Photos by Saroja RamanSo you finally got yourself a little hot rod in your driveway and you have been telling everyone who will listen to you in any random Starbucks parking lot that your car is fast. You quote the zero-to-sixty times from statistics which you memorized from the internet and just like Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, you’ve “made a few modifications” yourself to improve the car’s performance. You know deep down in your hot rodder heart that if you were given the opportunity to compete with your machine of speed you would crush all of the other fools on your favorite car forum. The Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is just the place for a guy like you with a fast street car to show those bench racing keyboard jockeys that your car is truly legit! THE COST Five hundred clams is what it costs to enter a Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event but you do get plenty for your money here, especially if you compare the costs of each separate type of event (if you were to try to enter them individually). You will get to compete in an autocross (normally $35), a speed stop challenge (normally $300), a road rally (normally $25), a car show (normally $20) and a hot laps (time trial, normally $250-$400). If you add up all of those separate entry fees you would be looking at over $600. And I guarantee you that you will get much more track time than you would at most other events. Average autocrosses give you 3-5 runs, where at Optima you can run until the tires fall off, most people get around 12 runs. The hot laps segment offers 5 separate 20-minute track sessions which is plenty of adrenaline filled, fuel burning, brake pad destroying action. SANCTIONING BODY This even is run by the Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA). The title sponsor is Optima Batteries and the events are presented by Advanced Auto Parts. Additional partners with the event are Detroit Speed, Falken Tires, Jet Hot, K & N, Snap On Tools, Lingenfelter, and Wilwood. That sort of corporate sponsorship means this will be a much more legitimate event than you standard autocross held in a deserted parking lot. You will find vender booths, prize money, great looking decals, first class registration facilities (handled in a Optima big rig that looks like a real life Transformer), and a cool podium. The event logistics are second to none and each race is filmed for the television show Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car for MAVTV. Yes, you will get to win (or lose) on TV. There are multiple classes to compete in: GTL (cars under 3,200 pounds), GTS (two seater or all-wheel drive cars over 3,200 pounds), GT (four seaters), GTV (Vintage), and EC (Fun Runs). The multiple classes offer a format where almost every four wheel vehicle made has a place to come out and play. The range is as wide as Ford Pintos to Corvette Z06s. THE HIGH Here you get the chance to run your car at the max. Strap on your helmet and drive it like you stole it. The cool part about Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is the multiple events from autocross (low speed, drifting fun) to hot laps (high speed, ass clinching fear). You can run your car as hard (or not as hard) as you feel comfortable. If you enjoy sliding the car on the autocross course but don’t want to see how close you can get to the concrete wall on the exit of Turn 2 that is your choice. Some folks see this event as the ultimate dynamic car show (trailer queens should not apply), while others see it as the ultimate racing competition. Which category you fall into depends on your competitive nature and how fast the car you brought is. CAR WEAR This event isn’t any harder on a car than a standard track day, other than the fact that it is a solid weekend of racing with lots of track time. The speed stop challenge is definitely hard on brake rotors and tires (especially if your GTV car doesn’t have ABS). I saw a lot of front wheel lock up flat spot a lot of tires at this event. This is crucial to understand because the speed stop challenge is the day prior to the hot laps on the big track. Running at over a hundred miles an hour with square tires will knock your fillings out. The key during this weekend is being able to run hard and fast, but also to make the car (and tires) last through all of the different events. Your car must be successful in each event in order to score enough points to win. Even the road rally causes grief especially for the “race cars with license plates.” With a lot of speed bumps, drive way entries, and other challenges that are easy for true street cars but a total disaster for a car that is so low it drags the oil pan across every driveway it enters, teams realize that lowering your car to minimum ride height for good handling on the road course may not be the best recipe for this competition. Like any track day, the big thing to realize for car preparation is that a good brake fluid and extra cooling for brakes is the key to multiple high speed braking zones on a big track. Standard street car brakes for the Ultimate Street Car competition will not cut the mustard. YOUR DAY Your day at this particular event is actually “your weekend” as this is a two day event. Competitors can choose to enter a single day (less cost, run only certain events), but you can’t win the overall competition by only running in half of the events. You will show up early and start the registration process through the Optima Transformer rig. You need a valid driver’s license (no racing license required), standard car insurance, and valid registration (as the vehicle’s owner –this keeps out the hired guns). You will get a sticker set for your car and your car number. Next you get into the long tech line and put the stickers on your car as you wait to have your car checked out. You will also need a Snell SA 2010 helmet. If you have your own transponder you will need to give your number to the registration desk, if you don’t have one (or even know what one is) you can rent one from the staff and they will even help mount it to your car (how is that for customer service?). Tech is relatively painless (much more like an autocross tech session than a road race scrutineering session) and each of your tires is marked to ensure competitors only use a single set of 200 plus treadwear tires during the weekend for the entirety of the event. After there will be a welcome ceremony/drivers meeting. Cars will be split into two groups based on odd or even car numbers. One set of cars will head to the autocross while the other set will head to the speed stop challenge. The autocross, presented by Detroit Speed and Engineering, is just like any autocross: cones line the track, one car on course at time, best time wins. The only difference was the nearly unlimited runs available and cameras being placed on the car for MAVTV. The speed stop challenge, presented by Wilwood Disc Brakes, was different than expected. Instead of a straight line acceleration run and then a panic stop for time, the speed stop challenge was an acceleration run, a right turn, a left turn, another left turn, and then a panic stop in a cone lined box. That meant the speed stop challenge was not just measuring acceleration and braking ability, but also handling ability too. Cars that were set up to do well in the autocross would do well in the speed stop challenge as well and all-wheel drive cars, who could get off of the line quickly, dominated here. During the Lingenfelter Performance and Engineering car show judging, called Engineering and Design, a series of judges will pour over your car, ask questions and see what modifications have made the car perform better while also remaining streetable. This was done anytime during the day when a car wasn’t running in the autocross or speed stop challenge. The last event of the first day was the road rally where each driver’s driver license was placed into a sealed envelope that had to be turned back into registration at the Holley welcome party that evening. The