22nd Sep2017

Behind The Scenes with the NSX

by Michael Chandler

It wasn’t all video with Omar’s NSX.  We also grabbed some photos!  Let’s talk about a few of them really quick.

On the drive up Omar hit some “debris” in the road, which necessitated a quick cleaning of the TE37s.

Gavin, Omar, and myself were joined by Zoe Kuball (@zoekphotographs on Instagram) and her modified Evo 8.  She snapped some awesome photos as well, and you should go check her stuff out.

These kids were excited about the NSX.  They also offered a penny for it.  Damn kids…  Anyway, here’s a gallery!

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18th Sep2017

The Driving Experience: Omar’s NSX

by Gavin Pouquette

The new NSX is a marvel of modern technology: hybrid power, advanced manufacturing techniques, an ECU that’s smarter than you.  But what about the old one?  On this episode of The Driving Experience, Mike and I hop in Omar Vargas’s NSX and see what a world changing super car was like in 1991.

Music by Mathusaworm

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07th Sep2017

CAMcast: NSX’s and No Coast

by Michael Chandler

Hey everybody!  Welcome to this episode of the CAMcast!  Mike, Dave, and Gavin talk about what they did over the holiday weekend, and they also talk some news and read some mail.  News such as:

  • The BMW 8 Series will be getting a Gran Coupe variant
  • Ken Block hoons a CanAm side by side
  • LMP1 rules are changing… again…
  • Could Porsche get back into F1?
  • We try to give advice about a ridiculous engine swap

Thank you for joining us again, and we appreciate it.  We’re still raising funds for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, so head to the shop and grab the shirt!  Spread the word about that, the podcast, and all the other stuff we do!  We’ll be back with Nick Stucky next week to talk more No Coast Bash.

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01st Mar2016

The Dawn of a New Era

by Michael Chandler

New NSXs at MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

If we weren’t at the dawn of what could be the last gilded age of fun cars before Silicon Valley crams self-driving cars down our throats, then why would we have a new NSX?  Point: Michael

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09th Feb2016

Let’s Rate the Automaker’s Super Bowl Commercials

by Michael Chandler

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

A healthy chunk of us watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, and some of us watched for the commercials.  I watched because it involved going to a place where there was awesome brisket and hominy dip, but that’s neither here nor there.  Since this is an auto enthusiast website, let’s not discuss the game but instead talk about some commercials!  Specifically the commercials from the auto manufacturers.  This year we had commercials from Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Acura, Mini, Buick, Toyota, Audi, and FCA.  What were each of these manufacturers pushing, and who (or what) did they get to push whatever it is? LET’S FIND OUT TOGETHER!  And then let’s rate them on a scale from 1-10.  Sound good? Great!

Full Disclosure: I missed the first quarter, and was far more concerned with wolfing down food than with what was going on on the screen.  With the exception of Kia, Mini and Honda, this is the first time I’m seeing these commercials.

Let’s start with

Kia:

They’re pushing the new Optima with Christopher Walken and sock puppets!  OOO, look how shiny and not like any other mid-sized sedan it is!  Except it kinda looks like a Camry, and that interior doesn’t look THAT amazing.  But I do appreciate the dig they’re taking at everyone else.  Buying a mid-sized sedan is a lot like choosing socks: you just pick something that won’t stand out, and go on about your day.  Some options are more boring than others, but at the end of the day we’re talking about socks.  The things that keep your feet warm and dry, and comfortable in your shoes.  They don’t need to be flashy, and wacky sock guy isn’t a great guy to be.  I EXPRESS MY PERSONALITY THROUGH MY SOCKS!  ZABOW!!!  Please don’t be that guy, or be that guy and let me hurl grapefruits at you.  Either or.

And was anyone else hoping Christopher Walken was going to break out his monologue from Pulp Fiction?  It wouldn’t have been nearly as marketable, but it would’ve been the best commercial in twenty-years.

Score: 6.5

Hyundai:

They had four ads this year!

