13th Apr2017

ISS 2017: The Kinda Chilly-ing

by Michael Chandler

This past weekend there was either a car show, or the apocalypse.  All depends on how your social media saw the weekend’s storms.  I saw it as a car show, because at 8am (ish) I was in the parking lot of the Maverick Center watching the staff setup this year’s Import Spring Showoff.  Despite the previous day’s weather, a ton of people showed up for the show.  We saw a wide breadth of what the Utah scene has to offer.  There will be some highlights coming later, but in the meantime enjoy this gallery.

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*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips 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.

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.
04th Apr2016

We’re Going to be at ISS This Weekend!

by Michael Chandler

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Unfortunately Ronda won’t be there, but we’ve locked down a pretty sweet car to represent us: Nik Preusser’s Jetta Sportwagen.  He’s made some changes to it since last we saw it, and from what we’ve seen it’s looking really good.  We can’t wait for the show, and we’re stoked that Nik is going to be representing us this year!

04th Mar2016

ISS Is Coming ’round Again

by Michael Chandler

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It’s happening on April 10 at the Maverick Center.  We’ll be there, perhaps we’ll be bringing a car again.  You should go, because it’s one of the best meets happening in Utah.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
27th Jan2016

Subiyotas!

by Michael Chandler

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They pulled in together, they parked together, and they wandered around together.  Such is rolling into and attending a car show

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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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Jun2015

The People’s Champ: Scion FRS

by Michael Chandler
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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

This matte metallic blue Scion FRS has a small pedigree.  Well, not really small: it won the Favorite Scion award at the last import Spring Showoff meet which is impressive considering how prolific the FRS has become.  If you hadn’t seen the car before then, it’s ok.  I had only seen it once before the show.  Seemingly out of nowhere, we have a new champion of the people.

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JJ, the fella who owns this, bought it new in May of 2013 with all of 11 miles on the odometer.  Like any good, sensible person, he began modifying it.  Like most people, he decided it needed more power.  The usual power adders were thrown on,  but naturally aspirated just wasn’t cutting it.  He needed more.  He needed a turbo.

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And that’s exactly what he got!  The Borg Warner 6258 EFR turbocharger came in a kit from Treadstone Performance, which also included an intercooler, hot and cold pipes, the exhaust manifold and up pipe (both of which he had ceramic coated), and a 265lph in tank fuel pump.  Because you can’t just cram additional air into the engine without adding more fuel, JJ threw in a set of 770cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors.  He also grabbed a billet diverter valve from Treadstone, to relieve excess boost pressure.  Additional cooling, specifically for the oil, is provided by a Mishimoto oil cooler.  The whole affair is run by an EcuTek reflashed ECU, which had the wick turned up by Jesse at FNP.  The kit was installed, and all the maintenance is done at Paradise Performance by JD Youngblood and Matt En.

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When you add over 100 horsepower to any car, you should probably address the clutch.  JJ wisely did so, and had JD and Matt throw in a stage 3 segmented ceramic clutch from Competition Clutch.

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Rounding out the power and usability adders, and providing a nice segue to start talking about the other aspects of the car, is a 3″ straight piped exhaust from Simple Performance.  As you can see, the exhaust sticks out a bit.  Not an insane amount, but enough to be noticeable.  And it’s also got a bit of carbon fiber wrap on it.  An odd place for carbon fiber, but it’s not the only carbon fiber on the car.

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The side skirt extensions are carbon fiber, and they’re custom.

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As is the Metallic Blue wrap.  JJ dropped the car off at Justin’s Tint, where the man himself wrapped the car.  The freshly wrapped Scion was taken to Luxe Auto Spa where it was coated with CQuartz FINEST ceramic surface protection, and also had the brake calipers color matched to the wheels and the hats and hubs blacked out.

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Before the wrap, JJ had a ChargeSpeed front lip and rear spats installed.  Not as loud as the Rocket Bunny kits, the ChargeSpeed pieces accent the car without becoming the focus of the car.

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The 18×9.5 Enkei RS05RR wheels also provide a nice, yet not overly distracting touch to the car.  Wrapped in 265/30 BF Goodrich Comp 2 tires, they fill the wheel wells nicely.  The TEIN Monoflex coilovers reduce the wheel gap, while also being great coilovers that make an already stellar handling car handle better.

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JJ has more plans for the car, the most visible is a big APR spoiler that will match the curve of the rear of the car.  Until then, we’ll have to be content with the car that the voting public loves

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
22nd Apr2015

Import Spring Showoff 2015

by Michael Chandler

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

After years of evolution and months of planning, the 2015 iteration of the Import Spring Showoff opened up at the Maverick Center last Sunday.  And much like every year prior, this one saw massive growth.  Over 2000 cars and over 8000 people came to the show!  And in that mass of people and cars there were some seldom seen gems

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Gems like Corbin Lines’s 1986 Dodge Omni GLHT.  Not as highly sought after as the Omni GLHS’s, but still packing all the same goodness, Corbin’s weighs a scant 1980 lbs and makes over 500 horsepower to the wheels!  All that power with that lack of weight makes the car useless on the streets, but a monster on the track.

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There were plenty of FD RX-7s in attendance this year, but none quite as wild as this 2JZ swapped example.  Some call this blasphemous, but the big Toyota mill fits so well under the hood of the sleek Mazda.

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The matte purpley Scion is packing a nice sized Borg Warner turbocharger, a nice wrap (hence the color) and took home the Favorite Scion award.  The red car is well on its way to becoming a challenger for the award next year, sitting nicely on a set of Work Emotion XD-9s.

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Jon Truong’s custom widebody WRX made its debut.  The metal work on the fenders looked amazing, and allows the massive CCW wheels to tuck nicely into the wheel wells.

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Lyfe Motorsport brought out the big guns, and the biggest trailer at the show: their massive four car hauler.  Inside the hauler were the two Spec Z cars they prepped in 30 days (!), a 996 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, and their venerable R35 GTR with it’s new wrap from Envision.  In addition to the cars that had to be hauled to the show, Shawn Murphy drove his freshly wrapped STi down from Wyoming and parked it in the booth.

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A sea of people and cars filled the enormous parking lot, vendors lined an entire row, and plenty of deserving builds drove home with awards.  It was an impressive show on all fronts, and we can’t wait until next year.

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