Modified Nissan 200SX S14a

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle Westby’s modified Nissan 200SX

Motorsport is dangerous. We know this, because we’ve all seen some pretty spectacular crashes and the odd injury over the years. We also know this because every circuit and drag strip in the country, has this little, diamond-shaped sign that carries the words ‘Motor Sport Is Dangerous’.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle’s old drift car…

It warns us to be careful not to break our legs, get brain damage or spontaneously catch on fire – stuff like that. What people tend to forget though, is that it’s not only risky for your physical being, but if you aren’t in the big-money sponsorship crowd, motorsport can be downright dangerous for your wallet, too.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

… and her new one 12 hours later.

In our Michelle’s case, her purse has been well and truly stretched in the pursuit of living the motorsport dream, and we have to ask; was it all worth it? According to her, damn right it was – and then some!

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Now, we’ve seen Michelle on Fast Car before (and with far less clothes on too). But apart from her day-job in accounts and a spot of modelling on the side, she’s one of a select few talented female drifters. And this sweet S14A is her particular weapon of choice.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle may be used to appearing in the odd magazine, but this time the focus of the story is not the lady herself, but the machine she’s intent on getting sideways at every possible opportunity.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

As it turns out, this is the second full-on drifter to live in her garage and there’s a good metal-crunching reason for that – she stuffed the first one into a wall at Santa Pod! Doh.

Nissan 200sx drift car s14

Yep, Michelle knows only too well the dangers of overcooking it, and how in the blink of an eye, it can go seriously wrong. But, as she says herself, If you’re not pushing your luck in a sport like drifting, then what’s the point? Fair play.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

On the flip side, she also knows the pain of writing off her pride and joy. Immediately after the crash, she couldn’t even and look at the wreck, all you have to do is swap everything over. starting from… now! let alone do anything about it.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

However, after a spot of personal reflection, Michelle decided the only thing to do was get back on the horse. So she went out, found a straight 200SX and packed the whole lot off to import-fettling extraordinaires, Garage-D.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Julian and the boys at the Hertfordshire-based tuners know their onions, but even more importantly they know their drift cars. So after ripping apart the original (and thoroughly banged-up) S14A, they found one mashed alloy, a selection of ‘lady items’ including an inflatable boyfriend, and luckily a load of undamaged usable parts.

drift racing helmet

With that good fortune, and Michele mucking in with the spannering, they then embarked on a total strip down and rebuild of the new drifter in a bonkers 12-hours. They even had a Motors TV film crew there to prove it!

nissan 200sx drift car

The thing about Garage-D is they do like to do things properly. They not only used the original 290bhp-tuned lump and running gear, but also stripped and reworked the interior, and welded the diff all as part of the job.

Nissan 200sx drift car s14

They even installed a 6-point cage in case there are any other ‘learning difficulties’ in the future. The results are pretty astonishing too. If this is what they can do in half a day, just imagine what they could do in a week!

drift racing helmet

Now, I don’t pretend to understand women but, hottie or not, you have to admire a girl who owns a turbocharged, caged, drift monster with a welded diff and little in the way of comfort. You have to admire her even more when you consider she straps herself in and drives the thing on the road every day.

nissan 200sx drift car

What’s most important, though, isn’t any of that. It’s about Michelle following her dream by overcoming a soul-destroying obstacle like mashing a motor she put her heart and soul into. It’s a philosophy we can all learn from; a mistake is never a mistake if you pick yourself up, learn your lesson and get on with it. Top work missus!

TECH SPEC NISSAN 200SX
STYLING
Seibon vented bonnet; black smoked indicators and tail lamps.

TUNING
Garage-D front-mount intercooler; braided turbo lines; Apexi induction kit; Japspeed turbo elbow and downpipe; Walbro fuel pump; decat pipe and 3-inch exhaust system; Driftworks lightweight flywheel; paddle clutch with Exedy pressure plate welded differential.

CHASSIS
Rota GTR 9.5×17 ET15 wheels in black with 225/45×17 tyres; Driftworks CS2 coilovers; Evo Brembo front brake conversion; SuperPro polybushes; front caster and rear camber adjusters; Garage-D extra lock tie rods and street/drift 4 wheel alignment; Fabricage 6-point roll-cage.

INTERIOR
OMP steering wheel; Sparco FIA driver’s bucket seat and R33 GT-R passenger seat; TRS 3-inch harnesses.

<< HOME

source: fastcar
Advertisements

Rat Style 1963 Volkswagen Panel Van

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Scott Penhaligon’s rat style 1963 VW Panel Van

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but that’s not always the case. Turn back to the above to this very feature, an image lovingly crafted by our talented, and somewhat good looking, snapper Laurens Parsons. In all probability it’s a picture that’s only really worth two words I’ll give you a clue, they start with an ‘F’ and end in an ‘uck me!’

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

You see, a picture like this is designed to evoke emotion, it’s designed to provoke that part of your brain that just can’t do anything but make you scream ìWOW!î It’s there to make your jaw unintentionally drop and your eye’s glaze over like some sort of prehistoric fella who’s just clapped eyes on a George Foreman Grill.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Of course, there’s an entirely unemotional, scientific explanation; it’s probably got more to do with apertures, exposures and photographic genius than actually setting fire to a workshop. I mean, all the fire doesn’t even have anything to do with the vehicle we’re featuring in the first place, it’s just an awesome image, but then again that’s the point.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

It’s exactly the same thing with this crazy ‘63 Splitty created by air-cooled nut Scott Penhaligon; it’s the kind of ride that actually makes you go numb. There’s no denying a shit-load has gone into this particular 11-window panel van over the last 8-years or so; it’s a far cry from the days where, bizarrely, it was used as a Swedish school bus.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

After owning a score of ‘interesting Beetles’ and a 69’ Dodge Monaco lowrider Scott started this epic project in 2003 and has completed most of the work himself. Judging by the massive spec, it’s no wonder this bare bones restoration has taken a few years too, and as for that crazy tubbed, trailer tent? We’re surprised it didn’t take a damn sight longer!

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

There’s plenty here you couldn’t really describe as mods in the first place; more like ‘epic engineering challenges.’ It is after all a VW Camper and, at this level of air cooled madness, nothing is strictly bolt-on. But then, if you don’t get it you just don’t get it, it’s not just a build, for Scott it’s an obsession.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

The experimental polished lacquer that’s reapplied every year, the hand-painted red wall tyres that have to be re-done every few months, all the details that you wouldn’t even notice the first time round, it all adds up to a masterpiece born out of hard graft. But does any of that really matter?

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

The point of this Camper is far more simple, Scott has spent years crafting and perfecting his bus, yes it’s an engineering marvel and yes it makes him nothing short of a god in the car world but after all this, it’s not what he’s done or how he’s done it that’s important.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Like that opening image this ‘ACME Van’ is an emotional offering, like any work of art it’s about nothing other than how it makes you feel. Everything else, dear user, is irrelevant.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

VOLKSWAGEN 1963 PANEL VAN
STYLING
Outside stripped, chemical cleaned, polished and lacquered in home brewed super-satin; stainless Autocraft grilles; Lucas spotlights; Unity swiveling police light; Safety Star rear brake light; Schofields rear vent trims; Hurst style bar; OG Deluxe trim; Ally Deluxe top hinge covers; truck mirrors T-handle on rear hatch; modifi ed rear 4-leg HWE rack; polished front safaris; rear stainless safari; twin mount aerial; custom red fabric sun visor.

TUNING
2007cc Nigel Alan lump; twin 40 DRLA carburettors; Webcon fuel pump; Flame Thrower coil; stainless steel sidewinder exhaust; Kennedy clutch; Scat swivel feet; Kennedy pressure plate; straight cut gears; Scat camshaft kit; Bug Pack Race Valve Covers; Fram oil filter setup with external cooler; 2600mm Porsche fan and alternator red painted engine bay.

CHASSIS
Satin black 15-inch JGE Radar wheels, each pinstriped in red and white; Bravado 185/65×15 redband tyres (rear); hand painted red band 185/50×15 tyres (front); SPAX adjustable shocks; 4-inch narrowed Weedeater beam; 2.5-inch drop spindles; IRS rear with 1303s box chassis; Creative adjustable rear spring plates; steering box raised and column shortened; notched chassis ìhere and thereî; dual circuit remote servo brakes.

INTERIOR AND AUDIO
Empi Racing bucket seats; Mountney steering wheel with Independent Trucking centre cap; stock dash with aperture for Swedish ticket machine plated up; Scat quick shifter; Speedwell red lap belts; Sport Comp rev counter and shift light; Sunpro oil temp gauge; Alpine Media Expander, V12 and 4/3/2 amps and components; separate leisure battery.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

 

 

<< HOME

source: fastcar

Nismo GT-R GT3

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Nismo’s Nissan GT-R GT3

When tuning your own car it’s a good plan to take influence from other top cars, but it’s a risky business as just because somebody else has done something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best way to do it. One way to be almost assured of choosing the best way is to take your tuning influence from a race car, as they have had insane amounts of development and testing; if they are doing it, you know it works.

The thing is though, a lot of race cars these days are so far from the road going version they’re just not relevant enough to take influence from, and we’re sure a lot of you turned the page and thought to yourself; “Why the hell is a carbon body race car in Fast Car?”. Well wonder no more, as unlike most world class race cars, the Nismo GT-R GT3 really is just a modified version of the Nissan GT-R production cars you see on the UK’s roads. The sceptics among you are probably still thinking; “Yeah right, I doubt there is any standard parts left on this beast”, but even we were amazed how closely related this thing is to a standard road car. There’s no carbon fibre space frame chassis here, the shell is straight off the production line at Nissan, and things like the chassis rails, sills, floor pan, suspension turrets, inner arches, screen pillars and bulkhead are totally standard; which in fact is more than we can say for a lot of modified road cars we know and love.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The ‘surprisingly standard’ theme continues under the bonnet, where the engine looks pretty standard, as to be fair, it is. The Nissan GT-R road car comes with a 3.8ltr twin turbo VR38 engine pushing out 545bhp, and this car comes with the very same engine, albeit with a quoted power of “500bhp+”.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The reason for the vague power  figure is because in GT3 racing they have what they call the ‘Balance Of Performance’. This basically means, in an attempt to keep the racing close, the organisers can at any time choose to restrict power on winning cars, and allow slower cars to up their power levels. The guys at JRM who build these cars for Nissan’s motorsport arm Nismo, fully admit they could easily make the car so much wilder in every aspect, but the ‘Balance Of Power’ rules means they can’t go too crazy, but the potential is there should they be allowed to.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

GT3 rules also mean while the engine and turbochargers have to be standard size, there’s no problem with monkeying about with the turbo internals, and while exact specs are secret, it’s safe to say they are pretty special inside, and more than capable of pushing out big power if the race organisers decide to allow it! Power is only one part of tuning though, reliability is another, which is why despite almost factory power levels, the engine runs two huge intercoolers, a big alloy rad, and a huge oil cooler too.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Another big difference compared to many tuned road cars is there is no show under the bonnet of this car either, it’s all go. No fancy hose connectors, no polished parts, just good old rubber pipes and Jubilee clips; things that JRM and Nismo know can withstand even a solid 24 hours of hard racing with no problems at all.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The final thing worth mentioning about the engine is the exhaust system, which in all honestly sounds flippin’ incredible. With heat-wrapped 2.5-inch exhausts from each turbo travelling along the inside of the side skirts and exiting under each door, the GT3 is not only pretty damn loud, but the rapid-fire pops and bangs on the over-run make a WRC car sound tame; it really is the best sounding GT-R we’ve ever heard. Some things on this car are far from standard, most notably the absolutely awesome looking bodywork. Before you start to wonder, no, the carbon Nismo wide body kit is not available for sale at any cost! “We get calls and emails on adaily basis asking to buy the kit” Mark from JRM laughs, “But it simply isn’t available; thankfully there is plenty of bodywork and tuning options available via our sister company, Sumo Power”.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Every exterior body panel, including the roof and doors, are made of carbon fibre, and while they keep the original GT-R looks, they seriously pump up the styling thanks to the massive arches, aggressive bumpers, a vented bonnet, rear diffuser, huge front splitter, and one of the biggest rear wings we’ve ever seen. The amazing looks are why they get so many requests to buy it, but the real reason for the bodywork is pure performance. The lightweight bodywork helps this car weigh almost half a ton less than the standard GT-R, every vent and duct helps channel cold air to and away from all the vital components, and the front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear wing are just three of many parts that help push the car to the ground with enormous downforce, so much so that the rear wing is attached to the chassis; if it was attached to the boot lid like most cars it would simply crush the lid down at speed! And those wheel arches? Well they are to house a set of very serious wheels and tyres…

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

The GT-R road car wheels are massive, 20-inches in fact, but this is for looks reasons rather than performance, and because of this the GT3 car has more conventionally sized 18-inch rims. Smaller diameter they may be, but they are ridiculously wide; 13-inches wide front and rear! Proving the bigger isn’t always better when it comes to alloys, we think the 13×18-inch Volk Racing VR G2s the GT3 car runs looks far better than standard rims, and when it comes to grip, the lightweight Volks wrapped in 310mm wide racing slicks are on a whole different planet. Even removing these wheels are a piece of cake, thanks to a giant centre wheel nut replacing the usual fi ve studs, and no need to struggle getting a trolley jack under the low body kit either; simply plug an air line in to a fi tting on the back bumper and the car instantly jumps high off the ground on its ultra-trick air-jacks.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan
Behind the super-wide alloys are brake discs that are the same size as the standard GT-R items at a pretty huge 380mm, but the front calipers are Brembo racing units with the thickest brake pads we’ve ever seen. On the rear the calipers are actually totally standard; like we said earlier, if it’s good enough for a top race car, it sure don’t need changing on a road car!

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

While this car has an amazing amount of similarities to the standard road car, one big change is it’s no longer four wheel drive; every last bit of power is channelled via a carbon propshaft and rear mounted sequential gearbox to those huge rear tyres.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

Despite the lack of four wheel drive, the GT3 can launch, corner, and brake far better than a standard GT-R, even in the slippiest of weather conditions. This is thanks not only to the aforementioned upgrades, but also two things a lot of people hate on tuned road cars; ABS and traction control. The reason for this is while standard ABS and traction control setups are intended to stop doddery old ladies crashing in the wet or accidentally doing rolling burnouts, this car has super fast reacting motorsport systems. These are fully in-car adjustable via dials on the dash, enabling the driver to adjust the amount of help he gets from them depending on track and weather conditions. This means he can drive as hard as possible without worrying about either the electronics interfering with his driving, or falling off the track when on the limit.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

With similar power to the standard GT-R you might think the GT3 accelerates about as quickly too, but in fact it’s far faster. While the production GT-R weighs 1750kg, thanks to a serious diet this car weighs just 1300kg, that’s not much more than a Corsa VXR; and we’re sure you can imagine how fast a 550bhp Corsa would be! Another way of looking at it is the standard GT-R has about 314bhp per ton, but despite having no more power this beast has 423bhp per ton; more than even a Ferrari F50.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

So, despite being unable to buy the body kit, having an engine that’s nearly standard, not being road legal, and costing around £375,000 to buy, this is still, without doubt, the coolest god damn Nissan GT-R on the planet, and the perfect one to take influence from when tuning your own car. Do we all want one? Hell yeah! Now, where’s that lottery ticket…

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

 

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

TECH SPEC NISSAN GT-R GT3
ENGINE
‘Production based’ Nissan GT-R VR38DETT 3799cc V6 engine with variable cam timing, twin standard size turbos with uprated internals, standard blue injectors, standard twin electronic throttles, twin 2.5-inch titanium side exit exhaust system with two straight through silencers per side, Samco turbo inlet hoses, high capacity twin front mount alloy intercoolers, top mounted oil cooler, PWR alloy radiator, single AFM conversion, Pectel SQ6M race engine management, ATL race fuel tank, solid engine mounts, lightweight race battery, oil breather system and catch tank, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, in-car adjustable ECU with four maps.

TRANSMISSION 
Rear wheel drive conversion, Hewland six speed sequential transaxle dog engagement gearbox, semi-automatic steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, lightweight carbon fibre prop shaft, lightweight drive shafts, ultra-light flywheel, quad-plate Sachs racing clutch, rear mounted transmission oil cooler, in-car adjustable traction control with 7 position controller.

SUSPENSION
Ohlins TTX race coilovers, adjustable bladed front and rear anti-roll bars.

BRAKES 
380mm racing brake discs front and rear, Brembo 6pot front race calipers, standard Nissan GT-R rear calipers, race brake pads front and rear, AP Racing in-car adjustable brake bias controller, Bosch Motorsport M4 in-car adjustable race ABS system with 12 position controller, carbon fibre brake ducts in front bumper and rear arches.

WHEELS+TYRES 
13×18 Volk Racing VR G2 centre-lock wheels front and rear with 31/71×18 Michelin slick tyres.

EXTERIOR
Production Nissan GT-R steel chassis, complete carbon fibre bodywork, including doors, wide front and rear arches, front and rear bumpers, vented bonnet, roof, front splitter, and rear diffuser, carbon rare mirrors, Plastics4Performance polycarbonate lightweight windows, quick release bonnet and boot lid with aero catches, three way adjustable carbon fibre rear wing, rear wing supports bolted directly to chassis, race air jack system, carbon rear window strengthening bars, ATL twin race fuel fillers.

