14th Nov2017

Coca-Rolla: A New Formula!

by Michael Chandler

You remember Ian, right?  Has that S130 we featured a while ago, and I swung by his house earlier this year to see what he was up to?  Any of that ringing a bell?  If you remember that last one, then this car shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to see.  It’s the SR5 coupe he was working on when I was over there.  What you might not know is what he was doing to it.

He got the car with a BEAMS 3S-GE under the hood.  An amazing engine, that all the Toyota guys love and would love to swap into a Corolla, or an old Celica, or whatever RWD Toyota they can get their hands on.  That amazing engine rod knocked on Ian at the first event he took the car to.  Instead of shelling out for another BEAMS, or dealing with a 4A-GE and its associated costs, he went with something he knew.  Something that filled his cold, dead heart with warmth and life: a goddamn KA24DE.

Yes, he ripped out a trashed BEAMS and threw in a truck motor.  BLASPHEMY! I can hear you crying.  Why would anyone do that??? The BEAMS and 4A-GE are made by God himself! First, no to that whole second sentence.  Secondly, why not swap in something that is 1. familiar 2. proven and 3. cheap compared to building a 4A-GE or buying another BEAMS?  Argue for purity, and I’ll come back with practicality.  And this thing gets down, but we’ll get there in a minute.  First we’ve gotta talk about this car.

It’s an internally stock KA that sits in an engine bay that’s been completely stitch welded.  It does have a Greddy header meant for an NA S14, albeit modified to fit in the Corolla.  That connects to a Buddy Club Spec II exhaust, meant for a Corolla.  There’s a S14 Koyo radiator with a 16 inch SPAL fan to keep the whole deal cool enough.

Fueling is provided via a bevy of Aeromotive products! And by “bevy”, I mean 2: a 340lph fuel pump, and a fuel pressure regulator.  This whole thing is run via a MegaSquirt plug and play stand alone set up.  There’s a Painless switch panel, and absolutely no OEM wiring left in the car.  Ian rewired the whole thing to his liking.  Oh, and the battery is in the trunk.

That power (at least as much as that KA is producing) is sent through a one piece driveshaft to a solid rear axle.  No, not the stick that came in the Corolla, but a solid rear axle out of a Chevrolet S10.  Turns out it’s actually narrower than the Corolla axle.  Oh, and it’s been re-drilled for four lug.  AND the stock e-brake cables have been modified to work with the giant drums that are now out back.  They grab REAL good.  

Before we go on about the technical aspects of the car, let’s talk about that livery.  If it looks familiar, congratulations!  You’re either old, or a fan of vintage sports cars.  This livery is inspired by a livery on both the Porsche 962 and 935.  Both cars have sported many iconic liveries.  When I visited him earlier this year, he had the KA mounted, and then showed me a bunch of pictures of the Porsches while saying “that’s what I’m doing”.   He then grabbed a cutoff wheel, and got to cutting down the old grill.  It was an interesting evening.

I did not doubt him, in fact, we wondered why nobody else has done this before.  Seriously!  There are so many awesome liveries out there, everybody knows someone who works with vinyl, the pieces are there!  Make it happen, nerds.  Back to what he did.  The attention to detail is amazing!  It’s not just the big, swoopy Coca-Cola logo, it’s all of the little sponsor logos too.  Domino’s, 7 Eleven…

Even Jolly Rancher is on there!  With the period correct logo!  And the Advan logo, because it’s Ian.  Advan logo, despite the fact that he’s running 14×7 and 14×7.5 SSR Mk3’s.  Also period correct, and very awesome.

Speaking of awesome: you know what’s awesome?  Keeping things simple.  The suspension on the car is pretty damn simple: Megan links, T3 tension rods, and Stance coilovers.  The only big swap, aside from the KA, is an AW11 steering rack, which is a pretty standard thing.  No Wisefab, no craziness.  Just stuff you can buy, and that’s probably on the Corolla of your local AE86 guy.  

Inside is pretty spartan.  Again, no craziness.  Just a Nardi Gara steering wheel, and a Bride seat that’s mounted on some Buddy Club seat rails, straight from Japan.  And a cracked dashboard.

And a bunch of Auto Gage gauges, and an Innovative wideband.  

And that Painless switch panel.

The car is running what Ian describes as a “Duraflex runfree knockoff” body kit.  Could’ve fooled me, but then again I have no idea what I’d be looking for in the original.  I’m a lover, not an expert.

Remember how I said that this thing get’s down?  Well, Ian showed us how well it does.  There was a concrete slab, like what’s under your local strip mall, right by where we were shooting.  Dave guided him up, onto the slab, and then Ian did Ian things.  The car will boogie, and it will boogie without bash bars, or as Ian calls them “confidence bars”.  

Will people start slapping KA’s into Corollas?  Probably not.  Corollas are only getting more expensive, so you’d either have to have one fall in your lap, or start off with one.  And then you’d have to make everything work, either make the Nissan mill play nice with the Toyota wiring, or go full Ian and just rewire the damn thing.  And then there’s also the other Nissan motor that people shove into Corollas: the SR20DET.  Why stuff the truck motor in there when the JDM hotness has been done enough that it’s not weird?  

Much like New Coke, I don’t think Ian’s formula is really going to take off.  However, it is a welcome change to something that hasn’t seen many updates.  It’s different, it’s interesting, and it definitely brought a smile to our faces.

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08th Jun2017

Back in the Bowl: Salt City Drift Round 2

by Michael Chandler

I went and did some drifty stuff in the middle of the Porsche GT3 Cup madness.  Friday night the Salt City Drift folks got together at RMR, and slid the bowl with varying levels of success.  There was a competition, but I bailed long before that went down.  Anyway, here’s a gallery

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
05th May2017

Shakotan Spooky: Austin’s Widebody AE86

by Michael Chandler

What you’re looking at is a car that is as old as I am; and much like myself, this car has gotten wider as the years have gone by.  Unlike myself, however, Austin intended for the car to be wide.  I did not want to be wide.  Let’s talk more about Austin Fenn’s Corolla.

We’ll get to the flares in a minute, so settle down.  Austin plucked this car from a perpetual project state, and built it into what you see here.  And he did a fair amount of that work in his garage.  He’s touched every aspect of this car, like the suspension.  Megan Racing supplies a set of Track series coilovers, roll center adjusters, and their adjustable four links.  Up front  is an MR2 steering rack (because it fits and is also manual), extended lower control arms, and T3 modified steering knuckles. 

 The shock and coil perches in the rear have been modified to allow for additional droppage, and there are hand made traction brackets as well.  There’s also a T3 panhard bar for good measure.  There is Motul 600 brake fluid coursing through braided brake lines on all four corners.  The OEM calipers grab onto slotted rotors.  All of that is tucked behind a set of Basset steel wheels, 14×8 in the front, and 15×10 (-52 offset!) in the rear.  The front wheels are currently wearing a pair of Yokohama S.drive tires, and the rears are sporting Falkens.

The rear bumper has been ditched, and a pair of boso pipes are sticking out the back.  The US spec front bumper has been cut up and tucked, and the body (underneath the custom livery that Austin designed, and Hero Prints turned into printable files) is some satin black paint and Chrysler Crystal Metallic Graphite.  

He’s fitted a set of Jblood sideskirts, and popped on some sideskirt extensions he snagged off of eBay.  Now let’s get to the thing you’ve been waiting for:

The flares are truly one-offs.  They aren’t some super rare Yahoo Japan finds, or something he found at a swap meet.  No, these are flares that he designed, AND MADE HIMSELF.  You won’t be able to get a set of them unless you A) rip them off Austin’s car, a move which is highly un-advisable for a litany of reasons or B) beg him to make a set for you, which will probably result in an answer in the negative.  They’re N2 inspired, but all Austin’s design.

