26th May2016

4 Traditions of The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2014 Tuesday CAMautoMag.com-20

On Sunday we will have something unprecedented in motorsport: the one hundredth running of a single race.  At 10:19 AM, the green flag will drop for the one hundredth running of the Indianapolis 500.  NASCAR doesn’t have a race approaching it’s hundredth running, nor does Formula 1, Rallying, or anything else.  This is truly the greatest spectacle in racing.  In the 105 years since the first race, some traditions have come.  Interesting traditions.  Here are four traditions, and how they came to be.

“Back Home Again In Indiana”

Before the race, and fairly consistently since 1972, Jim Nabors has sang “Back Home Again In Indiana”.  Forty-four years is a long time for Gomer to be belting out that song, and he’s only missed out on a few 500’s.  But he definitely wasn’t the first to sing it to the crowd.

There are a few reports that indicate that the song was played in 1919 by a brass band as Howdy Wilcox won the race.  Back then it was simply titled “Indiana”, and was maybe the first time the song was played at the speedway.

The first time it was played before a race was in 1946, by James Melton and the Purdue University band.  Melton was a member of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company, and also a car collector.  He provided several cars for the race-morning lap of classic cars.  He and the band performed 45 minutes before the race, and it went over well.  Really well.  So well in fact that he was invited back the following two years.

Eventually the performance was moved up to it’s current slot, and it hasn’t moved.

Balloons Before the Start

If you watch the race, you’ll notice thatballoons are released  as “Back Home Again In Indiana” ends.  Festive!  The balloons will rise for the sixty-ninth time this year, and all because someone listened to their mother.

There weren’t any races held from 1942 until 1945, due to the second World War.  This lack of racing, and general attention, meant that the track fell into disrepair.  In November of 1945, a business man from Terre Haute, IN bought the track for the princely sum of $750,000.  That man was Tony Hulman, and his family still owns the track to this day.  He bought it at the urging of Wilbur Shaw, winner of three of the previous five 500 mile races.  After the track was Hulman’s, he named Wilbur as president and GM of the track.

Before the 1947 race, Tony’s mother Grace suggested that they release some balloons before the drop of the green flag.  And the tradition stuck.  In 1950 they moved the balloon release to the end of “Back Home Again In Indiana”, and it’s been that way ever since.

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (87 of 160)

The Trophy and The Milk

1936 saw the beginning of two of the longest standing traditions: it saw the debut of the Borg-Warner Trophy, and it was the first time someone drank milk in Victory Lane.  The fellow who drank the milk and won the trophy was Louis Meyer.

See, Louis Meyer (winner of three Indianapolis 500’s) had this odd habit.  On hot days he’d drink buttermilk to refresh himself.  And since Memorial Day tends to be hot, Louis cracked open a bottle as he pulled into Victory Lane.  A news photographer snapped a photo of him drinking the milk.  An executive at the Milk Foundation saw this, and was elated!  MILK HAS HIT THE BIG TIME!  He vowed that there would be milk for the winner of the race from then on.  And so it was… until the war started.  And then from 1947 until 1955, milk wasn’t an option.  It cam back in 1936, and has stayed.  Now on to the trophy Louis received.

The Borg-Warner Trophy was made by Spaulding-Gorham of Chicago, and was unveiled at a dinner in New York in February of 1936.  The Sterling Silver trophy features a bas-relief sculpture of every winner of the race.  This continued until 1986, when they ran out of space on the trophy.  Fitting this happened on the 50th anniversary of the trophy.  The powers that be added a base to the trophy, which provided enough space through 2004.  And when that was filled, they replaced it with an even larger base!  A base that’ll have enough space for every winner until 2034.

All of the faces on the trophy are of race winners, and they’re all done in silver.  All of the faces, except one.  In 1987 the face of Tony Hulman was added in gold.

And there you have it, four traditions surrounding the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.  I’ll be watching the race on Sunday, like I do every Memorial Day Weekend.  Watching the race is my tradition, and has been for decades.  Hopefully you’ll be watching this historic running, and hopefully this becomes one of your traditions as well.

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th May2016

The Importance of Being a Fan

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah2016  Round 1 working on the write up Michael Chandler CAMautoMag  -3

I’m genuinely excited about cars.  All cars.  Race cars, show cars, stance cars, drift cars, crazy ass hyper cars, and seemingly mundane, but still fun economy cars.  And I hope that excitement is coming through, because if I saw this like I do my day job, the coverage wouldn’t be as good, the features wouldn’t be what they are, the opinions would be super mild, and this site probably would have folded long ago.