INTERIOR
Full FIA weld-in six point roll cage including door bars and roof reinforcement, Nismo GT Pro III carbon racing seat with cool air ducting system, flocked dash, Motec digital dash, height adjustable steering column, fully heat shielded floor pan, ducting from bonnet vents to standard interior air vents, carbon fibre trim panels, reverse lever and brake bias control on carbon centre console, dashboard mounted dials for ABS, Traction control, and ECU maps, AP Racing race pedal box, four point bolt-in rear bulkhead brace.

Nismo GT-R GT3 Nissan

 

 

<< HOME

source: fastcar

Retro New VW Beetle

New VW Beetle Blue

Clare Toman’s retro new VW Beetle

As I sit down to write this feature I’m wearing my Nike classic sneaks and listening to some ’90s trance tunes. What’s this got to do with this sick Beetle I hear you say? Well, the point is, whether it’s fashion, music or cars, we all love a bit of old skool!

New VW Beetle Blue

Just ask 24-year old Lurgan-lass Clare Toman; she’s always fancied a ’70s Beetle but needed modern reliability and fuel efficiency. Many would have given up the dream and settled for a ‘normal’ daily driver but not Clare, she had a much better idea by combining the best of both!

New VW Beetle Blue

It all began with a standard black 2.0 petrol bug of 2001 vintage. Clare bought it two years ago and immediately went for a ‘Barbie’ theme, slamming it on Pink BBS rims.

New VW Beetle Blue

She soon got bored though and acting on an impulse, decided one day that together with boyfriend Graham, they were going to give up the weekend’s clubbing to strip, prep and paint the car purple. Luckily, Graham is a bit handy with a spray gun so even with a bit of bumper and bonnet smoothing, they managed it in good time.

New VW Beetle Blue

That look lasted a few months but Clare really wanted something different which is when the retro theme took over. Online auctions then became a regular pastime as she spent hours on end sourcing a number of old skool parts.

New VW Beetle Blue

First it was the ’70s Beetle interior. It arrived in great nick but the seats were a little too orange in colour so were dyed brown and cream before being slotted in place. The door cards were then neatly tailored to suit and a section of the dash trimmed in cream to tie it all in.

New VW Beetle Blue

To complete the cabin, there’s an analogue radio, retro carpet, an old ’70s steering wheel that was cleverly modified to fit and yes, that is a door knob on the gear stick!

New VW Beetle Blue

As interiors go, this is one cool place to be, so the exterior had to match. Steelies with chrome hub-caps and white-wall tyres were a must but finding the right rims was tricky. The fronts were easy; standard 15-inch VW steels but the rears are 8-inch wide Nissan drift wheels with a zero offset and wobble bolts!

New VW Beetle Blue

The killer stance is courtesy of a Golf air-ride system, where top mounts have been adapted to suit, as well as a little chassis notching and camber work.

New VW Beetle Blue

To cap off the styling, a genuine ’70s Beetle roof rack was carefully cut and fitted. It took a lot of work and swear words, but it really brings the whole car together.

New VW Beetle Blue

Trying to blend retro mods with a modern car generally doesn’t work but Clare has really nailed this look. “It just feels like a 70s Beetle from the inside, but at least it starts every day!” she laughs. It’s even been converted to LPG so is cheap to run too. So there we have it; retro, cool, reliable, cheap to build and run, what more do you need? A hot girl to drive it? Done!

TECH SPEC NEW VW BEETLE
STYLING

Debadged with smoothed bumpers and bonnet; resprayed purple with black gloss roof; ’70s roofrack customized to fit & period luggage.

CHASSIS
6×15-inch VW Steels on front, 8×18-inch Nissan deep dish steels on rear with 0mm offset, fitted with wobble bolts; Genuine VW ’70s chrome Beetle hub-caps; stretched white-wall tyres; custom air suspension (from Golf kit) with modified top mounts; chassis notching and camber work.

INTERIOR
Full ’70s Beetle interior including front and rear seats; period style custom door cards and carpet; ’70s Beetle steering wheel; Analogue radio; trimmed dash; extended gear lever with old door knob.

TUNING
115bhp standard 2.0 petrol engine, converted to LPG.

<< HOME

source: fastcar

MEET THE SEAT LEON CUP RACER

As you might know, Wörthersee is much more than just a gathering of the crazed folks from the European dub scene. The VW Audi Group itself plays a big part in the event and often uses it as the place to debut some of its most exciting new cars and concepts. Among the debuts this year was this new Leon Cup Racer from SEAT.

