21st Aug2019

Geez Luis!: Luis’s S13 Coupe

by Michael Chandler

“He’ll be here in fifteen minutes, and he’s grabbing some Mike’s!” That’s what Chase told me after he said he had a friend with a hot car that could come by. That friend happened to be Luis, and he was late. But it was ok, because of what he pulled up in.

I didn’t ask a lot of questions, but I was told that this thing has a bunch of 180SX parts grafted onto it. “But Michael, a 180 is just an S13 hatch!” I KNOW! But you don’t seem to realize that it’s not the same, stupid! 180’s are hatchbacks with pop-ups. As you can see, Luis’s car has done away with the pop-ups in favor of the JDM Silvia nose.

Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure WHAT is 180 on this thing, but I do know it looks pretty tight. Check out that corner light, that’s a cool little thing that a lot of people would just overlook.

Chase also told me about his wheel choice before he showed up. I had no idea what SSR Minervas looked like, but Chase was hyped on them. Understandably so. Just look at them! Multi-piece, split five spoke. Just glorious.

Classic wood grain Nardi, angry lookin shift knob, AND JUST LOOK AT THAT DASH! Not a crack!

This is a car that, if you didn’t know lived in southern Utah, could be easily mistaken for something that you’d see in a Noriyaro video. It’s such a clean, and simple build. Nothing too overstated, just right.

I absolutely LOVE seeing cars like this. Different than most, but not shouting about how different it is. Oh, and did I mention that he painted this himself? And that this is the first time he’s paint a car? For a first time, it looks damn good!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners
14th Aug2019

Scoundrel Hangs

by Michael Chandler


I hardly ever get to see Blaize and Chase, two of my friends and also two of the Scoundrels. So, when I was in St. George last, I took a few hours to go hang out and see what the Scoundrel life was about. Or at least a little slice of it on a Saturday afternoon.

Blaize’s soon to be Formula Drift Pro2 car was cut up, and tucked in the corner. But Chase had his Fox Body parked right behind the door, and ready to make its way into the light.

And so out it went.

I call his RX7 a Fox Body for a variety of reason. And by “variety” I mean exactly two. First: it has the venerable 5 liter V8 that real Fox Body Mustangs had. And like those, it makes power. Not a lot, but enough to get rowdy.

It’s also a damn coupe. At some point an S13 240SX coupe, one of the few cars that I’d pay the drift tax on #coupelife, gave up a large part of itself to be grafted onto Chase’s FC convertible. After a while, his FC finally came together as a coupe, and was painted this bass boat gold.

And he’s been loving it ever since.

He’s also aware of how important the little details are. Just look at that little spat on the front bumper. It’s a little thing, but it looks cool and it stands out on the car while not being the major focal point.

And then there’s this absolute unit! I can’t remember who’s it is, but god DAMN!

SHIT!!!

It was a good time hanging out with the guys, and then Luis finally showed up.

But more on him later…

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners
07th Aug2019

What Could’ve Been: Ashton’s Focus ST

by Michael Chandler
Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

As some of you know, and others are about to find out, I owned a Golf GTI. It was fine, except for that whole, mk6 timing chain guide and tensioner issue that cost me a cool $2k. But before I pulled the trigger on the VW, I was looking hard at Focus STs. They were different than the ubiquitous GTI, they were something entirely new. But I couldn’t find one in my price range that wasn’t a basket case, so I signed my life away for a year of German car ownership.

Thankfully, someone I happen to know owns a Focus ST, and is pretty stoked on this whole CAM thing, so I got to see what I had missed out on. That person is Ashton, and he’s my girlfriend’s cousin. He also has The Disease, so I got to drive an ST that was pretty close to what I probably would’ve done.

The car is pretty simple, and what you would expect from a Youth who 1: knows his ass from a hole in the ground, and 2: is operating on a budget. Firstly, he snagged a good deal on a good car. The car was stock, and driven to and from work by some dude. Dude happened to live in the Salt Lake Valley, and work in Logan, but that’s neither here nor there. It was well maintained, and a good platform to build upon.

Power adders are pretty simple: intake and catback, downpipe, and an AccessPort with a hot tune on there. The car makes all the right noises, and doesn’t run rough or weird. Again, this is what happens when you’re not an idiot.

The car is riding on BC coilovers, which are a fine set of coilovers. Hell, all the cool kids are on BCs. However, I’m old and washed compared to Ashton, and those BCs can be mighty stiff. Ashton has his set to “mighty stiff”, and East Canyon hammered that home. He was also riding on a set of Riken Raptor tires. These are the tires my brother had on his gold Altima that he named Hazel, because she was a Golden Girl.

My brother was also in college at the time, so naturally they were incredibly cheap. Little has changed since my brother bought them for his Altima, they’re not great tires. Thankfully Ashton knows this, and is only rocking the Rikens because they were pretty much brand new when he picked up his STRs.

Yes, he’s on reps. Get over it. They look good, and survived a day of driving East Canyon with my dumb ass behind the wheel.

