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  • Weekend Cruise: Sunday

    Posted on July 10th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Yesterday I lead a cruise through the South Bay, so why should today be any different!?! Today several NorCal GOATs came out to make the drive over to Half Moon Bay for lunch. Again, it would have been nice to have a few more cars… but having fewer cars to be concerned about made leading the cruise more enjoyable.


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    We headed out up Highway 9 to Skyline Blvd. and over to the “4 Corners”. The drive was fairly routine and quite enjoyable… like I said yesterday, Skyline is one of my favorite roads in this area for being so consistently fun. A drive along Skyline wouldn’t be complete without a stop-off at the 4 Corners (where Skyline crosses Highway 84). This is a favorite stopping point for cyclists (both motor and peddle varieties) and car owners… you are guaranteed to see some great eye-candy there!

    After a short pit-stop we headed out down Highway 84 towards the coast. Without much other road traffic the descent was very enjoyable. For the most part, I was trying to keep the pace of the cruise “sprited”… without pushing the others beyond their comfort level.

    Rather than take Highway 84 all the way to the coast, which is the most direct route, we turned off onto Pescadero Rd. for real some twists and turns. Pescadero is a road that I really wish was closer to home. The pavement is well maintained and the corners flow together very well. At this point I couldn’t hold-back any longer, and let the G8 stretch its legs a little. Corner after corner my G8 felt like it was on rails… this was the type of driving I built my car for! Unfortunately, a large dump truck decided to spoil our fun and I had to slow down.

    Before getting to the coast the group stopped off at the Arcangelli Grocery Co. so people could get some fresh baked bread (and so the old folks could visit the restroom… again…). This also gave us a chance to stop in at church (it was a Sunday after-all). To my surprise we even had a visitor before the service who stopped to ask us questions about our Pontiacs.

    The drive up Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay was decent, but it would have been much better if the view wasn’t fogged-in. As I expected the traffic on Highway 1 made the drive unexciting, but at this point people seemed to just want to eat (there was a reoccurring request for Fish & Chips coming over the radio). We ate lunch at Ketch Joanne (and it seemed like everyone had Fish & Chips).

    After lunch we headed back towards the Bay Area on Highway 92 and Skyline Blvd. As we climbed up through the hills I even had a chance to show-off the torque of the Magnacharger. One of the GTOs lined-up next to me and started to rev, so of course I had to punch-it… and even going 65mph the rear tires wanted to break loose! It really is nice to know that I have more than enough power on tap to deal with the occasional challenger.

    The trip back to Saratoga was the much like the trip out… until I rounded a corner to find a fellow automotive enthusiast waiting at a stop sign. Most of the time when I approach an intersection on a cruise I’m dreadful of a slower vehicle pulling-out in front of me… but I think this one time I would make an exception. Why? The car was a Bugatti Veryon Grand Sport (aka. a 1001HP, €1.4 million, monster)! It was even cooler when the Bugatti pulled-in behind us for the remainder of the cruise. Unfortunately the drive down Highway 9 was nothing like yesterday, and we got stuck behind slow moving cars.

    Much like yesterday it was a great day out on the road with friends. I really wish some of the roads were less populated, but overall it was a nice drive. I was really happy to spend some time out on the road with friends… and hope to do it again soon!

  • Weekend Cruise: Saturday

    Posted on July 9th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve spent way too much time in my house these past few weeks (yeah, I know I’m just making-up for being on the road so much this past year), but I needed to get out for a little while. I started asking around if people would be interested in going for a cruise this weekend.

    While most of the NorCal GOATs were interested in doing a Sunday Cruise, there were a few G8’s that wanted to do something on Saturday. Sunday the cruise is planned to go to Half Moon Bay, so I figured we could do something towards Santa Cruz on Saturday. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough interest to do the “long route” (~94 miles total), so we did the “shorter than a marathon route” instead:


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    A total of three G8’s arrived for the cruise (including myself), all GT models. While it might have been nice to have a few more cars, the fewer the number of people trying to stick together on the roads the easier (and more enjoyable to lead) the drive becomes. Given the simplicity of the route, and that everyone had walkie-talkies, leading the cruise was fairly enjoyable… other than the slow cars and cyclists that wanted to become hood ornaments.

    The first road we drove was the Page Mill Rd. as an up-hill. I knew there were some crazy cyclists in the Bay Area, but this is a very steep road… and other than the kamakazi downhill afterwards… I can see no reason why anyone would ever want to ride up this road. Unfortunately, the cyclists don’t think like me… and there were quite a few on the road today. Having to take the time to look around corners for cyclists crawling uphill really slowed things down, but not nearly as much as getting stuck behind a slow driver! Home come whenever we drive on a road a slow car gets in the way?

