Browsing: Features

There is no doubt that the Mazda RX-7 is one of the best sports cars to come out of Japan. Mazda got it right with this car, from its appealing and curvaceous design to its lightweight and powerful twin-rotor and twin-turbo Wankel engine. But what really makes this car special is its potential when you begin to consider the possibilities that the aftermarket-tuning scene opens up. The car you see on these pages is the perfect example of how the FD3S can be transformed into something totally unique, but most importantly, exceedingly fast. Behold, the street-tuned Zimax RX-7. Text and…

There are few tuning shops in the world that remain loyal to a single nameplate. Fortunately, Honda fans can rely on J’s Racing for support. Located in Osaka, Japan, J’s Racing was founded in 1989 by Junichi Umemoto, a professional driver who competed behind the wheel of various Honda platforms. For over 25 years, J’s Racing has developed parts for Honda platforms, starting with the introduction of VTEC during Honda’s heyday through today’s iVTEC, K-powered platforms. In addition, they continue to compete in various racing arenas around the world. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Roadster Revival – When Honda…

Car or driver? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer on the importance of each. Some say that drifting is 80-percent driver and 20-percent car. Others claim that drifting can be mastered relatively quickly in a properly setup vehicle. For those looking to build a vehicle for drifting, we offer an example from the 2005 D1GP Champion Yasuyuki Kazama. Kazama’s latest ride is proving to be a winning setup. In fact, whether you’re building up an SR20-powered 240SX for drift, grip or street, this S15 should provide a good measure of inspiration. Text & Photos by Michael…

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned teasing to motivate the competitive spirit in anyone. When it’s a group of old friends with egos and horsepower, the situation becomes even more interesting. For Scott Franischetti, a veteran of the muscle car and domestic scene, there was something about Subaru’s Impreza STI that he found alluring. At the time, he had owned plenty of two door coupes from an IROC Daytona to a Supra and a Trans Am, but never a sedan. The practicality of a four-door sedan, Japanese reliability and an all-wheel drivetrain seemed like the perfect combination for his latest needs.…

What happens when a multi-million dollar racing operation leaves the Formula Atlantic series to campaign a production car in time attack? They build a serious car backed by an experienced team that puts the veterans of time-attack series to the test. Sierra-Sierra Enterprises (SSE) out of Minden, Nevada, won the Formula Atlantic Championship in 2007. In 2008, the split between the Formula Atlantic Series and the Champ Car World Series prompted SSE to seek a different racing venue. SSE decided that taking on the Unlimited-class cars in time attack would be a worthwhile venture. SSE began working on an EVO…

“A front-wheel drive running 12s in the quarter mile…that’s impossible.” That was the mentality of the drag racing community when Hondas would frequent the drag strips on weekends and at early Battle of the Imports events back in 1994. Not long after the “impossible” proved to be just a matter of time. Timeslips in the 11s, 10s, 9s and ultimately 8s would be attained. Today, the big question surrounds the 7s. When, where and how can a front-wheel-drive break into that elusive and exclusive range? From all estimations, a front- wheel-drive running in the 7s would have a trap speed…

Car show builds have evolved as much as the automotive industry has in the last two decades. In years past, show cars often had custom interiors with shiny and colorful exteriors and a bone stock driveline. Engine dress up kits followed after. Then came video screens hidden behind just about every opening and enough audio equipment to fill a club with ear-splitting sound pressure levels. While car show scoring and judging criteria still remain somewhat of a mystery, some vehicle owners had stepped up their game to include more than aesthetic improvements to the engine bay. To stand out from…

Too much power? Say it ain’t so. Saad Saad’s 1994 Toyota Supra turbo held the world-record for the most-powerful, 6-speed Supra in 2004. While this vehicle was able to lay down 9.80s at 150mph with 950 horsepower at the wheels and no nitrous-oxide assistance, getting its new-found 1230 wheel horsepower to the ground is the newest hurdle in the evolution of this street and strip JZA80. Unlike the majority of Supras making over 1000 wheel horsepower, this Supra remains streetable. For the street, it’s business as usual rolling on 16-inch Mickey Thompson ET Streets. At the strip, Goodyears are bolted in…

Does anyone really need 1,000 WHP to run street class in time attack? Using a flamethrower to start a barbeque, a fire hose to water a house plant or a chainsaw to cut a piece of paper would be overkill. Then again, building a 1,000-horsepower twin-turbo NSX to compete in the Street Class of time-attack events is not much different. In his quest to build the ultimate street car, Danny Young of Las Vegas has taken his 1992 Acura NSX from a well-balanced production sports car to an ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners, apex-slicing monster. While this NSX currently seems to have the right parts, proper tuning…

No boundaries. When limitations are lifted, expect the unexpected, anticipate the outrageous. Many tuning enthusiasts express themselves through their vehicle builds. When you have a blank check to work with the sky is the limit. Dominic Morabito is one of these tuners. A hard worker for his passions, Morabito has had a fascination with Mazda’s FD3S RX-7 since before he could drive. Ever the fanatic, Dominic eats, sleeps and breaths everything rotary. He had been visualizing the ultimate RX-7. Text by Richard Fong • Photos by Dean Summers Stout Rotary Morabito started the transformation in the engine bay. With the 13B rotary mill apart, the rotor housings were machined to receive a set of 12.7mm…

Track closures have been a problem in California, as the dwindling number of drag strips has left enthusiasts with only a handful of places to legally and safely go racing. While the drag racing faithful will go out of their way to find a functioning quarter mile strip, others have moved on to discover new outlets to satisfy their need for speed. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw / BackFromLeave Photography  Automotive Playground The original plans restricted him to just bolt-on modifications and light tuning. With a modest 300 horsepower to the wheels and some lowering springs,…

MEET THE ELITE. DSPORT HAS ASSEMBLED THE TEN BEST CARS TO GRACE THE COVER OF DSPORT MAGAZINE. BY WAY OF ACHIEVEMENT, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION AND BUILD QUALITY, THESE MACHINES REPRESENT THE EPITOME OF IMPORT PERFORMANCE. HORSEPOWER OUTPUT, COMPREHENSIVE CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT, TRACK RECORDS, ONE-OFF FABRICATION AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL WERE JUST A FEW OF THE CRITERIA REQUIRED TO MAKE THE LIST. AT THEIR PRIME AND EVEN TODAY, THESE MACHINES COMMAND RESPECT AND HONOR. SO HERE IS OUR SALUTE TO THE TOP TEN COVER CARS OF THE FIRST 99 ISSUES OF DSPORT MAGAZINE. 01| VeilSide Skyline GT-R Project R-1 Street/Drag Peak Horsepower: 1,360 @ 9,200 RPM (Bosch Dyno) Issue:…

Japanese classic cars have gained momentum and garnered momentum and garnered appropriate attention from enthusiasts throughout the world. It’s eye opening to see classics restored to a level worthy of show and race. Santos Renovales Sr. and his son Santos Jr. have been long-time fanatics of older Toyotas including the AE86 and the TE72 Corollas. Santos Sr. especially loved to race his classic Toyotas. Afterall, growing up in Puerto Rico, a landmass of just over 3,500 square miles, drag racing reigns supreme. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara and Richard Fong Island Drags In Puerto Rico, there…

It’s been said that records are made to be broken. After setting the quickest elapsed time record for a 2.0-liter 4G63 EVO, Emery Kapral and STM’s “Ricer” (an 8-second EVO VIII featured in Issue #97 of DSPORT) arrived at a crossroads. “We had to make a tough decision. Since Ricer was not built with the intent of becoming a full racecar, it still had all of its power features intact. To go quicker and faster, Ricer would have to become a dedicated racecar, losing much of what set it apart from the crowd. It seemed like a waste to strip…

Building a project car in your spare time and on no particular deadline is a hobby. Properly constructing a 1,000-plus horsepower showstopper after work and on weekends in just a few months requires passion and sacrifice. But in reality, such a feat requires more, it requires expertise and teamwork. With an “A-Team” behind a build, the results should be nothing less than awesome. Ernie Manansala Jr. owns just such a build, this award-winning 1,150 horsepower GT-R. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara SAVVY DEALINGS AND LOFTY AMBITION Manansala had recently given up his EVO project plus cash…

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