Motorcycle track days — something every street Rossi should experience. For those who have only ever ridden on the street and have some irrational belief that they have outgrown their 600cc modern sport bike, the supermoto/minimoto events hosted by the GAMRA/NSMGP group at the NOLA Motorsports Park should seriously be considered. Why? Because it is less of a race and more of a motorcycle control clinic. Of course there is friendly competition within the group and that is the other key point for attending; friendship. The atmosphere of a GAMRA event can be likened to autocross events. It is a vehicle control clinic whose participants are adrenaline filled enthusiasts who can’t wait to discuss their runs of the day as well as give and receive advice. This is where you need to be if you want to grow as a rider and have the best time on two wheels without being seriously maimed or killed.
One of the last things that comes to mind when thinking of a Nissan 240 is ‘different’, especially if it’s a drift car. The stigma that follows 240’s is one that you can’t really ignore, because it’s not really wrong. Most you see are molested beyond belief and have been reduced to nothing more than somebody’s dream that never came to fruition. They’re never all one color, they never have body panels that line up, they usually are held together with more zipties than OEM fasteners. The broken and beat 240 is just as much part of the drift image as vaping and flat-bills are to the Subaru bros. This isn’t your average S14.
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”.