Browsing: Features

The smell of burnt rubber and the high-pitch squeal of tires sliding through the turns accompany the roar of four turbocharged cylinders. Through the smoke, a sleek, bold and aggressive statement could be seen and heard as a fiery-red Silvia drifts by. Its driver, Nobuteru “NOB” Taniguchi, is a skilled pilot navigating the course with surgical precision in the HKS Silvia S15. Text and Photos by Richard Fong High-profile builds like the HKS Silvia fueled America’s faith in Nissan’s “S” chassis at a time when few had any interest in the US-spec 240SX. While Japanese versions of the “S” chassis came…

You can’t think JDM without the Supra popping in your head. The Japanese performance market introduced a great deal of legendary cars over the years, and the Toyota Supra is amongst the top of the list. The Supra quickly stole the show in its debut in 1979 with its 2.6-liter inline-6 engine; the first Toyota production motor with electronic fuel injection. In 1993, the Supra took a fast turn to compete with other supercars, like the R32 GT-R, when performance became Toyota’s main focus for their Supra, and the style we all know and love was born. We can talk…

What started as Honda’s 50th year anniversary celebration quickly became an undeniable force to be reckoned with. The Honda S2000 was introduced in 2000, and while many think it was Honda’s attempt to compete with other roadsters, the S2K stood on a special stage of its own. Debuted as the successor of Honda’s S500, S600, and S800 roadsters, the S2000 exceeded all expectations. With the first generation rear-wheel drive F-Series 2.0-liter engine, the S2000’s pistons’ speed were able to move faster than almost any other production car in the world. Son Vo was no stranger to the legendary S2K, and…

Japan has introduced some impressive machineries over the years, but none more impressive than the GT-R. Sharing the same platform as the R32 and R33, the R34 GT-R is considered by many to be the last of the legendary line of GT-Rs. The R34 era was over five years before the debut of the fancier R35, and although the R35 offers the best of all worlds, the R34 GT-R is one of the iconic Nissan Skylines. In November of 2016, Charles Wong picked up a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R, and the rest, as they say, is history. Text by Bassem…

POSERS AND WANNA-BES, STEP OFF. IF A CAR LOOKS fast, it should drive fast and had better pack the punch to back up its aggressive looks. Mike Rubino, self-proclaimed all-wheel-drive turbocharged platform fanatic, sold his WRX to pay for school. The only condition he imposed on himself was to replace the car with something better upon graduation. With diploma in hand, Rubino searched for a viable Subaru replacement but couldn’t see himself being cool behind the wheel of a wagon, even if it wore the STI nameplate. It simply didn’t look the part. Without a fifth door in sight, Rubino…

After spending years admiring the Nissan cars’ styling, Richard McMickens decided it was time he acquired one of his own. Richard researched the market for quite some time and he felt that Nissan has got it right with the 350Z and the 370Z; however, he was intrigued with the improved drivability of the 370Z over the 350Z. McMickens made his way to CarSmith Motors in Northern California in the fall of 2014, and he quickly left as the owner of a 2009 Nissan 370Z with 20,000 miles on its odometer. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Thomas Seabury At…

Every car enthusiast has a story of how they fell in love with cars; for Dennis Delcid, Hot Wheels were responsible for his bagged S2000 build that he drives today. For some, owning and building a performance car is a dream they can close their eyes and imagine, but Dennis saw his build many years before he could ever afford it, and there wasn’t anything that was going to stop him from a putting his dream on wheels. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Joe Singleton How It All Started Aside from playing with Hot Wheels at the age…

Art or function, aesthetics or aerodynamics. When it comes to swapping out your vehicle’s bumpers, fenders, skirts or wing, you are likely to run into some critics. Some may question your decision, while others will support your choice. When you change these parts for a reason other than just for “looks,” you are likely to gain supporters and performance from your decision. Choosing an aerodynamic kit that allows a wider wheel-and-tire combination and that delivers additional downforce will garner much more appeal than a show-only body kit that makes your Accord look like a Skyline. While many body-kit manufacturers have…

Real track killers look fast because they are fast. In speed contests of any type, function ends up dictating fashion, never the other way around. Varis Corporation, based out of Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, has made a name for itself by creating functional aerodynamic solutions created from and informed by research and experience in Super GT and Super Endurance racing series. These trials by fire led to the creation of the Kamikaze-R aero kit for the venerable Nissan R35 GT-R. With this direct-from-racing heritage, constant data acquisition necessitates constant revision; the Kamikaze-R Version 2 is the latest iteration of their top-line…

“Ricer”. Is it a slur, a racial put down, a term meant to put down a vehicle for looking the part, but not having the goods to back it up? In Rochester, New York, “Ricer” takes on a new meaning. “Ricer” is the nickname given to STM’s 9- second street and strip EVO. While the ignorant often label all types of Japanese performance vehicles “Ricers,” STM figured there’s no better revenge than to build a “Ricer” capable of decimating just about anything found on the street. Considering that this EVO has already run a 9.27, we’re pretty confident that one…

If you’ve been to a professional motorsport event, you have definitely noticed that there are many people involved aside from just the drivers. Large groups of people are behind the scenes making sure everything gets done on race day. From race officials to team transport drivers, everyone has a job to ensure that the race weekend goes smoothly. Many of these people participate for their love of the sport, while others end up finding their love for the sport as they work the race events. Text by Austin Cabot  //  Photos by Chris Sullivan and Austin Cabot For Savanna Little,…

It all started $100,000 ago when Jose Gonzalez was in search of a project car. The hunt for the project wasn’t an issue; however, the budget was. Gonzalez had crunched down his options to three vehicles: Datsun 510, Toyota Celica, and Nissan Hakosuka. Fortunately for Jose, a friend of his introduced him to Eric of JDM Legends; the man that made it all happen. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Kayla Ringle A Change of Luck With a long line of people ahead of Jose looking for the same car, which he had narrowed down to the Japanese legend…

Everyone needs a good getaway car. What you’re getting away from is up to you. For some, it’s the need to eliminate a vehicle’s shortcomings; for others, it’s to escape the fleet of also-rans in a saturated playing field. In still others, it’s simply an escape from the banality of showroom-stock cars. For Filippo Meli, however, it was a case of “all of the above” that prompted him to suit up and step up with his 2016 Subaru STI. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Daean Chase and Michal Kubik THE PLAN COMES TOGETHER After joining the regional Subaru enthusiast…

Insane Speed builds insane cars. It has produced numerous high-powered vehicles from 1,000+ horsepower EVOs and Supras to twin-turbocharged Lamborghinis. Building insane horsepower is the company mantra, and the challenge of doing so just to prove that it’s possible motivates shop owner Todd Allen. This “can-do” attitude prompted Allen to go to the trouble of building a high-horsepower single cam D16. It makes less than normal financial sense to the typical enthusiast but was just the sort of challenge that Allen thrives on. He acquired this Civic Coupe EX as partial payment from a customer who didn’t need it anymore.…

Too many enthusiasts choose to spend money and throw parts at their car until something good comes out of it, without doing their research and without a goal in mind. The ones who do it right, however, know where they want the car to end up and can therefore map out the plan to get there. Yoshihiro Kikkawa and the highly-acclaimed shop Advance laid out the objectives for Kikkawa’s BNR34 Nissan GT-R early on, aiming to race the clock at Fuji Speedway. With this end goal in mind, the team analyzed the R34’s strengths and weaknesses, and set out to…

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