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

Mad Max Honda At Speed Ventures

Honda N360 N600 Vintage Mad Max Time Attack Car Streets Of Willow Speed Ventures

Can you guess what kind of car this is? If Mad Max drove a vintage Honda in a time attack series, is this what you would imagine his car to look like?

We were carspotting at the most recent Speed Ventures event at Streets of Willow, and saw this old school Honda with monstrous box flares, front lip spoiler and a huge front bumper. Let’s not forget the big wing up top, and the center mounted driver seat and steering wheel!

It looks something like a classic Honda meets time attack car built by Mad Max meets a dekotora meets Mater from the Pixar film Cars. This thing looks ridiculous, and we LOVE it.

Can you think up a good caption for this photo? The winner gets props and a shout out on our Facebook page and/or Instagram!

 

 

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source: motormavens

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

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

 

 

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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.

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source: fastcar

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

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

2013 NZ 4&ROTARY NATIONALS: VINTAGE TIN

With so many ’70s and ’80s cars on show at last weekend’s ‘V’ 4&Rotary Nationals in New Zealand, it seemed only right that I dedicate a whole post to the old school. And as I mentioned in my first post from the event, I’m going to kick things off with one of my favorites. Although by no means the most modified oldie car at the show, this rotary-converted 616 sedan oozed style reminiscent of a bygone era of Japanese touring car racing. That, and it wouldn’t look one step out of place at the JCCA New Years Meeting either.

I love the detail, right down to the hand-painted black-over-red scheme and retro Castrol livery – especially with its off-white hue. Of course, a super-low ride height and fat SSR MkIII rims have helped the cause as well.

I was a little surprised to find the 616 retro-fitted with a late-model 13B engine and big single turbo conversion, rather than an old school ported naturally aspirated set up. It’s a nice juxtaposition though. This little car certainly isn’t going to be short on power!

Although outwardly complete, it looked like the owner still had a little bit of work to complete inside the car; and perhaps (hopefully) in the same vintage racing vein as the exterior. One thing’s for certain: we definitely need to take a closer look once it’s all done!

The 616 was just of many cool old school cars on show at the Nationals. From show-quality builds…

…in this case a ’74 Mazda RX-3 coupe with a high-powered 20B triple-rotor motor…

…to less-polished creations, like this naturally aspirated skid machine – the show had cars to appease all tastes.

As original Mazda rotary-powered cars from the late ’60s and early-to-mid ’70s have always commanded good money in New Zealand, for a long time Kiwi rotor-heads have looked to other rear-drive Mazda options as a basis for conversion.

In that respect the humble 323 variants of  late ’70s and ’80s vintage are by far the most popular, not to mention simple to convert from four-cylinder to RE power. These cars now make up the basis of a large slice, perhaps even a majority share, of New Zealand’s old school rotary population.

Which in turn has pushed up the price of those cars – especially if they’re in original condition and ripe to be ‘rotor-rized’.

Of course, there are no shortage of genuine cars too, like this rare, right-hand-drive 1976 RX-3 station wagon…

…and this simple but effective ’74 RX-4 coupe.

At the other end of the spectrum is the vintage VW scene. New Zealand’s always been a little behind the eight ball when it comes to modified  – as opposed to faithfully restored – Beetles, Buses and the like. Hopefully this recent Swedish import, a modern-built Pro Stock adaption of ‘Herbie’, might inspire a few people into action though, because it’s seriously cool.

If the body isn’t cool enough the built 2.4L flat four with 910 Autocraft heads and twin Geers Terminator carbs certainly is. You gotta love that exhaust manifold and stinger pipe too! I can’t wait to see this thing run – it’s good for 10s I’ve been told.

Old Fords on the other hand have a good following, mainly thanks to the thousands upon thousands of Cortinas and Escorts that were sold here during the ’60s, 70s and early ’80s.

And the same goes for Toyotas. This track-spec TRD N2-kitted ’84 KP61 Starlet has broken convention with a Beams 3S-GE from a Toyota Altezza instead of a 4A-G.

A work-in-progress that seemed to be attracting a lot of attention was the Pimp Palace Customs ’77 Mazda B1600.

Built over a brand new custom chassis, PPC’s project has some really nice engineering and cool details to boot. Oh, and a mid-mounted Toyota/Lexus 1UZ-FE V8 complete with high-mount Garrett GT42 turbo, and backed up by a Subaru 4WD gearbox that’s been converted to a 2WD transaxle. I really like where this thing is going…

It was good to see this RX-2 finally back together after a five-year hiatus, and looking very purposeful now too. Unfortunately for the team behind the car, there’s now an engine malfunction issue to resolve before we get to see it out on the strip again.

While there are only a handful of genuine EX Turbo Lancers left in New Zealand, there’s no shortage of Grandma-spec machines. That, of course, makes them ripe for tuning. Apart from the obvious external upgrades – namely Work Equip 03 rims and a suspension drop – this particular car features a custom designed and fitted 5-link adjustable rear end, and a shortened-to-suit L200 commercial back axle with LSD. Why?

Because of a built Mitsubishi 4G63 complete with sizeable Garrett turbo now residing under the hood. This old girl should go very well once she’s all finished off!

And so too should this New Zealand-new ’74 Datsun 240K GT – aka C110 ‘Kenmeri Nissan Skyline GT-X.

Although its body styling is subtle, the same can’t be said for the engine room, where you’ll find an RB30 with a Garrett T72 hanging off the side. The blacked-out intercooler up front is a nice sleeper-style touch.

There’s much to like about this ’76 RX3-faced and 13B-powered Mazda 808 wagon too.

First gen RX-7s seemed a bit thin on the ground, but this unique 12A turbo car was one example repping the SA22C chassis well.

The ultimate beach cruiser? It’s hard to beat a low, pastel two-tone painted Beetle!

Back at CJC central I found this very clean SR20DET-powered Datsun 1600 (510). It’s an old chassis/modern repower combo that goes perfectly hand-in-hand don’t you think?

Opposite was this ’80 Toyota Corona which appeared to be rocking its original engine (or one very similar to it), albeit upgraded with a set of four motorcycle carbs. Neat!

For sale in the ‘CJC Jerk Shop’…but not really.

One thing that became apparent as I strolled the 4&Rotary Nationals halls pre-show was the shear number of cool old cars. This segment of New Zealand’s modified car scene definitely seems to be on the up.

The guy behind the event is helping the cause too. Along with a 20B-powered RX-3 coupe, he just got his hands on this tough little 13B turbo-powered street/drag Mazda R100 out of Australia.

This stripped out and ‘caged 2-door Corolla wagon has been on the scene for a while, but it’s still a tough little package centered around a turbo 4A-G.

Big wheels on little old rotaries is an Australian-derived thing, but this R100 pulls off the look well with a set of Work Equips.

On the other hand this rat-styled and rotary-repowered 616 Capella sits perfectly on a set of Australian-made Simmons FRs – another popular wheel upgrade for old school rotaries, especially in their country of origin.

Who wants to see a feature on this immaculate 800hp-at-the-wheels, 8-second, Datsun B110 coupe?

Outside the halls, Mike was showing off his ’83 Chevy Silverado aka BRODZR. The crazy truck was getting a lot of attention…

…as was Taryn from iheartstance‘s super-cool S30 260Z. If you haven’t seen it already, make sure you check out Taryn’s post on showing her car at the event for the first time here.

I think it’s only fitting that I wrap up my coverage from the 2013 ‘V’ 4&Rotary National Show with a few more photos of that ’6B’ RX-4.

Because the crankshafts that make custom three-rotor and four-rotor motor possible are tooled in New Zealand, the local rotary tuning industry has really embraced the technology. In that respect it’s awesome to see the first six-rotor being built by a Kiwi company, and fitted into a street registered car no less.

