06th Feb2015

Meet Your Heroes

by Michael Chandler

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Someone, somewhere once said to never meet your heroes.  They said never meet your heroes because they can never live up to the ideal you’ve built for them in your mind.  I take issue with this.  I had two posters on my wall as a kid: a Lamborghini Countach and Michael Jordan.  From everything I’ve seen and heard, MJ is a hyper-competitive guy who has taken to posterizing old guys at his basketball fantasy camps.  The Countach is impossible to drive, you can’t see out of it, reversing it requires a spotter and someone to stop traffic, and the “creature comforts” leave something to be desired.

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One year when I was a kid two things happened: I saw Michael Jordan play and I saw a Countach in person.  The events weren’t related; however, if I saw MJ driving a Countach down my street my little head would’ve exploded.  Why am I telling this rambling story?  Because I met one of my heroes, the Lambo, and it didn’t change how I thought or think about it.  It’s still one of my favorite cars, flaws be damned.  My feelings would probably change if I drove it, but that would be getting to know it and not just meeting it.

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The other morning I went to Cars & Coffee because I wanted to shoot photos and clear my head.  At the far end of the parking lot there was this pair of Diablos: a 1997.5 Roadster and a 2000 VT.  These were the stars of the meet, people were coming up and taking photos of and with them, Chad (owner of the green machine) was revving the motor for the children and was answering pretty much every question about the big Italians.  For some of these people, these were/are their hero cars.  And they were loving them.

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Did the dog leg gear box let them down?  No.  Did the tall instrument cluster and low seating position kill the image of their hero?  Not a chance.  These people got to walk up to their hero, say hi, take some pictures and gawk at them.  None of their flaws shown through.  Were the fans aware of these “issues”? Yeah, anyone who has read ANYTHING about them knows the problems, but that doesn’t matter.  Seeing the car you had all over your wall as a kid in the flesh makes you completely ignore all of those issues.  You go back to being an excitable little kid.  It’s great.

 

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When I was in high school I wanted two cars: an Evo (to spite Trent who had just picked up a brand new STi.  I was and am a very petty person) and a Mopar of any sort.  Challenger, Charger, Dart, didn’t matter.  I just wanted one.

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When I was pulling in to park, I spotted this Challenger T/A.  I parked as close to it as I could (without parking among the cars who were there to be seen) and instantly noticed a Ford F-350 that had all of its utility modified out of it parked next to the Challenger.  The hulking mass of the diesel cast a massive shadow over the car, making a proper photos showcasing the color and graphics on the T/A almost impossible.

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Then, suddenly, the Ford grumbled to life and slowly rolled out of the parking lot.  The driver’s side of the Challenger was awash in sunlight, and was being approached by the owner and a giddy passenger.  I snapped off a few frames, and then…

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The owner fired it up, and let the 340 roar.  His passenger was grinning ear to ear as the mechanical noise of the trio of carburetors fed fuel and air into the motor.  I was giddy too.  This wasn’t the first time I had seen a nice Challenger, but it was nice running into one that was fanning the flames of enthusiasm in a young fan.

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The posters may have come down long ago, but the kid who put them up is still alive in all of us. Weekly meets like Cars & Coffee give us opportunities to be wide eyed, excitable kids.  Wake up early on Saturday, go meet your heroes.

Bonus gallery!:

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

 

 

20th Jun2011

The CAM Journal: About Face

by Trent

Beetle RS VW VortexI’ll admit, the first generation New Beetle had me laughing when I saw a guy driving one. Sure, I respect that the 1.8T has a lot of potential, the TDI is great for gas mileage, and even the Turbo S model had me looking at them through my peripheral vision, but generally, I didn’t like them. My friend’s ex-girlfriend had one, I couldn’t stand being in the back seat of that thing. Recently though, VW introduced something new…a new New Beetle, now just called Beetle. (more…)

13th Jun2011

The CAM Journal – Wipeout!

