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Dakota’s 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Editor’s note: Like father, like daughter. Dakota Griswold grew up around cars, and when she graduated from college, she decided it was time to build one for herself. With the help of Team Hybrid, she’s turned her Veloster into something that’s uniquely hers.

 


 

My dad was always into cars , and I remember watching him work on them all the time. When I got into high school, my main group of friends were also into cars, so we would often spend weekends in someone’s garage working on something, going to car shows, and attending Formula Drift events,  which is what inspired me to start building my own car. 

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When I graduated from Crafton Hills College, I decided to buy my car as a graduation gift to myself. I spent quite a bit of time researching cars and figuring out what would be best for me. I wanted a car that I would be able to modify, while keeping it a practical daily driver, and that’s how I came across the Veloster.

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The Veloster attracted my attention because it wasn’t something I saw driving around too often, and I loved the hidden third door. The fact that it has a backseat made it ideal for me to build, but still use it to go to school and work. Once I test drove the car, I knew it was the one for me.

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The inspiration for my car is to build it as clean as possible, while still being able to daily it and add my own style to it. I want it to be a good mixture of looking aggressive and girly. So far, the modifications I have done to my car include:

  • Eibach lowering springs
  • SSR GTV02 wheels (18x8.5 +40)
  • BFGoodrich® g-Force COMP-2 (215/40/18 all around)
  • Street Aero side skirts with winglets
  • M&S mesh grill
  • Bumper quick releases
  • Galaxy Black 3M roof wrap
  • Carbon fiber Sequence wing
  • Carbon fiber VIS vented hood
  • K&N cold air intake
  • Custom purple coolant hoses
  • Carbon fiber interior wrap
  • Devil claws wrapped in Galaxy Black 3M wrap
  • Rally Armor mud flaps
  • Custom rhinestone mirror covers
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My build is nowhere near complete, and there are still quite a few things I want to do, such as install racing seats, air ride, a front-mount intercooler, a full wrap, and get it tuned. But the reactions to my car have all been positive so far. Everyone likes the simplicity of my build, but with my own style added to it. There aren’t many Velosters — or cars in general — that have rhinestone accent pieces and sparkly wraps, so people respond well to the fact that I am building my car for me.

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I have spent countless hours researching the best brands and new mods, and I’ve spent countless hours putting it all together and fixing problems that may have occurred. I love driving my car with pride and knowing that all of my hard work is paying off.

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I would like to thank all of Team Hybrid for being so welcoming and allowing me to be a part of this amazing team. There is nothing out there that is comparable in consistency, quality, and quantity for over two decades. I’d especially like to thank James Lin, the founder and president of Team Hybrid, my Hybrid Family, the beautiful Hybrid Hunnyz, and plenty of Hybrid Luv to our team title sponsors: BFGoodrich® Tires, Meguiar's, K&N Filters, AEM Intakes, AMSOIL, Whiteline, Password:JDM, NRG Innovations, Mishimoto, and Optima Batteries.  If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a legendary team.

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See more of Dakota’s build on Instagram at @imprezzive_dakota. Photographs by Jhay Ar Del Castillo.

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Build

Michael’s 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback

Editor’s note: Michael’s Honda Civic hatchback is no grocery-getter. He’s built it, from stock, into a capable street machine with some drag-racing touches.

 


 

I’ve always had love for cars since I was a young boy — a Hot-Wheels-car-in-every-pocket type of kid. No one really influenced me as a kid, I just knew I would be a gearhead when I got older. Over time, I’ve owned many Honda and Acura vehicles, and I found this Civic hatch completely stock, in decent condition, for a great deal from an elderly man. The main thing I love about this Civic is I can say I built it from completely stock form. No one has ever touched it or modified it but me.

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I used two sets of BFGoodrich® drag radial tires in the past for drag racing, and they felt great. When it was time for me to replace my street tires, I wanted something with a lot of meat, and most brands didn’t have the size I was looking for. But I found BFGoodrich® g-Force T/A KDW tires. They have a similar tread design as my previous drag radials, so I figured, Why not try them out?

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I’m very happy with them so far! I usually keep to the streets, with some occasional spirited driving on my local back roads. Overall, I’m just a full-time Honda tech and family man with two beautiful kids, and I’m trying to maintain a good balance between my passion for cars and my family. I’ve owned this Civic for almost eight years now, and my only plans are to keep going forward with it! 

