11th Jan2016

Sightings: the RATWAGN

by Michael Chandler

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You see some awesome things while on vacation.  I started my 2016 on a vacation in St. George, UT with my girlfriend.  We had a simple plan: take some pictures of some places we didn’t make it the last time we were down there.  One of those places were the Lava Rocks: a massive field of, you guessed it, lava rock formations.  There’s no parking lots, so we just pulled off the road and into the shoulder. I was snapping away when I heard the sound of something old making its way down the winding road. I turned around to see what was making the wondorous racket, and prepared to photograph whatever it was.

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I snapped some photos, threw the driver and his passenger a thumbs up (they reciprocated), and they drove off over the hill.  And then I started to think I knew that car, and probably its owner.  My girlfriend drove, I combed through Facebook, and I found my answer.  The driver was Blaize Potts, and his passenger was… Some guy I don’t know, but the car was Blaize’s Datsun 510 wagon.  Which has the very appropriate RATWAGN plates.  Since we just saw each other in passing, this is all you get right now.  Hopefully there will be more of the 510, maybe some of his Team Scoundrel teammates (or cohorts, or whatever they are), and some other stuff I saw down there in the coming months.  Until then, enjoy the glory that is an old Datsun on a winding road!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th Mar2015

Utah Japanese Classic Car Spring Fling

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Spring is in the air and we, as gear heads, need to take to the streets and enjoy this.  On Sunday the Utah Japanese Classic Car group got together at Sugarhouse Park to ring in the season with what they called the Spring Fling Pot Luck.  If you’re in to classic J-tin then this group is for you, and if you were able to make it out to the park you got to see some treats.

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There were a pair of classic Celica GTs in attendance.  Both coupes were 5 speed models, and were rather bright.  You can see some American muscle influence in the noses of these vehicles, very reminiscent of early Camaros and Challengers; however, while the Americans were spry for being as massive as they were the Celicas were just spry.

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This beautiful, Datsun wagon made its way out.  More impressive than the wagon, and its cloth sunroof?  The fact that it made it out of the park.  That exit is gnarly!

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Who doesn’t need more RX7s in their life?  Everyone does, and there were examples of all three generations out, but this FB really caught my eye.  It’s not a concourse car, but it isn’t a wreck that that’s rotting away.  It’s a simple driver that’s hopefully spreading the good word of Reagan era rotaries to the masses.

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FC RX7s have been on the rise for a while, and for good reason.  Like all 80’s import FR coupes, they look amazing.  A few simple exterior modifications can transform a mundane runabout into a jaw dropper, and there were plenty of turbo models produced.  Nary a man alive can resist the Siren’s song that is a turbo 13B.

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This was, arguably, the most gorgeous car at the meet and is in the running for most gorgeous car to ever be produced.  The FD RX7 didn’t look like its contemporaries when it was new, and nothing has come along since to rival it.  This one is a bit different than the ones you see running around.  There isn’t a Mazda badge on the exterior, but it does have an “efini” badge on it.  This is because Mazda, like Toyota and Nissan, opened up a luxury division.  Their’s was called efini, but only operated from 1991-1997.  And unlike the Lexus and Infiniti brands, efini existed only in Japan.  That fact explains the most obvious feature of the car: it’s a right hand drive model.  You’re not going to be finding efini RX7s littering your supermarket parking lot, so seeing one in person is like finding a unicorn.

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Second generation MR2s were out in force.  These mid-engine runabouts have been turned into Ferrari F355 lookalikes by some idiots overly enthusiastic people, but thankfully the ones at the meet were clean examples that weren’t sporting prancing horse badges.

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IT”S A SUZUKI CARRY!  WE’VE HIT PEAK JDM!!!  This is as good a place as any to end this post.  There’s a gallery below, but I won’t blame you for spending your day basking in the glory that is the Suzuki Carry.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Mar2015

Utah Association of Euros Meetballs Meet

by Michael Chandler

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Once a month the Utah Association of Euros gets together in the parking lot of the IKEA in Draper for what they call Meetballs.  Get it?  Cause IKEA is Swedish, and they’re known for making meatballs and the event is a meet.  Ah I don’t have to explain it to you.

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It was a good night for it.  Breezy, but warm, and many different makes came out: Volvos, Volkswagens, BMWs, and even some small chassis Audis came out.  The UAE group usually meets in Orem, but once a month they put the word in the streets and head up north.  Will we be at the next one?  Probably!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article, words and photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners