OK, wiseass, so you need some space to vent. Here it is. Direct letters to the editor to email@example.com and we'll do our best to come up with a snide response. Or completely ignore you. But hey, at least you've got a voice.
This month, we're sticking it to Stanky McMoneybads with a set of automotive guide books from Hyper Rev. Each platform-specific Hyper Rev volume is filled with parts and tuning information, and is dedicated to such models as the WRX, 350Z, RX-7, Civic and GT-R. For more info and to see if they have one for your car, visit www.more-japan.com. To follow in Arron's footsteps, send us your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Sport Compact Car - Inbox, 2400 E. Katella Ave. - 11th Floor, Anaheim, CA, 92806.
Letter Of The Month
I've always liked cars and knew how to change my own oil and such, but it wasn't until recently that I fell in love with them. Of all the cars I've owned, not one had broken the $1800 barrier until recently. I bought a Mazdaspeed3.
After the initial 'wow, neat' phase, something became incredibly clear. For all the money I was laying down every month for magazines, I wasn't getting a lot of information. Ninety-nine percent of what I learned came from online. And you can't take much of that to heart, as every 18-year-old with a Civic knows the 'right way to do it.'
I imagine the toughest part for a journalist is coming up with a way to make every aftermarket piece sound like it will cause lightning to shoot out of the exhaust, all while making it sound different from the other lightning-shooting stuff on the next page. There is no comparison in regard to the same parts from different companies. No real insightful articles to help us better understand trannies, different engines, suspensions, or driving. Just "this is what caster is." Wow. Thanks. I've got Google too.
Then there are the cars. Anyone with a pulse and an internet connection can show you what a car with an assload of money thrown at it can look like, most of which never had a bolt turned by the owner.
I was about to give up reading hard copy stuff until I found yours today. I read it cover to cover and was blown away (May 2008 issue). The 240SX shootout? Awesome. There's stuff that sucks and stuff that doesn't, but it seems you're the only ones who want to take the first step. Skylines with chipped-up front lips? Bring it. I don't give two craps that Stanky McMoneybads has a 500bhp 350Z that has never seen a street, or that he paid someone $50,000 to build it for him. Show me the guy in the beat-up Subie he bought second-hand, worked long and hard for, did the work himself and is running 11s, because his car is cooler.
SrA Arron Jenkins
We try to stay close to our focus of making cars go faster without a monstrous outlay of cash because, simply, we want to be quick without being broke. Our cover story this month is the perfect example. Whether it's the SOHC Civic taking out the WRX or the bolt-on-equipped Evo taking out the $90k Viper, we'll be there to cover it. And if there's any feedback you, the reader, would like to provide, let us know. Your voice always helps in putting together a better magazine. Even Stanky McMoneybads would approve of that. -JL
Glimpses Of Hope
On April 27, driving toward Glendale, California, on the 210 freeway, my friend's family and I were obliterated by Project SRT-4. Whoever was driving the car that day drove like the ass I figured every SCC employee did. I'm impressed. I was able to spot that orange paint from a great distance after it blew by. Maybe when you painted the car that color you failed to remember the cops who will always be there to spoil the fun.
PS. My uncle used to race Sam Hubinette in the Viper Racing League before he became a top drifter.
I just saw Project SRT-4 on the 57 freeway and once I noticed what it was, I became as excited as a teenage girl at a Justin Timberlake concert. I didn't know whether to look around for my ever-present copy of SCC or wave like a madman.
This all happened in a couple of seconds. By the time I came up with a plan of action, the driver was next to me and had an: 'Oh great, another ricer' look. I had a huge grin on my face as he went by.
Thanks for turning my day around from a bad one to a great one. Seeing one of the cars from my favorite magazine was awesome. Oh, and I love the paint job on Project Impreza V.08 as well.
