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COMPETITION IS A DRIVING FORCE FOR EXCELLENCE. Excellence means achieving nothing less than the best. When challenged by competition, the true competitor finds that extra motivation to push his limits to exceed expectations. It is when aiming for excellence that records are broken and true competitors rise to the top. Quirt Crawford, the owner and engineer at Crawford Performance in Oceanside, California has tuned competition vehicles for just such a purpose, to set records and win races. Involved with Subaru engines since the late 90’s, Quirt has worked hard to extract the best from Subaru platforms for high- performance street…

Die-hard fanatics boast the strongest faith and resolve when it comes to being loyal, for better or for worse. That is, of course, until that subject of loyalty gets crushed by a mind-blowing revelation. This happens with regularity when hardcore domestic fans get beaten by imports with smaller displacement, turbocharged engines. Text and Photos by Richard Fong John Firth grew up a domestic fan, thanks to his father’s influence. His social circle didn’t broaden his interest in anything other than American iron either, especially since his friends all drove Camaros, Mustangs or Trans Ams. Even though Firth graduated high school…

IT IS OFTEN THE CASE THAT NEW COMPETITORS WILL ARRIVE AT A CONTEST, start at the bottom and progressively inch their way toward the top with each successive event. On the other hand, there are also competitors that will set their initial sights on the top. Of course, reaching the top on a first attempt requires the knowledge and experience that can be found only at the top tuning shops in the world. Invision Performance in City of Industry, California, had aspirations to reach the top in the Redline Time Attack series. They contracted some of Japan’s top chassis and…

PERFORMANCE OR LOOKS. IS ONE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OTHER? Do you buy an exhaust and intake or a new set of wheels first? Every tuner has a different list of priorities when it comes to a vehicle buildup. While the original plan for a buildup may not include addressing both performance and looks, nearly all projects reach a point where a car performs too well to look stock or looks too good to run like a stocker. Such was the case with this Nissan Silvia S15. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Judged by Ito Tomoya Ito was drawn…

LOYALTY TO THE LABEL. Many die-hard fans of specific brands will stick with them to the bitter end. Like many sport compact veterans, brothers Robert and Richard Wong have their roots in Hondas. Hondas were affordable, powerful and widely supported. Building serious Honda platforms was a hobby that delivered results. When they were faced with the dilemma of building a new project, the brothers wanted to venture into the world of the rear-wheel drive. The Honda S2000 featured everything they desired: rear-wheel drive, balanced chassis, sleek body lines and the “H” badge on the front bumper. Text and Photos by…

Insanity is to try something over and over again, expecting a different result. Matt Smith knows a thing or two about insanity, having spent five years trying to run a nine-second quarter mile pass in his EVO VIII. Over the years he invested valuable time, effort and money into the project, and in turn gained unforgettable experiences, lifelong friends and family. Text by Stanley Yee // Photos by Aaron Eusebi, Richard Fong and Wes Taylor Sky’s the Limit For his latest build, Smith chose Buschur Racing’s top-of-the-line 2.4-liter engine kit. Forged connecting rods, pistons and a crankshaft from Manley Performance…

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU LOSE A STREET BATTLE? If you can’t beat them, do you join them? About 12 years ago, Dusty Womack was on the prowl in his modified 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. Tuned to deliver 400 all-wheel horsepower, the GSX broke off Corvettes and Mustangs at will. There were no cars on the streets that could challenge the 4G63 rocket. It was the ultimate street predator. At least that’s what Dusty believed until he attempted to pounce upon a large-winged import on the highway. Positioned broadside to the vehicle, Dusty downshifted and mashed the gas. The…