idea was that if any shenanigans happened on the road and the Highway Patrol had to get involved, then the license would have to come out of the sealed envelope and the competitor would receive zero points for the event. The ploy worked and everyone on the road rally drove appropriately on the public roads, which was nice to see. There was plenty of track time to drive crazy so there was no need for it on the highways. The Holley welcome party was a great event to bench race, enjoy some good food, and see the results from the earlier events. During the welcome party they also discussed the hot laps section which would happen on the second day of competition. The next day started with a driver’s meeting discussing classes, flags, and passing rules for the hot laps section (standard track day stuff). Then it was time to head out onto the big track for big speeds. The best lap counts toward you overall score so if you can get it done during one session and don’t feel like destroying any more tires that is your choice. Or if you wanted to run until your tires were down to the cords you could. At the end of the weekend was the podium presentation with special awards, trophies and cash prizes being handed out to the winners. MAVTV was on hand to do video interviews with the winners of each class and fun was had by all. THE PEOPLE This is the ultimate car dude crowd. People here don’t build cars to sit in parking lots and be wiped with a diaper. And the people here don’t build cobbled together crap cars to be raced around a circle track and look like hell. The people in the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car build cars that they are proud to drive, and drive hard. The people and the machines at this event are the coolest combination of performance and detail. There is an enormous amount of knowledge in this paddock and just walking into anyone’s pit space and asking questions about their car will start a thirty minute conversation about wheel spacing or minitubs. To be a spectator at this event would beat going to any car show as you will get to see cars just as clean and beautiful being drifted around a track. GLORY There is glory to be found at the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car. You can win each separate event and you could win the whole enchilada. Winning means a podium ceremony, a trophy, and $500 from Wilwood Disc Brakes. Not too shabby for an event that doesn’t require a racing license plate to compete in. Plus your racing talents will be on display on MAVTV. Each event is an opportunity to qualify for the big show in Las Vegas at the end of the SEMA show. Glory is definitely here to be had. OH, YOU WANT TO WIN, DO YA? To win this event you need a fast car, period. Sure, in autocross you can overcome a lack of power with some driving skill, but here you need a car that is fast, handles good, stops good, looks good, the complete package. Oh, and you also need to be able to drive the wheels off of it too. Corvettes won two of the five classes (big horsepower, big tires, low center of gravity, big brakes). It is tough to overcome those engineering advantages in a Subaru WRX. To win you need to have your car setup to do well in an autocross environment with the best performing 200 treadwear tires you can find. Your DOT Hoosier Racing Tires don’t get to play here. Autocross alignment and setup will do you well in three of the five events (autocross, speed stop challenge and road rally). The engineering and design segment will come down to the streetability and modifications of your car (bone stock cars don’t score too well here). The hot laps segment of the event comes down to horsepower and sometimes huge balls. Trust me, every track has that one scary corner that is tough to build up the guts to go through at max speed. The person who masters the track quickly will have a solid lap time and do well. Even though a racing license is not necessary to run in this event it does have its advantages. Namely during the hot laps segment where a run group was setup with unlimited passing for those who have road racing experience and equipment in the cars (5-point harness and neck restraint). The rookie run group had very limited locations and point-by-passing which makes getting a very fast, unhindered lap difficult to obtain. We were able to win the event at Thunderhill based on pre-race preparation. We read the rules inside and out and decided to add weight to our Z06 to bump it into the GTS category. This meant we would have theoretically the lightest weight car in the class (with mountains of LS7 horsepower). Prior to the event we autocrossed the car with the SCCA and got the alignment and tire pressures right on some Michelin Pilot Sport tires for tight courses. Then we ran the car in the Speed Ventures Corvette Challenge on a big course with the same tires to figure out the settings for high speeds. Then we picked an Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event that was at a track were we intimately familiar with, Thunderhill Raceway Park, where we have raced in numerous NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill events. We knew our car, we knew the track, and we showed up ready to race and win. Teams who were adjusting tire pressures or learning a new track were at a serious disadvantage. Like a lot of racing, the race is won in the garage the night before. Even with the road rally, we ensured we had a navigator with us and used GPS to guarantee we stayed on course and got maximum points. We left nothing to chance. Sadly, every “street” car that won its class in the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event arrived in a racing trailer (ours included). It’s not to say that these cars aren’t street cars, they legitimately were, however, the winners usually had radical alignment settings which would destroy a set of tires on the drive from Los Angeles to Thunderhill. A lot of teams were using the racing gas at the track at $10 a gallon, which is not something you want to waste on a long road trip. Bottom line, to win this event you have to have a fast car, but you really have to be a driver. RACER BOY GAUGE Let’s review the Racer Boy gauge cluster here: FUEL (Cost): The fuel gauge is three quarters full because this event does cost $500 to run but you can use the same car you make your Red Box video runs in to do it, so a dedicated racing car (and big money is not necessary). If you actually want to win it… start selling your house and your kidney because that won’t come cheap. RPMs (Adrenaline): The tachometer is at 6,200 RPMs because this is the real deal. Running a hot lap around a full race course will get your adrenaline going big time. The event is truly awesome. MPH (Danger): The speedometer is at 124 miles per hour because if you drive a big horsepower car then chances are you will be going 124 miles an hour into turn one, which could be dangerous if you are trying to adjust the angle on your GoPro camera instead of watching the track. Big speeds = big risks. Be careful and have fun. VOLTS (Time): The volts gauge is less than three quarters full because this event is a full weekend affair, but you don’t have to spend months preparing a racecar before the weekend since you will be using your daily driver here. MILEAGE (Car Wear): The mileage is at 3,000 miles because you will get lots of track time and chances are you will do 3,000 miles of damage to tires, brake pads and rotors in only 100 miles of actual driving. This event is for folks who don’t mind running their cars at the limit, and with that limit comes the replacement of wearable items. CHECKERED FLAG The name “Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge” says it all, it is the ultimate playground for street cars for people who like to drive hard. The crowds and the cars are worth the trip alone and the racing is awesome. Bang for your buck cash versus track time, you can’t beat this series and you get the chance to race on MAVTV. Racer Boy gives this event a big thumbs up. See you at the track!
