Browsing: Features

To reach a goal, you’ve got to have a proper game plan. To achieve Record Holder 9 (RH9) status, that plan involves producing enough power to run a nine-second quarter-mile time on street-legal tires. As simple as it sounds, joining the RH9 club is no easy feat; however, with the right knowledge, achieving this goal is not only possible, but also very rewarding. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Scott Nelson of TPR Media FROM ROTARY TO RB Tessa Whyte has been a performance fanatic since she first learned to drive. Her first ride was a Mazda RX2 sedan…

“That’s a crazy idea. Nobody would do that. Why would you do that?” Despite the latest trend, car modification will always yield some unique results. From swapping domestic engines into imports to grafting Supra taillights onto a CRX, the automotive lifestyle embodies personalization. The choice of customization is an extension of the enthusiast. When enjoyed by the enthusiast, these modifications become a worthwhile effort. Text and Photos by Richard Fong MONEY MATTERS As a 19-year-old working a parttime job at $6.75 an hour, Jon Oregon had limited resources to work with when he started looking for a new car. Although…

Toyota’s JZA80 Supra Turbo was only available in the United States from 1993 through 1998, but to this day, it continues to be one of the most desired Japanese sportscars. Some fanatics waited for years to finally acquire one, while some waited even longer to get a second one. Unfortunately, some never get the chance. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Victor Benyi Photography LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE When owners let their cars go, their motivations for selling can be anything from financial hardship to getting a good market value to fund a new project. Some have to make hard…

The famous slogan, “In a world of compromise, some men don’t” is an apt maxim to describe the perseverance needed to attain one’s ambitions. Far too often, compromises and concessions force people off track from their ultimate goal. Whether it’s career aspirations or a car build, issues such as availability, money and opinsions get in the way for many people, preventing them from achieving their objectives. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Michael Ferrara STICKLER FOR SPECIFICS Ashton Makenzie agrees with the motto above. “I always set my goals high for my project car builds,” he said. “For my…

Pony cars have been the benchmark to beat since the birth of the import performance industry nearly 30 years ago, and the Mustang continues to be a solid contender for domestic-car fans and a favrotire to side with whenever the domestic-versus-import argument arises. This battle between imports and domestics still rages to this day, especially amoung many American servicemen deployed on bases all over the world. Fortunately for import fans, there are always plenty of new challengers to give the Mustang a run for its money. Text and Photos by Richard Fong ZOOMING Z The argument for imports is compelling…

Missed opportunities can often be hard to forget, especially when shopping for a unique item. If a second opportunity were to come up, it would almost feel like hitting the jackpot. Just don’t fail to pull the trigger, lest you will discover the definition of “great disappointment.” Text and Photos by Richard Fong Lurking and Trolling While surfing the web and forums, Mark P. stumbled upon a build thread that captured his attention. The vehicle, a Datsun 510 with an SR20DET engine swap, ounded like a perfect streetcar. In his words, Mark felt that it was “the ultimate ‘not designed…

Racing is a rush for everyone, from the spectator in the stands to the driver and the team of technicians who feverishly prepare their vehicle for competition. For Ricky Silva, participation in drag racing started in the pits. He stated, “I worked for Bryan Jimenez and Marty Ladwig on the GM Racing Sport Compact teams from 2006-2008. In 2011, I worked on the Gardella Racing Formula Drift team. In my spare time, I help Fernando Cunha at CLM Motorsports.” Working with quick and competitive racing teams taught Silva valuable lessons that he would later on employ in his decision to…

The hottest sport compacts to fly off the showroom floor have been Subaru’s BRZ and Scion’s FR-S. These fraternal siblings, born of a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, have received innumerable praise from the media and consumers for its styling, performance and value. With a low roll center that rivals that of supercars, the BRZ and FR-S have tremendous handling capabilities. Coupled with the new FA20/4U-GSE boxer engine that features both direct and port injection, tuners have really taken notice of this platform. Text and Photos by Richard Fong DEVELOPMENT DARLING For Subaru specialist Quirt Crawford at Crawford Performance,…

Performance without pizzazz. It’s the mentality of the street stalker-strip rocker that preys on unsuspecting fools that front with their “all show, no go” rides at stoplight encounters. But to do so while retaining the comforts for daily drivability have proven the greatest challenge for some of these street predators. In the search for ultimate performance, many mistakenly sacrifice the very features that make a streetcar. Imagine having to sweat it out in the summer, freeze in the winter, only drive the car when it’s dry or suffer the noise and vibration of a gutted chassis. It’s not very fun…

There hasn’t been this much hype and attention focused on the race to be the quickest and the fastest since the golden era of modern import drag racing. Back then, the likes of Steph Papadakis, Adam Saruwatari and David Shih battled it out for the title of quickest and fastest import. Today, top tuning shops across the USA and Japan have investing heavily in building parts and performance solutions for Nissan’s R35 GT-R platform. While Japan has focused on the street and on-track capabilities of the GT-R, America’s passion for brute acceleration has focused on the R35’s quarter-mile capabilities. 10-second,…

Many people say that if your job is your passion, you won’t work a day in your life. But when your job becomes work, it will often kill that passion. For Bob Wilkinson, his passion for cars started before he could drive, and after taking shop courses in high school, he decided to be an automotive technician. After attending technical school, Bob went to work as a mechanic. But after five years as a technician, he began to lose the passion for his own project cars. He recalled, “When you’re working on other people’s cars all day, 40 hours a…

Boob jobs, butt lifts, and botox. Plastic surgery is a thirteen-billion-dollar-industry in America that continues to gain popularity. Body tuning, the automotive equivalent to plastic surgery, is also gaining interest in the import performance community. From mild lip kits to wild widebodies, body tuning changes the entire look of a vehicle. Recently, aggressive aero kits incorporating huge fender flares have become the newest trend. This bolted-on fender phenomenon, known as “Rough Style”, originates from Japanese tuning shops emulating aerodynamics 70’s Japanese racecars. Most of these shops that specialize in “Rough Style” aero kits focus only on rear-wheel-drive Japanese vehicles. However,…

Was she myopic, an airhead or just plain stupid? Whatever the case, Little Red Riding Hood was fooled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. From any angle, this relatively-stock-appearing R35 GT-R could easily be mistaken for just another sheep in the flock. In fact, this GT-R is “the Wolf in Shep’s clothing” that had previously defied physics when it ran into the 9.40s on a pair of T28-based, AMS Alpha 9-spec turbos. That sensational performance on E85, DOT tires and a full exhaust system was enough to earn the vehicle its cover spot on our December 2012 edition (#122). Fast…

The world exposes the globetrotting to a variety of experiences that can often leave a lasting impression. In the case of Michael Treadway, serving America in the U.S. Army enabled him to visit a number of destinations throughout the world. This worldly experience opened his eyes to places that many can only read or learn about second hand. It was during these deployments that he found a passion for automotive performance. Text and Photos by Richard Fong EASY SELL Treadway first fell in love with the Mitsubishi Evolution while in Japan. He recalled, “I chose the EVO after being stationed…

Patience is an uncharacteristic virtue among automotive enthusiasts. Whether it’s waiting for an engine build, waiting for parts to arrive in the mail, waiting for special order parts to be shipped from Japan, or waiting for the machine shop to finish working on an engine, waiting is a painful ordeal for those anxious to make upgrades or just et their ride back on the road. Track days, events and car meets wait for no one, and missing out can cause undue anxiety for some. What’s worse? Waiting for parts that may or may not ever be developed for your car.…

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