COUPE DE THRILL: A TURBO WITH A HONDA FITTED TO IT

It’s not often I get stopped in my tracks. I’ve been a lucky boy over the years and have seen a lot of different things around the globe. I’m not jaded or tired of it, no, but usually I can take in the details with relative calm. Not today though. What you see above is the very first picture from the very first moment that I saw Phil Penny’s Honda S600 coupé. I actually uttered the words ‘Oh man…’ as I raised the camera up to my eye. As natural reactions go, I’m pretty happy with that. At least I can type it here.

I am a massive fan of obscure vehicles with what appear to be random modifications. When I first saw the four-rotor Lexus that Brad shot recently I got the same feeling. I boldy said that it might end up being my car of the year – words with weight considering it was only January. Now here I am in February, at Willowbank Raceway just west of Brisbane and this little Honda has just stolen that title. If this is an omen of things to come, it’s going to be the best Summer.

Because yes, that turbo sucked me in from a hundred feet away. Just look at it. In fact, I dare you to try anything else. I don’t care if you think the air flow from the bonnet edge causes disturbance problems or it’s aerodynamically flawed. Just look at that sucker. It’s so offensively large, so seemingly out of place with its home, as though the Honda coupé has been attacked by an alien lifeform that’s clamped on and is burrowing its way under the metal skin.

With the small bonnet removed by releasing these exquisitely simple, old school clips…

…it all makes sense. I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. Maybe an SR? But surely the capacity couldn’t need such a large turbo. Could it be a blown F20 Honda engine? The trouble is with such an off-the-wall build, you can’t predict anything. So when I first saw the Toyota 2J, inline-six I laughed with joy. I’m not sure where you cross the line between necessary and overkill, but just one cylinder from this engine is nearly equal to the entire original capacity of 600cc. Oh and it runs on methanol. This thing just gets better by the second.

In fact I do know where you cross the line: it’s when you go drag racing. I don’t know a racer who has ever had enough power – they always seem to need more, so if you’re going to fit a turbo, fit a really big one. And if you’re thinking lag, think again. Phil specified the Billet turbo with a .96 air ratio, meaning it can spool up far quicker than you’d expect looking at the size of it. Trust me, I’ve seen it go from idle to Defcon-scream in a second or two – hardly a long wait when you’re sat on a dragstrip start line. Remember, this is no circuit racer.

In total there are three Turbosmart wastegates taking care of the boost, their high-end quality matching Phil’s immaculate build ethos. He’s a big fan. The detail is seriously impressive everywhere you look on the engine, but there are just so many questions I have about the whole car as I look at it.

Phil tells me he’s been a fan of the baby Honda since he found one years back. The fact he also loves the lines is undeniable too, which is another thing I noticed as I took a look around. There are some really well thought-out angles and details here.

He’s kept the standard body trim all over, as it’s not like he has to worry about weight saving with the 2J up front. Power? Not a problem my friend.

So let’s get to the figures. All up the Honda weighs 1,000kg. For a start look how small it is compared to that Dodge Ram. Unreal! There are 12 1,500cc methanol injectors feeding the Toyota engine and Phil is running it at 28psi today, which equates to roughly 870bhp at the wheels, but he has the ability to wind the boost up to 35psi and more.

The engine was put together by a very gifted builder named Dave Stevens, whose work has been used to great effect by a number of the fastest space-framed import drag cars in Australasia. In its current guise it can generate 1,650bhp… Yup, the surface hasn’t even been scratched yet. If Phil fancied, with another rail of six injectors fitted the engine has been built to generate and handle 2,000bhp. No messing around: Phil figured he’d do things right the first time. Although he grins and tells me somebody else can try it with that much power.

Another reason Phil loves the S600 is that it comes with a separate chassis and body, lending itself to such wild modification, and with the motor mounted as far back as possible in the tiny 79-inch wheelbase it’s almost mid-engined. His self-proclaimed fascination with boost means drag racing gives him the purest platform to explore the potential it gives him.

Obviously he’s put a lot more strength into the frame now, with the cage…

…and driver safety cell. Just like the gorgeous standard external chrome, Phil has kept the full interior trim too, although that Kirkey alloy seat is anything but standard.

Because when this thing spools up, things get serious pretty quickly and you’d want to know you’re strapped in safe, right?

The fury that emanates from the tiny racer is crazy. The noise and sight of it make me smile and retreat at the same time, all the while taking pictures like a grinning loon.

I turn to a nearby photographer as Phil reverses back to the start-line after another smoky burnout. Smiling manically I nod and he just looks back at me with a deadpan face. Man, I hope I never get that jaded. I don’t care if this is your ‘thing’ or not – he should probably check his pulse.

Along with minimal lag, the other surprising skill the Honda has is its ability to leave the line straight and true. After the drama of first seeing it and the explosion of power in the burnout, I kind of expected it to point both front wheels somewhere in the sky and fire off the line sideways, spitting fire whilst playing this through speakers that could equal a sonic boom.

But just as you’d want it if you were in the driver’s seat, there’s no drama: it just squats on the single rear wheelie bar and goes.

Proper goes… This run was a personal best for Phil, but he insists it’s still early days with somewhere around six to seven passes under the wheels so far. He has some interesting data from this run thanks to the Racepack iQ3 dash unit: in first and second gear he’s pulling 3.5G until roughly half-track, with a time to the 60-foot mark of 1.3 seconds and 5.6 seconds and 130mph at half-track.

When Brad put up a picture of the Honda in his Jamboree 22 coverage, (which is kind of odd, as today I’ve been stood where Brad was last year) there were a lot of comments about the turbo position and how Phil could physically see around it, so asking permission I climbed into the hot seat to see for myself. This is that view: so yeah, pretty distracting… But what a place to be sat. It feels as if you’re connected to the turbo itself, Phil saying of the position that he figured instead of having it poke through the bonnet, this way he didn’t have to lift it to show people.

Everything has been so well packaged inside, Phil saying that the original S600 transmission had two chain drives for the rear wheels, so although there are now dedicated tubs in place to deal with what the C4 auto hands out, the original 14-inch wide items were actually ideal for his early wheel and tyre upgrade plans. It’s almost as if this thing wanted to go fast right from the outset.

Now, an 8.65-second run is quick – quicker than quick in fact, and it’s all too often that we take things for granted. The work Phil has put in to get here is immense. The Honda was his daily driver for nine years – it then ran a blown Fiat twin-cam motor.

But he’s nowhere near stopping yet.We’ve hinted at the potential of the coupé, and as Phil says: “My goal is to run in the low seven seconds at 185-plus mph. It’s a reality; the power is there… It’s still very early days”. Splitting his time between drag racing, building a twin-turbo Porsche 930 and surfing, Phil has got plenty of plans and we’ll be seeing him again for sure.

No matter which way you sway, you can believe in Phil Penny and his ability to entertain, enthrall and make things happen. The man’s a legend in my book.  This is not the end, this is just the beginning.

 

Bryn Musselwhite

 

Engine

3.2 stroker 2J inline six, resin-filled to core plugs, GRP aluminium rods, Arias ceramic/thermal coated pistons, piston pins 22mm and 8mm thick, factory 3ltr crank offset ground, hardened steel main caps, ARP stud kit, line bored, ATi balancer, 3mm Chromoly flex plate, Dave Stevens modified standard oil pump,  2JZ turbo head, flowed, Ferrara valves, titanium retainers, collets and springs, Sure Cams (NSW) with Dave Stevens grind, head machined for lobe clearance, L19 head studs, Titan front pulley wheels, Hypertune manifold (Sydney), twin fuel rails, 12x1500cc methanol injectors, 102mm throttle body, Engle 110 mechanical fuel pump, custom high rise inlet manifold, 60mm Turbosmart wastegate off the manifold plus another from the turbine housing, Billet Turbo (Gold Coast) 88mm front, 94mm rear, rear housing .96 Air ratio, 5in/120mm dump pipe, turbo to intercooler is four inches, turbine, manifold, exhaust is coated by competition coatings in Brisbane ceramic chrome, PWR water to air intercooler, runs 18 litre water and ice tank inside the car which is pumped through with -16 lines, PWR radiator, Haltech Sport 2000 ECU, PRO 16 M&W CDi box, Racepack data iQ3 dash including GPS! measures G-force, Haltech exhaust gas temp sensors, factory coil packs, factory timing belt and factory turbo multi-layered head gasket, Eboost 2 race control

Transmission

Ford C4 automatic box, Als Raceglide (NSW), custom-built 1350 series shaft, Ford nine-inch, Strange 33 spline shafts and spool, Mark Williams nine-inch alloy carrier

Suspension

Torsion bar front, Koni adjustable shocks, rear four link, panhard rod, Strange coilovers, adjustable rebound and compression, single wheelie bar with single shock

Brakes

Wilwood four-pot callipers, 260mm vented disc, AP two pot rear callipers, 1999 BTCC Mondeo (Paul Radisich) discs and bells, Wilwood twin circuit master cylinder, bias to rear wheels

Wheels & Tyres

E45 polished Simmons,  10x15in, 4x15in, 22inx15, 28×11.5×15 Mickey Thompson ET.

