2014 Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet – First Drive


This will likely come like a bitter pill for American enthusiasts to swallow, but while they’re enjoying the new Mk7 VW Golf, European enthusiasts are complaining that they must endure the GTI and Cabriolet in Mk6 guise for a while longer. In fact, their GTI arrives this year while the Cabrio has another year to work. But to rub salt into our sensitive wound, they will be able to drive a brand new Golf R Cabriolet to help relieve their pain.

We spoke to Volkswagen of America and a spokesman claimed they were very interested in the drop-top hot-hatch but couldn’t confirm it would arrive and, adding that ever since the Mk7 GTI isn’t expected until Summer 2014, we shouldn’t hold our breath for an R Cabriolet in the near futureSo within a perverse type of masochism, we decided to find out exactly what we had been missing. And who is able to deny the attraction of the R styling on the Cabriolet platform?

There’s an elephant in the room though, and it’s not the R Cabriolet’s 200 lb weight increase. Instead it’s the sizeable (near 30%) rise in the sticker price. In Europe, that pushes this R into entry-level Porsche Boxster territory, which is beyond ambitious.

Adjust the price for specification as well as the VW looks more favorable, factor in the rear seats plus it starts to make more sense. Yet the fact remains that in case you’re seeking open-topped fun, the Boxster is impossible to ignore.

If the R Cabriolet brought the hatchback’s performance credentials for the table it could make a convincing case for itself. In the transformation from hatchback to fabric-roofed convertible, the R’s four-wheel drive system continues to be ditched. And that’s a difficulty, particularly when the 2.-liter TSI turbo engine offers the full European-spec 265hp.

Make use of all that power and the front wheels struggle to contain the forces, creating havoc for the writhing steering wheel since the tires wrestle for available grip. This inevitably robs the R Cabriolet from theOf course, too much power can be fun, in a tempestuous, unruly way, although the R Cabriolet is otherwise a bit too civilized and anodyne for its own good.

The conventional DSG six-speed goes some way to robbing the R of enjoyment. Not very engaging; the sole sign it’s shifting gear is the improvement in engine tone, even though it’s undoubtedly clever. In fairness, the engine punches with conviction and sounds great, delivering a bass-rich note more akin to a six than a blown four. It’s quick too, reaching 62mph in 6.4sec on the way to 155mph. But in reality, it feels no more special than its drop-top GTI relation – which will leave you with a much bigger grin because you have a sizeable chunk of change left in your pocket.

The steering wheel itself, covered in contrast- stitched leather, doesn’t deliver much in the way of feel. There’s heft: its weighting is on the heavier end of the scale, although there’s little information about what the front wheels are actually doing. And that’s exacerbated under power, where you control the squirm not by steering into it, but by backing off. This diminishes the R’s power to utilize its power advantage on its lesser Golf Cabriolet brethren, and the firmer, 25mm lower suspension also upsets its composure.

Comfort mode failed to deliver an especially supple ride, although three settings are available on the variable damping system. Normal and Sport only increased the discomfort and, on the road a minimum of, pounded anyone tofeaturing its sales target, anticipating the Golf R Cabriolet to offer in the hundreds rather than thousands. On looks alone it would undoubtedly conquer some few deep-pocketed Golf fans – the R’s gloss-black grille, unique front bumper, deep side skirts and rear diffuser work extremely well with the edginess of the open-topped Golf. The 19 wheels also help, as does the lowered ride height in terms of look and feel.

Inside, you’re unlikely to want for much, save the optional sat nav. VW has thrown equipment in the range-topping R Cabriolet to warrant and partially create the ambitious price tag.

Sadly, no amount of standard equipment can overcome the Golf R Cabriolet’s high price and front-wheel drive layout that makes it more of a miss than a hit.

Enjoy Your Final Summer’s Weekends In Style

If the fleeting summer days stare you down and you realize it’s almost time to go back to the normal life of Winter and FallWinter and Spring, you must make the most and fit everything in you can to get the most out of the very last days of the most effective season there is certainly. It’s not really that hard to do either, so what are you waiting for? You’re not just going to waste the rest of the time on Netflix or wishing that you may go to the beach, you should go out and engage in one of those great Summer activities to essentially make you benefit from the last few moments.

Take a Cruise the Coast


It’s important to purchase in the driver’s seat of the great new car and take her in the coast. Continue on over to Nissan Glendale and scope out your sweet Nissans they have for you to take your lady the coast with. Try them out here, find out if anything tickles your fancy online before going in to the shop: www.downtownnissan.com. Once you get into a new car, you can take that cruise up the coast and check the waves in your left and perhaps even visit Elephant Seal Beach. There’s nothing quite as invigorating as cruising the coast and being together with your gal and enjoying the end of summer. You can think back to these memories when you are stuck in your office or school.

Last Minute Bar-B-Que


Then again, you are able to stick around your house and invite all your friends over for a Bar-B-Que. You probably haven’t grilled enough this summer, I realize I haven’t. So check out the store and pick up a whole mess of meat. Get some rib eyes, some burger meat and some chicken thighs. Chicken thighs really do make the best grilling meat behind red meat. So when you have every one of the supplies, just call up (or text) the gang, let them know to bring a six pack, and show up to get a late summer BBQ. It’ll be delicious and fun and a great way to start off the greater number of boring part of the year. You can’t win friends with salad, remember.

Six Flags


Then needless to say there’s the never fail fun adventure to Six Flags, wherever your home is. The roller coasters are a fantastic way to just just forget about all the upcoming trials and tribulations. You are going to feel the rush of adrenaline and the wind in your hair and it’ll be so awesome. You may be surprised at some new rides they have in the event you haven’t been to Six Flags recently. And if you go a lot, might at the same time go even more and become an authentic expert from the park. It’ll be fun for you and the whole family. And you will eat some delicious and also over priced snacks, or get home and do the BBQ idea.

Hyundai Veloster Zombified for The Walking Dead



Walking Dead Hyundai Veloster Zombie Survival Machine debuts
Equipped with weapons and armorThe car definitely has the fight, but does it have the option of flight? With tons of armor, equipment and metal and sand bags, the 1.6L 138 horsepower hatch is going to need a little more pep to power through hordes of zombies. Other than that this ZSM is one bad portable zombie destroyer. Get at me bro!

@@@@@ While modern cars equipped with substantial aftermarket custom and parts body bits are often deemed feature-worthy, few share company with this one-off creation. Forget what you thought you knew about custom cars, because this Pantera redefines the segment in fact. Every bolt, nut, clip and panel has been replaced or fabricated, making this beauty more rolling artwork than car.

I’ve been fascinated with cars since I was in diapers and was raised in a household with classic cars, since my Dad was a partial owner of a restoration shop, owner, Marc Campolieto said. In the early 80s the shop started doing restoration work on Panteras and that’sOf course we don’t have to tell you how wicked the De Tomaso Pantera is, because as you know, it was designed by American designer Tom Tjaarda and built in Italy at the De Tomaso factory. The steel monocoque design was ahead of its time back in 1971, as was the well-appointed interior with such luxuries as power windows and a cigarette lighter.

What wasn’t quite so cutting edge, though, was the pushrod American V8 that sat behind the driver. Oh yes, for those unaware, the Pantera is a mid-engine it’s and supercar got plenty of grunt thanks to a 5.8L Ford V8 under the bonnet good for 400hp. The 3100 lb rockets were harnessed by a ZF transaxle, and various magazines recorded -60 times of just 5.5sec with a top speed of 160mph. Don’t forget, this is 40 years ago!