    Once we reached Skyline Blvd. the slow car moved out of the way and we were able to have some fun. Skyline is one of my favorite roads in this area… not because it’s fast or technical, but because it is consistently fun. The posted speed limit is high enough that you don’t get stuck vehicles crawling along. The road has just enough twists/turns to keep things interesting, without being so tight that tourists have to slow down. Today was no different, and Skyline was a pleasure to drive.

    My biggest surprise came when we turned onto Hwy 9 for the return trip towards Saratoga… there were no cars in front of us. For the entire 5 mile decent we had open road to push things as hard as we desired… and push we did! At one point I even had to slow to keep from catching air over a crest. I can only hope that the drive tomorrow will be anything close to as much fun!

  • Tilden Park Pre-Cruise

    Posted on June 19th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Next month the NorCal GOATs are having a Picnic in Tilden Park, and before the event there is a cruise. This year there was some debate if the cruise route should be changed, so a few of us headed out in the morning on Father’s day to Pre-Cruise the route.

    Having been away from California for so long, and not one to shy away from a “spirited” drive through the hills, I decided to take a Pre- “Pre-Cruise” -Cruise of my own.


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    The Pre- “Pre-Cruise” -Cruise was nice. This was the first time I had driven Redwood Rd. since performing the modifications to my G8… and it was a little disappointing. I was not disappointed in the car, rather in the driver! Pushing the car to what I felt was a safe speed on the road, I didn’t even make the car break a sweat! I’m sure I was going at least 5mph faster in the corners than the past, but it just didn’t feel like the car was working hard at all. What kept me from pushing any harder was the risk of cyclists on the road and blind corners… I guess I really need to get this car to the track!

    Five of use met in Martinez and headed out on the route towards Tilden Park.


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    While I have driven many of these roads before, I had never taken the trip around the reservoir on Alhambra Valley Rd. and Castro Ranch Rd. While not as fast/sweeping as taking Bear Creek Rd through the reservoir, it was very enjoyable with rolling hills and lots of great views. It really reminded me why I live in California!

    After the Pre-Cruise we headed down Wildcat Canyon Rd (which was fun as always), over the reservoir on Bear Creek Rd, and into Concord for some lunch. Unfortunately we got stuck behind some slower traffic, but it gave me the perfect opportunity to test out the new brakes with some repeated 60mph-0 stops… There is nothing like the feeling of having your eyes thrown through the front of your skull!

    In Concord we got lunch at a local pub, and talked about all sorts of car related things. It was really great to hangout with some NorCal GOATs, for the first time in a long time, and I can’t wait until July for the actual Cruise and picnic in Tilden Park!

  • Better late than never: Mt Hamilton Videos

    Posted on April 15th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Almost a year ago a few of the NorCal GOATS got together for a cruise up Mt. Hamilton. Recently another group of GTOs headed up Mt. Hamilton, and it motivated me to finally process the videos I recorded on the first cruise.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

  • Goodguys All American Get-Together

    Posted on March 27th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    It has been two years since I last had the G8 out in a car show. Living near Pleasanton, Ca gives me several chances to put my car on display, but lately I just have not been available to attend. As has become a tradition, the NorCal GOATs showed-up with good numbers and received a fair bit of attention.

    Last time the G8 was lightly-modified (mostly electronics), but this year was a different story. With a highly modified car I knew I was going to get some attention… and rather than explaining all of the mods to everyone over-and-over again, I decided to make a “Fact Sheet” for the car.

    In the future I plan on having a display stand for the fact sheet, but for now I just had it in a window.

    Watching the number of people who spent quite some time looking at the fact sheet, many of whom might have just walked past “a four door sedan”, I was really glad that I made it. Also, having the photos of the underside saved people from having to crawl under the car.

    I have been joking with people about how I don’t want to “show” my car, as I care more about making it fast, but for some reason when you have a supercharger people just want to look under the hood. I have NEVER even cleaned under my hood, but I guess I’ll have to start now!

    I took the opportunity of being around show cars to wonder around and see what people were doing to dress-up their engine compartments. I think I was able to pick-up a couple good ideas to dress things up without going overboard.

    One of my favorite parts of the show was visiting the Adam’s Polishes booth. I have quite a few of their products, but have been really curious about their machine polishing systems. I was treated to a great demonstration, including some hands-on testing, and have to decided to dive-into the world of “finish correction”.

    It was really nice to get out and “show-off” the G8 a little. I know have the car for my own enjoyment, but is really nice to get compliments on it as well. I can’t wait until the next event where I’ll be better prepared to properly exhibit the G8!