Bodywork

1965 Honda S600, stainless flutes in front guards, five-inch fuel cap on passenger side wing, rear wing, parachute, aero on rear window, stretched rear arch aperture, bumpers and grille original, voodoo metallic blue

Interior

Kirkey aluminium seats, ERG five-point harness, OMP steering wheel

Standard door trims, factory dash, carbon fibre fascia housing Racepack dash, firewall and tunnel 3mm steel, 1in 5/8 Chromoly cage, strengthened standard box chassis

Thanks

Dave Stevens for the most awesomest engine, Turbosmart for their support with their excellent products, Phil Laird (he’s the tuner, an excellent guy),  Christian my son… All the guys that help.

SPOTLIGHT-O-RAMA: AN ALL AMERICAN SELECTION

In yesterday’s post I gave you guys a broad view of the Goodguys All-American Get Together in Northern California, and today I’d like to narrow in and focus on some of the specific cars that caught my interest at the show. As I mentioned in the first post, there was huge variety of cars that came out – and I think this selection of six vehicles conveys that pretty well.

Let’s begin with one of those most unique,and also one of the coolest cars I found all day – a 1961 Chevy Corvair Lakewood wagon lowrider. Now just seeing any Corvair wagon is quite rare in itself, but to see one dumped to the ground on wire wheels is something completely unexpected.

With the rear wheels cambered well into the fenders, it gives the car a slightly European or Japanese vibe. It’s fitting, considering how much different the Corvair was from any other American car of the era.

Elsewhere, the car was very subtle. The body (with the exception of some mild shaving) and interior were largely original – and in pristine condition.

It’s always great to see people think outside the box, and that is exactly what the builder of this unique cruiser did. Well done!

From a slammed compact wagon to a high riding bruiser. Another car that caught my eye was this badass Plymouth GTX Gasser. While ’66 and ’67 Plymouths have always been popular among racers and restorers, I can’t recall ever seeing one built quite like this.

All the correct Gasser elements were checked off the list. Straight axle conversion up front with fenderwell headers, and a fitting combination of skinny Cragars up front and big steelies in the rear.

Let’s not forget the equally important set of velocity stacks popping proudly through the center of the hood…

A peek inside the car reveals a cockpit that is much more street car than it is racing machine. That’s just one of the many things that I love about 1960s era drag cars.

If there was one negative, it was the fact that the car looked slightly out of place sitting on the grass at a car show. You can just sense this thing is waiting to be unleashed at the drag strip.

Representing the custom world, we have a stunning ’62 Chrysler 300 created by well known builder Richard Zocchi of nearby Walnut Creek. Known as “Cool 300″, this the latest in a long line of Zocchi’s custom creations.

While the body of the Chrysler has been heavily massaged, the angled headlights are a factory feature that was left intact. An example of some of the bold styling features seen on American cars of the early ’60s.

It’s hard to think of a more fitting wheel and tire combo for this car than wires with knockoffs and wide whites. It just fits with the high end custom style so well.

Glancing through the heavily chopped roofline, you can see an interior that’s been done in the same “sherbert” color scheme.

To show just how well this car has been received, it was selected as the winner of the George Barris Kustom D’Elegance Award at this year’s Grand National Roadster Show.

The Chevy Nova/Chevy II is an extremely common car at shows like this, and it can be very hard to build one that stands out. This ’66 from the city of Rocklin has managed to do just that.

You might be asking why, because the exterior looks pretty standard. Indeed it does. With modestly sized rallye wheels at each corner, it looks like your typical cruise night special.

The same goes for the basic looking, bench-seat equipped interior. It’s all very nice and tidy, but nothing out of the ordinary.

But then you look in the engine bay and see this – a 6.0 liter LSX motor with a massive turbocharger affixed to it.

It’s not rare to see old cars with big power LSX swaps and forced induction, but they are usually accompanied by giant wheels and tires, racing seats, and other overt modifications. This one on the other hand is a wrapped in a very unassuming package. One of the coolest sleepers I’ve seen in a while.

History is one thing that can make a car very cool, and this ’51 Chevy has plenty of that. It was originally a mild custom in Southern California and in the early ’60s it was converted into a drag car.

With a straight axle conversion, it ran in gas class competition at places like Irwindale and Lions Drag strip before it was put into storage in 1967. In 2006 it underwent a complete frame-off restoration where modern running gear was added to match its period looks.

While the interior looks straight out of the ’60s, that shifter is actually mated to a T56 six-speed transmisison. The motor is a 383 stroker with nitrous, making over 600 horsepower on pump gas.

Gotta love the big cheater slicks sitting under fenders that were originally radiused back in the early ’60s.

It’s fast, cool, and has a ton of history. What more do you need?

Lastly, we have a rather interesting 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Wait a minute. What’s the deal? What’s so American about a VW?

Well, this is no normal Karmann Ghia, but a fairly mental build out of Lewiston, Idaho. It’s got a custom-fabricated chassis and wasn’t built just for show but for open track events.

It’s powered not by an aircooled Volkswagen motor buy by a fully built 331 cubic inch Ford small block that’s somehow been wedged into the front cargo compartment.

While the Ghia is clean enough to be a show car, a peek inside the interior further reveals its athletic intentions. There are full bucket seats, a custom transmission tunnel and of course a roll bar.

And just to make things that much better, the big Wilwood brakes are covered by a set of Work Emotion XD9 wheels. A German car with an American engine and Japanese wheels. Why not?

So there you have it. Just a little slice of the automotive extremes from the Goodguys All American Get-Together.

-Mike

 

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source: speedhunters.com

A GLIMPSE OF THE NEW WRX?

For a few years now, we’ve all been wondering what the future holds for the Subaru WRX. If these leaked photos are legit, you are looking at Subaru’s new WRX Concept.

While nothing is confirmed, Subaru has announced it will be revealing a “performance concept” at the upcoming New York Auto Show. This appears to be right on the money.

And while it is just a concept, the styling suggests a dramatic departure from the conservative look of the standard Impreza. It’s also immediately recognizable as a WRX.

No official info has been published about the next WRX, but rumor has it the car will make somewhere in the range 300 horsepower and may even have an electric turbo.

Whatever the case, we’ll certainly know more once the show opens.

For now – what do you think of the WRX Concept?

 

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WORLD OF OUTLAWS: DOIN’ IT SIDEWAYS IN SIN CITY

At the beginning of this year I told myself that I would try to experience as many new types of car culture as possible, so when I heard that the World Of Outlaws Sprint Car Series would be coming to the West Coast, I knew that I would have to check it out.

I’ve been meaning to shoot dirt oval racing for a while now. I just love seeing cars go sideways, and these guys raced sideways way before drifting emerged from Japan.

Dirt oval racing started getting popular after the First World War, but back then they mostly raced modified Ford Model Ts. They raced on horse racing tracks because there were no paved racetracks available.

Dirt Oval has come along way since then. Today it is one of the most popular motorsports in the United States. There are an estimated 1,500 dirt oval tracks in existence. The sport is also very popular in Canada and also in Australia, but down there they make right turns instead of left turns.

There were a few classes running that weekend. These are the Dirt Late Model cars. From a certain angle they seem to be able to pass for the Batmobile.

One of the other classes that was running was the Dirt Modifieds. They looks so crazy going sideways. As they would huck it into the corner their body panels would flap around. It was insane.

They would constantly corner on three wheels and if I did not know any better I swear these things looked like they were going to fall apart any minute. Of course they didn’t, but the racing was super intense as they had to be careful passing each other since their front wheels were exposed.

Without a doubt my favorite class of race cars that night were the winged Sprint Cars. These were definitely the fastest, and I also think they were the coolest looking.

No wonder why the World Of Outlaw guys have the slogan ‘The greatest show on dirt!’. Well… because it was!

Every type of race car has a personality. The winged Sprint Cars just look like they have a bad attitude, especially when they enter the corner at high speed and the downforce from their massive wing just compresses the suspension.

I swear that watching these guys was like watching an optical illusion. You just can’t believe your eyes when you see them going around that corner at speed. How was it possible to defy physics like that? After seeing the Modifieds and the Late Model cars I felt like I was watching the Sprint Cars in fast forward.

This particular round was held in Las Vegas. I seem to be finding many reasons recently to make the day trip to Sin City.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway has nine stand-alone race tracks, and the dirt oval is one of them.

The sufrace is very interesting. It is actually a very fine dirt – more like clay, I guess. Although, I’ve also heard that this track had more rocks than most other tracks.

When it dries up it cracks, but when it’s wet it is actually quite sticky. My shoes almost came off as I was walking across the racing line.

The day starts off with the racers picking numbers for their order of qualifying.

First up to battle it out were the Dirt Modified guys. They lined up right outside the track and they would all drive in at once as soon as they got the signal.

It really surprised me how many different lines these guys took. Sometimes they go super wide and sometimes they cut the corner pretty sharp. It was still early in the day, so I am assuming they were trying to find the line with the most traction.

The surface did change over the course of the night, and had to be watered down a few times. Having watched dirt oval racing at night, I am very curious to see what the experience is like in the daytime.

