CRX clutch lets go, Garlits wannabe should feel very lucky

Perhaps some of our younger readers may not know this, but drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits is a half a foot short of two feet. Why is that you may ask? That is because the rear engined dragster had not yet been invented when Garlits’ clutch exploded, taking half of his foot with it.

The following video is exciting dipsticks all over the world as they see the force with which a clutch explodes. Perhaps we should look at it a bit closer. Let’s watch it shall we?

Let’s analyze this somewhat. Dickhead leaves the line in his hyped up Honda CRX. 50 feet down the strip, his clutch lets fly and rips the front end off his ricer rocket. Dickhead gets out of the car and looks, dumbfounded at his ride than done blowed up real good.

All kidding aside, let’s take a look at dickhead and his car. Anyone notice the front tires? The little Honda is wearing full drag slicks. Now, look at dickhead. He looks stylish in his jeans and tee shirt. We’ll give him the benefit of doubt and suggest that he must have removed his helmet while still inside the Honda.

Some racing organizations are still in the dark ages, allowing guys like dickhead to put themselves in danger because they are too stupid to know any better.

Via Jalopnik

La Carrera 2008: So many on the trailer

In the last day, it seems like the landscape at the 2008 running of La Carrera has changed dramatically. First off, the Home Team (so to speak) of Gerie Bledsoe and Coop have loaded the Chevy on the trailer with a blown engine. Not to despair completely though, as Coop has become Co-Piloto for Ron Lee’s Killer Kurtis and Gerie is apparently aboard the #422 Mercedes from Kansas. Presumably the original Co-Piloto’s are suffering from Montezuma’s Revenge.

While Coop has yet to confirm this, his latest batch of photos show the Kurtis being worked on feverishly in a back alley shop somewhere. I hope the devil hasn’t had her way with the super cool car.

Otherwise, there appears to have been some hard core carnage in the ranks. A couple of Volvos appear to have some bendage, while the stunning Sunbeam Tiger seems to have had a fairly substantial off. Fortunately there has been no word of any injuries.

For those of you on Stig Watch, rumour has it that he blew an engine and has changed said lump and is flying back through the field.

Somehow, I was unaware that our man Gary has been back in Cali for many days now. Still, he manages to have his thumb on what little news is coming out of Mexico and has heard a few more stories. Be sure to head on over and read a few.

As before, Coop has shared a bunch of images with us. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and Coop has a knack of capturing life at it’s best. After you oogle the gallery after the break, visit his Flickr page to see more of life in Mexico. Then, head over to Coopstuff and buy some stuff! Your purchase ensures that Coop can continue to afford to go on adventures like this and share the trip with all of us!
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West Coast friends of The Garage are headed to La Carrera

Even though it is so damn far from Ontario, the La Carrera Panamericana race has had a huge effect on The Garage. Forgetting the immense history behind the event for a moment, we have made a bunch of friends through our coverage of the event over the past couple of years. The most obvious is our regular West Coast contributor, and close friend, Gary Faules. Through La Carrera, we’ve also gotten to know that devilish artist Coop.

Last year we followed Team California’s Best as they attacked the legendary event. This year, Gary is on his way south from California with Hershel McGriff, the winner of the first La Carrera to celebrate the event rather than compete. Mr. Cooper is once again acting as Co-Piloto for North American Director of La Carrera Panamericana Gerie Bledsoe. Gerie and Chris left yesterday, leading the Coyote Convoy to the south of Mexico.

If I’ve gotten my dates right, Gary and Hershel left this morning in a big bird, eager to cheer on the competitors. We’re hoping to get some photos from Gary and Coop over the coming days and we’ll be sure to pass along anything we can.

Good luck guys, we wish we were there with you!

Video: La Carrera 2007 Movie Trailer

Here in The Garage, we’ve all been waiting for the debut of the La Carrera 2007 movie, following Gary Faules and Team California’s Best through the classic Mexican road race. Production has been taking longer than anticipated, but finally we can have a sneak peek at a trailer for it. When the full deal arrives, you can be sure we’ll let you know!

Lucky’s gettin’ his groove on in Mexico

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Sunday’s stages at La Carrera promised to be the most difficult and have historically been the event’s most dangerous sections. Fortunately our guys are beginning to hit their groove and it is showing on the leader board. As of right now, Team CBR is sitting in 13th overall and 4th in class.