Early Panteras were sold at Ford dealers, but after poor reliability and small sales numbers, Ford discontinued its sales partnership in 1975. After Ford dropped the Pantera from showrooms, only a handful of shops imported grey market examples, which meant US production numbers were minimal at best. The final Pantera rolled off the De Tomaso assembly line in 1991, ending the era of a unique supercar with the chassis of a European sports car and the heart of an American hot rod.

I didn’t want just any example, I was looking for a project with a colorful history, Campolieto said, though I’ve owned many nice European cars and currently own an Aston Martin Vantage and a modified Shelby Mustang GT500, and yet the desire for a Pantera never died.Campolieto rescued it with a deposit, just days before Pantera International was to start using the weathered ex-racer as a parts car. A few weeks later he arrived with an empty trailer and started what would become one of the most intense restorations we’ve ever seen.

1972 de tomaso pantera detail
1972 de tomaso pantera battery
1972 de tomaso pantera grill

As they say in the hot-rod industry, it was straight and it was all there – even the remains of a dead bird, he laughed, though It was in rough condition from sitting in the desert for so many years and it lacked an engine and transmission.

Although the road ahead was long, Campolieto set out down the lonely path to renovation with countless nights in the garage and hundreds of hours in labor. The car was painstakingly stripped down to a bare core and then methodically sandblasted to remove blemishes and bits of rust.

Since Panteras are known to have rust problems, the former racer received plenty of attention in the form of POR15 sealant. This amazing stuff actually seals in rust and prevents it from spreading. We’re not just talking about sealing the fender wells either, we’re talking the undercarriage, firewall, interior and anythingpainted, smoothed and sealed in PPG Gloss Black for a show-car touch. Every suspension piece was coated with the shiny stuff before receiving plenty of top-shelf parts like Polygraphite bushings-but more on that later, as for the powdercoat.

After the bare shell was prepped and sealed, it received plenty of chassis stiffening braces on all corners.

The Pantera might have a monocoque construction, but when you run them hard with a powerful motor they can flex quite a bit, so modern chassis stiffening pieces do wonders to brace them up, Campolieto explained.silicone and lines hoses, a thermostatically controlled electric water pump and exterior body mods to help with airflow were added to keep the beast underneath cool.

1972 de tomaso pantera rear engine
1972 de tomaso pantera rear left blur
1972 de tomaso pantera rear left far

Factory Pantera wiring is another weak point on the vintage supercars so Campolieto set out with the same attention-to-detail when rewiring the entire car – yes, the entire car.

I re-did the entire wiring system starting with a master fuse to prevent damage to the harness and circuitRe-engineering the wiring system, even on an older car is no small feat, but it allowed him to run such modern amenities like the Pantera Electronics HID headlights and the aforementioned electronic cooling system modifications.

Now past the point of no return, he had to make the big push to see the car to fruition. It was a massive undertaking that took several years and nearly $130,000, but it was well worth it since I finally built the car of my dreams, Campolieto said.

Like the impeccable underpinnings, the source of motivation is an utter piece of artwork, albeit a powerful one.

I had the Windsor Ford shortblock stroked and bored to 408 cubic inches (that’s almost 6.7L), filled with forged internals like Keith Black pistons, a TrickFlow cam, RHS heads ported by MadCap Racing Engines and topped with a ported Victor Jr intake manifold and a Holley 750 carburetor, he explained.

When fired by the MSD ignition and hooked to the custom PI Motorsports headers and exhaust system the big beast is good for 500 and 587hp lb-ft at the crank. He’s also plumbed a 125hp shot of nitrous that’s fed by two giant bottles mounted inside the engine compartment if that’s not enough.rare and ultra wide 17×10 front and 17×13 rear Boyd Coddington wheels. On the deck lid you’ll find a custom LED third brake light and the patented sugar scoop synonymous with the De Tomaso Pantera. Another touch of class came in the form of ram-air ducts that took the place of the rear quarter glass, oh yeah, they’re functional too.

Life on the inside of this rocket is also out of this world thanks to plenty of A-grade craftsmanship, especially the leather wrapped and contrast stitched dash and console reworked by Auto Weave. Of course only a keen eye would catch such details as Corvette C4 seats, the factory gauges painstakingly rebuilt by Redline and filled with VDO internals along with the Ford Taurus window motor conversion and the array of new-old-stock switches, buttons and accessoriesmodern and tidy, so I mixed modern touches like the dash and console treatment with the reworked original gauges and the other period-correct pieces, Campolieto said.

After a multi-year restoration with countless hours invested and a serious pile of cash spent, we can safely say that no bolt, nut, clip or the like went untouched during the flawless rebuild. The proof is in the pudding because not only was it perfectly executed, but it was also tastefully done, there’s no way around it.So what makes the E90 sedan so special? It’s the retina-popping Dakar Yellow. First introduced on the E36 M3 in 1994/95, the paint is only available now on special order through BMW Individual at great expense. According to the previous owner, this is the only Dakar Yellow M3 Sedan in the country, and he should know because it was specially ordered for the owner of BMW of Fremont in Northern California. Apparently, he drove it less than 400 miles before deciding the car wasn’t right for him, which is where Felix entered the picture.

There are a number of Dakar Yellow E92 M3 Coupes in the US but this is said to be the only four-door. I’ve even heard it might be the only one in the world but have been unable to verify that, he continued.

03 2011 BMW m3 platte forme carbon side skirt extensions
04 2011 BMW m3 auxillary stack gauges
06 2011 BMW m3 akrapovic evolution exhaust

A supercharger conversion was under consideration before the car was even purchased, smitten with its good looks and determined to build something with genuine speed.

In fact, Felix drove it back from Fremont to Los Angeles and straight down to San Diego. With less than 1000 miles on the clock, HG Motorsports installed an ESS VT2-600 supercharger kit that would later dyno at 555hp at the wheels.

This would be helped by the full Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system with X-pipes, 100-cell sports cats and rear mufflers. Constructed from featherweight titanium it reduces mass and improves output. In fact, the company claims approximately 20hp from this product.

The ESS blower can’t be overlooked though. It comes with bigger injectors, liquid intercooler and the necessary software. By requesting the cast intake manifold with its integrated head exchanger be painted the same Dakar Yellow, but Felix took it one stage further.The calipers were custom-painted by C&C Collision in Pasadena, CA in his favorite yellow before the gargantuan 380mm rotors were fitted all round.gills, badging and grilles, IND found a big box for its carbon fiber roof panel that would be fitted by C&C, as well as sending gloss black kidney grilles.

The bodyshop had to cut out the metal roof, since only the Coupes have a carbon roof from the factory, and replace it with the new panel. It took about a week to finish the task, after which an alcantara headliner was added to match the BMW M Performance seats, specially imported from Germany by Renn Spec in La Puente, CA.

BMW M Performance was also responsible for the carbon trunk spoiler and carbonIf he’s reached the end of his journey, felix feels as, however. There’s really not much more I could do to it, he reflected. But I’ll definitely keep it. Even when I buy the F30 M3, this one will be in the garage for special occasions.

1998 Acura Integra Type R – Rain City Hard Style


Our neighbors in Canada have long been a home to some flourishing import automotive community. They’ve produced some pretty incredible builds over the years–we merely haven’t had the chance to discover their whereabouts. If we’re worlds apart, though they are just a stone’s throw away from us, it almost feels as. A few times out of the year, we’ll meet in the upper regions of the U.S. for a variety of meets and shows, but for the rest of the continent, the Canadian import scene is essentially unseen and unheard. The only time you’ll see a nice build is from a photo that’s been shared socially online. And when you do, you say to yourself, Oh damn, that car is from Canada?

There’s a little bit of tunnel vision when it comes to this hobby of ours. It’s good to grow our horizons and see what the rest of the world has to offer. With that being said, we decided to go in a different direction for this year’s Honda Issue and convey you this ’98 Acura Integra Type R from Vancouver, British Columbia. The owner, Reggie Mah, is doing a great job of building this ITR to its current state nonetheless its reputation actually precedes itself and the owner. This R was one of the first Hondas in Canada to feature a K20A engine swap years ago when the previous owner, Darren Law, toured the vehicle throughout the country. When it wasn’t on display at events, Law beat the living hell out of it in the track. Being fair, this Integra is really a stud while watching camera but in person is far from perfect; it wears the scars from the battle-tested past on the factory Championship White body. When Reggie eventually acquired it, the vehicle was literally (and figuratively) a shell of itsI will remember, Reggie says. What Type R was my dream car, and Darren’s R was my inspiration. I couldn’t afford an ITR so I settled for a regular modded and DC2 it. It wasn’t until a year and a half later Darren offered to sell me his R. I originally planned to purchase the entire car complete with all the current parts onto it but the asking price was just too much out of my reach. He parted it all out months later and I purchased the shell with just the K-swap. I even were required to bring my very own seats and steering wheel only to drive the vehicle home.

Though it was just a bare motor and shell, Reggie was excited by the possibilities of finally owning an R to perform with. That may be, until he started realizing all the problems the car had. Nobody wants the headaches of having to deal with all these issues but I took it all in stride. You will need to remember that this car enjoyed a K20 transplant back when there weren’t many bolt-on/plug-and-play parts available. The swap was depending onThe full build process has been a constant uphill battle, even up until today, as Reggie explains: One of the first things I had to change out was the custom shifter tray they made. I’m sure it wasn’t even bolted down and was just on the exhaust piping-I could literally see the pavement from inside of the cabin while driving! The automobile was modified extensively out and inside so there were many things about the R that just didn’t work following the factory parts were re-installed. Electrical gremlins were the biggest problem. Each time I drove the car it will just die and I always had to possess a set of jumper cables on me. The instrument cluster didn’t work either therefore i never knew how much gas I had inside my car!

Hindsight always being 20/20, regrets still weren’t cause for concern. There was a love/hate relationship that had developed but it allowed him to find out everything he needed to understand cars. Becoming a resident of Vancouver provided him with plenty of time during the winter to function on the car in his garage as well. As an alternative to dealing with the down sides every time the automobile left him on the side of the path, he took advantage of the downtime and tore all of those other ITR apart, pulling the motor and all of. The electrical system turned out to be too steep a learning curve for Reggie, so he eliminated any semblance of factory wiring altogether. In its place now is a custom-tailored Rywire K-swap engine harness. It was also easily removable via a Mil-spec quick disconnect plug, even though the complete harness not only afforded a cleaner, tucked appearance.

08 1998 acura integra type r KEYS steering wheel

04 1998 acura integra type r volk racing TE37

10 1998 acura integra type r recaro pole position seats

While the motor was out, his and Reggie friends attempted their first shave and tuck of the engine bay. Over time, the bay had seen significant wear pre- and post-K-swap so it was the right time for a refresher. Shaving the firewall smooth and eliminating the holes gave the bay a much more modern appeal. Reggie explains, Shaved engine bays are very popular down in the (U . S .) but up here in Canada, it’s rare to see. The wintertime months were so cold that no one really wanted to come over and assist me to work on the automobile. I don’t blame them though, it wasn’t exactly fun to sit in a garage with subzero temperatures however i was determined to get it done. One of my buddies spot-welded the holes shut and then I spent 20 hours smoothing everything out for paint.

If Reggie was doing an entirely new K20A swap, between shaving the bay, tucking the brake lines behind the firewall and running custom -AN cooling lines, it was as. The motor was serviced with new seals and gaskets during that time to ensure that in addition, it had a fresh start. He soon saw that the factory Honda TPS sensor was one of the culprits of his electrical troubles and upgraded it with a K-Tuned unit. Engine vibrations typically kill factory sensors so K-Tuned developed a sensor in a silicone-filled billet housing capable of surviving the stress. As soon as the bay was re-sprayed, he acquired a freshmost of this ITR build. I went to the Wekfest car show [in San Francisco] and could see initially the builds that I looked up to in magazines. It was actually real motivation for me to attempt to get my car near to the level of some of the Hondas from ATS Garage. I had the chance to meet Anh Truong from ATS and the man was a big help in my build, Reggie says.

Anh was able to get Reggie in touch with the guys from Circuit Hero, who later supplied him using their 3-point strut tower bar, rear lower tie bar, 3-inch intake and custom interior roll bar. To give attention to the Circuit Hero pieces, the strut bar and intake pipe were recoated within a custom teal mix while the roll bar was color-matched in a tone reminiscent to Volk Racing’s Magnesium Blue . Up front, the usage of blue accents follow suit with some blue Recaro Pole Position buckets. Draped on top of each seat are white Willans 4-point safety harnesses. The concave KEY! S steering wheel bears a matching colorway but the most attention-stealing options that come with the cockpit have to be the STACK Circuit and cluster Soul shift knob designed to resemble a massive bullet casing.

The outside seems to be an ever-changing part of Reggie’s build. Perhaps he hasn’t selected a look that he or she is 100% content with so he’s constantly evolving. When we first spotted his build, his Integra was rocking a BackYard Special front bumper and Mugen Gen. 2 rear spoiler. Now, as you have seen in the photos, his R is currently wearing a C-West front sides and bumper. The only real constants who have remained considering that the onset of his build are the M’s Racing mirrors and J’s Racing Type S hood. Any Honda lover knows that should you acquire any of those two products, you’re probably to hold onto them for a very long time. He found a J’s Racing carbon GT wing to complement the hood but has even customized that with taller 275mm titanium wing stands. His variety of wheels appears to vary based on whatever fancies his tastes at the moment, although the general consensus is that this 16×8 set of Volk TE37s is by far his best choice to date. In the event the spokes are running outside the Spoon Twin Block brakes up front, the concavity of your wheel causes it to be appear as. Judging from the pace through which he’s swapped out aero components and rolling stock, he’ll probably have moved onto another set-up onceThe automobile isn’t complete in my eyes, Reggie proclaims. It’s never-ending. I plan to take the interior out, repaint it leaving it bare. I want to possibly repaint the whole car, too, since I need a color change. I know there’ll be those that will hate the idea of re-painting an original Championship White R but I don’t build my car for everyone else but myself. The car is part of my personality and I’m glad to view that there are those who will get it and people that won’t. Maybe I’ll redo it over again in a year, who knowssteel exhaust; Vibrant Performance 3 and resonator muffler; Downstar Inc. engine mount hardware kit, engine and transmission bolt kit, V2 fender bolt kit and tower hardware kit; Circuit Hero 3-inch intake pipe; Beatrush cooling plate; Hasport 62A Version 2 K-swap engine mounts; FAL dual 12-inch fan shroud; Cusco radiator cap; Rywire K-swap full-size radiator w/-16AN bungs, coolant overflow tank, Mil-spec engine harness w/quick disconnect, conversion harness and charge harness; Project Mu reservoir socks; TEIN hood dampers

