Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsNews & Views
This Sick Cobra Blows Chunks on the Hoonigan Dock!
I've been asked a slew of questions about my experience since my Factory Five Challenge car aired on Hoonigan's Daily Transmission episode 240 (LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za8PZorQoKk), so I figured that I could share it with the world.
Larry Chen is an old photographer buddy, and I have been talking about him shooting my car for a long time. Our schedules constantly conflicted and it led to the suggestion of bringing my car on Daily Transmission instead. I stopped by the Donut Shop for unrelated business a few weeks before filming and met with Vin Anatra. Vin, who heads up business development as well as playing co-host, scheduled me two weeks out on a Thursday, which is typically when all Daily Transmissions are filmed.
"We are always looking for cars that are different," said Brian Scotto, Hoonigan's CCO. "Whether it's a million-dollar all-out SEMA car or a $2,000 backyard build, we want them if they are unique and down to party in the yard. While it's not a mandate that you kill some tires when on the show. It's strongly advised!"
Uniqueness is really the way to win the hearts of the Hoonigans. "We love creativity. Take the Buick LeMons car as an example," explained Scotto. "Easily the least cool car ever on the show that quickly became cool because not only did the owner have the best personality, he jumped it off the dock in reverse! Not that we really want anyone to destroy their car, but this Buick wasn't exactly a gem. Some cars are just meant to be beaten! That's what makes them fun. "
Immediately after scheduling I received two documents to fill out. One was a spec sheet on the car and the second being a, "if you come break your driveshaft, it's not our problem" release form. I obliged and was told to bring the paperwork with me.
The Donut Shop is located a stone's throw from a large apartment complex and because of such, they are required by the city of Long Beach to have filming permits. Needless to say, this still doesn't keep the cops from stopping by unannounced to see if the permit is valid for the day. To maximize their money, Hoonigan stuffs as many Daily Transmissions as they can in one day, which is typically 3-5.
The start time for my filming was 3:30, but I arrived 15 minutes early to vacuum out my car and wipe it down. I drove the Factory Five to work that day and then to Long Beach for filming, so it needed a good cleaning from the 50-mile drive. I got about five minutes into my vacuuming and was told to bring my car onto the dock for beauty shots.
I hadn't wiped my car down yet, but this served as a good means to shoot me performing the task. I actually use an ammonia-less glass cleaner to wipe down the satin paint job, and it works remarkably well. The crew spends a good 20-30 minutes shooting B-roll of the car. During this time, the crew figures out who is going to host the show. Vin, Dan, and Zac ended up being selected as the primary hosts who also act as floating cameramen. Virtually all Daily Transmission's A-roll is done with a selfie stick and simple consumer based cameras.
The conversation transitions from casual talk to filming the episode rapidly there's no rehearsal and questions are fired from the hip. The pace is quick and you're getting asked about the car from all angles. It's best to stick with the person who has the camera so the internal mic can pick up the best quality audio. The crew spends a good 15-20 minutes talking to you about the car and then you must pick from the pinwheel of hoonery. Are we jumping it? Burnouts? Donuts? Drifting? Jump the dock? Everything is on the table as long as it's exciting. Yes, I have done a burnout, yes I used to road race, and drift, but I have never done it with a car this nice.
Being that the Cobra is naturally aspirated, it still makes a decent amount of torque (in the mid 400s), but Toyo's R888Rs are very sticky. Compound that with the dock's fresh rubber, which gives it about as much grip as a dragstrip without VHT. With all this in mind, I opted for the burnout. I backed the car to the end of the dock, everyone readied themselves, and the all-clear was sounded. A few revs, a 4,000 rpm clutch drop later, and a Bluetooth driveshaft was created.
Aluminum is a very common material to use for driveshafts in excess of 2,000 horsepower, though the Internet seems appalled that aluminum was used. The problem I ran into is the weld on the rear yoke wasn't strong enough and sheered away from the driveshaft tube. Once the driveshaft fragged, it took out my fuel pump wiring, which in hindsight was a good thing; the car shut off immediately, mitigating further damage. Also, luckily, the driveshaft is so small that it really can't come through the floor (jinx).
The crew took great care of my car- dollies were placed under the rear wheels to keep the rear end from spinning and causing further damage. We raised the car on their lift and I unbolted the rear end's side of the driveshaft. I also took the opportunity to measure for a new (steel) driveshaft. There were a few free tows left on my AAA account, so I made the call for a pick up. The first driver who showed up, declared my 100-percent-street-legal car a race car and reported me to dispatch. A subsequent call for service led to a snarky dispatcher calling me back to tell me my car has been black listed. I guess stickers, wheels, and a wing makes your car too highly modified to be towed? Shout out to Alva Affordable Towing in Long Beach for not price-gouging and getting me home before 10 p.m.
So, how does one get their car on Daily Transmission? It definitely helps to know someone. Scotto explains, "We have been working on a way for people to contact us with their builds and just set up a new email for just that (firstname.lastname@example.org). Photos are good. Proof you can and will roast tires is even better!"
If The Hoonigans plan a special "Retribution" episode, count me in.