Category - Event Coverage
Photos by Zerin Dube
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One of the most dazzling series of automotive display events is Monterey Car Week, a few days in August every year where well-heeled automotive enthusiasts descend on the Monterey peninsula to peruse any one of the dozens of auctions, shows, Real brand Clonidine online, meets and events dedicated to the rare, the valuable, the quirky, and the exotic. The headliner events for the week are the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, better known as the Monterey Historics and a vintage racing event only equaled in prestige by the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a show dedicated to the rarest and most valuable classic cars in existence and only equaled by absolutely fuck all. Smaller shows blanket the peninsula and the calendar throughout the week, and it is the work of a dedicated team of journalistic professionals to even come close to capturing every event of Monterey Car Week, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription.
Which, as I was to go by myself with only a camera and a notepad, and had never come within a few hundred miles of Monterey Car Week, made the task seem...somewhat daunting, Clonidine street price. Straight-forward coverage of the events was an obvious exercise in futility, and so instead, I planned to dedicate my efforts to what I saw as the most interesting angle of the week: contrasting the cars and culture of the Concours d'Elegance and Monterey Historics with their more contemporary counterparts, and searching to see which is better and more relevant, the past, present or future. This seemed an interesting, worthwhile, and most importantly, reasonably simple lens with which to focus my efforts and my article on. Clonidine pics, With my story sorted and passage and lodging secured with the fine folks of Jalopnik through the generous efforts of this site’s operator, Mr. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Dube, I felt a certain degree of confidence in my plan. Snap a bunch of pictures, interview a few of the owners displaying their multi-million dollar cars, and with the basic kernel of the story already sorted, the words would practically fall into place on their own.
That confidence eroded like a soda cracker in a media blaster the moment I actually met with the people I would be spending the next several days with, at a Jalopnik reader meet-up at the Petersen Automotive Museum the day before our scheduled departure. There, I found myself confronted with actual professionals, people that are paid to do this sort of thing and actually seemed to know what they were doing. They all possessed an easy confidence that reflected experience as a member of the automotive press, online buy Clonidine without a prescription, seat time in an impressive array of expensive cars that were not their own, and comfort dealing with both public and industry; they had arrived in the cars that we would be driving up the coast the next day: a Mazda Miata Club Edition, Porsche Boxster S, a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible, a Bentley Continental GTC V8, and a Jaguar F-Type S, all brand new cars delivered at their asking.
As I stood in their midst on the top level of the Petersen’s parking garage, mistakenly and blatantly overdressed, I was acutely aware of how I lacked every last one of those attributes and was essentially an amateur gadfly hitching a ride on someone else’s five-hundred-thousand dollar convoy, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. A heavy marine layer rolled over Los Angeles, offering what seemed to me a preview of the weather waiting for us in Monterey as the real professionals conversed with their readers and each other while I awkwardly crammed what would turn out to be a half-cooked burger in my face. I was introduced very kindly as a fellow writer, Clonidine pictures, but it was still a Jalopnik show - more than one reader said that he greatly enjoyed the non-existent articles I had contributed to the site. Still, once I relaxed and simply let the current of the night drag me along I had a good time, but I knew that the strategy of being a passive wallflower was good for one night only. The next day, I would have to find my footing, and fast.
Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Day 1: A Fraud With A Plan
It is impossible to keep your cool when confronted with the reality that you will be driving a two-hundred-thousand dollar car. You can try to be suave and analytical, you can try to be blasé and over such pithy things, but you will be fooling no one. This is an immutable fact of the universe for all but the jaded few that actually own cars that cost two-hundred-thousand dollars. They do not deserve our scorn; they deserve our pity, buy Clonidine no prescription, for they can no longer experience the tickling sensation up the back of the neck and slight twist in the stomach you get when you're holding that ridiculously weighty key in your hand and looking over nearly 16 feet of fine automotive craftsmanship with enough horsepower to pull the RMS Queen Mary out of dock while you think, Yes. This is mine.
But, of course, it wasn't mine. My mind constantly reminded me that not only was this not my car, I would never in a million years get a manufacturer to agree to lend me something so valuable, and it was only through the graciousness of Mr, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Matt Hardigree that I was allowed to drive any of the wonderful machines that day. But as we blasted up the coast, I knew that the only place where be more out of my element than behind the wheel of any of these cars would be, in fact, where I was going to be in three days' time: standing on the lawn at Pebble Beach for the Concours d'Elegance with a media badge around my neck. Clonidine maximum dosage, In my mind, I had no business being anywhere near any of the events I was about to be in the middle of, driving cars I should never have been allowed to touch, on a trip with people far more qualified than myself.
