Browsing: The Cars

The 90s were an incredible time for Japanese sports cars. Nearly every Japanese automaker incorporated at least one sports car in its lineup and Toyota was no different. The automaker offered FF, FR, and MR platforms to cater to a broad audience of enthusiasts. While most of its models may pale in comparison to the JZA80 Supra, Toyota’s often forgotten second-generation SW20 MR2 carries a cult-like following. With its turbocharged 3S-GTE mounted transversely behind the passenger cabin and a striking resemblance to Ferrari’s 348, the SW20 attracted enthusiasts who enjoyed taking the road less traveled. To this day, there’s a…

Rally-bred, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive with four doors and seating for five. Whether that’s Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution or Subaru’s WRX STI, the underlying recipe for practicality and performance has brought us a car that can be driven to, on, and from the track. This duality shared by the EVO and STI ultimately made both vehicles very attractive in the eyes of performance enthusiasts who could only have one car. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Rob Shaw / BackFromLeave Known specifically for its 4G63 performance, Garage G- Force of Aomori, Japan has put together some of the quickest time attack Mitsubishi’s…

THE UNDERDOG. THE UNDERFUNDED. THE “LIVING ON CREDIT BECAUSE I’M between jobs.” Such is the plight of average Joes everywhere that are bitten by the racing bug. When Daniel O’Donnell was first exposed to time trial competition, he was instantly hooked but his daily-driven EM1 Honda Civic Si and supercharged BMW M3 would require more than he could justify or afford to be a competitive racer. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Gotta Be Different In his quest to stand out from the norm, O’Donnell’s search for a new vehicle had him searching high and low.“I always have to have…

GT-R fans across the world appreciate the three letter marque for a number of different reasons. Whether it’s a love for the early RB26-powered cars or a fascination with the latest R35 and its massive power output capabilities, there’s a multitude of different tuning styles cultivated around Nissan’s sports car-turned-supercar. One of the latest tuning trends surrounding the GT-R includes wide body kits and air suspension. Some may argue that many of these “fast-fashion” styles are simply a product of the latest fads and won’t stand the test of time. Others may uphold the current trends as what they prefer…

“Is this it? Have we reached the limit?” When building any platform for racing, there’s a point of inflection when going faster becomes exponentially harder and astronomically more expensive. At that point, the question becomes whether to march forward with the existing platform or to start over from scratch. Whether it’s an aerodynamic limitation or a lack of a reliable drivetrain solution, chassis-specific issues cause tuners to retire old race programs and move on to newer platforms. This calculated decision must be made sans emotion in order to pursue quicker lap times. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Rob…

There are only two types of people on this earth. Those who love driving Miatas and those that make fun of people that enjoy driving Miatas. While the ND Miata has an emerging new fanbase, no one can argue that more power would make the car more fun. Unfortunately, the basic bolt-on intake, exhaust and header provide only a snack for those hungry for more power. For those with a real appetite for performance, AVO now offers a complete turbo system solution for the ND MX-5. Designed to provide an OEM fit, feel and finish, AVO touts the system as…

NOTHING STARTS OFF PERFECT. BUT JUST AS THE DIAMOND CUTTER refines a rough stone into a brilliant gem, Patrick Kelley transformed this 1990 Nissan 240SX  S13 from a neglected shell into a ride with purpose. Kelley purchased the S13 hatchback in 2006 from a buddy who lost interest and no longer wanted to finish the car. It had an SR20DET engine swap, stock wheels and a flat tire. At the time, drifting rose in popularity stateside and Nissan’s S13  had in turn become the affordable and desirable sport compact, prompting an influx of parts available for the car. Kelley had plenty…

