25th Oct2010

Letter from the Photo Director: October

by Trent

I like wagons. I like them a lot. Haven’t always liked them, but various wagon project vehicles have been occupied my mind for the last few years. Is it because I own a wagon? Yes, but not entirely. One of those wagon projects is a 2002-2003 WRX wagon, and I’ve been thinking about it since I was 19 or 20. Enough about what’s going on in my head, let me tell you why you should like them too.

#1 They’re utilitarian. I can fit a ton of stuff in the back of my ’98 Subaru Legacy Outback and that’s with the rear seats up. Fold them down and I can fit my six feet tall self back there and sleep if need be. My wagon was a crucial instrument in moving my family to our new house. We crammed TV’s, lamps, chairs, priceless heirlooms and random odds and ends in there. Was it sketchy? At times, but it wasn’t as sketchy as my brother’s Altima or father’s Grand Prix when they were packed to the gills.

#2 They’re low key. How many times have you seen a wagon pulled over and surrounded by cops or involved in a high speed chase? Exactly, almost never.

#3 They can be fast. We’ve all seen the Corvette powered Volvo. Paul Newman had a Volvo 850 wagon powered by a supercharged Ford crate motor. Any Subaru wagon with an EJ motor can get a different EJ motor, such as a WRX or WRX STI motor. You don’t even have to be a crack pot garage mechanic, like Trent says “Anything is possible with money.” Love the V10 howl of the M5, but wish you had a place to sleep? There’s a wagon version in Europe. Can’t take the E63 AMG to get the stuff you need from Home Depot? BAM! The European market E63 AMG Wagon is available for the right price. Cadillac is even giving us a CTS V wagon, and until recently the WRX STI was still a wagon only option.

# 4 They have the ultimate trump card. We’ve all been there: you show up to a meet/the store/club/hang out spot all proud of your sedan. You may have just put a new exhaust on, different wheels, or just cleaned it and you are beaming. Then someone pulls up and parks next to you in the same car…except better. His exhaust is rarer, lighter, sounds better and makes more power. His wheels are the ones you would’ve bought if only you had the money, and his detailing makes you wash job look like you drove it through the mud. You are slayed, you’ve got nothing to one up Mr. One Upper. What to do? Buy the wagon and do the exact same mods you did to your first car. Then when Mr. One Upper pulls up and starts rifling off reasons why his whatever renders your vehicle utterly useless you break out this gem I stole from a Ron White but: “Yeah, well I got a place to f*ck your sister.” And then walk away. Back seats are nice, but having the ability to do work on something the size of a bed (instead of on something the size of a small couch) is better.

Take these words and reasons with you next time you’re looking to purchase a vehicle. Don’t over look the wagon, fear the wagon and respect it.

-Michael Chandler

*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

19th Oct2010

Letter from the Editor: October

by Trent

Way back in the day, you were quite the baller if you had 15-inch wheels on your car. The standard was 13-inch and 14-inch wheels. Soon, the standard came to be 17-inches, soon after, 18-inches is a pretty standard aftermarket wheel size. As cars get bigger, the wheels get larger as well. It looks better, sure, but how big is too big? And what about racing your car? You need some sidewall on those tires. Plus bigger wheels mean more weight. (more…)

06th Sep2010

Letter from the Editor: September

by Trent

Have you ever gotten an itch you can’t scratch? The one that is in that hard to reach spot on your back and it’ll just eat at you until you scratch it? Yeah, we all know that feeling, it’s called the Project Car itch. There have been many times that I have had this itch and I’ve had varying results trying to scratch it. One time it was a 1983 Accord. Another was a 1987 Chevy Blazer. Then there was my 02 Civic Si. And my biggest project so far that is still a work-in-progress is my 01 S2000.
Recently, I got rid of my 425HP daily driver for a 142HP daily driver. There are plenty of reasons for me doing this, but now that I’ve done so, I can feel the itch, it’s coming on strong. It puts crazy ideas in my head. “It’s been a while since I put a turbo on anything” is one train of thought. “Wonder what this car would be like on a road course” is another. No matter what the train of thought, it’s a sickness that turns a perfectly good and reliable mode of daily transportation into a headache that aspirin can’t relieve and a cut that a bandage won’t heal. But man is it satisfying when it’s done…if it gets done. It’s the price you pay for wanting something unique or competitive or just loud.
Think about what sucked you in, was it a Cold Air Intake, a Muffler, or a clean bodykit. What created your latest itch? Personally, what got me going on this latest itch is the fact that I see the exact same car every day and I can’t stand that. I want my car to be different, even if it means putting on bright pink wheels. Don’t worry, I’m not going to put bright pink wheels on, but just something that says, “Hey, that’s Trent’s car”.

Let us know what causes your project car itch at mailbag[at]camautomag.com

Until Next Time…

*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.