However, once I got over the barely-contained wide-eyed panic as to what the fuck I was doing there, there was a certain illicit thrill. I was driving expensive cars on the way to spending a weekend getting into some of the most exclusive automotive events in the world - for free. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Everything I was doing was something I shouldn't have been allowed to do, but there I was, doing all the things, all because people were silly enough to believe that I am a trustworthy industry professional. Even though everyone involved had freely determined that I was worthy of the responsibilities they had placed on my shoulders, it still felt like I was getting away with something, and that was not a bad feeling.
As I drove up the coast, this high synergized very nicely with my poorly-concealed terror at the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, Clonidine results, and was surrounded by people who had been doing this job for years. That, and my idea that I had my Story Figured Out, formed a comforting layer of wool over my eyes. Those words were my security blanket, and I dragged them around behind me everywhere I went, reminding myself that even though I was a complete fraud, I was at least a fraud with a plan. The plan would save me; I would go to Monterey and I would Cover The Story, with no one the wiser, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription.
DAY 2: Covering The Story
There is something that must be understood about large industry events, independent of what industry you're in: they do not exist in isolation. Clonidine pictures, They all support a much larger ecosystem of smaller shows, as well as industry and corporate events, like a whale shark cruising through the ocean, with the smaller events coasting in the main event's wake and feeding off of the remaining disposable income of the wealthy that attend. Most of the actual Big News Debuts, not to mention the lion's share of the schmoozing and networking, goes on at these corporate side events - everyone's too busy actually working during the main event. And with the corporate events, the company running things is doing so for precisely two reasons: to convince rich people to buy their products, and to ply for some good press from writers, because we are, as a general rule, Clonidine from canadian pharmacy, very broke and like driving expensive cars, eating expensive food and drinking expensive booze on someone else's dime.
Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, All of these reasons mean that attendance at any of them is very, very tightly regulated, and generally unavailable if you're not already on the list of outlets that whatever manufacturer is running the events wants to woo, and I was on precisely zero of those lists. There was nothing that could be done about any of the corporate drives or debuts, but because Mr. Hardigree is a very fine individual, he threw my name on the list of people for press credentials at one of the few public events that's as difficult to get into as the Concours itself: The Quail. The most prestigious show during Monterey Car Week that isn't the Concours proper, The Quail focuses more on Post-War era cars than the Pre-War classics of Pebble Beach. It took place on the practice lawn at the resort's golf course, penned in by manufacturer displays on all sides and overlooked by the very central coastal California white-painted ranch-style clubhouse. Being considerably smaller than Pebble and ostensibly more relaxed, I saw The Quail as an opportunity to start off slow and use what I saw as a relatively low-pressure environment to build up some confidence, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Buy cheap Clonidine no rx,
Which, after I managed to get lost trying to find the actual event - twice - wasn't really off to a running start. The parking lot at the event was practically a show in and of itself; the organizers had specially roped-off parking for drivers of particularly interesting or expensive cars that they didn't want sat with the hoi polloi, and manufacturer booths lined the road for those who were willing to sell a piece of their digital soul for a test drive. More manufacturers lined the practice lawn's edges, with the proper entrants covering the grass itself in different categories, ranging from Pre and Post-War sports and racing cars to retrospectives saluting Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and the California Mille rally in memorial of deceased founder Martin Swig.
It was a reasonably relaxed affair in retrospect, not that I felt relaxed in any way. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, I stalled for time and confidence by taking a few dozen pictures, but I could only procrastinate on the interviews for so long. So, Clonidine wiki, I gathered as much courage as I could muster, approached the first person who looked slightly bored and was hovering around one of the cars on display, and performed the first interview I'd ever done in my life - and promptly made a complete hash of it.
In the interest of complete transparency and to fully paint the picture of what it was like, the interview - and all the interviews - will be presented in raw and unedited audio format so that you may fully digest how gracious and thoughtful my interview subjects were and how much of a rolling catastrophe I was.
Between my constant nervous vocal tics and my phone hooting in the poor man's face as I used it as an ersatz recorder, it's a wonder he was able to understand any of my questions, let alone reply intelligently. Next time, I vowed, Clonidine samples, I would maintain control. This was my piece, and I would manage whatever interview I could get with the California Mille people like a big boy, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription.
By forcing the topic down his throat from the outset. In the moment, yanking on the tiller of the conversation seemed like a reasonable thing to do, but the desperation of the act is pretty clear. And what was worse, it didn't work. I could hear his answers falling more and more outside the narrative I was trying to construct as we went along. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, His unabashedly logical preference for a time when cars don't burst into flame and wrap you in a jagged metal cocoon felt instead like it was trapping my story - but only momentarily. As I wondered if I’d only get a few pictures and an impressive sunburn from my time at the Quail, my last interview subject leveraged his advantage of actually knowing who the people around us were and pointed out my next one, standing behind me, who kindly put down his heavy case of car care products long enough for an interview, Clonidine class.
I can take no credit for the quality of the interview here. Having failed to mute my phone, it went off several times during the interview, and I was so focused on keeping to my notes that I actually said, "Mmhmm, that's good," like I had checked out of the interview that I was conducting. His responses elevated my mumbling questions into something thoughtful, and gave me a degree of hope. Perhaps the article could turn around the changes in car culture over the years, how we've gone from automobiles as wonders of modern technology to wonders of design and passion to victims of mass production, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. As I pillaged the four different high-end catered "cafes" for free food and beer, Clonidine blogs, that interview - not to mention the beer - helped me feel like I had left the morning's fuck-ups behind me and was finally starting to get a handle on Covering The Story. My plan might have taken a few direct hits, but it was still running strong and I hadn't completely lost the plot.
