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Inbox - Readers' Rants and Raves

May 1, 2008

OK, wiseass, so you need some space to vent. Here it is. Direct letters to the editor to sccnews@sourceinterlink.com and we'll do our best to comeup with a snide response. Or completely ignore you. But hey, at least you've got a voice.

Sccp_0805_01_z+eneos_full_synthetic+0w_50 Photo 1/3   |   Inbox - Readers' Rants and Raves

Free Stuff!
Do you really have to ask why? Thomas has obviously spent some time behind the stick of a fire-breathing, air-smashing jet fighter. The cojones it takes to fly an F-4 alone is enough to ensure that Thomas is a major speed freak on anything with wheels. The geeked-out data he provided just sealed the deal. As a reward, he's going to receive a full case of ENEOS fully synthetic 0W-50 engine oil, the engine oil used by the Honda F1 team.

To follow in Thomas' footsteps, send us your letters, good or bad, to sccnews@sourceinterlink.com, or to
Sport Compact Car
Inbox
2400 E Katella Ave., 11th Floor
Anaheim, CA, 92806

Letter Of The Month
In your Feb '08 issue, I enjoyed the article on the two cars compared to a MiG-15. I never flew the MiG-15, but I did fly the F-4. For the sake of comparison, I present some numbers (as best as I can remember) for F-4 take-off performance.

Jets start out slowly. They're sucking air into the intakes and don't initially develop full thrust. During take-off roll, the rate of acceleration increases due to increased thrust, due to ram effect in the intakes. Take-off roll in the F-4, in a typical operational configuration with a 5000-pound centerline tank, was about 3000 feet at a speed of 160 knots. That's an average acceleration rate of 12.19ft/sec2 or 0.38g. Based on these numbers, I calculate a quarter-mile time of 14.72 seconds at a speed of 122.07mph. A little better than the MiG-15, but not as much as you might anticipate.

However, in the F-4, if you make a maximum performance take-off and hold the nose down after lift-off and leave it in full afterburner, you can be at 500 knots at the end of an 8000-foot runway. Accelerating from 160 to 500 knots in 5000 feet is an average acceleration of 64.09ft/sec2 or 1.99g. That's much more noticeable in the cockpit and great fun.

Although I never flew the F-15, I did fly with those guys a lot. I believe their take-off performance was 160 knots in 1000 feet. If that's correct, that's an average acceleration of 36.56ft/sec2 or 1.14g. That provides a quarter-mile time of 8.5 seconds at a speed of 211.41mph. That really is pretty quick.
Thomas Craven
via e-mail

An 8.5-second quarter-mile and the ability to carry loads of missiles? Maybe we lined up the wrong jet fighter. Permission to buzz the tower. -JL

Decisions, Decisions
I have a 2004 Mazda Miata (non-MS) set up for SCCA Solo2 CSP competition as well as being prepped for a Flyin' Miata turbo kit. I love the car and it has won me several trophies in South Jersey Region SCCA Solo2 competition.

My dilemma is whether to turbo the car, or sell it and buy a '98 BMW M3. I drove a friend's M3 (prepped) at an event and loved it, even the sound from the exhaust. The overall cost would be the same with either project, but the Miata offers more acceleration due to less weight. I've done all the work to the Miata myself (exception being clutch/LSD) and therefore have a lot of personal time invested in it as well. It should be noted that I plan to keep either vehicle streetable so I can take it out whenever I want. I must also admit that neither vehicle will be daily driven as I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 (that I sometimes go off-roading with). One thing that could sway me is if you would be interested in having a turbo Miata compete in the USCC. That could persuade me to finish the project and enter the competition. Please help with my tough decision.
Sam Resnick
Haddonfield, NJ

A turbocharged Miata is always welcome in the USCC if it can hang, but don't let that be your ultimate decision-maker. Decide for yourself which car you think will allow you to kick the most ass. Both are incredibly capable and a turbo Miata will probably offer a more visceral thrill than a stock E36 M3. But the M3 does come with naturally aspirated response and more seats, should this be your daily driver. Don't ignore the ability of the E36 either. Much like S2000s, they're capable of setting lap times you wouldn't think possible from a 10-year-old, 240bhp car with a real back seat. -JL

Sccp_0805_03_z+1999_nissan_skyline_gtr_vspec+side_profile Photo 2/3   |   Inbox - Readers' Rants and Raves

Keeping It Real-Ly Used
Just got my new issue of SCC (Jan 2008). At first, I usually page through, see what catches my interest and read it throughout the month. Being the owner of an Evo VIII (Tarmac Black) and a black turbo Mirage coupe, my front bumpers are far from the prettiest thing (especially being black).