After intermittent stumbling issues and a broken exhaust were fixed, Senior Editor Hope jumped into the orange brawler and was exposed to its boost-hungry, angry, psssh-ing nature. Giving in fully to the unconfirmed internet reputation of the SRT-4 owner, Hope has recently become prone to wild bursts of lane changing and acceleration. Rumors are now spreading about the SRT-4 that Hope is building at home to P3wN you. -JL
How does Mitsubishi expect the Lancer Ralliart not to hurt Evo sales? Isn't the only difference between the two the lack of S-AWC and a simple chip?
Pick up a copy of our July 2008 issue for the whole scoop on the new Lancer Ralliart. The turbo, all-wheel drive junior Evo will go head-to-head more with the WRX than with the Evo. It's true that they look similar and share the same basic engine, but the Lancer Ralliart comes without the Evo's twin-scroll turbocharger and upgraded camshafts. It also has a less sophisticated all-wheel drive system, no Brembo brakes, heavier wheels and no forged aluminum suspension arms. Ultimately, it comes down to how much tweaking you want to do and whether you want to retain the factory warranty. The Evo packs enough goodies for the owner who just wants to get in and drive fast. The Ralliart is more up our alley-for the guy who likes to see his car on a set of jackstands, ready to test-fit which Evo parts will work and check out how much are they second-hand. -JL
SCC Needs Your Votes
I want to extend congratulations to whoever in the SCC management decided to participate in the Castrol Top Shop Challenge, as well as the way in which the story is being covered. This type of article is exactly what is needed to draw my attention once again to the mailbox each month, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the next issue. One can only read so many features extolling the merits (or beating on the shortcomings) of the apparently never-ending stream of modified cars that have occupied this magazine's pages of late. My only disappointment with the piece on the VQ35 build was that it was not longer and didn't go deeper into the technical concerns regarding the parts that rod ratio and piston side load play in the operation of a high-revving engine.
Not only has SCC done its homework, so have Castrol and Cosworth's advertising people. They got me click onto both their websites to look for more information regarding the Top Shop Challenge-the SCC entry in particular. Thanks for getting me excited about the magazine again.
After deciding to go twin-turbo with Project Z, we'd been looking to build a solid, naturally aspirated street VQ35 with Cosworth for some time. The Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge provided just the venue for us to delve into the engine build and see how it stacked up against factory turbo engines built by some other shops. There are more articles to come as we begin to machine the block and go further with the engine. We could use your votes: log on to www.SyntecTopShop.com and place your vote for SCC and Cosworth. The winning engine will only be given away to someone who voted for the winning mag, so register your chance to take home our built VQ35DE. -JL
In your July '08 issue, you claim to have "hit the road with the first R35 GT-R in the USA." Well, I'm in no way, shape or form trying to make you feel less special about your ride in that R35, but there are-and have been-R35 GT-Rs here for a while, although not technically available to the public.
I work for a company that supplies Nissan North America with interior parts. This is a pic of the new Maxima that isn't out yet (as of our printing date -JL). They were having an issue with the headliner and it got so frustrating for the Nissan people, they decided to just get in the car and zip down the road to our facility so we could see it in person.
No matter what Nissan's official stance is on whether there are any GT-Rs here, there are. It makes me sick seeing all the cellphone pics and videos (that they shouldn't have been taking) because it makes me wish I could have been there at the right place at the right time. The truth is, a US-spec, R-35 GT-R was driven on public streets in Michigan before the Japanese public could even buy them.Brandon Atervia e-mail
We're aware that many OEMs keep development mules, pre-production models and test cars on company property for various purposes. And while those cars have seen street duty, we were after the first private-owner R35 GT-R in the US. This was a car that could be driven anywhere, at any time-without being under Nissan's watchful eye. And don't tell anyone where you work. You might find the office a few GT-Rs short, maybe even a Maxima too. -JL
Letters to the Editor
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Sport Compact Car
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Letters must contain the author's full name, address and home telephone number.Letters may be edited for content and/or length.
Joey Leh, Editor-in-Chief
Jay Chen, Engineering Editor
Andy Hope, Senior Editor
Jong Cadelina, Art Director
Edward Loh, Editor-at-Large