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Monterey Car Week Photo Dump: Art on the Track

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I’d be willing to argue that the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the best event in the magnificent Monterey Car Week.

Just imagine the kind of legendary cars you grew up hearing about, watching race, and lusting over being in your face and on the track in their natural habitat. Everything at this event could have been in a museum – and I’m sure some are most of the year – but you can see them storming around one of the world’s most technical race tracks at full tilt, which is where they really belong. None of the cars in attendance were clones or replicas, so when you see something famous or rare you know it’s the real deal.

I took over 900 photos of this event alone but I’ve narrowed down to about 50 photos that I’ll share here (those being the ones that suck less) split into two posts: art in the paddock and art on the track. I say that because all of these cars are rolling art being used for their intended purposes, just how nature intended.

Click past the jump for some incredible machinery on track with some very talented drivers that aren’t going easy.

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Monterey Car Week Photo Dump: Art in the Paddock

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I’d be willing to argue that the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the best event in the magnificent Monterey Car Week.

Just imagine the kind of legendary cars you grew up hearing about, watching race, and lusting over being in your face and on the track in their natural habitat. Everything at this event could have been in a museum – and I’m sure some are most of the year – but you can see them storming around one of the world’s most technical race tracks at full tilt, which is where they really belong. None of the cars in attendance were clones or replicas, so when you see something famous or rare you know it’s the real deal.

I took over 900 photos of this event alone but I’ve narrowed down to about 50 photos that I’ll share here (those being the ones that suck less) split into two posts: art in the paddock and art on the track. I say that because all of these cars are rolling art being used for their intended purposes, just how nature intended.

… Continue Reading

Monterey Car Week Photo Dump: Dad’s Best

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As something of an experiment, before we departed for Monterey, I gave my father one of my spare cameras and told him to take pictures of the stuff he found interesting. He’s not exactly a photographer, and he’s mostly a domestic car guy, so this has potential to be interesting. It’s an insight into the mind of a person who’s never been to Monterey before, never been to a Porsche show before, never seen a LeMon before. Click through the link to see what he found fun.

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Monterey Car Week Photo Dump: Vintage Racing Is Best Racing

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The Monterey Motorsport Reunion, colloquially known as “The Historics”, was celebrating Ford’s glorious GT350 this year. Not the new one, though there were a bunch of those floating around because, you know, cross promotion and corporate synergy and all that jazz. Anyway, the OG GT350 has always been my favorite mustang, because it was the true ‘racer for the street’ kind of car. Many of them went on to compete in SCCA sanctioned events, and a few of them have a lot of stellar history. Anyway, while they were the main focus of the weekend at the track, and there was one session with almost 50 of them on track at once, there was plenty else to see. Everything from pre-war Grand Prix cars to more modern endurance racing sports cars. Click through to see what its all about.

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Review: The 1997 Rover 825Si- Rusty’s 500th Post Special Edition

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This post marks my 500th published contribution to this hallowed web address, and as a very indulgent celebratory gift to myself I thought I’d run a full review of my own car. If any of you ever harbour unclean thoughts about owning a 1997 Rover 825 as a daily driver, the below will either encourage or discourage you. Read on and find out which applies in your case.

Of course, we all know the 800 is a spent force these days, appealing now to a very select minority and really only for reasons of morbid curiosity. By the end of its production run the 800 was bought new mostly by xenophobic businessmen and pensioners with British Leyland fixations, and the sphere of attraction has not broadened since then. But I still drive one, and I’ve not been sectioned for the good of humanity just yet, so there must be some appeal, surely?

Well I certainly think so. Let’s consider my argument for its defence.

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Crapcan Showcase: Austin Allegro- The One That Got Away

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I had a specific story in mind when I had a chance to drive a Vauxhall Nova and Ford Fiesta back to back, but sitting nearby was something else, something which recalled a perverse itch that I had wanted to scratch for year and years (a secret which I kept buried deep inside, protected as if it were worse than than a leaning towards necrophilia or still owning a Fatman Scoop CD).

I always wanted to drive an Austin Allegro.

And then, suddenly, my shameful dream was made a reality. A spindly, slightly rusty non-OEM ignition key was in my fist. An Austin Allegro, the same age as me and with the second smallest engine they ever came with, was all mine. Read on for all the gory details.

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Crapcan Showdown: Elderly Vauxhall Nova Vs Ancient Ford Fiesta

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Speaking as a high-roller, as one of life’s winners, the youngest of my TWO cars is a mere seventeen years old. The problem with living on the cutting edge like this is that you can get a bit blasé about the plight of the average motorist.

In order to bring myself down to Earth a bit I decided to arrange for a side-by side road test to answer the question on the lips of your average Billy Blacktop, namely “Which is best, the 1987 Ford Fiesta 1.1 Popular Plus or the 1990 Vauxhall Nova Merit?“.

I’ve put myself through this, dear reader, so that you don’t have to.

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Having Your Cake vs. Eating it. Driving the AE86 Corolla GT TwinCam

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I don’t have a bucket list. If I was ever to compile one I fear there would be such an inconquerably tall pile of ambitions to remain unfulfilled that my resultant spiral into depression would only accelerate my progress towards the grave. I do have a to-do list though, and driving this car has been on it for ages.

The AE86 Corolla has turned into something of an improbable hero. It is worshipped by legions of loyal supporters and I was never entirely sure they all know what they’re talking about. It was high time I tried to work it out for myself. So, thanks to Toyota UK, I did.

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A Tour of Omix-ADA’s Historic Jeep Collection

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In the modest town of Suwanee, Georgia, there lies a remarkable collection of rare, unique, and otherwise significant Jeeps of all types and decades under a single roof. 27 Jeeps – all in full working order – reside at Omix-ADA’s headquarters and have just recently become accessible to the public through complimentary guided tours.

They were kind enough to invite me to Suwanee to see this collection of theirs firsthand. I live within driving distance of this wondrous place, so I happily accepted.

Omix-ADA is a name that many Jeep enthusiasts will likely recognize as one of the world’s largest independent manufacturer and wholesaler companies that specialize in all things Jeep. To those who aren’t familiar… well, there you go. These guys live and breathe Jeep and this new collection of theirs really shows just how passionate they are about preserving them.

This collection is not the biggest or the shiniest around, but if anything that only adds to how awesome it is for enthusiasts like you and I. Click past the jump and I’ll show you what I mean. There’s a lot here so get comfortable and enjoy this virtual tour of some of the best from this collection (note: not everything will be shown).

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Suzuki SC100: Small Wonder- Driving The WhizzKid

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About twelve years ago I visited a Coventry scrapyard in search of bits for my rapidly self-composting Rover. Just outside the office of that Ryton-On-Dunsmore car breaker, there sat a pale metallic blue SC100. I wondered what parts the owner might himself be searching for. Next day, when I returned to collect the cast aluminium window frame covers I had found, there was a fresh addition atop the pile I had been rummaging through. That SC100 had become a new, doomed, crown, mounted high upon a column of rust. I’m pretty sure that was the last time I saw one.

Now here I am sitting at the wheel of a Whizzkid. What a strange day it’s been.

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