The Dirt Late Model cars had transmissions and reverse gears, so they could stop and pull of the track if they needed to.

But the Sprint Cars do not have a transmission: it’s a direct drive system. Part of the reason is to keep the weight down, but mainly it is for tradition. Although they do have a disconnect, which allows them to be pushed without starting.

The Sprint Car drivers also don’t run radios, so unlike in NASCAR there are no spotters. You just have to listen for the cars behind you. Those helmet tear-off sheets were understandably everywhere. Every time a pack of cars would come buy a few tear-offs would fly up in the air.

Normally at events that I have never been to I try to make some friends. Luckily, I knew a few people in the industry that were at the race.

The guys from KW Suspension were there, debuting their new suspension for Sprint Car racing. They have done much testing on these shocks, but this was the first time they would be put to the test in a race.

They were testing it on the Roth Enterprises team, which is a two-car team. One car would run the normal suspension that they regularly run and the other car would be the test mule for KW.

Behind the wheel was Kyle Hirst, a young driver from Elk Grove, California. He is only 25 years old, but he has been racing Sprint Cars for almost 10 years.

My favorite motorsports are the ones that stay true to the fans. Sprint Car racing was just like that. The pits are wide open and you can meet any of the drivers and strike up a conversation.

One of the biggest legends in Sprint Car racing is Sammy Swindell. He has been racing in World Of Outlaws way before I was born. The passion for the winner’s circle just does not die down over time.

Qualifying for the Sprint Car teams was getting closer and it could not have come soon enough as everyone was getting restless.

Kyle was also getting anxious, but he was ready to drive. Who knew how the new suspension would work out in real racing conditions? There was only one way to find out.

As soon as the call came in to suit up, he darted into the trailer and got his helmet. It was time to hit the dirt.

I will go into qualifying in more detail in my next post, but each driver gets two chances to pull off their fastest lap.

You really have to be focused as the lap times were sometimes separated by a few thousands of a second.

One by one the guys pulled out and did their hot laps. It was actually quite nice because this was the only chance I had to photograph the cars running solo.

Just like with rallycross, the drivers are pitted against each other in heats to decide who will go into the final race.

Kyle pushed super hard for position, but he did not finish well in his heat. Luckily he was able to pull through in the last-chance qualifier race – also known as the LCQ.

Basically all the people who did not finish well in their heats get thrown into one free-for-all race for the last remaining open slots for the main race. This went for all the classes that were racing that night.

It was total carnage in the LCQ race for the Late Model guys. It is a lot easier to bump each other, as it seemed like that was just one of the ways they could pass each other.

Quite a few guys ended up in the wall, with some them having to be towed off.

Some of the guys just parked in the middle and watched the rest of the race.

From the back, the Late Model cars actually reminded me of Group C cars from the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Except these guys went sideways on dirt. I bet these guys would do really well in Formula Drift.

The Dirt Modified guys let it all hang out as well. There was no holding back and there was just as much carnage.

It’s actually interesting to watch, considering how large these racecars are compared to the Sprint Cars. To have that much traction on dirt without any downforce just amazed me.

All the Late Model and Modified guy were done for the night and it was time for the Sprint Cars to battle it out for the win.

As a tradition for the main event, the entire grid packs into a four-wide formation for their parade lap. Seeing this sent chills down my spine. That was a whole lot of horsepower just waiting to be unleashed.

The sound pierced through my earplugs. I ducked for cover as soon as the pack passed and I hid behind a large lightpole. As the rocks hit the pole it sounded like I was being shot at.

These guys run very low tire pressures, so it is very easy for them to de-bead the tires.

Pit crews were standing close by to change whatever was needed. The crew also brings extra wings and other aero parts as well.

What was interesting to me was the caution laps don’t count towards the number of laps completed. So if the race was 30 laps, without a doubt the fans get to see 30 laps of racing.

For how close these guys raced I was actually surprised to see only one flip the entire day.

The driver was just fine and the safety crew extracted the dead Sprint Car with ease.

Once again the entire pack rounded the corner, awaiting the green flag to punch it.

Kyle actually ended up finishing in mid pack. Not bad for the first time running brand new suspension.

It was restart after restart, there must have been at least eight cautions for the A-main race.

How about that four-car tandem? I just could not believe how fast these guys would accelerate towards the wall.

There is just so much in this world of racing that I need to explore, and I have barely scratched the surface going to this race. I’ve been told that the Wingless Sprint Cars are the ones to watch out for, but that will just have to wait till next time. For now stay tuned as I talk about a few more technical details that stood out to me while I was at the World Of Outlaws Las Vegas.

 

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CRUISING NEW ZEALAND IN A ’67 IMPALA

My name is Peter Kelly and I’m the editor of New Zealand Performance Car magazine. With Speedhunters’ America theme happening, I was asked by the team to write a guest post, no doubt due to my perceived conflict of occupation – running a staunchly import-only magazine, and choice of vehicle – a 1967 Fastback Chevrolet Impala.

My life has always revolved around Japanese performance vehicles, right from when I bought my first turbocharged vehicle at sixteen. In the many years since, I’ve owned and modified a range of interesting Japanese cars, including a JZX90 Toyota Mark II featured on Speedhunters many moons ago, and have been working as a journalist within the import industry for the last decade. For a good percentage of the years since getting my first car, I had an active dislike for all things American automotive – I’ve always dismissed the American vehicle for, arguably, everything it stands for. Compared to the light, high-tech and exceptionally clever JDM vehicles that I loved, lived and breathed every day, these behemoths seemed to me like lumbering, inefficient land yachts – the epitome of stereotypical American excess. While that view hasn’t really changed, it’s those same attributes I used to hate, that I now love, thanks to a chance sighting of a stock standard 1967 Impala Coupe near my home in Auckland about five years ago. I was struck by it’s overt, gaudy but at the same time strikingly beautiful appearance and although I didn’t go straight out and buy one, I did from that day on, have a new appreciation and love for classic American cars. I also promised myself that when the time was right, I’d own a 67 Impala Fastback Coupe – in my eyes, the prettiest American car ever made (though I’m sure readers will have their own opinions on this).

After first dipping my toes into GM ownership with a 1967 Cadillac Coupe De Ville a few years back, I quickly figured out that there was little point in pouring money into a car that was never really the dream, so I sold up for a tidy profit (another benefit I was far from accustomed to coming from JDM cars), and eventually found a beat-up numbers-matching Impala fresh out of Arizona.

The next year was spent restoring the car with help from friends, a few of whom didn’t really get it, but were there nonetheless. New chrome, a full panel and paint, carpets and plenty of rust removal began to cut into the wallet pretty deep.

Despite some internet chatter, the odd email and awkward hostile conversation from people who thought that it was wrong someone in my position should be building a car like this, I persevered and the end result is exactly how I’d imagined it would be.

The paint, applied by Grant at Auckland’s GT Refinishers, is a modified Jaguar gold from PPG. Coming from Japanese cars, I never actually thought about how much more paint you’ll need to purchase to cover a car like this, but at 5.4 metres long and a little over 2-metres wide, the budget blew out pretty quickly, especially when factoring in the extra labour involved in getting those massive panels perfect.

The car sits very low on 14-inch reverse offset (around -10) wires by way of static suspension, which I think goes a great way towards enhancing its soft, flowing lines. People always ask my why I’ve never installed hydraulics or bags in the Impala – simply put, though I appreciate juice and air, it’s just not me and I didn’t want to ruin the originality of the car.

To me, of all the Impala generations, the 67/68 is the most beautiful. It’s massive hips, more pronounced than the similar 65/66, flow effortlessly towards the rear of the car, meeting up with the 67/68’s unique fastback roofline at the simple, clean taillights.

This is the easiest way to tell the two fastback years apart – the 67 uses three-pane rectangular lights above the bumper as pictured, whereas GM changed to six big round lights recessed into the bumper itself the year after.

Interior-wise, the factory gold-vinyl interior remains because, well, it’s just so incredibly ugly that it does a full circle and once again becomes strangely appealing.

Until this car came to New Zealand, it was owned by one family since new, with ownership going from father, to mother and then to son as the years rolled on. This would explain the very tidy condition of the gaudy gold covering the entire living space of the car. The glove box still contains the original dealership papers, service history and a 1995 Blockbuster receipt for Sister Act II on VHS.

The Impala runs the factory-fitted 327ci small block V8, which I’ve kept as original as possible. It’s not going to propel the car to a 10-second quarter mile, but that was never the point – this car never had to be fast.

With six seats (eight in a pinch), a good sound system and a strong, reliable driveline, the Impala has improved my life considerably over the three years since it’s been on the road. No doubt, it’ll probably be the summers spent cruising New Zealand’s beach towns and car festivals that I’ll remember fondly in my old age. I’m not sure I could say that about any other car I’ve owned…

Though I will always love Japanese cars and will continue to own and modify them for the rest of my life, in terms of pure aesthetics and impact, to me, there are few JDM machines that can match the beauty and pure presence of this “coke bottle” era in American motoring. I’ll admit that I used to be very one-eyed when it came to cars, but owning, driving and maintaining this Chev has helped me to become what I now think of as a true car enthusiast – someone with a completely open mind to all types of vehicles.

