Thursday, August 21

360 Forged

Seems like new wheel companies are born every weekend. It also seems easier to make your own wheels than ever before. Most people just rent time on another companies CNC machine to cut their own and before you know it, you have your own line of wheels on every forum on the net.

360 Forged is a new company. Been around for 2 years and lately, their new line-up is being pushed harder than ever before. Like HRE, 360 uses the same barrels and lips, hence the similar pricing. A set of 20" inchers in 3-piece will hit somewhere in the upper $6k. But there are promo deals everywhere on the Net. The lowest I have seen is $5k for 3-piece and just under $4k for their Sportline series.

Check them out: 360 Forged

Coo Coo for Step Lip

Those that know me best, I've been preaching "Step-Lip" since day one. Step-lip just have that much more character and personality than boring old reverse-lip. But it is funny, step-lip has been around a lot longer than most people know.

Back-in-the-days, wheel companies used a step-lip to achieve a 1" inch larger diameter without cutting new centers. For example, this HRE wheel is a 20" inch with step-lip. Well, the face is still a 19" inch face. The step-lip bumps the diameter to a 20". So, which means the 19" inch face can be universally used for either 19" or 20" inch wheels. Get it?

Here are 2 excellent examples of HRE step-lip on BMW M cars. 

So why are HRE wheels that much more than everybody else? Fit, Finish, and Quality. Every wheel is just that much more cleaner than everybody else. HRE either use Triangle or ARS barrels. Again, nothing but the best. Even down to the hardware is stress test and torqued to exact specs. Made in the US and assemble here as well.

It seems like the more I research HRE the more they have grown on me. And once their step-lips were offered, I was a believer.

Check it out: HRE Wheels

Friday, August 15

2009 Nissan GT-R

Little words can describe the all new redesigned GT-R. Before the official launch, the car was already a legend. Being able to post incredible numbers at the Nurburgring track in Germany, everyone knew Nissan had once again done their homework with the next generation Skyline.

Amuse displayed their GT-R and Mines also had their white demo car in their booth. Below is Zeal's newest coilover offerings for the GT-R.. absolutely breath-taking.

So, save your pennies.. when this car hits the US dealers by the end of the month, expect to pay $30k on top of sticker landing this car in the 6 figure territory.

Extreme Hellaflush

Crazy offsets has been a norm for the Euro guys from ages ago. Stretch tires are also old news when it comes to the Germans. I stumbled onto this image on a Euro site gallery and talk about "HellaFlush"..

This is a VW Golf with Porsche wheels. That is very common for VW owners to do. But what floored me was the extreme fitment in the rear. The rear fender lip looks paper thin just sitting on-top of the stretch tire. This is fitment calculation at its' best.

Of course he cannot drive like that, so he must be on air. Swap out the wheels and get 6" inches of phat-lips in the rear then you got something hella-crazy.

There are only a few in the states that are doing this correctly. I would like to see a movement towards correct fitment and flushing those fenders to the wheels. Driftunit and Fatlace has done that here in Frisco. There are a few others in Socal that has mastered the art of Hellaflush. How about you?

Wednesday, August 13

Kartier Forged Wheels

Check out this Crysler 300C... in my opinion one of the few correctly modified 300C's out there.. less than a handful.

This beautiful car belongs to Jorge, owner of Kartier Forged wheels. Jorge has been in the wheel industry for over 10 years and finally decided to make a name for himself. What you see here is custom-cut wheels hand finished for any application.

His car is running 22x11 rear and 22x9.5 fronts. The finish is machined diamond cut and clear coated to give it that killer multi-color reflection. The lips and barrals are by APS. Jorge claims his rear barrels are 1mm thicker and does not trap water like other lower-end wheels. Trust me, Jorge has done his homework. Each face is precision cut to the buyers specs. What about the finish? Any finish is doable. If you can dream it, he can do it.

Currently the lips are dipped in chrome and he is working with a German company to offer a full step-lip option. I think that is the way to go. Step-lips create so much more character and reverse lips are way too common right now.

Don't bother asking him about offsets. That is his trade secret. Just look at that 6" inch lip in the rear. Trust me, he is in the low negatives in the rear.

For a set of 22" inch wheels, you are looking at $4,900 retail. But considering the quality and ultra fast turn around time, 3-4 weeks, I say sell your POS wheels on Craigslist and give Jorge a call at Kartier.

I will know more about these wheels as soon as I talk Jorge into giving me a set of wheels to test out. Jorge are you listening?

Congrats to Jorge on the launch and good luck to you with your business.

For more information:  Kartier Forged
Office number:                786.286.1484

Goodguys West Coast Nationals

Don't miss the largest West Coast event in History. Over 3000+ cars all together at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds.

More info here: West Coast Nationals

Endless 12-piston on Lexus IS250

Tuesday, August 12

Giveaway Project SuperNOVA

This is the 2009 Goodguys giveaway Nova. Built by the masterminds at AirRide Technology lead by company and shop owner, Bret.

