Top Gear

Is everyone ready for top gear usa? First episode is November 21st on history channel. Here’s a trailer:

I was fortunate enough to make it to a taping last weekend through a friend of a friend of a friend who works on the show. We got on the guest list and had our very own little snack/hospitality area, and then talked some of the hosts for a bit afterward. Obviously I don’t expect things to be quite as good as the UK show right off the bat, but what I did see what pretty entertaining and it looks like it will be pretty good.

Jeremy Clarkson

If you live in the US you probably weren’t aware that a new season of Top Gear just started. Well, it did, and if you’ve been watching it on BBC America, you’re missing about 20min and most of the music compared to the original broadcast. Also the episodes are around a year old. Check out

Here’s a nice video of Jeremy that I thought I would post even though it’s a few months old:

Texas Mile in a Subaru

Subarus are not typically straight line cars. You’re much more likely to see one bombing down a gravel road, or parked in the whole foods parking lot, than you are to find one at the drag strip. Part of that is because broken drivetrains are not an uncommon occurrence. The other part is the aerodynamic properties, which resemble those of a brick (with a giant wing on the back). Fortunately there are ways to overcome these problems, and with enough force even a brick will go fast. Take this Subaru, for example:

In addition to the speed tape and custom air dam, this particular Subaru happens to have a very large turbo. A Garrett GT4088, to be more specific. The twin scroll exhaust manifold is made by Full-Race, and if you haven’t seen a Full-Race header, well you should check one out because they’re pretty nice. To go along with this turbo setup are a long block built and tuned by Engine Logics on C16 race fuel, a big radiator, and, well, the rest of the list is pretty long:

All together the car generates 571 wheel horsepower, and that brings us to the Texas Mile. It’s a bi-yearly event at the Goliad, Texas airport, where some of the fastest cars in the country show up to see what they can do in one mile. Last weekend this STi owned by a guy named Bill went 189.092mph. That’s from a start, in a mile, and it took just over 30 seconds. To give you some perspective, a stock STi would be lucky to hit 140, and a C6 Corvette Z06 will get to 170 or so in the same distance. Here’s a video:

That is the current standing mile record for a Subaru. I think with a bit more speed tape Bill should be able to crack 190 at the next event. For more details on the car, discussion, pictures, and video from the event, check out these two nasioc threads:

Kirkham Motorsports Cobra

There are plenty of replica cobras out there, but none quite like this:


What makes this particular car interesting is that just about everything is made from billet aluminum.

Here are all the chassis parts laid out:


Here it is mostly assembled:


You’ll notice those nice external reservoir pushrod actuated shocks, which are Penske 3-ways. The CVs are straight out of formula 1 and turn custom made centerlock hubs.

rear suspension

Here’s the rear wheel well:

wheel well

They made a very nice book about the car, which is available in PDF format here: