Out here on the West Coast, Southern California to be exact, we aren’t accustomed to putting away our cars for a given amount of time due to inclement weather. At least that was the case until the winter of 2017 when the skies opened up and gave us the wettest rainy season we’ve seen in years. It was highly unusual, hitting up the local weekend morning coffee cruise sites and seeing large numbers of empty parking spots due to low car counts. And it was even worse on cold, partly cloudy days with just a slight threat of rain.
As long as there isn’t a torrential downpour forecasted, I’ll pretty much drive my car in the rain, but this winter was one for the ages. The risk of flooding was real—it just wasn’t worth the risk.
The upside was that when the weather did get nice, the usual cruise spots were at capacity. That was great for the coffee and donut vendors, but the downside was that you had to get to your favorite cruise location much earlier than normal. If not, you were stuck parking your ride far away from the action—you know, next to the regular cars. Not cool.
So as I scribble out this month’s editorial, we are heading down the home stretch of winter and are looking forward to a great summer of driving, showing, autocrossing, drag racing, and everything else we do with our rides. You know, the usual car guy/gal stuff.
But this year is somewhat special for me as I’m really looking forward to driving Project Orange Krate, the Chevy High Performance Pro Touring 1971 Camaro, to quite a few events this season. It just got delivered from its full build at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, and a fresh tune-up at Norris Motorsports in Plainfield, Indiana.
I’m particularly excited to get the car out on the autocross and really beat on it to see what it’ll do. Yes, we had the car out at the 2016 Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and discovered some suspension upgrades were necessary to make the car more competitive—nothing major, just some work on the shocks and a spring change.
With the new suspension goodies in place, it’s now a matter of dialing in the settings and getting the driver up to speed, and that’ll require a good amount of seat time.
I figure with a few track days to break in the car we’ll be just fine.
Weather permitting ...