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Some odd rambliings: Specialty workshops, Subarus and ZR rated tires

By Rigval on 12 Mar 2010

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One of the activities that most motor heads do during the weekends is that they congregate their friendly neighbourhood specialty mechanic shop. There they exchange views and look at each others ride while having the mechanic change their engine oil or brake pads. But some go there just to meet up with friends. Usually the shop that is frequented by them are specialist tuner type shops and not the average workshop. Take for example the workshop in the photo above, it is filled with Subarus as well as a few fast Mitsubishis.

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The fun thing about specialty shops like these is that there are bound to be rare cars brought in by customers. For example, in the pic above we can see a Subaru Impreza WRX Type RA from the mid 1990s. These type RA models of the early or classic Impreza were a good 30-40kgs lighter than the ordinary WRX of its day and was the first that utilized the roof scoop to ventilate the interior of the car. It was a homologation special for Group N rallying and was not produced in large numbers compared to its usual WRX stablemates. These older Imprezas are slender machines and feel nimble and light on their feet unlike the newer ones, which have crash impact beams, airbags, and every other modern feature that adds weight. 280bhp in one of these is like having 320bhp in a newer model.

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I caught sight of a burnt out Impreza WRX STI Spec C Type RA. A mouthful, but that rare Impreza had basically caught fire and the whole front end was totaled by it. I am not going to show that photo here as it is a painful sight to see but I do want to share with you the ZR rated Bridgestone tire that had partly burnt, exposing the insides. From the photo below you can see the amount of steel wire required to make sure it can withstand speeds over 240km/h. You could say that there is an equal amount of steel and rubber in a very high performance tire and that is also the reason why old tires are mainly recycled for their steel and only partly for their rubber. Recycled tire rubber do not have much use aside from making rubber mulch that are used for playground flooring. This flooring is somewhat soft so that kids have some impact cushioning when they fall from see-saws or slides. That said, I now know that I am in very safe 'hands' knowing the fact that the ZR rated tires that most of us use look like they are extremely strong based on the photo above.

ZR rated tires, Subaru WRX and 3 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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