We thought Mark Sawatsky had the engine swap of the century when he fit a Jaguar V12 into an MGB GT. Only problem: it didn’t really work, and then that lovely V12 died. So he did what any sensible person would do: hacked the roof off, added a Buick turbo four-cylinder, designed a new tube frame and suspension, and…
It wasn’t scary at first. “It will be fun,” my friends at Jalopnik said. But I was anxious. I’d never done autocross before. I’ve barely driven new cars, and I’d never driven an electric vehicle at all.
One of my favorite camera views in racing is the tire view that shows big Formula One tires flex and wobble through turns and over curbs. Thankfully, the amateur version of this is just as fascinating. Look at how much these Oldsmobile white walls flex at an autocross!
I went to a car museum not long ago while I was on vacation, because I have serious problems managing my work/life balance. But while I was at Autoworld I saw a pristine, shiny BMW Isetta just sitting there, looking pretty. It was awful.
Anyone can pick up an old beater Subaru to go rallycrossing. Resurrecting an old muscle car from a goat pen, however, makes you an instant legend. Here’s one of the greatest rallycross builds we’ve ever seen, and not because it’s particularly good at rallycrossing: Dylan Gondyke’s 1969 Mercury Cougar named “Eileen.”
Even if your car isn’t competitive, you should whip your ride around an autocross course at least once. Test its limits in a safe, open lot! Anyone can show up in a Miata or an S2000, but unlikely autocross cars are often the most fun to watch, as this 1978 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 demonstrates in the broughamiest way…
The SCCA Solo Nationals is autocross’s biggest show, attracting the best competitors from all over the country. John Li drove a rotary-powered MG Midget this year and admits that he may not have made it to autocross legend status just yet. Li hit a lot of cones. One cone even hit him back.
In case you ever doubted the greatness of these United States of America, all you need to do is look at one of America’s rowdiest creations holding its own on an autocross course. I’m talking, of course, about the noble Dodge Ram dually pickup truck.
Driving season is warming across the United States, and that means autocross. Should you count yourself out of these parking lot activities if your car is soft, old, or American? Hell no.
Two words: autocross everything.
Motor Trend’s YouTube show “Roadkill” has been a consistently excellent source of automotive idiocy for years. In 49 episodes they’ve lived many our jalopy dreams by putting monster engines in weird cars and using a Sawzall with extreme prejudice. Now we get to see their terrible fleet together in a ten-car showdown!
Every year, the nation’s best autocrossers descend upon the Sports Car Club of America Solo National Championships. Racers bring everything from stock-class grocery getters to supercars to highly modified cars built for one purpose: to dodge cones very fast. This supercut of Solo Nats action is downright amazing.
Sometimes, the vehicles off-course are almost as cool as those on-course. This is Todd Roberts’ pit bike from this year’s SCCA Solo Nationals, which features an animated woodcut dolphin which you can majestically ride upon as it bobs up and down.
When was the last time you called your mom? Recently? You should. When was the last time you took her autocrossing? You really should. This guy did in his girlfriend’s borrowed GTI, and he got some pretty momtastic results.
An old Ford F100 is a great truck for hauling hay, cruising main street, or lowering property values in your local subdevelopment. But how is it at autocross?
Here’s more evidence that every car can and should be autocrossed.
Even if you primarily do other forms of racing, autocross can be a great place to shake down a car. You get to toss the car around at its limit like a total hooligan in the company of other car geeks. If things go wrong, you're in good, knowledgeable company. Oh yes, things went wrong when I autocrossed my 944.
Between amateur endurance racing and the Sports Car Club Of America's "Street" autocross classes, there's quite a few series now mandating around 200-treadwear rubber. So, of course, different tire manufacturers are "readjusting" ratings of existing tires to cash in on the action.
There's something about the beautiful sound of a Mark 1 Ford Escort Estate wailing through sweet screeching slides and graceful doughnuts around a parking lot. This isn't your typical afternoon of cone-dodging, however. It's a crazy obstacle course the Brits call an autotest.
The same hands-free phone technology that saves our butts on the road can be a real pain if you decide to race or track your street car. How do you handle a call if you forgot to leave your phone far away in the paddock? Keep driving, of course.