While I’m sure not everyone will share or even understand my unbridled love for my Impala, for all its flaws, to me it’s quite possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a car that makes me fight a smile every time the garage door rolls up, and the day I stop feeling like a giddy child when I pump the accelerator a few times and turn the key on first start up, is the day I know it’s time to move on. Realistically, I’m not sure I can ever see that happening… #joyofmachine

-Peter Kelly

 

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source: speedhunters.com

Corvette Stingray at Sebring 12H

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

Looking through the photos we shot at the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida (Their official name is WAY too long to say in one breath; it means Sebring had a good ad sales guy), we couldn’t help but drop our jaws when staring at this Corvette Stingray from Howey Farms Racing. We don’t know much about the car and the driver, but apparently it was being driven by Clark Howey, a man with years and years of track experience at Sebring under his belt.

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

From what we gathered from Google (and the hilariously outdated Howey Farms Racing website, which says its 2008 racing schedule will be updated soon), Clark Howey’s Corvette Stingray is actually a historic race car, that was first run in the GTO class back in 1973. Hm, maybe that explains the number 73 on the door.

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

We just can’t get over the fact that Clark Howey’s yellow Corvette Stingray is so damn LOW! It makes it look even cooler and more aggressive than many of the other cars running in the same class. Look how low it is, even from the front!

Corvette C6.R Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

When we refer to “that yellow Corvette” running at Sebring, most people probably think of the famous Compuware Corvette C6.R, which won at Petit Le Mans and the actual 24H of Le Mans at Circuit de La Sarthe in France. The car pictured is the Number 4 C6.R, which actually won the Sebring 12H race!

Compuware driver Tommy Milner made a late pass for the lead and then held on for the final 15 minutes as the No. 4 GT Corvette C6.R won the American Le Mans Series GT class at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday.

The No. 4 Corvette C6.R – driven by 2012 Drivers’ champions Milner and Oliver Gavin, and Richard Westbrook – overcame an early electrical issue and two key penalties to win the 2013 ALMS opener. It is Gavin’s fifth victory at Sebring; Milner and Westbrook each recorded his first.

“What an incredible effort by Corvette Racing; these guys never gave up,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice-President for Performance Vehicles & Motorsports. “They came from behind multiple times. It was a focused team effort, with great driving and great calls in the pits, and great pits stops, and they delivered a big win. I’m proud of them.”

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

The No. 3 GT Compuware Corvette C6.R – driven by Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor – retired with just over three hours remaining due to an overheated gearbox. The team, which also experienced an electrical issue early in the race, finished in 11th place in class, 120 laps off the pace in class.

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

Back to the Howey Farms Racing Corvette Stingray, check out how LOW it site up front! Bad ass.

Howey Farms Corvette Stingray Sebring 12H 2013 Florida

Tuck and roll! We just love how Clark Howey’s Corvette looks as it attacks corners with the front wheels tucking deep into the wide fenders. As cool as it looks, this Stingray SOUNDS even more amazing on the racetrack at high rpm. We wish more race cars looked as cool as this one!

:: Patrick Daly

 

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source: motormavens.com

EVENT: Cody’s D1NZ 2013 Round Three

It was hard to find a fault with the plan for Round 3 of the Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship. Held in sunny Tauranga on another technically challenging, custom built circuit it was bound to be a success from the get go. However it was the first time a drift event had been held in Tauranga city and nobody was sure what kind reaction the event would receive.

D1NZ Tauranga

Any thoughts of a low turnout were quickly put to rest on the morning of Friday practice. It was just after 8am and there were already crowds of people waiting to get through the doors for the 9am opening!

Along with huge crowds and perfect weather the track layout was top notch. It reminded me of a miniature Irwindale speedway out of Formula D. Essentially a large ‘S’ layout, the track began with a long left entry and switched into a right turn with outer clipping points. Littering the edges of the track were plenty of concrete barriers which would no doubt cause some carnage over the weekend.

Toyota GT86

New Zealand only received a small initial shipment of the Toyota GT86 so it was quite nice to spot this one parked near the track.

Drifted_IMG_2666

I spotted current series leader Fanga Dan talking to Achilles/ NAC driver Daynom Templeman in the pit area. Drifting has a great atmosphere and it’s cool that the different teams get along with each other.

Mad Mike RX7

Mad Mike Whiddett was on top form in the ‘Madbul’ RX7 during the Friday practice. In the shot above you can see the rear tyre perfectly lined up with the yellow paint marking the edge of the circuit. It didn’t stay yellow for much longer!

Gaz Whiter S14

Gaz Whiter looked like he was really enjoying the track setup, tapping the wall on entry several times throughout practice.

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I always enjoy attending the practice day before the main competition. These laid back drift sessions give you a chance to experiment with different styles of photography.

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Speaking of photography – it’s always cool to see what gear people are using out on the track. I spotted this little Fuji X100 hiding away here, it’s a superb camera!

Fanga Dan

Fanga Dan was another driver using up all of the available space on the track, pushing right to the outside clip points.

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There was a lot of discussion going on in the pits about the new track layout and different styles of entering the first corner. Many drivers were taking a wide line early on which meant the car was too shallow in the following turn.

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The R33 driven by Zak Pole was looking in much better shape this round, having repaired the damage from Whangarei.

Daynom Templeman

Daynom Templeman and the team decided to cut the rear end off the RX7 just three days before the event to add tube framing. Luckily everything was finished in time and he went on to qualify 14th.

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Both Shane Allen and Shane Van Gisbergen were sharing piloting duties of the big ‘Rattla’ Falcon over the weekend. This huge horsepower car isn’t really suited to small tracks and both drivers had to fight to control it.

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Andrew Redward was looking calm and collected in pit-lane. His driving has been spot on lately, landing him in 4th place in overall championship points. There’s no doubt he would be aiming to improve on that this weekend however.

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Hugo Maclean seemed to have solved the engine problems he was having last round and was throwing the little Corolla around with confidence.

Mad Mike RX7

One of the loudest cars of the day – Mad Mike had to add extra muffling to the quad-rotor Madbul to meet noise restrictions before battles started the next day.

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Local Tauranga driver Cole Armstrong was looking to put on a good show for his home crowd and he did just that, maintaining a good amount of angle all the way to the end of the circuit.

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Bruce Tannock had an unfortunate incident with the wall in his battle with Hugo Maclean, damaging both the Rocket Bunny kit and Work Meisters. Sadly this wasn’t the last accident we would see today.

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Gaz Whiter came up against Sean Falconer which looked like an easy pass for Whiter until his chase run…

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…When he tapped the wall on entry sending the car spinning around and smashing into the wall. A catastrophic collision for the Silvia but luckily Whiter was not injured. You can actually see him floor the gas pedal once the car was heading backwards – knowing he would hit the wall but aiming to reduce the impact.

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Hugo Maclean surprised everybody by taking down current champ Curt Whittaker in the top 16.

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The judges had a good spot above the sweeping entry point to keep an eye on everything.

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Consistent and skilled driving from Fanga Dan saw him into the top 8 in his battle against Daynom Templeman.

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Troy Forsythe out-drove the C33 Laurel of Jason Sellers but was eventually knocked out by Andrew Redward.

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Event director Brendon White and commentator Warren Sare were both out manning the microphones and running an awesome show for the crowd.

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Andrew Redward was charging fast in the RX7, beating Bradley Lauder in a repeat battle of last round.

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Fan favourite Cole Armstrong was beaten by Nico Reid in one of the best battles of the day.

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Zak Pole eliminated both Robee Nelson and Shane Van Gisbergen before going on to battle Fanga Dan. Check out that wall rub! It wasn’t enough to win however and Fanga Dan moved through to the top 4.

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The next battle of the top 8 saw Andrew Redward take down south-islander Troy Forsythe and move on to the top 4.

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The spotters had a good spot high up in the second floor of the arena to relay info to the drivers.

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Mad Mike was another to fall victim to the wall on the second turn. Surprisingly he was able to repair the car for his battle against Nico Reid but the damage was still affecting the car and he spun, giving Nico the advantage.

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The top 4 gave Fanga Dan a tough battle against up and comer Nico Reid, but Woolhouse showed his experience and was given the win.

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Hugo Maclean had really stepped up his game this round, beating Tannock, Whittaker and Falconer to show he really was on a roll.

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So there was no saying what would happen going in to his top 4 battle against the more experienced Andrew Redward. An excellent chase run swung the battle in favour of Redward who moved on to battle Fanga Dan in the final battle while Hugo would come up against Nico Reid for the 3rd spot decider.

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Nico Reid drove well in the Luxury Sports S15 – giving the wall a tap as he entered the corner. Hugo Maclean put on an amazing chase run however and was right alongside Nico throughout the track, earning him the win and 3rd place overall.

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Onto the final battle of the day with Fanga Dan versus Andrew Redward.

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Both drivers had performed outstandingly over the weekend and there was no telling who would take the win. A small mistake at this point would give a huge advantage to the other driver. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened for Redward, who was door to door with Woolhouse until the final corner which sent him spinning.