SEAT has made it very clear that the Leon Cup Racer is not a show car, but the first test car for development of their next generation racing program. Based on the five-door Leon model, the body of the Cup Racer has been designed for maximum aerodynamics and the track is a full 40cm wider than the street model.

SEAT is planning to build two versions of the Leon Club Racer – a normal model and then one designed for endurance racing. Both will be powered by turbocharged two liter four cylinder motors making 330ps, but the endurance version will replace the standard DSG transmission with a six-speed sequential gearbox and mechanical diff.

Naturally the Cup Racer will come with all the required safety equipment to get on track, including a high strength roll cage and a racing seat equipped with a HANS device. You also get a multi-function steering wheel and a TFT instrument display.

The car has been designed for use in popular racing series like the ETCC and VLN Endurance Cup. SEAT also says there is a strong possibility of a 1.6 liter model that can be used in the WTCC.

Prices for the Leon Cup Racer will start at €70,000 for the regular version and €95,000 for the endurance model. The plan is start getting the Cup Racers into the hands of customers in time for the 2014 season.

-Mike

 

<< HOME

source: speedhunters

TOYOTAFEST SPOTLIGHT-O-RAMA: SWAPS ‘N CLASSICS

When I set out last Saturday to round up some cars for a Spotlight-O-Rama post from Toyotafest, I wasn’t specifically looking for a selection of vintage cars. But as I made my way around the show, it just seemed that all the cars drawing my interest were from the 1980s and earlier. I guess the appeal of properly done classic is just too hard to ignore? Whatever the case, here’s six vintage machines that caught my eye at Toyotafest.

Let’s begin with this 1987 MX73 Cressida that was representing with the Sparkle Garage crew. In contrast to some of the more pristine show cars of the day, this Cressida was wearing its battle scars with pride. You could easily sense that this thing gets pitched sideways often.

Helping to get those rear tires spinning is a 1uZ-FE V8 swap mated to a W58 five-speed transmission from a Lexus IS300. The quad cam V8 just looks right at home in the Cressida’s engine bay, doesn’t it?

The car was also sporting an aggressive set of 15″ Volk TE37Vs with their bronze finish perfectly matching the Cressida’s tan body color.

It’s a unique and tasteful looking car with a cool engine swap that’s also driven hard regularly. Hard to get much better than that.

The chance to see rare cars is one of the big draws of Toyotafest, and the word rare can certainly be used to describe this 1972 TA12 Carina. Because it’s one of those models that was only imported for a couple of years, it’s easy to forget the Carina was actually sold in the United States.

It’s fitting then that this particular Carina has been kept largely original – with the exception of a few tasteful exterior modifications…

…like a set of 14″ Hoshino Impul wheels with a pristine finish that leads me to believe they were recently restored.

The same theme carried over into the interior: mostly original with a few changes, like a Mooneyes shift knob and a cool vintage steering wheel that I’m struggling to identify at the moment. Any of the old school experts have any ideas?

In comparison with some of the other cars in this post this Carina is very mild, but that’s actually one of the big reasons I liked it so much. Sometimes simple and clean is just the way to go.

Next up, we have another rarely seen Toyota model from the early 1970s: a ’74 Corona Coupe. I think I’m just a sucker for the sleek hard top lines that these cars have.

The Corona also looked to have a gone through an thorough restoration, with a keen sense of detail both inside and out.

Under the Corona’s hood sits a twin cam 18RG with with forged pistons, TRD cams and a very mean looking high rise header set-up. Thank goodness for smog-exempt cars in California!

Inside there are a pair of old school Recaro seats with, the rest of the upholstery done to match. The old TRD steering wheel is another nice little touch.

The modestly sized BBS RS wheels probably won’t win over any stance freaks, but they actually suit the car quite nicely. To me it’s high quality restorations like this that define what Toyotafest is all about.

Next up we have Eugene Garcia’s ’84 KP61 Starlet: a car that was drawing a lot of onlookers not only with its tasteful period correct ’80s styling…

… but with its very impressive engine bay. That’s a fully built 4A-GE setup based on a low compression GZE block with an HKS GT2540R turbocharger.

Eugene told me the setup is good for about 300 horsepower, which is somewhere around four times more than the car made when it left the factory. Yikes.

The Enkei wheels mounted on the car aren’t something you see often in the US, but Eugene says they were quite popular in the Philippines: a place that’s well known for its love of old Toyotas.

A very clean and tasteful KP61 street car with a big horsepower turbo under the hood. Definitely one of the standouts from this year’s show.

