07th Feb2017

The Relevant Super Bowl Commercials

by Michael Chandler

Like most people, I spent my Sunday evening at a Super Bowl party.  Gorging myself on wings and cocktail shrimp, and half-watching the game.  I also managed to half-watch the commercials, and since this is an automotive enthusiast site, we’re gonna take a look at the eight automotive commercials that aired.  Let’s start with Audi.

Audi

It’s called “Daughter”.  The daughter is in a soapbox derby, and she’s the only girl in the field.  The voice-over is the father asking himself what he is going to tell his daughter about her value, because she (and the rest of us) live in a world where women, on average, make less than men.  It’s not selling a car, although they show an S5 sedan at the end.  It’s promoting them being committed to equal pay for equal work, which is a very noble thing.  As a car ad, it’s not that great.  Considering that they showed off a sedan version of one of their coupes, which means that they’ll be making sedan versions of their coupes, which makes me irrationally angry.  As a PR piece, it was ok.

Buick

Buick is still trying to convince people that they’re not building transportation for the elderly.  An admirable goal, but Buick is always gonna have that stigma.  The ad is funny: Cam Newton destroys pee-wee football players, and Miranda Kerr shows up.  I still think Buicks are sleds for the elderly, and this ad doesn’t really change that.

FCA

They came out with two 1 minute spots, and a 30 second spot for the Alfa Romeo Giulia.  One is about returning to greatness, Riding On The Backs of Dragons, another is about predictability, Dear Predictable, and the last one is all of the cliches you could want when talking about an Alfa, Mozzafiato.  It’s pretty hard to make the Giulia look bad, and it’s a trick to make the Quadrifoglio sound bad.  Thankfully the car looks and sounds amazing in the spots, and I want one even more now.  The spots show off the car really well, and hopefully this means we’ll see more of them running around in the wild.

Ford

Like Audi, Ford didn’t show off any particular vehicle.  This was them showing off how they’ll help you (or whoever) get around in the future.  Bike sharing, Transit vans on call, vehicles that can hard park themselves.  The future is looking bright for the Blue Oval!  Or whatever.  All I know is that they’ll be pounding out F-Series trucks until the sun expands and engulfs our little, blue marble.  Did anyone else relate to some of those bad luck scenarios in the first half of that commercial?  A few of those hit too close to home for me…

Honda

The Honda ad, which was slinging the new CRV, was inspiring and creepy.  Using technology, they animated various celebrities’ year book photos.  That was the creepy part.  The inspiring part was what the celebrities were saying.  And I’m not sure the CRV, while a decent little crossover, is not the most aspirational vehicle they could be pitching…  Meh, it still works.

Kia

Melissa McCarthy, a treasure, keeps trying to defend nature.  And nature absolutely wrecks here.  Up to this point, this is the ad that is the most cohesive.  It’s pitching the Niro (pronounced Nee-ro), which is apparently the most fuel efficient crossover.  It fits with Mrs. McCarthy trying to be an eco-warrior, although hopefully it doesn’t fail like she did.  The Niro looks pretty good, and I’m curious to see what the interior looks like.

Lexus

Lexus showed off the LC500, a damn fine looking vehicle.  There was something about emotion in there, but all I remember is hearing the glorious engine noise.  And the dancing, but mostly the engine noise.  Again, damn fine looking vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz knows that your dad and his golf buddies are probably going to buy the new AMG GT Roadster, so they got Peter Fonda to reprise his role from Easy Rider for their ad.  They also know that you’ll be watching this along side them, so the tapped the Coen brothers to direct it.  It’s not a bad ad, has some humor, and Peter Fonda is still pretty bad ass.  And odds are that if you were on board for the AMG GT, then you’re on board for an al fresco version.  

And that’s the lot of them.  Let us know which was your favorite, which you hated (I’ve got an idea where some of you will go with this), and if you’ve made it this far you deserve a treat.  So, here’s the Logan ad:

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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.
08th Mar2016

4 Camshafts, 2 Cam Gears

by Michael Chandler

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That’s how the 1UZ, a four liter V8 that people shove into everything from 240SX’s to 4 Runners, is layed out.  Makes total sense, thanks Toyota!

