The month started with the SSC FR-S’s last autocross event of the year. It was its first time out at Heartland Park in Topeka and the car took to that venue remarkably well. Either that or I’m finally starting to get comfortable with it.
The above run was good enough for 4th PAX and 6th raw out of 50 drivers. We still need to figure out how to sharpen up corner entry a little, but otherwise I’m still really liking how it drives in spite of the tire limitations.
Next up was catching a Tank and the Bangas concert. They proved to be great live performers and the whole show had an incredibly fun vibe to it. The venue’s audio mixing unfortunately left the vocals a little too muted, but a surprise cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” during the encore more than made up for it. Obligatory example link for those who haven’t heard them yet.
Every few months, I try to go to St. Louis and hang out with one of my friends from college and enjoy one of the local comic/game shop’s game days. This basically involves paying $20 to be provided with lunch, snacks, dinner, and hundreds of board games to play, which is awesome, but not the important thing here. For the 10+ years I’ve known this friend, his dad has been slowly working on a complete restoration of a ‘65 Malibu. We’d usually grab a bite to eat with him at some point over the weekend and I’d catch up on the progress made. However, this time around it was finally done. My pictures are a little out of date, but what was once a fully stripped-down body and frame now looked a lot more like this:
Basic specs involve a new 350 SBC crate engine attached to a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission, air suspension, modern brake hardware, power steering, and that’s about it. He kept things simple, functional, clean, and largely original, which was very much the right decision here IMO.
Fortunately for me, those 10+ years of building rapport got me the green-light for about 30-45 minutes of driving around town. It probably doesn’t even need to be said, but it. was. GLORIOUS. I was a little too focused on safely navigating some unfamiliar roads to provide too many in-depth or objective statements about the experience, but I can at least say the power was plentiful, and the suspension and braking upgrades were much appreciated. It’s not the type of car I would personally pursue, but if I did, this would be almost exactly the sort of build I’d be shooting for.
I’ll have to bring my DSLR next time because these pictures barely do it justice.
My D&D group’s DM has been flexing his DIY figurine and 3D printing skills on us for some time now, but he’s really outdone himself recently. Apart from some deconstructed dollar store skeleton decoration pieces, this is all from scratch:
Also, this is Kreb, he’s a beerholder.
The KC Region SCCA’s autocross season came to a close with their “Halloweenie” event, wherein both people and car costumes are encouraged. This spider Miata kind of stole the show.
The Exocet did just okay at that event. It’s the same course every year (or at least close to it) and a bit more of a power-friendly layout than most events. Also, I really, really, really need some tire blankets. At 55 deg. ambient, the BFG Rivals refused to get up to a healthy operating temperature until their last two runs even with an impromptu co-driver (who has been piloting a DF Goblin this year) thrown into the mix. Still, plenty of fun was had and I was able to offer up several ride-alongs.
In the overall standings for the year (calculated using the percentage resulting from the 1st place PAX time / your PAX time at each event, best 7 of 11 counting toward your total), I finished 10th. The Exocet typically landed me around the 85-90% mark while the FR-S was up towards 95-98%. One more event with the FR-S and I would have likely hit an all-time best of 6th. Oh well. My husband came up one event shy of the drop threshold, but judging by his average performances, he was at least on track for ~12th.
Finally, I had another serendipitous run-in with the guy who let me have a go with his potent turbo Camaro last year. I was starting to shop around for winter wheels and tires, and he just so happened to have a spare set of ‘08 STI wheels that he was having trouble getting rid of. A quick fitment check and $300 later, and the STI was on its way to winter mode. A fresh set of Blizzak WS-90s were applied and then swapped onto the car just in time for the snow this week. Turns out they don’t look bad with the latest body style sitting on top of them either, so I’m calling this one a pretty thorough win.