Good day, CorkSport family! This is Luke here at CorkSport HQ in Vancouver, Washington.
I’ve got some very exciting news that I know my Mazdaspeed 6 guys will be very happy about. As most of you know, CorkSport listens to our customers and, after listening, we deliver. Ever since we removed the aluminum skid plate from our product list, we’ve received many requests for it. Due to the number of requests, and because we love our Mazdaspeed 6 peeps, we decided to bring the aluminum skid plate back! That’s right, we’re bringing it back to the site! Here’s a quick reminder of the benefits that the Mazdaspeed 6 aluminum skid plate gives your ride:
Replace OEM plastic skid plate with sturdier aluminum
Better protection during the winter months
Keeps the engine bay cleaner
More robust protection for people in lowered rides
Easy access to changing oil
Direct bolt on
Starting July 18, CorkSport will have the components back on the shelf and we’ll be ready to start shipping these out. These new Mazdaspeed 6 aluminum skid plates will be limited quantity — only 20 skid plates — so be sure to get one before we have to have more made.
If you would like to pre-order, please call us at 360-260-2675. Let’s get this party started folks!
Long Lost Love for MS6 Owners July 7th, 2017CorkSport
The wait is over! It’s finally the time of year where we shed the car covers, finish our tunes and builds, and make any last modifications to get fully prepared for the 1,320-feet road course racing season. As you can imagine, all of us here at CorkSport now have an extra pep in our step with the weather improving and our goals becoming clear.
Built for speed
Because I live for racing, I’ve built my car specifically for the drag strip. I have a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 decked out with:
During last year’s season, I was able to lay down a pretty raw pass with my full bolt-ons, stock block, and CorkSport turbo. I was happy with a 12.7 elapsed time (ET) at 115 mph — a respectable number if you ask me! This year with my new built bottom end, I am hoping to have more midrange, spray more meth, and run faster. I have a personal goal of trapping 120 mph on the CorkSport turbo. Just imagine how sweet it would be to have a Mazdaspeed 3 trapping 120 mph in the 1,320 with almost no turbo lag!
Whether a racing victory is your goal, or you just want a modded-out dope-looking ride, we want to make sure you guys think about CorkSport when you are looking for parts. I’m proof that our turbo with full bolt-ons is capable of impressive speed. Whether you need suspension components, turbo components, or you just want to have a chat, you know where to find us!
2017 Race Season Is Here! February 6th, 2017CorkSport
Think back to one of your most memorable drives. You can — no doubt — remember the road you were driving, who you were with, what Mazda you were cruising in, and what else? The music. Every great drive needs a soundtrack. When that familiar guitar line or chorus pipes through your speakers, you grip the wheel a little tighter, your foot instinctively pushes down a little harder on the pedal, and nostalgia takes over as your car hits those highway curves.
At CorkSport, we know that once you have the car and the parts, and maybe even the route to drive, the next thing you need is some great tunes. Whether it’s a modern banger or a classic rock song, you can always use some new tunes for your next road trip playlist. CorkSport’s suggestions, from old standbys to modern hits, will make sure your head’s nodding next time you hit the pavement with your Mazda.
“Slow Ride” by Foghat
For a song called “Slow Ride,” this tune sure makes you want to drive fast. Featured in the movie “Dazed and Confused,” this 1975 rock hit may tell you to “take it easy,” but we bet it will encourage you to put the pedal to the metal.
“Drive Slow” by Kanye West featuring Paul Wall and GLC
In contrast, the mellow thump of Kanye’s “Drive Slow” is the perfect accompaniment to cruising around town. Hitting the streets to look for some honeys? Put the windows down, bump this, and go out on patrol.
“Low Rider” by War
One of the all-time classic driving jams. To quote the Beastie Boys, “slow and low, that is the tempo,” and this funky, upbeat hit is ideal for any kind of drive. If you’re looking for a great twist on this standard, check out Amerigo Gazaway’s “Tenderoni (Lowrider Cruisin’ Mix)” that combines War, Chromeo, Marvin Gaye, and T.I.
“Ride Wit Me” by Nelly featuring St. Lunatics
Nelly may owe the IRS $2.4 million, but this joint ain’t broke! If you’re looking for a smooth song to have on as you pick up your lady, look no further. Good bass, smooth flow, and a catchy hook? Like the song says, “if shorty wanna rock, we rockin’ to this.”
