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The Willow Sports Car

Editor's note: Like many racers, Eric Seltzer has been in pursuit of the perfect vehicle. However, unlike other drivers, Seltzer took the step of designing his own track toy from scratch. This is the story of how he brought the Willow Sports Car into being.






I was halfway through turn six at Riverside Raceway when the car snapped to the left and I spun off backwards into the dirt.  The left rear hub carrier had broken on my Elva-Alfa Formula-B car during an SCCA Regional Race, and this incident on the track would lead me to designing and building the Willow Sports Car a few years later. But first, a little of the back story on how I got to that race at Riverside. 

I grew up in the 1940s & 1950s in Southern California and inherited a love of cars from my Dad. He was always bringing home some unusual car — a ‘39 Citroen Traction Avant, a ‘50 Hillman Minx Convertible, a ‘53 Kaiser Manhattan — and these were all family cars for daily use. The most exciting of all was a stunning, dark green custom Ford Roadster with a ‘48 Mercury flathead V8, two Stromberg carburetors, and a 3-speed floor shifter. (It had even been featured in a multi-page story in Hot Rod Magazine.)  My Dad really wanted a Jaguar XK120 coupe or roadster but couldn’t afford one, and he would say that the Roadster was as close as he could get to owning a Jaguar.

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 During the 1950s, my Dad would take me to many of the sports car races being held in Southern California, such as Palm Springs (airport), Santa Barbara (Goleta airport), Torrey Pines (San Diego), Long Beach (Naval Base), Pomona Fairgrounds,  and the new, purpose-built tracks at Paramount Ranch (Malibu Canyon), Willow Springs (Rosamond, California), and Riverside Raceway.

Here’s a photo of us sitting on a hillside at Paramount Ranch in 1958, I was 14 years old, watching a Formula III (500cc) race: 

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When I turned 16 in 1959, I bought my first car: a ‘49 Cadillac Convertible. But then, I went through a succession of imported sports cars: a ‘59 Fiat Abarth 750 sedan, a ‘59 MG-A coupe, a ‘58 VW Karman-Ghia Coupe, a ‘58 Porsche Super Coupe, a ‘63 Porsche Super-90 Coupe, a ‘66 Porsche 911 Coupe, a ‘61 Morgan Plus 4, and a ‘65 Ferrari 275GTB.

I ended up receiving Bachelors and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from California State University Northridge, and I worked for 2-and-a-half years at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica as a test engineer. I applied for work at Ford and General Motors in Detroit, but they weren’t hiring at the time. Still, I really wanted to be an automotive engineer or designer, so I joined SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).

In 1972, I sold my ‘65 Ferrari and bought an Elva-Alfa Formula-B race car and a ‘68 Chevy Impala wagon tow vehicle to go SCCA racing.  I got my racing license and did SCCA races at Riverside, Willow Springs, and Holtville (an old WWII airbase near San Diego). When I bought the Elva-Alfa, it had #64 on it, so I just used that number for my race number. My son Darren also used it for his kart racing number from 1996 to 2003, and he still uses it currently on his Toyota GT86 in SCCA racing Touring-4 class.

Here’s me with the Elva at Willow Springs Raceway: 

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This brings us to the SCCA Regional race at Riverside where the hub carrier failure put me on the hook back to the pits.  As no new Elva parts were available, I looked for a local source to repair the cast aluminum upright and came into contact with Red Le Grand at Le Grand Race Cars in North Hollywood. He made his own cast aluminum wheels (note the Le Grand wheels on the Elva) and other cast aluminum parts, so he made a pattern from the broken part and made a new upright for me.  I became friends with Red, and eventually sold the Elva and started helping Red design a new Formula Ford race car. I built one for myself — this was the ‘74 Le Grand Mk13B.

Here I am with it on the main straight at Riverside: 

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I started helping Red in the shop with new cars and with his business by taking photos for flyers, and placing ads in Autoweek magazine. I helped extensively on the body design and building of the ‘73 Mk16 B-Sports Racing Car. We tested this car at Willow Springs and did car shows in L.A. and San Francisco. 

Here we are at the ‘73 San Francisco Racing Car Show. Red is second from right, and I am dusting the car:

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My work and experience at Le Grand is what really gave me the inspiration, the confidence, and the skills to think about designing and building my own car.  Red taught me a lot, and I consider him a mentor. I never would have thought about building a car from scratch without having those years at Le Grand. Seeing a new race car take shape from the drawing board, to the shop, to the track removed a lot of the mystery about how a car is designed and built, and it showed me that a fairly small shop can actually build a car from the ground up.

