OLE ORANGE BANG: TILL DEATH DO US PART

It saddens me everyday as I drive around Los Angeles, stuck in traffic surrounded by big metal things with four wheels. They are not cars, they are simply methods of transportation, also known as ‘mots.’

You don’t fall in love with a mot. You trade it in when it gets old, you smash it into things when you get bored. It’s a cookie cutter world and most people drive mots.

Speedhunters is about car culture and Ole Orange Bang is most definitely not a mot. It is a car, and it has become a living breathing part of my family. ‘Till death do us part.

On my wedding night instead of being ferried away in a fancy limousine, I drove my beautiful wife home in my 1970 SR20DET-powered Datsun 240z.

Since it had been sitting for a few weeks, I thought it was about time to take it out once again – not only so it could see the light of day, but also to do some much needed canyon carving.

Wedding burnouts really take a toll on the cleanliness of the car, so I wanted to make sure it looked its sunday best before I took it out for a stroll.

Nothing pains me more than seeing carbon fiber parts fade in the sun, so I always make sure to take extra care of my hood.

I am sure this is a familiar sight for you Speedhunters out there. It’s funny because my neighbors look at me weird and ask me why I don’t just take my car to a car wash. They just don’t understand because they drive mots.

Since my last post I haven’t done much to the car besides adding a new steering wheel. I really liked the wooden look of the stock wheel…

… but it was too large. That, and I’ve always wanted a premium steering wheel.

I left the Kazama shift knob alone because I actually really like the feel of it. It’s solid and quite heavy and as our fearless leader Rod Chong always says, one of the most important parts of the car are the surfaces that you touch when you’re using it.

Because I’m away from home for weeks at a time I end up having to jump start my car everytime I want to drive it. My wife took notice and bought me this trickle charger. You see why I married her?

I’ve made it a ritual now everytime I drive the thing. I have to unhook the battery charger…

… and I have to check all its fluids. As this is an old car, at one point or another everything has leaked.

The summers in Los Angeles get quite hot so I added some Red Line Water Wetter. I also figured I would put in some Fuel System Cleaner as the motor already has about 3000 miles on it now since it was built.

Just one last touch and I was ready to hit the road. This metal Speedhunters license plate surround will be available soon…

I’ve driven nice roads all over the world, but there is something special about a palm tree-lined road leading into the mountains.

With a full tank of fuel and the pre-flight check looking good, it was time to do some canyon carving.

I decided to hit up some local roads just a few miles away from my house. This road sign should actually read “Fun for the next 20 miles.”

The road is much less traveled as currently it does not go anywhere. You can check out the route (courtesy of Google Maps) here.

It’s located right next to the much more famous Glendora Mountain Road, also known as GMR.

On the way up you pass this beautiful recreation area. There are many places around here for camping and hiking, as well as one of the largest shooting ranges in the area, located in the mountains. This is America after all.

This area is also an off-road haven for the four wheelers and trail riders out there. You just have to pay a small fee.

Here are some of the trails that you can drive on. Just don’t get stuck.

It seemed like the ribbons of hot asphalt were never-ending on the lower portion of the road with many sweeping third and fourth gear turns. I always take it easy as there’s no way to tell what is going to be around the next bend.

As I was about to start climbing to around 7000 feet I left my AEM multi gauge on the water temperature setting just to keep an eye on it.

As I neared the top section of the road, the turns got tighter and tighter, which meant I was mostly using second and third gears.

In the winter time it actually does snow up here. It’s hard to believe you can walk on snow just a few miles outside of Los Angeles.

I’ve driven these roads before with snow banks lining the outside. It can be quite dangerous though, as they don’t use salt on them so black ice can form very quickly.

Since I’m covering events on the weekends the only time I get to take the Z-car out is during the week.

This road is practically empty with very little traffic during the weekdays. Sometimes I try riding my road bike up the same road, only to fail half way and turn back.

It was about 95 degrees fahrenheit down by my house, but up in the mountains it was a cool 65 degrees.

Many people come up here on the weekends to go fishing at Crystal Lake, and that’s pretty much the only traffic this road gets now.

This road used to connect to the other side of the mountain, but a few years back it rained very heavily and the road was damaged due to landslides.

Ever since then they closed the road to all traffic. It has created a sort of motoring heaven, as you don’t really have to worry about traffic.

Maybe in a couple of years they will fix this portion of the road, but until then I will continue to come here and enjoy the wonderful drive.

If you look over the cliff you can see the stretch of road leading up to the top.

The view from the top was breathtaking as always. You can see the smog in the distance creeping up the mountain, but the air quality was drastically cleaner up here.

Every now and then I could hear the note of a performance exhaust echoing off the face of the mountains, but it was quite rare.

As a tradition I always stop by the cafe located right next to the lake for a bite to eat.

They should probably just leave the needle on critical, as it always seems like Los Angeles is on fire in one part or another.

If you ever happen to drive this dream road make sure you spot by this little trading post – they make great tuna sandwiches. Everybody loves the tuna there.

My car is now 43 years old, much older that I am, but from the day I laid eyes on it I’ve taken good care of it. It has brought me so much joy and hopefully one day my children will be able to enjoy Ole Orange Bang…

What sort of dream roads do you guys drive your cars on?

 

Larry Chen

 

 

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source: speedhunters

THE V8 MK1 ESCORT

“Everything new is old.” Heard that one before? Well it’s true. When people moan about putting BBS wheels on a Golf, because they want to see something ‘different’, you know what? Chances are somebody did your ‘different’ thing a long time ago. I’m sure in the future there will be two distinctly recognisable eras of car modification: pre and post internet.

Karl Fiara’s Mk1 Escort is a trip back in time for me; sat here in the glorious sun of the recent Players Classic Show at Goodwood it transports me back around 20 years. To when you had to be at one of the big season-opening shows to see what everybody had been building during the winter, where you could catch up with friends without knowing how many laps of the Nurburgring they’d done the month before,when the excitement was tangible in the air and cars like this Escort two-door were more commonplace and that can only be a good thing.

There was something familiar about the Ford when I first saw it the previous weekend at the Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod in the UK. It was parked on the Wheel-Whores.com stand as the guys had decided to award it best wheels of the show. A quick conversation saw them invite Karl down to Goodwood for the following weekend, where the Escort did a great job of attracting the crowds.

