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Here’s a custom lowrider Corvair

I love lowriders. If I had the money and space for more cars, there would be an old Impala in the garage. The style and love put into those cars is genuine, and a well built lowrider is beautiful machine to see rolling down the road.

One you’re likely not to have seen before is a Corvair lowrider. The rear-engined Chevy doesn’t seem like the ideal candidate for a low rolling build like this, but Chris Mageno of Mageno Kustoms is here to prove me wrong.

His 1963 Chevy Corvair runs air suspension, smooth dish wheels, and fat white walls. The door handles are shaved and there’s a lot of custom paint touches to be found. It all works quite well together, and makes me surprised we haven’t seen more lowrider Corvairs blasting around Southern California.

The Rallyist samples a proper Focus Rally Car

Ryan Symancek has been building up his My Life as a Rallyist series over the course of a number of episodes, and along the way he’s driven more and more thrilling machines. This latest episode sees Ryan sampling something properly wonderful. It started life as a standard Ford Focus but the crew at Mainiax Rally Team have transformed it into something special.

This is definitely one of the most entertaining forms of front-wheel-drive conveyance that you’re likely to come across. Ryan reports that it has 350 horsepower on tap and that’s controlled through a sequential gearbox and a Quaife differential. The suspension sees around eight inches of travel front and rear and the steering is quick and responsive.

Symancek is let loose on some of the gravel stages surrounding the Team O’Neil Rally School compound in New Hampshire. He finds that starting slow is the wrong way with this car. The faster he goes and harder he pushes it, the more it responds with favorable corner sliding, jump soaring, and stage slinging goodness.

Click play and check out the latest episode of Ryan’s adventures above.

Quick Shift 3: Here’s my Clarion Audio system in the HoonTruck

Finally the HoonTruck gets some Quick Shift love. Today we’re going to look at the upgraded audio system I’ve had installed in my 1965 Ford F100. It’s been supplied by the good folks at Clarion, and it was installed by Beach Auto in Huntington Beach.

We’re working with the Clarion NZ503 head unit, a pair of component speakers with a 6 1/2 and tweeters, a four-channel amplifier, and a pair of powered subwoofers. It all adds up to some great sound and a few modern features in the cab of my old truck.

The space where a more classically cool radio would sit was cut long before I was given the keys to this machine. So that’s why I don’t feel too bad about swapping out the lame head unit that was in there. Or the random singular speaker that was wired up and hanging in the space where a glove box should exist.

That’s all gone. Now I have a unit with navigation. There’s Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to hookup a rear-view camera. I can hear my music cleanly and clearly, rather than assume what I’m hearing is rock and or roll rattling through the glove box door.

Also, I can choose to use as much or as little of the technology packed in the Clarion system as I like. I can fold the screen away and just play music through the system with my paired phone. And if I ever get bored of listening to the music… I can just mash the throttle.

This was a good spot to stand at the end of the Indy 500

Randomly wound up in front of Satos pit for the last few laps #indy500

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With five laps remaining in the Indy 500, I found myself on the space directly behind the pits. I turned away from the front straight in order to catch the action on the large screen behind me. People started losing their minds, because Takuma Sato had now taken the lead and he was about to win his first Indy 500.

I turned back to watch this crowd of folks gathering directly behind me, then I glanced up to see #26 signifying the pit box location. This was Sato’s pit space.

This was a pretty good place to wind up after taking in nearly 500 miles of pretty amazing racing. Sato fans, Andretti Autosport friends and family, and others with an interest in seeing this 40-year-old racing driver capture a crown jewel of a victory were losing their minds. It was great to watch the end of the race itself and the reaction here in front of this pit space.

It wasn’t just the group of people behind me, however, as it seemed the entire Speedway was thrilled to witness Sato capture the win here. A sea of 400,000 people standing up and cheering under the partly cloudy Indiana sky. The heat in the air was off and on throughout the day, but the action on the track was constant.

At the end of it all, Takuma Sato stood above the others and he took a mighty swig of the milk.

First Drive: 2017 Honda Civic Si

A new Honda Civic means we have a new Honda Civic Si. This is the all-new 2017 Honda Civic Si, and it’s a relatively affordable performer available in both coupe and sedan body styles.

Honda invited us out to its recently renovated proving grounds in the Mojave desert to see how the latest Si stacks up. This is built on the bones of the 10th-generation Civic, and it marks the eighth generation for the Si itself. Under the hood you’ll find a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s good for 205 horsepower. The only gearbox backing up the engine is the slick shifting 6-speed manual unit.

You don’t get a lot of choices when it comes to the 2017 Civic Si, but this is actually a good thing. You can pick the body style (between coupe and sedan), the color, and then your only option after that is deciding whether or not to fit the $200 summer tires. You’ll spend around $25,000 no matter what you do, and you’re going to get a nicely equipped car with a standard sunroof, Si-specific sport seats, and a Sport mode that kicks the adaptive damping suspension system into high gear.

The 2017 Honda Civic Si makes one heck of a value proposition for the enthusiast that wants a fresh new daily driver that can be comfortable around town and enjoys being flogged on the twisty stuff.