by Mustangjohnny

Hello CAM heads! For this month’s article, I have decided to talk about something that we as auto enthusiasts often do not like to talk about…car crashes! Sure it is what most people tune into NASCAR races to see, but in the end, it means the one thing. To us as car lovers, a car is going to be damaged. We at CAM are all about modifying, so this goes directly against our mission statement.
(more…)

Off
31st May2011

The CAM Journal: Passion

by Trent

Honda S2000 Standing outI’ve liked cars, the idea of cars, the design of cars, and the freedom of cars from my first memory in life on. When I’ve had a rough day, I want to go take the car out for a drive. There’s something that unites car lovers from all ends of the Earth, passion. (more…)

15th Apr2011

The CAM Journal: BWG – 4 minutes with Ken Block

by Trent

The year was 2006. I was a fresh faced 20 year old heading to SEMA for the first time, and staying with what would later become some of my best friends for the first time. It was a new, weird, and scary experience that would only get weirder and more surreal as my week went on. Little things like one of my roommates speed reading the Bible to another, then losing said roommate later in the week. It was all really new to me, but I fell into my comfort zone while at the show. All I did was shoot pictures, grab free stuff, and bother pretty women; all things I was quite used to. Another thing I was used to was talking cars with random strangers; however, there was one random stranger I had not counted on running into, let alone actually talking to. (more…)

02nd Mar2011

The CAM Journal – B.W.G. – Brushes with Greatness

by Mustangjohnny

I seem to have always been lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Even if I do not realize it at that time. I have been to many Champ Car races, ALMS, Trans Am, SCCA, Grand Am, NHRA, SEMA, and many other opportunities to meet great people. With this series of articles, I will not bore you with stories of standing in a long line to shake Chip Foose’s hand and click a picture, yet I will entertain you with amusing stories of funny encounters with famous race drivers and Automotive Pioneers. For the first edition of B.W.G. (Brushes With Greatness) I will spin the tale of a impromptu lunch I had at SEMA several years ago. (more…)

21st Feb2011

The CAM Journal: Really Honda?

by Trent

2012 Honda Civic Si

There it is, the 2012 Honda Civic Si. Does it have a bunch of horsepower to match its dumbed down looks? Nope, only 3 more than the outgoing Civic Si. And now, it is official, Honda has lost any semblance of the soul it once had. (more…)

24th Jan2011

The CAM Journal: Lexus LFA vs. Wheel of Cheese

by Trent

Lexus LFA

I work at a grocery store. In the service deli to be exact, and it sucks. However it does allow me to learn random things and drop these rabbit turds of knowledge onto any customer who wanders within earshot. I had one customer ask me about the big blocks of cheese; how much they weigh and how much they cost. I told him they weren’t that bad compared to the big ass wheels of Parmesan and Romano. Those cost upwards of $160 and are really useless because #1 they cost too much and #2 they’re too big for a normal person to use. Then I said maybe the greatest thing I’ve said this week: (more…)

20th Jan2011

The CAM Journal: RIP Mitsubishi Eclipse

by Trent

Talon Girl in Black Car
Break out the sad trombone, the day I’ve feared will come, is finally at hand. According to Edmunds Inside Line, the Eclipse will not survive past 2013. Some of you might scoff at that and say you don’t care, but no matter who you are, if you are an automotive enthusiast, the Eclipse, or a variant of it, has crossed your path before. (more…)

31st Dec2010

The CAM Journal – 194.8 mph

by Mustangjohnny

194.8mph in a Monte CarloThe title for this month’s article is the fastest speed I have traveled in an automobile. High speed auto travel has always fascinated me. From when I was a wide eyed 10 year old car nut, to now as I push the envelope with my car on track.
The record speed was achieved in 1997, in a purpose built race car and I was NOT driving, but a passenger. I had been in Las Vegas by myself for the day attending a Mustang club get together and was headed back to St. George for dinner with my family. As I approached the almost completed Las Vegas Motor Speedway, I decided to poke my head around and take a look at the progress they were making. (more…)

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