WEBMINING> Crank and Piston

Shortly after opening up the MotorMavens Twitter account (Follow us on Twitter!), we learned of a really great site called CrankAndPiston.com. Based in the Middle East, the site owner Phil McGovern has assembled a great crew of writers and photographers.   Read more...

VIDEO> Rod & Kulture Dragfest

Check out our profile pages on YouTube and Streetfire.net, where one of our resident shooters, Travis Hodges, just posted more camera test footage from the Canon HF S100 video camera, which is only $899 online at B&H Photo. We’re pretty impressed at what this consumer level, sub $1000 HD camera can accomplish. 

To capture this footage, he drove all the way out to Bakersfield California to the Rod & Kulture Dragfest at Famoso Raceway. If you like retro funny cars, wheelies, burnouts and nitro breathing beasts like we do, you better watch this video.

What do you think… do you want to see more of this type of stuff on Motor Mavens? Or should we just stick to our core competency – Japanese and European cars?

:: Motor Mavens

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CARSPOTTING> Drag Mazda RX2 at IDRC in Fontana

One nice thing about living in Southern California is that there isn't a shortage of events to attend if you like cars. A couple weeks ago, a few LA-based Motor Mavens went out to the IDRC drag racing event at California Speedway in Fontana because our friend Tobin Honda wouldn't shut up about it. In fact, Tobin personally called and texted me the night before the event to make sure I was going to attend, and he even texted in the morning to make sure we would show up! That's one persistent guy, haha! Here's some background on IDRC - it's a drag racing series that's run by Hard Media Inc, the same people who produce D-Sport Magazine.   Read more...

PAPERCUTS> 1969 Mazda Carol in Daytona

I was hanging out at the Cipher Garage with Antonio recently and we were flipping through his massive collection of old magazines, most of which he's shot fantastic photos for. One of them was Daytona, a Japanese market magazine that mostly covers imports — in this case that means American cars. But being the nostalgic JDM nut that I am, this wicked 1969 Mazda Carol caught my eye. I had actually seen this a couple of years ago in Japan, and you can see a few photos of it in the Japanese Nostalgic Car gallery of the New Year Meeting classic car show.   Read more...

WEBMINING> Belgian Benz on Bags

I have what some would call a soft-spot for German engineered autos. While I may be partial to a ‘certain’ manufacturer, I really adore them all. I was checking out one of my favorite websites, Speedhunters, and came across this crazy Belgian 250S. It just struck a chord with me. You would be hard-pressed to fuse class and charisma any better than this.

Check out the full feature on this 1967 Mercedes Benz 250S on Speedhunters.

:: Andy Sapp

COVERAGE> So-Cal Speed Shop Open House

For my first post on MotorMavens, I thought I'd write on a subject you don't normally associate me with - hot rods. Those who are familiar with my work in books, magazines or other websites like Speedhunters.com normally associate my name with drifting, old school Toyotas and other aspects of Japanese car culture.

However, because of my experiences this past year producing content for Speedhunters, I've come to realize I really admire many aspects of hot rod culture, especially traditional hot rods and kustoms.   Read more...

WEBMINING> The Gauntlet with Herron

More incredible Formula Drift action through the eyes of Joshua Herron! I can remember a time when the only footage you would see from FD events would be cellphone-quality clips from the crowd on YouTube. It is so awesome to see edits like these… and through the eyes of so much talent. Guys like Joshua and Will are constantly pushing the envelope with these videos. They set the benchmark for what I think event coverage should be, and I can’t WAIT to see more!

:: Andy Sapp


WEBMINING> Will at Wall

Formula D New Jersey 2009 from Will Roegge on Vimeo.

If you’ve been paying attention to Motor Mavens at all, you’ll know that everyone that contributes to this site is a fan of our homie Will Roegge‘s videos. And anyone who knows me personally will know that I’m extremely picky and critical of photographs and videos (especially my own). This being said, I don’t often pay compliments photo or video projects unless I really, really mean it. Damn right, I’m picky with photos. This is the part of my personality that makes me always strive to work hard and keep improving my own photos and technique.

As technology improves and HD cameras get cheaper and cheaper, it seems like everyone out there thinks they’re a “photographer” or “videographer.” Being a really good photographer or videographer requires a lot of talent – I believe it’s extremely important for still and video shooters to have a certain sense of artistic VISION – having a good photographic eye is definitely important. However, even more important perhaps than artistic vision, is a strong work ethic.

I’m mentioning “strong work ethic” because I think it’s just not good enough to have the latest Canon digital SLR or Panasonic/Sony/Red/Canon HD video camera (insert any brand here). A 5D Mark II doesn’t produce good photos; a good photographer with a good eye and a good amount of experience does. After all, we’ve all seen plenty of garbage photos shot by people using Canon 1D and 5D series cameras, and there are plenty of horrible car videos out on DVD or on the internet! And Heaven knows, the last thing in the world we need is another crappy-looking drifting video. It’s not flattering to drifting as a culture or as a sport!

So props to our boy Will for having an awesome eye and the type of strong work ethic that has him constantly putting out drifting videos that DON’T suck – the types of videos that constantly give you different viewpoints and different perspectives that the other videographers with more expensive equipment failed to notice.

Big props and THANKS go to Will for the best video footage from Wall Speedway I’ve seen to date. (And we can’t wait to see the sick footy that’s currently being edited by another one of our favorite shooters from Sin City!) I challenge all other photographers and videographers to beat THIS!

Enjoy the video, and turn your speakers up!

:: Antonio Alvendia