06th Dec2016

The Take Luck Interview

by Michael Chandler

It finally happened!  I finally sat down with most of the Take Luck team, and hammered them with some hard hitting questions.  We also had pizza, which ended up on the floor a couple of times.  

Take Luck on Instagram

Take Luck on Facebook

Tanner Spencer Creative on Vimeo

BY THE WAY, we’re finally on iTunes! Please rate us, leave comments, and subscribe!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
08th Apr2016

The CAMcast Episode 1: Steven Costello

by Michael Chandler

It’s back: The new and improved CAMcast! We’re starting out the new podcast with a conversation with one of the most interesting people you’ll meet at Utah Motorsports Campus: Steven Costello.  You may only know him as one of the Formula drivers, but there’s so much more to this soft spoken fellow.  Have you heard of Tom Walkinshaw Racing?  He worked there during the IMSA GT days, when they were campaigning Jaguars in the GTP class.  Are you familiar with Formula 1?  He worked for Ligier F1 in the 90’s.  Remember either of these stories?  He did the restorations on those.  There are so many great stories in this episode, I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did recording it.

We’ll be back next month with another episode.  Until then, let us know what you think.  If you liked it, tell your friends.  Feel free to use #CAMcast on Twitter and Instagram to let us know that you’re listening!

23rd Mar2016

We’re Going To Try Something Again

by Michael Chandler

WERC endurance race 2015 MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-111

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

As you’ve seen, we can convey the story from a race day or show reasonably well.  We can tell you who won, how fast they went, and maybe give you a little insight on what these guys and gals go through during race day, and the days (and even weeks) leading up to an event.  What we can’t tell you are some of the stories that brought the drivers, shop owners and other personalities into our lives.

You know that Matt Guiver, Todds Ainsworth and Green, and Alex Whetman split seat time in the Paul Mitchell Miata, but do you know how they formed up like Voltron?  Or how they even got into racing in the first place?  Did you know that, before Lyfe Motorsport came to be, Cole Powelson worked at the now defunct Race Co.  Did you know that I used to drive by his house when I was delivering pizzas years ago?  Did you know that Steven Costello restores Formula 1 cars, and has a pretty interesting history relating to Formula 1?  Do you want to know these things, and other things about other people?  Well, we’re going to try and help you out if you answered yes…

We’re bringing back the podcast.  Yeah, we had a podcast, but nobody seemed to enjoy it and producing them was a chore.  This time it will be different!  First off, there won’t be any video accompanying it.  You don’t have to stare at the awkward staff!  Secondly,they’ll be coming out once a month.  I want these, and the rest of the posts you see on the site to be great.  I need time to make them so, hence the once a month schedule.  Could they come out more frequently in the future?  We’ll see, but for now: once a month.  And finally: these are going to be fairly laid back.  There are things I want to know, but I’m not going to force anything because I want them to tell their stories.

This is an entirely new endeavor for me, and hopefully it’ll be something you enjoy.  I’m excited to get going on this, and I hope you’re excited to hear some stories from some of these folks.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
08th Jan2015

The Man, The Myth, The Beard: Rutledge Wood

by Michael Chandler

 

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Photo Credit: Matthew McDermott, History Channel

 

He’s big, he wears plaid/flannel shirts, has an impressive collection of cars, and has a melon the size of Europa.  He is Rutledge Wood, and he is one of the hosts of Top Gear in America.  Rut is one of us: he likes/owns weird cars, builds many cool projects, is a motorsports fan, and is willing to sit down and chat with fellow gear heads.  We caught up with him at SEMA last year to get a quick interview.  Unfortunately, my phone (which I was using to record the interview) died before I could get my first question out.  BUT I did take notes!

Rutledge came upon the opportunity to co-host Top Gear while he was working as a correspondent on NASCAR Race Day on SPEED.  He’s a NASCAR fan, but his first race was in 2005.  I asked him what his favorite NASCAR tracks were, past and present.  His answers? Riverside for the classic, but the modern tracks were a toss up between Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.  His favorite NASCAR moment wasn’t a race, but it was going down the hill at Bristol in the snow!  Remember folks, it’s the little things.  Speaking of little things…

Rutledge Wood at SEMA 2014

Rutledge, talking about The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Photo credit Michael Chandler, CAMautoMag.com

 

His least favorite Top Gear challenge involved many little things.  It was the nightmare fuel challenge that was the rat helmet.  *shudder* On an infinitely lighter note, his favorite challenge vehicle was the big single turbo, 2JZ powered Scion xB, which he bought because who wouldn’t want that in their garage?  He also bought the school bus snow plow doom bringer from the Snow Show episode.  Again, who wouldn’t want that??  I asked him for any bits of information about the upcoming season and he wanted to tell me everything, the look was there in his face, but he said that there was too much good stuff coming down the pipe.

