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    Nov 2012
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    Behind the Wheel with Suzy Bauter powered by Optima Batteries


    Powered By optima batteries
    Written By Brandy Phillips
    Photos By Suzy Bauter's Facebook Page

    As the time has come once again to announce who will be featured on the next shirt, this
    yearís unveil was someone who is near and dear to the pro-touring community. Their involvement in the pro-touring
    scene over the past several years has helped our small community grow across the country as they continue to bring
    awareness to the pro-touring culture, inform others on upcoming events, help manufactures with product awareness,
    and help share coverage from the West to East coast throughout the year.

    Yet, as we all know it takes more than involvement in the pro-touring community to make your way onto the shirt. First, one must own a cool ride before they are even considered for such honor.

    How can you pick just one cool vehicle though? There are so many vehicles that deserve the acknowledgement of
    the time and effort that has been put into them, but sometimes there is a particular vehicle that just screams ďlook at

    There is one vehicle that made its way onto the SEMA showroom floor last year for its first debut. Not knowing how it
    would be received, the owner knew she had to make the most out of this once in a lifetime experience, but little did she
    know the true amount of attention the car would receive in such a short amount of time.

    Suzy Bauter and her 1963 AMC Rambler wagon started their journey together around seven years ago. The journey
    began through a Craigslist ad that led her to purchase the wagon. Though a Rambler was not her first choice, the fact
    that it was a wagon and the price point fit the bill spot on.

    Her initial intent was to restore the original flathead-six, though after submerging herself in the pro-touring race
    community, she quickly realized further upgrades would be needed in order for the Rambler to handle sufficiently out
    on track.

    One of the initial items on Bauterís checklist once the wagon came home was to start a build thread on
    the forum. The thread, which was started back in 2012, would describe Bauterís initial goals with the build as well as
    updates along the way: 1963 Rambler Sugar Resto Track Travel AutoX

    Unfortunately the Rambler took a back seat to the familyís 1968 Camaro in addition to two-moves, which included a cross-
    country journey from California to Tennessee. Sugar, which was the original name of the vehicle before it met its new
    name the ďFlare Witch Project,Ē was put off again and again until the family officially settled in Tennessee.

    An opportunity to take the Flare Witch Project to SEMA came about, which pushed the build into its final stages of
    completion. With SEMA in mind, Suzy and Rodney hustled to get the vehicle done in time for itís big debut. With the help
    of Rob MacGregor from No Limit Engineering who supplied the flares and the new name for the build along with Best of
    Show Coachworks in Escondido, CA who helped with the body and laid down the beautiful blue paint along with wrapping
    up the finishing touches right before SEMA, the wagon was on its way to Las Vegas with the hope that people would
    accept it for what it was.

    Now it could be said that a Rambler isnít most peopleís first choice when building a pro-touring vehicle, especially a
    wagon. Furthermore, Suzy Bauterís wagon was slightly more extreme, featuring itís huge flares and BFG 315ís tucked
    on all four corners. The big question going into SEMA was how it would be perceived. It was definitely one of those
    builds that people would either love or hate, but Bauter never expected the response that came next.

    Since the Ramblerís debut in the Spectre Performance Booth last year, the car and Suzy have been a rollercoaster of
    success. The vehicle was received better than ever anticipated with several features in print and online media as well
    as being honored the recipient of the prestigious Grand Turismo Best Hot Rod award.

    After SEMA the car was awarded a Golden Ticket into the optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational at Las Vegas Motor
    Speedway. The can would then make an appearance at PRI in December before heading home to get sorted before the
    next race season.

    Suzy and Rodney have spent 2018 sorting the wagon both on and off the track. Bauter has since had a couple autocross
    days with the wagon. Her main goal is to always have fun, but you have to admit the wagon looks extremely good out
    on track.

    In addition to her success in 2017, the Rambler found its way back into SEMA this year as one of the 15 final contestants
    for the Hot Wheels Legend Tour. Hot Wheels hosted 15 events across the country in search of the next Hot Wheels
    diecast. Bauter, who attended the Nashville, TN Legends Tour, was honored as the official finalist for that event. This
    meant she and the Rambler would be featured in the Hot Wheels Legend Tour Booth at SEMA in contention for the grand
    award; the possibility of a Hot Wheels diecast modeled after her vehicle.

    Though the Hot Wheels Legends Tour will not announce their winner until later in the week, Bauter had another surprise
    coming as Larry Callahan was on scene at SEMA to unveil the next vehicle on the t-shirt. With only a
    handful of people in the know, Larry couldnít wait to surprise Suzy with the shirt during day one of SEMA. The t-shirt,
    which was designed by Ben Hermance, will also be available at the Pro-Touring Dinner during SEMA.

    As we congratulate Suzy Bauter and her first year anniversary of amazing success, we hope that the
    t-shirt will only continue to remind her of what a great influence she has been through her build and her commitment to
    the pro-touring community as a whole. It is people like her who continue to help bring this community together. For
    those that have been fortunate enough to work or connect with Suzy, then you know how special she is and how hard
    she has worked to help promote others. Itís an honor to see her Rambler on this yearís shirt and we
    canít wait to see what next year will bring for both her and the car.
    Last edited by Trackside-Brandy; 10-30-2018 at 04:16 PM.
    Brandy Morrow Phillips
    Site Contributor


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