04th Apr2017

The Old School Reunion

by Michael Chandler

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The morning after StanceWars was the event I was most looking forward to: The Old School Reunion.  Why?  While I like modern cars, and some stance cars, I’d rather spend my time ogling classic imports.  They have so much more character and soul.  And you can see more of the owners style on the cars.

 

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18th Jul2016

It’s Really Not a 240SX: Erik’s 180SX

by Michael Chandler

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In a world full of real and fake, mislabeled things, and people trying to fake the funk, it’s rare we find someone with a real, correctly labeled, funky ass thing on their hands.  Sometimes it’s a guy with a rad, rare camera.  Other times it’s somebody with a copy of that movie you loved as a kid, but could never find in adulthood.  In this case, it’s Erik with a legitimate 180SX.  Right hand drive and all.

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Can we acknowledge the clear timing belt cover?

You can’t really see it, but the ID plate lists this car as a 180SX that came with an SR20DET.  And this car ran an SR for a very long time, then Erik got an itch, and BH Motorsports got crafty, and it has an RB25DET Neo under the hood.  It’s not crazily built, the only internal modifications are a set of Tomei Pon cams.  Everything else is a bolt on.  On the intake side is a Freddy intake manifold (Fake Greddy, keep up) with a set of R35 GTR fuel injectors and a Tomei fuel pressure regulator.

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On the fun side is a Garrett 3076r snail, bolted to a CX Racing manifold.  Cooling the compressed air before it gets to the Freddy manifold is a PBM intercooler.  Watching over this whole ordeal is a Haltech Platinum Pro Series ECU, which gets and sends information via a Wiring Specialties harness.  Tuning services were provided by D-Wreck.

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Or else what?

Getting that power to the driven wheels is an RB20 transmission, loving stuffed with an ACT 6 puck unsprung clutch.  In the back, between the driven wheels, is a NISMO two way limited slip differential.

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Doing the stopping is a set of S14 brake calipers up front, and the stock calipers in the rear.  Both have Project Mu pads in them, which seem to be doing the job.

Helping Erik get that sweet, sweet steering angle (which, as I’m told, translates to sweet, sweet street cred) is a whole mess of stuff that my feeble brain barely has a grasp of: PBM knuckles front and rear, lengthened and boxed lower control arms, Driftworks offset and bent tension rods, an GK Tech offset steering rack spacers.

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Helping to maximize grip, something a drift car actually needs) are a set of Gecko street coilovers.  Strut tower bars provided by JIC  (front) and Cusco (rear), and a Godspeed full rear suspension arm kit in the back help keep things planted.  Also some Stance subframe risers raise a subframe… Not sure which, but one of them is raised!

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The front and rear wheels and tires are different, for reasons.  Up front the 18×9 Rota G Forces are wrapped in 205/40 Federal 595s, and out back the 18×10.5 Vordovens turn 265/35 Achilles ATR Sports into white smoke.

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Ok, now that we’ve covered what makes this car go, we can get on to the miles of style this thing has.  In the back it has a set of JDM kouki tail lights, over which is a custom drag wing made by Team Orange.  Who is Team Orange?  They’re the drift team that ran RWD Evos and WRXs in D1GP.

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The car sports a replica Vertex body kit, and a real D Max hood vent.  It also has a one of ten Godai Elements: Earth windshield banner from Super Wow Factory.  The gray and deceptively purple two tone was done by Brandon over at D-Spare.

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Inside, on the driver’s side, is a Bride Vios Low Maxx 3 seat, on Planted seat rails.  The limited edition Jimmy Up steering wheel is mounted on a Works Bell quick release, and a NISMO shift knob tops the shifter.  180SX feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

On the passenger side is a Bride Zeta seat, also on Planted rails, and a set of Defi gauges mounted in the dash.  No such thing as too much information.

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And in the back, opposite the Sard surge tank, is a .50 caliber ammo box.  Inside that box is not ammunition, but his battery.

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This isn’t a 240SX with 180SX tail lights and center section.  This is the real deal.  It also hasn’t been dipped and deep fried in America either.  This is about as JDM as you’re gonna get until you hit the home islands.  It’s really authentic, and really a 180SX

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Apr2016

Import Spring Showoff 2016

by Michael Chandler

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Another spring, another Import Spring Showoff.  This year the show was massive!  I’m still a little out of it, got there hours before the show opened to slap some stickers on Nik’s Jetta, but I did manage to get the photos edited and uploaded.  Want to see them?  Here you go:

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Nov2015

SEMA 2015 Setup Day

by Michael Chandler

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Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Nicholas Cherpeski

The actual SEMA show runs Tuesday through Friday, but on Monday (and the weekend before) those displaying cars and wares, and also media members can come in and set things up and pick up badges.  If you’ve been following us on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, you would have seen us do the latter today.  We then stuck around to shoot some photos.  Here’s what we got:

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th Apr2015

Makes and Models Open House

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Over the weekend, our friends at Makes & Models threw open their doors and rolled some of their cars out into the parking lot and held an open house.  They wanted to show off the shop, and let the people know that “Yes there’s an R8 LMS racing with our logo all over it, but we’re so much more than that.”  Indeed they are.

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In addition to showing that every Euro is welcome, they welcomed some of the manufacturers of the parts they sell.  Grapple, maker of fine wheel spacers and adapters, brought out their very clean E30 and parked it with Parker Lambert’s bagged A3.  If you’re curious: people did step on his splitter.