Japan’s twisting mountain roads are famous for being the birthplace of drifting, long before the days of professional drifting competitions. Back then, drivers favored balanced lightweight platforms over outright power. This ethos inspired the Team Toyo Tires Drift/Trust Racing to collaborate on a Toyota 86 drift demo car. Text by Stanley Yee // Photos by Rob Shaw Just like the cars that pioneered the early days of drifting, the GReddy 86 has shown its propensity for sliding around Japan’s mountain passes. Toyota’s engineers deliberately channeled the original AE86’s character when designing the new 86, giving it plenty of pedigree. Just…

Everyone knows that guy that never drives his car. You know, the friend that has a sick car but never drives anywhere. On occasion, he might bring his car out for a Sunday cruise but that’s about it. The car rarely leaves the garage. Either he’s scared of theft or after buying all those parts, he can’t afford the gas. Rawgie Tagle of Orange County, California is the exact opposite of that guy. Rawgie can be seen rolling his Integra sedan to the racetrack, grocery store, work, anywhere and everywhere he needs to go. Heck, he even cruises with a…

For those that know racing, know the incredible amount of time and energy it takes to go from a concept to actually taking the finished product down the strip. The thought of transforming a car from an OEM slug to a quarter-mile monster in just six days would make most shops cringe, unless the shop is Factor X Engineering. Staff Report // Pictures by Michael Ferrara The Acura NSX may be the finest automobile to ever come out of Japan, at least if you are a Honda enthusiast. Those that know the NSX, consider it as a celebration of balance…

Get back in the driver’s seat. this popular and sound advice is often given to drivers that recently experienced a mishap, in order to keep them from losing their edge. Some can’t bounce back, while others return with a vengeance. The latter group exudes a champion’s spirit, the motivation that separates the world’s best from the rest. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Richard Fong and Courtesy of Brian Young/AMS Performance A Winner’s Drive Gideon “Gidi” Chamdi offers a prime example of this attitude. He captured the GT-R Quick Class victory at the 2014 Shootout presented by Buschur Racing…

In automotive culture, excess garners attention. People love to compete for the highest peak horsepower, the lowest possible ride height or the most flamboyant widebody fenders. For Yokohama tuning shop, Advance, building a car that balances style, speed and practicality without being excessive makes the most sense. Advance’s Tasuku Yagihashi viewed the Nissan Silvia S15 as a prime example of a do-it-all machine. When he started his search for a car, Yagihashi knew he wanted a lightweight chassis with plenty of power. Most importantly, he wanted something exciting on track but also practical for commuting to and from work. To…

Blown engines are an accepted reality when it comes to racecars. Drivers are always pushing harder and looking beyond the edge of the envelope to win. For Ben Marcus, whose Subaru Impreza RS was featured in DSPORT Issue 135, December 2013, the four engines he blew were constructed on his kitchen table and may not have been constructed to the exacting tolerances needed to win races or set records. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Jun Chen and Shawna Susice Leave it to the Pros After his do-it-yourself misadventures, Marcus turned to Kirkum Automotive for sleeving and AMS Performance…

Takahiro Ueno of T&E began competing in Japan’s D1 Grand Prix championship series a decade ago and has impressed fans and enthusiasts alike with his aggressive style. After mastering the fundamentals of keeping a car both sideways and under control in an R32 Skyline, he settled into a long relationship with Toyota Soarers. As of 2009, his D1 machine is a brutal 800-HP 2JZ-powered BMW 3-series, but you will not see him at practice events in his $300,000 Frankenbimmer. Ueno prefers to sharpen his skills and perfect new techniques in something a little more reasonable: this lime-green S14 Silvia which…

Overkill is underrated. But what constitutes overfill? How much is too much? How about a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine motivated by a T4-framed 74mm turbocharger, an air-to-water intercooler with a 14-gallon tank, a billet aluminum bell housing, and enough powder coating and polishing to buy another car? All of this in a daily driver with a functional air conditioning system and full interior. If you’re going to build a car, build it to the extreme. Is it possible to overbuild a car? Some think so, but Insane Speed and its machine shop Insane Power of Las Vegas, Nevada have redefined vehicle…

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