It's done. Finished. Stick a fork in it-another Ultimate Street Car Challenge is wrapped up. An overwhelming bundle of tests and photography that is almost too much to handle for a staff that still has to put out a magazine every month. But we didn't take anything away from it to make it easier to organize. On the contrary, we added to it.
From facilities, food, staff, coverage and scheduling, this time we locked ourselves into a distant defcon bunker to nail down every contingency, every back-up, and every snag that could arise. You see, this is our signature event, the Sport Compact Car Olympics for the greatest and strongest modified cars. We take no real discrimination in the playing field, just as long as they're all well engineered, functional, fast and, obviously, ultimate.
The least we can do is provide a good time for all the contestants, free of any real problems, worries and impossible time constraints. Yes, our testing regime is in-depth and strenuous, but for many of the people who bring out their pride and joy to be abused for three days straight, this is a lifelong memory-the place and time when they got to prove that, among some of America's finest cars, their work could stand up and compete.And trust me, the memories flowed. In no particular order, here are five of the most unforgettable tales from USCC 2007:
Dave Dunn driving straight across the US from North Carolina to California, for the second time, in his home-built, mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive Acura Integra. With working air conditioning.
Mike Kim driving 19 hours from Washington to California in an Ariel Atom. Wearing shorts and a helmet the whole way down.
Brent Mattraw, and Torque Factory's Jeff Moss, receiving just two weeks' notice that they've been accepted. The engine was out of the car at the time.
Jacko Luong custom dyno-tuning his Skyline GT-R until 5am for a race-gas tune less than a week before the USCC.
A Camry flips over onto its roof right as the contestants come through on the fuel economy drive. Ever seen 10 supercars pulled off to the side of the road waiting for an accident to clear?
And, with the help of Best Motoring International, you can soon catch all the action on DVD. That's right, the people behind the American Touge and Drift Bible DVDs will be combining their quality production values with SCC's multiple tests. Be sure to check for release dates and teaser clips on www.sportcompactcarweb.com, www.gtchannel.com and www.bestmotoringvideo.com.
On a different note, I'd also like to welcome our latest additions. First up is our new Editorial Assistant (i.e. intern), Alex Nishimoto. Alex is a longtime SCC reader and fan who declined from asking any other magazine and held out, until just about a week before his deadline, for our acceptance to get his school credits. We're looking forward to tainting his mind with quarter-mile runs, photoshoots and smoky burnouts. Here's to almost not graduating.
Also added to our masthead is new Senior Editor Andy Hope. Andy is a road race competitor at heart and is a seasoned regular in the NASA Honda Challenge ranks. He was the West Coast H1-class champion in 2003 and has seen duty in more enduros and sprint races than he can even remember. More importantly, Andy is a huge fan of the Honda EF-chassis, a tuning enthusiast and he can write legibly. He lives and breathes the SCC mantra as much as you do, and we welcome him to the team.
Lastly, you may have noticed a few updates to the pages within SCC. We're streamlining our feature spreads and constantly tinkering with new and interesting ways to test each car comprehensively, whether that's with more data or new testing regimes. We've also brought back the Test Bench section, an area where we can test and review individual parts that don't necessarily fit into the scope of any of our project cars. It's all about trying to let you, the reader, know what works and what doesn't, so you don't waste any money making the wrong decision. Send us your feedback, let us know what you think and what you'd like to see. There's always time for additions.