In the first one, titled The Chase, a pair of hikers (a guy and a gal) are being chased through the woods by two Grizzly Bears.  Thinking quickly, the guy speaks into his smart watch, and the 2017 Elantra fires up.  They hop in, and escape the bears.  Hooray!  But then the bears are given some dialogue, and I am suddenly overcome by the desire to burn whoever green lit that idea at the stake.  Why do I want to revive the practice usually reserved for witches?  You saw the vegan joke, right?  I rest my case.

The second ad is titled Ryanville, and features two ladies driving down a suburban street where every man they see is noted Canadian Ryan Reynolds.  He’s riding a bike.  He’s giving and receiving a traffic ticket.  He’s an entire construction crew.  He’s playing five on five football with nine other Ryan Reynoldses, one of whom seems way too aggressive for this being a simple pick up game.  I believe this to be the “evil” clone.

The women swoon and gawk, and damn near hit Ryan Reynolds the dog walker.  Thankfully for them (the world at large really), their Elantra has whatever they’re calling their collision avoidance and automatic braking system.  The world will have more Deadpool appearances, which makes this a much better world to live in.

First Date: Kevin Hart’s daughter goes on a date with a boy who may have nefarious intentions.  Kevin is reasonably concerned, so he let’s them take his Genesis 5.0.  The Genesis is equipped with Car Finder, which he uses to stalk the couple.  He’s at the movie they go to, he’s hiding in a pile of stuffed animals at the midway on the pier, and he shows up on a ladder hanging underneath what looks like an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

Their final spot was titled Better, and revolves around a boy who has a seemingly unique birth defect (condition? abnormality?): he has a V8 that produces a blue light protruding from his chest.  We see him go from baby, to toddler, to elementary school (where he knows how many moons Saturn has and can play Galaga like a pro), to high school (where he ignores his friend and talks to some attractive female classmates), to college (where he burns the midnight oil in the library), to post collegiate life (where he enjoys fitness and helping the elderly).  And then we see where he works, and who he works with.  The where appears to be a Hyundai design studio, and the who are other people with THE SAME ENGINE THING ON THEIR CHESTS!  Turns out that the engine is a metaphor.  “Better is the engine that drives us,” says Paul Rudd, who did the voice over work in all of the Hyundai spots.  We then see the intrepid lad looking at a concept vehicle that he penned.  Is Hyundai better than they were before?  Definitely.  Are they better than most of their competitors?  Well, they’re better than enough of them to remain a relevant player.

Score: 7. Blame the bears and the engines, praise Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds.

Honda:

In the third quarter is where America was introduced to the new 2017 Honda Ridgeline, which looks like an Odyssey that had everything behind the C-pillar cut off and replaced with a truck bed.  In this ad we have a farmer transporting sheep, a handful at a time, to a pasture for grazing.  We can hear Queen’s Somebody to Love playing from the truck as the farmer unloads what has to be his twentieth load of sheep.  He drives off, and the sheep start singing the classic song.  They stop when the farmer, and three more sheep, return.  And it’s here that we find out why the sheep are singing Queen: because of the truck bed audio system that’s an option on the new Ridgeline!  I can understand how this could be a useful feature, but I’m not 100% sure I get how it went from a note in a focus group to a thing that you can get on your truck.  Anyway, the farmer drives away and the sheep begin singing again.  Then we see the truck in front of a barn, and hear a voice over talking about the truck bed audio.  The camera slides over to reveal that the farmer’s dog is delivering the lines.  After seeing this ad, I noticed the four dogs running around the room.  I felt a sudden wave of melancholy wash over me, and I went back for more brisket and chicken nuggets.

Score: 6.  Any other song, and this would’ve been scored much lower.

