07th Nov2015

SEMA 2015 Day 4

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2015 Day 4 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Photos by Michael Chandler and Nicholas Cherpeski

Our last, massive gallery from the week that was SEMA.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
09th Oct2015

AND THE WINNER IS

by Michael Chandler

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ZACH SERNA!!! Zach, I’ll be emailing you shortly about how you want to claim this prize!  Thanks everyone for entering, we’ll see you at the Tresduro. Who knows, you may get lucky and get your hands on something.

12th Jan2015

The Ford GT: They’re Going Back to France

by Michael Chandler

Probably.  Yes, today everyone at the North American International Auto Show is going nuts over the 600hp, 3.5L twin-turbo V6 Ecoboost powered Ford GT.  And they should be doing just that.  Look at that thing!  It’s glorious!  It’s what the GT40 was!  Kinda…

Miller Total Performance Museum Michael Chandler-8

The GT40 was a giant middle finger aimed at Enzo Ferrari and his precious cars and race program.  Ferrari doesn’t do much of the factory backed GT racing anymore, because they’ve gone all in on F1.

Ok, so it isn’t EXACTLY like the GT40, but it is like it in that it is a potentially world beating super car made by a company whose headquarters are in a crumbling metropolis.  Who is it going to beat, and where is it going to beat them?

Tudor-WEC

Why are those two logos mashed together?  Because it can, and eventually will, be seen in both!  The 3.5L twin turbo mill fits nicely into the confines of the WEC’s LM GTE class.  IMSA TUDOR USCC’s GTLM class ‘s rules are pretty much the same as the WEC’s LM GTE class rules.  That said, we’ll probably see it storming around here at home in TUSC before it goes abroad and plants Old Glory in everything.  The current rumor, according to Sportscar365, regarding that TUSC endeavor is that it will be a 2 car, factory team with Chip Ganassi Racing running it.  And Chip Ganassi knows a few things about running a winning team.

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Will it be successful?  Maybe.  The new Vipers came out of the gate with a whimper, but ended with a roar and won the GTLM class before Dodge killed the factory effort.  We can speculate more on this when we get more details, but right now let’s all look at how awesome this thing looks

Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Ford Motor Company and Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th Jan2015

The Happiest Place in Nevada

by Michael Chandler
Photo by Becky Smith

Photo by Becky Smith, VORE

We’ve all been here before.  It’s time for a vacation, but some of those bucket list events are too far away, too expensive, or just not happening during your allotted vacation time.  What’s a gearhead to do?  Settle in on the couch and watch all the old FIA GT series races YouTube has to offer?  No damnit!  You’re not spending your vacation like an unemployed goon!  Pack your bags, book a flight, hotel and rental car.  We’re going to Vegas, and we’re gonna have some fun in the desert.  Halfway between Las Vegas and Boulder City, next to a gun range, sits a happy little slice of awesome that is the Vegas Off Road Experience (VORE).

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It is here where all sorts of fun and excitement happens.  And by “fun” I mean off road hooning to your heart’s content.  No matter what you decide to do you will get some instruction from the talented instructors.  Now, you have to ask yourself “Do I want a hopped up Raptor as my chariot, or do I want to hop in a trophy truck and get the whole enchilada ?” The choice is up to you, and your wallet.  Prices range from $295 for 5 laps on the “short course” in one of the trophy trucks or 45 minutes in a Raptor, to $2995 for a two day jaunt in the desert to give you the full Sportsman level experience.

There are also add ons to the afore mentioned packages.  Add ons such as luxurious limo or party bus transportation to and from the facility, video and photography, and shooting some guns and blowing up a car!  Where else are you finding all of these things at once???  NO WHERE!*

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Now, when we say talented instructors, we mean talented.  When they’re not teaching you how to take the jumps on the short course, or how to fly through the desert, they’re racing.  The Vegas to Reno race is a staple every year, along with the MINT 400.  The folks teaching you really know what they’re talking about, and you will leave VORE not only with memories, but with knowledge that’ll make you a better driver.

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There you have it folks.  Your next vacation is planned out.  No need to thank me, just go and enjoy your trip.  And watch out for turtles please.

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While we were at VORE we were given the nickel tour by Becky Smith.  She took us out on the short course in a Raptor, let us tag along to shoot some photos of someone on course, and let us hang out until Jason came back from giving a desert tour.  We can’t thank Jason and Becky and everyone else at VORE for their hospitality.

For booking information, or more information than what I’ve put up here, head over to VORE.com.  When you’re booking your experience ask for Jason Smith, or at least tell them he sent you.

Words by Michael Chandler, photos by Michael Chandler and Becky Smith .
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

*Don’t quote me on that, but I highly doubt there is another place in the US where you can receive top notch off road racing instruction AND pop off a few rounds.

