Anybody want a Burnt Rubber Special from Randy's Donuts?
November 17, 2014 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Drift master Ken Block's newest video, Gymkhana 7, is a tire smoke-filled drift romp through the deserted streets and freeways of Los Angeles. A commemoration of the Ford Mustang's 50th anniversary, his vehicle this time is a custom-built, 850hp, all wheel drive 1965 'Stang lovingly named the Hoonicorn RTR .

Previous Gymkhana:

One (practice) (previously)
Two
Three, Part 1 (music video) Part 2 (the real video) (previously)
Four (previously)
Five in San Francisco (previously)
Six (Unlinked previously, it's an off-street obstacle course with big spiky balls, Lamborghinis, and sundry other stuff Block's gotta skid around. Or into. )
posted by carsonb (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why do I always open these posts expecting to see Pony Club activities. When will I learn.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:28 AM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have such mixed feelings about this video and Ken Block in general. One one hand, I like rally racing, on the other hand, I dislike the dudebro energy drink xtreme stuff he embodies and is bringing to the sport. I live in LA and it's always cool seeing my city and landmarks like the LA River and Randy's Donuts, but the use of homeless carts and latin food carts as obstacles to dodge is not very classy. It does look like they chose an early weekend morning to shoot because there's way more traffic at any other time (good) but you can clearly see the southbound 110 fwy backed up to let him shoot. That used to be my morning commute, it pains me just to see it.

The coolness of the vroom vroom and Block's driving ability is undeniable though.
posted by JauntyFedora at 11:29 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


How is it that this dudebro gets to do this and skid-mark all these streets?

But got-DAYEM he's got skills. He probably racked up a few hundred thousand "Kudos"* on that run.

* for all you Project Gotham Racing fans.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kinda despicable.
posted by odinsdream at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


LA is such a beautiful town.
posted by Nevin at 11:50 AM on November 17, 2014


OK, maybe I'm just old and grumpy. But I can't help but think this glorifies highly dangerous driving. Doing it on public streets can't help but spawn less talented imitators who will try it in less controlled situations.

I've believed for years that the way car driving is used and depicted in movies and on TV contributes to all the auto carnage on the street. This may be even worse.
posted by cccorlew at 11:50 AM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anyone else whisper "I love you" during that slo-mo part where one wheel is in the water and the opposite wheel is in the air? No? ok
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:00 PM on November 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was looking forward to a run through the 2nd St tunnel ...
posted by carter at 12:00 PM on November 17, 2014


I read that first as Gymkata and got excited. Bummer.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Doing it on public streets can't help but spawn less talented imitators who will try it in less controlled situations.

Drifting, like drag racing and skateboarding, started in less controlled situations by (sometimes) less-talented people. You have the causal arrow pointing the wrong way.

That said, I appreciate the skills and the production and all that, but drifting is just about the most boring way to abuse a car and they made this Mustang look like a Mustang II.
posted by rhizome at 12:05 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


How is it that this dudebro gets to do this and skid-mark all these streets?

Film permits. If you want to spend the money, you can go do it too.

The 6th Street bridge and the LA Aqueduct are constantly being filmed. I wouldn't be surprised if that bridge is closed for filming more than other stretch of road in the city. Randy's is also pretty popular, obviously.

I'm surprised they didn't go over to the 2nd Street Tunnel. Seems like it shows up about once a week in a car commercial.
posted by sideshow at 12:06 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was looking forward to a run through the 2nd St tunnel ...

Heh, I guess I wasn't the only one.
posted by sideshow at 12:07 PM on November 17, 2014


I can remember when the Mustang first appeared. It was the young happy fun car. It was the Pony Car. This isn't that car...
posted by jim in austin at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2014


I don't understand drifting.
I mean, I understand the driving skill involved and hey, 800hp but ultimately to me, it's the same as Nascar, I just don't get the appeal.
Maybe I should have spent more time doing burnouts on the backroads in my teen years.

I did like the white bronco double-take though, it made me chuckle.
And there were some pretty nice camera shots, liberal use of drones and not an excessive amount of slo-mo.

Needs a little post-production video magic, I think.
It'd be cool to scrub out all the practice tire marks, so it looks like a virgin run.
As it is, you can see how many times they had to run a particular shot.
posted by madajb at 12:32 PM on November 17, 2014


I don't understand drifting.

You and me both. Adding to the disconnect is that it's a judged race. WTF? I've watched a few competitions on tv, and I really cannot understand or connect with it.

Rallying, though...Oh, hells, yes.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2014


The white Bronco was a nice touch ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


that was so cool, but i want to punch this dude in the face because filming like this slows down my commute to work every morning :(

still very cool though.
posted by raihan_ at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2014


These shoots don't slow down anyone's commute. A big portion of this was shot in my neighborhood in downtown.
From Road and Track
Block tearing up closed-off LA streets in the black pony car over the weekend. They tell us that they counted eight cameramen, a chopper, innumerable GoPros, and a bunch of guys working security.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:55 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The driving skills were impressive, but the engineering is also pretty phenomenal. The largest engine that car came with was a 289, and they squeezed a 410 in there. And all-wheel drive, too? There's a lot of ramifications to such huge mods - like not twisting the frame apart, or still being able to get oil to the engine when it's pulling high Gs.