Acura:

Acura was pushing the 2017 NSX, something they’ve been doing for four years now.  Instead of having Jerry Seinfeld, noted Porsche fan, trying to get the first NSX (something he didn’t do in the 2012 ad, and something he didn’t do this year), they released a 30 second version of a longer commercial they released a week before!  They show the car going from a block of aluminum to a car via all the processed that are necessary to go from block of aluminum to car, with Runnin With The Devil playing in the background.  While not a bad commercial, this is another one of the many odd steps Acura has taken during this whole NSX gestation period.  Why undercut your Super Bowl commercial by releasing the minute long version a week before the game?  I demand answers!

*pounds fist on table*

*Funko POP figures fall down*

OH MY GOD NO!!!!!!!!!

Score: 7 for the extended cut, 4 for this version.  Seriously…

Mini

Several celebrities (take that with a grain of salt) hurl labels at the Minis.  Tony Hawk, Abby Wambach, Randy Johnson, T Pain, Serena Williams, a little girl, Michael Whinnet, some racing drivers, and Harvey Keitel are all here to tell you that people who defy labels define themselves.  And they also want you to buy a Mini Clubman, which I’m gonna go ahead and say don’t.  For $29,000 there are better options, ones that don’t include a pillar running through the middle of your rear window.

By the way, does anyone remember Harvey Keitel driving an NSX in Pulp Fiction?  Why can’t HE be pushing the NSX?  Why, of all things, the Mini Clubman?

Score: 7.5. Who are some of these people??

Buick

Remember when we thought Buick was going to be cool again?  While we have the Regal GS, we have to take things like the Cascada to get it.  Is it a shorter Murano Cross Cabrio?  A taller VW Eos?  Whatever it is, it’s at a wedding and it’s criminally under vandalized.  Seriously, who are these guests and why isn’t that thing filled with balloons, tissue paper, and other random crap?  *annoyed grunt*

Since it’s a wedding, there HAS to be a bouquet toss.  The bride throws the bouquet over the assembled women vying for the flowers, and one recreates an O’Dell Beckham Jr. catch.  The bystanders remark on how Beckham Jr. like her catch was, then OBJ himself says that she was out of bounds.  Adorably hilarious.  Where’s that Avista sport coupe?  MAKE IT HAPPEN PEOPLE!

Score: 5.5.  Could’ve been worse, could’ve been a lot better though.

Toyota

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!  The only exciting Prii are not even really Prii.  The entire time this commercial was playing, I was imagining running those idiots off the road.  The day America falls in love from some bumbling idiots, running aimlessly from the cops in a Prius, is the day the fiery gates of Hell open up, and fire and brimstone fall from the sky and finish ruining our shit.

Score: Words cannot express how much I hate this commercial.

Audi


New R8?  Good.  Bowie’s Starman in the background? Amazing.  A son using said R8 to reignite his former astronaut father’s interest in life?

This was the best commercial from the auto makers for this Super Bowl.  I felt all of the feels.

Score: 11.  IT’S JUST DUSTY IN HERE, OKAY?!?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

FCA kept it all about Jeep, and it’s 75 year anniversary.  The first one talks about all the things Jeeps have done in those 75 years, and the other talks about all the things they currently do because they’re Jeeps.  No model in particular, just Jeep.  These two fall short, especially when compared to the three stellar commercials to come out of the FCA camp in years past.

Score: 8.  Not great compared to their previous entries, but stellar compared to most of the other ones.

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09th Feb2016

Rain Racing

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 2 Saturday-209

The rain photos look cool, but man are they not a lot of fun to shoot.  But man do they look cool!

NASA Utah Round 2 Saturday-144

NASA Utah Round 2 Saturday-156

NASA Utah round 2 Lightning race group Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (6 of 20)

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22nd Jul2015

New NSXs at Miller

by Michael Chandler

New NSXs at MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

The first thing I saw when I drove through the gates at Miller Motorsports Park was an exotic looking red car duck behind a row of SUVs, and into one of the GP garages.  Unsure of exactly what I saw, I felt the need to drive over there and see whatever it was.  I came around the SUVs and began looking into the open garages.  I saw a new Porsche 911 Turbo in one, and in the next garage was a white R8.  In the next two garages I saw some people sitting, and someone talking to them.  At this point I thought it was a private track day, and… Well, I was kind of right.