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With a 10-0 lead to Fanga Dan it meant he could simply sit back on his chase run and take it easy. On another day though I’m sure this battle could have gone OMT more than once, as both drivers have a great deal of skill.

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Daniel Woolhouse claimed 1st, with Andrew Redward a close 2nd and an absolutely stoked Hugo Maclean taking 3rd place, earning his first podium!

This round of D1NZ will definitely go down as one of the best in recent years. With a crowd so large they literally had to close the gates for the first time ever, and a superb track to throw down some awesome drifting – it was an epic weekend and I’m sure D1 will return to Tauranga next season! Here is the championship points table after this round:

1: Daniel Woolhouse – 312
2: Andrew Redward – 237
3: Curt Whittaker – 230
4: Nico Reid – 217.5
5: Gaz Whiter – 193
6: Mike Whiddett – 185.5
7: Daynom Templeman – 184
8: Brad Lauder – 170
9: Zak Pole – 153
10: Troy Forsythe – 152

Words & Photos:
David Atkinson

 

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source: drifted.com

Jackson Racing’s Honda CR-Z Supercharger

The grunts and collective groans from Honda loyalists haven’t quieted one bit since the introduction of Honda’s CR-Z hybrid last year. Power starved and all but cursed with an aggressive look that, no matter how you chop it up, harkens back to much more exciting times. A time that included the release of the beloved CRX, a car that would change a soon to be overpopulated hot hatch landscape. But why live in the past, reliving glory days while comparing them to rather dreary current times? It’s because looking toward the past can actually produce some answers for today’s most nagging issues.

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jacking Racing Supercharger Kit

Someone who knows more than most of the population when it comes to making power, both then and now, is Oscar Jackson Sr. He’s had his hands in tuning Hondas since well before most of our readers were even born. He’s been doubted more times than he can possibly remember, and somehow he’s always managed to rise above, and convert naysayers into avid believers.

These days he’s once again back in the driver’s seat of Jackson Racing with his son, Oscar Jr., riding shotgun as the two embark on a whole new challenge. No stranger to engine swaps, the Jacksons set out to offer a unique alternative to the complex and often pricey K-series swap in the form of a Rotrex-based supercharger kit. Before you assume the mighty K series’ power output will trample that of a low-boost supercharger kit, you may want to take a look at the results. With the factory catalytic converters (both of them) still intact, and the original Honda exhaust system, the Jackson Racing kit pounds out an additional 50 horsepower, and 45 lb-ft of torque. And rather than having to rev to the moon to find that power, almost all of that torque is realized in the midrange, where the majority of driving takes place.

To find the 40 percent increase in power from the tiny 1.5L, a Rotrex C30-74 unit was utilized. Unlike many other superchargers, the “whine” is nonexistent, as the patented traction drive system in the Rotrex keeps a lid on the noise factor. Oil isn’t borrowed from the engine, instead the supercharger relies on its own dedicated, self-contained oiling system, keeping things neat and simple.

  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Lip
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Nitto Invo Tire
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Rotrex C30 74 Unit

If you’re an avid power-hungry enthusiast, gas mileage is probably the last thing on your mind. However, the CR-Z crowd is a bit different, in that they most likely pulled the trigger on the two-seater in hopes of saving some cash at the pump. Adding forced induction isn’t typically conducive to maintaining high miles per gallon, but it’s something that the Jacksons factored into the design of their kit. At cruise speeds, a bypass valve regulates the amount of boost the engine experiences, in turn allowing for factory-like mileage numbers. To add to that, the ability to rely upon the Econ, Normal, and Sport driving modes the CR-Z was originally sold with are still fully functional. This is due in part to the masterminds at Hondata who developed their FlashPro system to open the doors to tuning the CR-Z.

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Volk Racing CE28 Wheel

The supercharged test vehicle pictured has been through quite a bit during its short life span. Over 20,000 miles of real-world testing, countless dyno sessions, a new Hybrid Class record at Super Lap Battle, and some of the most intense emissions testing known to man. You see, while the performance of the kit is undeniable, the Jacksons spent over eight months trying to acquire emissions certification to make the kit a street-legal affair. The hard work and admittedly frustrating process finally paid off with the kit passing all emissions lab tests and currently awaiting approval from the California Air Resources Board (C.A.R.B.).

Oscar Sr. has seen it all and done it all, but just about everyone doubted he could pull any usable power out of the CR-Z while remaining within the tight limitations of the government’s emissions requirements. Here’s to proving them wrong…all over again.

Bolts & Washers

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jackson Racing Supercharger Kit

Jackson Racing Supercharger kit with Rotrex C30-74 unit
Hondata FlashPro
KW Variant 1 coilovers
Volk Racing CE28 17×8 +33
Nitto Invo 225/45-17
JDPengineering carbon-fiber lip
JDPengineering carbon-fiber wing

The Test Vehicle And Editor’s Impression

Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Lip

The bright red 2011 CR-Z you see pictured was fitted with a JDPengineering front lip and rear wing—you might remember the same carbon-fiber pieces being used on the Honda Tuning Magazine CR-Z project early on. The excellent fitment and a clean, functional appearance make JDP an easy choice for this chassis. To help harness the power, specifically through the turns, a set of KW Variant 1 coilovers were chosen, and a tasteful, functional ride height was set. In dire need of wider wheels and better rubber, a set of 17-inch Volk CE28s wrapped in Nitto Invo tires improve the look, feel, and of course the handling of the CR-Z.

Oscar Jr. handed over the keys to their CR-Z and told me to take the car on the road for some spirited driving. The first thing I noticed is the initial startup is identical to stock. No hesitation, no rough idle; in fact, because of the factory cat and exhaust system, it even sounded like it was stock. I pulled away in Normal mode and, driving conservatively, the car showed zero signs of hiccups or stutters. Switching to Sport mode, I stepped into the gas further and the Rotrex did its job of bringing the car up to “above posted speed limit” in rather short order. The torque seemed to pour on effortlessly, and the added midrange power is exactly what the CR-Z is missing from the factory. While the OEM CR-Z begins to fall on its face around 4,500 rpm, the Jackson Racing version is just getting started. The defined pull through third gear, inching close to 7,000 rpm is a sharp reminder of yesteryear, when VTEC B- and H-series motors left you begging to stomp the gas pedal for another zip to redline. While the factory 1.5 struggles to maintain its momentum up hills and around traffic, the Rotrex-equipped version allows you to avoid stirring the gears, and rather “point and shoot” your way through traffic.

  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Jdpengineering Carbon Fiber Wing
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger
  • Jackson Racing Honda CR Z Supercharger Hondata Flashpro

The comparison of the Jackson Racing supercharger kit to a K-series swap will undoubtedly come up the moment this article hits newsstands. Though I didn’t have a K-powered CR-Z on hand to test back to back, there are a few things that really stand out to me. The first being the pricing—even the “bells and whistles” version of the Jackson kit is at least half the cost of a K swap. Read that again, because there’s certainly a misconception about the price of a K-series motor swap, complete and ready to roll. As you’re adding it up in your head, don’t forget axles, management, mounts, custom exhaust, etc. The other is the ease of installation and use. There’s no cutting, welding, splicing, or customizing to fit the Jackson Racing supercharger kit—it’s a strictly bolt-on affair and fits like a factory piece. Mileage, power, and OEM fit and finish? This might be the future of tuning.

source : hondatuningmagazine.com

COVERAGE> It’s JDM Yo! Anniversary In Cerritos

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Infinit Wheels

Over a year ago, when you heard the phrase ‘It’s JDM Yo!’ you would just think of a bunch of Japanese cars with parts from Japan following a trend.  Now, as soon as you hear it, the first thing that comes to mind are the hot models and Tony ‘It’s JDM Yo’ Lee with his posse at every major car show representing.  The meet turned out more like a car show but with free entrance and in and out privileges for both people and cars.  With vendors, food trucks, free NOS Energy Drinks to quench your thirst, and lots of eye candy the day went by without a hitch.  A raffle, emceed by Tony and Miss Natalia Marie from NOS, was held and proceeds went to help fund Big Abe‘s daughter Sophie’s funeral cost (if you don’t know who Big Abe is, he’s the guy with the big ass rim hanging from his neck).  I have to give a big shout out to Big Abe for showing up to the meet after going through what he and his family had to endure.

A familiar sight at any major meet or event in the SoCal area, Anthony Do and the Infinit crew rolled deep with 10+ cars.  So many that I couldn’t get all of them in a single shot!  Each of the cars in team Infinit rock sick JDM wheels from new school to old school and they all have crazy stance and offset, even on the front wheel drive cars!