As it turns out, if I had gone to Ford or GM, I would probably have been a staff mechanical engineer designing brackets or gear shift linkages instead of being involved in the creation of a complete car. Thanks to that hub carrier breaking on my Elva, my life went in a whole new direction! Failures and problems became opportunities.

In 1977, I started thinking about building a modern kit car with a transverse 4-cylinder engine/transaxle from one of the many new front wheel drive cars that were just coming out, such as the Honda Civic. I wanted to get away from the popular VW-based kit cars of the day, which were cheap and easy to build, but uninspiring to drive with only 40 horsepower and poor handling. I had driven a couple of VW-based kit cars like the Fiberfab Avenger and the Sterling, and the driving experience did not live up to the appearance.

I bought a wrecked ‘75 Honda Civic at an insurance auction and took it to Le Grand’s shop and dismantled the car completely from bumper to bumper, then scrapped the shell. I had hoped to use as much of the Honda Civic drive train, suspension, steering, and brakes as possible. I formed Seltzer Motor Industries, in Chatsworth, California, to start designing and building what would become the Willow Sports Car. I took the name Willow from Willow Springs Raceway because that track had always favored good handling, lightweight cars over cars with lots more power. I wanted the Willow to be lightweight with good handling and lively performance.

Here’s the first mock-up chassis with Honda Civic engine/transaxle, plus some body design renderings I had done by a professional artist from Art Center School:

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Then a full-scale mock-up of the body. All Willows used BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires from this very first development mule, sized BR50-13 in front, GR50-14 in the rear.

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Then building the main body buck. Here I am spraying on final coats of primer in preparation for mold making, and then making the main body mold from the main body buck:

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Pulling the first parts in white gel coat out of the 16 molds for all the body parts: 

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Finally in 1979 came the first running Willow Sports Car. I had abandoned the use of the Honda Civic powertrain due to low power and a hard-to-adapt suspension. Instead, I used a Ford Pinto 2000cc SOHC 100-HP engine mated to a Ford Fiesta 4-speed transaxle. Over the next three years, the Willow appeared in over twenty publications and magazines, including a one-page story in Road & Track Magazine (April 1981 issue). The editor of Road & Track took the Willow for a short drive and wrote a very complimentary story about the car. It also appeared in Motor Trend’s Sports Car Graphic, Hot Rod’s Kit Car Annual, Classic & Special Interest Cars, Kit Car Encyclopedia, and many others.

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Here I am in the first Willow, undergoing driving tests in 1979, Chatsworth, California:

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So that’s the brief story of how the Willow Sports Car was conceived, designed, and brought into being. It took a lot more work to build a street sports car than a race car — more than I had imagined — but it was a great accomplishment that I will always be proud of.  We only built a few cars, but the Willow project has gone on to a new owner in 2017, and he will hopefully be building new cars soon, maybe even an all-electric Willow.

The white car below, still using BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires:

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That component failure on the track 45-years ago started a journey that continues to this day. I am currently in the process of building a new Willow for myself using a Ford Focus Zetec engine with its 5-speed transaxle, and a new, open-wheeled body design.

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Build

Road Trip Machine

Editor’s note: Alex Lowe is still surprised when his Chevy Tahoe Z71 attracts attention at car shows and meetups, but it’s not hard to see why. He’s built it into a tough and capable overlanding rig.

 




My dad has been a mechanic for 35 years and has owned his own business for over 25, so he always had project cars and trucks. As a kid, I was always trying to help him because it was so cool to me.

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I bought my 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 off of a friend’s dad. It needed a little work, but it was exactly what I was looking for. I had a plan for an overlanding rig, but any Jeeps or Toyotas I could afford in Ontario were rusted out. I knew I wanted a full-size 4x4 SUV that I could take on long road trips and some off-road adventures. I love GM’s LS motors, and the ‘99-‘06 Chevy truck is very easy to get parts for. The torsion bar front suspension is really the only thing I don't like, but I have plans for that.

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I’m riding on 34x10.5r17 All-Terrain T/A KO2s. I had 35-inch KM2s on my old truck and they were absolute monsters, but that truck didn’t get many highway miles. Since the plan was adventure, I knew I wanted to stick with an all-terrain tire, and since I loved my BFGs, I figured I would again, and I was right.