New NSXs at MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

In the next garage was what I saw, and indeed it was something red and exotic looking.  It was a brand new NSX, in what appeared to be near production trim.  No ridiculously huge wheels, no team of Honda/Acura goons surrounding it, no production crew or anything.  It was just there in, across from a group of people who I can only assume were driving it.  I say that last bit, because it was lapping the East track.  I was hoping to sneak over and grab some photos, but when I had an opportunity to run over the NSX was at a stand still on track.  Not sure what happened, because it did get running again.  Then it disappeared.

New NSXs at MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

Since I didn’t know if I could be trackside on the East track while those were running, I elected to not risk getting kicked out.  At the lunch break I stood in the shade of the grandstands at Tooele Turn, and waited for them to come back out.  And I waited, and waited… and waited, waited, waited… and waited.  Then a van came out, and did a lap of the course, which was littered with cone gates.  It did two GLACIAL laps and went in.  Then a pick up truck came out, and took some brisker laps, then disappeared.  And then nothing… There was silence.  NASA Utah was at lunch, Salt City Drift was at lunch, everyone was lunching except me.  And then I heard something with a V8 and pipes fire up.  Shortly after, I saw the old Mustang pace car leading A PAIR of NSXs around!  I leapt into action: I ran to the fence, and down track towards the bottom of the Attitudes.  I started snapping off photos, and was awash in a feeling of accomplishment.  Then hunger kicked in, so I left the NSXs to run about.

And that was only one of three things happening at the track this past weekend. Stay tuned to see what else was going on, and why you should always listen when someone tells you to get out to the track!

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03rd Oct2014

NASA Utah Round 6: The Equalizer

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah Round 6 Lightning CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (2 of 5)

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

They say rain is the great equalizer, and on Saturday the old saying was put to the test.  There were those who came prepared, like Todd Green and Derek Wolthoff who had proper rain tires, and those who weren’t, which was the Spec Z field.  Rumor is that they went and raided local tire shops for anything better than the dry weather tires they all had.  One driver in the group was even on Blizzak snow tires!  Despite very few people being prepared for the weather, I was one of the many who weren’t prepared for the cold and driving rain, there was some serious racing going on with championship implications attached.  We’ll start off in the Lightning group, where the usually quick Z cars were slowed by the downpour.

Todd Green, on a set of Hoosier rain tires, led the field in his Pro Touring E Miata.  He took the overall win, and class win (by 58 seconds!), with Matt Guiver in second in the Paul Mitchell Miata.  Ole Paul was on the Toyo rain tires Todd used in the very wet qualifying session.  Matt’s performance has, in some minds, proven that he is some sort of wizard.  The podium was rounded out by Allan Anderson, who was in first for the championship.

Spec Z had Paul House putting together a solid race and claiming a well deserved victory over the normally strong, if not dominant, Arthur Golebiowski.  The Lightning qualifying session was relatively dry, but by the time the start of the race rolled around the heavens had opened up and unleashed a torrent.  Paul had the stock 350Z wheels on, which lead me to believe he had at least the OEM tires on for the race.  Arthur was on the Enkei RPF1 wheels he has used for every other event, so it’s safe to assume he was out on tires that weren’t best suited for the conditions.

Spec Miata was taken by Chris Bond, with David Sherman and Joe Schubert following behind.  Unfortunately the rain spread the field out quite a bit, with a little over twenty seconds separating first and second, and second and third.  McKay Snow was noticeably absent, probably because he was preparing to make his debut in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lights Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta.

And good guy Gus Stribakos threw some different wheels and tires on his Porsche, went out and turned some laps.  In doing so he solidified his GTS3 title, and so we say congratulations Gus!

Terry Binner officially secured his Super Formula title by taking both of the races on Saturday.  He didn’t have to run either of the races in their entirety, going in to the weekend he had a dominating 380 point lead over Steve Burns.

