14th Aug2019

Scoundrel Hangs

by Michael Chandler


I hardly ever get to see Blaize and Chase, two of my friends and also two of the Scoundrels. So, when I was in St. George last, I took a few hours to go hang out and see what the Scoundrel life was about. Or at least a little slice of it on a Saturday afternoon.

Blaize’s soon to be Formula Drift Pro2 car was cut up, and tucked in the corner. But Chase had his Fox Body parked right behind the door, and ready to make its way into the light.

And so out it went.

I call his RX7 a Fox Body for a variety of reason. And by “variety” I mean exactly two. First: it has the venerable 5 liter V8 that real Fox Body Mustangs had. And like those, it makes power. Not a lot, but enough to get rowdy.

It’s also a damn coupe. At some point an S13 240SX coupe, one of the few cars that I’d pay the drift tax on #coupelife, gave up a large part of itself to be grafted onto Chase’s FC convertible. After a while, his FC finally came together as a coupe, and was painted this bass boat gold.

And he’s been loving it ever since.

He’s also aware of how important the little details are. Just look at that little spat on the front bumper. It’s a little thing, but it looks cool and it stands out on the car while not being the major focal point.

And then there’s this absolute unit! I can’t remember who’s it is, but god DAMN!

SHIT!!!

It was a good time hanging out with the guys, and then Luis finally showed up.

But more on him later…

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07th Aug2019

What Could’ve Been: Ashton’s Focus ST

by Michael Chandler
Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

As some of you know, and others are about to find out, I owned a Golf GTI. It was fine, except for that whole, mk6 timing chain guide and tensioner issue that cost me a cool $2k. But before I pulled the trigger on the VW, I was looking hard at Focus STs. They were different than the ubiquitous GTI, they were something entirely new. But I couldn’t find one in my price range that wasn’t a basket case, so I signed my life away for a year of German car ownership.

Thankfully, someone I happen to know owns a Focus ST, and is pretty stoked on this whole CAM thing, so I got to see what I had missed out on. That person is Ashton, and he’s my girlfriend’s cousin. He also has The Disease, so I got to drive an ST that was pretty close to what I probably would’ve done.

The car is pretty simple, and what you would expect from a Youth who 1: knows his ass from a hole in the ground, and 2: is operating on a budget. Firstly, he snagged a good deal on a good car. The car was stock, and driven to and from work by some dude. Dude happened to live in the Salt Lake Valley, and work in Logan, but that’s neither here nor there. It was well maintained, and a good platform to build upon.

Power adders are pretty simple: intake and catback, downpipe, and an AccessPort with a hot tune on there. The car makes all the right noises, and doesn’t run rough or weird. Again, this is what happens when you’re not an idiot.

The car is riding on BC coilovers, which are a fine set of coilovers. Hell, all the cool kids are on BCs. However, I’m old and washed compared to Ashton, and those BCs can be mighty stiff. Ashton has his set to “mighty stiff”, and East Canyon hammered that home. He was also riding on a set of Riken Raptor tires. These are the tires my brother had on his gold Altima that he named Hazel, because she was a Golden Girl.

My brother was also in college at the time, so naturally they were incredibly cheap. Little has changed since my brother bought them for his Altima, they’re not great tires. Thankfully Ashton knows this, and is only rocking the Rikens because they were pretty much brand new when he picked up his STRs.

Yes, he’s on reps. Get over it. They look good, and survived a day of driving East Canyon with my dumb ass behind the wheel.

So, what was it like taking a peek into the well of what could’ve been? It was interesting. The interior wasn’t as bad as people said, but the push to start made me forget a crucial step in starting a car with a manual: you gotta step on the clutch. Visibility was good, and the wheel felt good in my hands. It went where I wanted it to go, and I never felt like I was lacking for power. Would I have been happier with an ST, or kept it longer than a year? Who knows! But now I’m not not looking at them.

Big thanks to Ashton for waking up in a Sunday morning, making the drive, and letting me burn damn near all of his gas.

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25th Jun2019

CAMcast 203: Ford, France, and Xboxes

by Dave Rawley

Welcome back friendos!  We recorded a day early so we could be joined by Alex Crane, Ben Cajero, and in spirit by Colton Blackmore.  Mike, Dave, and Zack talk about the French Grand Prix, the new Ford craziness, and how Mike got an Xbox without getting stabbed or arrested!

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19th Dec2018

Keeping Warm in a Hot Hatch: Gavin Drives a Fiesta ST

by Gavin Pouquette

Words by Gavin Pouquette, photos by Gavin Pouquette, Andrew Jackson, Jensen Litke.

Dear Ford Motor Company,

HOW FUCKING DARE YOU.