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I just love driving my Tahoe everywhere. It's smooth on the highway and handles any trail I take it on. I love how comfortable it is, and the reliability is fantastic. I drove 13 hours straight to the east coast last summer with some friends, and I had zero problems. This summer we've been on a few adventures and gone to some big car shows. It's the best road trip vehicle.






Follow Alex on Instagram at @alexlowez71.

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Build

Right of Way

Editor’s note: You’ll catch Tan Tran sitting on the right side of his 1998 Honda Civic — literally. The eye-catching hatchback — sitting on g-Force Rival tires — was converted to right hand drive, and was the source of Tran’s love of cars.

 




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What got me into cars was my brother. He was always working on his car and taking me to car shows. My car was passed down from him — I always liked his car and wanted to own one, so he passed it down and it stayed in the family.

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I love my car because I built it the way I want, and I’m able to drive it and have fun in it. When I first got my car, I wasn’t going to do much to it, but then I met a group of guys that was into cars like me. We all started to work on my car and got it to where it is. Now, I love taking it on cruises to car shows with my friends to show off the hard work that went into it.






Follow Tan on Instagram at @rhd_tan.

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Adventure

No Compromise

Give a normal human being their dream job, car, home, life — whatever — and, more likely than not, they’ll be thrilled. Give an engineer their dream, and they’ll find a way to tinker with it, no matter how perfect that dream is. Throw a racer into the equation, and the result is something else entirely: a ruthless pursuit of perfection. Now, not only is the mentality that this could be better, competitive desire twists that into this could be better, and I’m going to figure out how to make it better before anyone else. No compromises.

 


 

Kyle Tucker, founder of Detroit Speed and Engineering, is sitting in his office, which is perched on the second floor of his Mooresville, NC, facility. In addition to a bank of windows looking out on the shop floor, the walls and shelves are festooned with a regular assortment of memorabilia: old parts, framed magazine features, banners, renderings…

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There’s a conference table that dominates the office — it’s where Tucker holds weekly meetings with his design and engineering staff — and above that, a glass case that contains Tucker’s helmet from the 2016 Baja 1000. (It’s sealed and out of easy reach, and he insists it’s better that way. Nearly the entire BFGoodrich Performance Team at the Thousand came down with food poisoning, and despite being cleaned out, the helmet still has a certain pungency to it.)

He’s talking about the Detroit Speed catalog and his company’s mentality when it comes to manufacturing parts. “I’ve always thought that if you build the best part you know how to build, people will appreciate it. It may not be the best price, but it’s the best value. Every level of detail, whether it’s a bushing or a weld, or anything, it’s perfected,” he says. “I sweat the details.”

For those not familiar with Detroit Speed, it’s a company that specializes in manufacturing upgraded aftermarket performance parts for American muscle, with a special emphasis on suspension and chassis upgrades. Their parts essentially allow classic Camaros, Corvettes, and Mustangs to handle as well (or even better than) modern vehicles, while retaining the iconic lines of those decades-old cars.

Hydroformed subframes (with custom suspension geometry) and stamped mini-tubs are among the innovative parts that put Detroit Speed on the map when Tucker founded the company in 2001. “As part engineer and part racer, you always want to make a better widget. At the time, for this market and what we do now, there wasn’t a lot out there,” Tucker says. “People had interest in these American muscle cars, but they were developed and raced on a tire from the ‘60s, and when you look at it, tire technology is what has really driven our industry.”

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Essentially, muscle cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s weren’t designed with future advancements in mind. “When you plug in tires from the ‘90s or 2000s, you get a lot more grip and you suddenly need a much better suspension and vehicle dynamics package,” Tucker says. “That’s where these cars always fell short. With us coming in, experimenting, and designing parts to take advantage of the new levels of grip…it really started to surprise people what you can do with an old muscle car.”

I’ve always thought that if you build the best part you know how to build, people will appreciate it. Everything, whether it’s a bushing or a weld, is perfected. I sweat the details.

But as interest has grown in this niche, Tucker is aware his company can’t stand still. “We’re not the only game in town. We have plenty of good competition in this industry, but I’ve always had the philosophy that we’re not going to compromise on any part of the design. We’re going to make the best design, we’re going to manufacture it the best way we know how, and we’re going to develop it until it’s perfect.”

It’s a focus that seems to be paying off for Tucker: “I’ve never had anybody get ahold of our parts and say it was too expensive after they have it. I’ve actually had people tell me parts are too nice to put on the car.”