Drivetrain JDM DC5 ITR six-speed transmission; OEM S2000 clutch master cylinder; ORC Hyper Single clutch and lightweightdampers and roll center adjusters; JDM ITR front sway bar; Cusco 25mm rear sway bar; Circuit Hero rear subframe brace; Skunk2 front/rear camber kit

Brakes Spoon Sports Twin Block front brake calipers; Hawk HP front brake pads; Power Slot front brake rotors; Goodridge stainless steel brake lines

Wheels & Tires 16×8 15 Volk Racing TE37; 215/45R16 Kumho XS; Project KICS R40 Neo Chrome lug nuts

Exterior JDM DC2 ITR front end conversion w/OEM HID; C-West front side and bumper skirts; TopOne USA carbon-fiber S2000 rear diffuser; J’s Racing 1500mm carbon GT rear wing, Type S hood and carbon-fiber canards; RCrew chassis splitter mounts; Aerocatch hood pins; M’s Racing carbon-fiber GT side mirrors; Vision mirror plates; iParkharder custom titanium 275mm wing stands; paint-matched VIS Racing carbon-fiber rear hatch; FAL Lexan rear window; EDM rear taillights and foglight; Mugen license plate bolts; JDM DC2 clear side markers and window visors

Interior STACK ST8100 digital cluster; AEM wide band UEGO; Works Bell short hub, Rapfix II quick-release; KEY! S Racing Deep-Type 350mm leather steering wheel; JDM Honda foglight air and switch bag delete tray; custom Recaro door card wrap and black headliner; Recaro Pole Position seats; Willans Silverstone 4-point harness with alloy adjusters; Nagisa low seat rails; Taylor aluminum battery relocation box; Optima battery; Circuit Hero shifter extender; Circuit Soul 400g Bullet Casing shift knob; Mugen pedal set; ASC/Circuit Hero custom roll bar with integrated X-braces and rear strut bar; J’s Racing C-pillar bar

Thanks You Jay Hsu at FourPlusOne, Samantha Wieczorek, Alex Markovic at Northwest Acura, Eric Mann at APL Motorsports, Curtis Wong at The Speed Syndicate, Glenn Lanuza at Marv Jones Honda, Philip Thi at Lougheed Acura, Warren Wu at Sportscar Coachworks, Rywire, Mike at K-Tuned, Gil Salazar at Circuit Hero, Frank at Downstarinc, ATS Anh, DPK David, Ronald at LCM, Joey Lee at The Chronicles, Alex Adist at Circuit Soul/RWB Canada, Nick at Touge Factory, Hugh at Evasive Motorsports, Kevin at Evolution Auto Performance; ALL myin the Adriatic is what eventually wakes me. Even at this early hour, the warmth tells me it’s will be another sensational day – Europe continues to be sweltering beneath a prolonged heatwave for weeks now – but I’m bleary-eyed, probably from one beer too many at last night’s beach barbecue, making the rays of 5am sunlight none too welcome.

In this delicate state, it requires me a moment adjust to my canvas surroundings, and there’s a moment of genuine shock when I watch out of my tent accommodation and see the nose of your Mini Countryman protruding from beneath my bed. I Then remember – I’m sleeping on the roof of any car!

You can see, europeancarweb.com is one of very few outlets given a chance to sleep in one of three special Mini ‘camping concepts’; vehicles that adapt standard models for the benefit of sleeping under theincluded with an All4 model of the Countryman. And also the location for this night inside the fresh air is the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, just north of Zadar – it could seem like the less fashionable side of the Adriatic when Italy is across the water, but Croatia has all the scenic beauty of its neighbor and much less of the crowds, meaning it’s well worth a visit…

What’s also noteworthy is the five-star hotel 500 yards away, with a room in it for me personally with all the luxuries I could want. I can chicken-from sleeping in the Mini whenever I like, however in the interest of critical appraisal, I opt to sleep outdoors. Besides, it appearsyou can suggest it gives the car a more purposeful, outdoors look. The roof box is a slimline item when folded, and Mini even mounted a tire around the roof than it, Dakar-style.

The package is barely wider compared to the car, and about the length of the Countryman’s roof, so it doesn’t overhang the cabin in an ungainly manner.

Mini countryman camp rear view 03

Mini countryman camp passenger side view 04

Mini countryman camp driver side view 05

In terms of the bed, setting it at your campsite is simplicity itself. Just pop the catches around the roof box and using fabric handles, pull the top one half of the clamshell upwards to enable the heavy-duty hinges to extend. The tent is fixed inside the solid parts of the rooftop box so is automatically set up in seconds. And the bottom of the box is stuffed with foam, meaning it’s a comfy bed capable of sleeping two average-sized adults with minimum hassle. And you can pitch this anywhere the Countryman All4 can physically drive.

Of course, the car itself is as practical as ever, retaining five seats plus a decent trunk; when you eventually decide to settle down to the night, it can be usedis the concept that drives most like a Mini, given that the donor car is structurally unchanged by the addition of the roofing box. It isn’t short of punch on Croatian mountain roads, which is welcome as the roof box/tire combo adds weight up high, as a 184hp Cooper S model. However, there isn’t an abundance of roll as a result, as well as the Countryman generally behaves as it should – it has good grip, a reliable chassis, along with a ride that’s good in the super-smooth surfaces of two-lane freeway between Split and Zadar, but less impressive on the broken blacktop of urban roads negotiating their way through Zadar’s outskirts.

How High Altitude Can Affect Your Motor and Your Driving

Although it can be very therapeutic and enjoyable to travel driving throughout the mountains at high altitude . . . not to mention the incredible views . . . there are a couple of things you need to not forget. The altitude has an enormous effect on how an engine produces its power; it’s all to the amount of oxygen which is found in the air (or even more accurately, lacking it). Just as people and animals can suffer from altitude sickness, so can anything with an engine. This means cars, snow-blowers, motorcycles, model planes . . . basically everything which relies upon a motor for its power.

Driving through the mountains

If you decide to drive to incredibly high altitudes it may stop all motors from working completely, but in many instances all it takes is a quick tune-up and a little bit of preparation to have your motor running as sweetly as it does at lower altitudes.

Some cars can cope with different altitudes much better than others, and it may be that you just hardly notice any difference in the performance of the engine at all. Small altitude changes will probably not affect performance at all . . . well, not so you notice, however if you drive from say 6,000 feet to more than 12,000 feet in a short space of time then you will probably notice a large difference in performance.

If you will be driving through high altitudes on holiday it could assistance to use something such as a superior quality gasoline or some sort of octane booster. When you return to more normal altitudes you may also should run a amount of fuel injection cleaner from the system. This will assist to clean out any residue which could have been causing your engine to operate less efficiently.

Driving in high altitudes may create other problems too. When driving it is usually a serious gradual process as you get higher and higher which provides the body plenty of time to adjust for the reduced level of oxygen from the air, but this could make the driver or passengers suffer from some warning signs of altitude sickness.


Higher altitudes generally also mean increased wind and cooler temperatures. Make sure that your power steering is nice and tight and therefore there is no looseness in the front end of the suspension. All of this can make a big difference to handling in extreme winds.

Using lighter motor oil can also help when driving in severe cold weather. This will not thicken up quite a lot when the temperatures plummet. It may even be needed to use engine heaters throughout the most severe conditions.