Goodguys and Air Ride Technology have teamed up once again to bring another 70's G-Machine to serve as the official Giveaway car. This Project SuperNova has been unveiled at the Goodguys 11th PPG Nationals in Columbus Ohio.

Come see it at an event this next season or take a ride in it at one of the Goodguys Autocross Challenge events. 2 ways to win, either join Goodguys or simply be a participant at a Goodguys event from July 2008 to July 2009.

Monday, August 11

Golden Used Car Lots

Like in many other countries, Japan has plenty of used car lots. Some are full of economy cars with fantastic gas mileages others may be commercial vehicles that a may suite your business. Then there are the few lots that sell nothing but the most modified vehicles one would fine in Import Tuner or VIP CAR magazine.

There is a company called "Car Friends" located in Japan that has a lot full of excellent examples of VIP cars. What you will find would range from simple EXE styles, basically a 2" inch drop, wheels and a lip kit. But then you will notice several that have been under the knife from custom radius-fenders to complete widebody applications. This white UCF31 (Lexus LS430) was actually a very famous build 2 years ago. The Celsior was displayed at the WEDS booth debuting their lastest in wheel design. Funny how they end-up on a Used Car lot after such fame.

Besides VIP cars, you can find fine examples of VIP Vans and VIP Style cars throughout the lot. If you ever have the chance to visit Japan, look for those used car lots. You might stumble on a magazine cover car or a show winner from pass Tokyo Auto Salons.

Friday, August 8

080808 Underway

The Olympic Ceremony started at 5 am Pacific Time, 8pm China time. As you can imagine, a huge amount of fireworks, music, and culture. China has developed into a nation with endless opportunities. Check out this first images from Telegraph, UK.

Thursday, August 7

The Day After 30

So, today is August 7th, 2008.. I have lived 30 years and 1 day.. Since yesterday I have notice several instances of memory lost; forgot to get money before going to DMV and the most common, where are my keys. They say age will only catch-up to you if you allow yourself to believe that. Basically, it's all in your head. So with that been said, I want to change topics and talk about this VIP Van.

Many of us are dedicated automotive freaks. Whether it is domestic, import, euro, 4x4, whatever.. so long as it has 4 wheels and horsepower, we men can actually give more than 10% of our attention span to a single topic.  That's why girlfriends and wives often frown when the topic of cars are brought up. They never fully get our total attention... Why is that?

So, like being hit by lighting, we jump from our slouched position on the couch into complete awareness, as if the sky was falling. This Toyota Previa or what is known in Japan as the Estima is one of those cars that makes me fall of my seat. I call the Previa a true Jelly Bean on wheels. But surprisingly this old school platform is still hotter than Paris Hilton's sex videos.

If American would start building VANS again like the 70's we could possibly see a Van movement here in the states. The possibilities are endless and again, your vision is only limited by the knowledge you feed your brain. That's why at 30, I may just start a VIP Van project just to continue to exercise the creativity of my mind so when I hit 60, I would be ready to do a LowRider.

Have a pleasant week. -solo

Wednesday, August 6

30 is the new 20...

Today is my 30th B-day and I figure I would share a little of what I have been working on here at GG. This is the lead-spread of the October Issue; Nashville Nationals. This new style was heavily inspired from the Surfer magazines that rely on texture and organic elements. The use of bw background helps the cars pop off the pages. I am especially proud of this layout. It shows evolution here at GG and that we have the ability to be forward and lead the way for all over Domestic magazines.

30 years old, I feel no different! -Solo

Friday, August 1

Goodguys October Gazette Covers

Each month here at Goodguys Headquarters, we go through thousands of images to find the best image that tells a story about the current issue. It is my job to figure that out every month.

I work with some of the most talented people in the automotive and design industry. Each person carries their specific interest to the creative thinking room and ideas are pitched and discussed regularly. As our readers know, here at Goodguys we do not have the leisure of actually setting up photo shoots with potential cars. We basically take over 5000 photos per event and we go through the process here in-house to try and find the winner. You may think that is a waste of valuable time but believe me when I tell you that to cover an entire Goodguys event on a given weekend, you just do not have the time to setup shoots with lighting in mind, etc.

Our philosophy is to always be on the look out for something cool and potentially, cover material. Call it luck, but every month we have several photos, all strong in composition and all winners. 

In the October issue of the Gazette, we are emphasizing on "Autocross". What started last season as a small test trial where owners can come and beat the clock with their all show and all go cars has grown to a fully sponsored event within a Goodguys event.

Here are the 2 potential covers for October. I know which one made the cut, but you will have to find out in a few months. How? Are you not a member yet? By becoming a member of Goodguys is the only way to receive the Gazette every month.

If you are not a member yet, Click Here.