  • GoatRun 2010

    Posted on September 20th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    GoatRun has turned into a staple event on my calendar. This year I have spent much of my time traveling for work, but even before I started the job I put in my time for this weekend off.

    My trip to GoatRun started with a flight home from Utah, followed by the early morning meet-up for the 500 mile drive to Vegas. This year my father wasn’t sitting in the passenger’s seat, which made the trip seem a little longer, but the talk on the two-way radios made the trip enjoyable.

    It was great to have another G8 in the pack this year, even if we had to wait a few minutes for him to show-up for the start (something about a car being towed). His passenger was even nice enough to snap the above photo of my car on the road.

    We took the same route as last year, minus a few of the unscheduled gas stops, and made good time. This year I had my GoPro Cameras, so took a few videos of the drive down to Vegas… even had a Dodge Charger that wanted to play:

    The group arrived in Barstow and met-up with the folks from SoCal and headed towards Vegas. Again, like last year, the group wasn’t very organized and broke-up quickly (a couple CHP officers didn’t help the situation). Fortunately this year a few of the NorCal GOATs stuck together and made the drive much more enjoyable. I stayed in the same hotel as last year (can’t knock free hotels!), so went and checked-in before heading to the Palace Station for the Meet n’ Greet.

    At the Meet n’ Greet there was a bit of a surprise… the organizer of the event planned a really great proposal to his (now) fiance. We arranged GTOs on the top of the parking structure to spell-out “Marry Me”. I was fortunate to be involved as the photographer and videographer. It was really fun to setup my GoPro cameras in hidden locations around the room (no reason to spoil the surprise) and capture the moment.

    The Meet n’ Greet was dominated, for me, by the proposal… but I did get to spend a little time talking-shop with a few of the other people.

    Last year Saturday was spent at the drag strip, but this year there was no drag racing. Instead, the Car Show filled the afternoon. I was able to get a proper chance to check-out the other cars and pick-up a few ideas for my own. For some reason I didn’t apply and sun screen and found myself hiding in the shade looking like a boiled lobster. Speaking of lobster… I made a trip back to Joe’s Crab Shack for a ‘traditional’ GoatRun dinner (minus the companion).

    My favorite part of GoatRun ’09 was the cruise to Red Rock Canyon. This year the cruise was not nearly as exciting. After a 15min drive on the freeway we drove out a road (not a bad one) and then back. I kept asking myself “when are we going to get to the cruise”… eventually, I realized it was the cruise. Fortunately I had setup my cameras on cars before leaving the hotel so captured some good footage.

    One of the nice things about not having a passenger along for the cruise was that I could push the G8 a little harder than I would have with someone else in the car. The G8 really handled the sweeping corners well, and I even passed a few GTOs along the way! I had wanted to have the modifications to my G8 finished by GoatRun, but it didn’t come together (and I wasn’t going to rush it).

    Sunday night a few of the NorCal GOATs headed back to the Hofbrauhaus. This year was a little more reserved than last, but there were still quite a few shots (and the required paddling). This year several of the wives/girlfriends came along, so rather than the crazy walk of the strip from last year… the guys took the ladies out to the theater. I didn’t want to participate in that activity, so decided to head back to the hotel after dinner.

    Monday was the brunch at the Bellagio, which was incredible again… before the long drive back home. Before the brunch a few of us were going to drive out to Red Rock Canyon for some photos/videos, but it didn’t work-out. After brunch the group had an uneventful trip back up to the Bay Area.

    In the end, I was a little disappointed with GoatRun this year. I’m sure much of that was because last year was so incredible! I think the biggest let-down was the cruise… I really would have liked something more interesting/involved… I figure when people are getting together from many states (as from as far away as Missouri) that the cruise would be more involved than an hour long drive out/back on a single road. There has been some talk that this might be the last GoatRun for a while, but hopefully it returns again next year… If it does, I know I’ll be there!

  • Mt. Hamilton Cruise

    Posted on May 14th, 2010 tcorzett 1 comment

    Having spent the last few weeks on the East Coast for work, I was really excited to get back to the Bay Area and the G8. To take advantage of this trip home I hooked-up with a few GTO owners today for a spirited drive up to Mt. Hamilton near San Jose, Ca.


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    I have been wanting to make this drive for some time, but have always been a little leery of doing it on a weekend. This is a road that the crazy cyclists come to test their muscle, and it can be quite busy when the weather is good. Fortunately, Friday turned-out to be a perfect day to make the drive… there were zero cyclists on the road!