My modifications include:

Suspension & Brakes:

  • Buddy Club racing coilovers
  • Skunk2 Pro camber kits
  • ASR rear subframe brace
  • Blackworks lower control arms
  • KTuned traction bar
  • Front/rear Acura Integra brake conversion

Exterior:

  • Volk Racing TE37 wheels
  • BFGoodrich® g-Force T/A KDW tires
  • ARP extended wheel studs
  • Muteki extended lug nuts
  • J’s Racing Japan front bumper lip
  • Carbon fiber hood
  • Carbon fiber tailgate
  • Carbon fiber spoiler
  • Carbon fiber APR mirrors
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Interior:

  • Momo Prototipo steering wheel
  • NRG short hub
  • NRG quick release
  • JDM instrument cluster
  • Innovative wide band gauge
  • Skunk2 Racing dual bend shifter
  • Circuit Hero shifter extender
  • Skunk2 Racing shift knob
  • Acura Integra GSR front/rear leather seats
  • C-pillar bar
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Engine/Transmission:

  • Built H22 engine
  • Skunk2 Pro 2 cams
  • Skunk2 cam gears
  • Supertech Racing valves
  • Brian Crower valve springs/ retainers
  • Ported cylinder head
  • Eagle H beam rods
  • Xcessive 58mm intake manifold
  • Skunk2 Racing 70mm Throttle body
  • 1320 Performance 3” racing header
  • 3” full exhaust with Magnaflow muffler
  • E85 fuel
  • Dyno tunes making almost 300hp
  • QSD H2B conversion kit
  • Acura Integra Type R transmission (LSD)
  • Action Stage 4 clutch kit
  • Competition lightweight flywheel

Times change fast, and I’m always finding things to improve or modify. It’s never ending process!

 


 

See more of Michael’s Civic hatch on Instagram.

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Adventure

In Focus: Art Eugenio // GETSOMEphoto

Editor’s note: If we’re honest with ourselves, we all want visual proof when we really send it. All the better to brag, share, and marvel at the things we do. We’re celebrating that with In Focus, a series with the pro photographers and videographers that document the off-road world.

We’ve already heard from Ernesto Araiza and Vincent Knakal of Mad Media. Now, we’ve got Art Eugenio of GETSOMEphoto joining the fray.

 


 

How did you get involved in the off-road world?

I was basically born into it. Both sides of my family were involved in off-road racing at one time or another. On my mother’s side, my grandfather owned a motorcycle shop in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, and he had a race team. His team raced Baja and some of the big races such as the Mint 400 and Barstow to Vegas. He also did some race promoting of his own in Southern California and Baja. 

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My dad and his brothers also ran a Class 5 Unlimited Baja Bug when I was a kid. They raced a lot and had a few championships in SCORE and HDRA. If we weren’t racing, we were helping friends by pitting and chasing. It was something we did as a family, and we still do. 

How does one become an off-road photographer? How did you get your start?

Photography started as a hobby for me. I was really into skateboarding in my youth. To many, it’s perceived as a blend of athleticism and art. Photography is a big part of it. At the end of my teenage years, I seriously injured my knee, which took me out of skateboarding entirely, and I was starving for another creative outlet. 

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During that particular time, no one in my family was racing. I had been taking photos of my friends skateboarding, and one of them was also into desert racing, so we decided to hit a local desert race and I realized how much I had missed it. When I got home I started looking researching off-road and discovered a “help wanted” ad for a part-time photographer for a company called TracksidePhoto. When I contacted them, the owner sent me a brick of film and gave me an opportunity to cover some local races.

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Next thing I knew, I was working for them at the Baja 500 and got my first cover shot in approximately 1999. I was hooked. I decided then that this was what I wanted to do. For a few years, it was part-time until I decided I was going to take a shot at it and go full time with that company. In 2009, I launched GetSomePhoto, and it’s been maximum attack ever since.

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It’s been my dream job and still is to this day. It’s more work than any 9-to-5 I’ve ever had, but I love it. I’ve been fortunate to do well, and its’ taken me all over the world. I have no complaints whatsoever. 

GETSOMEphoto has shot and created a ton of incredible content, with a ton of incredibly talented drivers. Are there any projects, videos, or personalities that really stand out as personal favorites? Or most memorable moments?