So, what was it like taking a peek into the well of what could’ve been? It was interesting. The interior wasn’t as bad as people said, but the push to start made me forget a crucial step in starting a car with a manual: you gotta step on the clutch. Visibility was good, and the wheel felt good in my hands. It went where I wanted it to go, and I never felt like I was lacking for power. Would I have been happier with an ST, or kept it longer than a year? Who knows! But now I’m not not looking at them.

Big thanks to Ashton for waking up in a Sunday morning, making the drive, and letting me burn damn near all of his gas.

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners
19th Dec2018

Keeping Warm in a Hot Hatch: Gavin Drives a Fiesta ST

by Gavin Pouquette

Words by Gavin Pouquette, photos by Gavin Pouquette, Andrew Jackson, Jensen Litke.

Dear Ford Motor Company,

HOW FUCKING DARE YOU.

You were killing the game with great, fun cars in every price range that put the other two American car companies to shaaaaame! I used to be rooting for you from the sidelines, cheering you on; BUUUUT NOOOOOOO. This move to kill all but two cars in your lineup is downright shameful, and shows that all you are after is the cheap and easy way out. Crossovers. And I don’t want to hear about “bhUt thEy MaKe thE eeEedge ESSS TEEEE!” It’s not at all the same. But you, the reader, saw a photo of a Fiesta ST and assumed this is a review on said car. And as the upstanding opinion-ist that I am, I will give that to you.

For those that have been sleeping under a rock for the past 5 years, the first (and only) generation of the Fiesta ST to come to the USA is small hot-hatch that is powered by a 1.6L Ecoboost motor, making 197 bhp at 6,000 rpm and a solid 200 torques at 4,200 rpm. That power and torque are sent through to the front wheels via a profoundly slick 6-speed manual transmission that is an absolute dream to row though. Like… Seriously slick. Imagine yourself driving a car with a manual gearbox in a dream of yours. It’s slicker than that! Those who complain about gearboxes feeling too notchy, FEAR NO MORE! Notches are almost non-existent with the Fiesta ST. However, I am one to like notches when shifting. It’s why I drive a manual Subaru. With that said, I don’t think that the feel in the gearbox is missing anything. It has its own character that way. Ratios are adequately spaced and fall exactly where you expect them to be.

The maximum torque may, in fact, be at 5,000 rpm, but 2,700 rpm is really the figure to look at while flying through a canyon or your favorite twisty side road. That’s where boost likes to open the door, come in, and say hi. You get a small tidal wave from 2,700 rpm that carries you all the way to 5,500 rpm. But that’s not the end of the story here. Unlike other hot hatches from abroad, (cough cough VW GTI) the sound and the character of the engine doesn’t die when the boost stops. Oh no! The engine still makes pleasant and happy noises up top, all the way past 6,000 rpm, and still has some grunt all the way to its 6,300 rpm redline. I’m not calling it a Miata per se, but it definitely carries over certain traits from our beloved Japanese roadster.

One of my favorite attributes of the Fiesta ST is how it goes around corners. Body roll is nonexistent, so the car corners oh so very flat. I was pushing quite a bit through my favorite canyon roads and kept cars I passed in the far corners of my rearview. Unlike other FWD hot hatches I’ve had experience within the past, understeer isn’t really a phenomenon that ever happens in the Fiesta ST. When carrying speed, you actually need to keep the rear end in check. Although the nice thing is, if that were to happen, it’s fairly easy to catch and sort out with the front wheels being the ones putting the power down.

It’s been often discussed that the optimal amount of power to send to only the front wheels is right around 200 bhp. This is one of the very few downfalls of the car. When really stomping on the throttle there is a little bit of tug through the steering wheel, but it’s not something that a driver that is paying attention can’t negotiate. But other than that, torque steer isn’t really an issue. However, this is where the electronic LSD in the GTI beats the differential in the Fiesta ST.


Another field in which the GTI beats the Fiesta ST, the interior. Yes, you can option the car with heated Recaro seats and change the mood lighting until you’re blue in the face (I just turned it to red and kept it there). But at the end of the day, it’s still a Fiesta on the inside. For a base car, you get Bluetooth and a well-balanced stereo. You get a multimedia display, but no Sat Nav. Which is fine because I wouldn’t use it anyway. If the car came with Android Auto, that would be a different case, but these cars never came with it. Plus, I wouldn’t expect them to. They are a subcompact car after all.

One more point against the ST: For being a driver’s car, you would expect that they would nail the pedal placement for solid heel-toe action… Right? Well…. Not really. The spacing of the pedals was fine for my Size 9 ½ feet, but the brake pedal starts far too high to initiate a heel-toe. The only place I can possibly conceive laying down a solid heel-toe rev match would be on track coming down from a high rate of speed and burying the brakes harder than a racist family member.