Salt City Drift July 18 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

If I wasn’t a fan, I wouldn’t sacrifice time with my girlfriend, friends and family to come out and bring you guys photos and stories from all of the events I get to.  I wouldn’t have that dedication, I’d just sit at home and binge watch all the things on Netflix and Amazon, and maybe have a better golf game and more stuff to talk about with the general public.

Voltex WRX feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-11

It was this from this fire, this passion, this fandom, that all of the CAM goodness has risen.  Honestly, we all have something we’re fans of.  Be it a TV show or a book or a movie franchise, we’ve all got that one thing that, when we speak, we get this look in our eye and we perk up.  For me, for us, it’s cars.  And I hope that that comes through in all of the stuff we put out there.  Being a fan, being genuinely excited about cars, and racing, and everything car related, is a huge reason why we are the way we are, and this site is this site.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th Feb2016

Goodbye Scion

by Michael Chandler

Tuner Scion xB

Toyota finally axed Scion, the brand that was supposed to be youth oriented, but ended up selling to the same people who normally buy Toyotas.  It’s sad that this news came after the success of the FRS and the introduction of the iA, which is basically a Mazda2 with an extra set of doors.  We can sit around and complain, pitch ideas of what could have been done, and/or point and laugh; OR, we could remember the good times.  Good times like Nik Preusser’s first xB.

Fredric Asabo Scion TC Formula D

Or Fredric Aasbo’s tC

WERC endurance race 2015 MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-69

Or the FRS we saw at last year’s WERC 6 Hour race.  Let’s remember the good times people, and rejoice that the Scion lineup is getting shoehorned into Toyota’s.

29th May2015

Give Me the Works: Lancia Delta HF Integrale

by Michael Chandler

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

So, sometime last week CAM turned 5.  Yes!  We’ve been plugging away at this for five years.  Going to track days, meets, SEMA, all sorts of places to show you cool cars and events and people.  In those five years we’ve seen some exceptionally cool things, but more often than not we see some mind blowingly cool things in our own backyard.  Things like a Lancia Delta HF Integrale running about in one of the HPDE groups at the last NASA Utah weekend.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

The Delta was Lancia’s last Group B WRC monster.  It featured an insane twin charged, two liter, four cylinder engine.  It was the peak of rallying insanity!  This isn’t one of those, BUT it is a former “works” car.  The 16 valve engine produced 200 horsepower, and sent the car to 62mph in five and a half seconds.  Five and a half seconds doesn’t seem fast today, but that was faster than an E30 M3 and a half second behind a 911 Turbo of the day.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

This belongs to a fellow also named Mike.  He, like myself, is also from the Chicago area so we hit it off quickly.  He told me that this is one of two former works cars in the country, and that its sister car competes in hill climbs and ran the Tail of the Dragon.  Hopefully this car will follow in its sister car’s footsteps (tire marks?) and get into some classic rallies and hill climbs.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

These cars are legal for import now, but you may want to think twice before having one shoved into a container.  Lancias were never really known for being rust proof.  In fact, about a third of all Lancias made in the late 80’s and early 90’s have completely rusted away*.  Also, these being performance vehicles they have probably been beat on.  Pretty hard.  And finally, while people in the States have been messing around with engines like the RB series and SR’s, not a lot of people have been messing with Lancia mills over here.  Something to think about, because you don’t want to find yourself 1500 miles away from the nearest mechanic when you start hearing a ticking noise.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2 Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

All that said, I’d bring one over in a heart beat.  Just look at it!  It’s a four door hatchback, but it’s so much better looking than a four door Golf.  The wide fenders and bulged hood don’t seem like tacked on after thoughts, they look like they were always meant to be there.  They have a purpose, but not to the point where it’s sacrificing aesthetics.  It’s definitely a child of the 80’s, but unlike an IROC Camaro it hasn’t become associated with the cheesiness of the decade.

Lancia Delta Integrale HF Works CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

I could throw all the usual cliches a writer uses when describing an Italian car, but I’m not going to.  But I will leave you with a question: if you could bring over a former race car, what would it be?  It has to comply with our current import laws (that draconian 25 year crap), but besides that it can be any former race car.

 

06th Feb2014

Genuflection: C4 Corvette

by Trent

C4 Corvette

Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

I may catch some flack for this one, but it’s another car I truly did love growing up. It’s a car our late friend Johnny even had for a period of time.