The Players crowd rightly enjoyed the old Ford. Walking around it and then talking to owner Karl Fiara it still felt achingly familiar, but it was still no small surprise to find that the Escort was built over 20 years ago. Which places it slap bang in the middle of my ‘golden era’ for car modification in the UK. It’s an age thing y’see: I’d just started driving and anything seemed possible, regulations were slacker than they are now, the police didn’t run your plates from half a mile away through a computer and there was less traffic on the road.

Sure the Escort isn’t immaculate. It has proper patina though; it’s a survivor, unlike a lot of its contemporaries. The early ’90s were a time when half decent cars that weren’t overly complicated were cheap enough to chop up without really caring. You had sleek, simple, cool and sometimes boxy shapes from the ’60s and ’70s that could be built in a home workshop on a budget without looking like some vintage renegade that was about to fall apart. Pastel shades were popular, grunge music and rebellion were in the air and change was happening after the all-consuming hunger of the ’80s had exploded at the end of the decade.

Like I said, it was pre-internet and you’d make a scene by building something to go to a show, and using it until the annual inspection test ran out. Cutting the roof off and welding a four foot gearstick on it, roof chops that left a windscreen the size of a letter box, home built chassis with the abundant Rover V8 slotted in because there were plenty of them in the scrapyards and they sounded good. Splatter painting it at home, the louder the better; it was about having fun. That’s what this Escort reminds me of.

The V8 first went in around ’86/87, with the Escort being stripped down shortly after and the full build taking place. So what you’re looking at now is a 1969 Escort bodyshell mounted over a home-built, ladder style box section chassis. It was all built up by Warren Cole, who amazingly was here at Players Classic too. Karl bought the Escort complete as you see it in the late ’90s, tucking it up in his garage shortly after, only getting it back out very recently as Warren lives fairly locally and it seemed like a good opportunity for a reunion (also as he’d thought previously the Escort was long gone).

But it’s obviously very much alive. Nowadays any Mk1 Escort two door shell is worth big money to the right buyer. So to see one like this is unique. I know of a handful of V8-engined examples but all of them retain a very ‘enthusiast’ orientated look to them. This thing? It stands alone for me. What Warren wanted was a fairly simple, very low cruiser that he could use anywhere, any time.

He used everyday, affordable, mechanical parts that combined in the right way to make something that grabs your attention. It wasn’t long after the era of everybody naming show cars, so you used to add small phrases here or there, much like a well-placed sticker these days. Like the hand painted “Kin LOW” on the handbrake cable carrier. Did we mention it was low? Well maybe not as much as you might think.

That’s the beauty of channeling the body over a new chassis: everything is tucked up out of harm’s way. Airbags were still a decade away from becoming vaguely affordable or practical so this was the best way of keeping everything safe.

The reason why it was on the Wheel-Whores.com stand is because of these Revolution RFX wheels. We all know hot rods and drag cars run big and little combos, but one of the stand out, gutsy choices of this build has to be the 9x16s out back…

… and the skinny 5.5x13in same style on the front. Revolution are a traditional UK-based wheel company and the RFX is probably one of their most memorable wheels; it’s a real late ’80s/early ’90s choice. You can often date a build by wheel choice and these are spot on; remember again most factory cars were riding around on 14s or 15s maximum at this time. Many smaller cars still ran 13s, so the big 16s on the back were literally that. BIG.

No inner wings mean clearance isn’t a problem and the rear end has been tubbed to cover the 245/50x16in tyres. The pastel paint spills over to all the components and suspension parts; again this bright colour coding was really indicative of the time. Looking back I can only really think this was because body-coloured bumpers had been around for five to ten years on mainstream manufacturers cars, so the modified scene started to emulate this and add a little more.

Although of course the Escort has retained its factory standard chrome bumpers and oblong headlights, rarer than the usual round items and showing it’s now desirable 1300GT origins.

The body is largely stock, save for some stretched front arches, but there are a few extra holes around the place. The most obvious is for the standard SU carbs to poke through the bonnet, as clearance was needed and let’s face it, those two inches or 50mm would have meant more space under the sills… not an option.

The other one is for the top-mounted windscreen wiper, which although looking a little messy to some eyes is a clever solution to a problem that would otherwise thwart a builder with less imagination. There’s just no room above the back of the engine for a traditional set-up, although Karl and Warren were discussing the cable-driven wipers of a Mini that could be used now…

Inside you’ll find a period RS steering wheel and behind that a standard set of Rover P6 gauges that talk to the engine and gearbox easily.

There are no top-mounted pedals like standard, because of course Warren made the chassis, which means the hidden master cylinders are now activated by these.

Another blast from the past are the Huntmaster bucket seats. Sure they’re no Takatas but again these are twenty-five years old and you felt like a proper race driver when you bolted a set of these in.

Here you can see them reflected in the polished door panel; again, simple and stylish, it all helps to keep the Escort of the period yet timeless all the same.

This is probably the best view to see just how dramatic the difference in wheel size is, which just adds to the toy car effect I hear people mention when they see the Escort.

The chrome window trim on a Mk1 Escort has always been one of my favourite styling cues; it neatly encapsulates the glass in a bubble, making a very ordinary shape kind of special. You can also see the almost body colour, swage pinstripe line. Another ’90s favourite was extra locks and security devices, because you could ‘lift’ a Mk1 Escort as easy as a toilet seat.

So how does a car built on a budget in a home garage twenty five years ago keep turning heads today? To tell the truth I’m not sure, it could be a case of being ‘simply clever’.

There are no wild graphics, it’s just very well observed. Both Warren and now Karl wanted a very low Escort, itself a very popular car, that could be used any time. Add some instantly recognisable wheels in a slightly outrageous choice of sizes, a burbling V8, pastel bodywork and you tick a lot of boxes.

I’m just glad Wheel Whores spotted it and convinced Karl to come along to Players Classic, so now you guys get to see the Escort after all these years.

And yes, I know I’m perhaps being overly sentimental towards the time this was built, because of course, every generation has its favourites. That’s how the march of time works, but this simple Escort proves to me that good things never go out of fashion and now a whole new audience can appreciate it and be inspired.