    The group met-up in San Jose and headed up towards Mt. Hamilton. I lead the cruise, not like anyone could have become lost, and it turned-out to be a good thing… the road conditions were less than ideal and having the car with the most tire sidewall up front paid-off. To the best of my ability I tried to radio back when I hit a big bump, but I don’t think it was enough sometimes… there were several occasions where the GTOs had to slow down to avoid the rough roads.

    As we made the climb up Mt. Hamilton we came-up on a Toyota 4-Runner, which normally would have been holding us back, but it turned out he was a local who likes to drive! At the top of Mt. Hamilton is the Lick Observatory. The driver of the 4-Runner was heading to the observatory and had obviously driven the road quite a few times… he was actually giving me a run for my money up the mountain!

    At the top of Mt. Hamilton we stopped at the Lick Observatory for some photographs and sightseeing. I had never been to the observatory, so being able to walk around and look at some of the memorabilia was very cool. They even have an original seismograph from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake! Before leaving we had to take advantage of the scenery and take a few photographs.

    Rather than just driving back down the road we had just driven, we decided to head out towards the Central Valley and drive on San Antonio Valley Rd. and then out on Del Puerto Canyon Rd.


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    The descent from the Lick Observatory down San Antonio Valley Rd. was just spectacular! This is a smooth section of road that through a series of switchbacks drops almost 2000′ in less than 4 miles (at up to a -11% grade). If this road wasn’t in the middle of nowhere I’d drive it every day. What better way to explain… than a video!

    The G8 really handled this stretch of the drive well, no matter how hard I tried to push it. The driver of the GTO behind me commented that he could smell my brakes as he was going through the corners! There were several times where I was locking-up a wheel or two… and I know if I had not been using the transmission to help slow down into corners I wouldn’t have been able to be as quick. I can only imagine how this road will be after I do my suspension upgrades!

    After the wonderful descent from Mt. Hamilton we headed out into the middle of nowhere. The only thing you’ll find out here are some farms and the occasional cow, but it does lend to some nice “relaxing” driving roads. San Antonio Valley Rd. leads out to the crossing point for three roads at “The Junction”. Mines Rd. leads to Livermore, Del Puerto Canyon Rd. heads out towards the Central Valley, and San Antonio Valley Rd. to the Lick Observatory and San Jose. The Junction is also the home of a little bar, named “The Junction” (big surprise huh?). We stopped there to catch our breath, and after spending some time with the locals we headed back out to finish-up the drive.

    The day turned-out to be a great outing. I had hoped to have a few more cars, but I think it worked out better than we only had the four of us… it allowed us to push things a bit harder. I wished I’d been able to spend more time with the G8, but it was great to get out and romp around while I had the chance!

  • NCG Mega Mod Day

    Posted on March 14th, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    NorCal GOATs had a Mega Mod Day today. What might you ask is a “Mega Mod Day”? Well, imagine having a full garage with all the tools you could ever want… a bunch of parts… and a great group of knowledgeable people to help get the work done. Big thanks goes out to Garage Works in Vallejo, Ca for welcoming us into their shop, and Big Joe for setting-up everything.

    I didn’t have any work that I needed to get done on my car, but there were many impressive tasks going on. The big one was a stall converter upgrade, which I guess isn’t that complex, but anytime you have to remove the transmission from a car it’s not a “simple” job.

    I spent most of my day standing around a G8 GT that was getting the Solo High-Flow Cats installed. Working under a car that is on jack stands isn’t one of my strong points, so I ran around gathering tools and parts. The HF Cat install process sounds simple on paper, but due to the location of several of the bolts and connectors (specifically those for the front O2 sensors) it took much longer than expected. Once the work was done though, the results were spectacular. The car went from be loud to a monster… so much so that the owner has since changed exhaust/mufflers to quiet things down. I think when I get my HF cats I’ll save some trouble and have them installed.

    Other work that was being performed included the installation of a dual-exhaust on a ’04 GTO (which is a factory single-exhaust), trans-cooler, headers, and a drive-shaft loop.

    Like the previous mods days, I really learned a bunch. I’m still a little unsure about doing too much work myself, but the more of these events I get to the more confident I am getting about doing the “simpler” things.

  • NCG GTG: Marin Brewing Co.

    Posted on January 23rd, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    Today the NorCal GOATs has a get together at the Marin Brewing Co. for lunch. As always, there were caravans from various areas of the bay to the meet. I connected with a few people from the central valley and a new CGM GTO owner from Castro Valley.

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    After a brief stop to get some fuel, the gang headed out. The drive up went smoothly (some random person in front of me even paid my toll on the bridge) and we made good time.