Ensure that all of the fluids are topped up inside your car for that maximum efficiency and drivability. If not impossible to shift gears in extreme cold temperatures, this includes power steering fluid and clutch fluid – it could become difficult. You must also remember to have good quality anti-freeze in the radiator and the windshield washing fluid.


If your car is well maintained then it must not cause way too many problems but cars with “niggles” will probably be magnified if you try to drive at high altitudes than if you are at lower, warmer locations.

At Nissan Corona they’ve got a fantastic range of motors which will behave perfectly with a high altitude road trip. If you are heading up higher and higher in your vacation don’t be delay but do bear in mind the following tips. If your car isn’t up to it then take a look at http://metronissanredlands.com, they’ve got plenty to pick from.

2000 Honda S2000 – The Phoenix


In Greek mythology the Phoenix is actually a beautiful bird that is regenerated and reborn, arising from the ashes from the predecessor. The stunning red S2000 that you see before you went down in flames (literally) and has arisen from the ashes of its previous form time and time again, each form being greater than the one before it.

Yuri Arts and his family, planted firmly inside the Netherlands, use a love affair with the Honda brand. They’ve owned multiple chassis along with the S2, and possess modified each one. And the manner upon which we modify cars is undoubtedly an indication of this growth, over the years we all grow and mature. In 2000, they obtained a ’98 Civic which belonged to his wife, Yvonne, and, in Yuri’s own words, “We pimped it to a pink lady monster.” Clearly, times and styles and focal points have evolved. Even still, they owned that car until 2010. Yvonne keeps Yuri focused on his build as she doesn’t allow him to do anything major to her S2, even though it has since been replaced with a red S2000. So the couple scoots about town in her and his red Honda roadsters, but with regards to family time, the two needed something to transport their son in. Not surprisingly, another Honda will be added to the stable, this time a new Accord (TSX, to us here in the States) that, regardless of its being strictly a household car, continues to be graced with wheels, suspension, and an intake from the one-and-only Mugen. Yeah, this family has somewhat of a modding addiction.

“The S2000 was my dream car. The looks and the high-revving engine of 9,000 rpm is fantastic. It provides race car capabilities which is a convertible. I never imagined I can own one.” However it was in 2004 that Yuri was able to find the chassis he had dreamt of. That same year, Yuri joined S2Ki.com, the internationally renowned S2K forum that covers essentially everything and anything that this S2000 enthusiast, new or established, could want or need to know. The next year he joined honda-s2000.be, an S2000 enthusiast site particularly for those in the Netherlands. With these two sites offering up countless ideas and inspirational S2 builds, it didn’t take very long for Yuri to embark on his own build.

“The performance modifications began in 2006. I was looking more and more in the Forced Induction part of the forum and wanted even more brake horsepower as well,” Yuri says. So, the decision is made that Yuri’s S2 could be powered through the use of forced induction. He then decided to contact a shop by the name of Supra Sport to produce a build plan. The shop is an expert in Toyota, but in addition works onLexus and Nissan, and other manufacturers, as the name indicates. Exactly what the Supra Sport crew didn’t specialize in, however, were Hondas. Regardless, Yuri worked with those to develop a build plan and possesses stayed along with them on the project ever since. They’ve been responsible for the installation and/or fabrication of your entire build.

The car has gone through many phases from 2006 to the present incarnation, and all those involved went through hellfire along with to learn the most difficult of ways on where and how to improve the build. “With the first setup we didn’t have the cooling under control, so on long runs on the German Autobahn the engine would overheat and internal damage occurred. The engine blew in the dyno as a result of mistake the engineer made in the computer, on the next setup. We had to fix it, so that we decided to get rid of the whole setup and start over, rebuilding the engine through the ground up. This period around the engine caught fire while cruising on the highway,” Yuri reminisces. They discovered that the fuel rail broke off and also the fuel that had been spilling lit up the whole bay. “We were with four cars and stopped immediately and extinguished the bay. A lot had to be repaired after that.” Yeah, we simply imagine. Talk about rising from ashes and flames.

What clearly stands out by far the most on this build, and the biggest reason it landed in the odd swaps issue, is the use of a Toyota Supra gearbox. The 2JZ motor that powers the MKIV Supra is really a phenomenal powerplant capable of holding incredible power. With that much potential, Toyota had to mate it to your capable transmission able to handle gobs of horsepower, torque, and abuse. The six-speed Getrag V160 gearbox that resulted is known to handle cars with upwards of 1,500 hp, so its strength, combined with favorable gear ratios commence to make their choice to utilize it within this turbo build more and more logical. But opting to use the transmission is one thing, making it all come together is another. The guys at Supra Sport had to fabricate a completely custom, all-aluminum adaptor plate to mate the transmission towards the F-series mill. In addition to the gearbox, they utilized the Toyota OEM Torsen limited-slip differential.

With the knowledge gained through the previous F/I setups, the existing setup was decided upon and executed. They completely rebuilt it and stroked the very first F20C to 2.2L. A Garrett TS-GT35R turbo with a PFabrications twin-scroll manifold was chosen to handle induction duties, while a fully custom Supra Sport fuel system using Bosch 2,000cc injectors was made to quench the subsequent thirst. With everything eventually situated, the car was wear the dyno, the AEM EMS connected, and the critical tuning session began. The end result was a staggering 600 560 and bhp n•m at 1.5 Bar utilizing 91-octane fuel.

Through bouts of overheating, blown motors, and fuel fires… each time the build was reborn and arose once again. It could seem that the cycle has ended, as Yuri as well as the crew at Supra Sport were able to create rock-solid numbers without any major issues. “Lately the car has performed perfectly,” Yuri says. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, apparently, wrong. Yuri adds, “We have got a new engine setup within the making. Twin scroll is headed out the door. We plan to use a new, simple turbo but with the aid of an Eaton supercharger. So, we’ll have a lot more power in the low rpm, quicker spool up for your turbo, and we’ll use E85 to bump all of it up to no less than 800 bhp.” Well, it looks like yet another incarnation of this beautiful red S2000 is in the way, as well as perhaps the greatest one yet.

“The S2000 was my dream car. The looks and also the high-revving engine of 9,000 rpm is fantastic. It has race car capabilities and is a convertible. I never thought I would be able to own one.”

1306 honda s2000 F20C

1306 honda s2000 interior

1306 honda s2000 OZ racing LM wheels

Bolts & Washers

2000 Honda S2000



2.2 stroker kit with forged pistons

PFabrications twin-scroll manifold

Garrett TS-GT35R turbocharger and intercooler

Custom ATI crank pulley

Toyota Supra 6-speed gearbox

Toyota Supra limited-slip differential

Supra Sport aluminum engine to gearbox adaptor

Supra Sport custom fuel system with swirl pot

Bosch 2,000cc injectors

Ultimate Racing dual 3-inch exhaust

Koyorad aluminum radiator

Samco hoses

Polished valve cover

Gas hood shocks

Driveshaft Shop axles

Password: JDM carbon radiator cooling plate

Carbonetics carbon twin plate clutch


600 bhp at 9,200 rpm, 560 n•m


Modified MY07 S2000 front and back subframes

Intrax 1K2 suspension with antiroll control

Cusco reinforcement bars


Rotora big brake kit

Grooved/drilled rotors

Wheels & Tires

OZ Ultraleggera LM wheels

Bridgestone RE-11 semislicks


Full paintjob with extra clear lacquer

Shine bumper

Downforce side diffusers

MY04 S2000 rear bumper

Chargespeed carbon rear under caps

Password: JDM carbon front splitter

Password: JDM carbon full underbody diffuser

Seibon carbon hardtop

Seibon carbon hood

Seibon carbon wing

New Honda OEM hardtop installation components

USDM AP2 headlights

USDM AP2 taillights


Mugen rollcage

Alcantara accents on seats, door panels, and dashboard

Carbon center console

Various new Honda parts


AEM Series 2 EMS

Racelogic traction control

Defi BF gauges with controller


I would mainly want to thank my wife Yvonne, for letting me do my thing. My tuner Arnout Van Der Kamp (www.suprasport.nl), for building this unbelievably beautiful and fast car. My buddy Noud Klaver, for always being available to drive to my tuner, which can be 60km away, hundreds of times in the last year or two.