I’ll set the tone. I was young and impressionable, easily distracted by loud, shiny things. Well, a red, loud, shiny thing just happened to be on my walk home from elementary school each day. From as young as I can remember walking home from school in the early 90’s, there was a house that beheld a Red C4 Corvette in the garage. Many times the garage would be open as I walked past. Occasionally, I’d get to hear it burble to life and drive off down the winding residential road. This late-model C4 was more refined to my eye than the early-model cars and more desirable.

It struck a chord in my young mind that this car was cool. Never mind the owner who was graying, it still made the right noises and looked the part. This was before critically thinking about soft-touch interior panels and high gas prices. It was a car and a motor. Before everyone cared about what brand of wheels they rocked and air vs. static. It was pure, innocent fun without hatred or bias. Simple, but the short list of things I wanted in a car at that age were all there.

I was fortunate enough to visit the Corvette Museum a couple years ago and rekindle my Corvette flame. And despite the rear end that still bothers me a little, a C7 Corvette is something I wouldn’t turn down. Chances are, I will never own a C4 Corvette, not because I don’t respect them anymore, but because I am often fighting for space in my garage and driveway as-is. However, in the early 90’s, my heart wanted a red Ferrari, a red Lamborghini, and a red Corvette. For now, a red Viper will suffice. More on that another time.

-Trent Bray

[Source: Genuflection: genuflection. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 23, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genuflection]

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

31st Aug2011

Genuflection: Hot Wheels

by Michael Chandler

Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship. (more…)

23rd Aug2011

Genuflection: Acura NSX

by Trent

Modified Acura NSX
Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

I was looking back on cars that I adored growing up, and some stuck out more than others. I thought of the Twin Turbo Triplets(300ZX,Supra,3000GT VR4), and although one of them influenced me more than the others(more on that another time), a Naturally Aspirated car stuck out in my mind as a car I lusted after more than those. Despite this car’s shortcomings, I still lust after it today, the one and only Acura NSX.

The NSX at the time set the world on fire and gave credence to Acura having some credibility in the sports car market, and in my opinion, set the stage for the 94-01 Acura Integra to become a sporty FWD icon. It had 270HP which at the time was a big deal from an N/A motor and an aspirational 8,000RPM redline!

Thoughts of a red one of these parked in my driveway were racing through my mind. Unfortunately Honda let the NSX languish and didn’t give it the proper updates it deserved, much like the fate of the S2000. And even with rumors of a new NSX surfacing every few months, none will capture the glory quite like the original NSX. One day I will own one of these cars.

-Trent Bray

[Source: Genuflection: genuflection. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 23, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genuflection]

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

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05th Apr2011

Genuflection: The Renaissance

by Mustangjohnny

 

1983 Toyota Celica Supra. Farragut, TN 11-13-2010 17:32hrs
Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

 

For me, “Genuflection” means more than just looking back and reflecting on something great from the past, but looking back and reflecting on something great from the past that still has the mystique it did so many years ago. These are cars that have stood the test of time. For most of these cars, I will drift back into what I like to call, “My Renaissance”. (more…)

06th Dec2010

Genuflection: Ferrari Testarossa

by Trent

Ferrari Testarossa

Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

Nothing is quite so striking as a Ferrari. Especially when the world is used to Camry’s and Minivans. I was reminded of this as I ran into(not literally) a childhood dream car over the weekend. It was a Red on Red Ferrari Testarossa. It has the updated 512TR wheels, but it was classic Testarossa. And I was lusting after it in spite of it’s many flaws. (more…)

13th Oct2010

Genuflection: Porsche 911(993)

by Trent

Porsche 911 Carrera 2
Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

It was 1994, Electronic Arts released the greatest racing game of all time(at that time). The Need for Speed hit the shelves and our lives were never the same. Our time came to drive the fastest cars we’ve ever driven…virtually. One stuck out of the crowd though, it was a Porsche 911 Carrera. It had a unique look that Porsche’s today still try to emulate. It was fast, handled great until snap oversteer kicked in, and it was unlike the other cars on that game.

Seeing these Porsche’s drive around wasn’t a regular occurrence, but it was an event when you did see one. It solidified a place in my heart for Porsche that grows fonder today. Being the last air-cooled 911 though makes their desirability shoot skyward and their prices often surpass the 996 model 911’s. It didn’t matter if it was a Carrera 2 or 4, Turbo or Turbo S, I wanted it! This car was raw, and yet refined at the same time. Those features made it truly amazing.

-Trent Bray

[Photograph by: The Car Spy]
[Source: Genuflection: genuflection. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 23, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genuflection]

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

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