An End of an Era of Fun. Good Bye Dog Car!

So I somehow worked my way up to fourth behind Tom Paulie, Rob Cadle, and Jared Holstein.

I don’t remember this but I must have somehow passed Tom and held the lead at one point.  Jared spun or broke and I think I ended up in third behind Rob and Tom much to my surprise.  Now my old competitive juices started to flow and all of a sudden I got the urge to make the old Dog Car more competitive.  Now I was going to head down the rabbit hole of things getting expensive.  Do you like the plastic garden edging air dam I made from Home Depot?

So for the next race at Buttonwillow, I had the cars Ground C0ntrol Advanced Design shocks rebuilt, revalved and changed the spring rates around.  I also added Progress sway bars and had all the stock bushings changed with Energy Suspension Urethane parts. I think I came in third here too.  The car was getting much better!  What do you think of my old school PJ’s looking driving suit?

The car was sponsored by a Dog Food company and part of my deal for getting the car super cheap was I had to run the same livery for a season.  Other racers started to call the car the Dog Car and the name stuck.

For the next race, I added a rear wing which was unheard of on an FWD car at the time.  I was ridiculed for this.  John Spangler of Hotshot headers gave me a header and a cold air intake at this time.  John also built me a decent exhaust. I also got one of Fastbrakes first Willwood big brake kits.  The car dynoed at a whopping 140 whp but it was better than the 117 that it had when I first got it.


  1. I am glad to see the Dog car has found a new home. I am also glad I got to see her in person when I was in SoCal earlier this year. I have followed this car for many years and it will be a shame to see her go. I have been building my sentra for the past 20 years, slowly trying to get to the same level as the Dog twins. Great write up, and great job on a great car. Good bye Dog car!

  2. Some of those photos reminded me of the old “robot vs monkey” articles in SCC. Its fun to see a longer story to tie it all together rather than what could fit in the magazine.

    1. Poor Jared, his performance was so poor the series didn’t continue. The monkey was so bad, he never made it past the morning warm-up! They never did get the story because his car always broke before qualifying.

  3. That was a superb intro/out-tro to Dog Car at the end of it’s tenure with you. I think even for long time-ish readers of MotoIQ, the story of this car is not known. The stories from its development of a crap car into a competitive car with good handling and good aero would make great articles.

    If they are already on print somewhere, I hope they can be brought together here for your global readers.

  4. In the last picture, you can see the Sentra has a well balanced suspension with minimum roll, while the Acura appears to have an oversized rear bar, and low roll stiffness up front. Great job on developing that car Mike !

    1. I believe it had no front bar, really stiff rear bar and rear springs which is popular with Honda racers. Although this was a competitive car in a higher series I was proud that the Dog Car with its crude suspension was much faster in the turns. A lot of this was due to Dai’s driving as well.

  5. I remember reading about this car in SCC. Jared’s B13 too. Great memories. Thanks for sharing this car with us for so long Mike!

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