Two Sides Of The Subaru Coin

This week’s episode of /TUNED was pretty interesting and did a great job of showing the two very distinctive halves of the Subaru community.

First, there’s the Slammed Society GC8 complete with ruined fenders and Rota wheels because that’s what all HellaFlush Subarus rock. Props to the owner for doing a clean EJ25 swap, which is rendered useless because the car is bordering on undrivable. This car is pretty representative of where the Subaru community has been headed for the last 3 years.

On the other side of the spectrum, the second car is much more my speed and apparently Matt Farrah’s as well. The owner gets bonus points for the JDM EJ207 swap and seems to have an eye for quality parts – I didn’t know the Tomei made an exhaust for the GC8. This car is more along the lines of what many of us would hope to do with a GC8 build. The instant power and tuned suspension take full advantage of the car’s compact size.

This is why videos are fantastic because they tell the story you’re not seeing in photos. Perhaps the stance car looks more interesting in the NASIOC gallery, but which car do you think will put the bigger smile on your face behind the wheel? My thoughts exactly.

Video courtesy of /DRIVE.


Start Them Young

For many sports it’s possible to go pro after starting from a middle school to even a high school level. The same can’t necessarily be said about motor racing. Racing is unique in the fact that the parents in most cases need to make the decision before their kids are old enough to decide for themselves. Dylan Murry is 12-years-old and reminds me of more than one of Formula 1’s many World Champions.

I don’t suspect this is the last time we’ll see Dylan doing amazing things behind the wheel of a race car.

Video courtesy of DRIVE.

Friends Old & New

Those that know me personally, know that Top Gear is near and dear to my heart. Yes, I’m talking of course, about the UK version and not that horrendous, half-witted, General Motors propaganda, we get in the US. For me, the UK version has sort of transcended the realm of a mere television show and become something of a close friend. It’s the friend I’ve found myself spending countless hours with. The one who was there, when I was the new kid in school or deailing with some of life’s curve balls, we all get pitched. The obsession runs deep, so deep that I’ve watched every episode, of every season, half a dozen times or more. Top Gear has always been a constant and for that, I’ll forever cherish it.

Friends change though. In recent years my beloved Top Gear has become more of a variety comedy hour, than a balls out motoring journal. That isn’t to say I don’t still find pleasure, in hanging out with Jezza and Captain Slow, but things are different now. These friends of mine, don’t seem to share the same passion they once did; especially my old pal Hamster, who seems devoid of any interest in cars, period.

That’s where Chris Harris comes in. DRIVE’s resident car thrasher, has become a weekly fixture on my computer and many of yours. He’s the kind of guy Top Gear purists, would be happy to call their friend. Week after week, Harris awes and inspires with insightful and supremely entertaining automotive journalism. Last week was a tribute to some of the WRC’s valedictorians, at a Pirelli tires event. This week, German estate cars are on the menu.

In a sense, Chris Harris is doing what Top Gear used to do so well. He’s reviewing cars and having a hell of lot of fun doing so. While the Top Gear boys continue to live out their rock star fantasies, in a stadium world tour, Chris Harris is here to pick up the slack.

Many rumors have been swirling about when Top Gear will give it’s final curtain call. Will the show continue with new hosts and a fresh format? Only time will tell, but if Harris was ever up for the job, he’d certainly get my vote. Subscribe to DRIVE’s YouTube channel to get your Top Gear fix, until the boys are back in January.

Video courtesy of DRIVE.

Mondo X Drive

I used to be obsessed with movie posters. My bedroom walls were a shrine to one of my favorite artists, Drew Struzan. I even e-mailed him once to discuss composition and his personal style. He actually e-mailed me back, which was a real treat and something I’ll always remember.

When I was in high school I used to imagine my own movies, so I could design their posters for art projects. It was a literal obsession and has really influenced the graphic design and creative work I do professionally today.

Mondo have been putting out their own poster interpretations of some of our favorite movies, new and old. Their recent Planet of the Apes series is pretty spectacular and this week they just debuted their latest, an ode to last year’s Drive.

Despite being a mock advertisement, it’s a an excellent piece of art in it’s own right.

A lot of people added Drive to their 2011 top 10 lists and I’d have to agree. There’s 2 things I should probably mention first though: I hate American Muscle (with a passion) and I don’t much care for Ryan Gosling. Naturally I would hate this movie? Wrong. Drive is a fantastic car film and something every automotive enthusiast should see. Director Nicolas Winding Refn does a brilliant job of showcasing the car in its most raw form. The driving sequences are stripped down and real, the complete opposite of the music and CGI-laden faff of a certain other franchise.

Drive isn’t a happy film, it’s disturbed. Some might even call it eerie. I found a lot of parts to be tense and uncomfortable. Not so much because of the story itself, but because of the interactions between the characters. Gosling has the “aloofness” down precisely and really makes a case for himself as a decent actor. Drive is dripping with style and in many ways reminds me of Tarantino’s earlier work, where his stories and characters were at least relevant, to something you might see in real life.

Drive is definitely worth a watch and can certainly hold it’s own amongst the automotive cinematic greats.

Photo courtesy of Mondo.