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Author Topic: Popping in to say hi.  (Read 2736 times)
m610
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« on: April 15, 2015, 06:41:18 PM »

In honor of Tim (Thunderbird88) on his birthday I told him I'd pop in and say hi.

Tim was the Swedish kid who was building up Thunderbirds to race at the strip on weekends and drive on the streets during the week. He's fond of supercharged Ford engines. He was 16 back in those early StreetFire days. He's not a kid (Well, that's a relative term.) anymore at 23 and is working for a Swedish company in Korea now installing and maintaining those massive harbor cranes.

Speaking of Streetfire, do you SF rejects remember this? https://vimeo.com/8010477

I've been busy and because I've been racing I am broke. But at least I am racing. Yes, it in LeMons, but that's real racing, too, plus I've taken the car to Bonneville twice. I've got 16 races behind me and the car has covered over 10,000 miles on California and Nevada road race courses. Not bad for a $200 field-find Opel GT.

From last month's race.


Web: http://teamtinyvette.kstreetstudio.com

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Imran
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 10:14:03 PM »

Welcome back! Happy birthday Tim, though i don't think he posts here anymore.
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Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 02:12:59 AM »

Holy blast-from-the-past !  Welcome back !  Good to hear from you again, and that you're doing what you love, even if you're broke because of it .  .  .
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MontereyDave
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 11:40:51 AM »

Welcome back! Racing that Opel GT looks exciting.
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m610
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 03:01:12 PM »

I haven't found a single word that captures what racing this thing is like for me. To start, there's the wrenching, the bleeding, the ruining of all my sweats and t-shirts, and the decimation of bank accounts. There's managing a team, finding drivers who aren't entertaining fantasies of being F&F/SCCA/NASCAR heroes, and then creating an atmosphere where people feel like they are part of a team that is on a mission, my mission. Then there's getting in the car and racing it for 2+ hours straight in a field of 180+ cars, topping 220 at it's peak, and expected to top that again this summer. There's the anxiety that rises to stomach churning levels as my time to drive approaches, not because of the stress of driving, but because it comes on top of all the stress of preparation, transport, inspections, everything. Most of that disappears once I am rolling through the paddock for my final gear/car/wrist band check before entering the hot pits, then the race track. By turn 1 90% of the baggage stress is gone and after one lap, enough to get a feel for the car the previous driver brought in, 99% of that stress is gone and I am in a weird kind of gonna-all-but-die-or-crash nirvana. After 10 minutes of this I am not even on this planet anymore. I'm not a human anymore. I am part of the physics and mechanics of a machine on a mission to steal time where ever it can find it. A quarter second here, a full second there, and a 3-second payout if I screw something up. The other cars are obstacles, not competitors. Only the car in front of me means anything to me. Every time they snag a 1/4 second I try for a 1/2 second. Meanwhile, the cars closing on me must be dealt with. I position the car to tell them where to pass, but I don't lift. I give a point-by early if I can, to get rid of them as soon as I can. After 2 hours Geoff radios that it's time to come in. Or the checkered comes out and it's time to come in. Or the black flag is pointed at me and I have to come in. Once I come in I've landed. I'm back on earth, feeling gravity again, and am adjusting to that. Standing feels funny and my arms don't work. They are too sore to raise them higher than where the steering wheel had been moments before. I'm useless and the team takes care of the car. Once it goes back out with a fresh driver and a full tank I am the team manager again, managing a team that is an honor to be racing with. Tomorrow, we do it all over again, and once that is over, all 14 hours of racing, covering around 700 miles, collectively over 100,000 miles, we pack up and go home, having worked our asses off for weeks, driven our asses off for days, now starved, dehydrated, and sunburned, all while still managing to now make any useful contribution to society other than maybe keeping us off the streets for a while. I need a word for that. Wink

Dave, I'll have the car at the West Coast Dream Machines show at Half Moon Bay this coming weekend. That's not far from Monterey. You coming? I'll also be at The Legends of the Autobahn and Concours d'LeMons in August, but in the Seaside/Monterey area.