 

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: brynem
bryn@speedhunters.com

 

Karl Fiala’s 1969 1300GT Ford Escort V8

Engine
Chassis mounted, Rover 3.5ltr V8 on standard SU carbs

Driveline
Rover four speed manual gearbox, narrowed Ford Capri 3.09 baby Atlas axle

Suspension/Brakes
Rack and pinion steering with modified arms, Cortina Mk4 independent front suspension, shortened springs, narrowed cross member, Cortina Mk4 front discs, Jaguar rear coilovers located on L brackets,  panhard rod, Competition Engineering ladder bars with solid rod ends, standard Capri drums

Chassis
Custom-made box section with narrow front end and kicked up rear, body channeled around 6in

Wheels/Tyres
Revolution RFX 5.5×13 with 135/80×13 tyres (front), 9×16 with 245/50×16 tyres (rear)

Exterior
All steel 1969 Ford Mk1 Escort, removable front end, stretched front arches, reformed bulkhead, raised tunnel and floor, tubbed rear, Citroen roof mounted wiper unit, enlarged radiator aperture in front panel, DZUS bonnet clipped at front, additional door locks

Interior
Two Huntmaster bucket seats, Rover P6 instrument panel, handmade pedals, underfloor clutch/brake cylinders, bespoke fuel tank in boot, battery fitted NSR, right hand side hand brake lever using Morris Minor cables

 

 

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source: speedhunters

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.

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source: fastcar

5 Ways To Make Your Subaru Impreza STi Better

Subaru-Impreza-STi-Tuning

Subaru’s legendary Classic Impreza STi has been at the top of the tuning scene for a long time, and rightly so. Here’s how you can build your very own 400bhp daily driver

1. STYLING
True Impreza fans tend to shy away from overly-styled rides, and for good reason – there’s no need to change what’s already a superb-looking car. Instead, we’d recommend that unless you’re the proud owner of a later-spec model, you upgrade your vehicle to a V5 (Version 5) or V6 spec. Between 1996 and 1997 the Classic was face-lifted, so owners of early models often upgrade their cars to match the later iterations. Deeper front grilles, crystal headlights and indicators and higher-level rear spoilers are all common but great-looking mods. Consider a P1 front splitter if you want to create an aggressive-looking front-end, or look at some of the composite splitters and spoilers from Seibon if you’re more of a carbon junkie. Just bear in mind the standard STi aluminium bonnet is lighter than most carbon items! The car pictured has a front-mounted intercooler, so the bonnet scoop has been reversed to dissipate heat, rather than suck air in to the intercooler.

 

 

2. ENGINE TUNING
The EJ20 2.0ltr unit in the STi is a great base for further tuning and has proven itself at the highest levels of motorsport over the years. In terms of building a capable daily driver, there’s no real benefit to be had from upgrading the bottom end at this sort of power level – it comes with forged internals as standard, a higher rev limit than the UK models and will be happy kicking out 400bhp if it’s mapped properly. We’d advise you to fit a higher-flowing RCM oil pump as your first priority, as this is a part that commonly leads to engine failure. To achieve 400bhp, you should be looking at upgrading to a TD05-20G, MD321H or GT2871r turbo, all of which are capable of doing the desired figures. On top of that, you’ll also be looking at bigger injectors, an upgraded fuel pump, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, front-mounted intercooler, tubular headers and a full decat exhaust system from the likes of Hayward & Scott, Scoobysport, HKS or RCM. There are various ECUs and boost controllers on the market, but we’d advise that you take it to a mapping specialist such as Zen Performance to get the car dialled in. The clutch will also need upgrading to handle the power, so check out items from Exedy or OS Giken. Elsewhere, it’s worth fitting a lightweight flywheel while you’re there!

 

3. INTERIOR
As with the exterior, there’s no real benefit in making drastic changes to the interior if your car is used daily, but it’s worth considering upgrading to match the spec of the later model Imprezas. Pre-1997 Classics came with a different dash to later cars, but the main change we’d make is to fit some late-model STi seats. It’s worth fitting some aftermarket gauges to keep an eye on the important bits – in particular oil pressure and temperature, and water temperature. There are various triple-gauge mounting kits available for the centre of the dash, which enable you to fit the gauges of your choice. A KnockLink meter is another Impreza favourite worth considering to monitor for harmful detonation. Aside from that – fit a tidy double DIN headunit and some upgraded component speakers and you’ve done all you need to do.

4. SUSPENSION & HANDLING 

There are a plethora of suspension upgrade choices available for the Classic, designed for anything from the daily commuter right through to the dedicated track car. But for a daily-driven car that needs to retain some degree of comfort, we’d recommend Tein’s Type Flex coilovers with adjustable top mounts. They provide a firm but supple ride and create a car that can be driven in the real world, especially where your Impreza excels – on B-roads and country lanes. If you’re looking at doing the occasional trackday in addition, consider a slightly firmer set-up from the likes of AST, or for the ultimate in WRC-derived suspension porn, Exe-tc is the way forward. But expect to pay for it! It’s also worth looking into the range of Whiteline suspension components you can buy for your Classic – anything from uprated anti-roll bars through to anti-lift kits, heavy duty drop links and bump-steer kits. These elements will further enhance the suspension set- up of your car, but wouldn’t be absolutely critical on a daily driver.

 

5. WHEELS & BRAKES
It’s generally accepted that on a Classic, a 17in wheel is the limit if you want to retain the car’s nimble characteristics and great point-to-point abilities. If you choose 17in rims with good clearance, you’ll have space to upgrade to later-model Brembo four-pots from a newer Impreza, or a 330mm AP six-pot kit, which will provide you with eyeball-wrenching stopping power. We’d recommend a super- lightweight classy wheel, such as OZ Ultraleggeras.

 

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source: fastcar.co.uk

1993 Honda Civic CX – Hard White

To be completely honest with you, there isn’t very much we know about the owner of this Championship White 1993 Civic CX. We know that his name is Joshua Antolin and he hails from the great state of Hawaii-and that’s about it. Instead of going the traditional route of telling you a story behind an enthusiast’s build, we’re going to try something a little different. Let’s break the “fourth wall”, so to speak, for a different twist on what you’re used to reading. If you don’t know what the hell the “fourth wall” is, try to remember an episode of Saved by the Bell when Zach Morris freezes time, turns to the audience and speaks directly to them-that’s what’s considered “breaking the fourth wall”. (Still clueless? Clearly you’re too young to know what SBTB or who Kelly Kapowski is.) What I’m trying to do today is something similar-sort of. Breaking the fourth wall usually means that you’re being pulled out of an imaginary scenario but in the world of automotive publication, what you’re seeing and reading is very real.

In the years that I’ve been writing for Super Street, we’ve seen it all; all types of cars, different styles of tuning and getting to know each personality that makes up our crazy world. How these features come together before they hit print is pretty predictable. We see a car, find the owner, arrange for the car to be shot and have them fill out various forms, one of them being the ‘tech sheet’. These tech sheets open the lines of communication between the owner and the writers for the magazine, and usually includes every important piece of info you’ll need, from knowing which parts were used, right up to the entire back story on how the car came together. Some tech sheets are filled out in an incredibly detailed fashion, with every important aspect of the build documented, but sometimes you get little to no information at all, with the questions we ask responded to in one or two words. In those instances, it is our job to get in touch with them to see if they can give us some sort of story about their build. If for whatever reason we can’t get a hold of the owner, we then have to proceed to use the power of the worldwide web to dig up any information we can on the owner and their car-(begin sarcasm) the part we love most (end sarcasm).

If Joshua was planning on living off the grid, he’s done an incredible job of it because there is little to no information on his Civic. He doesn’t peruse any internet forums, doesn’t have a cool internet nickname that people would immediately recognize, and (gasp) the guy is non-existent on any social media outlet. A decade ago, it would be considered “normal” but in the information-age, the guy is practically a ghost. The age-old phone call and email were also extended but with no response. We noticed his car was spotlighted one other time on a popular car website but after a thorough reading, they, too, weren’t able to squeeze a whole lot of information out of the guy. To offer you a better understanding, one of the main questions on the tech sheet was “Why did you build this vehicle?” Joshua’s response was simply, “To be cool.” We agree that his Civic is indeed cool but it would have been great had he tossed us that proverbial bone.

The only other tidbit of info is that he’s from Hawaii, and let’s not kid ourselves, you’ve read plenty features about vehicle builds from Hawaii. Let’s not forget the cliché play on words to try to manipulate something Hawaiian into the opening title. All you need to know about Hawaii is that they produce some great cars and that they’ve been doing so for years now. Some of the most inspirational and memorable Hondas from the past have been from the 808. The island may be small but buried in all that beautiful scenery are some true gems-you just have to find them.

Devoid of any sort of backstory, all we are left with are visual depictions of a story left untold. The Civic itself is a very well-executed build that represents the clean and simple style that Hawaiian enthusiasts have come to be known for. You’ll rarely find extensive race-bred Hondas there because it’s not what they are about. Hondas assembled on the island are built to be clean street cruisers and Joshua’s is just that. Outside, the entire 19 year-old chassis has been massaged, door dings and minor damage repaired before being sprayed the ever-classic Honda Championship White. A BackYard Special front lip and rear duckbill spoiler serve as the only aftermarket additions to the body while OEM J-spec lighting all-around give it some Japanese chic. Both front and rear fenders have been significantly altered to house an aggressive set of staggered 16×8/9.5-inch JLine wheels. Fitting the wheels required some trickery and a lot of help from negative camber adjustments. Providing the appropriate ride height is essential to pulling of this type of wheel fitment so Function & Form was called upon for their Type 2 adjustable dampers.

As stated, an everyday street Honda in Hawaii is rarely built with a full track car appeal in mind, it just has to function and look good doing so. Joshua’s engine bay reflects that. Under the hood, you won’t find any forced induction components or custom oil catch cans and breathers. There isn’t anything but the bare necessities like your typical air intake, header, and exhaust. The rest has been stripped down and the only major addition other than the 2000 ITR motor is negative space. Helping to free this space is a custom radiator that hides beneath the core support. On the firewall, the factory brake booster has been eliminated and mounted in its place is a Wilwood brake master cylinder. The bay was then shaved smooth and color-matched to the rest of the shell. All electrical connections deemed unnecessary are disregarded by utilizing a Rywire engine harness. The cockpit of this CX hatchback mirrors the exterior and engine bay’s minimalism. Besides the MOMO steering wheel and NEXT Miracle X bar, there isn’t much to go nuts about. A near complete JDM SiR interior has been supplemented but only the Honda-lover with a keen eye would catch that.

While the info for Josh’s Civic is sparse, perhaps this story doesn’t need to be about a car that’s been stuffed to the brim with as many parts as a given tech sheet can handle. Its overall simplicity speaks volumes on its own. I’d drop another random Saved By the Bell reference but my sleep deprivation is starting to kick in; I’d better end it here.

Tuning Menu

1993 Honda Civic CX

Owner Joshua Antolin

Hometown Honolulu, HI

Occupation Painter

Engine 2000 Honda 1.8L B18C5; Innovative engine mounts; Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold; AEM fuel rail; PLM header; Password:JDM dry carbon fiber Power Chamber intake; All-In Fab radiator, coolant lines; shaved engine bay; Rywire engine harness; Odyssey battery

Drivetrain Honda S80 manual transmission; Exedy clutch

Engine Management Chipped P28 ECU

Footwork & Chassis Function & Form Type 2 coilovers; Wicked Tuning front camber plates; Blox rear camber plates; Function7 rear lower control arms; ASR subframe brace; NEXT Miracle X bar

Brakes Chasebays brake line tuck; OEM 2000 Civic Si brake proportioning valve; Wilwood brake master cylinder, cluster master cylinder reservoir

Wheels & Tires 16×8″ +5/16×9 +0 JLine SDMSL2; 205/40R16 Falken Ziex 912; Blox lug nuts

Exterior PPG Championship White paint; BackYard Special front lip, rear spoiler; Vision TC side mirrors; JDM OEM window visors, headlights, corner lights, taillights; rolled and pulled front/rear fenders

Interior JDM EG6 SiR front seats, rear seats, interior panels, instrument cluster; MOMO steering wheel; JDM OEM Gathers head unit

Thanks You New City Fender, Jake, Chang, Marc, Dexter, Alex, John, Guillermo, Roger, uncle Herbert, and my dad

All-New 2014 Lexus IS Debuted at the 2013 NAIAS

Lexus has officially revealed the next-generation Lexus IS at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  For 2014, the all-new Lexus IS will be offered in IS 250, IS 350 along with F SPORT model and the first IS Hybrid model- the IS 300h. The IS hybrid will be available in Europe, Japan and other international markets.