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

The Golden Age of the Automobile

by Trent

Bugatti Chiron

These may be some fighting words, but we are in the golden age of the automobile. Just yesterday, the Bugatti Chiron was announced and most of us don’t really care because it’s far beyond our means. I understand that, but there was one thing that really stood out to me, the speedo. It goes to 500…really! FIVE HUNDRED kilometers per hour! Though it’s top speed is limited to a mere 423km/h or 261 mph, that is still insane to the point where you’d never expect a production vehicle this side of Hennessey to ever reach that number when I first started driving.

That was only 14 years ago, and airbags back then basically came in two flavors(front and side). Now they have airbags in your seatbelts and Volvo, the crazy Swedes that they are, is even toying with airbags on the outside of the vehicle. We live in an age where if your new car doesn’t do 0-60 in under 4 seconds, it doesn’t get a second mention. Do you know how much work you have to do to get a 93 Civic to do 0-60 in 4 seconds?

Yes cars are becoming increasingly complicated, and heavier, but I can do 0-60 in 5.8 seconds while getting 31 mpg in a large sedan like the Lexus ES350 and yet it will feel as though I’m gliding on Ashley Furniture’s latest and greatest sofa.

If you think I’m wrong, and many of you may feel that way, look toward the future. How many RWD platforms are still being developed? Look at the movement towards autotonomous cars where you have no driving inputs at all. We’re killing the auto industry every day and these next 10-15 years will be the last hurrah with the safest, quickest vehicles on the road before we give up our ability to purchase a fun vehicle to our Prius-loving, hipster overlords. Just as we are doing now looking back to the 90’s and 80’s and saying, “They don’t make them like they used to”, we’ll be doing the same to this generation of cars before long.

Trent Bray


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

16th Feb2016

We Went to a Supercar Only Track Event Once

by Michael Chandler

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And we haven’t gone back since.  Not sure why though…

08th Oct2014

ScrapeFest 2014

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

On September 28, in the parking lot of Sandy Station, Salt Scrapers held their first ever meet.  Having “Scrapers” in their name, they naturally decided to call it ScrapeFest.  It was a meet celebrating all things stanced, slammed, flush and otherwise low.  All the familiar faces were there: David Arellano, Nik Preusser, Taigon Rider (you know that deep blue Datsun 260Z 2+2 with the white wheels and oil cooler?  That’s his) and Jenny Lou who was acting as one of the hosts.  I was still waterlogged from the day before, so I showed up late.  Despite that, I did snag some photos and I did secure a feature with the previously mentioned Datsun.  So without further ado, here’s the gallery:

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
30th Jul2014

Octane Party

by Michael Chandler

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This past weekend there was a little party thrown out at Miller Motorsports Park.  The man, the myth, the legend Zane Miller invited me out to it the night before it was thrown.  Naturally I said yes.  This wasn’t some house party rager, or casual cocktail affair.  This was the Octane Party, and there were tens of millions of dollars worth of racing history just hanging out for all to see.

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They emptied the museum and parked the contents on the grass behind the grandstands on Wind Up turn.  Mustangs, Cobras, GT40s and a Daytona Coupe were carefully arranged so everyone could take in the heritage.  They were clearly the bells of the ball, but they weren’t the only classics out on this day.

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There was this gorgeous Porsche 914.  The bright orange paint, along with it being the only 914 there, made it stand out among the Audis and lone 911 it was parked amongst.  Another outstanding feature? the 1.7 liter motor has been ditched in favor of a 3.2 liter flat six.  Suffice it to say that this car turns into an orange blur when let out on an auto cross course.

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The Dodge Challenger is awesome.  The Dodge Viper is awesome as well.  What happens when you combine the two AND pop a supercharger in there for good measure?  A big ole, fat sack of American kick ass is what!  Ekins Garage built this for Menlove Dodge, a local dealer, and left no detail un-scrutinized.

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Who doesn’t love a good rat rod? Chopped, channeled, and rusty is the way we like em.  Also loud, and judging by the lack of anything resembling an exhaust I feel confident in giving this thing the CAM seal of approval.

