17th Feb2016

The Only Place With More History is a Library

by Michael Chandler

Miller Total Performance Museum Michael Chandler-1

I’m willing to say that The Miller Total Performance Museum had more racing history per square foot than any other auto museum.  Why?  Because #1 it was tiny, #2 it had one of the Daytona Coupes, #3 it had so many early Cobras, #4 it had Shelby Mustangs galore, and #5 it had one of every generation of GT40, including one of the first cars (ever!) to wear the iconic Gulf Oil livery.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Nov2014

The Custom Touch: Time Attack Integra GSR

by Michael Chandler

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

What you see here is something we can all get behind.  Literally and figuratively.  This is an Integra GSR that has, to say the least, a lot of work done.  To say the most it’s had the custom touch applied to almost everything.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-15

We met Rhett at Miller Motorsports Park at a NASA event about a year ago.  He was there campaigning his GSR in  Time Trial.  We really dug the car, and Rhett.  He’s a humble, down to Earth guy.  We chatted with him for a little bit, then he loaded up the car and disappeared back to Idaho.  For a while.  We honestly thought he had disappeared  and was gone forever.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and he and the car reappeared .

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6 Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

In his absence from the track he did some work.  Some very custom work to the front end especially.   He didn’t really like any of the aftermarket bumpers on the market, but he liked some aspects of them.  So, he bought one and cut it apart.  He liked the Voltex bumper for the Lancer Evolution, so he grabbed some cans of spray foam and got to spraying.  He cut and trimmed, and shaped and formed, and he had a mold for a bumper.  But then he decided he didn’t like it, and started looking at cars closer to his Integra.  Specifically the Honda S2000, because both are long hood vehicles, as opposed to the stubby hooded Evo.  Out came the knife and the spray foam and, after filling the garage with foam shavings, he had the foam cored Carbon Fiber bumper you see before you.  It’s so strong you can stand on the inlet and only have to worry about scratching the finish. The canards are are also one off pieces, made by vacuum infusing utilizing carbon fiber with foam cores.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-17Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

Continuing the one off theme, the hood is also something Rhett and company fabricated.  No, he didn’t just cut a hole in the hood and slap on a set of DMax vents.  It’s vacuum infused carbon fiber with a foam core.  The fenders have been heavily modified with a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass around foam cores.  The roof is also vacuum infused carbon fiber around a foam core.  Even the APR GTC 200 wing sits atop custom chassis mounted stands.  The only exterior parts that aren’t custom are the Pro Car Innovations side skirts, rear bumper and doors.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

The interior hasn’t received nearly as many custom touches as the exterior, but it does have some nice touches like the carbon fiber panel with Carlyle rocker switches.  Cobra Sebring Pro seats replace the factory chairs, with Crow five point harnesses holding the occupants in place.  A Tuner View II display has been custom mounted, and JDM arm rest and airbag deletes installed.  Gear changes are initiated with a Hybrid Racing adjustable shifter, and directional changes are made with a 330mm MOMO steering wheel on an NRG quick release.  And since he runs in NASA sanctioned events, and not some fly by night series, he has a 6 point certified roll cage.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-13

Rhett campaigns the Unlimited class, where his competition includes an R35 GTR and an Audi R8 LMS.  He couldn’t just roll out there with crazy aero and nothing more than an exhaust, so he got to work on making the B18C1 mill ready to handle the stout competition.  The block itself is stock and retains the OEM 81mm bore, but the pistons and rods have been tossed in favor of Wiseco Race shaped and prepped pistons atop Eagle rods.  ACL race bearings keep things spinning in an orderly manner.  The cylinder head has received plenty of love as well.  It’s been ported, polished and bowl matched and lovingly stuffed with GSC T1 camshafts and Supertech HD valve springs and retainers.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-10 Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-14

Up top there’s a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold with a 70mm Pro Series throttle body bringing in the air.  A Skunk2 composite fuel rail sends fuel to a quartet (…four) Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors.  A 6 port B&R breather box keeps the air out of the oil, before sending it through the custom thermostatic oil cooler setup.  The cooler itself is almost the size of a stock Civic radiator! The 1.8 liter VTEC mill is held in place with Hasport billet mounts with 94a durometer inserts, and Avid billet torque mounts