With the all-new Lexus IS, every feature has been engineered with a new focus on connecting performance, handling and response of the vehicle to driver input and onion.  According to Lexus, the whole development of the all-new IS has been adopted with a completely different attitude targeting the driving performance along with the new bold design accommodating that new attitude.  The all-new Lexus IS design includes a new, powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with Lexus’ trademark, L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.

 

The all-new Lexus IS 250 is powered by a 2.5-L V-6 engine and the IS 350 is powered by a 3.5-L V6 engine.  The Lexus IS 300h uses the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, based on a newly developed 2.5L Atkinson-cycle engine.  The Lexus IS 350 is equipped the 8-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission inherited from the IS F with faster shifts, full torque converter lockup and throttle blips when in manual mode.

The new Lexus IS comes with the Drive Mode Select system offering up to four switchable driving modes: ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT S+, S+ is available only on the IS 350.

The Lexus IS F SPORT model is characterized by the exclusive spindle front grille, bumper and unique 18-inch alloys wheels designed inspired by the LFA.  Interior, it is differentiated by having F SPORT parts including shift knob, steering wheel, aluminum pedals along with scuff plates with the Lexus logo.

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source: japanesesportcar

A SELECTION OF SPEED FROM SNETTERTON

It’s been a couple of years since I last visited Snetterton. Coincidentally, it was for the same event – the Time Attack Series finale which still ranks easily in my top five events that I’ve ever covered for the big SH. The memory of watching Gareth Lloyd taking the championship on the last lap of the last event of the season was a personal highlight in my short Speedhunters career. It was the epitome of #maximumattack. We haven’t had the opportunity to bring you as much Time Attack Series coverage this season as we would have liked, but there’s still time to share some of the machines that take part in this series …

First up is the Team Milltek GT-R driven by Richard Marshall, a road-legal Club Challenge competitor. Although this is badged as the 850-TSR, a little bit of research reveals that it runs around 800+BHP but with the option of running 950BHP at the push of a button

R888 rubber, TSW wheels and big Dixcel brakes for what is a big car.

As this car competes in Club Challenge, it doesn’t require a full roll cage and most of the original interior remains – although a half cage hides in the back. The seat and sliding mounts, from Tillet Racing, are pure automotive erotica.

The rear wing is electronically adjustable but asides from the lairy paint scheme and graphics, the car remains mostly standard on the exterior.

Another car that caught my attention wasn’t out on track, but resided in the paddock on the Mitsubishi Lancer Register stand.

Although details were scarce, the AP Tuning Evo VII was attracting a lot of attention. Advan Wheels, Alcon Brakes, Michelin slicks and a comprehensive aero package are all indicative of a complete build.

Aggression.  

The large cutout – perhaps for a diffuser? – in the rear bumper allowed a better look at the modified rear end.

Inside, I could make out a MoTeC dash, OMP snap-off wheel and what looks like an Ikeya sequential shifter and hydraulic handbrake.

One of the more visceral cars competing was this Lotus Exige piloted by Jamie Willson.

Although the crew told me that they had the lowest straight line speed – a huge disadvantage at Snetterton – this Exige certainly didn’t appear slow by any stretch of the imagination.

A typically sparse race interior with a paddle-shift operated sequential gearbox. It always makes me laugh at how small these are inside.

Braid Racing wheels wrapped in Kumho rubber with AP Racing brakes lurking behind the black spokes.

Power was being delivered from the supercharged Honda K20 engine – the sound of this car vanishing into the distance with flat upshifts was glorious. 

One of my favourite cars of recent years, which just never seems to get enough love, is the Impreza GH chassis. I constantly find myself on the Pistonheads classifieds seeing if they have dropped into my price range yet. (They haven’t.)

Piloted by Ben Shimmin in the Club Challenge class, the EJ25 powered car suffered some issues on the Saturday which required an all-nighter to get it up and running for Sunday’s event. It is a motor capable of over 600BHP when running right (which does seem to be most of the time).

The Pro-R prepared car features Alcon brakes and Bilstein coilovers.

Interior is a stripped, caged affair retaining the original clocks.

The world needs more Impreza hatches. Just saying.

Speaking of Imprezas …

… Pro-R have been involved in the creation of a super-limited edition Impreza TA340C road car, a car officially affiliated with the Time Attack Series.

Based on the 2011 Impreza STi saloon, the car has been subtly modified to extract the most from the already impressive chassis.

Prodrive wheels, 365mm semi-floating Alcon front brakes, a remap and custom Scorpion exhaust are some of the changes. As the name suggests, the car now boasts 340BHP.

Wrapped in a matte finish, only 15 will be produced – each of which will be numbered with a plaque proudly displaying its rare status.

I’ll finish this post up with a car that has just continued to evolve. I first seen this car at Snetterton two years ago, where it was a road registered and highly modified street car.

Over the last two years, the car has slowly but surely evolved into a different sort of beast altogether, and still piloted by the same Gary Searl.

Although it’s not the prettiest of engine bays, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Similar to the AP Tuning Evo above, Searl’s boasts a number of substantial improvements along with a healthy dose of carbon fibre.

Another car boasting an Ikeya sequential shifter, more so for avoiding the issue of missed gears rather than faster shifts I’d imagine.

The selection of cars above is only a small taster of what the club and club pro classes are building for what is always a toughly fought series. Roll on 2013 …

Paddy McGrath

 

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source: speedhunters

AN EVO IN DUBAI

One of the things that fascinates me most about car culture is the different ways automobiles are perceived and loved across the planet. The cars themselves be nearly identical physically, but as you visit new places you begin to see them in different ways.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in particular is a car that will have a very different following depending on which part of the world you come from. You may live in a place where the Evo was known and loved since its debut 1992, when it began dominating rally events and building its legendary reputation.