 


 

It would be easy to shrug off Tucker’s claims and assertions. Anyone in Tucker’s position would say exactly what he’s saying. When your livelihood is linked to the sale of high dollar, high performance parts, you’d better sound like you know what you’re talking about. But the fact is, Tucker knows better than most: he is that very combination of engineer and racer.

Tucker grew up on a farm in southern Missouri — “I guess you learn how to break things and you learn how to fix things,” he shrugs. There was a local racetrack, and by the time he was eight or nine, Tucker was driving a go-kart around the track. “I started working with it, building an engine and different things to make it go faster. By the time I was twelve, it was running on alcohol, nitro, and everything else,” he says.

I wanted to learn how to set up a car, and how to make a car go faster. In college, I took any vehicle dynamics course I could and related it back to making cars more optimized. And in turn, I felt that if I understood that, I could drive a car better.

Despite his young age, Tucker quickly became a regular at small engine repair shops, where he would buy parts and talk to mechanics before going home to tear apart an engine.

“I probably raced go-karts for five years, but it was getting to the point where they were so expensive that I could almost race a car for what the karts were costing,” he says. Luckily, Tucker hooked up with a local race team run by Rayburn Marler, who encouraged him to continue driving — as long as Tucker maintained his own vehicles. “He said he wasn’t going to build it, and he wasn’t going to work on it ‘cause he knew I was capable. But he would teach me to race, so I took the car and rebuilt it. In high school, I pretty much had a really sweet deal going.”

Tucker progressed to racing open-wheel dirt cars, midgets, and sprint cars. When he got to college, Tucker began studying engineering, mostly because he felt it would give him an edge in races. “I wanted to learn how to set up a car, and how to make a car go faster and be better. I took any vehicle dynamics course I could and related it back to making cars more optimized. And in turn, I felt that if I understood that, I could drive a car better.”

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Up to that point, Tucker was focused on making a living as a racer. But one night while racing, he got his bell rung and totally wrecked his car. And so his backup plan — being an engineer — became Plan A. Luckily, in addition to being a decent driver, Tucker was a pretty decent engineer as well. He landed co-op internships at General Motors during school, and became a full-time engineer for the manufacturer in 1994.

“I was happily working at GM at their proving ground in Milford, Michigan. It was a car guy-engineer dream. As a driver and racer, you had hundreds of miles of test tracks, and as an engineer, you had a garage to work out of, tools, and parts,” he remembers. And Tucker wasn’t just working on any vehicle’s development. He was a suspension development engineer for the C5 Corvette program. 

“As a test engineer, I followed the C5 from pre-pre-prototype, all the way through production. I worked a lot with the suspension testing, the suspension data acquisition — everything you could do to a Corvette, we already did it.”

 


 

As glamorous as being a Corvette engineer sounds, Tucker soon found himself wanting more: “GM was behind on their development process. Honda and Toyota were beating them to production because of the development process time. My job went from seat-of-the-pants and data acquisition testing to a more analytical approach to cut down on time. As it got more and more analytical, I started losing interest because I was behind a desk in a dark room all the time.”

In his spare time, Tucker had been building a 1969 Camaro with modernized parts to feed his desire to build and be creative. After working on the car for over two years — and building custom parts he couldn’t find — he unveiled the yellow “Twister” Camaro in 2000. It was a huge hit, taking home the Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award.

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“People started calling me to either build a car like the Camaro, or to buy parts I designed and made for the car. That’s how the business came to be,” Tucker says. At first, he stayed committed to GM and churned out parts as a side business, but as volume and orders grew, he decided that his day job was getting in the way of what he really wanted to accomplish. In December of 2000, Tucker took a leave of absence from GM to start Detroit Speed.

 




After growing his business for a few years, Tucker decided to move south to Mooresville, NC, to escape the brutal winters and expensive commercial real estate in Detroit. Instead of leasing, he came out with a parcel of land where Detroit Speed now occupies an expansive manufacturing facility and a small race shop.

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In addition to building parts for a wide array of vehicles (1967-1992 F-Bodies, X-Bodies, modern Camaros, C3 Corvettes, first generation Mustangs, etc.), Detroit Speed takes on a limited number of custom builds. “In some ways, it’s boring when you build the thousandth part off a fixture…but on the car build side, it allows us to use our creativity,” Tucker says. And of course, out at the race shop, he gets to continue tinkering, testing, and pushing the limits when he takes his vehicles out on the autocross circuit.

