It's not often that we stray from the burnout shots, bolt-on how-to's,or multipage race coverage. But it's rare when two characters so vitalto putting out this magazine get to step back and enjoy the world wework in. Such was the case when regular contributor Dale Amy spent theweek hanging with eccentric Editor-at-Large Tom Wilson. This one is forfans of Tom's old, surreal Super Ford editorials. Read with caution, andremember--you have to be a little different to do this job. -- Ed.
Everyone thinks they want this job, but really, it's like being lockedin a closet with two term papers to write by Friday. But that's only inwarm So Cal, where an Editor at Large such as me haunts the bustlingFord scene--accompanied by two Playmates as camera bearers--in a steadystream of obscenely powerful V-8s supplied by groveling manufacturers.
Horse Sense: Clearly we don't have any, or we wouldhave headed to Tijuana.
Dale Amy, 5.0 & Super Ford's noted after-hours raconteur, has perfectedhis craft in more spartan climes, his intense focus (wagon) distractedonly by a pair of Airedales and the occasional need to plow his way tothe outhouse after a particularly energetic weather. Canadian Dale, yousee, outposts on the Ontario sandbar stretching between upstate New Yorkand downstate Michigan.
Given the rather large mountain range and wide, muddy, river in the odd2,000 miles (that's 3,200 kilometers, Canadian) between us, it's rarewhen Dale and I combine forces. But then Dispatch fouled up, and beforeyou could say thaw, Dale's smiling buzz-cut landed on my Palm-treeddoorstep ready for a week of internal-combustion derring-do. Determinedas always to scale magazine heights, Dale and I immediately rounded upsomething to drive and someone to buy lunch. Herewith follows thephotographic evidence of expense-accounted adolescence.
Wearing his favorite Canadian DECH (meaning?) disguise, Dale motors awayfrom his latest side-street burnout in the 5.0 open-track project car.It was like this all week.
You don't get rich in this job, but sometimes the work is reward enough.Dale's primary assignment? Accompany Editor Turner to Phoenix, Arizona,in February to photograph and drive the omnipotent '03 SVT Cobra. "Hmm,let's see," Dale said, "Go to the desert and warm up to the tune of 390blown horsepower, or stay home in a climate so cold it makes tweezersand a magnifying glass part of the winter bathroom ritual? I neglectedto mention I would have done the job for free."
Says Dale, "As a prelude to sampling their new Cobra on the road course,the guys from SVT reasoned that an evening with the Bob Bondurant racingschool karts might be entertaining--especially after pulling the pin onthe gastronomical grenade known as take-out pizza. Here, I'm under theheavy lateral g-load of several slices of pepperoni and mushroom.Meanwhile, it was snowing back home, and my next stop was the SouthernCalifornia digs of Editor-at-Large Wilson, who was already busy warmingup the tires on the Bullitt we would be--uh--'testing' for the first fewdays."
Combined Fleet Maneuvers would be one way of describing selectingsomething from my key basket. Nearly every Ford fob imaginable has hungover the edge of this thing at some point in the past 16 years; whileDale was aboard there were five to choose from.
As well as having been handed driving licenses by the state and Crown,Dale and I both found pilots licenses in Cracker Jack boxes. Thus, weoften debate what's best to drive to the airport. In this case, theBullitt did the deed, as Dale documented in this staged recreation ofour trip to Maximum Motorsports in exotically distant San Luis Obispo.With chamber of commerce weather, the decision to either drive five-plushours through Los Angeles rush hour traffic or fly over it for two hoursdidn't take long to make.
Ace lensman Dale was simply giddy while combining his love of the lenswith that of the sky, the cars below, and the warmth all around. Usingmy Brownie, here's his rendition of Saleen's world headquarters (it'sone of the gray-topped buildings in the lower right), thoughtfullylocated for navigation purposes immediately adjacent to the now-closedEl Toro Marine Corps Air Station. To alleviate their gridlocked trafficwoes and provide for a forecast 30 percent increase in air travel,Orange County voters have four times voted to turn this into morehousing.