HOW MUCH WOULD IT TAKE TO GET QUICKER AND GO faster? $5,000? $10,000? For Chris Young, crunching the numbers to ensure a balance of budget to performance started with his first car, a 1991 Eagle Talon. Chris said, “My first Talon ran a 12.8-second pass at 106 MPH with only an A’PEXi VAFC, an open downpipe and a ported stock turbocharger. After that I was hooked on 4G63 power.” Since then, Chris’ addiction took him through three more Talons, the last of which was to serve as his full race platform. In 2006, he purchased a new Civic for daily…

The vintage import car revolution continues its rise in popularity with each passing year as new classics gain traction among nostalgic automotive fanatics. This phenomenon is nothing new to automotive fans, but it is still a relatively new craze among Japanese car collectors and enthusiasts in the USA. If you’ve ever attended the Japanese Classic Car Show in California, evidence of this emerging trend can be seen as more people are restoring and tuning older Datsuns, Hondas, Mazdas, Nissans and Toyotas. Text and Photos by Richard Fong One such fanatic, Gary Stephenson, began his love affair with the Nissan marque…

What happens when Subaru invites us to Spain to test drive the 2017 Subaru BRZ? We get lost in a maze of dangerously narrow alleys, beat the crap out of the car on track, and drive so far off the suggested return route that the scenery changes from dead grass and open fields to a snowy ski resort at the top of a mountain. Yet this series of events led to a vehicle evaluation that delved deeper than any test drive at a dealership. We learned the ins and outs of the 2017 iteration of the Subaru BRZ, with an…

Four round tail lights and goes really fast. That’s Nissan’s GT-R. From the Hakosuka’s success in Japanese touring car racing, to the R32’s domination in Group A and Australian Touring Car Championship to the late-model R35 chasing six second timeslips, the GT-R has always pushed the limits of performance. While Nissan’s formula for speed may have evolved over the last forty years and six iterations of the GT-R, its racing pedigree is well decorated in a variety of motorsports. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Rob Shaw / BackFromLeave In 1989, sporting Nissan’s brand new ATTESSA E-TS all-wheel-drive technology…

Often overshadowed by the big power members in the D’Garage, our Project Party Time Fiesta ST takes this month’s spotlight as we check in on its quest for 400whp. A switch to E85, an additional port fuel injection system and some dyno time pushed the 1.6L EcoBoost closer to its goal. While we are going to feel a great deal more comfortable once the built engine is in place, getting as much tuning on the stock engine completed will only be a benefit in the future. By Michael Ferrara History Back in issue #170 (August 2016), we introduced the Full-Race…

In an attempt to revitalize the import drag racing scene in Hawaii, HyperSports Racing of Honolulu, Hawaii set out to build a competitive low-budget car for the Hawaii’s Fastest Streetcar Shootout. The task of building a vehicle that could hold its own against Hawaii’s fastest street cars isn’t a simple one. To make a difficult situation worse, the car had to be race-ready in only five days. Staff Report // Photos by Michael Ferrara and Phillip Lam The HyperSports crew had a chassis in mind. They promptly called an old friend for his 1992 Honda Civic and the piles of…

Perpetual change might be the only means to satisfy the needs of the modification-hungry. While most will build with an end goal in mind, others never see their project coming to an end. Dan Stockmar’s vision for his EVO VIII has been constantly morphing, as his need for change pushes him to continue making modifications. Already a Mitsubishi fanatic, Stockmar had owned a second-gen Eclipse GS-T until 2005 when the engine let go. A ride in his friend’s EVO drew his interest and a test drive got him hooked. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Addiction Is Good Stockmar is…

BECAUSE A MANUFACTURER DECIDES NOT TO mass produce a product doesn’t mean that product is useless. At the peak of the popularity of the Nissan Silvia S15, NISMO developed a demo car to exhibit the potential of its line of R-Tuned components. The demo S15 prototyped NISMO R-Tuned body components, suspension and a 2.2-liter stroker engine. After showcasing the car, NISMO decided to leave the stroker engine off the list of products to be produced for the public. As the vehicle had no further use to the auto manufacturer, the car began collecting dust. NISMO sponsored Auto Produce Boss (AP…

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