All in all, I was floored by the Fiesta ST. It balances peppy get-up with its small turbo motor with fun and quirky suspension and fantastic handling. Along with great brakes and shifter feel. Mark my words, acquiring one is now a definite goal of mine. Not saying it’ll happen tomorrow, but God damn I need this car in my life. I’ve already started looking for one in Ford’s Kona Blue and plan to put a nice set of white Fifteen52 Tarmac wheels along with a few bolt-ons and call it a day. It’s really a shame that Ford Motor Company has decided to axe all Fiestas as well as Focus and the Fusion. At least we’ll still have the Mustang though, right?

This particular Fiesta ST is owned by a gentleman named Peter who lives up in Layton, Utah and I cannot recommend him and his car enough. As this article is being written, the car is on Turo and can be yours for $37/day with 500 miles included. Honestly, I can’t really think of a better way to spend my money on a car. Well, maybe if I actually bought the thing I wouldn’t have to give it back.

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners
19th Nov2018

Cut It Up!: The PowerNeedy S2000

by Michael Chandler

You guys remember Rhett, right?  Had that really cool Integra GSR, ran time trial in NASA Utah with it.  Ringing a bell?  If so: good!  If not: click that link, read it, then get back here.  Anyway, he”s back with a new car!  He sold, or traded, the Integra and now he’s traipsing around in the best Miata ever: an S2000!

Of course it’s making crazy power.  It wouldn’t be his car if it wasn’t.  Hanging off the DocRace manifold is a Turbo by Garrett Gen 2 GTX 3582R (just like what Hert has on the Twerkstallion).  Attached to that is a PowerNeedy downpipe, and oval stainless steel exhaust, that exits right out the center of the rear bumper.  A 45mm Turbosmart Hyper-Gate wastegate and electronic boost solenoid regulate boost, and a set of Injector Dynamics ID2000cc injectors make sure there’s enough fuel for all that air being crammed into the engine.  He then hit it with the Science of Speed catalog.  SoS is represented by a catch can, V Mount intercooler and twin pass radiator, surge tank system, axle spacers, billet twin disc carbon clutch, and flywheel.  Most people would be cool with that, but not Rhett.  Oh no…

NOPE! He also hit the suspension with the SoS catalog a few times! Spherical suspension joints, extended ball joints, and bump steer joints join billet aluminum reservoir clamps and non-compliance toe joints.  Somehow the camber ball joints are from SPC and not SoS, but you can’t win em all.  There’s a Gendron Motorsports sway bar up front, and on all four corners are RZ RS dampers with Eibach springs on them.  Those Eibachs are 1100lb/in in the front, and 1000lb/in in the rear.  Why?  BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A GAME!!!

You may notice that this body work is familiar.  If you’re weeb trash like myself, you’ll know that this is the J’s Racing Type GT widebody in all carbon.  It provides all the street cred one could need, and is actually functional!  I asked him why he went with an off the shelf kit, as opposed to getting buck in the garage.  Here’s what he told me

Make no mistake I really enjoy cutting stuff up and making parts, as I have changed many things on the wide body kit to make it better. Seriously though if something is already manufactured that has been wind tunnel tested and proven why start from scratch? Just because you can make it doesn’t always mean its the best or most cost effective approach. We do this as an after hours shop so making time to work on cars can be very limited. On some things like the J’s Type-GT wide body kit that puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the curve even though we have made many changes to improve its functionality.

And about adding stuff to make it better.  He made and installed hood and fender vents.  There’s that big ass APR GT-1000 swan neck wing that’s attached to the chassis for maximum effect.  That hood vent necessitated the cutting of the Seibon hood, carbon fiber of course.  And the Seibon carbon trunk kind kits around the wing. Oh, and there’s MORE SCIENCE OF SPEED STUFF HERE TOO!  Just some tow hooks, but still.  And the hard top isn’t some super rare, carbon-kevlar piece of magic.  It’s just the OEM one.

The interior is just as much business as the outside is.  Which is to say: nothing but.  Race TechnologyDASH2 Pro dash, CAN and GoPro interfaces, and data logging capture and relate all the information Rhett needs to improve lap times.  He maneuvers the roided up roadster with a 350mm Sparco wheel.  He has another Cobra Evolution seat in this Honda, and a full on fire suppression system.  This si the last of the SoS stuff: a NSX Type S shift knob, AND AN ENTIRE ROLL CAGE.

Because the car is serious business, it runs on serious tires.  Hoosier A7’s to be exact.  He’s got 18×11 and 18×12 Forgestar wheels, and behind those massive rollers are StopTech brakes.  Up front he has the C43 system, and in the rear is the ST22.  Despite the different kits in the front and rear, he’s running one pad compound: the StopTech race compound.

I like the S2000, I really do.  BUT I was curious as to why Rhett went with one, instead of another front wheel drive chassis, or even an NSX. 