Next up we have a very subtle-looking 1975 RA22 Celica coupe that I would certainly classify as a sleeper.

Why a sleeper? Well, for starters the original brown interior doesn’t do much to hint at the car’s performance potential. The steering wheel is really the only non-stock item that sticks out.

The same goes for the factory type steel wheels with trim rings and center caps. If you look closely though, you’ll see that they have been enlarged to 15 inches – a cool and subtle touch.

But then you look under the hood and see that a 1UZ-FE V8 has somehow been wedged into the engine bay. When it comes to bang for the buck, it’s really getting tough to beat the 1UZ. They are cheap and extremely plentiful on the used market thanks to the thousands of  junked Lexus models equipped with them.

I imagine this car gets some pretty strange reactions from people on the street who think they’re looking at a nice restored Celica and then hear that wonderful four cam V8 sound.

Last but not least, we have a car – or truck that is – that’s been seen on Speedhunters in the past. In fact, Sean included this 2JZ-swapped Toyota Hilux in his Spotlight-O-Rama from last year’s JCCS event.

But seeing as how this truck is clearly an on-going project, it’s always nice to check in and see what sort of progress has been made.

As you can see, the turbo setup looks a bit different from before, with the HKS mushroom filters replaced by a pair of pipes ready to shoot giant gumballs at anyone who comes to close.

When Sean saw the truck at JCCS, the bed was not installed. Now it is, and you can also see some of the additional work done to the truck’s rear-mounted cooling system.

This goes without saying, but I think we’ll have to get a hold of the completed truck for a full feature once it’s finished.

I think that’s a good note to close out this Spotlight-O-Rama and also my event coverage from Toyotafest 2013. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.

 

Mike Garrett

 

 

<< HOME

source: speedhunters

MEET THE GANGSTER OF DRAG RACING

I was in full Speedhunting mode when I attended March Meet last month, scouring Famoso Raceway to bring you the best the nostalgia drag race world had on offer. Of course there were gobs of old school dragsters and gassers, but I was looking for that one special car that stopped me dead in my tracks. I found it – but I hadn’t a clue how far down the rabbit hole it would take me (and a whole crew of my fellow Speedhunters too).

I spotted Randy Winkle’s ’57 Chevrolet gasser in front of one of the paddocks and was sure I’d just struck feature car gold. As I crawled all over, around and under the car Randy walked up and we made our introductions. I told him about Speedhunters and that I was looking for drag cars to feature, to which he responded, “Oh this isn’t the race car, I just built it to tow that one around the drag strip…” Wait. What?

Randy invited me to step into his personal garage space (on track premises I might add) to say hello to his little friend – a 1967 front engine dragster (FED) named O’ Black Betty.

I worked my way into the garage and slowly circled the baddest FED I’d ever seen. With each question answered it became apparent that this guy was legit.

He was there when it went down the first time around, and he’s seeing to it that history is preserved. This matched pair is the proof: FED racer and Chev gasser.

Specifically designed to complement each other, the combo just couldn’t get any more gangster. Can you imagine the intimidation factor when this set-up rolls through the pits?

Most race teams get by with a daily driver Chevy pickup to tow their race cars on the weekend. I think Randy’s level of commitment to keeping the scene alive is pretty evident at this point.

He’s even started an exclusive club for like-minded racers, called the Famoso Mob. They recently returned from a trip to New Zealand where they schooled the Kiwis on vintage American quarter mile machines.

As if that weren’t enough, Randy and his Famoso Speed Shop were consulted as nostalgia racing experts for the upcoming movie Snake & Mongoose. Randy and his good friend Stormy Byrd are even behind the wheel in several scenes, and O’ Black Betty makes a cameo appearance as well. I think we’ve found the right guy to show us what this scene is about.

I know it’s a strange way to start a car feature but we’ll begin with the FED’s tow hook, specifically the finish. Famoso Speed Shop isn’t just building period-correct race cars, it’s building them on a show-worthy level. I’m sure the chrome bill for this build is ample evidence of my assertion.

So let’s get the necessary stats out of the way: 179″ wheelbase, 800hp, 750lb/ft and 1300lbs. It’ll go 7.40 in the 1/4 mile…

…if you have the stones to strap in and hit the loud pedal.

That’s a 383 of 1971 vintage, stuffed with race parts and pressurized by The Blower Shop. The blower restraints are necessary by today’s rulebook, but notice he went with silver so they disappear against the chromed engine.