And finally I asked about the bearded man behind the bearded man on TV.  In the first season he came clean about his love for Hondas.  I asked if he was still a Honda guy, and he is.  He’s also a VW guy, and a Chevy guy, and a MOPAR guy.  He’s a car guy.  A car guy who’s gone through 75 cars like a boss.  Ok, with that knowledge in hand I asked him what his favorite car is and what mode of transportation was his favorite outside of the car.  Favorite car is a resto-mod ’57 Bel-Air, a total cruiser.  And his favorite mode of transportation is the car.  The plane is convenient, but nothing beats the car.  And finally, if he’s running out the door and has to grab something to sustain himself it’s going to be a protein bar with a cup of coffee or some juice.

Ladies and gentlemen, he is a mythic creature.  A loathsome offensive brute, yet impossible not to look at.  He’s just like us: he works hard, works on awesome cars, and goes home to his family every night.  The only difference is he’s worked as a NASCAR correspondent and now he’s hosting Top Gear.

Words by Michael Chandler, photos as credited
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Feb2014

Bad Luck Brendon

by Michael Chandler

Lap Battle HPDE3-1

Hitting every light on the way to work and showing up half an hour late. Parking seventeen miles away from the mall entrance, and coming out to see that not only has someone parked next to you BUT they have completely ignored the lines and are millimeters from your car’s door. Running out of gas. All of these are considered bouts of “bad luck”. Brendon Stewart laughs at your bad luck. Why does he laugh at your pain? Because while you were sitting in traffic he was in his garage replacing his second transfer case pinion gear. While you were contemplating teaching that fellow a lesson, he was missing ANOTHER race weekend because his Evo decided to not want to work. What was he doing while you were trudging to the gas station, readying your body for the gouging you were about to receive? Well, let’s just say it was worse than that…

Despite all of the problems, Brendon is hopeful for the 2014 season. He sat down with me to talk about last year’s problems and this years plans.

NASA June 22 HPDE ST Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-82

What happened last season?

In general what happened?

Yeah, in general what happened.

Oh man, last season was tough. I had a lot of really unfortunate situations with mechanical failures in the car. Just seemed like every single time I went out I didn’t ever have a very successful day, until the very last race of the year; so I was always working the car and everything was always not right.

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The most spectacular failure that we all saw was the fire. What happened there?

Umm, that was incredibly unfortunate because that was a brand new engine. So my stock engine spun a rod bearing after 5000 race miles, which is not really that unusual. It was probably time for a refresh, but because it happened I ended up building an engine. Thought I’d spend the money and make it nice, not cut any corners, and it ran really, really well. It was a really good engine, first day.

It was too good to be true

Second day unfortunately, just kinda down the main straight it spun another bearing and started knocking. And I just tried to limp it around to get back to the pits, and it didn’t even make it another half a lap. It seized, shot a rod through the block and everything caught fire, and that’s that.

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So you said that was a new motor, but was that the original transmission? Did you have to replace that?

I believe that was the original transmission, which has been rebuilt a few times. New synchros, maintenance stuff. There’s never been any catastrophic transmission failure, which is good… yet.

Yet *knocks on wood*

But I have blown through two transfer case pinion gears, two engines in this car now. Umm… I think that’s the extent of the really big problems.

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The really big ones that have sidelined you. Was this your first year doing door to door or your second?

First year doing door to door. I was just working on doing all my individual rookie races done so I could get my full competition license. Unfortunately I was only able to complete two full race days, which actually count, so I still need to work on that. Gonna be an interesting 2014.

Did you have to change anything going from TT (time trail) to ST (door to door)?

Umm yeah, the biggest changes were safety items in the car so I really didn’t have to change a lot of, really anything for rules other than safety cause the power to weight ratio rules and stuff like that were all the same.