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-12 Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-11

All of that oil cooling is necessary because there is a Turbo By Garrett GT3071 turbocharger hanging off of a LoveFab Mini EQ manifold. The manifold has been wrapped and the turbo itself sits under a blanket, both are from DEI. That hairdryer gets it’s fresh air from a custom, carbon fiber ram air air box and massive four inch piping.   Since this isn’t some old turbo Colt, there’s an intercooler.  A big one.  A big, custom dual back door piece.  The excess pressurized air is releived via a Synapse blow off valve.  Because of the increased thermal load, there has to be a big, custom radiator.  The spent air, after exiting the turbo, leaves the car through a custom three inch V-Band exhaust with a five inch, round, Magnaflow muffler.  Other custom parts include a custom electric power steering, and water pump system.  There’s also a custom transmission cooler and pump set up.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

Which is good, because there’s an Elite/Gear X Transmission straight-cut 1-5 dog box that needs to be kept cool.  Shoved in that transmission is an OS Giken 1 way plate differential, which sends power to Drive Shaft Shop 3.9 axles and hubs.  Massive StopTech four piston calipers clamp down on 12.9 inch rotors.  There are bronze and spherical bearings all over the car from Password:JDM, Pro Car Innovations and Special Motorsports Projects.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-16

Password:JDM also provided the rear camber and lower control arms, and Hard Race provides front camber A arms.  There are Eibach Multi Pro R2 coilovers at all four corners, because adjust-ability is crucial when you’re chasing fractions of a second.  An ASR subframe brace  and Integra Type-R rear sway bar are, well, in the rear. Rhett has two sets of wheels for the car, and three sets of tires.  Variety is the spice of life, and being well prepared for most situations is pretty awesome.  Depending on the day the car is either on a set of 17×9 Rota Grids, or 17×9.75 XXR 527s.  His choices for rubber are 235/40 Toyo R888s, 225/40 Hoosier R6s, and finally 255/40 Hankook RS3s.

SEMA 2014 Friday CAMautoMag.com-73

As we were shooting the photos, Rhett told me his car was invited to compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and also have a spot in the SEMA show.  This was an awesome thing to hear, and really cool to see his car at the show and roll out.  How did Rhett do? Well, much like the day we shot the car he was having issues.  The fuel pump went out, so a stock one had to be used.  This meant 30% throttle, no more than 6500rpm, and no VTEC.  Suddenly becoming the lowest horsepower vehicle sounds like it would have been a disaster, but Rhett managed to finish twenty-eighth out of  ninety-two competitors.  Not too bad for something built in a garage in Idaho.

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

 

 

11th Apr2013

The Miller Motorsports Park Total Performance Museum

by Trent

Ford GT40 MkIV

Epic [ep-ik]
heroic; majestic; impressively great

The Iliad and Odyssey are epic poems, the Nurbugring is an epic track, LeBron James is an epic player. Epic is a small word that carries a vast amount of weight. People throw it around frivolously, but there are some things we can all agree are fitting of the title of Epic. Submitted for your approval:

Larry H. Miller Museum

The Miller Total Performance Automotive Museum

On the south side of the entry fence at Miller Motorsports Park, across the drive from the box office building, sits a building that has a giant track map and picture of one of the FR500Ss. Inside this building there are some of the things you’d run across at a motorsports facility that hosts driving and racing schools: there is a class room, and some bathrooms, and a gift shop; however, if you walk past the register in the gift shop you will find something few other places have: a collection of cars that have become legends.

Shelby Cobra Carbs

This is like Valhalla. These heroes sit amongst each other, in a hall built by a man who lives on through the legacy and places he left behind.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

Before Larry Miller became Larry H. Miller, philanthropist, Utah Jazz owner, car dealership magnate, he was Larry Miller, car guy. Specifically, Shelby Cobra guy. He worked hard, and bought a Cobra. And he worked some more and bought another…and some more, and then some Mustangs, and a GT40, and then more Cobras and GT40s. All told there are 13 Cobras (including one of the six Daytona Coupes AND a one of one aluminum body that was going to become a Daytona Super Coupe), 5 GT40s, 6 GT350 Mustangs, and one Cougar, Ranchero, Thunderbolt, 2008 GT500KR, and a Ford GT. These 29 cars represent 50 years of American racing history and one man who made the world take note of what we were capable of: Carroll Shelby. Telling the stories of all the cars, of all the men behind them, and everything that they accomplished would require a novel on the scale of Ulysses. We will highlight a few of the cars, and leave it up to you if you want to make the drive to the museum and hear about the rest of them.

