Saturday, January 14, 2012


Before I get too old and the memory gets too fuzzy I want to document some history. There have been many influences that have guided me through my life. It can be interesting to look back on them and see how much of today is shaped by those people, events, etc of yesterday.

My largest influences through the years were those that were closest to me. My brother and some of his friends were an ever present existence. It really began with my brother acquiring a '93 Mazda RX-7 from Peter Farrell Supercars. The funny thing about Mazda RX-7s were of course that they were rotary engine powered. That meant the car was loud and required constant tinkering. I am not so sure whether I would have been as influenced by a vehicle that required less maintenance or that didn't wake me up every time it was idling in the driveway. It required that my brother and his friends spend more time at the house poking around the car rather than out causing a ruckus (however, the still managed plenty of both). I enjoyed tagging along to the drag races at Maryland International Raceway (MIR) where of course more time was spent babying the RX-7 in the pits than waiting in the staging lanes or actually running passes. It helped me learn that racing was not all about developing one's driving skills, but knowing the machine.

As a sort of contradiction to my brother's loud and, at the time, pretty exotic looking RX-7 there was his best friend James Tate's Honda CRX. It was quite, understated and cute, which rather fit my tastes as a 13 year old girl. It is with this car that I learned about Hondas. It wasn't so much what was done with this vehicle either, but the potentials that were discussed ad nauseum. Eventually this CRX was morphed into something more beastly, but the early years of my developing automotive interest, it remained subdued. Although, upon reflection, I'm not certain whether this particular CRX was the base or whether it was wrecked or sold with a different CRX taking its place. Regardless, James always had a CRX. Because of the discussions surrounding it, I learned a lot about engine swaps and information resources before ever actually seeing the work occur. I heard all about Norris Prayoonto and his "hybrid" Civic, the first of its kind around the Washington DC area. I just knew that eventually, I wanted to do that too.