Turning our attention under the hood, we find a 20 valve 4AGE!  And no A/C or power steering!  He has a newer xB, which has at least one of those things.  There’s a big Mishimoto radiator, and matching fans, along with a Setrab oil cooler and a thermostatic oil plate.  

The 20v inhales through a set of individual throttle bodies, topped with 75mm T3 velocity stacks.  It exhales through a very good looking header that I can’t remember the name of, nor the reason that he chose this header.  But damn is it good looking.  If there’s a bad looking, aftermarket header for the 4AGE, I haven’t seen it.  And I don’t want to.  Oh, and the head has been ported and polished.  And the whole shebang is being orchestrated by a Sprint 500 standalone ECU.

There is no carpet inside Austin’s Corolla, only custom floor mats.  The rear of the car doesn’t even get the luxury of floor mats, it just has the relocated battery, sitting inside of a stainless steel box.  There’s a Veilside OG fixed back seat, which necessitated the recovering of the OEM passenger seat and door cards.  You know, so they match the Veilside bucket.  The steering wheel is a Vertex (by Vertex) wheel, and doesn’t have a horn button.  It is very colorful though.  Oh, and that stuff sitting on the driver’s seat?

A sweet pair of Shirts Tucked In driving gloves.

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

15th Mar2017

Ian’s Fixing Up A Corolla

by Michael Chandler

Whilst down in Vegas, as Gavin was gallivanting around in a giant Lexus SUV, I ventured into the cut to hand out with Ian Perri at “the trap house”.  You remember Ian, he’s hard to forget.  Anyway, he has a Corolla coupe, and he’s doing stuff and things to it.

I got there as he was wiring up the headlights.  They go up and down, and they also have a party mode.  I was impressed, wiring is black magic in my eyes.  He also had the engine in place, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.  He swore me to secrecy, but there are some other things I can tell you about.  I.E. stuff I remember!*

The Bride seat came out of a kei truck, and has a Speedhunters lookin sticker on the right side of it.  Except it isn’t a Speedhunters sticker.  It says “SPINNERS”.  What it is is a mystery to us, so if you have any clue as to what it is, let us know.

Dope, but it’s a place holder.  It was at this point he decided to make the OEM grill fit into the new, smaller hole that the front bumper has left.  The professor grabbed his tools, and go to working in the lab.

Safety first.

After trimming, test fitting, more trimming, test fitting again, some light cursing, and more trimming, the grill fit.  Fit pretty good.

I left soon after the grill went in.  Twas dinner time for me, and he had a birthday party to go to.  It’s always good hanging out and doing car things with friends, especially when they’re doing double super secret car stuff.  As soon as Ian has the car up and ready, we’ll head back down and take more pictures of it and give you more details.  Until then, enjoy what’s here.

Bonus!

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*I can’t promise any accuracy in my memories.

19th Oct2016

It’s Over… For Now: Salt City Drift Round 7

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

It was a nice day out at Utah Motorsports Campus!  Mostly sunny with some intermittent clouds, sport bikes from the Apex Track Days event wailing on the West Track, and tires howling in the West Paddock from the drivers of the final Salt City Drift event of the season.  At the end of the day, there would be two winners crowned: the winner of the event, and the overall season champion!  Let’s see how that all played out:

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In third place in the day’s competition was OP Anderson!  Despite organizing and being one of the guys running the event, and despite having a box stock Saturn Sky Redline as his chariot, he managed to go out and slay enough to get on the podium.

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In second place was the man, the myth, the Southern Dandy: Blaize Potts!  We finally got to see his LS powered FC RX-7 ripping, and rip it did.  Put a pin in this, cause we’re gonna get back to him in a minute.

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Taking home the win was Trevor Malan!  Trevor’s S13 has everything that the internet seems to love: sparkly paint, big Weds wheels, a DMAX kit, JDM nose, it’s dumped, and it’s a ripper.  And it has something I love: a dude behind the wheel who’s down to drive.  Doesn’t matter how cool your car looks, or what parts you’ve thrown on it: if you can’t/won’t drive it like it’s supposed to, then you’re blowing it.