The S2000 still to this day has massive amount of aftermarket support, and parts availability. The aftermarket availability for aero, turbo kits, suspension, etc.. is still plentiful and being developed despite the fact the last S2000 was discontinued almost 10 years ago. I will always have a passion for the NSX and the majority of the FWD Hondas. The issue with the NSX are parts are very expensive, as they made very few of them, and the aftermarket availability is very limited. We were pioneers for going fast in a turbo FWD Honda and helped shape some of the current big names direction to get where they are now. I really enjoy problem solving, designing, and creating to overcome a problem, but when we started to make the integra really fast and competitive the parts that were available through manufactures began to fail far to frequently, and being a privateer, it became too expensive to keep the integra on the track.

Fair enough.  This car is amazing, and as is evident in his performance at Super Lap Battle the S2000 is one of the chassis to beat for the RWD classes.  I’m just glad this thing gets on the track, as opposed to be a garage queen/hard parker.

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Sep2018

A Goddess Among Subarus: Abeona, Megan’s ’15 STI

by Michael Chandler

This 2015 STI is a lot of things.  It’s the culmination of a long life journey, full of some of the pitfalls we all fall in to.  It’s the green light across the harbor, except it’s not an unattainable goal in a book we had to read in high school.  It’s what we all want: something to call and make our own.  

What ever that may mean.  In Megan’s case, it meant building a fun, reliable daily driver, then hitting it with some flavor you don’t see much of at all: Itasha.  We’ll get to that in a minute, let’s go back to the beginning…

Megan Lalock is originally from a city notable for throwing batteries at Santa Claus: Philadelphia.  It was there that her dad instilled a love of cars in her by always working on cars.  From there she started building and racing Hondas. “I just always had a good time being a female in a male dominated world and being able to hang ‘with the big boys’.”  And then she started dating a fella.  A fella who said “cars are kind of silly, why don’t you put your money into something that is worth it.”

And like we’ve all done, she listened.  “I sold ALLLL my car parts. I got out of the car game and I would lustfully look at any Evo, Sti, Honda, etc. that went by and gave me the ” Good old days” vibe.”  Thankfully, she’s moved on to a better guy.  A guy who is down for cars, and a change of scenery.  She decided to grab her dream car, and make a break for the west!  Unfortunately, that didn’t go quite according to plan…

“After buying a used 2014 STi that blew up on me the same day I bought it, I finally landed on my 15 STi.”  With a warranty in her pocket, and the open road ahead of her, she made her journey.  And when she got here, she started working at the best place for a Subaru enthusiast that isn’t an idiot: RallySport Direct.

Being that RallySport’s motto is “Life’s Too Short To Stay Stock”, her STI didn’t remain that way for long. “About 2 years ago I started on the upgrades with the bolt ons and some minor JDM parts. I had the car tuned by Simple Performance and they got me the exact power I wanted ( 365 whp/ 348 tq) and I was pretty good as far as the car goes.” And then she started driving in AutoX events, where she realized 1) she likes racing and 2) the STI was never going to be both a competitive AutoX car AND a nice daily driver.  So she scooped up a 2.5RS, and kept the STI as the daily.

Ok, now we get to the lady on the car.  Megan wanted to keep modifying the car, but didn’t want more engine mods.  She went with something cosmetic, and unique around here: this Itasha wrap.  Itasha, very basically, is adorning your car with cute, female anime, manga, or video game characters.  Watch this Noriyaro video to see how it gets done in Japan, and for a better explanation.  ANYWAY, “I always secretly LOVED Itasha and doing a character I loved on my car. I approached my marketing department at work, and my President of the company, and wanted to start with my vision.”  

Megan wanted Elizabeth Bathroy from Fate: Grand Order on the car, but needed a designer to help her out.  Stucky recommended a woman by the name of Dani for the task.  Megan and Dani got to work on the design.  They produced what you see, and Micah at Inkwise Graphics made it a reality in a short amount of time.  “We had a week to really make this happen before our RSD Meet and Greet so time was literally of the essence and I don’t know how show people do this. It was so stressful and just all around nerve wracking wondering if I would get this done. She came together great though and she looks awesome.” 

The car is named Abeona, which is a fitting name for a car that she took on a 2600 mile trip.  Abeona is the Roman Goddess of outward journeys, who watches over a child’s steps, and protects travelers.  May she keep watch over Megan as she continues on the journey that is life.

Abeona 2015 Subaru WRX STI

  • Owner: Megan Lalock (@missjinxed)
  • Power: 365 horsepower, 348 lb/ft torque
  • Tuned at Simple Performance
  • Power adders
    • SteamSpeed STX 67+ Turbo
    • Perrin Turbo Inlet
    • DeatschWerks DW1000cc fuel injectors
    • Process West Fuel Rails, TGV Deletes, Top Mount Intercooler, and Cold Air Intake
    • Cobb FPR kit, and Fuel Pump
    • Grimmspeed Ceramic Coated Up- and Downpipe
    • Tomei Equal Length Header, and Exhaust
  • Suspension
    • Ohlins Road and Track Coilovers
    • Perrin 22mm Solid Sway Bar (rear)
    • Whiteline Lower Control Arms, and Steering Rack Bushings
    • Beatrush Pitch Stop and Transmission Mounts
  • Wheels and JDM Goodies
    • Advan TC3, custom anodized blue, 18×9 +25
    • JDM Push Button Start, Oil Cap, and Foglights with Daytime Running Lights
  • Exterior
    • Seibon Carbon Fiber Fenders
    • 2018 STI Front Bumper
    • Maxton Design Front Lip
    • OLM Corona Foglights
  • Shoutouts
    • Micah at InkWise Graphics
    • Armor Coatings
    • RallySport Direct