Sitting behind a blown small block running at full tilt isn’t the safest place to be, but the restraints and belt guard will keep parts from going airborne if something pops. There’s a reason dragsters are built with the engines in the back now – to avoid getting sprayed by stray engine parts, fireballs and hot oil mostly.

To be honest though, it’s the aesthetics that intrigue me most; like the matching cowls at the front of the engine and driver’s compartments, and the way the three ribs on the blower scoop match the three red stripes on the bodywork.

The visor on Randy’s helmet even echoes the shape of the cowls and has gold lettering too. It’s probably coincidence, but still cool.

I’ve always liked nostalgia dragsters with a little bodywork on them, especially since each body is hand-formed to its respective chassis.

Not only does the bodywork enclose the updated roll cage, it also shrouds the ‘chute and hides the mounting points for the wheelie bar.

Check out how the character line flows down and forms a nice angle of attack. I wonder if Famoso Speed Shop knew it was using car design tricks when forming the sheet metal.

The tail fin formed into the bodywork is what really grabbed me though. Famoso Speed Shop’s Mike Alspough put considerable effort into crafting a beautiful body for this nostalgia racer – and succeeded quite nicely.

That’s a handbrake to the left and a shifter on the right, custom built with giant ball bearings welded on the ends. Remember that chrome bill I mentioned earlier?

Inside there’s not much of a seat, but you don’t sit there long anyways. The green button on the steering wheel activates the trans brake and launch control.

The term nostalgia dragster might make some of you think these guys are running outdated technology, but really it refers more to the layout and the spirit in which these machines are built. Randy said they have updated a few things for the sake of staying competitive, like the MSD distributor which allows them to use launch control by omitting spark to certain cylinders while the button is pressed.

The Wilwood brakes hiding out inside the 16×12-inch E/T rear wheels appear to be late model as well, but disc brakes have been used in drag racing since the mid ’60s so they get a pass.

No brakes on the front though, since it barely has tires anyways. I love the juxtaposition of the massive slicks out back with front tires that are barely suitable for a bicycle.

Randy lists them as 17-inch spokes. I’m guessing they’re 2-inch wide, maybe. Check out the typeface on the sponsor logos too.

All of the logos were applied by hand using period-correct fonts. That’s real gold leafing, edged with hand-painted pinstripes, then finally sealed under plenty of clear coat. Pretty good for a race car, eh?

Let’s not forget that badass ’57 gasser that got us here in the first place though.

Despite Randy’s claim that it was just built to tow O’ Black Betty we think it’s a feature car in its own right, so stay tuned.

I have a hard time choosing a favorite between these two, as each is amazing in its own right. We’ll let you be the judge once we show you the ’57 gasser in greater detail.

It does a pretty fine job of pulling the FED around though, doesn’t it?

 

Words by Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith
Email: keith@speedhunters.com

Photos by Sean Klingelhoefer
Instagram: seanklingelhoefer
Email: sean@speedhunters.com

Additional photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
Email: larry@speedhunters.com

 

Randy Winkle’s 1967 Front Engine Dragster – O’ Black Betty

Numbers
Max power – 800hp, max torque – 750 lb/ft, weight – 1300 lbs, ET – 7.40 sec

Engine
1971 Chevy 383 ci, 8:1 compression, AFR head machining, Scat camshaft, Manley valves, springs, push rods, retainers and lifters, ARP head bolts, copper head gasket, double roller timing chain, Crower connecting rods, ARP connecting rod bolts, Scat crankshaft, Famoso Speed Shop engine mounts, The Blower Shop intake manifold and supercharger, Enderle fuel pump and fuel rail, Lemons headers, NGK spark plugs, MSD spark plug wires, coil and distributor, Excel battery, wiring harness and cosmetic modifications by Famoso Speed Shop

Driveline
Powerglide transmission, Ford 9″ differential, SFI flexplate, gearing: “I will never tell!”

Suspension/Brakes
Solid mounted rear suspension, chrome front suspension links, Wilwood rear disc brakes, parachute

Wheels/Tires
17″ spoked wheels with Avon tires (front), Rear – 16×12 E/T wheels with M/H Racemaster slicks (rear)

Exterior
Famoso Speed Shop customized chassis and hand-formed bodywork, paint by Mikey and the Paso Boys, graphics by Jamie and the Paso Boys

Interior
DJ Safety harness, unknown vintage steering wheel, Kurtz steering hub and quick release, Famoso Speed Shop shift and brake levers

 

 

<< HOME

source: speedhunters