27th Jan2016

Lambocatirarri

by Michael Chandler

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So a Jalpa, a Ducati, and a 308 pull into a parking lot.  They break a few necks, and are somehow more reliable than a nearly stock Subaru Legacy Outback.  

24th Feb2015

A Ferrari You Know and a Lamborghini You Don’t

by Michael Chandler

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The yellow car is the Ferrari that you know.  It’s a 308 GTB, which we all remember from Magnum PI.  You never saw Magnum PI?  For those who don’t know, Magnum PI was about a private investigator named Thomas Magnum, played by Tom Selleck, who lived in Oahu and solved crimes and such, and drove around in a borrowed 308.  The 308 GTB is a 3 liter, V8 powered Ferrari that replaced the Dino and was primarily driven by cocaine dealers.  They made them starting in 1975, and quit in 1980.  Well, sort of quit.  The 75-80 models were carbureted, and the 81+ models came with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection and branded as GTSi or GTBi.

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The white car is the Lamborghini that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when one mentions 80’s Lamborghinis.  This is a Jalpa, and you probably haven’t heard of it because A) they made them from 1981-1988, which was right in the middle of the Countach’s production run and B) they didn’t make a lot of them, only 410.  Much like the Ferrari it sports a V8, albeit a larger 3.5 liter V8, shoved in the middle of the car and was driven by a famous, fictitious person: Rocky drove on in Rocky IV (the one where he goes to the Soviet Union).  Fun Fact: this was Lamborghini’s most successful V8 powered car.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some more photos of the two of them:

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

 

 

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.