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Infinit Wheels Abraham Ceja EG6 Civic Hatchback

Abraham Ceja aka Infinit Abe has one of the cleanest and sickest EG hatchbacks I’ve seen.  With some low offset staggered SSR mesh wheels and an individual throttle bodied B series the car is always a show stopper when it comes to Hondas at the meet.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Bisi Ezerioha Bisimoto CR-Z Turbonetics

Bisi Ezerioha from Bisimoto brought out his fully built Turbonetics/AEM powered Honda CR-Z to the meet.  As I arrived to the show, I was expecting to see his design matched trailer and his Escalade pickup, but he told me that he DROVE the car there from his shop.  We then discussed what the point of having a car is if you never drive it!  Not to mention the car is a hybrid so it is smog exempt.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Arnel Phase 2 EG Honda Civic Sedan VIP Air Ride BBS Wheels

Arnel Ortiz from Phaze 2 brought out his VIP styled EG Civic sedan with BBS RS mesh wheels with gold plated hardware and a Universal Air ride system to match.

It's JDM Yo 1st Yea Anniversary Meet Cerritos Terry Pham Infinit Mazda Miata Limited Edition Panasport Work Goocar

After arriving to the show with my homie Terry Pham, I quickly got out of the car to take this snap of his immaculate 1993 Mazda Miata Limited Edition.  I then helped him get the other two Work Goocar wheels off of the car to put his 15×10 Panasport race wheels on the rear.  I was with Terry when he originally purchased the car and was stunned at how clean the car was.  With an all red interior and OEM hard top/paint job, the only things he changed were the tail lights, now Garage Vary tail lights, wheels and an aftermarket trunk spoiler.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Chumpot Mazda RX-7 FC SSR Type-C

Chumpot Chansonthi from Infinit brought his clean white Mazda FC RX-7 rocking some SSR Type-C wheels.  His car definitely is one of the cleanest FC’s I’ve seen at meets and shows. Not only does he have a really clean paint job, Chumpot also went as far as replacing all of the moldings, weather seals and plastic bits to give it a showroom finish.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Mikey Cristi XB Radius Fender CCW

Mikey Cristi rolled in a bit later with his all metal flared “VIP*BOX” Scion xB with his CCW wheels.

It's JDM Yo Anniversary Meet Cerritos Mango Corolla Phase 2

This Phaze 2 1971 Toyota Corolla Mango Peanut was one of the few Japanese classic cars at the show.  I’m really digging the fender mirrors, how about you?

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos TRD Widebody MR2 SW20

This clean red SW20 MR-2 Turbo with a TRD styled widebody kit showed up later in the day.  His wheels were a nice complement to the widebody on this now seldom seen car.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Hellaflush Fitment RoyalOrigin

While just cruising through the parking lot I spotted this royalorigin Mazdaspeed 3 with one of the craziest stances of any FWD car.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Honda Civic EK Hatchback Chameleon Engine Bay Paint Sprint Hart CPR RoyalOrigin Las Vegas

I normally don’t like bright Lamborghini-esque colored cars but this Civic, owned by Chivas Sotelo, definitely got my attention.  Sitting on some dope Sprint Hart CP-R wheels and a chameleon colored engine bay, Chivas drove down from Las Vegas for this weekend of events.  His car reminded me of how show car style and JDM can be fused together successfully.

It's JDM Yo Anniversary Meet Cerritos Civic Si JDM Type R Tail Light Conversion

Since this meet was about ‘JDM’ style, this 2007+ Civic Si Sedan was not lacking any.  The FD2 Civic Type R rear end conversion is no cheap modification.  Usually costing over $1000, this rare mod definitely sets the car apart from other Civics.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet NOS Energy Models

Natalia Marie and her friend (I somehow forgot her name) were making sure they looked good for the day ahead of them.

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos NOS Umbrella Girls

Speaking of eye-candy, the NOS Energy Drink Girls were out giving free energy drinks to the thirsty people.  And I’m sure plenty of people were very thirsty at one point during the day.  Maybe even a few times thirsty?

It's JDM Yo 1st Year Anniversary Meet Cerritos Slammed Civic SI Sedan

There were a few cars not in the meet which had pretty cool setups.  This 2007/2008 Civic Si sedan had some awesome stance driving through to the parking area.

The day ended without any hitches and I would have to say one of the most successful “car meets” that I’ve seen in a long time without any drama.

:: Mike Kim

 

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source: motormavens.com

Project Honda Civic Si Part 1: Engine Upgrades And Much Improved Drivability

Sportcar Motion

Loi Song and Sportcar Motion have unofficially become the standard destination for SoCal’s K-series crowd. Whether it’s a mild street setup like mine, or an all-out, hard-core race demon like their supercharged, record-setting ITR, the crew at SCM can make it happen. That doesn’t mean that they don’t do plenty of work on every other type of Honda motor, but the K series is certainly a specialty of theirs.

I contacted Loi about having SCM give me a hand on installing some of the new parts that were piling up in my office. Dealing with just about everything K swap related, not to mention plenty of eighth gens day in and day out, SCM is more than familiar with every square inch of the Si’s engine bay.

Hybrid Racing

Project Si Engine Upgrades Hybrid Racing Shift Cable Kit
Project Si Engine Upgrades Shift Cable Kit JPG

The shift cable kit from Hybrid Racing is a direct replacement, features aluminum rod ends

If you didn’t know about Hybrid Racing before, you’re no doubt familiar with its name at this point. The company has spent the last few years offering a long, long list of high-quality K-series goods to make your car faster, cleaner, and most importantly, make your life a little easier. When I first introduced the Project Si series, I touched on a few of the quirks that seem to pester the majority of eighth gens on the road. The first being that loud “click” which chimes in every time the clutch pedal is engaged/disengaged. Oh, and that lazy clutch pedal is a bit of a nuisance in its own right. I lived with it for a while, but decided I needed to find some sort of fix, and fast. Talking to Tim Schultz of Hybrid Racing, he mentioned they’d come up with a solution for the problem in a clutch master cylinder upgrade that would not only eliminate the click, but would also improve the car’s lethargic clutch pedal feel. Using an EM1 CMC and a braided stainless line, the Hybrid unit is a direct bolt-on with no need for any modification. The eighth-gen CMC, with its plastic internals, uses a transfer chamber that inherently slows fluid down as you work the clutch, causing mis-shifts and aggravation. The EM1 CMC uses stainless internals and is a direct swap. The clutch feels much more solid and swift, with a slightly lower engagement point that aids in smooth pedal work. And that brings me to the next problem: the shift cables.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Clutch Master Cylinder JPG

Here is the Hybrid (EM1) clutch master cylinder compared to the stock Si version. Stainles

To be quite frank, I hate cable shifters. They often feel soggy and unresponsive, both of which I was experiencing. Part of the problem, other than regular wear and tear on any used car, is the fact that Honda relies on quite a bit of plastic with the stock cable system. Hybrid Racing on the other hand, does not. It has put together an entire cable replacement assembly that includes stiffer cables with 6061 aluminum rod ends and metal retainers to really tighten up the shifting. Some on the forums have complained about the price of the Hybrid Racing shift cable upgrade, but I have to disagree. Pricing is a steal in my mind, especially after putting some miles on the Si stirring through the gears. If I were to do this entire project all over again, the Hybrid Racing shift cables and CMC would, without question, be the very first on my list—even before suspension or power parts. Drivability is far more important than power or handling, in my mind.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Hybrid Racing Universal Fuel Rail JPG

Hybrid Racing also supplied its universal fuel rail for the project. Produced in 6061 aluminum and T6 heat-treated, the rail even has a fitting that allows mounting of a fuel pressure gauge.

Drag Cartel, Hybrid Racing, HaSport, Skunk2, and Triad Powderworks

Project Si Engine Upgrades Drag Cartel Drop In Cams JPG

Drag Cartel’s Drop-In-Cams are mild enough to not require aftermarket valvesprings or reta
Project Si Engine Upgrades Timing Chain Tensioner JPG

Anytime you upgrade cams on a K-series motor, a stronger timing chain tensioner is imperat

As I’d talked about during the last installment, the engine bay, cowl, and engine position make for some frustrating installation sessions. To make things a little easier, Sportcar Motion dropped the entire motor, which granted more than enough access to swap in a set of Drag Cartel’s new Drop-In-Cams, a freshly powdercoated valve cover, and Skunk2’s low-profile valve cover hardware kit that really cleans up the look of the valve cover. If you’re asking where the valvesprings and retainers are, they’re not needed. Drag Cartel’s Drop-In-Cams work with the stock valvetrain, and I even hit the dyno to see what they could do. (See Part 3 for dyno results.) With the motor dropped, it also granted access to the timing chain tensioner upgrade from Hybrid Racing. Designed from scratch, Hybrid’s tensioner relies on a dual-ratchet design and heat-treated chromoly piston system that actually fits into the timing chain guide tighter than stock, which means you won’t run into alignment and wear issues. It’s a little piece of insurance that everyone should take note of when switching to aftermarket cams, whether they be aggressive or mild, like the DC Drop-Ins.

