Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/26/20 2:03 p.m.

I was putting this in our latest FM newsletter, and figured that there might be a few people here that are looking for some fun grassroots content while stuck at home.

Back in 2011, I did the Targa Newfoundland in a V8 Miata with my wife riding shotgun. We also had a sister car that had Zach Bowman (R&T) as codriver. And most importantly, we had an experienced filmmaker and crew following us around. 

The end result is the longest, most professionally edited "what I did on my vacation" video ever :) Seriously, this a video and editing team that does Discovery documentaries. The show has rookie mistakes, an experienced team dealing with a new car, tree attacks, mechanical maladies, learning curves, recoveries, real roads and...a hurricane?  The first bit starts off as a bit of a love letter to the Miata community, but if you want to see a V8 Miata get wheelspin over a 100 mph crest on a public road, it's what you need.

Available to stream on YouTubes. Don't mind that thumbnail, it's terrible.


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/26/20 2:06 p.m.

And I'm just going to leave this here - the difference between Grand Touring and Targa Open class explained in less than 60 seconds :)


nderwater UltimaDork
3/26/20 2:09 p.m.

Up-vote. It's an entertaining watch and a great intro to the event for motorsports fans of all stripes.

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/26/20 8:14 p.m.

Great video. I remember this video and had to watch again. What a fun story. 

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/26/20 9:05 p.m.

I am very excited to watch this over the weekend!

Caprigrip New Reader
3/26/20 9:23 p.m.

Thanks for posting - excited to watch this tonight. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/26/20 10:05 p.m.

Thanks for posting this!

And yes, I meant to have the bold font turned on!

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
3/26/20 10:08 p.m.

Watched it awhile ago, will have to watch again.

Is good stuff.

Caprigrip New Reader
3/28/20 12:41 a.m.

Just finished and absolutely loved it.  The chemistry between all, the sounds, the cars.   Love Flyin Miata even more and proud to be a customer for life. 

Thank you Keith for posting this.  

chandler PowerDork
3/28/20 8:59 a.m.

Just watched it, excellent!

newold_m New Reader
3/28/20 9:25 a.m.

I had seen it a few years ago and looking forward to watching it again!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/28/20 9:25 a.m.

Glad you guys are enjoying it!

The chemistry is real. Zach, as some might remember, later quit his job at R&T and spent a year on the road with his wife and very young daughter. Brandon took a six month leave from FM and joined them for a while along with his own wife. We've all managed to get together a number of times - Zach most recently tested one of our V8 cars for R&T. In the snow :)

We have threatened to recut the trailer to tell the love story of Brandon and Zach. You're the chocolate to my vanilla...

Zach posted some reports to Autoblog during the race if you want to get his real-time (ish) reactions. That poor guy, nobody had any idea what we were doing to him. The "How to lose in one easy step" is the overview article, and he did get a couple of minutes behind the wheel of my car to write a drive report. I wasn't able to arrange for some closed stage time.

Zach's Autoblog articles in reverse order (the link includes a few extra articles, don't mind those)

Aaron_King PowerDork
3/28/20 10:12 a.m.

I wore my t shirt from that on Tuesday.

Mndsm MegaDork
3/28/20 11:17 a.m.

Is this the video you got all choked up in?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/28/20 11:32 a.m.

Man sad, damnit. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/28/20 4:39 p.m.
Mndsm said:

Is this the video you got all choked up in?

Well, I didn't (quite) choke up, but I'm not going to deny having an emotional reaction to watching this. 

Very good documentary film, amazingly compelling and exciting story.

Thank you again, Kieth. Indeed, you and all the the FM team should be proud. You proved yourselves.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
3/28/20 4:44 p.m.

I need to get to "Da Rock" before I die. The people there and in the rest of the Maritimes are the nicest folks you could ever want to meet.

ckosacranoid SuperDork
3/28/20 4:58 p.m.

i remember when you did that video first came out. I ordered it and told the people online that people had to sign it before shipping it out. I have it somewhere in the many boxes of dvds.

Loweguy5 Reader
3/30/20 9:50 p.m.

I watched about half of this tonight and it's a great story!   Looking forward to finishing it off tomorrow.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/31/20 7:07 a.m.

Spectacular story. Isn't Zach the same guy who was working on putting an Ecoboost in a fox body Mustang? He's a very entertaing writer,

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/31/20 9:15 a.m.

The Ugly Horse, yup. Zach doing something that makes him miserable is very entertaining reading. He's got the Mustang still but is currently building a Caterham with Sam Smith. I think the Mustang project increased in scope too fast when Ford threw the crate engine at it, and it just got to be too much to handle.

Took us a bit of time to find a journo to ride along, as that was our plan for the Grand Touring navigator. Peter Egan was our #1 choice but he is at a point in his life where he can't spend a week of 13 hour days sitting in a car. There had been a big push to get journalists into the Targa a few years earlier so the most common reaction was "yeah, done that" from the magazines. Zach was writing for Autoblog at the time and he jumped on it immediately. We're lucky he did, because he was a perfect match for Brandon, is a Miata enthusiast (he currently has a nice stock smurf blue 1993 for sale, let me know if you're interested) and it turns out he was very much on his way up. We got our journalist but also picked up a friend on the way.

The film came about from an FM customer. He heard about the race and came to us with a proposal to do the video project. It's the sort of thing that can sound a little  like "my dad's got this awesome set of tools", but he did have a few real projects under his belt (writer/producer on Speed Science for example) so we decided to go for it. It was funded by Kickstarter. Adam and his wife Tracey put a bunch of their own money into it and roped in their friends. For example, that's not clip-art music, it was composed for the program. They were also about the same age as Brandon and Zach, which put me in the position of being the old man in the whole thing :) It was a labor of love that took about a year to edit, and I think it did some good things for them professionally. I hope so. We also gave Adam a supercharger for his NC :) Adam's now a producer on "Maine Cabin Masters", and Brandon, Zach, Adam along with their families get together regularly.

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