[Disclaimer: Honda gave us a hotel room in Marina Del Rey and some food and drinks as well. There was also a chartered plane out to the desert to get to the proving grounds… sadly no, it wasn’t a HondaJet.]

Hagerty will now offer insurance for your upcoming track day

As Regular Car Review fans might say “…track day! Track day, bro! Track day!” That excitement is legit though, because a proper track day is a wonderful day. The only thing that makes it potential not so wonderful is if you smash up your machine. If said machine is a track-only toy, it’s not the end of the world. If you’re using a car that also splits time as your daily driver then you’re in bad shape.

Now though, you can at least make sure you’ve got relatively affordable coverage. Hagerty is jumping into the Track Day insurance game, and the pricing is pretty reasonable.

Available for over 88 tracks across 35 states, Hagerty is working with RLI Track Day to insure and underwrite your investment. The HPDE insurance will cover up to $175,000 in value pertaining to a vehicle but you can insure vehicles costing more than that if you wish. The coverage also includes the cleanup cost of any pollutants your smashed up ride has puked onto the racing service, towing fees, and you’ll be reimbursed for your sad rental car ride home.

You can get a quote over at the Hagerty website. I tested it out for myself with a theoretical $25,000 car I don’t own that I’d be running at Willow Springs. The quote that was kicked out is actually less than what is listed in the press release they sent over. According to the release, polices can be ordered and applied the same day as the event and start at $200 per day. There’s a $2,000 deductible.

When I plug in quick information for the above fake car, however, I was given a quote of $145. This would apparently also cover an event that could last up to three days. The deductible would be 10% of the stated $25,000 value I listed.

If you have a car you’re looking to push in a safe environment and you want some financial protection for when things turn sour, it seems like Hagerty is ready to back you up.

Ride along at Goodwood in a 1977 BMW 530i

Nick Padmore knows how to drive in anger. He holds the unofficial record for the fastest lap ever recorded at Goodwood. We have to say unofficial, because most consider the last official fastest lap to have taken place back in 1965. Modern lap times that are set are called Revival Records.

The original fastest lap time was set by both Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart. The time? A blistering 1:20.4.

In 2015, Padmore hopped behind the wheel of a Lola T70 and recorded a time of 1:18.2. You can watch that run here if you like. And you should, because it’s magnificent. But if you’re curious how Professor Padmore might fair in something a bit slower, we have the video for you.

Running during the 75th Member’s Meeting, you can see Padmore do battle from behind the wheel of a 1977 BMW 530i. The car sounds amazing and the driving is equally thrilling. Nick clearly knows the track, and he works his way through a fair portion of the traffic laid out in front of him.

Cozy up to the 25th Anniversary Lamborghini Countach

In 1974, Lamborghini decided it wanted to transcend the world of exotic sports cars and start building futuristic space ships for alien rockstars. That naturally led to the creation of the Lamborghini Countach. It’s a vehicle that packs a V12 and turns the idea of the shape of a door stop into something beautiful in front of your eyes.

Sure, we had it rough at times here in the States when fools in the federal department of ruining cars made Lamborghini tack on disgusting bumpers. But the car still managed to overcome those protuberances and provided many a generation of future car lovers with glorious wall candy.

We could debate which Countach is the best, because over the course of its 16-year lifespan the car certainly took on different styling directions. For many, the original LP400 is the greatest. Others prefer the 5000 Quattrovalvole. There are many fans of the ultra Radwood 80’s glory found in the 25th Anniversary edition cars. Personally, I’d slap babies in the face to take home a Walter Wolf Countach.

Before you sound off on which one you owned in poster form, take a look at the video above. The folks at /DRIVE managed to snag some beautiful footage of a 25th Anniversary Countach. The sounds it produces are otherworldly. And yes, I know it would probably be terrible to actually drive one… but it’s the best kind of terrible, and I’d love every second of the hot, sweaty, zero visibility-providing, amazing time.

Also, is H8 UFO not the perfect license plate for this thing?

Vanderhall Venice – Three wheels for the weekend warrior

Jeff Glucker May 24, 2017 Featured, Reviews

For some reason, we decided to let Editor of Young Person Things Josh Ostrander have some camera time.

Again.

He decided to use that time to drive a Vanderhall Venice, which is a three-wheeled car-bike that uses a powerplant acquired from GM. Josh likes it and he’s going to tell us why.

Is he right? Probably not… but we’ll let him have his moment in the sun. Then it’s back down into the Acid Mines*.
*The Acid Mines are where Josh helps handle some of our social media accounts and helps Jeff shoot video.

Podcast: Episode 204 – Before your Civic duty

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Marina Del Rey and tomorrow I’m going to drive the new Honda Civic Si. Before that happens, let’s talk about some other cars. Recently I went to Canada to test Audi’s new SQ5 and it was really good. I’m trying to decide what to do with the 1974 Benz W114 I bought, and I’m thinking of putting some new wheels on there. Finally, I’m getting ready to go and watch the Indy 500 this weekend and that should be quite awesome.


Hooniverse – Before your Civic duty