06th Oct2014

Officer Stucky and his Crown Vic

by Michael Chandler

Crown Vic

 

The Ford Crown Victoria has been the go to police cruiser for decades, and as such you can find nearly any vintage for next to nothing at a police auction or a private sale.  Nick Stucky found one for sale in Oregon, got it, and brought her back to Utah.  And then he went autocrossing.

 

 

Some interesting notes about Nick’s cruiser: It is, in fact, and old police car.  It came with the cherry light and window bars.  Also, it’s packing a 351 cubic inch, carbureted  V8  that was marketed as a performance option over the fuel injected 302 cubic inch V8.

Also, look at that interior.  Look at it!  It’s burgundy and vinyl and glorious!  And the body roll, which doesn’t help keeping oneself planted in any of the seats.  Tragically he couldn’t run with the hub caps on.  While it isn’t the safest thing to have them flying off and rolling around, it would just add the the spectacle that is watching something the size of Delaware run through the cones.

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
23rd Sep2014

Stickers for Sale!

by Michael Chandler

CAMautoMag stickers 5x3 (1 of 2)

Do you want to be awesome?  Do you want to be a winner?  I’m not saying throwing one (or several) of these bad boys on your vehicle of choice will make you awesome, or a winner, or an awesome winner; however, I will point out that we gave some to Brandon Wicknick before he left for Formula D Texas, and he won his first event of his Formula D career.

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The RaceCo GT-R finished on the podium at the Utah Grand Prix Miller GT races, along with the Makes & Models Audi R8 LMS.  They both have the stickers.

Utah Grand Prix Day 2 Miller GT Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (26 of 35)

If you want to hop on the winner train, then head over to our store and get to ordering up some 5″x3″ slices of vinyl awesomeness!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Sep2014

Utah is in the Top Ten for Rude Drivers!

by Michael Chandler

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Words by Michael Chandler

I know this may come as a shock to some of my fellow Utahns, but collectively we’re a bunch of jerks behind the wheel.  We speed, don’t signal and refuse to let people merge.  If that isn’t neighborly, I don’t know what is.

Insure.com surveyed 2000 drivers across the country to see who was the rudest.  Not sure exactly why they did this, but I’m not going to argue with its existence.

As you can see by the chart above, we’re in a cluster of rudeness where Arizona is the least rude among the bunch.  According to the survey: in Nevada nobody recognizes a red light as the signal to stop and not proceed through the intersection.  Wyoming is where you go if you want to die (they had the second highest roadway fatality rate per 100,000 people, according to NHTSA statistics from 2012). And in a surprising upset, Idaho is home to the rudest drivers in the country!  Go Idaho!  Not only do you have the rudest drivers, you somehow have the lowest insurance premiums.

Here’s how your top ten shakes down:

  1. Idaho
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. New York
  4. Wyoming
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Vermont
  7. Delaware
  8. New Jersey
  9. Nevada
  10. Utah

I think with a little work, and more disregard for our fellow motorist we can crack the top five.  We’ve mastered the multi-lane lane change to make the exit we saw coming five miles ago, we don’t know how a freeway on ramp actually works, and we take it as a personal insult when someone wants to merge into our lane when theirs is ending.  Lookout Massachusetts, we’re coming for your spot!

Now I know 2,000 drivers out of nearly 200,000,000 isn’t enough to give a fair shake to each state, but it does provide some sort of view into how good or terrible we are on a state by state basis.  Do you have a driving horror story? Share it in the comments.

[Source: 10 states with the rudest drivers – and the states that hate them, Yahoo! Autos]

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Sep2014

Paint, Vinyl, and Hardware: D-Spare Preps for Formula D Texas

by Michael Chandler

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 9)

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Brandon Wicknick drives in the Formula D Professional Drifting Championship.  He’s also a buddy of mine.  While we were in Idaho he invited me to come by his shop and snap some photos of the preparations that were going to be going on before he loaded up and went off to Texas.  It was nothing too crazy: just repainting the car, applying new graphics and sponsor decals, hanging some new body panels, rebuilding the motor. Some rather basic stuff that everyone competing on a professional level (privateer or factory backed driver) does.

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 9)

Brandon and Jose handled the nuts and bolts stuff.  Literally.  Brandon was putting the motor back together, while Jose was working on a differential for Brandon’s S13 and also doing some work on Juha Rintanen’s widebody S14.  For the uninitiated: Juha is a Finnish Formula D rookie, but he’s no stranger to competition.  He’s won a national championship in Finland, and was the 2013 Drift All Starts European champion.  He’s currently 61st in the Championship.  ANYWAY…

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 9)

While Jose and Brandon put things mechanical in nature together, Danny and MsRae Rossi of Stick-It Vinyl Graphics were busy applying vinyl to the car.  They’re the ones for the original wild color stripe scheme, and they were back at it.  Since this was just a refresh nothing was going to change livery wise, but a few sponsor decals were moved around a bit to make them easier to see.

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Speaking of his sponsors, whom you should support only because they support this mad man in his endeavors, are:

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 9) D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (9 of 9)

At the time of writing, Brandon qualified 10th in Pro2, which has him paired with…  Wait for it… Juha Rintanen.  Yup, garage mate vs. garage mate.  S13 vs. S14.  2JZ vs. … another 2JZ.  Whatever, We’re pulling for Brandon to be on top of the podium, he and the rest of the D-Spare crew have been working too hard not to get a win in Texas.

UPDATE: He won!

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Aug2014

The Canandaigua Incident

by Michael Chandler

By now we’ve all seen the video, seen the knee jerk reactions online, and seen various talking heads on TV attempt to assign blame to either Tony Stewart or Kevin Ward Jr.  And while we want this to be a completely black and white, cut and dry instance, it isn’t.  This was as series of poor decisions that lead to the worst possible result.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about: Last night in a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York, Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. were involved in a racing incident in turn one.  Stewart slid into Ward, causing Ward to spin and lose his right rear tire.  The caution flag is thrown, and Ward gets out of his car and begins walking down the track (towards the infield) looking for and pointing at Stewart’s car.  Stewart comes close to Ward, hits the accelerator causing the back end to step out.  Ward was hit by, and dragged under Stewart’s right rear tire some thirty feet before being thrown from the car.  Ward was motionless when medical personnel got to him.  He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  He was twenty years old.

Stewart, after hitting Ward, came to a stop on the back straight of the track.  Racing was suspended at the track, and police are investigating the incident.  Stewart returned to Watkins Glen, where he initially announced he would be racing in today’s Sprint Cup race.  Earlier today it was announced that Reagan Smith would be taking his place in the #14 car for today’s race.

This incident, this tragedy, isn’t even a day old yet everyone is wanting to assign blame to someone.  It’s not as simple as that.  A series of events brought us to where we are right now, and if different decisions had been made at any point I doubt we would be talking about the death of a race car driver.

Everyone knows that Tony Stewart is a hot head, and this has lead to some heated interviews and outright fights.  He gets caught up in the heat of the moment, and calms down after a few days.  He is a competitive man, which is why he was racing in a sprint car race less than a day before he was racing in a Sprint Cup race.  He collided with a twenty year old kid, who then got out of his car and was pointing and walking towards his car.  Maybe he didn’t see him, maybe he was trying to scare him a little bit.  Either way, he ended up colliding with Ward and eventually killing him.

Kevin Ward was competitive too.  He began racing karts at age four, and by thirteen won multiple Micro Sprint championships.  After that he went into the 360 Sprint Car division, where he won rookie of the year honors in 2012.  At the time of the incident he was in a bit of a slump, due to mechanical issues, but was optimistic the bad luck would pass.  In turn one Stewart slid into him, causing Ward to spin out and cut down a tire.  He got out of the car, and began looking for Stewart.  He made his way down the track, began pointing at Stewart as he approached, and was then struck by the rear of Stewart’s car.  He was dragged and thrown over thirty feet.  He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ward should have never gotten out of the car, and he should have never walked down the track with traffic still moving.  That was a bad decision.  If he had waited to catch Stewart in the paddock, then this would be an entirely different story, but he didn’t.  Stewart, assuming he saw him (which I think he did see him), should have been lower on the track.  He should have put as much space between himself and Ward as possible.  He shouldn’t have tried to scare him, if that was indeed what he was trying to do.  Stewart has won multiple Sprint Cup championships, and an IRL title, so he clearly knows better.  But he made the bad decision to buzz the kid.

A series of poor choices by two men lead to the untimely death of one, and the unknown weight of taking a person’s life for another.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ward family, and I sincerely hope that this was a tragic accident and was not done with malicious intent by Tony Stewart.

Words by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th Aug2014

Hope. Change. 15 Year Import Law

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2013 day 2 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-44

We all know about America’s draconian twenty-five year import law, but the brave hoonists at Petrolicious are trying to legislate change to bring our import law more in line with the fine folks who live in America’s hat.  And they’re not just getting up and saying “We want change because this isn’t fair!” They’re backing up their argument with these pesky things called facts that are so often hard to find on the internet.  Facts like:

German TUV approvals are tougher than our own, and include rear collision and rollover standards we don’t perform.

Both Europe and Japan also have special allowances for low volume imports.

That’s two sentences, and they provide a lot more weight than the “Canada has a fifteen year law” statement which is thrown out as the corner stone of forum arguments.  They also bring up another point, which is brilliant:

Many people may never personally import a car, but at least they would have the ability to do it.

You can have a lot of powerful firearms, in two states you can legally buy marijuana without a doctor’s note, and nobody is stopping you from hopping in your car right now and driving it across the country.  Why can’t we have the freedom to do it in a Toyota MkII or an Audi RS2?

Sign the petition not just for hooning, but for freedom!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.