GETSOMEphoto is more than just myself. We have an awesome crew of guys who come shoot the big Baja races with us. We’re like an elite strike force. Everyone has an assignment and carries it out with precision. I can’t thank these guys enough for their dedication. To Jay Cruise, Dick Gray, Tom Leigh, Joe Stokes, Xavier Hernandez and Daniel Seeks: thank you. I also need to thank my family for their support while I’m off chasing these events.

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It’s been amazing to work with some of my childhood heroes like Rob MacCachren, Walker Evans, Ivan Stewart and Stephane Peterhansel. I’ve also had the privilege of working with new blood like Jason Voss, Bryce Menzies, and some great companies, media outlets and magazines from all over the world.

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A few of my personal highlights would be covering every Baja race over the last 20 years. We love Baja! The Dakar Rally was also pure adventure. There are just so many other projects as well. We’ve worked with movie stars, average Joes, racing royalty, and people from all walks of life and professions. It’s been an amazing journey.   

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What makes for a good photo?

Telling a story with one shot. Emotion. It has to be sharp.

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What's your top tip for budding photographers who want to capture this scene? Or for people who just want to take better pictures of their adventures?

Shoot photos every day. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Go further. Always be open to learning something new. See the light, but also see where it isn’t. Your feet are your greatest asset. Learn the rules and break them.

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See more of Art and his team’s work at @getsomephoto and getsomephoto.com

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Adventure

Ponytail Racing

Editor’s note: You’ve already seen Cheryl’s 1967 Chevrolet Nova. As we mentioned, it’s not all about racing for Cheryl. She’s using her driving skills to give back to military veterans through her company, Ponytail Racing.

 


 

Ponytail Racing is my company, a motorsports related company offering racing programs that do good in the world and endeavor to help improve people’s lives. The company name was the outgrowth of a veterans fundraiser we did. We ran laps on the autocross in exchange for donations to a veterans organization. At the time, we were not required to wear helmets, and my ponytail was flying in the breeze behind me. Folks started asking to ride with the Ponytail on the autocross course.

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A friend grabbed a photo of my hair flying on the course, and came and told me that my nickname had been granted by the crowd. That was the same weekend that the germ of the idea to do a program for veterans was born. I was running my Nova and also a Nova wagon. Since the Nova wagon could seat four, I took many carloads of wounded veterans for ride-alongs.

Our military service members give so much for all of us, and much of my family has served, so this is a way for me to honor them.

Their appreciation and emotional response to the opportunity stuck with me. It seemed such a simple thing: take them for a ride. But to them, it was bigger. It created a feeling in them that many hadn’t felt in a long time. War creates wounds we can’t see. PTSD is a tough byproduct of military service, and it is a wound that is hard to recognize. The veterans’ response during that fundraiser never left me, and I wanted to figure out a way to do more of it for them. 

Our military service members give so much for all of us, and much of my family has served, so this is a way for me to honor them. After a few years of nurturing the idea, sounding it out with friends, and having the Sparkjoy Foundation join me on this journey, Racing for Warriors was born. We offer recreational therapy by taking veterans, their families, and their caregivers in our racecars and giving them rides on the autocross course.

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It creates fun, joy, and positive feelings where other feelings lurk, and it creates connections within families. The Sparkjoy Foundation was key in sharing this vision, wanting to help military service members, and supporting the program financially. They too wanted to give back to those that have given so much to our country, and have been such champions for giving to our veterans in this way!

Operation North State has been another key to getting us connected to veterans, and they have been a dream to work with on this initiative as well as the other sponsors who have come on board.

 


 

Read more about Ponytail Racing here and learn about other charitable organizations giving back to their communities here

Photographs courtesy of Robert McCarter.

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Build

Cheryl’s 1967 Chevrolet Nova

Editor’s note: Cheryl Herrick has a long history with motorsports, but her reintroduction to racing is the result of a run-in with our very own Kyle Tucker. Now, Herrick tears up autocross courses in a 1967 Chevrolet Nova, while giving back to military veterans through her company Ponytail Racing.

 


 

I’ve been a car gal since I was a very young. We always had more cars at our house than people that could drive them. Both my parents were into cars and motorcycles, and some of my earliest memories are of attending cars shows. I specifically remember being at the Detroit Autorama when I was about three years old, and having my picture taken by a photographer while standing on one of the car rotisseries.