Here in the United States for example, the Evo has a slightly different history. For most of us Americans, it was through the magic of video games that we were first exposed to this and other high performance AWD cars from Japan. I can clearly remember playing those games as a youngster and wondering how these strange four door cars could be so damn fast.

It wasn’t just a case of using the car in the game because we really liked it. No, using the Evo was simply the easiest way to win money and advance through the game. A lot us had never even seen one with our own eyes, but we dreamed of driving one of these Lancer Evolutions in real life.

It wasn’t until 2003 that Mitsubishi finally wised up and decided to import the Evo 8 to the USA. The rest is history, and a fascinating example of how a car’s reputation can be built.

Across the world in automobile-obsessed Dubai, Motaz Abu Hijleh also dreamed of owning a Lancer Evolution. Working as an aircraft tech for Emirates Airlines, Motaz had always loved mechanical things, cars in particular. He had driven and modified everything from a Volkswagen GTI to a Mercedes E-Class, and a Honda Type R. What he really wanted though, was an Evo.

In 2007 after being encouraged by his friends, Motaz finally headed to the dealer to make the dream a reality. I’m not sure how popular the Evo was in Dubai at this point, but Motaz says he had to convince the salesman that the Evolution model actually existed.  After some argument (that included turning down the base model Lancer that dealer tried to sell him), Motaz had ordered his Evolution. A white Evo 9 GSR to be exact.

The Evo is not the sort of car you buy just to cruise around town, and right after taking possession Motaz was hitting every track event he possibly could. As he learned the car and honed his driving technique, he began installing modifications that would enhance the driving experience – adjustable HKS Hypermax coilovers, and HKS titanium exhaust for example.

He also beefed up the stopping power with a set of Endless brakes with CCRG pads. Motaz says he’ll never forget feeling the braking power under his foot for the first time. As the modding continued, he had a clear concept of building a functional and reliable track beast that he could punish without worry.

Around this time, Motaz began working at a shop called TAM Auto Engineering. The Evo became one of TAM’s official projects, and the modifications were taken to the next level.

In between working on customer vehicles, TAM fully attacked the engine of the Evo. The entire thing was rebuilt as 2.3 liter stroker with a heat-treated crank. With reliability being the primary goal, all of the engine’s internals had been upgraded for maximum strength.

When it comes to building a hot 4G63, there are fewer brands trusted more than HKS. The head gasket, 264 cams, cam gears, injectors, fuel rail, and more were all sourced from the Japanese tuning giant.

HKS was also called upon to supply the its potent GT3240 turbo kit, along with the downpipe, blow off valve, and R type intercooler.

The tuning of the motor was handled by MPS Engineering from Germany, who came to Dubai to lend a hand. Running on C16 fuel, the car made a stout 465 horsepower to the wheels. The MPS guys wanted to push for more power, but since he wasn’t attempting to build the fastest Evo around, Motaz figured that number would be sufficient and ensure reliability.

With performance being upped significantly from factory spec, it was also decided that the Evo’s exterior needed a makeover. Not just for looks, but for function as well.

There’s really no one better at making functional aero parts for the Evo than Voltex. The entire car was stripped down and sent off for body work, returning with a full Voltex wide body and a completely custom orange paint job. Motaz says it took several tries before the color was perfected to his liking.

With the body redone in orange, the interior  coated in a custom bronze color.

It would just be wrong to have a Voltex aero kit without a matching Voltex wing, wouldn’t it?

Sitting beneath the pumped out fenders are a set of 18″ Volk Racing CE28Ns with 265-35-18 Pirelli P-Zero tires. The car also runs more aggressive Pirelli race-spec rubber during track sessions.

The interior of the Evo is actually very civil given the fully built motor and wind-tunnel proven exterior treatment. Custom alcantara was laid over the headliner, dashboard, door panels, and the pair of Bride Zeta III seats. The matching alcantara steering wheel is from Tanida Motorsport.

Sabelt harnesses are also there to keep the driver and passenger secure during those track day adventures.

A custom carbon fiber mount was built to house the HKS EVC controls and F-Con V-Pro system.

The factory gauge cluster was also replaced with an HKS Camp 2 system, mounted with its own carbon fiber housing.

The car you see here has been a long time coming. There were many times when the Evo project had to be set aside to focus on customer cars or other ventures. Motaz recently opened his own business, Parc Ferme Workshop, which specializes in car storage and tuning. It was only recently that he was able to put the finishing touches on the Evo project.

While Motaz is very satisfied with the car in its current state, we all know that project cars are never truly “done”. Next on the list is to upgrade the differentials and perhaps add a sequential transmission.

The Lancer Evolution is car with loyal fans across the world, all of whom discovered it in different ways.

I’d say Motaz has done the legendary name well on the skyscraper-lined streets (and race tracks) of Dubai.

-Mike

Photos by Larry Chen

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 GSR 6-Speed

Engine:

2.3 stroker kit with heat treated engine crank
274 HKS cams intake and exhaust
HKS valve springs
1mm over sized valves
Port and polish job
ARP head and block stud kit
HKS Kansai intake manifold
Big throttle body with custom idle valve control unit
HKS super SQV
HKS 1000 cc injectors
HKS fuel rail
HKS 1.2 head gasket
HKS 3240 turbo A/R .70 with HKS manifold
HKS down pipe
Port and polished head
HKS cam gear
HKS engine belt and timing belt
Air-condition and heater has been deleted
HKS heat range 8 spark plugs
HKS spark power upgrade
HKS earthing system
Cusco oil catch tank
HKS air intake 3” with MAF delete
HKS Kansai carbon fiber air intake box
Carbon fiber coil cover
Carbon fiber cam pulley cover
HKS oil cap cover
HKS titanium exhaust straight no cats

Cooling:
HKS R type intercooler
Custom upper intercooler pipe
HKS custom engine oil cooler
HKS power steering oil cooler
Koyo radiator
Slim line fan with controller
Samco silicon hose kit
HKS Radiator cap
HKS oil thermostat

Fuel System:
Surge tank
Aeromotive Pro Series external fuel pump
Aeromotive Pro Series 100 micron fuel filter
HKS fuel pressure regulator with gauge
HKS fuel rail
Aeromotive steel braided fuel lines
Aeromotive fuel connectors
Walbro in-tank fuel pump

