Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 Carlisle Import/Kit Nationals

I've always wanted to check out the annual car show at Carlisle. For me, the planets never seemed to line up just right and there was always something conflicting in my schedule/life. Well, I finally got my chance to make it out this year. And it was definitely worth it. I'll let the pictures do the talking this time.

First pic is a new-millennium Mazda Miata with... a LS1 Corvette engine! I talked fairly extensively to the mechanical engineer that put this bad mammojamma together. He had to do modifications to the frame. Specifically a firewall intrusion, and extra top and bottom bracing triangulations, some of which you can see in the picture. He also used a modified driveshaft, CTS limited-slip differential, and stock (IIRC) half shafts. The scary part? The wheels and tires are essentially stock!

A close up shot. Notice how clean the installation was. I, and several others, commented that it looks like a factory installation. The engineer that put this together said it took him about three months.

A very clean turbo Beetle.

You don't want to argue with a LS1-powered RX-7. Another clean install indeed. 

The first GT40 replica I came across at the show. Stunning... and expensive!

Reason's we know God loves us and wants us to be happy: 
1) Beer 
2) Girls 
3) GT40s!

The venerable Daytona Coupe (replica). This is Factory Five's beautiful iteration. You had me at hello, Factory Five Type 65 Coupe.

I... (sniff)... I told myself I wouldn't cry. 

Factory Five Racing had the audacity to build their own supercar from scratch. I'm finding it to be not only one of the best looking cars at the show, but also one of the best values for it's class. It has true supercar performance powers for less than half the cost of a new Corvette. It's still out of my price range, but it's an interesting development nonetheless. I've got my eye on you Factory Five GTM. 

Here's an owner-built FF-GTM with some cool add-ons like a large rear airfoil, custom wheels, and ground effects. Notice the functional side air intake inlets. The GTM also has a functional underbody diffuser, standard. This thing is just too mean for the streets!

A rear 3/4 shot.

There were plenty of 427 Cobra's to go around in Carlisle. 

Lots 'o custom Mini Coopers as well. It's not the size of your car, it's how you use it. 

An Ariel-Atom-inspired racer. I didn't have time to talk to the owner/builder but it looks like it was built from scratch. The few body panels consisted of both straight bends and English-wheel formed panels.

A Lotus 7 replica with a Mazda6 engine and a turbo to boot! 

Behold, the wonderfully elegant Lotus Elise. There's not too many production cars that are true to the design goals of the original Lotus sports cars. Specifically, "quickness through lightness!" I seriously considered buying one of these a few years ago, but I ended up with the Mk 3 MR2 (Spyder) instead, mainly because it was about a third the price.

626 HP. 208 MPH. Ridiculous. Over-the-top. Outrageous. Expensive. Fast. Sexy. Mercedes. McLaren SLR.

Anyone ever hear of this little thing called the Ultima GTR? It's running gear usually includes (but is not limited to) a small-block Chevy engine and a Porsche transaxle in the mid-engine, rear-drive configuration. The Ultima GTR, I'm told, was the first street legal car to go from 0-100-0 in less than ten seconds. 

Looks like not much more than a 911 with some body work. Effective, nonetheless.

GT40 rep with the original Le Mans paint scheme. The GT40 won Le Mans four times in a row from 1966 to 1969.

Up close and personal look at a 427 Cobra replica. This paint job is unparalleled IMHO.

Okay fellow enthusiasts, this is my chance to do a plug for La Bala. This is one of the most affordable high performance cars in existence. For the price, it simply cannot be beat. I've seen this car progress from it's inception to it's final form. It is a thing of elegance that I have a hard time putting into words. For more information please visit www.grabercars.com

A pic of the clamshell rear cover. This car has a supercharged Ford Ecotec 4-cylinder with customized fuel maps. The newer chassis design has four-corner independent suspension and uses custom linkage for motorcycle (R1, I believe) shocks. The car can get away with motorcycle shocks because of it's light weight.

Here's another iteration of La Bala. Notice the body skirt/splitter that has been added for aerodynamics. I've heard people say it looks like an MR2, an NSX, and even a Corvette. To me it has elements of many cars, but I find it very easy to discern among the gamut of sports cars, especially from the rear. It's an original design by Steve Graber of GraberCars.com

A rear 3/4 view.

 Do the wheels not look perfect for this car?

All in all a great car show. I can't wait to go back again next year!