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Jul2018

Porsche 964: That One Time I Met My Hero

by Gavin Pouquette

 

When I was 9 my father purchased a 1989 Porsche Carrera 4. It was Linen-on-Grey, and my family called her “Luna” due to the ever-changing color of the paint in different light. To little Gavin, nothing could be cooler. The car came with a bumper-installed radar detection system, It literally had lights popping out of the dash for the radar! It had an aftermarket exhaust that made the car roar, rather than howl as 911s normally sound. It’s safe to say that this car really made an impression on me as a child. My dad and I would drive it on boys trips down to Moab and play golf. He and my mom would go on dinner dates in the car, and he would kill time before dinner just going on a drive in the evening light of the summertime.

This 964 911 had such an influence in my life that, with a saved up allowance, I got myself a subscription to Car and Driver. I would bring the latest issues to school, read articles during my lunch just to learn as much as I could about new cars. This 964 would be the leading proponent in me falling in love with cars. We had the car for two years, but sold it to get my mom a new car: a 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5 XT.

They say never meet your heroes, but I got the chance to do meet mine.  Did it live up to the hype? Was it everything I ever hoped it’d be? I mean, 15 or so years of pent-up feelings can only fester and put the car on a fairly high podium. After having experienced all the cars I have over the last 5 years of filming and photographing them, then eventually getting into driving them….. Yes. The car was exactly what I was expecting.

A howling flat-6 that produces ~250hp that revs to 7,000 rpm and a suspension geometry that is quite frankly, rudimentary by today’s standards. The car is in no way groundbreaking or game-changing in the year 2018. However, after being handed the keys, and hopping into the driver’s seat, it made my inner 9-year old’s dreams finally come true. It felt like jumping into a time machine. It gave me the biggest shit-eating grin on my face that I am still wearing as I write this article.

The noteworthy features of the 964 are as follows: Increased engine size from 3.2 liters to 3.6 liters, the introduction of Anti-Lock Brakes, All-Wheel Drive, and the infamous automatic spoiler (ACTIVE AERO, YO!)

The powerband of the 964 is like any naturally aspirated 911. It’s a completely linear build in power that gives you exactly what you put into it. Very livable and predictable down low through the midrange, and then starts to really pull around 5,000 rpm. All three pedals are floor-hinged and fairly strange to operate if you aren’t accustomed to that sort of feel. On-center steering isn’t exactly tight, but once you load the car up in a corner you receive two fists full of communication with the road and the chassis. Primarily what the rear end is up to, strangely enough. I’m also not talking about hooning a car at 8/10 or 9/10. I’m talking a leisurely 5/10, and just going out for a nice drive. Having driven 996s, 997s and 991s, this car felt much more raw and visceral than its younger cousins. The gear throw isn’t too long or too short. Just the right amount of throw while still feeling nice and notchy.

Some brief history of the specific car that I drove. it was actually a former display car for Porsche of North America. Every time Porsche would debut a new 911, they display all the former cars in a line with the new car on the end. Of those cars that Porsche consistently used on display, this specific 911 would represent the 964 generation. It was used on display until the 997 generation and then was sold to a gentleman in Los Angeles. He daily drove it until Nathan (the current owner) purchased the car late last year. As of now, the car has over 180,000 miles. Which is an interesting coincidence because if you add an enthusiast’s amount of miles to the miles my dad had on his old car, then both cars would be at about the same amount of miles.

The great part of this whole endeavor was that the owner of the 964 also owns a 991.2 Carrera 2S with a Sport Exhaust and a 7-Speed manual gearbox. Being the incredibly gracious gentleman that he is, Nate offered me to drive that car as well. And good lord so much has changed in roughly 30 years of Porsche’s engineering. The 964, constantly wants the rear to come around and play like a puppy, whereas the 991 is so incredibly planted and grounded in the corners, despite being under power from the 3.0 turbo engine. Not to get too carried away here, but the point of this article is not necessarily to compare Porsche’s past and present, however it is worth noting that both cars provide interesting offerings in the company’s lineage. Upon its reveal for the 1989 model year, the 964 introduced legitimate safety features that previous cars never had, while the 991.2 introduces turbocharging for models in the lineup that are not known as the “Turbo”. Both cars push the envelope for the company in their moments in history and for that, I commend Porsche in continuing to push the envelope and look towards to future in improving their driving experience and being the best cars that money can buy.

Porsche. There is no substitute.

