Browsing: Features

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.…

When Nissan released the R35 GT-R in Japan, the tuning community was abuzz about its capabilities and potential. Few imagined that tuning solutions for a car of relatively limited production would be developed in such a short window of time. But the global embrace of Japan’s world-class supercar drove an unprecedented demand for greater performance that pushed tuners to develop solutions quickly, or get left behind. Text and Photos by Richard Fong HKS Japan, whose humble beginnings in a small work shed at the base of Mount Fuji evolved into a tuning powerhouse of corporate proportion. It’s close relationship with…

No guard rails, no run offs, rock walls and 1,000-foot drop offs. These factors make the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb a global draw. With their sights set on the 2013 “Race to the Clouds” Pikes Peak event, the road-racing specialists at Evasive Motorsports put together a proposal to Scion Racing. According to Evasive Motorsports’ Tony Kwan, “Our ten years in business have revolved around road racing and street performance. We wanted to build a hill climb car and Scion’s FR-S looked like the perfect platform to attack the mountain.” Scion Racing approved the project and Evasive Motorsports received its FR-S just eight weeks before the…

Learning curves affect horsepower curves, so as Javier Loarca can attest, with greater knowledge comes greater horsepower. Loarca had raced an all-motor pro class car for a number of years. There he learned about making power without boost or nitrous oxide. When his all-motor racecar was sold, he purchased this Civic EG hatch as a commuter in 2007. But a short matter of time brought him back to racing as he sought to do something a bit different. Not only would he embark on a forced-induction journey, he would do so with Honda’s newer K-series powerplant instead of the B-series…

While the ignorant V8 “Mountain-Motor” camp still spouts the “There’s no replacement for displacement” mantra, various methods of forced-induction have proven to be the perfect substitutes for cubic inches. Turbochargers, along with positive displacement and centrifugal superchargers, have allowed small-displacement engines to multiply their naturally-aspirated output. When the desired power increases are on the order of 50-to-100-percent over the “all-motor” output, a properly-sized and well engineered turbocharger or supercharger system can generally provide the desired performance increase without a significant trade off in engine response. However, when the output of the engine is going to be doubled, tripled or quadrupled,…

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