13th Jul2016

The Tarzan Mobile

by Michael Chandler

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He is a loathsome, offensive brute, yet I cannot look away

Seinfeld, episode “The Letter”

I can’t quite think of a better way to describe this car.  That’s an awful way to describe Dane Seering, the guy who owns and drives it though.  Dane is a giant ball of positivity, perpetually hyped on driving the Tarzan mobile at events.  That’s a very good thing, because you need a guy like that at events.

Dane is rocking a big wing on custom uprights because big wings are cool.  The uprights are cool too.

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See?

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Under the hood is an LS, with a T56 behind it.  That combination will get most parties started, and keep them going until they get shut down.

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The interior gets the job done, but won’t win any awards for aesthetic styling.  The big handle on the hydro e-brake and the cue ball shift knob on the double bend shifter make it seem like this car is just raw power and energy, that’ll create tire smoke in whatever direction you point it in.  Then you see the Racepak dash and realize that there’s some brains behind this brawn.

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It’s not as refined and pretty as Scott Bradshaw’s bass boat coupe, but it’s not as rugged and undeveloped as some other cars that have come through the gate for the events.  It’s hateful, it has a big ass wing on the back, and it’s driven by a guy who could definitely be Tarzan if he wanted to.  It’s my favorite car driving in the 2016 Salt City Drift season.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
23rd Jun2016

A Vintage Racer in a Modern Series

by Michael Chandler

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In a world where more modern, piston driven vehicles are the norm, a lone vintage rotary powered car emerges.  Not so much emerge, but burst onto the scene.

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This is Nathan Rohner’s RX7, and it’s cleaning up in the PTB class in NASA Utah.  It’s the best, and also the worst in class because it’s the only car in class.  That not withstanding, it’s an amazing piece of machinery.

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The flares are massive, and utilitarian.  They’re stylish because they serve a purpose, and that purpose is to house Hoosier slicks and a set of period correct wheels.  The OE size and width wheels and tires would serve a pedestrian RX7 fine and dandy.  This is not a pedestrian car, far from it.

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There’s very little left in the cabin to remind you that this is an RX7.  The stock gauge cluster is out, replaced by a single, massive tachometer.  More gauges are hanging out in the middle of the dash, and switches sit where an air vent used to be.  This car is all business.

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And it does its business well.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Apr2016

Be Bold, B Mini

by Michael Chandler

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No, that title doesn’t contain a typo.  There was a Mini sporting a Honda B series engine.  And then some kids said that it was made of plastic, and I wanted to die.  But this sin’t about them.  This is about the tiny car, with the small motor, and an abundance of moxy!

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The adorable little motor has four tiny velocity stacks protruding from four individual (probably fun sized!) throttle bodies.

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Inside there’s… what is that on the left?  Is that a leg?!?

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As you can see, the nose pops off for ease of access to the entirety of pretty much everything ahead of the firewall.  The fore section of the car can be placed at the rear of the car so as to create a nice photo opportunity.  We salute you, whoever you are!  And your diminutive pocket rocket too.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th Apr2016

BEHOLD! A Van!

by Michael Chandler

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Do you need to be deep in that VIP life, but also need to haul around kids, groceries, and other whatnot?  Well as the fine folks over at VANkulture have shown, vans can be gangster as hell.  And one such gangster van showed up to ISS.

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This Honda Odyssey was sporting some Junction Produce neck pads for the driver and passenger, and a Recaro baby seat for… well, I’m assuming a baby.  Hanging from the wide mirror is a Tsuna know, and hanging from the OE rear view mirror is a Fusa knot.  Inside is some serious JDM hotness, but what about the outside?

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Mmmm!  A set of WEDS Kranze LXZ wheels set off the exterior.  You don’t have to roll in a Lexus or an Infiniti to be VIP, sometimes you just need a van and a desire to let your inner gangster out.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Apr2016

It Plays: 2JZ FD

by Michael Chandler

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ISS brings out almost everything, which is no surprise considering that it’s the biggest meet of the year.  A car we saw last year was Nick Hancock’s 2JZ swapped FD RX-7.  It wasn’t all the way there last year, but he took the year and buttoned it up.

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The power plant is the same as it was a year ago: 2JZ with a big single turbo.  No need to mess with that winning combination.  See, we were drawn in by this Toyota motor in the Mazda chassis but Nick wasn’t quite ready for a shoot.  He was getting the car ready for paint, and well..

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He didn’t paint it.  Instead, he too the car over to his friends at Utah Vinyl Worx for a matte white wrap.  Gone are the black bumpers and red everything else.  The FD looks amazing in white, and it can pull off a duckbill spoiler.

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The interior also got a few touches.  Hopefully we can do a full shoot on this car soon, it’s been a year in the making.

24th Mar2016

JJ Got Some Flare…s

by Michael Chandler

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As I was walking around the paddock, I came across a familiar vehicle.  It was JJ Askwig’s FRS!  And it has some new curves and shoes.

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He rang up Robert Kochis, another noted FRS owner, at Mod Bargains and scooped up a set of Rocket Bunny V1 flares.

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He cut the fenders, color matched the new flares, then riveted them on.  To fill the new, massive fender wells, JJ picked up a set of Forgestar F14s.  It was already a great looking car, and now it looks a lot meaner.  Always love seeing this car, can’t wait to see it again.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
22nd Mar2016

The Big Bad Wolf

by Michael Chandler

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The first NASA Utah event saw a hot shoe pro driver show up.  The driver was Robert Thorne, who was last seen driving for K-Pax Racing in Pirelli World Challenge.  Unfortunately we missed the K-Pax team last year when the series stopped in Utah, and hopefully they’ll be back this year with their McLarens.  Since we missed him last year, we got some photos of him and his machine this year.  Well, not so much of him, but of his machine at least: his boosted Honda S2000.  How do we know that it’s boosted?