1306 honda s2000 seibon hard top

1306 honda s2000 side view

1306 honda s2000 garrett_intercooler

Owner Specs

Daily grind

IT programming company owner

Favorite sites

S2Ki.com and honda-s2000.be

Screen name


Building Hondas

About 12 years

Dream car

This is it.

Inspiration just for this build


Future builds

Keep going on this one

1306 honda s2000 password JDM diffuser

1306 honda s2000 garrett turbo

1306 honda s2000 defi gauges


This website is a Belgian and Dutch S2000 enthusiast online community and is well organized. Constantly involved with its members in ways that can easily be the envy of the worldwide S2000 enthusiast community, they even put together multiple trips through which members toured Europe together. In 2009, they went to Italy to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the S2000. It was there that they all met the principle designer in the car, who traveled from Japan to join them on the trip. Pretty damn cool, right?

Later that same year these were invited by Honda Japan to come to the manufacturing plant in the Land of the Rising Sun to view the last S2000s roll off of the production line. Even more cool! Yuri made certain to optimize on the circumstances and make the most from his visit to Japan. He took an extra week to check out Rays, J’s Racing, Spoon Sports, and a lot more.

With everything eventually situated, the automobile was put on the dyno, the AEM EMS connected, and the critical tuning session began. The effect was a staggering 600 560 and bhp n•m at 1.5 Bar utilizing 91-octane fuel.

1981 Toyota Starlet (KP61) – Amazing Techno Craft Dream Coat


Tempted to come jump on the bandwagon as it approaches your local stop? The Initial D anime craze has completely saturated the global AE86 “Hachiroku” market, skyrocketing the black market prices of the vehicles. In some cases cars are marked up above $10K, or almost in the general price range where a new car can be acquired. The animation successfully tainted the AE86 market with its over-glorification of a seamless archaic automobile by propagandizing to the youth that it’s a supercar, unbeatable in the mountain roads. But what these bandwagoners don’t know is that there are plenty of other chassis that are similar in configuration and vehicle class to the AE86, and the best part is that these vehicles come without the extra “fanboy tax”. One of the prime examples of such chassis is the Toyota Starlet. The KP61 Starlet had its first breath in 1978 when it first came off the production line, but sadly it wasn’t exactly your “weekend cruiser” or “chick magnet” type of whip.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s domestic muscle cars still roamed and ruled the streets, and these flimsy Japanese go-karts were virtually ignored from the public eye, where the only beneficial aspect for owning one was the great mpg. On the flip side, things were completely different overseas in the Land of the Rising Sun, where these Starlets were more modified than your average plastic surgeon’s wife and were actually pretty quick. There were endless one-make Starlet races taking place, pushing forward the Japanese motorsports technology as large corporations, such as TRD (aka Toyota Technocraft), spent millions producing parts and sanctioning these races. For the current old schoolers, these were the heyday of TRD in terms of motorsports involvement, and the parts that were circulated are pretty much priceless now and cannot be acquired without knowing someone.

The early KP61 Starlets were equipped with a carbureted 1.3L 3K engine, and the later 4K versions in 1983 were transitioned into EFI in Japan. The U.S. versions came equipped with 4K variants that were carbureted or fuel injected depending on its year. Of course, this was one of the great ingenuities that led to the success of the Japanese automaker; they equipped their cars with a smaller displacement engine combined with a lighter chassis compared to their rhinoceros-bodied Detroit counterparts. The automaker’s philosophy for the vehicle was to get the passengers from point A to B by using the least amount of gasoline as possible, and the marketing timing couldn’t be more perfect than the 1979 energy crisis. Currently true aficionados seek the KP61 Toyota Starlet for its extremely short wheelbase and front engine rear-wheel-drive (FR) configuration. The Toyota Corolla FX16, unfortunately, superseded the Starlet in 1985, where the fuel and drivetrain efficient front-wheel-drive vehicles became more practical from a production point of view.
1981 toyota starlet custom diffuser Photo 2/12 | 1981 Toyota Starlet (KP61) – Amazing Techno Craft Dream Coat

The good news is that die-hard gearheads who appreciate a lightweight FR vehicle of the ’80s, such as Edward Feliciano of Southern California, still exist. Edward spruced up the KP61 after seeing it sit in his cousin’s garage for 15 years. Edward was looking for a project car to work on and pass on to his son, like his father had done for him. Eager to get started, he and his son picked up the wrench and stripped the entire shell, leaving the bare-bones chassis in the hands of none other than the premier old-school autobody expert PJ Bonifacio. Since everything about the factory Starlet lacked speed, looks, and style, plus the fact that nothing was available off the shelf in terms of performance parts, Edward had to custom-fabricate everything.

The 1.3L OHV factory 4K engine produced a substandard 58 hp at 5,200 rpm. It would take tremendous amounts of custom work and finances to even get it up to today’s standards, which is an at least three-digit power figure. The economical and most efficient method for Edward was to obtain a transplant from a second-generation 2.0L MR2 3SGE engine. And since this was previously a non fuel-injected vehicle, everything from the fuel pump to a full chassis wiring harness had to be constructed from scratch. The stainless steel high-rise header and lower center of gravity engine mounts were also fabricated and welded up, as well as the oil pan to clear the KP61 front crossmember. Individual throttle bodies were mated to the head assembly along with a vacuum collector block to accumulate each cylinder vacuum pressure to channel with the MAP sensor. An Electromotive TEC 3 stand-alone ECU with a direct ignition system was artfully tucked away, unnoticeable to a layperson’s eye. Needless to say, the engine internals are still stock, but now there is more than enough power to perhaps wheelie the 1,500-pound go-kart into Jupiter. A 225hp engine in a 1,500-pound machine computes to a 1:6.7 power-to-weight ratio, equivalent to the omnipotent 500-plus horsepower Dodge Viper SRT10. The only thing keeping ample weight in the rear of the vehicle is the FS Racing fuel cell. Tilton Racing master cylinder, brake booster, and calipers are in charge of both stopping and braking chores.

The rest of the machine features a combination of parts used from other Toyotas including a larger cylindrical volume AE86 shock casing/spindles for the front suspension. TRD and Cusco competition components were utilized to make up the front and rear suspension, custom made of course. A full disc-brake setup from an AE86 were adopted, which was a given since there is no way that the stock KP61 solid rear axle could withstand anything over 70 lb-ft of torque. The brake setup was then upgraded to a Tilton Racing master cylinder, brake booster, and calipers to enable explicit stopping power.
1981 toyota starlet front view Photo 3/12 | 1981 Toyota Starlet (KP61) – Amazing Techno Craft Dream Coat

The aesthetics of the vehicle exemplify that of the TRD catalog of the ’80s. Most of the components are practically rare artifacts now so they had to be purchased used; extensive restoration practices had to be implemented in order for the parts to look spick-and-span. Starting with the interior, low-back TRD bucket seats with brackets were chosen for the seating option. These seats are a perfect fit for the nostalgic flavor that the machine gives, also perfect considering the vehicle’s era. A Sabelt racing harness holds the driver and passenger in place as the vehicle is steered with yet another TRD product, the leather steering wheel.