I'd only live for about 15 minutes driving that car, I think.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


After seeing all the shots at Randy's in Inglewood (or is that Westchester?) and the shots around the 105/110 split I was really surprised they didn't pop up on the 105 by the airport since car commercials love using that high rise stretch of the 105 right next to my office building.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:01 PM on November 17, 2014


1. I love vintage Mustang's. But dear god what did they do to that car?!?!

2. Seeing the tire marks from previous attempts sort of kills the magic for me. As does drifting that doesn't even pretend to be about getting around a corner. Coming onto that first bridge with 2 or 3 fishtail drifts just looks dumb to me.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:03 PM on November 17, 2014


It's weird... I'm a car nut, I should like this, but somehow it just feels like he's teabagging LA landmarks.
posted by indubitable at 1:10 PM on November 17, 2014


Yeah, I wonder how much actual vintage Mustang is left on that car. Judging from the pictures of the suspension and drivetrain, not much if any. Maybe just the body panels? But those could even be reproductions.
posted by zsazsa at 1:11 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The largest engine that car came with was a 289, and they squeezed a 410 in there. And all-wheel drive, too? There's a lot of ramifications to such huge mods - like not twisting the frame apart, or still being able to get oil to the engine when it's pulling high Gs.

It's a full tube frame special with Mustang body panels over the top, essentially. There is very little of the original car there in any shape or form. Besides, a full roll cage does wonders for a cars stiffness anyway...
posted by Brockles at 1:11 PM on November 17, 2014


Meanwhile, the passenger he picked up is going "Look at the time! Can't you go any faster?"
posted by happyroach at 1:13 PM on November 17, 2014


Well I liked it.
posted by The World Famous at 1:16 PM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The first Mustang I remember was a 1960s model owned by the folks at the end of our street. They had many children and the rear suspension of the car sagged like the ass of a 55 year old office worker. So for my entire childhood I thought of the Mustang as a lame family car. {calvinpeeingonfordlogo.jpg}
posted by exogenous at 1:28 PM on November 17, 2014


Christ, I couldn't pull that off in a video game. I've tried.
posted by Thistledown at 1:28 PM on November 17, 2014


I read that first as Gymkata and got excited. Bummer.

Every time I come across that word. Every. Time.
posted by Naberius at 1:42 PM on November 17, 2014


Mustang body panels over the top, essentially

Recreated in carbon fiber, too.
posted by smackfu at 2:03 PM on November 17, 2014


The original of that car was a Ford Falcon with different sheet metal and upholstery. The entire drivetrain, suspension, &c were identical to the Falcon.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:19 PM on November 17, 2014


Recreated in carbon fiber, too.

I think it's only the door panels (inside) that are carbon fibre. My understanding is the outer skin is steel and the pictures I can find seem to back that up.
posted by Brockles at 2:22 PM on November 17, 2014


I was looking forward to a run through the 2nd St tunnel ...

Someday I'm going to do a supercut of every shot ever filmed inside that tunnel. It will make the tunnel seem like it is fifty miles long.

It seems like the film ends with the hoon at the top of Mount Lee, looking down at the city filled with the smoke he created. But this film mostly takes place around the Loft District, where filmmaking is a constant menace to everyone. I noticed he showed the secret entrance to the LA River, fortunately he doesn't quite show the exact location. The fewer idiots who know where that entrance is, the better.

It's weird... I'm a car nut, I should like this, but somehow it just feels like he's teabagging LA landmarks.

I think this definition of skid marks covers this topic well.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:40 PM on November 17, 2014


Damn, but that was boring. Nothing but very repetitive tire-sliding. Worse, repetitive tire-sliding over the dozen skidmarks left by his practice runs. Shit, give me enough tries and I'm sure we'd end up with usable footage, too. Block, I am disappoint. Next time, one long tracking shot, no do-overs.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like the fact they kept the practice runs in, and to be honest the fact there was only 2-3 of them for the most part says something about the skill involved. It is incredibly hard to push a car to its limits sliding on a street surface because the quality and variability of the surface grip is so different and constantly changing. As such it is very hard to predict. It's interesting that the less used surfaces (the river and the donut shop) show he was able to get the takes done earlier than the street based stuff.

It's not reasonable to expect the right shots to come out first time and often there is an 'I think I can get that better' perspective and the honesty of the difficulty of it is good. It shows that even someone who does this on a constant basis takes a few goes to produce the footage that Block does.

Having said that, Block is not the driving god he is held up to be (witness his failure to even make waves in professional competition) and I can't decide if the lack of variety of the driving in this Gymkhana was because of his limitations or if they were focussing more on the locations and the 'story' around it than the actual driving stunts. It's very 'samey' from a vehicle handling perspective and the 2nd and 3rd Gymkhanas were far better and more interesting to me. You can only watch so many doughnuts around a stationary or OMGMOVING object before it's just... the same stuff. There was nothing especially challenging from a driving perspective in this last one as they were all separated one off stunts. A couple of nice 180 degree slides past a stationary object pieces but... same old same old.
posted by Brockles at 6:00 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Films with permits aren't as big a danger to my neighborhood as hipsters in search of coffee and picturesque locations for selfies.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:50 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Question: what does happen to all the skid marks he's left behind? Because they do seem a little like graffiti-ing public streets. Is part of the whole film-permitting thing that the production has to clean up afterwards?

(ISTR from the Breaking Bad podcast that for Walt's donuts in the parking lot they (a) had to steam clean the lot afterwards, and (b) added and augmented the rubber marks digitally in post.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:13 PM on November 20, 2014


What happens to the skid marks? Hell, what happens to all that nasty-ass smoke and smog? It's beyond gross.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 PM on November 20, 2014


So for my entire childhood I thought of the Mustang as a lame family car.

In 1976, my dad bought a lime green Mustang II for the commute over the Tappan Zee bridge, which was essentially a prettier pinto, so yes, I agree with this statement.
posted by mikelieman at 5:23 AM on November 21, 2014


I don't think the Tappan Zee Bridge is a prettier pinto.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:59 AM on November 21, 2014


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