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Are super cars what do it for you? Well here’s an Underground Racing Lamborghini Gallardo that went 225mph, in the rain!  Story goes that the rain began as soon as he left the line for his standing mile run.  There are also some Ferraris in this picture, along with a Lexus LFA.

Are there better ways to spend a Sunday? Yes, but not too many.  We’d like to thank Zane and the organizers of this party, along with Miller Motorsports Park for hosting.  We’re looking forward to the next event Zane has planned, because that guy knows how to host a party.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
25th Apr2014

Import Spring Showoff 2014

by Michael Chandler

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What once was the UtahHondas.net spring meet has bloomed into one of the, if not the biggest show of the year.  450 cars made it into the pay lot, and into the judging for the various awards, while hundreds more filled the parking lots surrounding the Davis County Fairgrounds.  I popped the top on the Supra, grabbed a camera, and made my way north.  I arrived, made my way to one of the lots, reapplied the top and got to shooting.

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I didn’t quite make it into the paid lot, I ran into Nick Long as he was walking out.  We chatted and saw this bright green Bricklin SV-1 affectionately named “Kermit”.  After staring at what Canada can do we parted ways and I made my way in.

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There was almost everything there: a very clean NA2 NSX, to a Yugo!  A freaking Yugo!  Look at how clean that little communist hatchback is!  The Yugo, for those who don’t know, is a Fiat 127 built by Communists for as little as humanly possible.  Then Malcom Bricklin, the guy behind Bricklin and responsible for introducing Subaru to America, started importing and selling the things as inexpensive transport.  Then some lady got blown off of a bridge in Michigan while driving one and the rest is history.  Now that you’ve had a history lesson, here’s a gallery for you to enjoy.

02nd Apr2014

Salt City Drift Round 1

by Michael Chandler

Salt City Drift Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (30 of 31)

 

It was a busy, busy day at Miller Motorsports Park on March 22.  It was the opening of the NASA Utah season, the Radical Cup made a stop, and in the West Paddock some degenerates excited youth were sliding around like one is want to do when given the opportunity.  I wasn’t around to see any sort of competition, but I did pop in long enough to snap some photos and see people whip 360s through the exit gate of the course.  Someone even punted a cone while doing so!

Salt City Drift Round 1 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (18 of 31)

See?!

Anyway, the next round is all the way out on June 14 in (wait for it) Downtown Salt Lake City!  Exciting right??  See you then, and in the meantime enjoy the photos.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
20th Sep2013

Drift Utah 6

by Michael Chandler

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The sun rose over a chilly Miller Motorsports Park.  The rain had stopped, but the already slick surface of the west paddock was puddle ridden.  The drivers arrived and unloaded their cars, and prepared them for a full day of drifting.

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Nick and Brandon gathered the drivers for a meeting and a rundown of the course.  Some showers had returned, which made it feel even colder than it did earlier.  After fielding few questions and introducing the DJ (Joey Harrington, aka G-Type, aka The Hair, aka Trueno the Panda), the drivers went out for a parade lap.  And then the fun began

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The guys took the first few cuts somewhat conservatively.  I say somewhat, because the slick track was a bit of a trick to get used to with the water.

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The cones at the entry of the first big right hander took a beating from a few of the drivers, but then OP went on course…

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DERP!  By the way, the E36 M3 is apparently built like a tank.  His car showed no signs of damage, and he gave ride alongs the rest of the day.

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Turbo and N/A S chassis were taking cuts, mustaches not required.

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Your favorite Pro/Am drivers and the resident Formula D driver were out giving ride alongs, and showing off some tandem skills.

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Then this showed up.  Things were getting wild, crazy even.

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Thankfully a contest broke out, which calmed things down.  David Curtis took the win, and whatever prize came with the respect and adulation.  All was calm.

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Well, at least it wasn’t weird.

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What the hell?

The last and final event of the Drift Utah season is tomorrow, September 21, in the Midway at Miller Motorsports Park.  $6 to watch, $5 for a single ride along, $20 for an all day Ride Alone Pass, $90 to come take some solo cuts, $140 to dance with a partner.  Register here, and make sure to come spectate by 4pm.  Thats when the contest starts!

And as always:

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

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