Hey Little Cobra

CSX-2128: Black No. 15 This is the car that started it all. This was one of two Cobras built for the 1963 Twelve Hours of Sebring with rack and pinion steering. The Shelby team raced it for a few months, then sold it to Coventry Motors. While there it received a new livery (yellow with black stripes and roundels) and was raced until Shelby bought the car back in March of ’64. While with Coventry, and before the new livery, it was photographed for an album by the Rip Chords called Hey Little Cobra. Larry saw this album, saw the car, and became a Cobra guy. Later the car came up for auction, and Larry outbid the man who designed the yellow and black livery it wore at Coventry. The man Larry outbid, the livery designer, was George Lucas.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

CSX-2299: Blue No. 13 Daytona Coupe “It just stops my heart every time I see it.” This is one of six Daytona Coupes, number two, and it has one of the more storied histories in the museum: first in GT/fourth overall at the 1964 Le Mans, first in GT/fourth overall at Tourist Trophy in 1964, first in GT/SECOND overall 1965 24 Hours of Daytona, first in GT/fourth overall 1965 12 Hours of Sebring. It helped Shelby become the first, and only, American manufacturer to win a FIA GT World Manufacturer’s Championship.

Number 1 Ford GT40

P-1015: Blue with White stripes No. 1 This car won overall at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Co-driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby, it crossed the line first in the famous Photo Finish the Ford executives ordered. Despite crossing the line first, the race officials deemed that the No. 2 GT40 (co-driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon) covered the most distance and was awarded the win. This questionable decision robbed Ken Miles of the Triple Crown of Endurance Racing (wins at Daytona, Sebring an Le Mans). Sadly Ken was never able to make another attempt at the Triple Crown. He was killed that summer testing a prototype Mk IV GT40.

Steve McQueen GT40

P-1074: Gulf Blue with Marigold stripes No. 40. The infamous Steve McQueen car. Most people know about this car because it was purchased for an obscene amount of money last year, and it was owned by Steve McQueen, who turned it into a camera car for the film Le Mans. What most people don’t know is that it was one of the first cars to ever wear the Gulf Oil colors. It was one of three Mirage prototypes made from existing GT40 chassis. It won in its debut outing at Spa-Francorchamps in May of 1967, which was the first win for any car wearing the now famous blue with marigold stripes.

Ford GT40 MkIV

There are still twenty-five cars in there with histories of their own. I urge you, implore you, to make the drive out to the track. Visit the museum. Learn more about these cars that put America, for a brief period of time, at the forefront of international racing. Learn more about the man who built these pieces of history. Learn more about the man who acquired these cars and put them on display for all to see. Being able to see one of these cars in person is amazing, a few of them is awe inspiring, but twenty-nine? That can be only described as Epic.

No 12 Ford GT40Shelby Daytona Coupe Le Mans

Two Le Mans GT40's

Words by Michael Chandler and John Gardner, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video by Trent Bray

Special thanks to John Gardner and Miller Motorsports Park

Off
21st Oct2010

CAM Photo Post

by Trent

What’s the great thing about magazines? Pictures of course. These are all never before seen(on this site) as well.

SRT8 WheelMustang CobraFD Mazda RX-7Honda Civic EmblemCamaro SS

*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

26th May2010

CAM First Feature: 03 Ford Mustang Cobra

by Trent

We wanted to show you a sneak peek at the first page of our first feature, an ex-champ car pace car Ford Mustang Cobra. We’re busy working on the rest of the online magazine and we have a lot more in store, but here’s the first look.

Mustang Cobra Car Magazine

This is just a low-res sample and the full magazine will be available in high resolution. Check out our first issue soon!

*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.