Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Found On The Streets: Somewhere in Virginia...

On my roadtrip back from Rally West Virginia I spotted this rare Datsun.  I do believe it is a Datsun 620.  Not sure what year but they were made from 1972-1979 and brought many innovations to the table over its time including the first long bed, extended cab, disk brakes and electric ignition.

Supposedly they were very reliable and rust resistant, which in conjunction with its location in the South, explains its current existence.

I talked briefly to the driver who said he bought it for $100 and put a Ford 9 inch under the rear and some POS 4 cyl under the hood...so its not a true 100% Datsun anymore, but its still a cool little truck...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Found On The Streets of Salem, NH...

Just going to post up odd vehicles from around my travels, regardless of where they're found.

Today's offering?  A reverse Starsky and Hutch Honda Civic!!  Badass!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Some More Photos of NEFR

Just a number of other action photos that have come along in the past week.

The Bodyarmoroutlet.com Nissan Frontier sure looks good!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Film Review: Diabolique

Or more properly, Les Diaboliques.

Knowing after the fact that this film is based upon a story that Hitchcock was supposed to film but that was snatched up by Henri-Georges Clouzot just fits so perfectly.  This is the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made.

Truly a top notch film that deserves to be seen by anyone with a passion for film, Les Diaboliques may not scare the pants of the modern viewer as it did in its original time but it is still a brilliant example of how fear and tension can be generated without blood and violence.

With all the twists of a modern thriller I can't think of a film I've seen recently that left me with a more complete feeling of enjoyment than this one.

The tale of a wife (the headmistress of a boarding school) and a mistress (a teacher at said boarding school) teaming up to murder the man (the headmaster) they are both involved with is superb in its execution with all the little ancillary characters to fill in the blanks of the relationships while adding humor to what is a decidedly dark situation.

Getting wrapped up in the plot is easy and you'll get carried right through to the riveting end.  This is one film that should be on every one's list if  you want a good thrill from your film viewing.  Hitchcock might not have ended up directing this work but I have my doubts as to if even he could have done any better.

Film Review: The Descendants

Well that was a bit of a bore...

I was truly expecting a more moving experience with more humor as well.  Instead I got a cliche story about a man with a comatose wife who he finds out has been cheating on him and then has to deal with his problematic daughters on his own while coming to terms with an infidelity he cannot strike back against.

Great.  I've seen this story in a number of forms told numerous times.  There is virtually nothing new here nor is there a fantastic performance by Clooney who more or less deadpans his way through the film.

Neither of the daughter characters are very likeable being obnoxious and dumb--though you get the feeling the director wanted them portrayed as dumb and obnoxious to represent his distaste for a younger generation.  After all, the one young character the director wants you to like is the 60's stoner amping Sid who not only wanders around stoned all the time but is also president of the chess club and spouts deeply meaningful psycho-babble that become revelations for Clooney's character.  Yeah...sure....

This is another Hollywood movie that everyone was told to like--"Hey look!!  George Clooney!!"  "Hey look!!!  Alexander Payne is directing!!" (he of Sideways and Election in prior years).  "This is going to be the greatest thing ever!!" Bah...a Hollywood throwaway if I've ever seen one.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 2 of NEFR and Weekend Wrapup...

Fantastic is the only word for it.

The 2012 New England Forest Rally wrapped up yesterday and the Body Armor Outlet.com Nissan Frontier finished things in a strong and clean fashion.

Jamie Beliveau and his brother Michael Beliveau as co-driver, piloted the vehicle to a 5th place finish out of 23 overall regional entries, finishing 2nd place in class and in third place for the weekend in the DMack Tires 2WD Challenge which combined the results of the Friday and Saturday regional races.  Jamie and the team took home a nice $400 and cool trophies for their work.  If the Friday and Saturday Regionals were combined between all the regional competitors over both days, Jamie would have finished 4th overall with three out of these top four positions going to 2WD competitors.  The DNF rate for the Regional competitors over the weekend was 38% representing a tough but not car breaking rally.

The Nissan Frontier ran strong all weekend with no flats (on General Tire ATs), no offs, no stucks, and no real issues whatsoever.  A side view mirror (just the glass) has a crack in it from a rock that somehow was thrown FORWARD and into the glass by a tire or deflection and the radio antenna has a nice bend in it from a low hanging branch but that is all.  Otherwise a quick refresh will have her ready to head off to Rally West Virginia in a few weeks.  For the team's first outing in the highest level of Rally in North America one could have hardly hoped for a better result.

An early video of the Rally is also out and of very good quality. The Body Armor Outlet.com 
Nissan Frontier makes three appearances in the video and may have as much or more screen time than any other vehicle given the interior shots, suspension and driveline shots and action shots. 0:38, 4:52, and 10:05 are the minute/second marks for each appearance of the truck.