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If there’s one trait successful businessmen, engineers, and competitive people are not known for, it’s being nice. There’s some common sense behind that, as empathy typically takes a backseat to practical business decisions, technical demands, and the desire to be the best.

That’s what makes Tucker so unique. Among his peers, he’s universally known as a nice guy, a humble guy, and the kind of guy you want to be friends with. And it’s true. He’s as mild-mannered as they come — perhaps a product of his Midwestern upbringing — and there’s nary a hint of ego, despite his accomplishments. When he talks about what he’s achieved — it’s just a statement of fact, not a boast.

To Tucker, success and being “no compromise” about his products doesn’t come at the cost of being relatable or human. While he admits he can be ferocious on when he puts on his helmet — “You have to have a mean streak in you to race” — competition is not a zero-sum game for him.

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“I want to compete and do well for myself and the company, but at the same time, we’re competing against our customers,” Tucker explains. “We’ll go to these weekend events, and we may have 15 Detroit Speed customers looking for setup help or driving help.” But at the end of the day, if the frontrunners are using Detroit Speed parts, it doesn’t matter if Tucker’s in the car, or if it’s one of his customers.

“That legitimizes our products. Anyone can buy our parts. And while we put a lot of effort into making our cars prepared and ready to race, anyone can beat us,” he says. “Sometimes people think we have a special sauce because we design and make the parts, so we have special parts. No — we run the same parts that our customers have.”

 


 

As with his catalog of parts, Tucker hasn’t had to make many compromises on the things he loves. He has a well-respected and thriving business, a backlog of in-demand custom builds, and a race shop where he can tinker, play, and compete. But the engineer and the racer rears its head again: Tucker believes there’s more to accomplish, more to experience, more ways to get better. 

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“I never dreamed that we could build a company doing what we do with muscle cars,” he says. “But the market has grown, and people expect and want more from their cars. To me, it’s that continuous challenge of making cars better and more competitive, regardless of what year or what brand.”

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It’s the same story behind the wheel. As refined a driver as he is on the autocross course, Tucker has been looking towards the dirt for his next challenges. “I love Baja because it’s wheel-to-wheel racing. You’re not only trying to drive the car right on the edge, but you’re watching for 30, 40, or 50 other drivers, not knowing what they’re going to do. You’re trying to pick your way through them at the same time you’re trying to go as fast as possible. I think that’s the allure to Baja. It’s physically and mentally demanding, and you’ve got all these other obstacles you can’t control.”

But if there’s one thing that can be observed from Tucker’s past and present, it’s that he knows the way to succeed: no compromises.

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Adventure

Recap: Red Bull Soapbox Race 2017

There’s no event that better matches BFGoodrich’s “Built Not Bought” attitude than the Red Bull Soapbox Race. For the 2017 Los Angeles race, 63 teams brought their outrageous, over-the-top, homemade, human-powered soapbox cars to the top of Elysian Park. 

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Teams ranged from the professional (like The Skull Mobile, a team of Edwards Air Force Base pilots); the musical (the Elton John/Rocket Man themed Rocketeers); the pop-cultured (the Breaking Bad inspired Heisenberg Express); to the parodic (an orange juice box piloted by a white horse, or OJ & the White Bronco).

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All teams hoped to impress a panel of judges with their creativity in their craft design and pre-race skits, while also competing for the fastest time on the downhill half-mile course. 

BFGoodrich’s own craft — designed to resemble an All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire — was piloted by stunt driver (and Pit Crew member) Rich Minga.

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At the bottom of the hill by the finish line, the BFGoodrich booth was stuffed full of other examples of “Built Not Bought.” Garage members 395North and Aramazd Fidanian — along with partners Spiderwebshade and Fox Racing Shox — contributed their vehicles to the off-road side of the equation, while Team Hybrid, Steven D’Auria, and Thomas Kruger provided showcase vehicles for asphalt.

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Adventure

Class is in Session

Editor’s note: Even though Gabby Lewis has loved cars since childhood and had her 2014 Jeep Wrangler for a few years, she recently took her baby off-road for the first time.

 




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Recently, I went to an all ladies wheeling event put on by some local Jeepers at Broome-Tioga Sports Center. It was awesome! They offered some free classes taught by folks from nationally known Northeast Off-Road Adventures. We learned stuff ranging from recovery gear, gears in the Jeeps, how to use a winch, how to feather the pedals to get unstuck — I actually had to demonstrate it, but my BFGoodrich Mud Terrains got me out regardless — and all sorts of other tricks and what not to do. After the classes, we went and got to play in the mud! I've been off-roading before, but I had always jumped in someone else's Jeep because I baby my Jeep.

