Vintage Kart Co Launches Inaugural Scottsdale Grand Prix

cycle-cars-pavilionsAcross the country, the demand for amateur racing events is on the rise. Everything from SCCA to locally sanctioned autocross to private track events are seeing more people than ever become interested in the world of motorsports.

Accordingly, there are an abundance of high-performance cars on the market to meet the needs of today’s competitive drivers. There are street-legal drivers such as the Lotus Elise and Ariel Atom to factory turn-key track cars from Rossion, Noble, Saleen, and Factory Five Racing. However, all of these cars have one thing in common: they require a huge investment of cash and resources to get started.

What if there were a way to enjoy the thrill of motorsport without sinking a fortune into in a high-end racecar, a second garage, and an enclosed car hauler? Well, now there is a way – meet the Mini Racer.

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What’s the Deal with JDM Badges?

jdm-badges-acura-nsxI have noticed that a lot of drivers in the import car scene like to re-badge their vehicles with emblems from the Japanese Domestic Market.

Acura NSX change theirs out to Honda NSX, since they don’t have Acura in Japan. Some Lexus drivers do this with Toyota, although they did start selling Lexus-branded vehicles in Japan in 2005. Nissan 350Z drivers rebadge their cars as Fairlady Z. Here’s a Pontiac GTO driver who re-badged his car as a Holden, as they are sold in Australia.

I want to ask every one of these people: what satisfaction do you get out of doing this?

How can you slap a Honda badge on your Acura NSX because it’s “more authentic” but overlook the fact that the steering wheel is still on the left hand side? Have you already done every other mod to your car and just couldn’t think of anything else to do? I just don’t understand the motivation behind putting JDM emblems on your US-spec car. Maybe it does something for you, but I find it utterly silly.

Hot Rods vs. Rat Rods: What’s the Difference?

hot-rods-vs-rat-rodsTwo of the most popular types of custom cars on the road are hot rods and rat rods. To a non-car person these vehicles may look similar, but to the trained eye, there are some key differences between the two. The purpose of this article is to give you the knowledge to identify which type of car you are looking at.

Let’s start with the similarities: both hot rods and rat rods are NOT supposed to look like factory original, production cars. Continue reading

UK English to US English Automotive Dictionary

CH3RIOWith the prevalence of satellite TV and streaming shows online, it is now possible to see TV shows from beyond your own country’s borders. In England, TV shows like Top Gear and Wheeler Dealers appeal to petrolheads of all ages, and they are growing in popularity with American audiences.

However, British people use some pretty different terminology than Americans when it comes to automobiles. Therefore, I have come up with a list of translations between UK English and US English.

UK English / US English

aluminium: aluminum, a lightweight and non-ferrous metal used in the construction of automobiles

bonnet: hood, a hinged panel which covers the car’s engine

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Racecar Replicas Superlite Coupe

racecar-replicas-superlite-coupe-frontThere are a lot of different reasons why people get into cars as a hobby. For some people, cars are a way to re-live their youth or to fulfill the dreams they always wanted. To others, cars are merely an investment to be bought and sold. A car can be a status symbol for attracting attention and showing others that you’ve “made it.” Still others get into cars because they love driving. And finally, there are those who get into cars because they love building them. This is a car for that last type of person – the do-it-yourself wrench-turner.

This car is a Superlite Coupe from Racecar Replicas in Fraser, Michigan. Unlike a Ferrari or Lamborghini, this car is not built on a production line in Italy. It is sold as a component vehicle (also known as a kit car) that you build yourself. Some assembly is required!

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1970s Dodge Ram Custom Van

dodge-van-custom-dual-tandem-axleThe 1970s are remembered today as a decade of excess, and nothing embodies that mindset greater than the cars that people were driving. This was the era that gave us the Dukes of Hazzard, Smokey and the Bandit, and the original “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

There was another craze during the 1970s: custom vans. People would take full-size vans from Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge and trick them out with shag carpet, a stereo system, custom paint and wheels, custom interior, CB radio, and even accessories like mini fridges!

“Vanning” exploded in popularity and was featured in movies and songs of the era. Like vinyl records and most things from the 1970s, “street vans” fell out of fashion to fade into obscurity, only to see a small revival today.

This 1970s-era Dodge Ram van may be a relic of that era. It looks to have been converted to a camper/motorhome at one point, and is now languishing on a side street. The interesting thing about this van is its dual rear axle setup – something I have not seen before and can find very little about on the Internet. I suspect it may have been a custom modification.