That never bothered me too much. But when I saw the blue Skyline featured, the front bumper really caught my eye. The first word out of my mouth was "awesome." Really. You guys feature real cars, that get used. Don't get me wrong, I try to keep my cars looking as good as I can, but it's just great to see you featuring things like this. Not like other mags (that shall remain nameless) featuring pristine cars that most likely never see the road. So I wanted to give you the 'Best Magazine in the World' award.
Rich Miller
Enola, PA

Double Down
In the latest issue (February '08), I noticed something interesting when reading Inbox. As I started on Letter of the Month, I felt a sense of dj vu. With every word, I got even more intrigued with the thought: "I know I've read this exact message before." I start digging through my archive of old SCC, Super Street, Modified and Import Tuner magazines and find what I'm looking for. Check out Modified from December '07 (issue 62). Look in the Feedback section on page 154. It's the first letter.

Sccp_0805_02_z+sport_compact_car_magazine+february_2008 Photo 3/3   |   Inbox - Readers' Rants and Raves

You will either laugh or be extremely pissed when you notice this letter is identical to the one from Brad Schafer in your latest issue. The only differences are a few choice words he changed to make it relevant for the magazine he was writing to (such as the part where he talks of the "sexy set of Evos" on the cover. In Modified, he refers to the "sexy ARC Evo").

I don't know what you guys will think, but I'm pretty pissed off. It upsets me that someone would be so dull as to copy and paste almost an entire message to two different magazines. But the thing that makes me really angry is that this dummy gave Modified the same compliments as SCC. That in itself is ridiculous. I like reading an assortment of sport compact magazines, but none come close to Sport Compact Car's greatness. The information each issue holds within its pages is amazing. I've loved it ever since the first issue I purchased in '99 and I will continue enjoying your mag for as long as you print it.
Andrew Brooks
via e-mail

This time of year, when finals week rears its ugly head, I want to stop reading about metallurgy and retained austenite through the phase diagram of blah, blah, blah. Although a metals minor may some day be useful in my love for the auto, I sometimes want to read something entertaining.

Yes, I read Sport Compact Car from cover to cover, but when I'm done, I need something to fill the void. So while reading this other magazine, I thought I was having dj vu in the letters section. The letter in your magazine was the exact same as the other, but obviously the author was kissing your ass (saying that it's the best) in your mag and kissing theirs in the other. What the hell?

I'm sorry to hear about Project 350Z and the scam Mr. A pulled. It's people like that who ruin an industry and give outsiders to the car culture a false perception of how things are done (kind of like F&F) and how that gives a distorted idea of imports. I ordered an S13 redtop clip from a company out of Malaysia called FlashOptions. It took 14 months to arrive, e-mails every day with limitless excuses and BS, countless calls to various state and national offices, and there was nothing that could be done.
Ben Prindle
Platteville, WI

Thanks for your words on Project 350Z. To this day, we still discover minor bits that were on the car upon drop-off and were not on the car, for whatever reason, upon re-delivery. As far as the duplicate letter, yes, it's quite disheartening. But hey, at least we didn't give him anything. Then we'd have to kick down his door and posthumously rip it out of his triple-winged, quad-exhaust-tipped, Evo-loving hands. -JL

Project Something Or Other
I've noticed a lot of letters about project cars wanting to see something different from the standard WRX, Evo, Z, etc. And I agree. As great as these cars are, not all of us can afford them. So I think you should do something that goes back to the roots of compact car tuning, like an original VW Rabbit, a late-80s Honda Civic or way back to an original Mini. I would love to see an MG Midget because I own three rusty ones, but I doubt that's something many readers would be interested in. If you really must do the latest car, the new Saturn Astra looks like it's the same as the Vauxhall in England and they make a turbocharged version that is truly mad.Robert CoatesFranklin, KY

While the MG Midget and Saturn Astra aren't exactly the most common tuning platforms, we've just started Project Backmarker Civic, a 1988 EF-chassis Civic. We also still have Project Corolla in the garage; we're not made of money either. And we're always on the lookout for new, affordable chassis to pick up and then pick apart. A vintage project, such as a late-60s Datsun or Mazda, has also crossed our minds at one point or another. Shoot us your thoughts on a grandfather project car, either yah or nay, to: sccnews@sourceinterlink.com. -JL

Contact Us
Letters to the Editor
Our e-mail address is
sccnews@sourceinterlink.com
Our fax number is (714) 978-6390.

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Sport Compact Car
2400 E Katella Ave., 11th Floor
Anaheim, CA 92806
Letters must contain the author's full name,address and home telephone number.Letters may be edited for content and/or length.

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Joey Leh, Editor-in-Chief
joey.leh@sourceinterlink.com
Jay Chen, Engineering Editor
jay.chen@sourceinterlink.com
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andy.hope@sourceinterlink.com
Jong Cadelina, Art Director
jong.cadelina@sourceinterlink.com
Edward Loh, Editor-at-Large
edward.loh@sourceinterlink.com

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