Thanks to Body Armor Outlet.com, DMack Tires, Nissan, and Beliveau Boys Racing. Hope to work with you again in the future!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 1 of the New England Forest Rally

Marking my first event as team owner/rental agent the 2012 New England Forest Rally began yesterday in Maine and New Hampshire.

At the wheel is Jamie Beliveau a very good SCCA Rallycross driver who has excellent driving skills but has had bad luck in his stage rally career previously with vehicles that would break and DNF.

Using the ultra durable platform that is the Nissan Frontier and with his brother (and former co-driver of mine at the 2011 International Rally New York) Michael Beliveau, Jamie hoped to tame what is regarded as one of the most difficult and famous stage rallies in the United States.

The New England Forest Rally is known as a car breaker and contains some famous stages such as the Concord Pond Stage named by Travis Pastrana as is favorite stage ever.

Jamie kept the truck upright and on point finishing Day 1 of the Rally and the first of two Regional rallies (running the same roads as the National competitors but split into two events at a lesser cost for those not running in the full National series) in 11th out of the 22 regional entries and 4th out of 8 2WD drivers. Driving conservatively under a "you break it, you buy it policy" for the 20 year old performed beyond expectations and sits in 3rd place in the DMack Tire Challenge (a sub-series for this event with over $2000 in prizes for 2WD competitors who run both days) and looks to keep this position over the coming day.  With some 50 miles to be run today it won't be easy to hold his position but if he can run smooth and let the race come to him he should be fine.

Lots of photographers on hand for this big National level event (with drivers such as David Higgins, Antoine L'Estage, Andrew Comrie Picard, Chris Duplessis and more running here) and the photos coming out of it of the Body Armor Outlet.com NISMO Stuff Racing Nissan Frontier are fantastic...Enjoy and hope to have more for you tomorrow!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Found On The Streets of Windham, NH

OK, so this wasn't technically in Windham but it was certainly close enough in just the next town over...the Aston Martin Vantage S which is near $150K in price and does 0-60 in about four flat.  I'd still rather have a GT-R...but if you're going to go English, I suppose this isn't a bad way to go...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Andrew Comrie Picard at Rocky Mountain Rally

Missed this one a while back...one of the better 2WD rally drivers in North America trading in what is his usual Scion Xd rally car for a '92 Nissan Sentra at this event.  I don't know the reason why but...do it he did.

ACP finished 11th of the 21 entries and 3rd in 2WD at the Rocky Mountain Rally in Alberta, Canada. Results...

The CARS series is pretty much the Rally America of Canada and is a great series that draws lots of spectators.  I plan on running the Rallye Charlevoix myself later in the year...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Roger Hull 510 at High Desert Trails 2012

Just a great shot of Roger Hull flogging his Datsun 510 around the desert earlier this year.  He finished 14th out of 24 entries.  Not bad for a car that received its original logbook 30 years ago.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nissan Juke Buggie Entered in Silk Way Rally...

OK, some people are going to say "I didn't think the Juke could get any uglier...but somehow it did..."

And I won't disagree with them...too much...

I still love it though...

OK, its not a realy Juke, its a buggie with a Juke looking shell of some kind on it.  Dessoude does know how to market however and this was a stroke of genius to put a Juke shell on a buggie.  A buggie gets little to no notice...a Juke however?  Gets noticed everywhere, especially in Europe.

I can't read much of the Dessoude .pdf as Google Translate doesn't appear to like .pdf but I can tell it is powered by a twin turbo diesel though it doesn't define it as a Nissan engine.  I'll have to inquire about that.

I'll be following the Silk Way Rally as this will be this vehicles first event, driven by Thierry Magnaldi, and there are a number of Dessoude and other Nissans entered.  It should be good for some great pictures running across much of Europe and Asia.

Dessoude Juke Buggie Info (in French)...

RallyRaid.es Article (in Spanish)...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Grand Am Continental Tire Racing at Watkins Glen...

Some day I'll make it over to the Glen for a race...some day.

For now I'll have to be content to watch from afar and cheer on any Nissan results from many hours away.

This weekend it was the Continental Tire 150 which occured on this past Saturday.  The two Nissan teams involved were divided between the Grand Sport and the Street Tuner classes with Doran Racing and their 370Z in GS and Skullcandy Racing and their Altima in ST.

Doran Racing has been having issues on and off with their 370Z and this weekend was another downer, finishing 25th on the day in a field of 30, completing only 37 laps vs. the winner's 59.  At least they looked good in their time on the track!  For the year Doran Racing has competed in four Continental events, sit 23rd out of 42 teams on the year and have finishes of 33rd, 8th, 7th and now 25th to show for it.  The speed to run in the top ten is there, the consistency or reliability is not.

Skullcandy Team Nissan sits 22nd on the season out of 43 teams after this weekend where they and their Altima coupe finished seventh in class and on the lead lap.  Having finished 8th, 12th and 7th in the three events they have entered in '12, they are really showing the potential of the platform and giving the class a run for their money when they compete.

Continental Tire Series, Watkins Glenn Results...