INTERMISSION

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This is John.  I like John, cause he’s down to get weird.  Here he is in his Wisefab equipped E36, munching a cone.  It also has some crazy stiff springs out of the Lyfe Motorsport GTR.  It was quite a sight to behold.

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This is Devin.  His Corolla has Arizona tags, lives in a garage in Michigan, and has a BEAMS 3S-GE under the hood.  He drove, in that Corolla, all the way from Michigan just to drive in this event.  And it isn’t some well sorted, fully developed Corolla.  Very recently it was just a lump of 80’s Toyota, sitting in his garage.  He got the car on the ground, got it running, then got it running well enough to drive across the goddamn country to slay some tires.  Think about that for a second.  Devin is the man.

BACK TO SOME ACTUAL NEWS

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In addition to the actual competition, there were two games being played: limbo and table.  Not quite sure how limbo worked, but the guy who won got some cash.  Good job there, fella!  It looked like Blaize was going to take the table win, until Nick Stucky showed up.  He was having car troubles, but finally managed to get his car running.  He did some tandem with Scott Bradshaw, and then he went for the table.  Name of the game was to drift through the last two turns of the course, then slide your car to a stop next to a table.  You needed to be parallel, or close enough, to the table to be in the running.  Blaize set the bar pretty high, or low, but Nick cleared it in whichever direction was necessary.  He slide to a stop mere inches from the table, on his only table run of the day!

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Speaking of tables (AWKWARD TRANSITION), here’s the podium for the season championship: in third place, with an E30 325, is Hayden Campbell!  He might have taken second if he drove the event, but third isn’t bad!

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In second place is the guy who used two cars this season: Blaize Potts!  He sold the KA24DE powered S13 coupe, and was handsomely rewarded for doing so.  Look at that 2nd place trophy and moderately priced champagne!

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And the winner of the 2016 Salt City Drift driver’s championship is: Nick Nengas!  Proving many things this year (any seat time is good seat time, the 350Z is a solid platform for damn near anything, looking like a child has its benefits) netted him the top spot.  It wasn’t an easy task, there were some guys who could shred, but Nick shredded harder.  Now, what do three guys with champagne do with it after they’ve received awards?

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There was much rejoicing.  And so ends the Salt City Drift season.  It was an enjoyable one, a solid one, and hopefully one that has a bigger succeeding season.  Congratulations to the winners, the people who tried, everyone who came out to support the events, and especially the folks at Salt City Drift.  They’re trying to bolster this community we have by hosting these events, and it’d be killer to see some more folks driving, or even volunteering at these events.

Anywell, until next time, dear readers…

HERE’S A GALLERY!!!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th Sep2016

The Land of Wind and Ghosts: SCD Round 6

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Not sure if you guys know this, but it got chilly just in time for this past weekend’s Salt City Drift event.  And I’m not sure if you know about Tooele County, but it tends to be a bit windier out there.  Despite the wind, and the cold there were some brave individuals doing some skids!  Brandon Wicknick came out with the D-Spare hauler, unloaded some cars (including his IS300), then took a nap.  Listen, it’s hard work being America’s Favorite Drifting Ginger.  He deserves a nap every now and again!

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Derrick Lopez was out in his simple S13 hatchback, ripping up the course in his own, quiet way.

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Nick Nengas let his inner street ripper out, and laid down some solid runs in front of the Metro Security SUV.

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That’s a ripper Trevor, that is indeed a ripper.

There was a contest, but I have no idea what happened.  So in lieu of results, here’s a big ass gallery!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Jul2016

Hot Nights in the City: SCD Round 4

by Michael Chandler

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It was another hot one in Utah, but despite the heat, and traffic, and a massive fire that billowed smoke into the area, round four of the Salt City Drift season carried on.