An entirely new aero kit was based off the TRD N2 widebody kit by PJ Bonifacio. This includes the hood, front and rear bumper, fender flares, side skirts, rear diffuser, and rear roof spoiler. Staggered 15×10.5 front and 15×11.5 rear Panasport wheels squeezed with 225/45-15 Advan tires were set up to come millimeters away from the fender lip, but by no means making contact. Japanese-spec fender mirrors were bolted down as the final touch to the aggressive exterior, which unmistakably screams “old-school JDM”.

Despite the Starlet being an unpopular choice compared to the Hachiroku, the fanboys will indeed drool and break their necks trying to get a further glimpse of a KP61 of this caliber. The bad thing is that the Toyota Starlet will keep increasing in price as the years go on, but the good thing is that it will probably never have some sort of absurd popularity tax tacked onto its price. Edward invested a total of $30K for this build and taught his son the powerful art of father and son bonding.

Most of the components are practically rare artifacts now so they had to be purchased used; extensive restoration practices had to be implemented in order for the parts to look spick-and-span.

What Makes The Perfect Driving Shoes

Choosing the right driving shoes isn’t all about looking good (although there are some pretty stylish pairs about once you know where to look) . . . it’s actually more about safety and comfort.

Your safety and the safety of others if you drive while wearing the wrong varieties of shoes it may have all sorts of implications on your driving.

Rather alarmingly, a large proportion of people have admitted to driving in shoes which were unsuitable. In some cases this may have caused them to drive in a dangerous fashion, in others it may have even been the cause of accidents.


Your feet are very important and really busy while driving. These are constantly pressing and releasing the pedals that may all commence to take its toll about the feet and ankles. If you are wearing the right kind of shoes your toes will be comfortable which will enable you to feel more enjoyable which in turn enhances the control you might have over the car. It also means that you can react faster to changing situations in the road conditions or even the traffic close to you . . . wearing the proper sort of driving shoes can certainly help you to develop into a smoother driver.

The key attributes of good driving shoes are the heels as well as the soles.

Soles – when your shoes have thick soles it prevents you from feeling the pedal properly that can make it difficult to learn how much pressure you are exerting onto it. This will make braking and accelerating very jumpy and jerky, be uncomfortable for passengers, cause undue wear and tear onto your car and be potentially dangerous if you must react quickly. Your driving shoes should have soles which are no more than 1 cm thick although even thinner than which is better. Try driving in a pair of shoes with a very thin sole and you’ll soon experience the difference.


You’ve also have got to avoid shoes with extra wide soles. This could cause you to accidentally press both pedals at the same time which could cause a variety of problems.

Now let’s pinpoint the heels. High heel shoes are a definite “no-no”. In order to achieve the right type of pedal action, the heel of the foot needs to be firmly placed on to the floor. When you wear high heels this elevates the heel with distorts your capability to know how much pressure must be applied. High heels are bad but platforms and wedges are even worse – they’ve got double the trouble with thick soles and high heels as well.

Flip Flops may also be a really bad idea in terms of driving. They are able to fall off so easily that they can become lodged between your floor along with the pedal which happens to be very distracting for the driver and can result in accidents.

So what are the alternatives?

Moccasin type driving shoes may well not exactly match your outfit but there are some super stylish ones available too. They’ve got super flexible, thin soles and are extremely comfortable with little if any heel whatsoever . . . the perfect combination.


It’s a great idea to carry a pair of driving shoes along with you all the time, then it really doesn’t matter what you are wearing. It’s really easy to slip out of your “”fashion”” shoes and into your comfortable driving shoes as you get out and also in of the car and can make a big difference for your safety and comfort.

At fiat orange county they’ve got a great variety of pre-used and new cars for sale, just waiting for you to take a test drive. Take a look at http://www.ocfiat.com and don’t forget your driving shoes.

2007 Acura CSX Type S – Student Without Borders


Misconceptions and Rumors, especially in the Internet age, tend to bring about spreading far too much incorrect information. With regards to cars, often an owner and build are presented from the wrong light because people are quick to help make assumptions based solely on what they see. So, let us immediately dispel all speculations about the vehicle you see here; this J’s Racing-equipped Honda is not an FA5 Civic converted to JDM FD2 specifications, before we officially begin our tale today. It’s actually not a Civic at all–form of. Just in accordance with the nomenclature alone, it’s not even a Honda. For individuals who aren’t within the know, the Civic that you’re staring at is actually an Acura CSX, though from the same family, yes. Much like the Acura EL, it will be the slightly more sophisticated, more luxurious Canadian cousin of the Honda Civic. The EL was initially introduced to our Canadian neighbors because the Integra sedan was never made available in their mind. Instead, they received the EL, that has been essentially a Civic with better features. The CSX was a alternative to the EL, both of which shared their availability in the Canadian markets.

Pradana Wilianto, better known as Ping or Ping Ping to his friends, acquired his CSX, a Type S model, during his stay in Vancouver back in 2007. He was an international student from Indonesia who was studying abroad. I’ve always been an enormous fan of Japanese sports cars, especially anything Type R from Honda, Ping explains. The minute the FD2 Civic Type R became available, I couldn’t stop thinking about it–I wanted one so bad. In ’07, there was no Si sedan in Canada, so I was left with either the FG2 Civic Si coupe or the CSX Type S. I picked the CSX because it already had the FD-chassis headlights and taillights. All I needed to do to convert it to FD2 specs was to get thebumpers and sides, and rear spoiler. Performance-wise, it absolutely was as close to some Type R as I could getdecided to continue his studies in California and brought his CSX with him during 2009. He made the 16-hour drive solo and convinced the state of California to allow his CSX to stay because it was transportation to get a student planning to achieve an MBA. Like other Americans, they probably didn’t know what a CSX Type S was anyway, hence they had no trouble with the car. Whoever signed off the paperwork for it could imagine otherwise if they saw the auto now. Ping adds, Because of the front and back of the CSX, people in California suspected that my car was a JDM-converted Civic Si. It wasn’t until they looked inside the interior and saw the badging they realized that it absolutely was an Acura. Back when I first moved here, I used to be one of the first, Ping says, though the actual FD2 ‘look’ and conversion is pretty popular now.

I still wanted so that it is very capable on the track, though I wanted to build an auto that was comfortable for everyday driving, being that it was my daily at the time. One day, I met the guys from Evasive Motorsports, and so i started ordering my parts through them. They had the fastest FA5 Civic Si in the united states then, and so i trusted them with their advice and help. My goal was to build my CSX as next to the Evasive Civic as I could. With the particular success that they had with their car, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Accomplishing this would also help me to find out how good of a driver I was in comparison to them because our builds were very similar. I constantly had a benchmark of where I wanted to be around the track since they were running such phenomenal times because of their Civic.

