Wednesday, September 30
Troy Sumitomo is a huge icon in the world of special vehicle projects for Honda, Scion, Toyota and Lexus. Troy launched the Five Axis brand with body kits and wheels offered direct through dealerships with warranty.
Recently, Troy stepped up to help with my Project43 Celsior with a set of Five:AD wheels. Throughout the pass months, we have bounced ideas back and forth and at this pass weekends Lexus Event, we were able to finally meet up and chop-it-up a bit.
To Troys surprise, both the matte white cars were vinyl wrapped. In an earlier email with Troy, he was very much against matte paint b/c of the daily wear and tear. In fact he even showed me their SEMA IS-F with brake fluid streaks on the hood from a leak during the transport. Basically, matte colors will not withstand the daily abuse. Then I told him the cars were Vinyl wrapped. He nearly did a double take. I love surprising ppl with what we do.
It was great chatting with, Troy. I'll see you at SEMA in a month!
Photos by Photoshoot My Car
The Pursuit, put on by Longo Lexus, Corporate Lexus and Club Lexus of Socal was this pass weekend. While most of the cars were expected from the big vendors of AutoFashion, VIP AutoSalon, and PG Motoring, I walked the parking lot looking for "grass-root" builds. Funny, one of the few cars I was actually excited about was this gen1 IS300 own by "Guillermo" on Club Lexus. First impression goes a long way and when I caught the car in the distance, I knew it was something unique and special. The plasters of stickers obviously caught my eye. This is a common trend in the Honda and VW culture. I've seen old school Bimmers use decals to hold cracked lips together. To me it is a free-form of artistic expression, almost a rebellious state. I found that to be bold and super-trick.
The bumper is actually JDM AirWalker for the IS300 Sportcross. You will notice the smaller opening for the fog lights. The black and white theme is carried throughout the entire car with black housing headlights, tinted taillights, white Buddy Club wheels rocking +23mm offsets and a Big Blue shift knob to break the contrast.
Funny, with all the high-dollar VIP builds, this car had me coming back for more. Perhaps, owning an Altezza long ago may have been influential or the fact that I have been looking more into the "grass-root' builds of Hondas and VWs lately.. I give Guillermo major style points for building a car without any rules.
Just have fun, build it for yourself.
AirWalker Japan front bumper (for the sportx)
Airwalker japan sides (for the sportx)
L-tune copy rear
Jdm front visors only
Black housing headlights
chrome door handels
zumies sticker packs for the bumper
big blue shift knob
Do-Luck interior brace
front jic strut bar
tanabe rear strut bar
Tom's front underbrace
Tanabe rear underbrace
tom's Lower Performance Rod
Tom's Mid-Center Reinforcement Rod
Tom's Rear Lower Suspension Rod
Drilled & Slotted Rotors
AXXIS Brake Pads
Steel Braided Brake Lines
Buddy Club P1 Racing Wheels
18x8 +38 added a 15mm spacer so that = +23 now
Tuesday, September 22
If an American and a German got together and 9 months later came a baby, this is what it will look like. Sexy German curves of a '59 Mercedes with a brute Corvette LS1 heart.
At every Goodguys event, we get a few VW here and there. Usually they are pretty bad examples of time correct restored gems, but this 21-window Bus is cleaner than a showroom new car. All original down to the fine details. I even like the color. What is it about VW bus?.. Why do people go crazy over owning one of these?.. Status and Cool factor.
The Offenhauser engine, familiarly known as the "Offy", was developed by Fred Offenhauser and his employer Harry Arminius Miller.
Impressed by the double overhead cam, four valve per cylinder design, which was a great leap forward at the time, they designed an engine on similar principles. Originally sold as a marine engine, in 1930, a four-cylinder, 151 cubic inch (2.5 L) Miller engine installed in a race car set a new international land speed record of 144.895 mph. Miller developed this engine into a twin overhead cam, four cylinder, four valve per cylinder 220 cubic inch (3.6 L) racing engine.
When Miller went bankrupt in 1933, Offenhauser and another Miller employee, Leo Goossen, bought the shop and the rights to the engine, which they further developed into the Offenhauser engine.
One of the keys to the Offenhauser's success was power. A 251.92 cubic inch (4,128.29 cm³) twin-cam four-cylinder racing Offy with a 15:1 compression ratio and a 4.28125 x 4.375 inch bore and stroke, could produce 420 horsepower (313 kW) at 6,600 rpm; 1.77 horsepower per cubic inch (81 kW/L).
From 1934 through 1960 the Offenhauser engine dominated American open wheel racing, winning the Indianapolis 500 24 times. By then, the company had already been sold, right after World War II, to Meyer-Drake, who continued to build the engines. From 1950 through 1960, Offenhauser-powered cars won the Indy 500 and achieved all three podium positions, winning the pole position in 10 of the 11 years.
When Ford came on to the scene in 1963, the Offy lost its dominion over Indy car racing, although it remained competitive through the mid 1970s even with the advent of turbocharging.
The final 2.65 litre 4 cyl Offy, restricted to 80 in Hg (39.3 psi) turbo pressure, gave 770 bhp at 9,000 rpm. However, the Ford Cosworth DFX soon proved to be unbeatable and the Offy's last victory came at Trenton in 1978, in the hands of Gordon Johncock's Wildcat. The last time an Offy-powered car raced was at Pocono in 1982 for the Domino's Pizza Pocono 500, in an Eagle chassis driven by Jim McElreath, although two Vollstedt chassis with Offenhauser engines failed to qualify for the 1983 Indianapolis 500.