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Not too many years later, my older brother started racing motocross. It looked like fun, so I asked my parents if I could race, too. (Little did I realize how talented my brother was, and how he made something very difficult look easy). My parents said I could race, too, but that I would have to race in the same series as my brother because we didn’t have the resources for me to race powder puff.

Frankly that was fine with me. I just wanted to race. I didn’t really care where or against who. My brother and I were fortunate to race with some of the best riders in the region, and our group of racers became known in the local media as the “Michigan Mafia.”

We got into other motorized vehicles as we grew up: boats, snowmobiles and then cars. My first car was a third generation Nova — a gal loves what she loves — and that car was a tank and very reliable. It would go through snow, ice, you name it. Once I got a bit older, I tried drag racing in Pomona in the mid-1990s, but family commitments over-rode my racing pursuits at that time.

I was fortunate to meet some great folks at BFG — Richard Winchester, specifically — early in my racing. I appreciated his — and BFGoodrich’s — commitment to the racing community. 

Fast-fast forward to 2011: I was living in North Carolina, and was invited by my father and brother to head to Virginia International Raceway for the day because someone they knew was running the full course. I didn’t know the person at the time, but when my family asked if I wanted to go for a ride, I said, “Of course!”

So they introduced me to Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed & Engineering and strapped me into the passenger seat of his 1970 Camaro. Kyle took it easy on my first lap, but I told him not to hold back on my account. The faster he went, and the more traffic we got into, the better I liked it. I remember laughing in the passenger seat and cheering for him to go faster and pass people. I think we became friends in that moment.

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Once back in the pits, I got out of the car, took one look at my family and said “I’m definitely doing this.” Before too long, I was in the driver’s seat. While I love riding along with other talented drivers, I prefer to drive.

Over the years, folks have suggested to me that if I chose a different style of car —wider, lower — it would lend itself more to racing. But I have always loved Chevrolet Novas. I can’t really explain why. My ‘67 started as a car my dad and brother owned and built. Then I started racing it, and it became mine — thanks Pop! Over the past seven years, my car and I have developed a relationship of sorts. I know the car, I know what it can do, and how it will behave, and I’ve spent a lot of time and energy — along with the help of many others folks — dialing her in. None of it happens overnight. I’ve tweaked and tweaked to get it to be “point and shoot” on the track.

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The one thing that is certain is that I’m going to put miles on my Nova. Whether on the track or on the street, she is going to get driven. As a result, I want a tire that will perform in both those situations. And since I am competitive, I want a tire that performs VERY well on the track, and that is the BFGoodrich® g-Force Rival S.

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Before the Rival S tire, I ran other BFGoodrich tires. I was fortunate to meet some great folks at BFG — Richard Winchester, specifically — early in my racing. I appreciated his — and BFGoodrich’s — commitment to the racing community. Richard and BFG extended me an offer to attend a ride-and-drive event to test tires from BFG and other tire companies. I was really impressed with how the BFG tires — the Comp2 specifically — ran. I was sold, and I’ve been Team BFG ever since.

Here are a few other key details about my Nova that should not be missed. These are all the upgrades I’ve done to this little grocery-getter — and I do take it to get groceries!

  • DSE suspension
  • Baer Brakes
  • JRI SHOCKS maintained by JJ at Ultimate Performance
  • BFGoodrich® g-Force Rival S tires (I love them so much!)
  • A beautiful roll cage by Detroit Speed & Engineering
  • Kurt Urban Performance LS engine (535rwhp)

My brother, Tim McGilton, has been instrumental in sorting hardware, helping maintain my car, and teaching me about how to manage her. It would be a huge omission if I did not mention him here. I’m profoundly grateful for his and my dad’s involvement in the car and in my racing endeavors in general.

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The car community in general — and the Pro-Touring community specifically — has been the most welcoming community of people I have ever met. It mirrors my experience racing motorcycles: guys and gals alike, racing and supporting each other to be our best.

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See Cheryl’s Nova in action on Instagram at @ponytailracing, and read about her work with veterans here.

Photographs courtesy of Robert McCarter and Alex Stivaletti (Detroit Speed & Engineering). 