But that better understanding did not extend to what I was supposed to be doing when I wasn't running around with a notepad in my hand and shoving my smartphone in people's faces. I had, by that point, studiously avoided saying much of anything at all to the kind folks I was sharing a rental house with. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, In comparison with me, they were all august professionals in the field by the simple dint of having drawn a paycheck putting words in order, and I was acutely aware that I was more awash in unknown unknowns than Donald Rumsfeld ever was. So, I decided that it was best to avoid removing all doubt as to my stupidity and kept my mouth shut. It didn't make for a particularly enlivened time off the shows, but since everyone else was busy with manufacturing events and the day-to-day efforts of writing articles, there wasn't a lot of fraternizing to be had, Clonidine street price, anyway.
Until dinner rolled along. Privileged members of the automotive press can surf from event to event, never having anything that wasn't prepared by a high-end catering company and provided for free cross their lips, and while we weren't quite so enriched, Mr. Travis Okulski still managed to finagle invitations for all of us to that most shameless and shameful of high-end parties, the Playboy Magazine party, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. I like to consider myself a somewhat-enlightened Third Wave feminist, and so I planned on politely declining the invitation to the Old White Guys Objectifying Women gala - until it was mentioned that it’d be where we’d be getting free food for the night, whereupon any moral objections I might have had were overridden, because, Clonidine maximum dosage, you know, free food. A house had been rented off 17 Mile Drive for the event, so we all dressed in appropriately Party Formal attire and cruised off into the incoming fog.
As I climbed out of the back of the Bentley at the valet and stepped onto the estate’s private drive, I wondered what the people that originally bought the cars shown at the Concours would have made of this. Would the Rockefellers and Roosevelts approved of posing with scantily clad women just for the right to brag that you touched a culturally sanctioned sex symbol. Would the Kennedys and Astors condone this corporate-sponsored exercise of safe excess. Of course Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, they fucking would - flying high on the money from their rail and oil monopolies that fueled our nation’s industrialization, profiteering off of Reconstruction or Prohibition, or simply money from time immemorial, the upper-crust of the Pre-War era would have felt right at home in the conspicuous wealth. Fine booze flowed freely, and chefs prepared tiny portions of flagrantly expensive food. Kobe beef sliders topped with thirty dollars of black truffle each to start, and purple potato gnocchi with fresh crab to finish as the fog closed in the night overlooking a small grove of trees perfect for summertime relaxation or organized hunts of local miscreants.
But that gilded smile of hospitality was very much not aimed in my direction, Clonidine online cod. Having dodged the "Picture with a Playmate" gauntlet, I snaked my way through the crowd of expensive suits straight for the bar. Ignoring the special drink designed for the event, I asked for an simple Old Fashioned, which, lacking bitters, sugar, or bourbon - bourbon - they couldn't make, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Consolation whiskey and fifty buck slider in hand, I took the chance to wander the back deck of the house and ended up at the very back corner of the party. As I sipped my drink, I idly checked in on who was blowing up whom in the Middle East and wondered, for the umpteenth time that weekend, what I was doing there. Wealth, excess, Where to buy Clonidine, parties, this was an environment I didn't understand, operating by rules I didn't know.
I sighed, and finished my drink. Fuck it. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, If I didn't get it by this point, I wasn't going to get it. Trying to blend in was not worth the effort; the only way I was going to see this through was to tackle it on my own terms and enjoy what I could. In celebration of this moment of surrender, I grabbed a cigar and headed down to find the others staying at the Gawker Media house, reasoning that if nothing else, I'd know when we were heading out and wouldn't have to spend any longer than absolutely necessary.
I found them all bunched up against the balcony next to one of the bars, talking with a few other people I didn't recognize, Clonidine schedule. Mr. Chris Mascari laughed and remarked that it made sense that I was the first one to show up with a cigar - for what reason I was not and and still am not sure - and as I got another drink from the bar, I realized that everyone from the Gawker house that had come was all hovering in the same area, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Somewhere out there celebrities and the wealthy roamed through the mist, the whales that the corporate presences overseeing this event were looking to spear, and then there was the other party off to the side populated by those invited to give a few kind words for their product, and that I was actually welcome there. Once I wandered in from off of the periphery, Hardigree, Okulski and Mascari quickly introduced me to those not staying at the house, and then...there were just conversations, with people. Order Clonidine online overnight delivery no prescription, I might not have been at home in the opulence and status, but I saw neither really were they. For the first time that week, I felt that I had found a bit of common ground to stand on with those I was sharing a house with. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, If nothing else, while the article might have been floundering, I, at least, was starting to right myself in the fog.
DAY 3: The Good Kind of Hearing Damage
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, or the Monterey Historics, is an outlier during Monterey Car Week. In the midst of events dedicated to trailer queens and pampered exotics, the Historics is an event based around the ethos that classic sports and racing cars aren't just meant to be preserved, they're meant to be driven - and driven hard. Set at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the most storied and revered racetracks in the US, buy Clonidine online cod, it's a rare opportunity to see classic iron pounding around its natural habitat.
And, if I'm completely honest, it's the event that everyone at the Gawker house, myself included, was looking forward to the most. The Concours d'Elegance is a very cool thing to attend and has the highest concentration of one-of-a-kind gorgeous cars in pristine condition anywhere on the planet, but for most varieties of car nerd, the Historics is the real prize, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. I tried to keep my expectations tempered, but as we stepped out onto the pulverized hilltops of Purple Parking to the sound of Pre-War sports cars rumbling around the racetrack, any pretense of detachment was abandoned and I practically sprinted down the hill to the covered bridge over the start-finish line. So distracted was I by the sights and sounds from the track that I walked groin-first into the steel bollard blocking the footbridge over the start-finish line, Is Clonidine safe, and I just didn't care. My father has run a stock eliminator Chevelle for many years, where I became comfortable with the deafening danger-close aural artillery barrage of race cars turning over and idling down the lane next to you, the feeling of hot tarmac baking in the sun, and the sweet smell of leaded race gas. The paddock at the Historics was an identical environment, a welcoming place filled with the sights, sounds and smells of performance.
Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Invigorated by the heady air of excitement and horsepower, I hit the paddock hard, taking pictures of anything that caught my eye - and since cars with true racing pedigree were the norm and more than a few legendary race cars were scattered around, that was pretty much everything. Still, after a good half-hour of rapid-fire photography and soaking in the atmosphere, my concern about being able to adequately Cover The Story started to creep back in. I had hoped to score some interviews at the Historics with some owners and drivers, Clonidine no prescription, some grease-under-the-nails and gas-in-the-veins perspective to contrast with the owners of the perfectly polished and primped cars at the Quail and Concours. Standing in the way of that, however, was all of the silly racing going on. Everyone was busy getting ready to head out on the track for their session or tearing the car down after having done their session, leaving no time for a gadfly like myself to intrude.
I had started pacing around the paddock with a worried expression on my face, trying to figure out how I was going to make this work, when I ran into fellow Gawker house residents Josh Petri, Jason Torchinsky along with Hardigree, and Okulski cruising the paddock, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. They asked how I liked the Historics, and after some effusive gushing about it being the greatest place on the planet, I mentioned my concern about finding interviews. Hardigree and Okulski both admonished me to forget about it for the moment and just focus on having a good time, Australia, uk, us, usa, and so after we parted ways, I did exactly that and headed up the hill towards the Corkscrew to take in the scenery from the top, have a beer at the bar positioned overlooking the paddock, and spend some time taking a shitload of pictures from the bottom of one of the most iconic corners in motorsport.
There, I watched BMW M1s, Morgan Three-Wheelers, and Porsche 935s and 914s hammer down the hills of Laguna Seca. AC Cobras faced off against Chevrolet Corvettes, and the big V8 engines of Trans-Am thundered past me, leaving ringing in my ears - The good kind of hearing damage, I told myself, what is Clonidine. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, As I watched some of my most idolized cars roar through the Corkscrew on a gorgeous Central California day, I figured that the interviews could take care of themselves during lunch.
Except that they couldn't. The work areas were all empty for lunch as people hit the food stands, and if not there, the owners and drivers had retreated into their trailers. The only time I saw anyone I could interview was when they filtered back to the paddock to prep for the races proper, and they were once again far too busy for me to bother them. I walked the whole paddock, and every pit was buzzing with activity. After a half-hour of fruitless wandering, I gave up on trying to get any interviews done at the Historics, and after watching the engine warm-up for four of Mazda's insane-sounding rotary engined race cars, abandoned any pretense of getting work done for the day and headed off to meet up with my good friend and editor at Autoweek, Davey Johnson, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription.
The end of the racing day found me sitting in the media center, staring out the window at the start-finish line as millions of dollars of historic race car pounded past and trying to think of anything I could use to salvage the day. Herbal Clonidine, I had, by my estimation, utterly failed at what I was there to do. Pictures of events like the Historics are a dime a dozen; every media outlet with a real presence at Monterey Car Week will have more and better coverage of the cars and racing that I could hope to provide. I had hoped to set myself apart by focusing my coverage on the owners and drivers' thoughts and approach to the proceedings - something made rather impossible by my failure to secure any interviews. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, So, without a story, I thought about what had happened. The Historics itself was, without a doubt, one of the greatest automotive experiences of my life. Simply being in the presence of some of those cars was privilege enough, but to see them run in anger was a once in a lifetime event. The Historics is no parade lap, cars were raced hard and even crashed that day, Clonidine forum, and the idea that the owners of those extremely rare and expensive cars felt that they were better off being driven properly than being restored to pristine perfection gave me a certain sensation of kinship with them, unlike yesterday at the Quail.
But, I remembered, only for the most part - the California Mille people believed in the same thing. After all, the event that they were there in support of is dedicated to driving on the road over a thousand mile course, not exactly gentle treatment for a vintage sports car, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. They might not be racing at the Historics - although I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were there racing - but they were certainly of the same mind. And I couldn't exactly level that charge against the others at the Quail, either. It's not like racing at the Historics is something that anyone can afford to do anyway; both are automotive hobbies of the well-to-do. It seemed unfair of me to separate them from those racing in the Historics simply because one group show off their cars on manicured lawns, Real brand Clonidine online, and the other on rubber-coated tarmac. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, I shook my head. No interviews and no story, but I had one hell of a time and got a bit more insight as to how things really work. Tomorrow was the big day at the Concours, and now I was a little less certain that the true upper crust of the automotive collecting world would hew to my expectations - not to mention that it was my one last chance to salvage my story.
DAY 4: On The Trampled Lawns of Pebble Beach
As the main event for the week, pretty much everything stands still for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The first event took place in 1950, and since then has grown from a small gathering of thirty cars to an event that takes over the whole of the Pebble Beach Golf Club and one of the most prestigious events on the automotive calendar - and has the manufacturer advertising and display presence to boot. But all of that is kept outside the Concours itself; inside on the green of the 18th hole between the expansive lodge and the Pacific Ocean, the event itself seems a perfect match for the vastly expensive Pre-War cars the Concours is known for: men and women all dressed to perfection, every last detail carefully selected and positioned for maximum visual effect, on one of the most famous and exclusive golf clubs in the world, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. The clothes and the cars aren’t the only thing for the super-rich: the cost to walk in the front door of the Concours d’Elegance is two-hundred and twenty-five dollars a head. With all the careful planning and orchestration of the event, it’s almost more of a cotillion than a car show, cheap Clonidine. And even though I am objectively not of that class (in all possible permutations of the word), I still saved my best thrift-store finery for my time on the lawn at Pebble Beach.