    The rain that hammered this area over the past week was sticking around just long enough to rain on our parade. It wasn’t too hard (nothing compared to this past week), but it was consistently sprinkling over most of the drive. I didn’t wash my car for this meet (again), and was glad of that when the rain was coming down. But on that note, I really need to spend a couple of hours washing and detailing my car!

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    When we arrived at the Marin Brewing Co. the rest of the group was already in the restaurant. It was a little disappointing not to get there earlier for the typical talk in the parking lot, but we were able to get some of that done after the GTG. We went in and joined the rest of the group just in time to order food.

    After a GTG at the Marin Brewing Co. a few of us headed to the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos. The drive to the bridge was terrible… being the leader, trying to keep everyone together, and not knowing the area is just a nightmare situation. After driving around and circles (at least three times) trying to get everyone together… I was finally able to find an area to pull over and regroup. From there, things went a little smoother, which was nice.

    The parking area at the Coast Guard harbor was very wet and full of many puddles. One nice thing is that the center ‘road’ portion of the lot is paved, so despite having dirty puddles, it wasn’t too much of an issue. The parking lot was quite wet/muddy and I was really surprised that everyone came in for photos. I think it was the dirtiest place most of these GTOs have ever been!

    The lighting was far from ideal (everything was backlit), but I don’t really think you can take a bad photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

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    Because of the earlier rain, people’s cars were dirty… so I wasn’t too worried about getting the perfect picture. I mentioned to people that we need to be here at sunrise to get the best light, and didn’t get many people who seemed interested. I totally understand not wanting to make an hour (or longer) drive before the sun is up just to take some photos, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get the really spectacular images.

    The drive home from the Golden Gate Bridge was typical Northern California driving… patches of really heavy traffic even on a Saturday! A few of us stopped briefly at the Dublin Hooters to deliver a NCG jacket and calendar to a member who was unable to make the cruise.

    The day was very enjoyable. Great conversations as always and really good to see everyone and what they have been working on since the last time. I think there should be a few good photos for those who made the trip to the Golden Gate, so that was cool too.

  • NCG Pyzano’s Pizza GTG & Cruises

    Posted on January 2nd, 2010 tcorzett No comments

    The Pyzano’s Pizza GTG has been on the books for a while, such that we could distribute calendars, but I figured that it would also be a great day/location for a cruise. After talking with a few NCG club members I planned both a Pre- and Post- cruise.

    The Pre-cruise met in Martinez and headed south along some of my favorite roads.


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    There were between 10-14 cars with me on the cruise, unfortunately the weather wasn’t very cooperative. While it wasn’t really raining, the ground was wet and it was quite foggy. Because of this I kept the pace a little slower than I would have liked, but safety first! I was surprised to see there were even quite a few bicyclists out on the roads in the sub-par weather.

    The trip through the Berkeley Hills was really hampered by the fog (and the bicyclists), so wasn’t all that much fun. When we made it to Redwood Rd. and dropped in elevation a little the fog cleared out and allowed for some fun. I was really happy with the way the route turned out… we never really found ourselves split-up too much and didn’t have to deal with much other car traffic. I think quite a few of the people on the cruise enjoyed the roads, and I hope we do something again when the weather is better.

    After the Pre-Cruise the gang arrived at Pyzano’s Pizza. Everyone was really impressed with the number of people who made it out.

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    The gang headed into Pyzano’s for some really great pizza (their sauce is awesome and their crust is nice and chewy). After eating, we handed-out the 2010 NorCal GOATs Calendars that people had ordered. I was surprised to get a couple from the club in gratitude for all of the hard work that I put into the project. It was really not necessary, but greatly appreciated.

    After talking-shop with the GTO owners the group headed-out on a Post-Cruise towards Hooters in Dublin.


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    The group left Castro Valley and headed to Palomares Rd. The weather had cleared-up a bit and visibility was better. The temperature was still cool, but the roads were dry. Again I tried to keep the pace a little conservative, but we were still able to have fun. About half-way into Palomares Rd. we caught-up with a slow moving Honda, who was nice enough to pull-over and let two of us by, but didn’t want to pull-over to let the rest of the group buy. We tried to get the Honda to pass us but he just didn’t get the clue (I actually had to pull off the LEFT side of the road to get him to go by me). We stopped for a little before proceeding, but by that time there was only a mile left before we hit Niles Canyon. Once we left Sunol we had the road to ourselves, but Foothill just isn’t that exciting of a road (sure beats I-680N though).

    Overall, I was happy with the way the cruises went. I wish the weather was better and people had more of a chance to experience the roads to the fullest. I tend not to have as much fun when I’m leading a cruise, as I spend my time thinking more about the pace and keeping everyone together, but it was OK.