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There was, of course, a competition.  I’m not sure how tandem turned out, but I can say that it did pull some of the drag racing spectators over to the bowl.  That was pretty cool to see.  On the solo side, we had Blaize Potts and his Scoundrel mobile in third.

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Crowd pleaser Hayden Campbell in second.

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And Nick Nengas & Teddy took home another win.  Next event is back at RMR on August 5th.  Come spend an evening in the oval with us!  Here’s a big ass gallery to tide you over

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
01st Mar2016

Stupid, Simple Fun

by Michael Chandler

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While new cars are getting faster, and handling better, but there’s something to be said for the simplicity that is an old car.  The venerable AE86 is as about as simple as it gets: twin cam 1.6L engine, 5 speed manual, and a limited slip diff in the middle of a live rear axle.  It gets simpler, but not by a whole lot.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
23rd Jul2015

Salt City Drift: In a Land Far Away

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

In and among the happenings at Miller Motorsports Park was Salt City Drift.  Well, not really “in and among”, more “far and away from”.  The kids were corralled in the Midway, at the far east side of the facility.  Not that close to where the NASA Utah action was happening, but I still managed to get some photos.

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Instead of hoping the small plastic barriers in the horseshoe would stop a car, I took up a post where the only thing that would save me would be something I don’t have: cat like reflexes.  I would’ve been more nervous, but then I saw who was in the queue and I was more OK with my decision to crouch next to a chain link fence.

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Eric (Erik? Erick? Erich? I know damn well it isn’t Aaric) was out in his 180SX, doing things on the cool side.  I say that, because it’s a legit 180SX, which means it’s right hand drive, super kawaii, and other superlative adjectives.  Eventually we’ll feature the car, but in the meantime enjoy the photos of Eric doing what he does in the car he built to do it in.

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I don’t know these guys… But how often do you see a pair of S13 coupes doing work?  SUBQUESTION: how often do you see two coupes, with different front ends, and different means of induction getting wild?  I’m hoping you’re saying not often, because if not then this whole paragraph is just wasted space.  Not wasted space: who has more info on the JDM fronted coupe?  It looks fancy.

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This is the most hateful thing I’ve ever seen or heard.  It’s Josh Hadlock’s V8 powered Corolla, and this is the first time I’ve seen it slide in person!  This made me happy, because I’ve been wanting to see it do drift car stuff for… a while.

Speaking of lengths of time: you don’t have to wait a long time for the next event!  The next event, according to the schedule, is August 2 at Rocky Mountain Raceway.  That’s, like, ten days away!  You should totally go.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Sep2014

Boise Drift Day 2

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

When last we left our brave travelers they were scrambling for cover from the sudden and violent storm that had rolled upon Magic Valley Speedway.  Chance, Mikey, Brandon, Hector and myself chose to sleep in Brandon’s trailer, while Jordan and Riley elected to sleep in Jordan’s and Hector’s trucks respectively.  And now for the conclusion of our tale…

The sudden storm lasted through the night, but had mercifully ended by morning.  We awoke to a beautiful, albeit a little chilly, sunny morning.  Those of us who slept in the trailer had has decent of a night as one can while sleeping on the floor of a trailer.  Meanwhile Jordan and Riley had learned why you don’t sleep in your vehicle in the cold.  While at least Jordan came prepared for camping, Riley only brought his hoodie.  Suffice it to say they were both happy to see the sun creep over the mountains.

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All over the makeshift camp grounds people were working on various things.  Brandon was mounting tires for the day, and Mike had begun to cook breakfast for himself and his crew of jolly pirates.  Zack was still working on his wheel studs, while Jordan was looking at what appeared to be a bent left rear wheel.  Chance took Brandon’s truck into town, and left Mikey with us.  Chance returned with breakfast for himself, Brandon, Mikey and Jordan.  I had a Clif Bar, and Hector managed to score a parfait from Brandon.

