Nothing is more impressive than a mod list ten pages long. Just kidding, a lot of things are more impressive than a mod list ten pages long, things like achievements and being able to relish in the fact that “less is more” is a winning formula for Minh Genie and his 1995 Honda Civic AKA The Duck.
Picture this, a private airport nestled in what used to be rich horse country somewhere in central Florida. It’s February and in the low 80’s out. All you can hear is the noise coming from the Corvette rolling past with an open BOV at idle. Wait a second… I thought this was the tranquil countryside? These events are something wholly different from any other. They bring together some of the most powerful and fastest street cars (and plenty of trailer queens) in off-the-map locations for one purpose; to go fast.
There are cars that are attractive, curvaceous, and artistic in their design which not only look great in motion but are absolutely stunning while parked. We all know them: Mid-90s Japanese sports cars, the Porsche 930 and it’s air cooled relatives, the AC Cobra, and just about anything that comes from Britain. The Viper, specifically the second generation, absolutely beguiles onlookers. Following the American styling cues of bigger and more is better, the Viper takes those voluptuous curves and gives them a healthy dose of botox. This Dodge Viper GTS received yet another surgical enhancement in the form of forced induction.
There are two phrases that linger around automotive groups that I absolutely abhor. These phrases are unintelligent rebuttals to a remark that has ultimately cornered the recipient. They are said when somebody either can’t quantify what they did to a car or when somebody just can’t swallow their pride and say, “Yeah, I did something stupid but I like it,” without demanding that other people respect the work that went into their creation. I’m all for doing stupid stuff to cars but I just can’t get behind the cop-outs of “respect all builds” and “at least it’s clean”. It’s undeserved congratulatory gestures like that which diminish automotive development and perpetuate mediocrity within grassroots car culture.
Prior to the photo shoot for this car I had a friend ask me “Why are you shooting this car? It’s just an Eclipse with a fart can.” Well that’s why I want to regale to you why this car is something worth mentioning. For those that are unfamiliar with the Diamond-Star Motors line up, this first generation Eclipse might cross their path and they would think nothing of it. That’s exactly what happened with me until I opened dialogue with the owner, Greg Privitera.
As you’ve probably gathered, I’d much rather wax poetic about the motivations and desires of automotive adventures than just list what all is under the hood and show some flashy photos; there’s enough of that out there already. The reasons behind a build and the personality that the owner, builder, driver, and car combine to create is really something that can’t be found in a parts list and is rarely even caught in the most provocative of photos. Yes, every now and then a photo will embody the emotion and character of everything leading up to that moment, and as a photographer I know we all yearn to capture that when it does happen, but what is really needed is a story.
If you are a car nut you know of the ever growing trend that is early morning, monthly gatherings centered around prettied up cars and overpriced beverages. Cars and Coffee, at least in this neck of the woods, has me wanting a bit more variety. The same cars, same atmosphere, same mediocre coffee. The only reason I manage to get out of bed on time is the hope that something amazing shows up.
The Coupé is the embodiment of GT cruiser meets Italian flair. Soft sweeping lines meets vivacious styling. Quite, soft, and supple interior meets the Ferrari working horse of a V8. Cover this package in a coat of Rosso Mondial and you have a road trip worthy coupe capable of getting you there in style all while giving you that “fizz”.
Every racecar is a show car, but very few show cars are racecars. That saying has stuck with me since I heard it a while back. It goes through my head often when walking between the ranks of cars at a show or meet. Usually it’s easy to spot the cars made for hardparking and those made for driving. On occasion though, you find one that is at home doing both. Jay’s S2000 definitely falls into that category. The first time I saw the car I walked right past it and commented something snide to my friends about another car falling victim to the growing trend of enormous wings that never see more than highway speeds. I was wrong. I’m glad I was wrong.
No matter how cliché swapping the rotary in an RX-7 for a big hunk of American metal is, you really don’t care when you’re sitting in a car that makes almost everything else you’ve ridden in feel like a joke. Being a tried and true rotary lover, it always pains me to see the light glinting off of a signature LS intake manifold as the hood rises on an RX. Even with an undying passion for rotaries I can’t join the rank of haters that are going to bash this car. I might even go as far as to say let them hate. Having a closed mind is only going to keep them from having as much fun as the rest of us.