“King of the Road” by Roger Miller
OK, this one’s pretty old school, we admit it. But, it’s also a quintessential driving song packed full of Americana, nostalgia, and that ol’ traveling spirit. Call it a classic, dub it a guilty pleasure, or tell your friends it was your grandpa’s favorite song. With us, you’ll have no shame toe-tapping to this classic.
“Car Song” by Spank Rock featuring Santigold
If you want to put your subwoofer through its paces, anything from Spank Rock’s catalogue will suffice. But with its car-centric title and lyrics, this rhyme-laden bass-boomer gets our pick for the jam you’ll most want to roll to.
“Old White Lincoln” by The Gaslight Anthem
We know you’d rather drive a slick Mazdaspeed 3 than an old, white Lincoln, but this earworm from New Jersey rock band The Gaslight Anthem is an incredible driving song. Heavy on the nostalgia, this tune is a love letter to youthful escapades and the cars that featured in those memories.
“Radar Love” by Golden Earring
No list of driving songs is complete without this masterpiece. With a churning, chugging bass line that forces your foot to lean on the gas (“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands are wet on the wheel. There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel.”) and lyrics you can belt out as you fly down the highway, if this song doesn’t make you want to drive you should see a doctor — you may actually be dead.
“Get Your Roll On” by Big Tymers
Maybe it’s how car-heavy most of the music videos were, but there’s something about late-1990s/early-2000s hip-hop that lends itself perfectly to rolling, windows down, with the volume cranked up. Needless to say, with this jam bumping in your Mazda, you’re required to get your roll on.
“Panama” by Van Halen
Much like that late-1990s hip-hop, classic rock feels like pure driving music. There’s something about it that grabs you by the guts and makes you want to drive. It doesn’t get much more classic than this track from Van Halen, which features engine-revving sound effects to boot. Hit the road, turn the volume up as far as it goes, and get ready to pound the ceiling as you shout, “PANAMA!”
“Neckbrace” by Ratatat
Sometimes, a great beat constructed by a two-man-band is all you need. There’s not much more than percussion and bass in this jam by Ratatat, but it thumps along in such an addictive way that there’s no way you’ll take a pit stop with it rumbling out of your speakers.
“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
Like we were gonna make a list of great driving songs and not include The Boss. Yeah, right! “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Dancing in the Dark,” really, you can take your pick. But, for our money, start with the classic “Born to Run” and just keep cruising through the Springsteen discography as you head off into the sunset.
“Levels” by Avicii
After a long week, sometimes getting up the adrenaline to hit the town on Friday night needs a jumpstart. “Levels” is basically audio caffeine. It’s electricity for your ears. It’s a shock to the system and fuel for epic evenings. “Get a good feeling” by bumping this.
“Black Betty” by Ram Jam
Though the meaning behind the lyrics is widely debated, we’ll stick to the interpretation that “Black Betty” is one helluva hot rod. I mean, it just feels like a driving song, so whatever else it may mean, this tune is a necessary jam when you hop in your ride.
“Have Love, Will Travel” by The Black Keys
This gritty, funky take on The Sonics’ original thumps along nicely as it pipes out of your speakers. Sometimes you just need a little low-fi soul delivering a gritty guitar riff to your night driving.
“S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
When it’s hard not to stomp your feet or clap your hands to a song, you have the mark of a great road trip song. When that song also allows you to holler, “SONUVA BITCH!” at the top of your lungs, you know you’re driving with a winner on the radio.
“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
By far the most melancholy track on our driving playlist, this song from the “Furious 7” soundtrack is a tribute to the late, car-loving Paul Walker. While it might hit you right in the feels, it’s upbeat, catchy, and feels like a natural tune to get you thinking mistily about your local Mazda community.
“She Is Beautiful” by Andrew W.K.
Just substitute the word “car” every time Andrew W.K. says “girl” and you’ll see this rock anthem really is the perfect love song for your Mazda.
There aren’t many things that can make a person pick up their whole life and move to a new place — especially when that move has to happen in only four weeks — but an amazing job can be good motivation. Still, when this whole journey began on October 31, I had no idea what kind of roller-coaster ride I’d started.