Electronics
HKS V-Pro gold box with all sensors
Mivec HKS valcon controller
HKS EVC  boost controller
HKS A/F knock amplifier
HKS Camp 2 system

Gearbox
HKS twin plate clutch
HKS flywheel
Aftermarket release bearing

Chassis, Suspension, & Brakes
Endless 6 piston front and 4 piston rear caliper upgrade kit with CCRG brake pads
Endless RF650 brake fluid
HKS Hypermax suspension
Cusco full body re enforcement kit
Front fender triangle bars
Front and rear camber kits
HKS camber/caster plate top mounts
ARP wheel studs

Aerodynamics:
Voltex Circuit Version wide body
Voltex Type 5 rear spoiler adjustable
Vortex generator
Carbon fiber formula mirrors

Tires and Wheels:
Volk Racing Ce28N 18″
Volk Racing wheel studs
Pirelli 285/35/18 Pzero tires
Pirelli slick tire and semi slick tire

Paint:
Custom orange paint job,
Bronze interior body paint

Interior:
Bride Zeta III seats front with brackets
Sabelt harnesses for driver and passenger
Tanida Motor Sport alcantara steering wheel
Custom center display panel
Custom driver information display screen with carbon fiber screen mount

 

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source: speedhunters.com

MODERN HEART: ROCKY AUTO’S RB30 POWERED Z

Nothing is as it seems in Japan. As a rule of thumb you should never, in any circumstance make any sort of assumptions about any car you see on the street. This is especially true if that particular car proudly wears the Rocky Auto name, a shop we are all pretty familiar with these days. With the Nostalgic Two Days show coming up tomorrow I though we might as well start getting into the vintage swing of things and what better way than a high performance classic from Watanabe-san at Rocky.

“Modernizing” is something a lot of people are attempting to do with their cars, even those that aren’t that particularly old. Heck I’m attempting to do the same to my GT-R, trying to add upgrades and other little bits and pieces that will help bring some aspects of the whole package into the new millennium. Except what you see here sort of takes that whole notion to extremes.

This is the point purists should probably look away. While Watanabe-san does offer authentic restorations, it’s not something his customers are exactly into. The whole idea behind one of these cars is the fact that they manage to combine the looks and feel of a classic car – in this case an S30 Fairlady Z – with a modern, reliable and more powerful engine and driveline.

Built last year, this is one of a few rides that Watanabe-san classifies as his “favorite.” Looks wise he has gone with the “ZG” look…

…painting the car in the period correct dark maroon and adding the long-nose conversion, the fender flares the trunk spoiler and the fender-mounted mirrors.

The car is fitted with special modern-day dampers that Rocky Auto developed for the classic Z and sports a set of 16-inch Watanabes wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza GIII street tires, 205/50 up front and 225/45 at the rear. It’s from this point on that you begin to notice the subtle yet important changes that have been made, like the front 4-pot AP Racing brake calipers and cross-drilled rotors.

But things don’t really get serious until you lift the stock hood…

…revealing the awesomeness that powers this Fairlady. As Watanabe tells us, it’s not all about horsepower numbers; he’s built some very powerful Zs in his time, but he much prefers creating something more balanced, a conversion that builds upon the car’s original character, making it even more evident.

He has found all of this in the RB30-based engine he has created for this, as well as a few other builds. It’s a straight six just like the L24 that powered the S30 in the first place, naturally aspirated and delivering just the right about of power to the rear wheels. It all started with an Australian-sourced RB30 bottom end, onto which he dropped an RB26 twin-cam head. The engine breathes in through six aluminum velocity stacks – part of the “sports injection” system that Rocky Auto devised. If you recall the Rocky carbon bodied Fairlady we featured last year was also powered by an RB30, except it was running on 50 mm Solex carburetors and higher lift & duration cams. Watanabe really liked that car but wanted something a little bit easier to live with, something more street oriented.

As if seeing a gold RB26 head in the engine bay wasn’t enough, Watanabe-san made sure that the visual aspects of this engine swap didn’t end there…

…fabricating a beautiful and complex set of stainless steel headers, the same 46 mm 6-into-1 items that were used on the carbon car…

…helping to really emphasize the unmistakable straight-six sound that exits through the rest of the exhaust system.

The engine is good for just under 300 HP, about double what the S30 came with back in the early seventies. To transfer drive to the rear Cusco 2-way LSD a R32 Nissan Skyline 5-speed transmission was fitted, more than able to deal with the power at hand and the occasional track day abuse.

Out on the roads around the Rocky Auto HQ in Okazaki, the Zed looked phenomenal, the RB30′s scream reverberating across the hills we went to shoot around on. The three liters of capacity and the somewhat mild stock RB26 cams all help deliver a very strong low and mid range, making it a pleasure to drive around on a daily basis. Despite the longer stroke the RB30 is still and RB, so has no problem to rev to higher than normal rpm. For durability however the redline has been set at 7,000 rpm.

The restoration-slash-modernization of this S30 continues inside where, along with a dose of spot welding around the door openings, glasshouse, front and rear suspension turrets, engine bay and other strategic locations – a bolt-in roll cage was added.

This spans to the rear of the car and down behind the seats, helping increase torsional rigidity of a frame which is well over 40-years old now.

There’s no doubting that Nissan really got the interior design right all those years ago, standing up to the test of time rather well. Still, to make things nice and comfortable Watanabe spent some time adding a few nice touches like the R32 Skyline automatic climate control system, modern HD navigation with pop-out LCD screen…

…and a pair of Recaro leather/alcantara seats – with Willans harnesses for the driver.

The mix of old and new continues with a classic Datsun steering wheel…

…original main gauges….

…and the addition of a triplet of modern clocks from Blitz.

The period correct wooden shift knob and well used leather boot serve as a constant reminder of the car’s vintage-ness.