You were killing the game with great, fun cars in every price range that put the other two American car companies to shaaaaame! I used to be rooting for you from the sidelines, cheering you on; BUUUUT NOOOOOOO. This move to kill all but two cars in your lineup is downright shameful, and shows that all you are after is the cheap and easy way out. Crossovers. And I don’t want to hear about “bhUt thEy MaKe thE eeEedge ESSS TEEEE!” It’s not at all the same. But you, the reader, saw a photo of a Fiesta ST and assumed this is a review on said car. And as the upstanding opinion-ist that I am, I will give that to you.

For those that have been sleeping under a rock for the past 5 years, the first (and only) generation of the Fiesta ST to come to the USA is small hot-hatch that is powered by a 1.6L Ecoboost motor, making 197 bhp at 6,000 rpm and a solid 200 torques at 4,200 rpm. That power and torque are sent through to the front wheels via a profoundly slick 6-speed manual transmission that is an absolute dream to row though. Like… Seriously slick. Imagine yourself driving a car with a manual gearbox in a dream of yours. It’s slicker than that! Those who complain about gearboxes feeling too notchy, FEAR NO MORE! Notches are almost non-existent with the Fiesta ST. However, I am one to like notches when shifting. It’s why I drive a manual Subaru. With that said, I don’t think that the feel in the gearbox is missing anything. It has its own character that way. Ratios are adequately spaced and fall exactly where you expect them to be.

The maximum torque may, in fact, be at 5,000 rpm, but 2,700 rpm is really the figure to look at while flying through a canyon or your favorite twisty side road. That’s where boost likes to open the door, come in, and say hi. You get a small tidal wave from 2,700 rpm that carries you all the way to 5,500 rpm. But that’s not the end of the story here. Unlike other hot hatches from abroad, (cough cough VW GTI) the sound and the character of the engine doesn’t die when the boost stops. Oh no! The engine still makes pleasant and happy noises up top, all the way past 6,000 rpm, and still has some grunt all the way to its 6,300 rpm redline. I’m not calling it a Miata per se, but it definitely carries over certain traits from our beloved Japanese roadster.

One of my favorite attributes of the Fiesta ST is how it goes around corners. Body roll is nonexistent, so the car corners oh so very flat. I was pushing quite a bit through my favorite canyon roads and kept cars I passed in the far corners of my rearview. Unlike other FWD hot hatches I’ve had experience within the past, understeer isn’t really a phenomenon that ever happens in the Fiesta ST. When carrying speed, you actually need to keep the rear end in check. Although the nice thing is, if that were to happen, it’s fairly easy to catch and sort out with the front wheels being the ones putting the power down.

It’s been often discussed that the optimal amount of power to send to only the front wheels is right around 200 bhp. This is one of the very few downfalls of the car. When really stomping on the throttle there is a little bit of tug through the steering wheel, but it’s not something that a driver that is paying attention can’t negotiate. But other than that, torque steer isn’t really an issue. However, this is where the electronic LSD in the GTI beats the differential in the Fiesta ST.


Another field in which the GTI beats the Fiesta ST, the interior. Yes, you can option the car with heated Recaro seats and change the mood lighting until you’re blue in the face (I just turned it to red and kept it there). But at the end of the day, it’s still a Fiesta on the inside. For a base car, you get Bluetooth and a well-balanced stereo. You get a multimedia display, but no Sat Nav. Which is fine because I wouldn’t use it anyway. If the car came with Android Auto, that would be a different case, but these cars never came with it. Plus, I wouldn’t expect them to. They are a subcompact car after all.

One more point against the ST: For being a driver’s car, you would expect that they would nail the pedal placement for solid heel-toe action… Right? Well…. Not really. The spacing of the pedals was fine for my Size 9 ½ feet, but the brake pedal starts far too high to initiate a heel-toe. The only place I can possibly conceive laying down a solid heel-toe rev match would be on track coming down from a high rate of speed and burying the brakes harder than a racist family member.

All in all, I was floored by the Fiesta ST. It balances peppy get-up with its small turbo motor with fun and quirky suspension and fantastic handling. Along with great brakes and shifter feel. Mark my words, acquiring one is now a definite goal of mine. Not saying it’ll happen tomorrow, but God damn I need this car in my life. I’ve already started looking for one in Ford’s Kona Blue and plan to put a nice set of white Fifteen52 Tarmac wheels along with a few bolt-ons and call it a day. It’s really a shame that Ford Motor Company has decided to axe all Fiestas as well as Focus and the Fusion. At least we’ll still have the Mustang though, right?

This particular Fiesta ST is owned by a gentleman named Peter who lives up in Layton, Utah and I cannot recommend him and his car enough. As this article is being written, the car is on Turo and can be yours for $37/day with 500 miles included. Honestly, I can’t really think of a better way to spend my money on a car. Well, maybe if I actually bought the thing I wouldn’t have to give it back.