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th Apr2018

A Most Aggressive Panda: Camaro ZL1 1LE

by Michael Chandler

Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Gavin Pouquette

As we’ve discussed, the upcoming 2019 Camaro looks like an Impala.  Thankfully Jay Steffey’s is not a 2019, it’s a 2018.  It’s also had one important box ticked: the 1LE package.

“Hey Michael, what the hell does that mean?”  GLAD YOU ASKED!  First it means you opted to grab a ZL1, because 1: why wouldn’t you? and 2: it’s superior to the pedestrian SS because it is packing a supercharged V8.  It also has beefy Brembos, Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar rubber, and an eLSD that does some stuff with the traction control to make cornering better.

When you tick the 1LE box, you get some things that take the ZL1 from good to great.  You get diveplanes and a big spoiler for added downforce, and aggression.  Just looking at the car, you can tell it means business.  And that’s before we talk about the upgraded mechanical parts.  Tell me this doesn’t look like it’s going to burn your town to the ground for a laugh.  YOU CAN’T!  

The 20″ wheels get replaced with 19s, and you get a special set of Eagle F1 Supercar rubber that has been specially developed for the big Chevy.  The magnettic dampers are replaced by an upgraded set, made by Multimatic.  You can adjust the ride height in the front, and the camber because YOU GET CAMBER PLATES FROM THE FACTORY.  You can stiffen up the rear sway bar if you want to!  You still get that eLSD, but it’s packed with a 3.73 gear set.

Six piston and four piston Brembos, with this neat 1LE logo on them, haul this thing to a stop.

Now, you may have noticed that this thing is covered in NASA stickers.  That’s because Jay runs Time Trial in this thing.  Some of you may be chuckling, and saying something like he’d probably do better if he were in a GT350. You might be right, but let’s look at some numbers.  This Camaro weighs 3880 pounds and makes 650 horsepower, which means each horsepower has to move 5.97 pounds.  A Mustang GT350 weighs 3760 pounds but makes 526 horsepower, which results in 7.14 pounds for each horseypower.  So, going by that he would be doing worse in the Mustang.  But enough about this, let’s get back to the Camaro.

The interior is pretty swank.  You wrap your mitts around things covered in suede.  The steering wheel, which is also flat bottomed, and the shift knob are wrapped in suede.

You get to plant yourself in some nicely bolstered Recaros, and if you can get a ride in Jay’s you’ll get to secure yourself into those Recaros with these Safecraft harnesses.  

There’s a performance data recorder, and then there’s this!  “This” being the paddle that activates the rev match for the transmission.  Yes, the six speed manual in the ZL1 has rev match so you don’t royally screw up your shifts.  The system can’t help you if you can’t find 3rd.

If you’re curious, the paint is called Frost White, and if you go to build your own on Chevy’s website it’ll look gray.  It’s definitely not gray.  It’s very white, and the diveplanes and hood are very black, making this thing look like a panda.  A panda that’s been eating nothing but steroids for a year.  

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Dec2017

When Worlds Collide: Old Meets New

by Gavin Pouquette

After the leaves on the trees have changed color and fallen, some of my favorite canyon roads to drive in the summer shut down  due to the fact that they aren’t maintained in the winter. Thus, making the next 5-6 months, from late fall into late spring, a tad grim for those of us that consider canyon carving a favorite pastime. East Canyon, Guardsman’s Pass, Wolf Creek Pass, closed until the winter snow thaws out in May of next year. Kind of a bummer, I know. But this gives us true addicts an excuse and reason to get out of our bubble, and discover even more of this beautiful state that we call home.

The MK 7 Golf R isn’t exactly an old car, but with the release of the MK 7.5 facelift, and the fact that I have driven various renditions of MK6 and MK7 Golf Rs, makes this platform somewhat familiar. For those who don’t know me or my background, I work as a photographer and videographer at Integrated Engineering; a Volkswagen and Audi tuner shop in Salt Lake City. I tried to keep a level head and an unbiased opinion going into this project. But thinking about driving a fun and engaging road that is a 2 hour drive from home, I figured “What a better car to be in than a comfortable and luxurious car on the freeway, while still being fun and engaging in the twisties?”

Okay, so the road and the commute. UT-199 is a quick and twisty road that resides in the Stansbury Mountains overlooking Skull Valley. It sounds intimidating, but there’s really just not a lot out there. Lots of flat terrain with straight roads… Oh yea, and not a police officer, Sheriff, or Highway Patrolman for miles. The perfect place to pull over to the side of the road for an impromptu photo shoot, or to *potentially* test out the aerodynamic properties of the Strafe carbon fiber rear diffuser. The road in question is in a place that isn’t really well known for driving or any kind of recreation, seeing as it is so far from anything of real interest. It’s roughly a 2 hour drive each way going around the north side of the Oquirrh mountains, and then southbound to the end of the Stansbury mountains. Quite the trek I know, but worth the drive to experience something new. With a drive this long to a place so desolate, it’s always wise to bring a co-pilot. So, what better co-pilot to assign to this adventure than my gearhead girlfriend Brooke? She’s one of very few women I’ve met that actually likes me driving fast up canyon roads, and is also a sucker for new Volkswagens. Match made in heaven, amirite?