Whether or not anyone will attempt to go one better by another couple of rotors I’m not sure. Some said this wasn’t possible, so never say never I guess! In the meantime I’m just looking forward to seeing how much power PPRE can extract from this crazy package, and what that will translate to when the RX-4 hits the strip for the first time. On the subject of drag racing, stay tuned for our final wrap-up from the event – day two at the 2013 ‘V’ 4&Rotary Nationals…

Brad.

 

 

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source: speedhunters.com

THE MACHINES OF LEADFOOT

Aside from the spectacular environment it’s built around and the atmosphere abuzz within it, the beauty of the Leadfoot Festival lies with the machinery. I’ve been to a lot of car shows and motorsport events during my lifetime thus far, but when you’re talking sheer diversity, nothing has come close to the event created by Rod Millen.

I’m going to wrap up my coverage with look at just a few of the automotive gems that made this year’s Leadfoot Festival the spectacle it was.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t begin with some the cars from the Millen stable. Aside from Rod’s unfathomably quick Celica which beat out the competition for the third year running, his recently completed RX-3 is right up there in the drool stakes. Built as a modern day interpretation of the car that took him to three consecutive wins of the New Zealand Rally Championship in ’75, ’76 and ’77, the Mazda has an amazing build quality.

It’s also super-quick, with an injected 13B peripheral port engine backed up by a six-speed sequential gearbox. With lashings of carbon fibre and lots of high-end race car technology it might be a far cry from his original car, but all sign-written up in retro livery I think it still perfectly captures its spirit.

With Rod’s son Rhys at the controls, the MillenWorks Tundra made full use of the Ranch’s new off-road detour almost every time it headed out, and why not! The ex-Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) machine was fully designed in CAD and runs a custom designed and built 4WD driveline behind its TRD-built V8 engine.

Filling in for his younger brother Ryan who was unable to attend, Rhys also got behind the wheel of Rod’s SCCA Mazda RX-7 from the ’80s. As the sticker on the driver’s door window proudly announces, this car utilizes a custom 4WD system too.

Rhys had his own car there too: the ex-works Group B Mazda RX-7 that I took a closer look at in this feature last year.

For road legal racers:  in this case a Kiwi-built Fraser Clubman S…

…To rally cars…

…to purpose-built hill climb machines. Steve Murphy’s V8-powered, four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Cordia is a bit of a local legend having won New Zealand’s famed Ashley Forest Rallysprint three times.

Easily one of the most valuable cars at the event was a 1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato. Only 50 of these machines were ever built, and this particular car (chassis #5) is one only of two ever set up for racing.

The road-going Zagato was powered by a 5.3L quad cam V8 good for 440hp and a top speed of 300km/h. With the help of factory-approved RS Martin/Aston Martin 7.0L engine upgrade this one outputs 525hp. I wouldn’t like to guess what the car is worth today, but back in 1989 it changed hands for £450,000 (USD$685,000)…

A little less exotic, but impressive in its own right is the E&H Motors ’09 Subaru Impreza WRX STI back for another Leadfoot Festival with owner/builder Carl Ruiterman behind the wheel. With close to 600whp at the ready and a KAPS sequential gearbox acting as the trigger, it’s a weapon.

The prize for the car most outside of its realm probably needed to go to the #23 DuPont Chevy Monte Carlo. This particular car was raced in the 1998 Winston Cup Series by none other than Jeff Gordon.

This creation parked up in the infield was attracting a whole lot of attention all weekend long, and for good reason. It’s a Bolwell Nagari of which only 118 we factory-built between in the early ’70s ex-Lotus engineer based in Australia.

Borrowing design traits from the Lotus Europa and Elan and Lamborghini’s Miura, the cars were originally powered by 230hp 302ci Windsor V8 engines. This car’s had a bit more work and was re-engineered with a tube frame chassis in the ’80s, and more recently was fitted with stroked 347ci Windsor with  MoTeC-controlled fuel injection.  Considering 430hp finds its way to the rear wheels and the car weighs around 920kg (2030lb), I’m going to hazard a guess here and say that it’s fast…

On the subject of fast, this Ford Escort RS1800 in Group 4 specification and sporting Rothmans livery from the Ari Vatanen era, wasn’t hanging about…

…And the same goes for that rapid little Mini Cooper S I showed you in the first Leadfoot post.

