Welcome to ‘In The Garage‘, Shiny Side’s in-depth photographic look into the garages that make our performance hearts swoon and our barn-find dreams soar. Moving forward, this section will be the best place to find some of the sweetest rides in pieces.
So what better way to start off the newest section on ShinySide.net than to take a photographic tour of the greatest automotive garage in all of Vermont… Welcome to the official Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA) garage, better known as Vermont SportsCar. Vermont SportsCar has a rather interesting and distinguished history (check out their About page: here) and is the former home of both gymkhana-hero Ken Block and left-turn-NASCAR-bound Travis Pastrana. But who’s counting on the past? You mean you haven’t heard of the current drivers Dave Mirra and David Higgins? You should do your homework…
The 2011 Rally America season kicked off this past weekend in the ass-end of Michigan at the annual Sno*Drift where the Mr. Mirra battled back from 5th place to snag 2nd place. Coincidence? I think not. Located off the beaten path in Colchester, Vermont, Vermont SportsCar has been the home of SRT USA since 2006. Vermont SportsCar strips naked each stock turbo boosted 4 cylinder symmetrical-AWD hatch bare before reinforcing and pumping them up to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting course. It’s a special place where stock STI’s become dirt road warriors, where 4 wheel drive means dominance, and where BMX daredevils can become driving legends.
Pictured in this gallery are some rare glimpses into the garage and offices that make up Vermont SportsCar, including tires, engines, carbon fibre pieces, the break room, entire transmissions, and beat up cars. Being able to take a meander through the shop was a total treat for me, not only as a journalist (and as loyal Subaru owner) but also as a Vermonter who (as most Vermonters are) is very proud of his state. This is the US Rally Car mecca as far as I’m concerned. And there are a lot of Rally fans out there who would agree with me.
When I started typing this post, 105 photographs felt like not enough but I’ve forced myself to edit them down to 75. So what did we learn today boys and girls? Well for starters, you know why the Subaru’s that run in the X-Games have green license plates and now you know where Dave Mirra’s uniform gets that snappy, ‘just-from-the-dry-cleaners’ smell. Thanks to Lars Gange and Chris Yandell for helping me out and lifting up the curtain so I could catch a glimpse behind the scenes.
Make sure to take note, the cars in the photos look pretty beat up because both Mirra and Pastrana had just returned from New Jersey and the US RallyCross Championship. As usual, downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr