Browsing: Features

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…

The JZA80 Toyota Supra is arguably the best supercar to ever come out of Japan. Even GT-R owners have to recognize that the 2JZ powerplant offers phenomenal performance and reliability. We’ve all heard the stories of the truly psychotic Supra owners that are making over 800 horsepower at the wheels with completely stock long blocks. Many of us have also witnessed the dragstrip potential of these engines in the likes of the Bullish Solaras and the Supras of Paul Efantis and Vinny Ten. Given the impressive achievements of the Toyota 2JZ engine, we weren’t too surprised to hear that SP…

Though the amount of money and time that professional car tuners have to work with may discourage the everyday car enthusiasts, Paul Coggeshall’s story is one that should brighten everyone’s outlook. Pure enthusiasts can see the beauty in project cars, even when others can not. In 1999, a 1997 Honda Civic hatchback with a blown DX motor caught Paul Coggeshall’s eye. In addition to the motor being completely worthless, the body had also been vandalized. However, the price was in budget, the frame was intact and the car itself would prove to offer a solid foundation for performance. Over the…

“The Replacement for displacement.” For the sport compact market, boost, RPM and nitrous-oxide systems have provided viable alternatives to increasing displacement. Technology allows today’s smaller engines to deliver a higher specific output than ever before. So what happens when these technologies are combined with more displacement? The best of both worlds. Text and Photos by Richard Fong OS Giken has built some of the most competitive Nissan racing engines in the world. One such example is the OS Giken RB30 engine. Built from one of Nissan’s best “race-bred” engine designs, the RB26DETT, the OS Giken RB30 system brings torque to…

The Acura Integra Type R is a great performing car. In building the Type R Integra, Honda Motor Company took an Acura Integra and shed some weight by eliminating a few of the creature comforts. Honda engineers also armed the Integra with a potent B18c5 engine. The engine was complemented with a close-ratio, limited-slip-differential-equipped transmission. Photos by Michael Ferrara Story by Sami Sharaf Combining the Type R’s VTEC powerplant with a supercharger system could have great results. You could be hitting the streets with power to spare. Back in 2001, a customer of Modacar Auto Accessories of Livermore, California contracted…

Die-hard HONDA fans lamented the loss of the “Integra” nameplate in 2002 when the U.S.-based Acura division settled upon an alphanumeric naming structure for all of its vehicles. Done at the height of America’s Honda B-series craze, there was also some initial backlash that coincided with the new platform’s (known as the RSX) K-series powerplant. It was at once new, foreign and for a while, considered somewhat undesirable. Honda fans wanted their Integras, and they wanted them badly. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Eric Tong The BK Dilemma Massachusetts resident Kiet Hong was initially on the fence. While…

In the ongoing saga of KA vs SR, there has been both progress and setbacks as Jeren and Richard continue their builds. Here is the latest news from both camps as they move closer to the final competition. Text and Photos by Arnold Eugenio and Richard Fong Project SR20 Update In the last visit with the SR20, the increased displacement, cylinder head work and camshafts put more power under the curve and earlier in the RPM range. However, peak power was limited, as the upper limits of the TOMEI POWERED 8446 turbocharger had been reached. To attain greater peak power…

Because Racecar. This is the usual response to questions like, “Where is the interior? Why don’t the windows roll down? Where is the sound system? Don’t you have power door locks?” Sure, the absence of such equipment certainly helps to lighten the chassis and ultimately, record quicker passes down the 1,320. But realistically, who can enjoy their car for more than just a few seconds at a time without these amenities, especially when running errands, sitting in traffic or going on a road trip? Text and Photos by Richard Fong These very concerns hit home for Jason Flesher. Like many…

High-performance automotive technology and components often times trickle down from motorsports and racing. That technology is then applied to consumers on a mass production scale. Because racing is perceived as the crux of automotive technology, it is often the means by which tuning shops learn more about their tradecraft and validate their abilities in competition. While this is the angle that many shops employ to earn recognition and clout with consumers, others focus directly on the needs of consumers. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Richard Fong and Sami Sharaf The People’s Tuner Focusing on the enthusiast’s needs separates…

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