My old grind
A few months back, I was just a technician working my normal routine. I’d wake up, go to work at 8:30 a.m., work on cars, and then go home. As much as I love working on cars, repairing people’s daily drivers wasn’t exactly fulfilling. There were no turbos, no coilovers, no stage 3 clutches, and — most of all — there was no challenge, no way to better myself. There was satisfaction in learning and in becoming a better tech, but even though I had a great boss, I didn’t exactly find myself waking up looking forward to the day. My motivation was declining and I knew it was time for a fresh start.
Since I moved to Vancouver, I’ve gotten two responses when people ask me where I came from. It’s either the classic, “I hate Californians!” (Of course, I can’t blame them. Many Californians are snobby, drive too fast, and don’t use their turn signal enough. So, it’s understandable that the locals are pissed off that their area is getting contaminated by newbies.) However, I’ve also been asked, “What brought you up here?” And, to that, I get to reply, “I got recruited by an awesome company that I’ve wanted to work for since I was 19.”
When I first saw Luke post that CorkSport was hiring, I wanted to hop all over it. But after reading the job description, I didn’t think it was right for me. A few weeks went by and I hadn’t thought about it again, that is, until I spoke with Barrett. I asked if anyone had been hired yet and the answer turned out to be a negative — they were still looking. Next thing you know, I’m getting asked if I might be interested in the gig. One thing led to another, and a day later I’m on the phone with Kim. Turns out the job was a better fit than I first thought!
It’s quite the elaborate interview process at CorkSport. We don’t have revolving doors here, and they needed to make sure that I was the right fit. Over the course of a month and a few interviews, things were looking good and it started to become much more real that I could actually end up working for the biggest name in Mazda Performance. They already had a strong idea of what they had in store for me and where they wanted to see me in six months. Everything came together and they offered me the job.
I remember when I first got my MazdaSpeed a couple years ago, I thought about how cool it would be to work at CorkSport. It was apparent to me, as well as fellow modders, that CorkSport has fun doing what they do, and that they love their customers and the Mazda community. It’s ironic that, not too long after I first thought CorkSport would be a great place to work, the windy roads of life brought me to the moment when I received a formal job offer from them.
After a long talk with my girlfriend and my family, the decision was made, I accepted the offer, and we started packing boxes. I was leaving my family, a beloved Mazda community, and a bunch of friends behind for a clean professional slate, but I knew I was gaining the room to grow, and more opportunities than ever before.
Part of the team
A few weeks and a million questions later, here I am writing a CorkSport blog and getting settled in. I must say that, so far, my favorite part about this process has been dealing with and getting to know our awesome CorkSport customers. I’ve been writing postcards and throwing in little goodies, the same things I used to get with my parts when I was a customer — a little something extra makes all the difference! My daily job is helping people make their cars faster, lower, and cooler. I’m living the life!
On another note, no other company I’ve worked for has been so welcoming and helped me to feel at home so quickly. It’s not easy to pack up and move your life, but it didn’t take long for Luke, Vinny, and me to become best buds. Working on cars has now become more of a hobby, and all my tools now go good use on side jobs, like other Mazdas in the community. No more beat-up, dirty hands from repairing people’s daily drivers is a nice change, and my girlfriend is probably happy about that as well. Ha!
That’s, essentially, the long story short of how I was recruited to work at CorkSport and made the jump from the Bay Area to Vancouver. I’m glad to be a part of this awesome new team, and to have the opportunity to keep growing and learning.
Until next time, ladies and gents!
Employee Spotlight: Cali Goes Vancouver January 25th, 2017CorkSport
There’s nothing worse than being all dressed up with nowhere to go, right? Whether you’re itching to try out your Mazda 6’s new added power, your Miata’s updated handling, or you simply need a more scenic background to snap a new photo of your Mazdaspeed 3’s dope hood scoop, sometimes a trip down the road to the grocery store just doesn’t cut it. If you’re as passionate about the roads you drive as you are about the mods you install, or you’re simply looking to vary your daily driving route, this list of some of the best roads in the West will inspire you to take your Mazda to new frontiers.
Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon
Since the Pacific Northwest is near and dear to our hearts, we’ll start with an amazing drive that’s close to home. Hop on U.S. Route 30 in Troutdale to begin the 75-mile journey to The Dalles that features a bit of everything that makes this area of the country stunning: tall trees, Columbia River views, waterfalls, and Mt. Hood. The winding, curvy road is a dream to drive, and you can stop along the way at sites like Multnomah Falls and Bridge of the Gods for photo ops with your Mazda.
Highway 101, Oregon
One of the few gorgeous natural features Oregon is known for that you can’t find along the Columbia is the ocean, but this coastal drive takes care of that. Some folks may take this route to tour historic lighthouses, but we love 101 because it allows you to trace the sweeping curves of Oregon’s rugged coastline from Astoria all the way to the California border. You’ll enjoy fresh salty air, great seaside driving, and loads of Oregon breweries to check out if you want to stop for the night and sample the local flavor. Remember that it takes a few days to do the drive even cruising speedily in your modded ride.
Three Rivers Highway, Oregon
Whether heading to or from the coast and Highway 101, the Three Rivers Highway (aka Oregon Route 22) is a twisty, curve-laden, extremely fun drive. It’s not the best when it’s dark and rainy, as visibility can get bad, but this trip from Salem to the ocean is a great ride to test your handling on. It’s also located right in the heart of CorkSport’s local region!
Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington
Head north up I-5 for one of the most rustic scenic drives you can conquer without four-wheel drive. You can enjoy the great outdoors no matter which Mazda you’re in! This 330-mile trip features beaches, lakes, hikes, and camping as you circle Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. All of it, except your Mazda, of course!
State Route 1, California
One of the most iconic American roads, right up there with Route 66, is the 655-mile route that stretches most of the length of California. On this journey, you’ll hit San Francisco, Los Angeles, and all the stunning coastline in between — the road even goes over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pacific Coast Highway section through Malibu is another highlight you won’t want to miss on California 1! And it’s a great place to show off your ride to California girls, naturally.
State Route 12, Utah
Also known as “A Journey Through Time” Scenic Byway, this meandering desert drive gets you out of those tree-lined Pacific Northwest roadways and ocean drives and into some staggeringly impressive canyons and rock faces. Crossing through Bryce Canyon National Park as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this road won’t simply allow you to put your handling to the test; it offers scenery perfect for that new profile pic of you and your Mazda you’ve been meaning to take.
Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
Though you can take U.S. Route 550 all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado, it’s the stretch between Silverton and Ouray in Colorado that will really wow you. The guardrail-free drive through Uncompahgre Canyon features narrow roads with steep drop-offs, so exercise caution. But hugging these mountain curves is definitely a thrilling drive. The road is often closed in winter, so check conditions before you prepare to zip through these bends. After this drive, if you feel like continuing the road trip, Route 50 through the Curecanti National Recreation Area is another great drive that winds along with the Gunnison River.
What better drive to take than the route along the first road built by the National Park Service specifically for automobile-using tourists? Following the Continental Divide through Glacier National Park, this strip of pavement winds its way around, and even through, the Rocky Mountains. Offering great views and engaging driving, isn’t it about time to convince your lady to take that educational vacation to a National Park she’s been begging for … so you can drive your Mazda through these sick curves?
The High Road to Taos, New Mexico
Looking for a drive that feels like you’re in a foreign land, but don’t want to worry about shipping your Mazda to Spain? The High Road to Taos, aka State Road 503, needs to be on your list. A 56-mile scenic route through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this road features loads of great, twisty driving, but watch your speed as you’ll head through villages along the way. If you want to skip the slowdowns, check out the “Low Road.” State Highway 68 is a quicker route, but it follows the Rio Grande and delivers some great views!
The Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia
Let’s not forget the asphalt of our neighbors in the Great White North! Picking up west of Vancouver by Horseshoe Bay, the Sea to Sky Highway follows Highway 99 all the way to Pemberton. Formerly a bit dangerous, the road has been improved so you can safely zip through the craggy Canadian coast up into the snow-capped mountains. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you could always opt for Highway 1, aka the Trans-Canada Highway, which takes you all the way to the east coast. But we’ll stick to recommending the easier-to-reach Sea to Sky HIghway for now!
This list should get you started on some exhilarating Western drives to add some fresh scenery and fresh curves to your Mazda driving. If you have other great western drives, drop your recommendations in the comments. And if you follow up on these recommendations, tag us with #CorkSport when you post to Instagram!
Bucket (Seat) List: 10 Must-Drive Roads of the West January 18th, 2017CorkSport