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He’s either all about on track air conditioning, or that’s an intercooler designed to handle some serious boost.

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The car has massive tires on all four corners.  315’s tend to poke out *just* a hair.

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Big, sticky tires and copious amounts of boost require a bit of assistance to be useful, so there’s a massive rear wing and splitter.  And the headlights are pretty sweet too.

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The interior received some minor upgrades.  Nothing crazy, just some Racetech Seats, a set of harnesses, a new shift knob (heh), and a MOMO steering wheel.  Marvel at it’s awesomeness!  And marvel at this!

GALLERY TIME:

 

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

 

19th Feb2016

It’s Like Looking In A Mirror

by Michael Chandler

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After the checkered flag fell on the legendary and historic Tresduro, I swung by the Makes & Models GP garage.  I said congrats and all that, and they gave me some “refreshments”.  After some discussion of the LeMons livery on Ben’s Audi 90, we all decided to head over to the barbecue.  On the way over I stumbled upon an impromptu photo shoot, featuring these two Porsche 911s.  Naturally, I couldn’t help myself.  I snapped a few photos of these pretty cars.

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So, I don’t really remember too much about the black GT3.  I know it ran, but I don’t remember which group it was in.  It IS a black GT3 though, so let’s just bask in its glory.

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I’m fairly (65-75%) confident the white one belongs to someone from Makes & Models.  Or it did.  I know Jenn drove a white 911 GT3 last season, but beyond that…  Anyway, I rolled up, got some killer shots, and made my way to the place where there was free food.   What better way to end a race season?

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
25th Jan2016

And Now For Something Completely Different

by Michael Chandler

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It’s a Thing!  Just look at it!  It’s so weird and kooky!

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For some odd reason, Germans needed to be reminded to NOT immolate themselves when fueling the car.  I mean, that’s always a good thing to be reminded of I guess…

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It’s got a surfboard!  Cause it’s a… Sure Thing?  Surf Thing?  It’s a Thing from Big Sur?  Help me out here somebody.

12th Nov2015

Classics Never Go Out of Style: Integra Type R

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

What we have here is, arguably, the best front wheel drive sports car ever made.  Perhaps one of the best sports cars to come out of Japan in the late nineties.  It was light, it was agile, it made 197 horsepower from 1.8 liters.  It was the thing of legends: a giant slayer made by the same people who made humble econoboxes.  From 1997-2001, skipping 1999 entirely for some reason, Honda sent a little over 3800 of these glorious cars over here.  And my friend Jeff has one, and has had one as long as I’ve known him.

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He’s kept his build simple.  So simple that he ditched the supercharger that was on the car when he bought it.  I think the car is better for it.  “Why fix what isn’t broken?  It came with many interior, exterior and performance upgrades from the factory.”  Indeed it did Jefferson, indeed it did.

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He’s kept the exterior mods to a minimum.  A Seibon carbon fiber hood replaces the factory metal piece, and a Shark2 antenna replaces the bigger OEM aerial.  The wiper for the rear window has been deleted, and some S2 Carbon Works winglets add a little something extra to the front end.  Interiorwise, the car hasn’t really been changed much.  You aren’t seeing any pictures of it, because I always think that the interior is 99% OEM and unchanged.  That’s wrong, because I always forget about the AEM UEGO wideband and oil pressure gauge in the gauge cluster bezel.  ALWAYS!

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Anywho, the Integra Type R was already a brilliant handling car from the factory.  Other Honda owners would clamor for OEM ITR springs, struts, chassis bracing, and other suspension bits to improve the handling of their cars.  The only thing not OEM on Jeff’s car are the H&R springs.

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A set of Highland Bronze powder coated Kosei K1 wheels are on, instead of the OEM wheels.  The Kosei’s measure in at 15×7, with a +35 offset.  Those are wrapped in a set of 205/50 Yokohama S.drive tires, which provide plenty of grip for some spirited driving.

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Under the Seibon hood is the ultimate version of Honda’s B series of engines: the B18C5.  1.8 liters, twin cam, variable valve timing, with hand polished intake and exhaust ports.  It has higher compression, lower friction pistons compared to the Integra GSR.  It has a single port intake manifold, and a larger throttle body.  The camshafts have higher lift, and longer duration.  Everything about this engine is better than the B18C1 in the GSR.  And Jeff has done nothing to any of that.

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He’s added a Comptech Icebox intake, and replaced the header with a JDM 4-1 piece.  Between the header and the Tannabe Hyper Medalion exhaust is a high flow catalytic converter.  The combination makes for a sound that isn’t the raspy garbage people think of when they hear “modified Honda”, it sounds good.  An Exedy clutch replaces what would be, at the youngest, a 14 year old clutch.  A B&M fuel pressure regulator and 255 lph Walbro fuel pump are still around from the supercharged days, but why replace two fully functioning parts?  Crome engine management runs inside the P30 ECU.

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A carbon fiber spark plug cover sits atop the classic Wrinkle Red valve cover.

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“What makes a great Integra Type-R isn’t what’s done to it, it’s what isn’t done to it.”  That quote has guided Jeff in his build, and it’s a good one.  The Integra Type-R will live on as a classic, an example of the epitome of how good a front wheel drive car can be.

BONUS IMAGES

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