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So nothing mechanical wise, just safety stuff.

Exactly. I had to get an updated harness, I had to add either a new seat or a seat brace and I added a seat brace. Window net, fire suppression system. I had to change my roll cage a little bit cause it was uncompliant. But other than that…

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The car is for sale, and all I heard was that you want something V8 and rwd for your next platform. But the car hasn’t sold…

The car has not sold, but I do have an interested person potentially … So we’ll see what happens with that, but if it doesn’t go through then I’ll continue to just race this car through next year. Hopefully work on making it more reliable, and be able to finish developing the car because I still don’t feel that I’ve been able to reach its full potential in its current state.

What were you going to be getting? If the Evo sold you’d be getting…

If the Evo sells, or sold, it’d be an S13 240 chassis with an LS1 V8. Pretty basic, reliable.

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I don’t want this to happen, but I gotta ask: if last season’s events start to repeat (this year) will you just hang it up or will you keep trying to get out there?

I don’t know. That’s a really tough question honestly, because it’s been really difficult to keep going and I have so much passion for this sport that I really want to keep going. But at some point. I don’t know, something needs to change for me to keep being able to do it. If I keep having bad luck, or if there’s a really big problem then it’s going to be tough.

Lap Battle-1

Hopefully you can get back out there! And I noticed something. When the car was orange you had the sock monkey hanging from the riser on the spoiler, and everything was kick ass. Then the next year you didn’t (have the sock monkey) and everything went wrong.

It’s true.

Can you have the sock monkey on the spoiler? Or…

Umm… I’m not sure because I got a lot of grief when it was on the spoiler previously, but they let it slide cause it was actually sewn on and they were afraid it was going to fall off and cause debris. But that was also before we moved into the NASA rule set, so they’re a lot more strict now. But maybe I can put it inside the car now.

Kinda like Mumphrey, with Ryan Gates and his Evo.

One extra horsepower!

 

Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler, Trent Bray and Michael Wells.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th Jan2014

Because Van: Bisimoto Honda Odyssey

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (64 of 160)

 

“Anyone who follows me knows I’m a bit of a contrarian,” This is what Bisi Ezerihora said to me when I asked him why he built a 1029 horsepower Honda Odyssey. “Typical is boring, atypical is very exciting.”

Indeed it is Bisi, indeed it is.

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (65 of 160) SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (66 of 160) SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (67 of 160)

The van has a full interior, so he can hustle his family (our man became a father not too long ago) around very quickly and comfortably. It sits on a massive set of fifteen52 Tarmac R40s, shod in Toyo rubber. All that meat neatly tucks under the wheel arches via a custom AirRide set up.

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (68 of 160)

It looks cool, but you’re still stuck on that four figure horsepower number. How did he do it? Well, necessity is the mother of invention. Back in the day Bisi created the market for single cam F-Series Honda parts. “If you remember years ago there was nothing available for the F22 Accord. We created everything, and now there are a plethora of parts.” Being that lone explorer to venture out into the unknown is nothing new to Bisi and the crew at Bisimoto.

“One thing that Bisimoto Engineering does that really sets us apart from everyone else is that we’re creative, okay? When we have a project like this it allows us to create awareness and create products.” Custom non-VTEC camshafts, pistons, intercooler, fuel system, engine management, and manifolds were created for this project, and will soon be available in the store on Bisimoto.com.

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (69 of 160)

“We’re creating opportunity,” he said to close out our little impromptu interview. Between this, the products and services he offers for other Honda platforms, and the always entertaining projects he does with Hyundai Bisimoto Engineering and Bisi himself will be creating opportunities for many years to come!

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th Apr2011

Interview: Nip N Tuck Performance

by Trent

CAM Nip N Tuck LogoNip N Tuck Performance is a small shop in Orem, UT. They offer a lot of services: custom wiring harnesses, wire tucks, full track car harnesses, automotive electrical diagnosing and repair, general auto mechanics and diagnosing including, tune-ups, timing belts, clutches, engine repair, head gaskets, front-end and suspension repair or installation, performance part installation, minor upholstery repair and upholstery kit installing (meaning if you buy a pre-made kit from online or the dealer they can install it), engine swaps, transmission swaps, and repair. Or if you’re like me, they’ll make your car drive-able again.

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