While visiting the new race track section, Gary kicked ass, including some La Carrera vets in some serious iron. The super dangerous Sunday stages seem to be where Gary found his calling. A super fast, super dangerous mountain road were just the combination for Lucky to shine. Well, maybe not quite so shiny after a bit of a hairy incident involving heavy oversteer and a concrete pole. No matter though, apparently the resulting rash looks pretty cool. It’s certainly better than the poor Vette that went over a drop off and burned.

You’ll have to visit Lucky’s blog for more killer images. I can’t wait to see the in car!

Adventures on the road

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Gary’s log of his trip is fun to read and keep up with. Half the fun of any road trip is meeting the people along the way. We get to hear accents, see where and how they live, enjoy different scenery and all too often we meet some amazing characters.

One such memory and characters are of a trip I took to the tip of Baja back in 1971. I took my brother, a friend and a translator in my motor home to the tip of Baja and our first stop in Baja to get fuel was in Ensenada on the dusty quite main drag of town. Ensenada is the last big town or village you see until you get to La Paz which is hundreds of very “wild” miles away on roads that are something you have to see to believe. Back in 1971 this was real adventure. Almost nobody spoke English, there were no phones or electricity and if you broke down nobody was going to come and help so you better be ready for whatever happened in any event. I pulled up to the gas pump and sitting in front of the small Pemex station was about 10 very young boys and an old man in a sombrero. Once the old man started the gas pump the boys all began climbing up the side of the motor home on each other’s shoulders so they could wash every single window on the motor home, all the way around. Since their old pumps took so long to fill both tanks of the motor home this took some time. While we were waiting I began slicing and eating some salami and while I was slicing it I noticed the boys all peaking in the window and looking as if they were interested in the salami. So I reached out the door and offered a piece to one of the boys. He just loved it so I gave each of the other boys a piece. It was interesting to me how they would not crowd back in line for a second piece the way most American boys would have and yet they all seemed so excited about something as simple as a piece of salami. You would have thought I had given them a gold coin.
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More fun Fiats

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Yesterday’s post about Alain Raymond’s Fiat Abarth 850 TC has brought out a few more pics. Firstly, it seems that Raymond has another cool toy at home. This is a real 1968 Fiat Abarth 595 SS, perhaps the hottest evolution of the Fiat 500. This car was restored in France in 1988 and then found it’s way to Quebec and eventually into the hands of Mr. Raymond.
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Coop & Friends Heading to Chihuahua Express

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It’s that time of year again. Time for a bunch of lucky gearheads to drag their race cars to Mexico for La Carrera Panamerica the Chihuahua Express. Coop and Rachel Larratt have both begun blogging their way to the border. Way up here in the Great White North, where it’s still cold and crappy, we wish all of you well and will be following your exploits!
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Michelin to build tires in Mexico

For the first time, Michelin(R)-brand passenger and light truck tires are being built in Mexico. The company announced today that strong consumer demand in Mexico drove Michelin’s decision to upgrade production capacity at its Queretaro plant to include Michelin-brand tires.
“In the past three years, Michelin’s replacement tire sales in Mexico have jumped more than 60 percent, outpacing the market more than six times,” said Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Mexico is one of the top 10 tire markets in the world, growing at almost twice the rate of the U.S. market. Until today, every Michelin-brand tire sold in Mexico was imported. It is crucial for us to have in-country production to meet the phenomenal demand in Mexico and to increase our total North American capacity for Michelin brand’s high-quality tires.”
Michelin-brand tires produced in Mexico will feature the same technology and meet the same high-quality standards as Michelin tires made in the United States and around world. “Consumers have extremely high expectations for their Michelin tires,” said Micali. “We are confident that every tire that rolls off the line here in Queretaro will live up to those expectations.”
Today’s announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of a new Michelin sign for the Queretaro facility – proof that it is certified to meet the high quality standards of the Michelin brand.
“This accomplishment reflects the hard work and aggressive learning of a motivated group of manufacturing professionals,” said Micali. “Many things are possible when you have good people working hard to make progress and we certainly have that here in Queretaro.”
Mexican demand for Michelin tires is growing in other tire segments as well. Two months ago, Michelin announced the construction of a new plant in Queretaro, adjacent to the passenger car tire facility, that will produce tread rubber for retreading Michelin’s commercial truck tires. This new facility will open in spring 2007 and bring 120 additional jobs to the city. Currently, Michelin’s growing work force in Mexico represents approximately 5 percent of its North American total.
The world’s largest tire maker, Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs 23,330 and operates 20 plants in 16 locations.

Source Michelin press release via PRNewswire

by developing jobs, Michelin seems to be trying to prevent this