As I was kindy being driven to the event by Gawker Media manager (and therefore designated adult for the trip) Julia Alvidrez, we had plenty of time to talk about how perfect the weather was for the day - just a bit of fog, enough to keep it cool and diffuse the light for better photography - and that the route we were being sent on by the event signage seemed to be intentionally designed to make the route as complex and convoluted as possible, steadfastly refusing to take the “just go straight there” route the F-Type’s GPS tried in vain to keep. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, The spectator parking where she dropped me off was on a completely different part of the peninsula, or rather, a completely different golf course, since it seemed that the only available space for parking on the entire peninsula was on one of the many courses. The shuttle bus ran along 17 Mile Drive, and the distraction of simply taking in the beautiful surroundings kept me from worrying about what I had to accomplish for a little while.
This brief respite lasted until I got off the bus and remembered that this was the last chance for me to salvage my article. The return of the worry about how on Earth I was going to pull this off might have precipitated me once again getting completely lost. Order Clonidine from mexican pharmacy, After I ran a mile in a sport coat and second-hand Oxfords in the complete opposite direction from the Concours, I started making my way down the path to the show itself. This was not as short of a trip as one might think, as every manufacturer and auction tent was placed between the bus stop and the Pebble Beach lodge, all to give you the better chance to stop in for a rest on the arduous trek from parking to event, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Finally, I made it to the media tent, grabbed my pass, and headed through the lodge complex to the Concours itself.
There was no gradual build to stepping out onto the grass at the Concours - one moment I was walking past the staff entrance to the lodge, and the next I was standing on the green, overlooking the ocean with the whole of the Concours stretched out in front of me. It was a lot larger than I thought it was going to be, having only ever seen it car-by-car in three-quarters perspective. It took up the whole of the 18th hole from tee to green, Clonidine trusted pharmacy reviews, bordered by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the lodge on the other, with the lodge completely given over to corporate hospitality suites that stretched further down the hole, allowing those favored by our great and benevolent corporate sponsors to sit, eat and drink their comped food and beverages. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, The cars looked stunning laid out on the fairway and green, and it was no wonder why the the classical automotive concours takes place on a lawn - even though the combination of automotive and pedestrian traffic utterly obliterated the impeccably manicured grass on the 18th hole, sacrificing what purpose the ground serves three-hundred and sixty-four days out of the year for this one very prestigious Sunday.
I only took a few minutes to admire the scenery, however - I had to strike while the iron was shaded from overcast skies and the crowds had not yet fully arrived. Even before I walked in, I knew there was no chance of me even being able to cover all the highlights in a show where every car would be the showcase anywhere else. The process of eliminating what to spend the time and effort to photograph in situations of automotive excess always makes me feel self-conscious, as if I had been given the task of documenting the contents of The Getty with just a disposable wind-up camera. Clonidine cost, Which piece of stunning automotive design and restoration do you choose to commit to digital memory. Which few dozen cars tell the story of a one-of-a-kind gathering of rolling history and engineering, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. So, I resolved to simply walk the rows and take pictures of whatever seemed most interesting.
What weighed on my mind more at that moment, though, was not the abstract angst of selective photography but the very real and present worry of not having a story to write. I needed interviews and badly, and looked over the crowd with a scavenger's desperate eye for possible subjects. A couple waiting patiently for the judges by a Pierce-Arrow sedan caught my eye, and I pounced.
[audio mp3="http://www.speedsportlife.com/wp-content/audio/monterey2013/Pebble1.mp3"][/audio] Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Despite a rocky and fumbling start of me forgetting the difference between carburetion and fuel injection and answering my own questions, I felt that I had finally ground off the roughest edges of the interviewing process. The questions came more naturally - mostly thanks to repetition - and this comfort allowed me to actually think about what answers I was getting. The answers, online buy Clonidine without a prescription, to that point, had agreed on a few points: cars today were better in almost every measurable way except for beauty and originality (although sometimes, not by much), that we’d lost the flair of design in the process of making cars safer and more attainable to the average person, but that on balance, things are better now than then. This ran counter to the traditional stereotype of the vintage and classic enthusiast of only reminiscing about the Good Old Days of Motoring and wishing that we could wind the clock back to whatever their era of choice is, and seeing it on the lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the height of vintage automobile fetishism, was more surprising than I care to admit. Generic Clonidine,
One of the cars that drew the most interest at the show was a particular Voison, a Pre-War French marque that’s of the type that the Pebble judges love to lavish with awards. Rather than being a spit-polished restoration masterpiece, this particular Voison was more of an untouched barn find, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Paint had long-since started to give way to patina and the interior was more worn-in than a pair of old boots, but it still looked elegant and classy, like an elderly society matron in a vintage dress she’s owned since new. I was drawn to it simply of how it both defined and embodied the stereotypical idea of a Pebble show car, but when I saw a man standing there with a binder full of images and documents pertaining to the car, I took a deep breath and asked him for an interview.
This interview hit all the notes I had envisioned for my original article. The loss of coachbuilding and craftsmanship to mass production, the tradeoff between that and the benefits that mass production can bring - if I had been guaranteed an interview that hit these notes, I would have been ecstatic, Clonidine pics. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, But by that point, I had started to see that this wasn’t exactly news to anyone, and I barely noticed those details as the beginnings of the real story that Monterey Car Week was trying to tell me started to break through.
