CulAs automotive enthusiasts we tend to be drawn to various forms of mechanical beauty, whether that beauty is realized in the form of American muscle, European luxury, or Japanese hot hatches. Our senses are pleased by the hostile chopping lope of a cammed LS engine idling at a stop light or even when the sound of 9,000 RPM of Japanese aggression is heard ripping through the countryside. While we can appreciate many forms of automotive beauty, it’s exciting to meet people who dedicate their efforts to appreciate a particular niche. Recently I got to meet a father and son duo that have developed a complete obsession for Datsun Z cars and have spent years collecting various donor cars and parts in order to rejuvenate their collection. Enter the Z car yard.
One thing I’d truly been hoping I could make it to this year was the End of Year Bash held at NOLA Motorsports Park and put on by the guys at NODRFT. Luckily it all worked out and I found myself meeting a new group of drifters and checking out a facility I had previously not been able to make it to. If you see the NODRFT name on something I recommend you go find out what it’s all about, these guy throw down. When it comes to grassroots drifting I have become a little jaded. It’s typically a few hours of watching the same people try and do the same things and an excuse to have a few beers. This event is wholly different. There’s still plenty of time for beer though.
Meet Blake Barr. A Florida Panhandle local that is literally shaping his life and career through metal fabrication. With an air of southern hospitality in his personality and an eager passion to learn and develop, Blake is creating quite an impression on the fabrication scene in the area, as well as making a name for himself through his bespoke, race proven creations. With a meticulous eye for detail and deep rooted passion in the automotive community, his side project 850Fabrication is being used as his tool in pursuing his life passion.
One magical thing about cars for me is that the technology and culture is constantly changing, improving, and there will always be something new to learn and appreciate. For all this advancement to keep taking place there needs to be fresh minds and different perspectives constantly added to the mix. This year has marked quite an increase of events in the Panhandle, which has definitely helped push the tastes and rides here forward. This past weekend, a charity event for Toys for Tots was in full swing and looking through these pictures it really made me think about how far we all have come.
It’s that time of year again. The time of year where the cold weather is counteracted with warm sentiments and hot cocoa, or Glühwein. It’s also that time of year where people are encouraged to give rather than receive. This year the Northwest Florida Podiatry Association hosted their 4th Annual NWFL Podiatry Association Car Show in support of the the American Diabetes Association. An end of year car show that supports a charitable cause coincides well with the holiday spirit.
Sometimes you find a car that really captures the imagination and makes you want to go out and tinker in your garage. This Porsche does that. Between the classic looks, purposeful demeanor, and that sound. THAT sound. This thing can’t help but turn heads and make your heart flutter. But enough with the words, listen and watch for yourself!
When talking in automotive circles, one topic that seems to come up quite often is how we get shafted in the US of A when it comes to vehicle availability. The latest, greatest sporty cars seem to always be across a pond in one direction or the other. This fact of life might soon be changing with the imminent release of the Civic Type-R and a few other modern cars but the fact remains that we typically wind up on the short end of the stick. But what if I told you that there was a time in our not so distant past where we got blessed with models that put the JDM versions to shame? One of them was the Mitsubishi Starion.
The term “daily driven” implies that a vehicle is stable enough to be used everyday. It can shuttle you to work. It can make the trip for groceries. It can even pick up the kid from school. A car that is daily driven and regularly flogged on the track demonstrates another level of reliability. This daily driven drift missile shows that you don’t necessarily need a second car for either daily duties or track duties.
It’s a rarity in the car world that a build so eloquently blurs the lines between classy composure and ruthless performance. When this Audi rolled off the assembly line it was destined to be another flashy car that someone wearing clothes more expensive than my daily would lease for a few years while it got slowly abused in all the wrong ways. Somehow this particular example managed to avoid that fate. Underneath this elegant exterior and behind the luxurious interior there beats the heart of a beast.
Looking back on my life over the past few years it would be hard to imagine that cars had not been entwined with it from the very beginning. The truth is I had absolutely no clue what I was doing under the hood, behind a camera, or really behind the wheel up until quite recently. Looking back on it now, I guess I thought it would be just another fleeting hobby like plenty of others. As anyone involved in the car scene knows, that was NOT the case. This is my story, my observations, and my advice.