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My dad got me interested in all cars, especially older ones, as he has a 1954 Chevy. He'd take me to all the car shows he went too when I was a little girl, and I still go to this day. Even if he can't make them, I go alone because I love seeing them all!

What got me into Jeeps was taking my first ride in my aunt’s TJ with the top down and doors off. From there on, I was hooked! It took me several years after that to get a Wrangler of my own, but it finally happened! I got to bring my aunt for her last ride in my new Jeep back to her house from the funeral home. She passed two years ago, but it's all thanks to her for my Jeep love.

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Adventure

Mustang Hustle

Editor’s note: Dave Woolridge throws it back to 2012 when he brought his brand new 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca to Mustang Week — and walks us through the following years’ improvement and success.

 




Mustang Week 2012. This was my first time at Mustang Week with my 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca. I signed up for the BFGoodrich autocross school and met the team from BFGoodrich, Gateway Classic Mustang, and Terry Earwood from Skip Barber Racing School. They provided the platform and training that really let me push my car and driving ability to the limits. I placed in the top 5 that week.

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The next year my stock high-end tires — not BFGoodrich — ripped apart, and I didn't do as well. In 2014, I put on BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2s and came in 1st place. I was 2nd in 2015, but I won the BFGoodrich Are You Driver Enough Challenge. In doing so, I beat a pro rally driver by 0.07 seconds, won a trip to SEMA, a set of Comp 2 A/S tires, and an off-road adventure from Utah to Vegas with the Raptor Assault School. (That’s a whole story by itself.)

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In 2016, I put on the Comp 2 A/S tires on my Mustang and won all 3 days of autocross. These tires outperformed cars with racing slicks, along with other high-dollar, high-performance DOT tires. I couldn't believe how well these all-season tires preformed. On the final day, I took the number 1 spot back from a really good driver on the last run of the day by 0.03 seconds. He was OK with it because we were also the finalists for the 2016 Are You Driver Enough Challenge, and he ended up winning the trip to SEMA this year.

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Thank you BFGoodrich for the good fast times! I can't wait to see you this year!

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Build

Career Move

Editor’s note: It’s amazing what a movie can do. After seeing The Fast and the Furious, Gabriel Olivares decided it would be cool to have a car that looked like the ones in the movie. That ultimately led him to his 2000 Acura Integra LS, and a burgeoning automotive career.

 




At first, I was looking into getting a Lexus or a BMW. I messaged a bunch of different people I found on Craigslist. There was a Lexus lS400, a Lexus GS300, a Lexus IS300, a BMW E30, a Honda Civic SI, a Volkswagen GTI, and then lastly the Integra. I looked at these cars, they all had little things that were wrong with them, so I was left with the Integra.

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I met the owner at a Home Depot by my house so I could look at the car. It was very clean, and I could really tell that he really took care of it, inside and out. He gave me a folder full of receipts that he had saved from all the little things he bought for the car. I really trusted the guy, so I pulled the trigger and bought the car on January 13, 2013.

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The funny thing about buying the Integra was that I couldn’t drive the car. I had no idea how to drive a manual transmission at all, so I had a close friend come with me when I went to purchase it. He drove the car to my house and it sat in front of my house for the day. Every day after that, I got in the car and taught myself how to drive the car because no one else in my family knew how to drive stick.

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I really love the way my car looks. I already had so many plans for it because I did a lot of research the day I bought it, but the number one reason I bought the car was the color. After the first year of owning the car, the paint started fading a lot and I was very upset about it. I saved a bunch of money and I found a paint shop that my friend recommended. I took my car there April 5, 2016, gave them the paint code to the original color, and picked it up on the 30th. I was amazed at the great work they did. They were able to bring the car back to life.

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The other cool thing is that getting into cars helped me find what I wanted to do after high school. When I graduated, I ended up going to Universal Technical Institute. I graduated after about a year and a half and started looking for a job. My friends always talked about this local shop that does a lot of aftermarket modifications, I drove to the shop and asked if they were hiring. I filled out an application, and in about a week, I started working there. I worked there for about 2 years and I ended up leaving because I wanted to work at a dealership. I applied at a bunch of local dealerships in Kearny Mesa. I got a call back from Kearny Mesa Infiniti, and in about a week, I got the job. I currently work there and I love it.

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