I was so engrossed with conducting the interview that I almost didn’t notice Davey walk past and look my way for a few seconds. Self-consciousness rushed back to the forefront of my mind for a moment, but its advance was halted when I realized that I hadn’t mucked up the interview so far, and in fact, was doing quite well. I was standing on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, conducting a real interview, and save my smartphone voice recorder, I looked the part of the professional with my suit, camera bag and notepad. Clonidine without a prescription, I might have been new, but that was the first moment that I felt like I was supposed to be there, that I was earning the media badge around my neck instead of just being an interloper with a free ticket I didn’t deserve.
This confidence promptly went straight to my head, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. I decided that my next interview would be with one of the whales of the Concours, one of the owners of the ridiculously expensive Pre-War Rolls-Royces or Bentleys. I justified it to myself that the story would be complete without the perspective of someone showing the top shelf of the show, but if I’m honest, hubris probably played no small part. The most stunning of the Pre-War Rolls-Royces was a laundaulette-style limousine, restored to perfect condition. The owner and his family were hanging around the car and enjoying themselves, and while I felt pretty confident at that moment, discount Clonidine, I was able to check my hubris long enough to wait for an actual opening after USA Today had their way with him.
[audio mp3="http://www.speedsportlife.com/wp-content/audio/monterey2013/Pebble3.mp3"][/audio] Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Much to my relief, I didn’t fumble the interview, which was very fortunate for both me and the story. By the end of the interview was somewhat surprised by how much he knew beyond his own car - the idea of liability preventing the return of coachbuilding hadn't even occurred to me - a stereotype which seemed stupid almost the instant the thought crossed my mind. Someone who not just collects Rolls-Royces, but a specific model of Rolls-Royce probably is something a serious car enthusiast, particularly for the period the object of their obsession is from. And if he was an enthusiast, my next interview subject was a full-on unabashed nerd.
There, in kindly British form, was the perfect refutation of both my original article concept and personal perspective I brought to the Concours. This man not only knew every nut and bolt of this car, but could barely contain himself when asked about his precious Aston Martin, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. Effects of Clonidine, And, I realized, that was probably true of pretty much every owner there. The Concours d'Elegance projects a very patrician image, old rich white men displaying one of the many symbols of their wealth on one enormous symbol of wealth, but that wasn't the real texture of the event on the ground. The cars might have been older than many we'd be used to seeing, but most of them were not insanely decadent coachbuilt behemoths but rather well-preserved and tastefully restored classics of all stripes - not that those decadent coachbuilt behemoths weren't impressive in their own way. Production Lamborghinis, Ferrari GTs, Lincolns, BMWs, Alfa Romeos and Porsches shared the lawn with one-off concepts and luxury barges along with everything in-between - a real Porsche 911 Targa police car from Holland and one-off Alfa Romeo streamliner were particular favorites. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, The Concours, much like Monterey Car Week, very much had something for everyone.
More importantly, though, despite the cost of the cars on display and the obvious wealth of the event, there was rarely an upturned nose to be seen. The aristocratic airs that the events of Monterey Car Week and the Concours in particular put off are almost more on our end than on theirs; the ground truth was that this was just another bunch of car nerds getting together to nerd out about their favorite cars. The setting and presence was certainly different than a dirty parking lot - I didn't say it was entirely a self-induced delusion - but beyond the trappings that such wealth carries with it lied a real love for the automobile and automotive culture similar to what you'd see almost anywhere else.
There was also no romantic swooning for the days gone by to come back and return us to a simpler and better time. Almost everyone I spoke to was not only fully aware of the advantages of today and the dangers of our automotive past, but prefered the cars of today without pause, Buy Clonidine Without Prescription. What I came to understand was that they saw the Concours and Monterey Car Week more as a chance for people to look at what had been done in the past, and not just be reminded that such cars were ever made, but learn about how things were done and maybe inspire a bit of the classic flair for design and panache that modern cars can sorely lack. The fear was not that such art and craftsmanship was lost, but that it was irrelevant in today's mass production automotive market, that there would be no cars from today on the lawns of Monterey in seventy years' time - a fear that is not entirely unfounded. Perhaps, as mentioned, it's a gap that can be filled by the customization and modification scene, perhaps we'll see a grand return to concept cars that are actual cars or coachbuilding, but as for right now it's an open question.
My time at Monterey Car Week was quite a journey, one longer in mental distance than physical and marked more in walls broken down than miles traveled. Buy Clonidine Without Prescription, Diving into the deep end of covering a major event with little practical experience certainly forced me to up my game as a writer, but the most marked growth was in my view of the events on the Monterey Peninsula during the week. Wealth may shape the contours of the events and provide for a markedly different selection of cars on display, but the underlying reasons for the events is the same that motivates all automotive enthusiasm: a love for the engineering and craft of the automobile, a need to see it remembered and celebrated, and a desire to share that enthusiasm with other like-minded individuals, something that transcends their lofty place on the socio-economic ladder. It's easy to divide Monterey Car Week into events that only cater to one type of car enthusiast or another, Historics for those that prefer classics driven hard, Pebble for those who prefer pristine garage relics. The cost to attend these things certainly isn't cheap, but what I found was that the only true barrier between myself and not just enjoying but understanding what Monterey Car Week was was to relax, drop your preconceptions about the events, the attendees and participants, and join in celebrating the automobiles on display - a good lesson to remember whether the event is on broken asphalt or manicured green.
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