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23rd Oct2018

CAMcast 137: The Iceman Cometh

by Michael Chandler

Ever wonder what a CAMcast would sound like when it’s just Mike?  Well here you go!  Mike recorded this solo to clear out room for our 138th episode spectacular, so he covers a lot of stuff in a brief amount of time

  • We have a Patreon page now! Go subscribe!
  • The USGP didn’t go as anyone expected
  • McLaren and Fernando Alonso won’t be in IndyCar fulltime
  • Gotta respect those red flags, Seb!
  • F1 engines don’t make for good road car engines
  • Mk4 Supras are made of gold
  • New Top Gear hosts
  • No Ranger Raptor, but 350 more Ford GTs

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Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

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18th Oct2018

CAMcast: Race Trucks and Electric Classics!

by Michael Chandler

It’s cold out, but this CAMcast is a hot one!  The gang (minus Dad) and Zack Lords tackle Trent’s Billion Dollar Question which centered around two high performance pick ups, and one less so.  Then they tackle the Question of the Week! That question being “What car would you convert to electric?”  The guys have some strong answers, and you all brought the heat with your answers!  

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Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

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13th Sep2018

CAMcast: Cheating in AutoX with BJ Butler

by Michael Chandler

Welcome to your Thursday episode!  Trent is at the helm, which is fitting because our guest is his step-brother: BJ Butler!  He tells us about cheating in AutoX, riding a motorcycle throughout the winter, Mustangs, and some other stuff.

Brandon Kuhn writes in and asks us what the most “because racecar” thing we’ve ever done, and we’d like to hear from you!  Stuff the Mailbag with your answers: [email protected]

And then we play designer, and make a ton of Predator references, because we asked what manufacturer’s corporate grill would look better on another manufacturer’s lineup.  It gets weird…

Support our sponsor Steady Broke!  Head to their site, and use the code CAMAUTO15 to get 15% off your entire order!

Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

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24th Aug2018

Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Utah: A Fond Farewell

by Michael Chandler

Earlier this month, “this month” being August, we had what might be the last Pirelli World Challenge event at Utah Motorsports Campus for a while, if not ever.  Get yourself a sweet souvenir by buying a photo from the event!  With Utah Motorsports Campus being left off next year’s schedule, this event was probably the last time we’ll see the series roll through.  With that knowledge possibly weighing on the locals, they went out and had some solid showings.

David Askew and DXDT racing never left the podium for either of the GT Sprint-X AM class races, finishing first on Saturday and third on Sunday.

Despite only podiuming once, 2nd place on Saturday, Drew Stavely locked down the GTS-X Am championship on the very track where he teaches!  Yes, the Ford Performance Racing School instructor brought home the first championship for Ian Lacy Racing and G3 Racing with their Ginetta program.

Vesko Kozarov must be tapping into the same magic Arthur Golebiowski does, because he was no where near any of the other TC competitors!  He swept the weekend by bus lengths.

Other locals out racing on the weekend were the rest of the G3/Ian Lacy Racing team: husband and wife duo Frank and Jenny Gannet (Frank in the #24 Ginetta in GTS, Jen in the MX-5 Global Cup Car in TCA), and Steve Burns.

Daren Jorgensen was out and about in his M4 GT4 that’s probably been to more bucket list tracks than a lot of you reading this.  The car was shipped to Australia for the Bathurst 12 Hour, and has been doing regular GTS duty all season.

Lumber magnate (…sure?), and purveyor of fine grooming products, Jeff Burton was also out in GTS Am.  

In other news: I fell off a golf cart, almost ran into The Stradman (literally), met Tom O’Gorman, and caught up with friend of the program Ryan Eversley.  I also chatted with the dominant Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai i30n TCR drivers about looking like the locals.  Anyway, here are a bunch of galleries to rifle through.  If you like what you see, you can buy some photos here.

GT/GTA

GTS/GTSA

TCR

TC

TCA

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14th Aug2018

CAMcast: 10 Million Mustangs, Last World Challenge, MID ENGINE CORVETTE

by Michael Chandler

Thanks for joining us on this episode!  Most of the other panelists couldn’t make it, so Mike and Gavin are joined by CAM super fan Brandon Kuhn, local drifting royalty (?) Nick Stucky, and wildcard Julian Whitterton.  This motley crew tackle some serious news topics

  • A British tourist managed to rack up $47,000 in fines in 4 hours of driving in Dubai
  • A lot of cars missed being IIHS Top Safety picks because of their headlights
  • Lawrence Stroll, and several other rich people, have saved Force India!
  • Elon Musk might take Tesla private

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Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

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17th Jul2018

CAMcast: The Fusion Won’t Die & The Supra Won’t Live

by Michael Chandler

Hey hey hey everybody!  The gang’s all here for this episode!  Mike, Dave, Gavin, Trent, and Brandon talk about news, go on tangents, and try to keep on any of the topics:

  • Toyota still won’t peel the camo off the Supra
  • Ford didn’t really kill the Fusion apparently
  • They might also sell 900k F-Series trucks THIS YEAR
  • The Civic Type-R is getting a refresh?
  • There’s a hotted up Bugatti Chiron on the way

Support our sponsor Steady Broke!  Head to their site, and use the code CAMAUTO15 to get 15% off your entire order!

Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

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