Photography by: Jim Bob Barnett – Additional Photography by: Jandy Mendo
Jandy sent out a message to our group chat: “Death Valley Veterans Day weekend.” That’s all he said, but we all knew we had to be there. Andy, aka Jandy, is a good friend of mine and a master trip planner who regularly tries to get a group of friends out as often as he can, but with so many conflicting schedules and lives, it’s been harder and harder to all get together.
California’s “Golden State” moniker might not stem from its iconic sunsets and its “golden hour,” but its certainly fitting. As he made his way down the 79 freeway on the backside of Palomar Mountain, Ash Throp was prompted to pull over and take advantage of the dying light on the horizon. Distant clouds softened the sun as it cast long shadows across the tarmac: perfect for a backlit photo session on an empty road.
The popularity of aircooled 911s has been on a constant rise for years on end now, and for good reason: the 911 is unequivocally the quintessential sportscar. The skyrocketing demand has brought these cars out of the woodwork, and as a result, the 911’s lead over the competition when it comes to being an enthusiast-centric car has only grown. With the upswing in popularity, tuners, builders, and drivers have worked to establish their name in the rapidly growing community.
This story begins with a rusty, battered Pontiac Trans Am. It’s a far departure from the BMWs Riley Stair has built his name around, although not totally unexpected, if you’ve ever seen the C10 Pickup he tucks away. He’s clearly got a passion for the un-substitutable thump-and-rumble of a V8, having stuffed one into almost every project he’s built so far, ranging from his own E28 and his dad’s E24, to the Datsun 240Z, the C10, and now the T/A, too.
The Traband 601 is a unique machine. To provide some history for American readers, the 601, most commonly known simply as “the Trabant,” was East Germany’s response to the Volkswagen Beetle. It began production in 1963, and carried forth until 1990, decades past obsolescence. Its two-stroke engine made for a somewhat reliable, simple, and easy to maintain platform, but found itself lost in the growing automotive technology that blossomed in the 1970s and ’80s.