Also quick – in fact quick enough to take home third place overall in the final Top 10 Shoot-Out – was Joe McAndrew driving his 2002 Jedi. ‘Smokin’ Joe is better known in New Zealand for his former exploits in an ex-Prodrive 555 Subaru Legacy rally car, but he drove the pants off the 300kg/180hp single seater for a 52.71-second run up the driveway.

Others didn’t quite make it to the top.

In my mind one of the coolest cars at the event was 1936 Chevy being run by NASCAR crew chief royalty, Ray Evernham. A throwback to the NASCAR modified series of the late ’60s the Chev runs an injected 350ci V8 backed up by four-speed gearbox and a quick-change rear end.

Not the quickest way up the hill, but plenty of points for style were earned here!

Speaking of style, Billy F. Gibbons’ SO-CAL Speed Shop creation, ‘Mexican Blackbird’, absolutely oozes the stuff don’t you think?

Anything painted this shade of orange with the words ‘McLaren Cars’ on its sides commands respect. This one’s a ’72 M22 Formula 5000 machine.

1978 450SL anyone? Chevy V8-powered I believe this Mercedes-Benz was the winner of the ’85 Australian Sports Sedan championship. It definitely looks like it means business!

This ’71 Dodge Daytona is recent build fitted with a genuine genuine 358ci Mopar NASCAR engine. That  goes a long way to explaining why it sounded so sweet!

Another car making all the right noises was this very cool replica of Dale Earnhardt Senior’s short track #8 Chevy Nova driven by former high-ranked American off-road racer Erin Crocker.

Top local driver Emma Gilmour back in the driver’s seat of a very special machine. Built by the late, great Kiwi rally icon Possum Bourne from the Prodrive-built 1998 World Rally Car he once had a works-drive in, the Impreza was de-restricted and modified for hill climb duties in the early ’00s.

Although the power’s been turned down from its ultimate specification, it still had plenty of grunt as Emma proved with one of the quickest times up the driveway during the weekend.

You can’t beat the sound of a BDA engine tuned to perfection, and this new and immaculately presented Escort Mk1 from Neil Allport Motorsport was singing a sweet song whenever it took to the course.

Strangely enough, so was this Renault Dauphine which was most definitely not powered by its original rear-mounted 32hp, 845cc engine..

Opening the side door revealed something just a  little more powerful – namely a 350ci (5.7L) Chevy V8 engine borrowed from a Corvette and mounted in a rear-mid position. That’s more like it!

I have a lot of love for this ex-Trans Am Series (USA) ’69 Camaro Z/28, especially when it’s doing this.

And don’t get me started on Mike Delmont’s ’75 BMW 2002 Turbo which has been in a constant state of development for more than a decade. The last I heard it was throwing down well over 500hp.

A collective gasp came over over the crowd gathered at the second hairpin when Peter Sundberg’s Ferrari F40 ran a little wide on the exit. It was a close one!

It’s hard to believe the F40 design is more than a quarter of a century old – but it is. Like the rest of the car, the 471hp, 2.9L twin turbocharged V8 ‘Tipo F120A’ engine is a thing of beauty.

An F40 and a 458 Challenge – nothing to see here…

This Mk1 Ford Escort RS2000 is a regular at classic race meets, and thanks to a 2.4L build it’s got plenty of power and pace.

It’s pretty cool to think that two genuine Cologne Capris live in New Zealand – this car: an RS2600 version – and a box-flared RS3100 version, which co-incidently is owned by the guy driving the Ferrari 308 GT4/LM in my first Leadfoot post. Like the 3.1L, the 2.6L gets driven the way Ford Germany’s skunkwork motorsport division of the ’70s intended!

Clark Proctor was doing double-duty at Leadfoot behind the wheels of both his Nissan 3.0L twin turbo powered Ford Escort Mk1, and his March 73A Formula 5000 car. The latter took him to second place overall with a 51.60-second best in the Shoot-Out.

But no one beat Rod who made it look effortless in his legendary Pikes Peak Toyota Celica. 50.92 is the time to beat in 2014…

…But I get the feeling that this man isn’t going to give up his title without a fight. If you’re in New Zealand in late March next year, do yourself a favor and get to this event.

Brad.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bryn Musselwhite

 

Engine

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

Transmission

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

Suspension

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

Brakes

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

Wheels & Tyres

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

Bodywork

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

Interior

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

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

Thanks

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

SPOTLIGHT-O-RAMA: AN ALL AMERICAN SELECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Mike

 

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source: speedhunters.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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source: speedhunters.com

PASSION & PRECISION: TAMIYA HEAVEN IN TOKYO

For those that love cars, it’s hard to think of a more exciting place to visit in Japan. The events are fantastic, the shops will blow your mind, and even just being out on the street watching cars can be an amazing experience. While the country’s love for the automobile is quite well known, the Japanese have an equally strong passion for their smaller scale hobbies.Whether it’s those strange anime figurines, old video games, comic books, or anything else – Japan just might be the most hobby-obsessed nation in the world. Often this passion for hobbies crosses over with the love for automobiles and the result is one of the world’s greatest diecast, model, and RC scenes. Many of these Japanese-branded products are known and loved by hobbyists throughout the world.So for many hobbyists, visiting Japan is stepping on to the home turf of their favorite brands. Of these brands, few are more well known or more respected than Tamiya. The company has been around since 1946 and its familiar twin star logo is known by model builders and radio control fans across the planet.That brings me to the Tamiya Plamodel Factory, located in the Shinbashi district of Tokyo. It opened up a couple years ago, and I had the chance to visit for the first time last month.While Tokyo is full of amazing hobby shops, the Plamodel Factory is unique in that it’s an actual retail store that offers the entire line of Tamiya products. Spread among the Plamodel Factory’s three floors you’ll find over 4,000 different Tamiya items for sale.Upon walking in the front door, the first thing I noticed was just how large the place was. Unlike a lot of stores in Japan that can be rather cramped, there was plenty of space here to relax and get a good look at everything. I was also surprised at how nicely everything was presented. Some of this can be attributed to the newness I’m sure, but it had to be the most fashionable hobby shop I’ve ever seen.The first floor of the store is dedicated to plastic models – not just cars but motorcycles, aircraft and ships as well.This isn’t Planehunters , but I think I speak for many Speedhunters readers when I say have a strong interest in aircraft and military history. I’m sure this comes from the same place in my brain as the passion for automobiles.There’s definitley something cool about seeing highly detailed Warbird replicas sitting right alongside the cars we know and love. It’s almost like a miniature version of Goodwood!Ah yes, but back to the cars now…As I said a moment ago, the shelves are well stocked here. If it’s a car and currently produced by Tamiya, you’ll find it at the Plamodel Factory.If you are a model builder or have an interest in Japanese cars, you’ve probably had an experience with a Tamiya kit sometime in your life. Seeing these older models displayed brought back a lot of memories for me.

It’s cool, for example, to see a model of the original Zenki Nissan 180SX – a kit which I believe came out at the same time the actual car did back in the late ’80s.

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source : speedhunters.com

Hellaflush Jakarta, Day

After a year of false starts, venues falling through and dealing with the floods here in Jakarta we finally had the show…
It was worth the wait.
The morning started off with a heavy tropical rain but it cleared as soon as the cars started showing up. Because there were only 100 spots in the show we had to pre-inspect the cars so I had seen most of them before but so many of the cars had changed wheels, stance, and in some cases even paint, it was like seeing a whole new group of rides.
We also had up to 250 cars at a time in the free club parking section with clubs rotating through at different times it was a constant stream of fresh rides coming through. Because we had to keep a traffic lane open for the restaurants it became a way for clubs to cruise by the main part of the show giving the whole scene that “American Graffiti” feel especially after the sun went down.

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source: fatlace.com