Project Si Engine Upgrades Valve Cover Hasport Mount Kit JPG

Triad Powderworks took care of the powdercoating duties on the valve cover and HaSport mou

With the cams and tensioner installed, the motor was set to be bolted back in, but not until the HaSport motor mounts arrived. HaSport had long offered a rear replacement mount for the eighth gen but eventually created an entire mount kit that utilizes the three main mounts: rear, driver side, and passenger side. For a street application, Brian Gillespie of HaSport recommended HaSport’s 62a bushing. This would aid in keeping the engine planted and in transferring torque without causing excessive rattling in the cabin. HaSport does offer a stiffer race application for track cars as well. Like all HaSport mount kits, these were designed using CAD/CAM software, produced in billet aluminum, and the fit and finish are exactly what you’d expect from the industry’s best motor mount supplier—spot-on. Upon initial startup, the mounts can be felt, but as the idle mellows, the vibration is much like that of the stock mounts at stoplights. It’s when you begin slapping through the gears that you really feel them doing their job.

Although the HaSport mounts look great in their polished form, I thought I’d send them, along with a spare RSX valve cover, to Triad Powderworks for a different color. Andrew, owner of Triad, was given the task of coming up with a one-off color. My only direction was that it be some sort of bronze. What he developed was a deep bronze color with a hint of gold that looks stunning when the sun hits it. Smooth coating is something you’ll get from Triad, but the artists there also take the time to clear out any leftover material from the valve cover before returning it to you. It’s a very important step that many aren’t aware of. Bolting a freshly powdercoated valve cover onto your expensive motor with abrasives floating around on the underside is a great way to destroy your pride and joy.

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source: hondatuningmagazine.com

Drifting: Past And Present

It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re having fun. Seems like it was just yesterday that Mainstream Productions, in association with On the Scene Video Magazine brought the first-ever professional Drift Showoff event to Irwindale Speedway, CA. The event set precedence on March 2, 2003, exposing an estimated 7,000 attendees to the world of professional drifting. Spectators lined up trackside to witness four D1 Grand Prix drifters from Japan perform exhibition runs. Feeding off the crowd’s excitement, Seigou Yamamoto, Signal Auto’s Fumiaki “Drifter X” Komatsu, Kazuya Bai, and Yoshinori Koguchi (“Koguchi Power”) didn’t disappoint, running in excess of 80 mph with Komatsu in the blue Signal Auto 180SX tagging the wall with his rear bumper, as it precariously dangled off his car while he continued to drift around the track. Seconds later, Bai in the orange Signal Auto S15 followed suit, tagging the same wall, mangling the same section of his car. Many fans cheered on while others cringed in horror as their picturesque dream cars were being demolished right in front of their eyes in the parking lot just adjacent to the infield oval. As crazy as it seems, previous to this event, the only professional drifting any of us witnessed was relegated to watching Option videos or reading magazines from Japan.

Not only was Drift Showoff an exhibition, it was also a competition, drawing in many of the top U.S. amateur drifters to battle it out amongst their peers. Before they competed drivers were given the opportunity to ask judges Koguchi and Yamamoto questions. It was interesting to look back and notice that most U.S. drifters were unfamiliar with the terms competitive drifting. Here’s a quick rundown on some of their queries:

Drifters: What type of engaging would you like to see? Clutch kicking or e-braking?
Instructors: Doesn’t really matter what type of techniques you use, as long as you can enter and exit the turns smoothly, maintaining your line.

Drifters: Because cars like the AE86 are considered by some to be underpowered, will horsepower be a determining factor?
Instructors: We’ll look at certain situations, such as whether or not the car is turbocharged, and factor them into judging each competitor and vehicle.

Drifters: What tire pressure do you prefer, and how important is it?
Instructors: Tire pressure is a very important aspect in drifting. We prefer the tires to run about 34 psi in front and 30 psi in the rear. If the car is understeering you should raise the pressure in the rear. If you want more grip, you need to lower the tire pressure.

Time does indeed fly by as drifting has taken the world by storm and prevailed as the fastest growing motorsport in the United States. It’s been eight years since the first Japanese drivers lit up their tires on U.S. soil. During that time, Japan’s D1 Grand Prix’s popularity has declined and become and a skeleton of its former glory, while Formula D has continued to expand, becoming the dominant series in spectator size and popularity. By the time you read this column, FD will have already crowned this year’s champion. Our chips are down, betting that Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 will pull off another dramatic season ending run to defend his 2011 crown, but he needs to get past tough competitors like 2010 champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Monster Energy/Falken Tire Ford Racing Mustang, who’s determined to take his title back. But the one thing I will say is that it will be an interesting scenario to say the least.

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source: importtunner.com

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 – Bloodred Livery

Woe unto thee, the youth of Japan. It’s a known revelation that the Generation Z of Japan has little or no interest in automobile tuning, let alone feel the slightest need to acquire a driver license these days. This is coming from the country that endowed upon the world the almightiest Japanese renaissance supercar, the iconic Nissan Skyline GT-R. In current times, the last model of the Skyline GT-R series—the BNR34—is becoming increasingly affordable to the average consumer, particularly in the land of its origin. For us, it is also a cruel reality that none of the Skyline GT-Rs were ever made available as a North American production model vehicle. Sure, a handful of these sought after machines managed to skip the Pacific to the American soil, but the importation methods that were utilized remain ever so questionable. Both lawfully and illegitimately, a few entities have challenged this overseas importation through various means but have inadvertently managed to create this seminal of controversy involving the DOT, EPA, and the Feds.

Regardless of the situation in the United States, the Japanese unquestionably have it easy when it comes to owning one of these automobiles. All they have to do is simply purchase and register—without any hassles like going through loads of paperwork, searching for regulatory loopholes, or buying one for close to $100K. But what about the R35? This one finally became available for purchase at any local Nissan dealer in the United States but failed to continue the RB26DETT legacy. In the realm of the enthusiast mindset, R34 and R35 are two completely different vehicles. In fact, the R35 lost its hierarchical inheritance when it was stripped of its Skyline badge and loaded with overcomplicated electronic gadgetry and chain-driven camshafts. The great R34 GT-R was known to excel in all forms of driving, even grocery getting whilst spitting out that distinct enraged sound that only a force-fed, cast-iron inline-six engine can produce.

For Sun Line Racing in Okayama Japan, the R34 represents the philosophy that an affordable and extremely capable machine doesn’t have to be high maintenance or a dust-covered garage queen. But every vehicle Sun Line touches doesn’t really turn to gold; instead, a definitive bloodred color that serves as the livery of the company’s tuning aptitude. With the only exception being the full dry carbon R34 that was built recently, this blood red is a trademark warning sign to the other vehicle tuners out there to get out of the way and make room.
Since this Nissan Skyline E-BNR34 is Sun Line’s staple representation of a street vehicle, the key factor when tuning the engine was efficiency, reliability, and comfort. Large turbochargers require a lot of maintenance and the higher the power output, the more chance that things will breakdown thermodynamically. Therefore the factory turbochargers were kept in tact, with emphasis on small but vital surrounding components such as Tomei valvesprings, 1.2mm head gasket, and NISMO motor mounts. The target goal for this machine was an estimated 500 “streetable” horses, which is plenty for an all-wheel-drive GT-R to handle in terms of laying the power to the ground without getting all squiggly like an FR-configured vehicle. Furthermore, since the factory turbochargers are forced into pumping more air into the engine than its stock specification, fuel must be compensated to avoid detonation. Sun Line chose to go with the tried-and-true combination of using a Tomei high-volume fuel pump, NISMO fuel pressure regulator, and Sard 700cc injectors. The HKS Type R intercooler handles the cooling department along with the Trust oil cooler and a custom radiator keeps the air, water, and oil temperatures down efficiently.
The transmission was kept stock. Although not entirely factual, the word Getrag is synonymous with the word bulletproof to many enthusiasts. Getrag is a German transmission manufacturer that builds and provides superior gearboxes to vehicle manufacturers typically for high-end sports cars. The only other vehicle that was worthy enough to receive this brawny Type 233 six-speed gearbox from the factory was the MK4 Toyota Supra. With an upgraded clutch, it is known to withhold some serious torque well above and beyond the intended factory numbers. Sun Line had chosen to go with an Exedy twin-plate carbon clutch and flywheel, solely because of carbon fiber’s immense grappling characteristic under high inertia load.
Tein plays a vast role in the vehicle’s suspension makeup. The vehicle was going to be used primarily on the streets but Sun Line needed a suspension system that could also be used competitively on the racetracks. The Tein Circuit Master Type N1 coilover system was the textbook verdict. Yes, this unit is made strictly for the track, but don’t forget that it features a wide compression and rebound parameter that can be set precisely to almost every kind of situation. Besides, an external reservoir suspension always looks so menacing in the wheelwell! Other accompanying components include NISMO front and lower arms, with Sun Line’s own front and rear camber adjustable arm setup.
A full-fledged tuning shop must consider the affect one modification has to another no matter how trivial or unrelated they may seem. A perfect example is that once a car is modified to accelerate quicker, it must be counteracted with an approach to make the car decelerate equivalently—unless it’s a drag machine packing a chute in the rear. The factory Brembo brakes are an outstanding package but Sun Line decided that a circuit vehicle required more precise braking control so the Endless brake calipers, rotors, lines, fluid, and pads were chosen. The massive front six-pot and rear four-pot calipers are dimensionally harmonic with the oversized rotors as well as the MA22 brake pad compound for maximum initial bite, braking control, and longevity. A couple drawbacks to this modification are the hardened ceramic metal blend pads, which make a lot of squealing noise and are designed to work optimally with R-compound tires.
The interior of the vehicle remains very much like how a street car should be—no jungle gym rollcages or various gauge clusters littered about. The only indications from the interior that this is a tuned machine are a Blitz SBC DC sequential boost controller, Bride GIAS reclinable bucket seats, and a Nardi Classic steering wheel.