In Formula, Steven Costello had to score points to hold off any challenger to his season title.  Troy Duffin, third place in the championship standings, took both of the races on Saturday, but (at least according to my rudimentary math) could not overcome the 270 point deficit.  However, he did leap over Chris Taylor for second in the standings.

TT was a little different.  Greg Valdez stepped up to TT1 from TT2 in not the best of conditions for Lelantos.  Still, the Ziptie Dynowerks sponsored STi put forth a solid effort and finished second.  Derek Wolthoff took the Makes and Models Audi R8 LMS for two sessions, and proceeded to win the class.  Both Greg and Derek ended the day as champions though.  Derek in TT1, and Greg in TT2.

Brendon Stewart made a brief return to TT2, and came in second to David Bradshaw.

James Pasquier in his yellow Porsche 911 edged out John Carver’s black Corvette for the TT3 win

Rhett Panter made his second appearance of the season and took TTU in his Acura with all of the downforce.

TTE had David Sherman and Joe Schubert battling for the win for the day (David won) with Jeb Brown and Ben Lamberson continuing their championship fight, with Jeb squeaking out a third place finish ahead of Ben by less than half of a second.

Chris Bond ran one session, and claimed the TTD victory.

Thunder had four classes.  One massive class (ST3) and three one man classes (GTSU, ST2 and SU).  Brendon Stewart was the lone ST2 competitor, as he has been most of the season, and by winning (again) solidified his season title.  Derek Wolthoff ran against a strong field of nobody, made only two (that I know of) off track excursions and won GTSU.  And Joe Sim, of Turbo Lab fame, trotted out his NSX and claimed the SU win.  I really wish it wasn’t cold and rainy, because I would have loved to see the NSX turn some truly screaming laps.

Now ST3 was where the action was.  Travis Tidball and Cary Wilson had only 16 points between them in the championship standings.  So it was Corvette vs. Corvette, and it didn’t look too promising for Cary.  Going in to turn 1 he looked slow and did get the back end loose at the exit.  Travis looked like he was ripping through everything, driving like a hero.  BUT looks can be receiving.  Cary took the win in dominating fashion, holding off Travis for another day.  Cary’s win was bolstered by Alex Whetman (third in the championship, spitter of fire from his Focus of Doom) coming in third, lessening the dent Travis put into Cary’s lead.

And so there we have it.  A rainy, generally miserable day yielded some champions from the diminished fields.  Sunday was a much better day, and more people showed up then.  I wasn’t one of them, because I went to a car show.  Oh well, I will be at the season ending Enduro on October 18.  Not gonna miss that, and I sincerely hope you don’t either!

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23rd Aug2011

Genuflection: Acura NSX

by Trent

Modified Acura NSX
Genuflection:
gen·u·flec·tion
/ˌdʒɛnyʊˈflɛkʃən/ [jen-yoo-flek-shuhn]
–noun
an act of bending the knee or touching it to the ground in reverence or worship.

I was looking back on cars that I adored growing up, and some stuck out more than others. I thought of the Twin Turbo Triplets(300ZX,Supra,3000GT VR4), and although one of them influenced me more than the others(more on that another time), a Naturally Aspirated car stuck out in my mind as a car I lusted after more than those. Despite this car’s shortcomings, I still lust after it today, the one and only Acura NSX.

The NSX at the time set the world on fire and gave credence to Acura having some credibility in the sports car market, and in my opinion, set the stage for the 94-01 Acura Integra to become a sporty FWD icon. It had 270HP which at the time was a big deal from an N/A motor and an aspirational 8,000RPM redline!

Thoughts of a red one of these parked in my driveway were racing through my mind. Unfortunately Honda let the NSX languish and didn’t give it the proper updates it deserved, much like the fate of the S2000. And even with rumors of a new NSX surfacing every few months, none will capture the glory quite like the original NSX. One day I will own one of these cars.

-Trent Bray

[Source: Genuflection: genuflection. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 23, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genuflection]

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