Another note about UT-199: this is the place where Tim Stevens of CNET drove the 2017 Ford GT supercar for on road testing, to show how the car rides on surfaces that aren’t a perfectly smooth racetrack, such as Utah Motorsports Campus. Packed with tight sweepers, S-curves, and canted corners, it’s unlike many other roads that we have access to here in Utah. The only other place I’ve experienced such a combination is in the hills of Malibu where it is almost impossible to go wrong on picking a fun canyon road. I was enjoying myself in a 320 hp Golf, I can only imagine what that road would be like in a 600 hp, mid-engined supercar, purpose built to handle such corners.

Let’s talk about the car. 2017 Volkswagen Golf R with a Cobb AccessPort V3, and Whiteline lowering springs that are (at this point of me writing this article) still a prototype product. The Accessport is simply running a Stage 1 Tune, putting it at 320 hp and 340 lb ft torque at the wheels. With a boost gauge as one of the many features of the Accessport, the highest number for boost that I saw was roughly 24 psi, which is about par for the course for the power output in cars such as this. That power is put to the ground via 6 speed manual gearbox, and a trick Haldex All-Wheel Drive system. For those that are unfamiliar, the system used in the Golf R is Front-Wheel Drive for 100% of the time under normal driving conditions. When the system detects loss of traction, or any potential for understeer, the rear wheels are engaged via clutch pack to help rotate the rear end of the car. The steering inputs feel electronic, but is still weighted nicely for a premium feel. Not necessarily a bad thing for daily use, or commuting to and from work, but I would have definitely appreciated more information from the front wheels while flying through corners on UT-199.

So, how did the car do on the UT-199? With swooping esses, and smooth pavement with no traffic, it felt like my own personal race course. With the sheer fact that the road is so desolate, it’s imperative to keep the sticky side down and to stay in the lane. I have to admit, I only kept to the former. With open curves and the ability to see around corners two or 3 corners ahead, cutting over the line and hitting apexes is only inevitable. The Golf R does what most Front-Wheel Drive based VW products do best. Super fun and engaging in the high speed kinks, but easily shoves if you enter a sharp hairpin on the quicker side of fast. Considering I had never driven this road before, and being in a car that isn’t mine, I felt fairly comfortable pushing the envelope more and more. I almost got a little carried away and Brooke had to tell me to reel it back a little (which never happens). The car always felt planted and secure; even hitting S-Curves nearing triple digit speeds.

With Brooke being a fan of all things Volkswagen, she is an absolute fan of the car. She loved the layout of the interior controls, she said that everything was laid out in a very coherent manner, and that the car has a very luxurious feel to it. Gathering from her giggles and her laughter, I can tell that she also loved the way the car delivers power and takes corners.

I only have two legitimate issues with the Golf R. I’m in no way a fan of the clutch and the shifter feel of the manual gearbox, and I also don’t care for how the car rotates around corners. As far as driving dynamics go the shift linkage is rubbery and vague, and the clutch is equally uninformative. The “catch point” of the clutch is vague, and not as defined as I would like. These can easily be fixed in the aftermarket with a different clutch, pressure plate, and a short throw shift kit. When it comes to vehicle rotation, I understand that the platform is based on Front-Wheel Drive architecture with a transversely mounted motor and transmission so I have to take that into account. But objectively regarding handling dynamics, the sheer fact that the Focus RS exists somewhat kills the appreciation of the Golf R for me. On the RS, the rear end just wants to pop in for a little visit. Ya know… Just a little meet and greet. Maybe have a spot of tea, and then carry on its merry way. The rear end on the Golf R just stays in its room and looks at memes all day, while the front dives and digs into the road, clinging on to any and all grip it can find. I mean, it doesn’t understeer like a Subaru at least… But it sure as hell doesn’t rotate like I want a canyon carver to.

Everything else about the car I appreciate. The sculpted exterior, the exquisitely refined interior, the way the engine produces power, the value per dollar on the aftermarket for bolt-ons. It’s all there. The car just needs a little more coaxing in the dynamics department, and then it’s quite the perfect car. Spacious, comfortable, reasonably quick, engaging, and also practical with having a hatchback and All-Wheel Drive. And for a mini road trip with the person you love, I feel that’s all you really need.

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on iTunes
The CAMcast on Google Play
YouTube
CAMautoMag Gear

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Nov2017

Coca-Rolla: A New Formula!

by Michael Chandler

You remember Ian, right?  Has that S130 we featured a while ago, and I swung by his house earlier this year to see what he was up to?  Any of that ringing a bell?  If you remember that last one, then this car shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to see.  It’s the SR5 coupe he was working on when I was over there.  What you might not know is what he was doing to it.