Some video, of course: https://vimeo.com/90698395 (Not me driving.) Wink

Mike
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MontereyDave
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 01:18:00 PM »

Awesome description Mike. If I was still in Monterey I'd come up to Half Moon Bay to see you. However, I moved down to L.A. two years ago after my wife passed. So, let me know any weekend, any event you'll be at in southern CA. Also, heck yes I will attend car week in Monterey this year! If I don't see you sooner, then I'll definitely look for you in August. butt rock
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m610
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 08:09:29 PM »

Thanks, and I am so sorry. I remember a few yous ago you posted a photo with her and your daughter. She looked like a real sweetie.

Buttonwillow Raceway on Jun 21 weekend. That's as far south as I'll get this year.
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Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 09:56:17 PM »


I haven't found a single word that captures what racing this thing is like for me. To start, there's the wrenching, the bleeding, the ruining of all my sweats and t-shirts, and the decimation of bank accounts. There's managing a team, finding drivers who aren't entertaining fantasies of being F&F/SCCA/NASCAR heroes, and then creating an atmosphere where people feel like they are part of a team that is on a mission, my mission. Then there's getting in the car and racing it for 2+ hours straight in a field of 180+ cars, topping 220 at it's peak, and expected to top that again this summer. There's the anxiety that rises to stomach churning levels as my time to drive approaches, not because of the stress of driving, but because it comes on top of all the stress of preparation, transport, inspections, everything. Most of that disappears once I am rolling through the paddock for my final gear/car/wrist band check before entering the hot pits, then the race track. By turn 1 90% of the baggage stress is gone and after one lap, enough to get a feel for the car the previous driver brought in, 99% of that stress is gone and I am in a weird kind of gonna-all-but-die-or-crash nirvana. After 10 minutes of this I am not even on this planet anymore. I'm not a human anymore. I am part of the physics and mechanics of a machine on a mission to steal time where ever it can find it. A quarter second here, a full second there, and a 3-second payout if I screw something up. The other cars are obstacles, not competitors. Only the car in front of me means anything to me. Every time they snag a 1/4 second I try for a 1/2 second. Meanwhile, the cars closing on me must be dealt with. I position the car to tell them where to pass, but I don't lift. I give a point-by early if I can, to get rid of them as soon as I can. After 2 hours Geoff radios that it's time to come in. Or the checkered comes out and it's time to come in. Or the black flag is pointed at me and I have to come in. Once I come in I've landed. I'm back on earth, feeling gravity again, and am adjusting to that. Standing feels funny and my arms don't work. They are too sore to raise them higher than where the steering wheel had been moments before. I'm useless and the team takes care of the car. Once it goes back out with a fresh driver and a full tank I am the team manager again, managing a team that is an honor to be racing with. Tomorrow, we do it all over again, and once that is over, all 14 hours of racing, covering around 700 miles, collectively over 100,000 miles, we pack up and go home, having worked our asses off for weeks, driven our asses off for days, now starved, dehydrated, and sunburned, all while still managing to now make any useful contribution to society other than maybe keeping us off the streets for a while. I need a word for that. Wink



Love this description !  Sometimes doing what you really love defies conventional logic.  Well done !
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RatherBNarizona
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 10:12:13 PM »

Well look who it is! Good to see you buddy! Glad to hear you are still racing!
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Mac
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 04:59:03 PM »

Wow that was amazing. That's similar to the mode (on a much smaller level) that I would get into on a road trip or a serious run in the fire truck. Never at your speed level but usually at or above the  safe level of operation for the vehicle.
Also, I  have always loved Opel GTs. What a cool underestimated car in its day as well as today. Good luck and congrats on living your and my dream. Axe
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Maslpfan
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 01:00:19 AM »

That is the best thing I've ever heard, you're truly doing what you love!
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