in a way that even a lot of higher end events aren’t, with chase helicopters. If that doesn’t impress you I’m not sure what will because everything is better when you add a helicopter. I really enjoyed this video because it gives a fresh look on something we’ve all seen before. Hopefully this will get other photographers and videographers to step up their creative game.
Check out awol.tv for more shorts and episodes of their automotive conquests.
:: Jonathan McWhorter
Flying standby, which may be cheap, is very risky and can be stressful when flights that were empty the night before, are full in the morning. Luckily, only the first flight out of Atlanta that morning was full and I could hop on the second flight to John Wayne at Santa Ana. If time had not been an issue, I could have arrived much later and taken an easier flight, but since I had to be there by 1:30pm PST to make it to the (all-caps) MANDATORY media meeting, I was starting to stress when I noticed the flights starting to fill up. I’m no stranger to the pre-Formula D stress syndrome though. I almost didn’t make it to this point after all.
Media passes are a hot commodity, and the MotorMavens Crew rolls pretty deep, so actually getting a pass to cover the event for the site was an episode in itself. Even though we're an official Formula D Media Partner, and we have a legitimate high traffic automotive site, Formula D's PR agency didn't want to approve all our media pass requests. I didn't really understand the thinking behind that, but I suppose we did have a lot of photo and video shooters asking for passes!
This being the last round of the year for Formula D, and me traveling all the way out to Irwindale CA from Atlanta GA, I had to do it big. I always like to say ‘go big or go home.’ It’s corny but it’s a great way of seeing things - try it and see where it gets you. Read more...
This post is definitely going to be a short one but it will not lack in content. Below you'll find some selected images from the day of qualifying just to whet your appetite for the main event. Read more...
Datsun didn’t make a fast enough truck for Chad Copeland, so he followed Ferdinand Porsche’s example of persistence and built his own. After three tours of duty in the Middle East as a part of the Air Force, Chad took some driving courses and practiced on Eglin Air Force Reservation trying to slide his truck around corners and hang it out as far as he could. This was long before the artform of hooliganism now known as drifting became a sport.
That first truck is now long gone but Chad is keeping the interest alive in the form of his current Datsun 620 pickup. At first glance, it’s obvious that this isn’t your everyday 620…just in case you happen to see these every day. In fact, as much as this truck shows you with its exposed components and armed forces-inspired livery, there is more to be found beneath the proverbial surface. Read more...
That's why this story by Jonathan McWhorter was so compelling to me. It's not about the money or the fame. It's not about your company budget or your connections. It's not even how long you've been in the industry. Those are not the things that make this industry so awesome. I could tell you but Jon did such a great job - I'll leave it in his capable hands. After all, he reminded me. So, without further ado... Read more...