Hector, having eaten, and Zack, having replaced his wheel studs, were the first two out on track, and were both giving ride alongs.  Chance and myself made our way over to the track and were chatting about something inconsequential to this story while watching the two of them make their way through the infield.  Hector took his usual line through the last two turns, and Zack took a wider line…

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The rear quarter panel hit then end of the barrier, and spun the front of the car into it with a great deal of force.  Zack and his passenger were ok, however his car was finally dead.

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The car hit so hard it snapped the lower control arm, bent the coilover on that corner, dented the wheel well so deeply that the clutch pedal couldn’t be pushed in, sent the fender into the windshield and generally tweaked everything.  As it sat the car couldn’t move or be dragged off the course without leaving more parts in its wake.  So the plan was hatched to bring the trailer down, and drag the car on to it using ratchet straps, a jack and man power.

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A crowd gathered to watch the lifeless S13 get dragged on to the trailer.  It took some effort on the parts of everyone in the infield, but the car was on the trailer and secured.

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Although he had the worst weekend on paper, he had the best weekend because he went out there and said fuck it.  Blow out both tires? Finish the lap on the bare rims and swap them out.  A wheel goes flying? Throw that thing on the hatch and get to work fixing the studs.  Destroy the car? Jump on that hood, throw your arms to the sky and declare that you won’t be defeated by conventional means! It had cost him $75 to drive, and he got his money’s worth.

After clearing what was left of Zack’s car, the rest of the drivers came out to play.

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Everyone was having a good time, just sending one after another after another.  Things were moving like clock work.

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Smile! This is going on the internet!

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And then Brad spun out and knocked one of his battery connections loose. This brief pause in the action allowed for some other drivers to fire up their chariots and make their way on to the track.

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Crowd favorites Mikey, Brandon, Worm and Dennis all were out.  Things progressed as they do: one driver led to pairs of drivers.  Those pairs linked up with the other pairs and suddenly we had gridlock in the grid.

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Thankfully this traffic jam passed, everyone was sliding, and I climbed atop a gigantic planter.

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This continued for a few laps, then people started peeling off to grab tires or to let their car cool down.  This left me standing on top of the planter, and Dane in his 1UZ swapped Celica Supra taking laps. After passing me he stopped, backed up and asked “Hey, do you want me to just hit this corner?”

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Yes, yes I do.  As so he did until the time came for him to grab new tires and take a break.  Which it seemed liked we all decided to do.  I took this time to wander about, change lenses, and eventually jam a GoPro on to Jordan’s car before he went out in a four car group.  All was looking good.

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Until a small fuel leak caused a fire in his car.  Thankfully the fire was extinguished quickly, but not before his wiring harness was toasted.  Fear not though, there were still three of our group still running!  Sort of…

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So the trio went out, with various passengers who had GoPros on sticks.  Since this was a grassroots, just for fun kind of thing nobody could communicate with the cars while they were on track.  And car to car communication was primitive.

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And occasionally crude… It was during these runs a few of noticed that Mikey was smokey.  Really smokey.

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (54 of 56)

Catastrophically smokey.  There was an oil leak somewhere, and it was bad enough to send Mikey back to the trailer.  He wasn’t done though, he would take a few runs in Brandon’s car.  However, Hector was entirely done.  He bent a tie rod on one run, did an epic burnout and headed back to his trailer.

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (38 of 56) Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (39 of 56)

Our crew may have been decimated, but there were still some people who hadn’t broken their cars! Mike and Worm were still out taking cuts.

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (44 of 56)

And then the track cleared, and the Previa rolled down the bank, and began its runs.

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (47 of 56) Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (46 of 56)

Behind every good man is a strong woman, and Dennis & Katie literally demonstrated this.  They mounted the rear bench seat of the Previa in the van backwards, she strapped in and went for a ride!

And it is on that note that we end our story.  It was an awesome weekend, spent with awesome people and doing awesome things.  If there was a better way to spend Labor Day Weekend, and close out the summer, I can’t think of one.  This wasn’t an isolated trip either.  While I can’t make it to the next event, I will make it to a few more next year.  Until then, thank you Idaho!  GOODNIGHT!

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