The IsuzuWeb at Carlisle; Custom Compact Power Jam, May 14-16, 1999

Sunscreen was the theme of this year's Carlisle Custom Compact Power Jam. This was highly uncharacteristic for an event which has customarily been a weekend of wading through ankle deep puddles of water and mud. Needless to say, we had all prepared for a wet weekend bringing umbrellas and rain coats and sunscreen was in high demand as we all burned.
With the excellent weather with us, this promised to be the best IsuzuWeb gathering yet, and as you read on, you will see that it was.

IsuzuWeb Members gathered from all across the eastern half of the US drawing from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Missouri, and even as far away as Florida.
IsuzuWeb Members in attendance were Brian Novak in his 1991 Geo Storm, Jason White in his 1991 Geo Storm GSi, John Addison and his friend Bruce in John's 1987 Impulse RS, Alan Cattlett who was unable to bring his 1989 Impulse, Roby Kuniyoshi in his 1991 Stylus, Wilson Rivera in his 1990 Geo Storm, Dave Batson in his 1989 I-Mark RS, Nick Kourasis and the entire Kourasis Family but were unable to bring Nick's 1989 I-Mark RS, and Bill Luton in his 1986 Isuzu Impulse.
We recruited a number of new members at the show who joined our group in the IsuzuWeb club area. Among those were Michael Triplett and his 1989 Impulse, Topher and his Geo Storm, Matthew Wheeler and his 1992 Geo Storm, and Todd Michael Blount's and his 1986 Isuzu Impulse.

Friday, May 14, 1999

I, unfortunately, arrived late on Friday afternoon, about 24 hours after I had intended, due to a number of technical difficulties.
When I arrived, I found a large group of IsuzuWeb members gathered at the IsuzuWeb tent and joined the group. We put up the tables and hung the IsuzuWeb banners and determined that our space was well marked. Anyone who was looking for us would have no trouble finding us.

The group later left for dinner at Hoss' Steak and Seafood House, a Carlisle tradition. Dinner was again thick with discussion of Isuzu history and technical discussion over the always delicious Hoss' food.

The Inagural IsuzuWeb Gocart Challenge

Dinner broke up and the group headed over to the Carlisle Sports Emporium for the much anticipated gocart races.

We started out on the indoor sprint car track which consists of an area about the size of a basketball gym with a dividing barrier down the center and baricades along that divider as well as around the perimeter. Basically a flat oval with two hair pin turns at each end. The gocarts are about six foot long, four foot wide, and four foot tall, gas powered with a full roll cage and bumpers around not only the front but also the sides and a little sprint car style spoiler on the roof. These gocarts were equipped with slick tires and appeared to be grossly overpowered for the enclosed space that was the track. It was rather like placing a high power cigarette, power boat into a bath tub, which would require a good bit of skill for manuvering and would undoubtedly be an absolute blast to drive.
The winner of each heat was the first to complete sixteen laps around the track which took a little over three minutes for the leader (the longest three minutes of your life). Manuvering was tricky and best done by using the brake and wheel in combination to slide the car sideways around the end turns in true sprint car style. Fender to fender driving is the norm and lots of bumping every lap as each driver vies for the inner line and proves at each turn that it is physically impossible to put two objects in the same spot.

We ran three heats on the indoor track and the group was mixed with other drivers, some of whom were locals to Carlisle who had obviously had a great deal of practice and put most of us to shame, but we learned quick and showed them a few new tricks.
Play by play would be nearly impossible as the action is far to fast while each driver fights to get through the pack to the front. Results for the IsuzuWeb members for each heat were as follows, overall finishing position in parenthesis:

For the fourth heat, we went outside to the Grand Prix track which consisted of a winding road course complete with bridge and tunnel. The cars for this course were similar to those of the indoor sprint car track, but with slightly less "armor". Driving the outdoor track was more a matter of apexing turns, staying out in front, and not making mistakes. The cars seem much slower because the track is much more open and there is much less fender-to-fender driving, though Alan spiced things up quite a bit by getting out in front of Bryan, John, and Bill and weaving back and forth daring anyone to pass. Alan did quite well for about three laps until the entire group got hung up in a chicane and Brian expertly squeezed past just ahead of everyone else, eventually catching and passing Bruce, who had been out in front from the start. The results are as follows: The overall points standings are as follows: Competition was extremely close and there really was no clear winner, though Brian showed he was by far the rookie with the most impressive development over the course of the evenning.

Everyone had an extremely good time and it was clear that the gocart races would be a regular event for all future IsuzuWeb gatherings. As we left the track it was suggested that we rent the trackfor an hour for the group next time and run more organized heats against each other. This suggestion will certainly be followed and we are already looking for a track in Atlanta for the NOPI show.

Saturday, May 15, 1999

The IsuzuWeb Members assembled on the Carlisle show field beginning around 8 AM on Saturday morning for the first serious day of the show. The day began with a lot of cleaning and polishing of Isuzus and Storms for the days judging. Rumors before the show were that there would be four classes for Isuzu cars, " Isuzu Impulse" and "Isuzu All Others", with "Mild" and "Wild" divisions for each, and a seperate class for Storm under "Domestic" with "Mild" and "Wild" divisions for it as well. Another rumor was that the judging would be done by professional judges with a drive-through-judging format. All of the rumors turned out to be false as the Isuzu and Storm cars were all grouped into two classes, "Isuzu Impulse/Geo Storm Mild" and "Isuzu Non-Impulse/Geo Non-Storm Mild" while judging was by popular ballot. Needless to say, show competition was tight.
Cleanup of the cars ended early and the IsuzuWeb Members gathered under the club tent for the picnic and bar-b-que. Alan Cattlett had brought a small grille and charcoal as well as pork steaks for all. The Kourasis Family brough hamburgers and Brian Novak brought hot dogs. Everyone had chipped in bringing chips, soda, beer, and everything else needed for a full pot-luck picnic and it would be an understatement to say that we all ate well.

The West Side Of The IsuzuWeb Show Area

From left to right down the hill, Todd Michael Blount's Impulse, Wilson Rivera Jr.'s Geo Storm, Roby Kuniyoshi's Stylus, David Batson's I-Mark, Bill Luton's Impulse, John Addison's Impulse, and Brian Novak's Storm. The IsuzuWeb tent behind with one of the banners showing over Brian's Storm.

The East Side Of The IsuzuWeb Show Area

Rest and relaxation in the shade, a much needed respite from the busy part of the day at the show.
Seated beneath the tent is David Batson at the far left while Mrs. Kourasis cooks some hamburgers at the far right of the tent.
Parked up the hill, from left to right, Jason White's 1991 Geo Storm GSi, Alan Cattlett's Chrysler, an unknown car parked in the wrong area, Topher's Storm, and Nick Kourasis's Audi. Nick was unable to bring his 1989 Isuzu I-Mark and brought his family in the Audi.

Relaxing In The Shade Beneath The Tent

Isuzus and Storms scattered about in the sunshine, the tent became the center of socializing and recruiting efforts throughout the day.
From left to right, Jason White, Alan Cattlett, and Brian Novak.
In the background, you can see Alan's Chrysler just behind JAson's red Storm. Alan was unable to bring his Impulse to the show but was dedicated enough that he attended even without it. Alan had the only American built car allowed onto the show field which was a feat unto itself.

Dressed For Success

The 1999 IsuzuWeb T-Shirts

The Carlisle show was also the unveiling of the new IsuzuWeb t-shirts. Each IsuzuWeb member who registered to attend the show with the IsuzuWeb received one of the club t-shirts at the show.
The shirts are a very nice light aqua green in color and feature the IsuzuWeb logo and a red Impulse JI on the left upper chest position on the front and the IsuzuWeb logo, URL web address, and three cars on the back, a blue Impulse JR, a yellow Impulse JI, and a red Geo Storm.
The shirts are quite distinctive and the pattern and color made it extremely easy to find fellow IsuzuWeb Members in the crowds at Carlisle.
Shirts are available from the IsuzuWeb and details on ordering your shirt can be found ont he IsuzuWeb website.

Saturday Evenning

With the first serious show day over, most IsuzuWeb Members were quite tired from the days activities and retired for the evenning.
A number of IsuzuWeb Members gathered at the Motel 6 and socialized with the members of the Total Traction car club from Ohio, who had heard that the IsuzuWeb was staying at the Motel 6 and had followed our example reserving their own accomodations at Motel 6 as well.
A few IsuzuWeb Members ventured later for a late evenning meal at a small resturaunt called "The Sandwich Man", which turned out to be a real gem of Carlisle. Exterior appearance and a reputation for being one of only a few beer vendors in Carlisle would lead to the belief that this might be a real dive, but the food was absolutely excellent and I would highly recommend the "grinder" sandwich, a gormet delight. In addition, I believe that Brian would be more than happy to confirm that The Sandwich Man has some of the most pleasing scenary in all of Carlisle.

Sunday, May 16, 1999

Sunday was much more casual and laid back. The IsuzuWeb Members preferred to relax and look around at the exhibits and other cars at the show.

The awards table was the center of the action and we were all pleased to find out that the IsuzuWeb had garnered a number of awards for the show.
Roby Kuniyoshi won a third place award for "Isuzu Non-Impulse/Geo Non-Storm Mild" and Bill Luton won a third place award for "Isuzu Impulse/Geo Storm Mild". In addition to this, the IsuzuWeb won a third place award for club participation.
Carlisle has a rather unique awards cerimony where the winner of each award in each class drives the awarded vehicle up to receive their award before a large grand stand. Club participation awards are recieved by walk up groups of club members. The IsuzuWeb Members gathered at the grand stand and watched as Brian Novak accepted the IsuzuWeb's club participation award and Robi and Bill drove up for their awards.

The IsuzuWeb Fun Awards were given out to those who remained and those awards were as follows:

The IsuzuWeb Members' Cars

The Honored

IsuzuWeb members' vehicles garnered several awards and we will cover those first.

Roby Kuniyoshi's 1991 Isuzu Stylus

Robi's Stylus was a real eye catcher and his third place award reaffirms this. Graphics, a sharp set of wheels, and a touring wing set this car apart from the rest.

Bill Luton's 1986 Isuzu Impulse

Notice the cheater spare. The right rear tire blew on the way to the show, the standard joke was that the brand new tire had a 600 mile tread wear rating and blew as soon as Bill passed into Pennsylvania.

The Storms

Jason White's 1991 Geo Storm GSi

A very sharp GSi.

Brian Novak's 1991 Geo Storm

Lowered, detailed engine, and wheels that had more than a few others envious.

Wilson Rivera Jr.'s 1990 Geo Storm

Wilson's Storm sports an extremely eye catching paint scheme. The dual exhaust tips on the back and accompanying body work around the second tip are quite impressive indeed.

The I-Mark

David Batson's 1989 Isuzu I-Mark RS

Dave travelled over 1,000 miles to be with the group driving the only I-Mark specimine of the group.

The Impulses

John Addison's 1987 Isuzu Impulse RS

An absolutely spotless, imaculately cared for, and extremely rare JR RS.

Todd Michael Blount's 1986 Isuzu Impulse

The phrase "mint condition" is not adequate for the description of this car as it is well beyond anything that could be called "mint". Sporting racing seats and harnesses, Todd's Impulse is well on its way to being built into a highly customized show stopper.

Post Script

This was easily the most successful and most enjoyable show yet for the IsuzuWeb and all previous shows pale in comparison to the level of excitement and enjoyment of the group who attended the show with us. Wide smiles were seen on the faces of every IsuzuWeb Member who attended the show with the group.
Look out NOPI Nationals, you're our next stop and we're going to have a blast there too.

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