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During a turbulent era in American history, Hippies were protesting the Vietnam war. President Nixon was about to resign. While the tragic events at the 1972 Munich Olympics were unfolding on new color TV sets, the oil crisis had officially killed off American muscle cars. Through it all, the Honda Civic was born as the much needed compact car that can operate on both leaded and unleaded fuel. With the oil shortage and the EPA emission standards, the Civic became an instant hit in America. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Orry Perce EP3 Honda Civic Si For 45…

There was once a time when people were shocked to see a humble-looking four-door sedan destroy supercars on twisty roads. Today, this car has evolved into an enthusiast favorite that is capable of achieving great power. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been a force to be reckoned with since its debut in 1992. A 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with an all-wheel drive drivetrain, what’s not to love? The 4G63 engine powered every single generation of the Evo until the very last generation that debuted in 2007. If you asked for the best of all worlds, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was your…

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Mitsubishi Starion. When it comes to the ‘80s, we think of wide-fenders, pop-up headlights, and hard-lines. The Starion was exactly what that era represented. When the Mitsubishi Starion debuted in 1983, it hit the roads running as a performance competitor to the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Supra, and some even described it as a budget rival to the Porsche 944. Originally equipped with a 2.6-liter motor that delivered 145 horsepower, Mitsubishi’s original advertisement read, “It ain’t the one you learn on.” Aesthetically, the Starion was offered in a widebody configuration that quickly…

You may recognize the Civic as one of the most popular cars in the world, but the story of Honda wasn’t always as smooth as its sales numbers today. Founded by Soichiro Honda, he started his first company named Tokai Seiki in 1937. He began crafting piston rings for a familiar company called Toyota. After giving up all control to the War Ministry, the destruction of one factory during World War II, and another factory tragedy courtesy of the Mikawa earthquake, the beginning years were nothing short of a struggle for the Japanese founder. In 1963, Honda began the production…

Lightweight, beautiful, and timeless, the Mazda RX-7 is arguably Japan’s purest sports car. The RX-7 FD has won over many fans with its cutting edge design that features few straight lines. Its rigid chassis and capable suspension provide sharp handling. Its 2,800 pound curb weight and 255 horsepower sequentially turbocharged rotary engine delivered impressive performance. Yet, as with all things rotary, the FD does have its critics. The rotary engine showed many flaws, from a lack of torque to failing seals, and even catching on fire at times. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Khiem Pham Long Life Dream…

The tires will only go so far, but the memories will last forever. Building a car is a dream for many, but for David Crowchild, it was simply a mission. For many years David’s older sister, Tina Crowchild, told him to always follow his heart. In November of 2014, tragedy struck when Tina passed away. Filled with sadness and grief, her famous advice to him kept nagging on him and left him wanting to deliver the promise he once made her. To keep her memory alive, he revisited an old dream he’s had since he was a child: building a…

One thousand horsepower. Only an elite few can claim to this performance milestone. Even fewer can make this claim from behind the wheel of a fully-streetable Nissan 350Z. While a number of “pure drag” cars have achieved the “1KWHP” figure, most sacrifice the response needed to make the car fun to drive on the street. Chris Shively’s plan for his project 350Z didn’t include compromise. Instead, this second-generation car fanatic would set out to build a Z33 that would impress performance, show and car audio enthusiasts. By Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara Since purchasing the 350Z in 2003,…

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…

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