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Not A Mini Makeover

Pawl Shanley’s 1985 Dodge D350 dually isn’t your average pickup. This British truck has been transformed into a show-stopping masterpiece with an air suspension that lets it kneel at the pavement, a BMW Montreal Blue paint job with intricate marbleizing, and a custom interior by Aerotrim, a company that usually specializes in aircraft. Despite the challenges of modifying such a large vehicle, Shanley’s vision has resulted in a truly unique and impressive truck that stands out even in a country known for its Minis.


Windy City Blowout

Hot Import Nights: Chicago Author Everyone in the Midwest was getting ready for this show and seemed to have marked this event as his or her battleground. All of the competitors I spoke with said that this was the show where they were going to show the world what their rides had to offer. I was pumped and really looking forward to going back to the Windy City to see what new toys and modifications would be popping up after the last Import Revolution event held in Chi-town, just a couple months earlier. The last time we made the journey to the Midwest, we saw some of the best built cars in the country. When we headed back, I knew that the cars, people and show would be even better. Boy oh boy, was I right! As soon as we walked through the main doors of McCormick Place, we could feel the tension in the room. Competition is a great thing, but this night the rivalry would be taken to a whole new level.  You see, at the first Import Revolution event, some of the newcomers weren’t around just yet. They may have been there in spirit or walking around, but their new toys were still at home or in bodyshops. This time would be different. Everybody was ready to battle it out with Jay Laub for Best of Show bragging rights. Laub had his hands full this time around with not just one or two competitors, but a small army of them. He also had a battle and a half in the 2-Door Wild class. Laub faced off against the biggest names in the Midwest … but yet again, he took them all down (see “Best of Show,” p. 150). He didn’t care what it took. All he knew was that he was going home with the Best of Show trophy. It made the long drive up from Florida worth his while.  Besides Laub’s RX-7, Larry Chachko from Body Werks had it going on. Not only does he have one of the baddest S2Ks in the country, but he also has one of the most respected bodyshops in the Midwest. When these guys come to a show, they come in full force. Body Werks didn’t just bring out five or six cars—these guys came to party and brought over 40 cars with them! And if you’re thinking that 25 of them must have been stock, think again. Chachko and the boys don’t play that game. All 40 were built with the Body Werks touch and they all had it going on. At the end of the night, the Body Werks crew cleaned house and walked away with several individual trophies and the Hottest Import Club award. So, if you have Chachko and Laub battling it out for Best of Show honors, does that leave room for anyone else? Surprisingly, it does. The two other cars that caught our attention are more than worthy of their fair share of drooling. Bob Mull from Team GMCI and his one-of-a-kind Cavalier gave Laub and Chachko all they could handle. This car was probably the most complete show car there, but after all was said and done, Mull fell just short. Don’t feel too bad for him, though.  The other car that really drew us in was that of Jon Antes and his candy-green wide-body Supra. Not only does this car win the Meguiar’s Best Paint award on a regular basis, but it also puts out over 900 hp. Holy crap! There goes the notion of “all show and no go.” This car caught our eyes a couple of months back and still makes us drool every time we see it.   Incredible cars, gorgeous models, an atmosphere like no other and great judging … what more can anyone ask for at a show? Another great job by the entire Vision Entertainment and NCCA crews. You guys keep doing what you are doing and I guarantee that people will keep coming back for more. In the meantime, keep building your cars because Laub can’t stay undefeated forever! 

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