In the late hours of October 4th 2009, the world lost an innovator in sport compact racing, Shaun Carlson. The NuFormz owner and fabricator extraordinaire had a genetic heart condition – however, it is unknown if the defect contributed to his death.
In more recent years, Carlson, 35, had been known for his lead on the Team MOPAR drift team, but his roots go all the way back to Truckin' and Turbo Magazine. Although he could shoot cars with the best of them, his talent in building them won out in the end. Carlson knocked the socks off the sport compact industry with the Honda CRX he created in collaboration with Jason Whitfield, but he really blew everyone away when he unveiled the world's first tube frame front-wheel drive Honda Civic. Driven by Stephan Papadakis, the car made the industry stand up and take notice that sport compact drag racing was a force to be reckoned with. Following his Civic's success, Carlson created the spectacular web of steel tubing, carbon fiber and titanium that is known as the Meguiar's Ford Focus. His ability to turn the unfortunate into amazing even transferred over from drag racing and into drifting. This is shown by the Dodge Charger and Challenger he built for two time Formula D champion Samuel Hubinette.
It is an understatement to say that Shaun Carlson will be missed. His influence has been far reaching and he undoubtedly had many more groundbreaking builds ahead of him. On a personal note,I will never forget the guidance and knowledge that he gave me as I was starting to get my feet wet in the automotive industry. I first met Shaun when he brought Stephan's yellow Civic to run on the East Coast. As I stared at the car in wonderment, he went out of his way to tell me all about it. After that, whenever I ran into Shaun at a race, he let me hang around his pit. He never dismissed my probing questions about his mechanical troubles either. He could see I wasn't just a female trying to hang around, but a student with a thirst for knowledge and someone looking for direction. I eventually found that direction with a degree in mechanical engineering. Now, in my work, I think back to design tips I learned from master fabricator Shaun Carlson.
Everyone at Autoblog extends their thoughts to all of Shaun Carlson's loved ones.