Friday, September 18
It would only be a matter of time before the Honda owners started to try new ideas and some saw this coming and some were still trying to fit 19x7.5 chromes. The BBS craze has hit the Honda scene this year with many ppl going back to the old school look. BBS RS wheres were already a collectors choice of wheels oversea, especially with the VW crowd, but it wasn't until recent that the Honda world would finally take a hold of just a phenomenon. Thanks to pioneer shops like Memoryfab that saw the potential of the movement here in the States, shop owner Dave snatched up numerous sets of BBS RS and RM from Japan and stores a healthy stock of here in the US.
The craze is not just BBS wheels, it is to find wheels with character. Steplip wheels has way more character than boring rolled lip reverse wheels. It is unfortunately a style that the media continues to feed and jaded by the DUB scene, etc. Reverse lip was a step forward for manufacturers, the ability to truly rock a larger center without the aid of steplips were a great breakthrough. But with larger wheels and rolled lips, the essence of the wheels were lost.
I have been preaching this for years now and finally there seems to be ppl listening and agreeing to this theory. Step lip creates a timeless look, personality and charisma. The list of step lip wheels are slim, but if you look hard enough, they are out there. BBS RS are true 3-piece wheels allowing owners to add wider lips to get that perfect fitment.
There are a few companies that offer steplips. I will talk about them in the weeks to come.
Have a great weekend!
The Honda movement has gone back to OEM with an emphasizes on driving stance and the still the hot set of wheels. The TEG caught my attention with its' ultra trick cream color on a set of straight white 15" inchers. Notice the wheel tuck and the driven stance. No BS air suspension, just having fun, enjoy the drive. Cars are built to be driven, not garaged like a trophy.
BMW offered a very limited production 6-series labeled the L6 in 1987. This trilling example you see before you literally floor me. The condition is immaculate not to mention the stance and of course the perfect set of 17" inch BBS RS wheels. If I were to build a BMW, this would be one of many to consider.
Danica has certainly made a name for herself in a mans world. Let's face it she has driven some of the fastest race cars on earth next to some of the best drivers on earth. On top of the constant pressure, she is still able to keep them fine curves without given in to a box of chocolate.
Keep up the attitude, the media eats it up.
Thursday, September 17
Pictured in 18x9 and 18x10.
Notice the same 15 inch face used on 16s, and 17s. Only the lip and barrel dictate the final size. Super cool.
This was how you get larger wheels back in the days when the manufacturer did not offer the larger sizes.
Contact Dave @ Memoryfab
Wednesday, September 16
To continue with the wood wheel theme today, let's take a look at this H3 with true wood wagon wheels from England. Apparently this was a art collaboration between a few artists. Solid wood spokes, spindles truly bolted on to the H3 hub.
Love or hate, I think it's a literal interpretation of "Wagon wheels".
Good Wood Hummer!
What happens when you mix a carpenter with a car guy?.. You get Wood-alloy wheels.
Check out this outrageous wood center wheel. It is truly 3-piece with nuts and bolts, but the center is clearly cut in a series of wood pieces. Notice the elevated flower pedals that lift off the face creating a 3D artistic effect.
Surely, not practical or functional but truly creative as a sculpture or decorative inside the home.
I would use it as a coffee table.
There seems to be a really large push in the States for Steplip wheels.. Finally, I have been preaching this for years now. The Euro cars first had it overseas, then the Japanese took that style and created their VIP style. Most Hondas still rock the traditional Grip look with Mugen or Spoon wheels and plenty of meat. But in recent months the push has been way lower offsets, staggered wheel setup on FWD and the hunt to find more Steplip wheels.
There are not many Steplip wheels available, BBS being the more popular with CCW on the gain. A few has tried something completely different, going back to Steelies. Check out these two great examples of ppl thinking outside the box. Sure a 15 inch Steele weights a staggering 20 pounds but these are street cars, so who cares what it weights. This in my book is hellafresh and both these cars get the Solo seal of approval.
So you may wonder who makes these wheels: Diamond Racing is the source.
Tuesday, September 15
Monday, September 14
Friday, September 11
As we get closer to 2010.. cars of the '80s and '90s are becoming the popular cars to build. Soon they will be classic like '70s muscle cars.
Here in the states, ppl with a 1UZ, 2UZ, or 3UZ have little performance options. Yes Rod Millen once offered a supercharger kit for the 3UZ, but that was pretty much it. Everything else has been custom kits with not enough R&D to invest in.
What catches my attention at a car show?..
Friday, September 4
360 Forged wheels are launching their new Concave line up and let me be the first to say, this is one great step in the right direction for 3-piece forged wheels. Finally we are walking away from that flat 2D face and into a whole new world of ideas. This is trend setting. You will see others coping very quickly especially in the wheels industry.
Look out HRE, there are finally something new and fresh by 360 Forged.
Wednesday, September 2
I love cars that catch ppl by surprise. To see a Hybrid Prius powered by a silent electric motor modified is not very common these days. I found this Prius on 7tune.com and almost fell off my chair. This Prius is completely slammed to the ground. Wheels tucking, front lip, black hood, this thing is incredible. Almost looks like a k-car or hatchback wagons.
Tuesday, September 1
My coworker found this killer video of Fixed Gear bikes in London. What we found interesting was actually the music used in this video. The footage and track bend quite well. Beautiful footages and syk-a$$ bikes.