He got the car with a BEAMS 3S-GE under the hood.  An amazing engine, that all the Toyota guys love and would love to swap into a Corolla, or an old Celica, or whatever RWD Toyota they can get their hands on.  That amazing engine rod knocked on Ian at the first event he took the car to.  Instead of shelling out for another BEAMS, or dealing with a 4A-GE and its associated costs, he went with something he knew.  Something that filled his cold, dead heart with warmth and life: a goddamn KA24DE.

Yes, he ripped out a trashed BEAMS and threw in a truck motor.  BLASPHEMY! I can hear you crying.  Why would anyone do that??? The BEAMS and 4A-GE are made by God himself! First, no to that whole second sentence.  Secondly, why not swap in something that is 1. familiar 2. proven and 3. cheap compared to building a 4A-GE or buying another BEAMS?  Argue for purity, and I’ll come back with practicality.  And this thing gets down, but we’ll get there in a minute.  First we’ve gotta talk about this car.

It’s an internally stock KA that sits in an engine bay that’s been completely stitch welded.  It does have a Greddy header meant for an NA S14, albeit modified to fit in the Corolla.  That connects to a Buddy Club Spec II exhaust, meant for a Corolla.  There’s a S14 Koyo radiator with a 16 inch SPAL fan to keep the whole deal cool enough.

Fueling is provided via a bevy of Aeromotive products! And by “bevy”, I mean 2: a 340lph fuel pump, and a fuel pressure regulator.  This whole thing is run via a MegaSquirt plug and play stand alone set up.  There’s a Painless switch panel, and absolutely no OEM wiring left in the car.  Ian rewired the whole thing to his liking.  Oh, and the battery is in the trunk.

That power (at least as much as that KA is producing) is sent through a one piece driveshaft to a solid rear axle.  No, not the stick that came in the Corolla, but a solid rear axle out of a Chevrolet S10.  Turns out it’s actually narrower than the Corolla axle.  Oh, and it’s been re-drilled for four lug.  AND the stock e-brake cables have been modified to work with the giant drums that are now out back.  They grab REAL good.  

Before we go on about the technical aspects of the car, let’s talk about that livery.  If it looks familiar, congratulations!  You’re either old, or a fan of vintage sports cars.  This livery is inspired by a livery on both the Porsche 962 and 935.  Both cars have sported many iconic liveries.  When I visited him earlier this year, he had the KA mounted, and then showed me a bunch of pictures of the Porsches while saying “that’s what I’m doing”.   He then grabbed a cutoff wheel, and got to cutting down the old grill.  It was an interesting evening.

I did not doubt him, in fact, we wondered why nobody else has done this before.  Seriously!  There are so many awesome liveries out there, everybody knows someone who works with vinyl, the pieces are there!  Make it happen, nerds.  Back to what he did.  The attention to detail is amazing!  It’s not just the big, swoopy Coca-Cola logo, it’s all of the little sponsor logos too.  Domino’s, 7 Eleven…

Even Jolly Rancher is on there!  With the period correct logo!  And the Advan logo, because it’s Ian.  Advan logo, despite the fact that he’s running 14×7 and 14×7.5 SSR Mk3’s.  Also period correct, and very awesome.

Speaking of awesome: you know what’s awesome?  Keeping things simple.  The suspension on the car is pretty damn simple: Megan links, T3 tension rods, and Stance coilovers.  The only big swap, aside from the KA, is an AW11 steering rack, which is a pretty standard thing.  No Wisefab, no craziness.  Just stuff you can buy, and that’s probably on the Corolla of your local AE86 guy.  

Inside is pretty spartan.  Again, no craziness.  Just a Nardi Gara steering wheel, and a Bride seat that’s mounted on some Buddy Club seat rails, straight from Japan.  And a cracked dashboard.

And a bunch of Auto Gage gauges, and an Innovative wideband.  

And that Painless switch panel.

The car is running what Ian describes as a “Duraflex runfree knockoff” body kit.  Could’ve fooled me, but then again I have no idea what I’d be looking for in the original.  I’m a lover, not an expert.

Remember how I said that this thing get’s down?  Well, Ian showed us how well it does.  There was a concrete slab, like what’s under your local strip mall, right by where we were shooting.  Dave guided him up, onto the slab, and then Ian did Ian things.  The car will boogie, and it will boogie without bash bars, or as Ian calls them “confidence bars”.  

Will people start slapping KA’s into Corollas?  Probably not.  Corollas are only getting more expensive, so you’d either have to have one fall in your lap, or start off with one.  And then you’d have to make everything work, either make the Nissan mill play nice with the Toyota wiring, or go full Ian and just rewire the damn thing.  And then there’s also the other Nissan motor that people shove into Corollas: the SR20DET.  Why stuff the truck motor in there when the JDM hotness has been done enough that it’s not weird?  

Much like New Coke, I don’t think Ian’s formula is really going to take off.  However, it is a welcome change to something that hasn’t seen many updates.  It’s different, it’s interesting, and it definitely brought a smile to our faces.

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on iTunes
The CAMcast on Google Play
YouTube
CAMautoMag Gear

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
Pages:12345678»