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Behind the Grapple cars was Integrated Engineering, makers of Audi and VW go fast bits.  They had a selection of intake manifolds on display, along with some suspension pieces and information on their line of Golf R products.  They also had an unassuming E30 BMW hanging out.  Its unassuming looks hid a monster holding a hairdryer.  Just look at that thing!  This little beemer will move.

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And finally, NASA Utah had a pop up and were spreading the good word of getting your car on the track.  Parked next to the booth was Ben Lamberson’s 2014 TTE championship winning Audi 90.  Sitting on what’s left of the dash is what I can only assume is his secret to success: Secrets of Solo Racing by Henry A. Watts.  Does this actually help Ben win, and does he pass on these secrets to the drivers he instructs?  Beats me, but there it is.

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In the showroom was the TW Racing R8 LMS, and a corporate stablemate.  Speaking of the R8 LMS, did you know that Makes & Models can get you a sweet hook up on Global Motorsports Group parts?  Well, maybe not a “sweet hook up”, but if you want to hop up your Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari or BMW with some top notch parts, here you go.

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While most of the action was happening in the showroom and in the parking lot, there was something to see in the shop area.  Up on the alignment rack was this classic Alfa Romeo GTV.  It was just hanging out with some Porsches, being all classic and Italian.

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All makes and models were welcomed at the Makes & Models Open House, from Greg Valdez’s red WRX to a C7 Corvette with all sorts of APR goodies.  It was a solid event, complete with booth professionals, and a raffle.  Sad you missed out on a chance to see some ridiculously awesome cars?  Don’t worry!  Next weekend is the Import Spring Showoff, which we’ll talk about later.  In the meantime, enjoy a gallery from the Open House!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th Mar2015

Utah Japanese Classic Car Spring Fling

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Spring is in the air and we, as gear heads, need to take to the streets and enjoy this.  On Sunday the Utah Japanese Classic Car group got together at Sugarhouse Park to ring in the season with what they called the Spring Fling Pot Luck.  If you’re in to classic J-tin then this group is for you, and if you were able to make it out to the park you got to see some treats.

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There were a pair of classic Celica GTs in attendance.  Both coupes were 5 speed models, and were rather bright.  You can see some American muscle influence in the noses of these vehicles, very reminiscent of early Camaros and Challengers; however, while the Americans were spry for being as massive as they were the Celicas were just spry.

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This beautiful, Datsun wagon made its way out.  More impressive than the wagon, and its cloth sunroof?  The fact that it made it out of the park.  That exit is gnarly!

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Who doesn’t need more RX7s in their life?  Everyone does, and there were examples of all three generations out, but this FB really caught my eye.  It’s not a concourse car, but it isn’t a wreck that that’s rotting away.  It’s a simple driver that’s hopefully spreading the good word of Reagan era rotaries to the masses.

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FC RX7s have been on the rise for a while, and for good reason.  Like all 80’s import FR coupes, they look amazing.  A few simple exterior modifications can transform a mundane runabout into a jaw dropper, and there were plenty of turbo models produced.  Nary a man alive can resist the Siren’s song that is a turbo 13B.

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This was, arguably, the most gorgeous car at the meet and is in the running for most gorgeous car to ever be produced.  The FD RX7 didn’t look like its contemporaries when it was new, and nothing has come along since to rival it.  This one is a bit different than the ones you see running around.  There isn’t a Mazda badge on the exterior, but it does have an “efini” badge on it.  This is because Mazda, like Toyota and Nissan, opened up a luxury division.  Their’s was called efini, but only operated from 1991-1997.  And unlike the Lexus and Infiniti brands, efini existed only in Japan.  That fact explains the most obvious feature of the car: it’s a right hand drive model.  You’re not going to be finding efini RX7s littering your supermarket parking lot, so seeing one in person is like finding a unicorn.

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Second generation MR2s were out in force.  These mid-engine runabouts have been turned into Ferrari F355 lookalikes by some idiots overly enthusiastic people, but thankfully the ones at the meet were clean examples that weren’t sporting prancing horse badges.

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IT”S A SUZUKI CARRY!  WE’VE HIT PEAK JDM!!!  This is as good a place as any to end this post.  There’s a gallery below, but I won’t blame you for spending your day basking in the glory that is the Suzuki Carry.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
07th Aug2014

Hope. Change. 15 Year Import Law

by Michael Chandler

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We all know about America’s draconian twenty-five year import law, but the brave hoonists at Petrolicious are trying to legislate change to bring our import law more in line with the fine folks who live in America’s hat.  And they’re not just getting up and saying “We want change because this isn’t fair!” They’re backing up their argument with these pesky things called facts that are so often hard to find on the internet.  Facts like:

German TUV approvals are tougher than our own, and include rear collision and rollover standards we don’t perform.

Both Europe and Japan also have special allowances for low volume imports.

That’s two sentences, and they provide a lot more weight than the “Canada has a fifteen year law” statement which is thrown out as the corner stone of forum arguments.  They also bring up another point, which is brilliant:

Many people may never personally import a car, but at least they would have the ability to do it.

You can have a lot of powerful firearms, in two states you can legally buy marijuana without a doctor’s note, and nobody is stopping you from hopping in your car right now and driving it across the country.  Why can’t we have the freedom to do it in a Toyota MkII or an Audi RS2?

Sign the petition not just for hooning, but for freedom!

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

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