The R34’s full NISMO Z-Tune body kit was shot with Sun Line’s trademark red paint and topped off with a Sun Line 3D GT Wing Type II and cooling hood. Be careful staring at the exterior, you may experience arc eye symptoms from the contrast emitted off the gold SSR Type F 18×11 wheels and the popping red paint. Yokohama Advan AD08 compounds were selected because of its Micro Silica + Hyper Density Carbon composite properties, which provide great traction on wet and dry surfaces.

To have an automobile of this caliber that’s readily available for purchase with its price dropping every year should be considered a blessing. Plenty of aftermarket go-fast parts are available on the market, still far from becoming discontinued. For us, Americans, it first starts with envy, then irrepressible jealousy, followed by uncontrollable rage, since the Skyline GT-R is our forbidden fruit of the automobile world. We, the people, who inhabit this great nation of the United States recognize this cycle of emotions whenever gazing upon one of Nissan’s greatest creations. As long as vehicle manufacturers keep producing four-wheel machines, tuning companies like Sun Line Racing will continue making them faster than no other.

Behind the Build

Owner
Sun Line Racing

Location
Okayama, Japan

Occupation
Tuning Shop, Parts Manufacturer

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

490 ps at 7,000 rpm

Engine RB26DETT, Tomei 87mm bore 1.2mm head gasket, fuel pump; NGK Racing spark plugs; HKS Racing suction air intake; NISMO fuel pressure regulator, catalytic converter; Sard 700cc injectors; HKS Type R intercooler; Sun Line Racing titanium front pipe, GT-spec EX 90RS titanium exhaust, radiator; Trust oil cooler; SAMCO hoses; Plasma Racing coolant

Drivetrain Getrag transmission; Exedy twin-disc carbon clutch

Engine Management HKS F-Con V Pro ECU tuned by Sun Line Racing

Footwork & Chassis Tein Circuit Master Type N1 (18kg springs); NISMO lower arms; Sun Line Racing camber control arms

Brakes Endless Racing six-pot caliper (front), four-pot (rear), MA22 racing brake pads, brake lines, brake fluid

Wheels/Tires SSR Type F 18×11 +22, lug nuts; Yokohama Advan AD08 265/35-18

Exterior NISMO Z-Tune aero package; Sun Line Racing 3D GT Wing Type II, GT cooling hood

Interior Bride GIAS reclining bucket seats; Takata racing harness; Nardi Classic steering wheel; Works Bell steering hub; Blitz dual SBC-ID boost controller; NISMO cluster

source: importtunner.com

2013 Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X

By and large, Mitsubishi isn’t the first automaker you think of when you’re thinking of a high-powered sports car. But they do have one model that’s almost always in the discussion: the Lancer Evolution.

Now on its 10th iteration – or “X,” as the Japanese automaker prefers to call it – the Evo has always been one of the most popular models in Mitsubishi’s lineup, so much so that circuit racer, Ryan Gates, decided to build an ultra-limited edition model of the Evo X.

He calls it the 311RS and it has a load of aftermarket goodies in it, something Evo X fans will come to appreciate.

Gates only has 11 models of the 311RS at his disposal with one already headed to the White Bear Mitsubishi dealership in White Bear Lake, MN. Should you be interested in taking a good look at the car, you can also go to the 2013 Minneapolis Auto Show where the car will be prominently displayed.

Exterior

The Mitsubishi 311RS Evo X doesn’t look too different from the “standard” Evo X, which is a good thing because the Evo X looks pretty sweet in its own right. Having said that, there are some add-ons installed, including a JDP front lip that not only makes for a cleaner-looking body, but also provides aerodynamic enhancements to the car. Additionally, a carbon-fiber Voltex rear wing was also installed, replacing the OEM version and provides the kind of aero balance that the 311RS needs to keep itself coordinated.

The 311RS also gets a new livery, one designed by Jon Sibal, with a simplicity that’s been designed to keep the focus on the car’s performance. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a set of 18-inch Volk CE28 wheels wrapped in Nitto NT05 tires.

 

Interior

Not a whole lot of modifications on this end, except for the use of Etnies E-suede, which is supposedly three times more durable than traditional suede.

Engine

For the seeming lack of overwhelming upgrades done on the Evo X’s exterior and interior, Ryan Gates did do some wonders on the car’s performance credentials, thanks to a number of AMS components, including a new intake that increases air flow to the turbocharger for increased horsepower. The program also has lightweight, polished-aluminum intercooler piping that provides less turbulent and freer-flowing air flow for maximum efficiency.

A new intercooler, a wide-mouth downpipe, a new cat pipe, and a new racing series cat-back exhaust system were also installed.

Finally, an engine tune was also made to the Evo X, increasing the output of the car to 353 horsepower and 359 pound-feet of torque.

Suspension

With an engine tune as extensive as the one done on the 311RS Evo X, Gates also took up the task of improving the car’s suspension and he certainly spared no expense putting in the best components. One of the items is the RS1 suspension from JRZ, whose valving was designed to be adjusted from street comfort to racing damping characteristics in seconds. In addition, the kit also comes with customized spring rates and adjustment range. Aircraft aluminum suspension top mounts from – again – JRZ were also used to transmit suspension loads directly to the chassis, giving unparalleled response and driver feel.

Likewise, Gates also went about the business of improving the braking dynamics of the Evo X, doing so by replacing the OEM models with Girodisc two-piece rotors that not only reduce unsprung and overall vehicle weight but also increases the ventilation and cooling capacity of the brake discs, while retaining its original dimensions. Stainless lines, heat shield and new brake pads were also installed, rounding out the dynamic braking package befitting a car of the Evo X’s stature.

Pricing

Reportedly, only 11 models of the 311RS Evo X will go on sale, each costing $49,000.

Competition

The ultra-limited status of the 311RS Evo X makes it a must-have for any fan of Mitsubishi’s rowdy sports car. But in the event that you’re in the market for options, Subaru’s Impreza WRX STI is a pretty good alternative. Performance numbers certainly point to the side of the 311RS Evo X but the good thing about the Impreza WRX STI is that it’s completely aftermarket worthy. What that means is that even if you do get a stock Impreza, there are plenty of options moving forward on how you can exceed the technical upgrades done on the 311RS Evo X.

 

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source : topspeed.com

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS: JDM RC DRIFT CAR COMP

Wanna check out a cool RC drift event?” was what Johnny of Weld asked me the other week on the phone. I said sure, as it had been way too long since I spent some time shooting cool little RC drifters sliding around. I thought it would make a cool post, especially since it was held at a track I had never been to before. So I packed up my gear, including my new RC drift car (I thought I may be able to squeeze a bit of driving in between the shooting!) and headed north, up to Kuki in Saitama.My goal was Hobby Garage, a massive hobby shop in an equally gigantic mall. If this place is anything to go by, my assumption that everything to do with this “scaled” world has been steadily growing over the last few years, seems to make a lot of sense. Maybe the recession has pushed people to spend money on other things and if you are into cars at least, then building up a cool RC machine is far cheaper than modding your full-scaled one parked outside.This is probably the biggest hobby shop I’ve been to with something for everyone, starting off with a couple of slot car tracks as soon as you come in.In the model car section I spotted some true JDM gems, part of the Gurachan collection. Which one would you build if you had to choose just one! Tough isn’t it?…and it just keeps growing. And of course after you pick up your shell……you have to think about your wheel selection and again you really are spoiled for choice.

I even spotted these Team Yayoi sakura rims which I almost wanted to buy just so I could paint them in silver and pink! But whatever I saw in the shop section really couldn’t even begin to prepare me for what……the main event was all about. I assumed an “RC drift meet” would entail, well…drifting. But this was actually more to do with customizations. Hobby Garage organizes this “RC Custom Body Show” every year and it seems that just like in any other car-related scene, things continue to be pushed further and further.This was the selection of cars entered. Each participant was part of the judging process, but before it all began the Hobby Garage staff…I soon grabbed my camera, took my shoes off and jumped in. It was at this point that my mind was blow. I know a lot of hobbyists take their art very seriously but this was just ridiculous. Every image that showed up on my LCD screen looked almost like I was taking pictures at a real event.I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours on my belly, getting up close and personal with all of these cars. While some stuck to more simple accessories to dress up the exterior……some went well beyond that and achieved almost the impossible. I mean how on earth do you recreate rust so damn well! It was even realistic to the touch!Check out this slammed Impreza 22B. It sort of reminded me of some of the N-Style cars we have seen at Hellaflush Japan events in the past.

Some took their cars out on the track and let their hand-built toy sliders do their thing. I hope you are enjoying seeing a side of RC drift culture that we have never really touched on, because I have tons more to show you!

I’ll be back soon with even more RC custom goodness!

 

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source: speedhunters.com