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Richard’s 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80

Editor’s note: A Jeep color on a Land Cruiser? That might be blasphemy to purists, but when it looks this good, we’re inclined to give it a pass. Richard Ritter de Monredont was inspired to build this orange Land Cruiser — appropriately named Clementine — by a special edition orange Land Cruiser created by Toyota for Fun Race 4x4, a Venezuelan rally. He and his copilot Angie Magnole now adventure across the country in comfort in this eye-catching rig.

 


 

Since my earliest memories, I've always been a car fanatic. My dad had several Jeeps in Venezuela, and I was always eager to go on overlanding trips with him as a young boy. My first car was actually a 2006 Jeep Rubicon TJ which ran 33" BFGoodrich® Mud-Terrain T/A KMs, which my dad bought for me here in the States, and that's where it all started. I wasn't into Land Cruisers until I bought my first 80-series a few years later. I realized how much smoother and reliable they were compared to my Rubicon, so I traded capability for comfort and have owned Land Cruisers ever since. Clementine is my third Land Cruiser.

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Although she has been the most problematic Cruiser I've ever owned, she is also the most special. Her previous owner was a very close friend of mine who sold me the truck about a year before passing away in a tragic accident. His passion for overlanding and hunger for adventure had no limits, and when I travel with Clementine, I know he is watching with a smile.

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As for me, I slowly grew out of mudding and constantly breaking parts. I decided to build Clementine to be a very capable overland vehicle which can tackle some of the most difficult trails with ease, while still cruising with comfort at 80mph. These days, she doesn't see too much hardcore wheeling, as we prefer to spend a night enjoying a beautiful remote spot instead of risking going home on a tow truck. 

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What I love the most about Clementine is that she allows me to visit remote areas and see beautiful scenery while still retaining many creature comforts. We have a drawer set up with cooking equipment and tools, we carry an ARB fridge, an RTT awning, oven, and a total of 69 gallons of fuel. 

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Lastly the reason for running BFGs on Clementine is a no-brainer: I've worked in the industry for over 10 years, have built many rigs, and I know that BFG has no equals. My KM2s refuse to die, even after many miles and off-road abuse. They are the best all-around performer. With such a heavy rig sitting on a 6-inch lift and 37-inch tires, a blowout would be potentially deadly. With my KM2s, I feel safe and can eliminate that worry from my mind. I've proudly owned BFG KOs, KO2s, KMs, and KM2s, and I will be rocking the KM3s the day my tires finally give out. 

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Few interesting facts below about Clementine:

  • She was previously owned by a gentleman who had 40" tires and an exo-cage on her.
  • Clementine got her name from a lady who made fun of her while I was trying to get her back up and running during the Overland Challenge Series: "Oh poor Clementine! She is trying to grow up to be a Pumpkin!"
  • Our dream is to drive Clementine to Deadhorse, Alaska.
  • On our last long trip, we drove from Miami to Yellowstone National Park and back in a total of 10 days.
  • We drove from Arkansas to Miami using a water bottle cap and silicone to surround the rear hub to seal the oil since I broke an axle.

 


 

See more of Clementine’s travels on Instagram at @travelingcruiser.

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Adventure

We Are Mopar 3

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Well, we’re hanging out at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend to test that out. We’re joining Pedro Murillo and his DFWLX crew for We Are Mopar 3, so get ready for lots of attitude, lots of horsepower, and lots of fun.

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Stay tuned — we'll be updating this page with links to photos and recaps from this weekend’s highlights.

August 3 
Friday Night Lights

August 4
The Show
BFGoodrich® Tires Pushing the Limits Autocross
Laps 4 Veterans






Download all of our photos from We Are Mopar 3 here.

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WAM3: Laps for Veterans

One bonus of hosting We Are Mopar 3 at Texas Motor Speedway? The opportunity to drive on the 1.5-mile oval. Starting early in the evening, vehicles lined up in the infield for their chance to lap the Speedway track — and help veterans out in the process. Between 2017 and 2018, the We Are Mopar show has donated over $42,000 to the Homeless Veterans Service of Dallas .

We took a ride with WAM3 organizer Pedro Murillo’s nephew Jesus — here’s a look at the Speedway track, from the passenger seat.

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Download all of our images from Laps 4 Veterans here, or click here for all of our We Are Mopar 3 coverage.

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