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Insider Report: 4×4 recovery goes fifty shades of wrong

Published November 6, 2013

The number one rule of off road driving is never to go with just one truck in case you get stuck. Jase and Simon from Australia’s All 4 Adventure at least had that one covered, travelling with a pair of what appear to be well-prepared trucks. (Well-prepared except for the not-so-aggressive tires.) They even had a couple of off road buggies that they used to pre-run a section of beach that they wanted to cross during low tide. The problem is that buggies don’t weigh as much as a loaded pickup and they do have proper tires.

Another somewhat more advanced rule of off roading is that tugging should happen in a straight line whenever possible. One of these blokes obviously forgot that rule in his rush to beat the incoming tide, resulting in an “oops” of epic proportions.

Winter is coming, hone your driving skills at Camp4 Canada
As part of my daily grind (if you can call it that) as an auto journalist, I am fortunate to experience a wide range of exciting driving experiences. The one that has had the most lasting impression on my driving ability was a couple of years ago when Porsche brought their Camp4 winter driving program to Canada for the first time. You can see from the picture above that I had a great time! The opportunity to exercise a collection of Porsches on ice, in a controlled setting with World Class instructors was quite simply a life changer.

While one might expect a program like this to be open only to existing Porsche customers and dealership friends and family, anyone can attend the school in rural Quebec. Participants all have one thing in common: a quest to become a better driver. Porsche makes some of the best balanced cars on the market, so the capable vehicles in the product line-up just make the experience more memorable. To learn more or book your Camp4 experience visit Camp4 online.

Views of Can-Am racing from 1972
A few years ago, while planning the first ever Old Farts Reunion, a gathering of old Canadian racers and the like that takes place on Indy week in Toronto, someone asked the question: “What constitutes an old fart?” The not so serious decision was that anyone who had seen Formula 1 and the original versions of Trans Am and Can-Am at Mosport would be eligible. While I am half the age of some participants, I did indeed see all three series at Mosport, so I guess that makes me an old fart.

Like most race fans of the era, the most exciting cars were the Can-Am ground pounders. Cars that were so extreme that they literally shook the ground as the pack thundered along the track. I just stumbled across this video, from the collection of motorsports photographer Gordon Jolley, that shows some of the action in the paddock at Road Atlanta in 1972. I particularly like the footage of the UOP Shadow, as I remember sitting in that car. I was just five years old. Watch for Canadian racer John Cordts’ car. How about those sideburns and bell-bottoms?!

Faces of GM – Howard Elmer
It has been a while since I’ve run one of these Faces of GM videos, so when one that features local writer Howard Elmer, I thought it made sense to share. Howard is a long time writer who specializes in trucks and hosts the annual Truck King Challenge. Like many automotive scribes, Elmer is also an enthusiast and his pride and joy is a lovely ’71 Chevrolet Cheyenne that seems to win awards at every show the Elmers visit.

On a recent trip, Elmer visited the Flint, Michigan plant where his truck was built to show it off to the employees.

15 Seconds With: 2014 Infiniti Q50
Moments after I recorded this video, having mentioned how the G35 had revolutionized the sport sedan segment, a young guy in a blacked-out and lowered G Coupe began chasing me. He rolled down his window and shouted “Awesome car man!” That scenario right there is a brand marketer’s dream.

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