Throwback Thursday - it’s all the rage right now. Each and every week, companies, bloggers, and enthusiasts take to their respective Facebook pages and post photos of old cars from various track and show events. Although it has become somewhat cliché, I must admit, seeing some of the old cars that I used to drool over as a youngster is pretty cool. Back then, catching a glimpse of these cars in person, in a magazine (rarely), or flipping through a friend’s picture book (real pictures! Not even Photoshop-enhanced or anything ;) ) was always inspiring.
In some instances, it’s been 20-plus years, and the accomplishments and groundbreaking actions of the front-runners at that time are still being talked about today. In fact, we have a section in the magazine, Legends, dedicated to those very individuals.
While we don’t have the extended history that the domestic car community does, we’re certainly not going anywhere, and eventually, we’ll have more than just a few decades under our belt to brag about, argue over, and nitpick.
Many complain about the current trends that flood the Internet and cause continuous “face palms,” myself included, but let’s be realistic about how this works. Trends come and go almost as fast as the so-called enthusiasts who constantly jump ship. You know as well as I do, you don’t have to comment on them, you don’t have to look at them, and if you’re anything like me, you appreciate stand-out cars even more when they don’t have the requisite “37 pieces of flair” slapped haphazardly across their body. In 20 years, are we going to look back at this era and only talk about the gaudy garnish and ridiculous wheels that look as if they’re attached to broken axles? Or are we going to crack a smile when we think about all of the crazy K swaps, the uprising of the time attack movement, and 1,000-plus-horsepower beasts that raged an all-out war on the dragstrip? In all honesty, my hope is that we remember a bit of both. Don’t be fooled if you weren’t around all of this in the ’90s. For as much as the older crowd preaches abut how everyone was performance-minded and never dared to do anything silly to their cars at that time, there’s so much they’re not telling you. Horrific body kits, neon underglow, Supra taillights grafted onto every chassis imaginable—it was all part of the era, and what’s wrong with that? There’s no doubt that it was the massive progression in performance as well as the organization and maturation of our industry that really stood out, but the off-the-wall stuff is wrapped in that package somewhere as well. I love seeing old photos of Integras with racing stripes, triple-decker wings, and pleather interior, it’s fun to be momentarily transported back to that time and chuckle a little.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that speed never goes out of style. It doesn’t matter if you’re into imports, domestics, or both, the drive to compete and outdo yourself, as well as the other guy is always a motivating factor. This is the 3rd Annual Race Issue, and just like the first two, it caused nothing but headaches and stress for me personally, but was well worth it in the end. Besides, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding. If you’re a new reader, the Race Issue is comprised of track regulars that get down and dirty in their respective motorsport of choice. The first Race Issue featured a pair of drag cars on the cover; the second a pair of road race cars; and I figured why not one of each for this year’s front page? Jeremy Lookofsky’s naturally aspirated drag car is built beyond belief, packed with high-dollar performance parts and cutting-edge technology from top to bottom. Out of reach for most in terms of cost, it’s a look at how far the Honda performance envelope is being pushed and, more importantly, a look into the life of one of our industry’s living legends. The best part about Lookofsky’s journey is that his efforts have trickled down into off-the-shelf performance products that the average end-user can purchase through Drag Cartel. Nothing beats experience and real-world R&D, and the Cartel is built on that very theory.
On the flip side, Andy Hope’s road race CRX is about as simple as you can get. Built using very basic, affordable parts, he’s combined his gifted driving abilities with a very simple and capable platform and has blown minds with his track antics.
Also in this issue is San Diego–based TB Motorworx with an all-motor drag car that’s closing in on 9-second territory with a nasty B-series motor that actually graced the pages of HT previously in the bay of a CRX. A more formidable chassis and more power have brought about even faster times, and if he has anything to say about it, that 9-second barrier will be crushed before year’s end.
Don’t think I forgot about the up-and-comers, either. Mike Oliveira, a virtual unknown from Canada, represents the average enthusiast looking to make his mark in the drag world. He’s already landed himself in the 11s with an injured pass, and with newfound horsepower and a drop in weight, he’s poised to decrease that number significantly. Also, Ken Suen with his well-built Civic sedan has made significant strides in improving his lap times and is only getting better with each and every event.
So that’s it, from record setters to the avid track enthusiast looking to make his mark, the Race Issue 3 is a wrap. You’re holding one of my contributions to a “hey, remember back when” conversation in the future—I hope you enjoy it as much now as you will in 20 years...