The only real major differences between the two at that time, besides their namesake, were that this Evasive Si, with the help of Honda Tuning Magazine, had upgraded the cams and other bolt-on components and relied on different aero modifications. Wilianto opted not to touch the guts of his K20Z3 since there is still plausible that he may get rid of the car after he finishes school. Aesthetically, the Evasive Civic wore aero from Max Racing, and Ping went another route with restyling via J’s Racing. He’d noticed that FD2 conversions were getting more and more popular every year, so he bought a J’s Racing kit setting himself apart. After all, he didn’t want to haveWilianto’s K20Z3 is actually a capable animal with valvetrain upgrades from Supertech and SVM 212 camshafts, though engine internals remain mostly untouched. A T1R carbon intake pulls cold air into the motor through a K&N filter while exhaust gases run by way of a Buddy Club header and out via a 63RS exhaust, also from T1R. Gearing has been refined with a 5.06 final drive from your Japanese FD2 Type R, and an Exedy Hyper Single clutch/flywheel combo provides durability on the track. TEIN Monoflex dampers maintain the Canadian Type S planted firmly to the floor as sticky Advan Neova AD08 rubber drives Ping toward the coveted 2-minute mark at Buttonwillow.

Ping’s CSX-S appears incredibly simple on the outside, and therefore was certainly his intent. It began as a daily driven vehicle that took him from Canada down to California. He needed a reliable car to get him to school that he may also beat the hell out from at weekend track events. Nowadays, he’s given the multifaceted CSX somewhat of a break, driving it only every few weeks. He is on the verge of reaching his goal of breaking the 2-minute time barrier at Buttonwillow, and in 2012, he topped the Street FWD Class within the Super Lap Battle series. If it is a Civic or anything else becomes irrelevant; all you should know is the fact it’s a Honda that’s piloted from a skilled driver who has yet to reach his maximum potential, though misconceptions of this car will always be there.

2013 Scion FR-S – Rocket Bunny Redeux


Before we get to the real potatoes and meat of this story, we wanted to offer you some basic facts (or Cliff’s Notes for those who don’t love to read) about this ’13 Scion FR-S. The complete build came together within two months. It definitely isn’t your typical TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny FR-S and, aside from paint, this car was built entirely inside of a compact garage in Long Beach, CA, suburbia. While many people will offer up a simple that’s cool, nice job type of response, you really need to have a better grasp of how the Rocket Bunny kit is designed to fully understand the difficulties who go with the install. The over-fenders of the kit aren’t a simple paint and install; it not only requires quite a bit of measuring, it is also needed to cut into and remove sections of the factory fenders/quarter-panels for that kit to operate. These important skills are often found in trained autobody specialists who have experience–not in just two brothers with literally no experience at all.

The willingness to cut into a brand-new car either originates from an absolute disregard for one’s personal belongings. Alternatively, you merely have a big set of the proverbial balls. The owner of this FR-S, Noel Barnum, and his awesomebrother and Hubert, are not your conventional car enthusiasts. They already have more of an outside the box style of thinking, and you view it in the way that they execute their builds. Noel is no stranger to custom car builds; this FR-S just is actually the first car he’s built that actually had any way of measuring aftermarket support. He previously spent the majority of his days tinkering having a supercharged ’05 Toyota Corolla that was everything no one ever expected. When he was up against the opportunity to create something new, the mindsmain aim was to locate a ’03 [Volkswagen] GTI but after searching low and high, I couldn’t locate one. I started exploring the Internet for other cars, and randomly stumbled upon a rendering of your 6666 Customs [TRA Kyoto] Toyota 86/FR-S. Once I saw it I knew I necessary to build one–but with my own flare.

From what Noel tells us, one of the most difficult section of the build wasn’t actually the cutting of your factory panels, it was simply acquiring the Rocket Bunny kit itself. After the kit made the rounds via the Internet as well as other social media outlets, it was highly sought after and everyone with an FR-S with a good slice of extra change tried to get one. Luckily, he had some help from the guys over at Autofashion USA, and they could snag the very last one through the first batch of kits imported to the United States. It proved to be a hefty investment for a 22-year-old student–these kits aren’t exactly cheap. Since he found himself ordering the kit before he even had the car in his possession, noel still had to actually purchase the car. Once the first batch of Rocket Bunny kits hit American soil, it appeared like they were everywhere, particularly out here in the West Coast. Aftermarket tuning companies were also making an investment in the kit to promote their particular products, so it was hard for a privateer builder to completely stand out amongst some who seemed to get an endless volume of financial backing. Noel could either match with the crowd of other Rocket Bunny Scions, or he could reinvent the appearance, even when the look was still relatively new to the rest of the country.

Noel was pretty set on adding the aggressive rearend and wing to his brand-new FR-S, especially after integrating the over-fenders. What he could change was the face area of the TRA Kyoto kit. Modifying the leading would significantly alter the give and look others a new perspective on an über-popular kit. Noel came up with the thought to ditch the front lip and sides altogether. Instead, he would create an amalgamation of styles by incorporating a brand new, less common, front lip and side skirts from Japanese tuning specialist T&E Vertex. The only problem with his new plan was that it would only further delay his build because he needed tothe most significant thing I learned with this build would be to have patience. Things aren’t always going to fit things and right certainly won’t always get here punctually. I just had to be patient in waiting for parts to come in and really assist them to get them to fit, Noel says.

The largest question that remains was why he was willing to cut into his brand-new FR-S. His answer, People really thought I found myself crazy for cutting right into a brand-new car just to fit a body kit, nevertheless i always told myself when I was going to do anything drastic like cutting my brand-new fenders, it might be for a kit I really wanted. It was a very permanent modification as well, therefore i knew I wouldn’t want to change it later on later on. I already had the kit in my possession so, to put it just, it was just necessary to cut.

Fortunately for Noel, he had an older brother who could lend a helping, and steady, hand. This would not simply ensure an increased probability of it being done correctly, but Noel would have someone to blame in the event that it didn’t. The fact that you view it featured in the pages of Import Tuner is proof that the leap of faith worked out in the Barnum brothers’ favor. Everything after that feat came pretty smoothly for his build, including the acquisition of a brand-new set of discontinued Work VS-KF wheels from the specs perfectly suited for the widened body of his Scion coupe. The 18×9.5/11 pair of Work wheels just did actually fall onto his lap and while some have argued that it’s not the proper wheel for his car, Noel thinks otherwise. Everybody gets so caught up in the things i do with my car. The same as the AirRex digital air suspension system I have got; everyone acted like it was really a sin to ‘bag a sports car or something that is, but I didn’t really care what people had to say, Noel says.Even though the FR-S is known as a sports car, Noel has always found more of a link with the style aspect of car modification instead of the pure motorsports side of things. It ought to be plainly obvious to you that his Vertex/Rocket Bunny FR-S screams style, especially in Firestorm Red paint. He hasn’t permit it to hinder him from being able to build a complete car regarding his bare hands, though aesthetics are a problem to him. Everything from the AirRex air suspension, on the custom audio setup within his trunk, and also the Vortech supercharger kit has all been meticulously installed by Noel himself. Just because he caters to particular style doesn’t mean that he isn’t mechanically inclined.

The near future is bright for Noel, a young and knowledgeable enthusiast in your tuning community. His Scion FR-S mash-up has garnered a ton of attention on the Interwebs and steals the collective attention in the masses each and every time he pulls up to a function and lays the car on the floor. He did it his way by his hands and possesses very little care for what his doubters must say. The aim of the build was to have a car that flowed well, he says. From wheels to the widebody kit to the interior, I just wanted everything to have a good feel and flow on it. Nothing was overdone in an effort to please someone else. If you have a concept and you need to push the limits of your scene’s cookie-cutter tendencies, don’t be afraid to choose it. Your build will be your own, so ensure you build it how you will want.