12th Nov2014

The Custom Touch: Time Attack Integra GSR

by Michael Chandler

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

What you see here is something we can all get behind.  Literally and figuratively.  This is an Integra GSR that has, to say the least, a lot of work done.  To say the most it’s had the custom touch applied to almost everything.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-15

We met Rhett at Miller Motorsports Park at a NASA event about a year ago.  He was there campaigning his GSR in  Time Trial.  We really dug the car, and Rhett.  He’s a humble, down to Earth guy.  We chatted with him for a little bit, then he loaded up the car and disappeared back to Idaho.  For a while.  We honestly thought he had disappeared  and was gone forever.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and he and the car reappeared .

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In his absence from the track he did some work.  Some very custom work to the front end especially.   He didn’t really like any of the aftermarket bumpers on the market, but he liked some aspects of them.  So, he bought one and cut it apart.  He liked the Voltex bumper for the Lancer Evolution, so he grabbed some cans of spray foam and got to spraying.  He cut and trimmed, and shaped and formed, and he had a mold for a bumper.  But then he decided he didn’t like it, and started looking at cars closer to his Integra.  Specifically the Honda S2000, because both are long hood vehicles, as opposed to the stubby hooded Evo.  Out came the knife and the spray foam and, after filling the garage with foam shavings, he had the foam cored Carbon Fiber bumper you see before you.  It’s so strong you can stand on the inlet and only have to worry about scratching the finish. The canards are are also one off pieces, made by vacuum infusing utilizing carbon fiber with foam cores.

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Continuing the one off theme, the hood is also something Rhett and company fabricated.  No, he didn’t just cut a hole in the hood and slap on a set of DMax vents.  It’s vacuum infused carbon fiber with a foam core.  The fenders have been heavily modified with a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass around foam cores.  The roof is also vacuum infused carbon fiber around a foam core.  Even the APR GTC 200 wing sits atop custom chassis mounted stands.  The only exterior parts that aren’t custom are the Pro Car Innovations side skirts, rear bumper and doors.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

The interior hasn’t received nearly as many custom touches as the exterior, but it does have some nice touches like the carbon fiber panel with Carlyle rocker switches.  Cobra Sebring Pro seats replace the factory chairs, with Crow five point harnesses holding the occupants in place.  A Tuner View II display has been custom mounted, and JDM arm rest and airbag deletes installed.  Gear changes are initiated with a Hybrid Racing adjustable shifter, and directional changes are made with a 330mm MOMO steering wheel on an NRG quick release.  And since he runs in NASA sanctioned events, and not some fly by night series, he has a 6 point certified roll cage.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-13

Rhett campaigns the Unlimited class, where his competition includes an R35 GTR and an Audi R8 LMS.  He couldn’t just roll out there with crazy aero and nothing more than an exhaust, so he got to work on making the B18C1 mill ready to handle the stout competition.  The block itself is stock and retains the OEM 81mm bore, but the pistons and rods have been tossed in favor of Wiseco Race shaped and prepped pistons atop Eagle rods.  ACL race bearings keep things spinning in an orderly manner.  The cylinder head has received plenty of love as well.  It’s been ported, polished and bowl matched and lovingly stuffed with GSC T1 camshafts and Supertech HD valve springs and retainers.

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Up top there’s a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold with a 70mm Pro Series throttle body bringing in the air.  A Skunk2 composite fuel rail sends fuel to a quartet (…four) Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors.  A 6 port B&R breather box keeps the air out of the oil, before sending it through the custom thermostatic oil cooler setup.  The cooler itself is almost the size of a stock Civic radiator! The 1.8 liter VTEC mill is held in place with Hasport billet mounts with 94a durometer inserts, and Avid billet torque mounts

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All of that oil cooling is necessary because there is a Turbo By Garrett GT3071 turbocharger hanging off of a LoveFab Mini EQ manifold. The manifold has been wrapped and the turbo itself sits under a blanket, both are from DEI. That hairdryer gets it’s fresh air from a custom, carbon fiber ram air air box and massive four inch piping.   Since this isn’t some old turbo Colt, there’s an intercooler.  A big one.  A big, custom dual back door piece.  The excess pressurized air is releived via a Synapse blow off valve.  Because of the increased thermal load, there has to be a big, custom radiator.  The spent air, after exiting the turbo, leaves the car through a custom three inch V-Band exhaust with a five inch, round, Magnaflow muffler.  Other custom parts include a custom electric power steering, and water pump system.  There’s also a custom transmission cooler and pump set up.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

Which is good, because there’s an Elite/Gear X Transmission straight-cut 1-5 dog box that needs to be kept cool.  Shoved in that transmission is an OS Giken 1 way plate differential, which sends power to Drive Shaft Shop 3.9 axles and hubs.  Massive StopTech four piston calipers clamp down on 12.9 inch rotors.  There are bronze and spherical bearings all over the car from Password:JDM, Pro Car Innovations and Special Motorsports Projects.