It might be a different school of thought to those that restore older cars in a more period-correct way, but for some reason the Japanese manage to pull it off so well especially when applied to cars like the Fairlady Z. Even if you may be a purist, it’s hard not to admire and appreciate the work that went into creating something so special. If that’s not the case maybe a quick ride in this RB30-powered Rocky Auto creation may change your mind…

 

Specs:

Engine: RB30/RB26 hybrid engine swap, Rocky Auto engine mounts, Rocky Auto sports injection with aluminum velocity stacks, Tomei Powered fuel rail, RB26 injectors, Rocky Auto 46 mm 6-into-1 exhaust header, Rocky Auto stainless steel exhaust system, Billiion power steering reservoir tank, Rocky Auto gold head covers, clear cam covers, Koyo radiator, HKS oil cooler, R32 Skyline fuse box & wiring loom, Power FC ECU

Transmission: R32 5-speed transmission, Exedy single plate clutch, Cusco 2-way LSD

Suspension & Brakes: Rocky Auto front coilovers, Rock Auto rear dampers, Cusco carbon front strut tower bar, AP Racing 4-pot front calipers, cross drilled rotors

Wheels & Tires: Watanabe wheels 8Jx16″ front 9Jx16″ rear, Bridgestone Potenza GIII 205/50R16 front, 225/45/R16 rear

Exterior: ZG nose, ZG front & rear overfendes, ZG rear spoiler, ZR side mirrors

Interior: Spot welded and reinforced shell, bolt-in roll cage, Recaro driver & passenger seats, Willans drivers-side harness, Datsun spot steering wheel, R32 Skyline A/C unit, Carrozzeria HD navigation system, Blitz dials (ex. temp, oil temp., water temp.

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

 

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source: speedhunters.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

GREAT AMERICAN V8S

Corvette LS7 Engine

As we continue with our selection of Americana-themed reader polls this month, it’s only appropriate that we square off the most iconic American V8s against each other. We’ve gathered up ten different V8s engines which span several different brands and over 80 years of automotive history.

Which will rise to the top? That’s for you to decide.

Ford Flathead

Ford Flathead

A proper place to start is with the Ford Flathead V8. Originally introduced in 1932, the Flathead was a groundbreaking piece of engineering. It’s considered the world’s first affordable eight cylinder engine andwas in production for more than 20 years. It also became the engine of choice for early hot rodders and it’s cult following continues to this day.

Oldsmobile Rocket

The 303 cubic inch Oldsmobile Rocket V8 was introduced in 1949 and is considered the first mass-produced overhead valve V8 engine. It was a powerful piece by 1949 standards, and was idolized in the early rock ‘n roll song “Rocket 88″. The introduction of the Rocket also helped to fuel the horsepower war that would unfold in the years and decades to follow.

Small Block Chevy

What needs to said about the small block Chevy? It was (and is) one of the most popular engines of all time. The first iteration of the long-running SBC was the 265, which was introduced in 1955. The venerable small block would be continually updated and was available in GM cars and trucks through the early 2000s. Not only that, but enthusiasts have dropped SBCs into just about every sort of vehicle imaginable.

Chrysler Hemi

The Hemi. While it’s not nearly as common as the small block Chevy, it’s reputation is just as strong. These hemispherical induction chamber motors first appeared in the early 1950s, but it was in the ’60s with the introduction of the 426 that the Hemi truly came into its own. Besides being available in a number of Mopar muscle cars, the Hemi also established itself as competition powerhouse – both in NASCAR and on the drag strip. Chrysler continued the lineage with the reintroduction of the new “Hemi” V8 in the early 2000s.

Small Block Ford

Ford’s small block contribution is not to be overlooked. In the 1960s the 260 and 289 cubic inch V8s appeared not only in standard Ford vehicles, but also in competition-bred vehicles like Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs and Cobras. The small block Ford also made waves in the 1980s with the introduction of the fuel injected 5.0 HO, which helped launch the modern muscle car era.

Pontiac V8

Today it can be hard to fathom that GM’s brands once had their own unique powerplants completely different from each other. Of these, some of the greatest were Pontiac’s series of V8s in the 1960s. It was the 389 cubic inch motor that made history in 1964 when Pontiac decided to drop it in the mid-sized Tempest and create the first real “muscle car”.

Ford FE

Ford’s FE series big blocks could be found not only in hot street cars, but on the race track as well. The famous 427 powered winning drag cars, sports cars, stock cars, and was the heart of the Ford GT40 during its run at Le Mans. There was also the experimental SOHC “cammer” 427 that became a favorite among drag racers after it was outlawed for NASCAR use.

Big Block Chevy

While GM’s factory race presence in the ’60s paled in comparison to Ford , Chevy’s take on the big block was equally potent. On the street, these big displacement engines became the top dog choice for muscle cars like the Chevelle and Camaro, as well as the Corvette. Besides hot street cars, these motors could also be found in Can Am machines as well. To this day, the BBC is still a top choice for racers seeking outrageous amounts of power.

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source:  speedhunters.com

PROJECT CROWN: INSPIRATIONS LARGE & SMALL

When I last left off with my ’69 Toyota Crown Wagon project, I had gotten the car titled, got it rolling, washed, and had begun to ready it for the next stages of the build. Today I’d like to share a couple more small updates on the project and also touch on some of the Crown-related inspiration (and souvenirs) I found during my recent time in Japan.

Let’s begin by traveling back to January for the JCCA New Year Meeting. Among the large sea of amazing cars I saw that day was this Tokyo-based 50-series Crown Custom Wagon not unlike my own. Interestingly, I couldn’t recall ever seeing this particular car before – either in person or in a magazine. That was surprising, given how nicely done this thing was.

While I was ecstatic to come across such a nicely done wagon, it was a slightly bittersweet to see a car that was about 10,000 times nicer than mine. This was like the car that people will put in their classified ad to show “what it COULD look like” rather than a picture of the rusty heap they are actually selling.

Not only was the car in beautiful shape, but it also had been modified in very Those are 14″ Fortran Drag-Is – an extremely rare vintage wheel – especially in a five lug pattern. With five spokes it almost looks like a Magnum 500 rallye wheel, but with a giant lip and small center. Also, check out the center caps with the Crown logo. Nice details all around.good taste. The ride height was turned down nice and low and the wheel selection was perfect.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the owner to learn more about the car and see the engine bay, but I came away very inspired regardless. While I doubt my car will ever be this nice, the vibe was spot-on.While I was in Japan, I also had the chance to do some browsing around for Crown-related collectables to add to add my collection. I thought it would be fun to share my findings with you guys.

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source:  speedhunter.com