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-16

Password:JDM also provided the rear camber and lower control arms, and Hard Race provides front camber A arms.  There are Eibach Multi Pro R2 coilovers at all four corners, because adjust-ability is crucial when you’re chasing fractions of a second.  An ASR subframe brace  and Integra Type-R rear sway bar are, well, in the rear. Rhett has two sets of wheels for the car, and three sets of tires.  Variety is the spice of life, and being well prepared for most situations is pretty awesome.  Depending on the day the car is either on a set of 17×9 Rota Grids, or 17×9.75 XXR 527s.  His choices for rubber are 235/40 Toyo R888s, 225/40 Hoosier R6s, and finally 255/40 Hankook RS3s.

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As we were shooting the photos, Rhett told me his car was invited to compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and also have a spot in the SEMA show.  This was an awesome thing to hear, and really cool to see his car at the show and roll out.  How did Rhett do? Well, much like the day we shot the car he was having issues.  The fuel pump went out, so a stock one had to be used.  This meant 30% throttle, no more than 6500rpm, and no VTEC.  Suddenly becoming the lowest horsepower vehicle sounds like it would have been a disaster, but Rhett managed to finish twenty-eighth out of  ninety-two competitors.  Not too bad for something built in a garage in Idaho.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

 

30th Oct2014

2 + 2 = 260: A Rare S30 Variant Gets The Spotlight

by Michael Chandler

Datsun 260Z 2+2 feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

The S30 chassis Datsuns are some of the most gorgeous cars to ever be shipped off of the islands of Japan.  The curves and swoops of the coupes will forever remain a pinnacle of automotive design.  But something you might not know is that all S30s aren’t coupes.  Between 1974 and 1978  they built 2+2’s: longer 260zs (163 inch length and 90.6 in wheel base for the coupes vs. 175 and 102.5 for the 2+2s) with room for two more passengers!

Datsun 260Z 2+2 feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8

And they’re rare too, while Nissan built them between 1974 and 1978, they were only available in the US as 1974 models.  Of the 49,671 260Zs sent to America, only 9,499 were the 2+2 variant.  And only one of those 9.499 belong to one Mr. Taigon J. Rider.

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The 260Zs had larger engines than the previous 240Z, but didn’t make that much more power due to restrictive emissions equipment and retarded timing.  So Taigon stripped all of those pesky emissions things off of the L26, and set the timing to an appropriate mark.  While he was stripping things, he was also adding things: like an entirely straight piped exhaust and a wrapped header.  On the other side, the intake side, he traded up to a pair of SU Roundtop carburetors topped off by MSA air trumpets.   He also addressed the forty year old ignition system.  He installed a Crane Cams Fireball XR700 electronic ignition, along with an MSD Blaster 2 ignition coil and a sextet of NGK spark plugs.  Most of the afore mentioned modifications aren’t visible unless the hood is up, but one thing is: the Hayden Cooling Systems oil cooler.  That oil cooler is a convenient segue to the exterior of the car.

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Which is utterly striking.  The deep, rich blue paint accentuates the curves inherent to all of the S30s.  The blue is contrasted by the white custom front grille and Roberk fender mirrors.  Below the grill is a Xenon urethane air dam to accentuate the car’s strong jaw line.  And the flares!  The massive MSA flares on each fender not only add to the aura of the Datsun, but are also necessary.  Underneath them sit massive 15×10 -40 American Racing Eagle Alloy 028 wheels, with 195/60 Falken Ziex ZE612 tires stretched over their massive width.

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Inside the different cabin are a pair of racing seats: a Corbeau TRS seat for the passenger and a mystery seat for Taigon.  No matter the seat, the occupant is held securely in place by Takata harnesses.  The driver grips a MOMO Competition steering wheel for most things, and a OEM “Z” shift knob to change gears.

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A rare variant of a classic chassis has been turned into something more unique, by a man with a unique name and Instagram handle: @taigonrider

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
26th Sep2014

It’s Spelled With An “E”: 2013 Jetta SportWagen

by Michael Chandler

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (6 of 10)

 

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

Remember Nik?  You know, he had the slammed xB we featured years ago, did some questionably legal things in Japan in his Skyline?  Writes for StanceNation?  If you remember him, and wondered what he’s been up to car-wise, here it is.  If you don’t then let me introduce you to Nik Preusser: he writes for StanceNation, is in the Air Force, is a family man, and owns this very nice 2013 Jetta SportWagen.

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (1 of 10)

Before we talk about the wheels or the suspension, let’s talk about how the JSW came to be in his possession.  It was a Mother’s Day surprise for his wife, and that took some doing.  After she pointed out the JSW as a viable option to their current Subaru Forester, he began researching the People’s Car and liked what he found: Mk6 body on a Mk5 chassis, plentiful aftermarket support, and one of the most reliable VW motors on the market (the 2.5L I5).  He was sold.  She was very eager to trade in the Fozzy, but he told her they needed to wait until it was paid off.  Little did she know that he had already started the paperwork to trade the Subaru in for the Jetta.  Problem is he had to wait for the car, because gray 2.5L manual wagens aren’t the most plentiful things on VW dealer’s lots.  The car arrived and Nik cooked up a solid enough story to get her to the dealership.  “I made up some bs story about how we were going to buy a Radio Flyer Wagon for our son from a guy who worked at the VW dealer.” It worked, because she walked into the showroom and saw the wagen with a giant bow on it and a humongous card that read “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (2 of 10)

And then he started piling on the parts.  Most notably in the suspension, where bags replaced the usual coil springs and OEM struts.  A healthy combination of Accuair and AirLift parts adorn the wagon now.  Accuair comes in with their E-Level Air Management components, including: their ECU and updated ride height sensors.  Also from Accuair is their VU4 manifold and iLevel iPhone controller setup, which he enjoys and will show to people who ask nicely.  A pair of 444C compressors fill the AirLift five gallon tank.  It’s AirLift on all four corners, with steel braided leader lines, Performance series struts up front and SLAM series in the back.  Also in the rear is a double bellow setup and shortened sway bar end-links, both from AirLift, and Innovative Design & Fabrication rear upper control arms.  All of that can be boiled down to “It’s on bags, he can control it with his phone, and it gets stupid low”, but hypothetically if you wanted to replicate similar lows you now have an idea of what to use.

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (7 of 10)

Underneath the hatch sits his polished up tank, upon which he displays his love for his BFAMs in 20801.  The tank was actually buried underneath all the stuff a dad with a wagon has shoved back there: stroller, bags, toys, various car care materials (he’s had a series of slammed cars, it would be weird if there wasn’t a bottle of tire shine somewhere in the car).

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (8 of 10)

Providing some noise other than the compressors… compressing, and a modest power gain, is an AWE Tuning Track Edition performance exhaust.  He does plan on adding some other go fast parts, but those will come at a later date and we will definitely be telling you about them.  Why? Because it’s exciting!

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As you can tell, this is a pretty light article, which is why I sent him a few random questions along with my request for a modification list.  Here are a few of the more choice questions and answers:

How has air made a difference in your life? Have your kidneys sent you a thank you note?

Yes, and yes. I don’t miss the days of driving a static xB with a 1/4” frame clearance at all. Static fanbois–you can keep them, I’ll be a daily bag-rider for the rest of my life.

If you could, how many kei cars would you import? Be honest

All of them.

Seriously though, give me a newer turbo Suzuki WagonR on bags and a turbo Suzuki Alto Works set up for canyon runs, and I’d be happy with that pair.

Would you ever import something period?

I have run it by the wife a few times, and it’s a future plan of mine. I’d like to import something like a Suzuki Alto Works or even eventually a Toyota JZX90 or JZX100 Chaser.

Why a Jetta Sport Wagen and not something bigger, or up market (Audi, or whatever)?

I wanted something that would look good slammed and could fit the family… SUVs are nice, but tend to look awkward laid out on bags. Also, Price point was important with the wife coming home to stay home with the kids for a few years, and still having the bagged xB at the time. I would love a newer Audi wagon, but… I’m in the military, and it doesn’t pay THAT well.. they cost twice what I paid for the JSW. I wanted something with cheaper payments so I could afford to mod it properly and still have money for my other expensive hobbies (photography, snowboarding, and burning $100 bills).

How many people have seriously called your Works fake?

They have never been called the word “fake”, but I have had a good number of people call them “BBS LM replicas”. Replica wheels are all fine and dandy, I used to rock them… but when you spend the money on a set of real wheels, you don’t want to be understated like that. I’m kind of a wheel snob now, Sweet baby Jesus came down from the heavens and told me that replica wheels make him cry, so I’m not going to argue with him!

Jetta Sport Wagen CAMautoMag Michael Chandler 2014 (9 of 10)

Yup, those are real Work VS-XXs.  No eBay “BBS LM replicas”, the real McCoy.  He’s running a staggered setup with 18×8+38 in the front and 18×9 +40 in the rear, with Achilles Radial ATR covering all four of them.  The rubber measures in at 205/35 in the front and 215/35 in the rear.  His winter wheels are a bit more pedestrian, if you think his current setup is too bourgeoisie: 18″ Mercedes-Benz S550 wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Blizzak tires

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Usually I’d use this space to wrap up the story I have crafted for the article.  But I haven’t created a story for this article… Well, I’ll let Nik thank some people and we’ll call it an article:

Anyone you’d like to thank/shout out/mention?

I’d like to thank my wife for her ever-growing patience for me and my car habit & for having impeccable taste in cars and wheels. I’d like to shout out to my BFAM (brothers from another mother) in the Lowered Elite (and 20801). I would also like to thank all of my sponsors… oh wait, I don’t have any.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
28th Aug2014

Gumball WRS: A Study In Cool

by Michael Chandler

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (2 of 25)

What makes a cool car?  I heard someone say that “the scene” considers a car cool if it’s lowered and has wheels on it.  Others think cool is a full on race build, with street legality and budgets thrown in the trash with the stock struts.  And others think if it isn’t adorned with the rarest of the rare it’s a waste of time.  And it has to be daily driven, or else why build it? David Arellano’s 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS is low, and on a rare set of wheels.  It has the heart of a WRX, and enough power to embarrass some people’s dedicated track day toy.  And it sees regular street duty.  If this isn’t cool, then I don’t know what is anymore.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 25)

The search for his “Gumball” began three years ago.  While biting into a sandwich, he was bitten by the urge to spend a large amount of money on a car.  After mulling over such reliable, and easily modified chassis such as FD RX-7s and twin turbo 300ZXs, David finally settled on the mildly rare 2.5RS coupe.  After looking at two other coupes he finally found the 2000 coupe you see here sitting in the corner of a shop.  The shop was in the process of building the car, and swapping in a 2.0L WRX motor.  With the promise of “prototype” coilovers, David was sold.  After some hemming and hawing by the shop, they finally dropped it off in David’s driveway.  No coilovers, but some blown struts and what would turn out to be a mismatched transmission and rear differential were in the car (which eventually failed), but so was that lovely WRX motor.  Soon after arriving in his driveway, David got to work making this car his own.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 25)

First things to go were the US spec lights.  David made a call to Japan and had some OEM clear corner markers and red/clear tail lights sent over, along with some Chargespeed clear bumper markers and clear signal lenses.  With the scourge that is amber lighting removed and banished to the land of wind and ghosts, it was time to address some other visual cues.  After running through a Bugeye WRX lip, and a Bakemono replica of a JDM V5/6 STi lip, David finally settled on something that is no longer in production: Orciari 1 piece front lip.  Sitting above the Italian made lip, are his OEM fog lights which were hiding behind the OEM fog light covers.  Out back there’s a purple Rallytech tow hook, and a set of Honda Accord spats.  According to David they were easier to install than his OEM JDM spats, and they look better.  He’s also sporting rolled and pulled fenders, because low car problems (the tires were munching the fenders before the rolling and the pulling) and also because wheel whore.

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I use that last term lightly.  Having a garage full of Rotas and other OEM whatever make you drive wheels, makes you a wheel street walking hooker.  Having the stuff David has had makes you a wheel high class escort.  The streets aren’t littered with Volk CE28Ns or Work Emotion 11Rs, and coming across a set of Volk C-Ultras isn’t as easy as walking to the store.  He’s had the CE28Ns and the Works, and the C-Ultras are being repaired (they were in pretty rough shape) and custom center caps are being designed.  Enough about the past and the future, let’s talk about the present.  Specifically these 17×9 +38 Desmond Regamaster Marquis Promadas.  An exceedingly rare, Russian made wheel.  Normally you see Regamasters on Hondas, and while that’s not terribly unusual (but still cool, so if you’re doing that keep doing that) seeing them on a Subaru is VERY different.  Wrapped around the wheels are a set of Achillies ATR Sport tires, measuring in at 205/40.  Also of note, he’s running some adapters to make the wheels work.  They’re 15mm 5×100-5×114, and they’re made by a local company called Grapple Parts.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (4 of 25)

To achieve his stance David had to not only throw on coilovers, but things that allow him to make suspension adjustments.  The coilovers are BC Racing BR series coilovers with camber plates fore and aft.  For more camber adjustment, he is employing OEM camber bolts up front, and Eibach’s in the rear.  Joining the OEM camber bolts in the front is an OEM WRX swaybar, while an STi sway bar joins the party in the rear.  Also back there are some Cobb end links.  Back to the front, and in the engine bay, is a Cusco Type ST strut tower bar.  And speaking of the engine bay…

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (19 of 25)

Here it is, in all its glory!  There is the afore mentioned WRX swap, which came from a 2004 WRX.  No longer is the wrong transmission behind the motor, a 2006 WRX transmission has taken its rightful place on the back end of the motor.  Between the motor and transmission rests an Exedy light weight fly wheel, and stage 1 clutch.  For enhanced shifting pleasure there are Kartboy shifter bushings, and a stainless steel clutch cable has been installed.  Holding the transmission is a STi Group N mount.  Rigged Performance performed an internal stub axle conversion and a 2001 2.5RS 4.11 final drive conversion to pair with the 2001 2.5RS viscous limited slip differential.  Bracing that rear differential is a Laile Beatrush rear differential brace.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (16 of 25)

The motor has been hepped up on goof balls accentuated by digging through the massive Subaru parts bin, and picking up quality aftermarket pieces.  The OEM supplied parts are a VF39 turbocharger, top mount intercooler, and 565CC fuel injectors all from an STi.  The aftermarket bits are a K&N Typhoon intake, a no name one piece header and up pipe, an Invidia Bellmouth downpipe, and a Cobb cat back exhaust.  There’s also a Hallman Pro manual boost controller, which helped Jason Cleverly of Cleverly Tuned tune the car to make 286 horsepower and 240lb/ft of torque at 18psi of boost. Prettying up the bay are a Cusco turbo heat shield, Rallytech fuse box cover and radiator shroud, and a Beatrush alternator shroud.  The engine bay has been semi-wire tucked, and the battery is now in the trunk.  The coolant reservoir is now hiding in the fender and the A/C has been ditched all together.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (15 of 25)

The interior has also received its share of JDM goodies.  JDM STi pedals and Type-RA front seats have been installed, along with a Nardi Torino steering wheel, Splash steering wheel hub and Omori boost gauge.  The Beatrush Duracon shift knob sits on a stock length shifter, which has a Zealous Interiors blue suede shift boot with cherry blossom red stitching.  The shift boot matches the emergency brake boot.  Black WRX carpet and STi floor mats have come to rest at the bottom of the passenger cabin, and the door panels have been recovered in blue suede.  All the lighting is LED, and tunes come courtesy of an Alpine deck, which has an ipod cable weaving out of sight through the center console.

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Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart is famously quoted as saying “I know it when I see it” in regard to hardcore pornography.  Cool is definitely subjective, but when you see it, you definitely know it.  Will there be a unanimous consensus on what is cool in the automotive world?  Probably not, but if there is ever an argument to be made for it, I shall submit David’s Impreza as my exhibit A.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

14th Aug2014

Grocery Getter

by Michael Chandler

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (10 of 12)

“Bags Are For Groceries” read a sticker on a 2.5RS I saw at a meet once. That particular Impreza was lowered on coilovers, which for the uninitiated means he was static.  And while the debate of bags versus coilovers will most certainly rage on for a while, the sticker’s sentiment isn’t entirely true. Bags aren’t just for groceries, they’re for grocery getters too. Grocery getters like Jenny Nielson’s Forester XT.

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This isn’t her first foray into the wonderful world of Subaru modification. She used to own a hawkeye WRX, which wasn’t too shabby. And it wasn’t her boyfriend’s car, which is often the case whenever a woman gets out of any nice or modified vehicle. The hawkeye was hers, as is the Fozzy. And this thing has come a ways.

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 12)

As we’ve all seen, Foresters are tall. Tall enough to be classified as SUVs for insurance and marketing purposes. This is a problem for a gal who has a license plate surround that says “Stance Will Make Him Dance”. So it had to go lower. A lot lower. First came some Raceland coilovers, which for the purposes of dumping something are pretty fantastic; however, those were not to last. Nor were the wheels. First were a set of XXRs. Then those gave way to a set of Rotiform Nues. Finally she has settled on a set of STRs. The current setup measures 18×10 with a +25 offset all around. That’s a bit of wheel.

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (9 of 12)
Back to the suspension. And the whole “bag” thing. If you haven’t figured it out yet, she bagged her once static Forester. Airlift was contacted and suddenly eventually the car was sporting Autopilot V2 digital bags. Stance achieved, right? Technically yes, but she wasn’t quite done.

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (11 of 12)

Before the Rotiforms, and after the Racelands she got to work adding a little bit of power and noise to the car.  Breathing is helped by an SPT intake, an Invidia catless downpipe, and a Blitz Nur Spec exhaust. A Go Fast Bits blow off valve relieves excess intake pressure, while making fun noises.  And because it’s a turbocharged Subaru it’s totally got an Accessport and a Stage 2 tune.  It’s just a rule of life.

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 12)

The Regal Blue Pearl (a factory color by the way) looks lovely on any Forester. It looks more lovely one this one because she’s spruced it up a bit. There’s the factory spoiler which wasn’t there when she picked up the car. There are the 04/05 taillights which have been fitted. And most noticeably, there is the 2008 sport bumper and lip on the front of the car which help separate it from the pack.
Then there are the little details, like the headlights. The housings have been painted black, and the amber reflectors have been removed. The lights themselves were replaced with 8000K HIDs, and all of the windows are sporting 20% tint.

Grocery Getter Subaru Forester Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (12 of 12)

Also, there’s a child’s seat in the back seat.  This is for two reasons: #1 she has a kid (it would be weird if she didn’t have a kid, but still had the seat) and #2 this is her daily driver.  She takes it to all the fun places! The gym, work, the gym, and finally the store.  Where she gets groceries, and puts them in her grocery getter.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

 

15th Aug2013

Track Car in the Making: Tommy’s WRX

by Trent

Track Car in the Making“Race car” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. Most people start with the motor and then ask the questions later of why they went off course while understeering through a turn. It’s not always about power. Case in point is some of our past feature cars that race regularly and aren’t surpassing 600whp or even 300whp. But the right combination of parts can make a worthy contender.

WRX splitter and canardsTommy brought his Bugeye home one day with the sole intention of making it a streetable race car. It needed to take him to and from the track, but allow him to have fun once he got there. If you couldn’t tell from the first paragraph, he’s largely left the motor alone to make it reliable. Even his future plans are simple and comprised mostly of OEM parts. The only additional power-adders are an HKS Hi-Power Exhaust and custom catted down pipe. Most of the attention was turned to aerodynamics and suspension.

tommywrx-2Now if you ask what Tommy’s favorite part of the car is, he’ll be torn between the broadway mirror(to see those he just passed) or the Voltex rear wing. This was something he was looking forward to for some time. It stands tall to get some clean air as he heads into the high-speed sweepers at Miller Motorsports Park. Helping with the downforce up front is a set of FUNKtion Aero canards and front splitter underneath a Prodrive front lip. Clearing the air from underneath the car is a Voltex-replica rear diffuser.tommywrx-3 As the car gets forced down, it sticks to the line with a set of Enkei RPF1 17″ wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Tires are part of the equation, but the suspension is handled by BC Racing BR coilovers and seemingly pointing at the Whiteline catalog and saying “I’ll take all of it”. This was actually planned out more thoroughly than that as his main sponsor Nip N’Tuck Performance went over what he needed. This includes a set of Whiteline Sway Bars front and rear, Whiteline Anti-Lift Race kit, and Whiteline endlinks. tommywrxThe interior is kept functional with a Momo steering wheel, Sparco Pro2000 seat and Takata harness, Autopower 6-point roll cage, and stripped out rear seats and sound deadening. Stopping is currently relegated to Hawk HPS brake pads, but will soon be upgraded. Putting together this car has made it solid on the few shakedown runs he’s made with the car. It will really be tested this upcoming month as he begins his NASA High Performance Driving Events to get a race license. Look for this car in our track coverage soon.

Race WRX panning

Tommy would like to thank:

Dustin for the friendship, sponsorship, and work on the car.

Jason for the long-term friendship, helpful tips and suggestions.

Adam for the advice and recommendations on suspension setup.

Words and Photos by Trent Bray

13th Jun2013

Mk IV Supra: Upgrade!

by Michael Chandler

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag cover Michael Chandler

When last we met with Nick Long, he was surprising anyone willing to take a run at his turbo Cobalt SS.  Since then, he’s made a slight upgrade to his garage.

 

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

He picked up a 1997 15th Anniversary Limited Edition twin turbo Supra after selling his Cobalt.  The Cobalt was cool, but this Supra is a thing of legend.  It’s the car people aspire to own, and Nick finally got his…  Then sent it off to get some work done.

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The car got a full detail, a nice 4 inch straight pipe exhaust and a few under-hood “accessories”

 

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A Precision T78 turbo sits in place of the factory twin turbos, with a K&N filter keeping the nasty stuff that could get sucked in to it or the motor out.  Custom piping feeds the charged air into a custom front mount, and then in to a factory throttle body and manifold.  A Greddy boost controller keeps the pressure at 22psi, which is a nice number but meaningless without proper fueling…

MkIV Toyota Supra CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

Which is provided by a pair of Walbro fuel pumps and kept in check with an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator.  These few parts, and some careful tuning, yields 610 horsepower at the wheels, and 588 lb/ft of torque.  610whp on an internally stock motor.  The stoutness of the 2JZ is one of the reasons why people are still clamoring for these cars fifteen years after American importation stopped.

 

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That, and because it is still a gorgeous car in factory trim.  This isn’t factory.  It’s been lowered two inches, had a set of BBS wheels fitted and has a VIS carbon fiber hood in place of the stock metal hood.  No crazy bumpers, fenders, graphics, wings.  Nothing to distract from the classic JDM lines.

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Except maybe a little tire smoke…

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

 

 

 

 

 

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30th May2013

Road Race Motorsports Lancer GTS Turbo

by Michael Chandler

RRM Lancer-8

These are some old photos.  Really old.  Two years to be exact.  We traveled to California to shoot photos of this and a Nissan Cube show car.  These didn’t see the light of day because, well, we had no idea what was done to the car beyond what we could see.  Our contact had something suddenly come up at the last minute, and wasn’t around for the shoot.

RRM Lancer-1

See, what used to happen was while one of us was shooting photos or video, the other was talking to the owner and getting a mod list or making arrangements to have one emailed to us.  Since our guy wasn’t available, we had nothing.  However, we did have some basic information on this Lancer GTS and the endless power of the internet.  Here’s what we’ve come up with

RRM Lancer-5

First, it’s turbocharged.  Road Race Motorsports developed a turbokit for the n/a front wheel driver Lancer GTS which is based around a 16g/GT3 snail.  Between that hair dryer, the front mount, Tial wastegate and other bits add up to 100hp over stock!

RRM Lancer-4

CarbonTrix provided a lot of carbon fiber parts: fuse box cover, radiator block off plate, hood, front and rear lips, grill, the Evo Extreme hood, the trunk lip spoiler and rear diffuser.  The fit and finish of these parts was top notch.

RRM Lancer-2

With the added power, the car needed to be able to haul itself to a stop and be able to turn properly.  So a Rotora six pot big brake kit has been installed, and sits behind a set of BBS wheels.  Brake cooling ducts keep the brakes at a safe temperature, and a strut tower bar in the front helps the Tein coliovers to do their job of letting this Lancer carve some corners.

RRM Lancer-3

The car was/is sporting a center exit exhaust.  It fit well within the diffuser.

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Inside there are a pair of Aero Design carbon/kevlar seats, Sparco harnesses, and a harness bar/rear roll cage.

Is this story over due?  Very much so.  Was it worth waiting to have as much correct information as possible?  Also yes.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
29th Apr2013

RaceCo Nissan GT-R

by Michael Chandler

Raceco GTR Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Things change. Everything changes at some point. Mountains rise and erode away, civilizations are built and crumble, companies and people build cars and sell them. This Nissan GTR already had a full life before it came to RaceCo, and was transformed into the opus you see before you.

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The car was previously owned by Cobb Tuning, and eventually became a car they campaigned in the Redline Time Attack series. Unfortunately Redline folded and Cobb had a race car with nothing to race in. So they sold it to someone who brought it to RaceCo for some adjustments, and for a while it wore the livery it had at Cobb. At the end of last season that all changed.

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Visually the car has changed quite a bit. It was wearing the white and blue of Cobb Tuning, but now it is covered, thanks to Envision Wraps, in the primal primary colors: red, black and white. These colors elicit deep reactions from those who see them.

Carbon Fiber widebody GTR

The old fiberglass front end has been replaced with an AIT carbon fiber widebody, while the AIT fiberglass widebody rear end and sideskirts remain the same. RaceCo made some floating mounts for the front splitter, along rear diffuser strakes and skid plates for the splitter and side skirts. Other custom pieces include a flat floor, floor exit exhaust on the rear diffuser and front and rear Lexan windshields.

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Not everything can be custom made, so some off the shelf pieces were fitted: an XPR air jack system, an Aeromotions R2 static rear wing, APR carbon fiber mirrors, Aerocatch hood pins, and JDM front clear side markers and a Moonface front tow hook round out the off the shelf pieces on the exterior of the R35.

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Inside the cabin it’s all business. Aside from the automatic gear shifter that is. You have to climb over the custom roll cage before you can squeeze into the RaceTech 4009HR seat. A Schroth Hans six point harness holds you in the seat as you grip a Sparco steering wheel on a custom quick release. A Moty lightweight battery provides power, and a fire suppression system makes sure you don’t burn to a crisp. A MoTec ADL3 data system with a custom RaceCo wire harness and carbon fiber switch panel gathers information and provides easy access to all the necessary controls.

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Getting out is a matter of pulling on the custom door pull, un-doing the harness, taking of the wheel and climbing back over the roll cage.

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The car sits on CCW C10 wheels, 18×13 at all corners covered in equally large 310/710/18 Michelin S9H slicks.

Nissan GTR race car

Behind the custom CCWs sit Performance Racing rotors with Pagid RS29 brake pads, front and rear, and AP Racing J hooks. RaceCo fabbed up some stainless steel brake lines for the front while some Goodridge stainless brake lines are in the rear. The fluid of choice that allows the car to be hauled to a stop is SRF Racing brake fluid.

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The car sits nicely upon its JRZ triple adjustable coilovers and Hypercoil springs. MODE racing front and rear sway bars tie the sides of the car together. This WAS a Cobb car, and that car wasn’t too bad so a lot of the parts from its past are still there. Parts like the adjustable rear end links, prototype adjustable rear camber links and toe links.

GTR on air jacks

This properly set up suspension is complimented by the OS Giken differentials in the front and rear housings. The rear differential doesn’t see nearly as much airflow as the front so it gets a custom cooling system with a Mocal oil pump and air to air cooler. Both of the differentials are filled with OS-250R 80W-250 gear oil.

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The Cobb parts don’t end with the suspension. Cobb 3.5” intakes, ceramic coated downpipes, cat-less Y pipe and race exhaust, XLE bypass valves and secondary oil cooler kit are still on there. As is the AccessPORT that has been tuned on E85 and Speed Density by Tim Bailey of Cobb Tuning.

Nissan GTR R35 rolling

The engine is still the familiar VR38DETT, but things on both the inside and outside have changed. The stock turbos have been ditched in favor of Garret 2871’s with upgraded wastegate acutators. Dual Walbro in-tank fuel pumps send fuel to a pair of AMS fuel rails and on through a set of Injector Dynamics 2000cc fuel injectors. In between there and here is a custom surge tank with two Bosch 044 fuel pumps on it.

In the motor itself are forged rods and pistons, six HKS spark plugs, Motul oil and coolant. That coolant also flows through a Koyo radiator.

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Now this is a race car, but it has something a lot of race cars don’t have: an automatic transmission. Albeit a ShepTrans stage 3 transmission with PPG 1st-6th gears and a Dodson billet clutch housing, but you can still pop that thing in D. But you wouldn’t. You’d put it in R mode so you can make use of all the parts that have been lovingly bolted to the car. Parts like the Dodson pressure sensor controller, Cobb Tuning transmission oil pump, and custom stage 2 transmission oil cooler system (with Mocal Laminova and air to air cooler). Since this transmission is in the back of the car, the car has NACA ducts and carbon fiber inline fans to cool its and the rear differential coolers.

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Change is a constant. Never stopping for anything. Change can at times be scary, because what comes after the change could be something terrible. Especially if the thing that is being changed is something thats known to be good However, change can take something good and propel it to greatness.

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Words by Michael Chandler and Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
11th Apr2013

The Miller Motorsports Park Total Performance Museum

by Trent

Ford GT40 MkIV

Epic [ep-ik]
heroic; majestic; impressively great

The Iliad and Odyssey are epic poems, the Nurbugring is an epic track, LeBron James is an epic player. Epic is a small word that carries a vast amount of weight. People throw it around frivolously, but there are some things we can all agree are fitting of the title of Epic. Submitted for your approval:

Larry H. Miller Museum

The Miller Total Performance Automotive Museum

On the south side of the entry fence at Miller Motorsports Park, across the drive from the box office building, sits a building that has a giant track map and picture of one of the FR500Ss. Inside this building there are some of the things you’d run across at a motorsports facility that hosts driving and racing schools: there is a class room, and some bathrooms, and a gift shop; however, if you walk past the register in the gift shop you will find something few other places have: a collection of cars that have become legends.

Shelby Cobra Carbs

This is like Valhalla. These heroes sit amongst each other, in a hall built by a man who lives on through the legacy and places he left behind.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

Before Larry Miller became Larry H. Miller, philanthropist, Utah Jazz owner, car dealership magnate, he was Larry Miller, car guy. Specifically, Shelby Cobra guy. He worked hard, and bought a Cobra. And he worked some more and bought another…and some more, and then some Mustangs, and a GT40, and then more Cobras and GT40s. All told there are 13 Cobras (including one of the six Daytona Coupes AND a one of one aluminum body that was going to become a Daytona Super Coupe), 5 GT40s, 6 GT350 Mustangs, and one Cougar, Ranchero, Thunderbolt, 2008 GT500KR, and a Ford GT. These 29 cars represent 50 years of American racing history and one man who made the world take note of what we were capable of: Carroll Shelby. Telling the stories of all the cars, of all the men behind them, and everything that they accomplished would require a novel on the scale of Ulysses. We will highlight a few of the cars, and leave it up to you if you want to make the drive to the museum and hear about the rest of them.

Hey Little Cobra

CSX-2128: Black No. 15 This is the car that started it all. This was one of two Cobras built for the 1963 Twelve Hours of Sebring with rack and pinion steering. The Shelby team raced it for a few months, then sold it to Coventry Motors. While there it received a new livery (yellow with black stripes and roundels) and was raced until Shelby bought the car back in March of ’64. While with Coventry, and before the new livery, it was photographed for an album by the Rip Chords called Hey Little Cobra. Larry saw this album, saw the car, and became a Cobra guy. Later the car came up for auction, and Larry outbid the man who designed the yellow and black livery it wore at Coventry. The man Larry outbid, the livery designer, was George Lucas.

Shelby Daytona Coupe

CSX-2299: Blue No. 13 Daytona Coupe “It just stops my heart every time I see it.” This is one of six Daytona Coupes, number two, and it has one of the more storied histories in the museum: first in GT/fourth overall at the 1964 Le Mans, first in GT/fourth overall at Tourist Trophy in 1964, first in GT/SECOND overall 1965 24 Hours of Daytona, first in GT/fourth overall 1965 12 Hours of Sebring. It helped Shelby become the first, and only, American manufacturer to win a FIA GT World Manufacturer’s Championship.

Number 1 Ford GT40

P-1015: Blue with White stripes No. 1 This car won overall at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Co-driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby, it crossed the line first in the famous Photo Finish the Ford executives ordered. Despite crossing the line first, the race officials deemed that the No. 2 GT40 (co-driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon) covered the most distance and was awarded the win. This questionable decision robbed Ken Miles of the Triple Crown of Endurance Racing (wins at Daytona, Sebring an Le Mans). Sadly Ken was never able to make another attempt at the Triple Crown. He was killed that summer testing a prototype Mk IV GT40.

Steve McQueen GT40

P-1074: Gulf Blue with Marigold stripes No. 40. The infamous Steve McQueen car. Most people know about this car because it was purchased for an obscene amount of money last year, and it was owned by Steve McQueen, who turned it into a camera car for the film Le Mans. What most people don’t know is that it was one of the first cars to ever wear the Gulf Oil colors. It was one of three Mirage prototypes made from existing GT40 chassis. It won in its debut outing at Spa-Francorchamps in May of 1967, which was the first win for any car wearing the now famous blue with marigold stripes.

Ford GT40 MkIV

There are still twenty-five cars in there with histories of their own. I urge you, implore you, to make the drive out to the track. Visit the museum. Learn more about these cars that put America, for a brief period of time, at the forefront of international racing. Learn more about the man who built these pieces of history. Learn more about the man who acquired these cars and put them on display for all to see. Being able to see one of these cars in person is amazing, a few of them is awe inspiring, but twenty-nine? That can be only described as Epic.

No 12 Ford GT40Shelby Daytona Coupe Le Mans

Two Le Mans GT40's

Words by Michael Chandler and John Gardner, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video by Trent Bray

Special thanks to John Gardner and Miller Motorsports Park

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