Monday, February 23
Friday, February 20
Wilson and Brian at P.G. Motoring have debuted their version 2 Celsior recently. Changes include the newly sought-after K-Break aero kit and new Work wheels.
The car is a UCF31 Celsior on UAS bags and LS400 struts. Personally, I think the car is dialed in except for the rear height. I would like to see abit more drop and negative camber to achieve this. But everything else is right on the money. Good job guys!
VIP AutoSalon is a very good friend of mine. Clark has established himself in the industry as one of the finest tuning visionary around. 2 years ago the Lexus corporate opportunity fell on his lay to create a SEMA worthy LS460. That car, as we all know it shatter everyone's expectations and has put VIP AutoSalon above all else.
So what does the man behind the projects drive on a daily basis? This is the latest version of the Lexus GS430. Full Admiration kit that includes the fog lights and exhaust system. Even the wheels were package together for this build. Loren at Rotora provided the prototype BBK just in time for SEMA 2 years ago. Since then, the car went through a drastic change of color. Check out this hot new black suede color. Truly the first to dip a Lexus in this color. (5 Axis ISF was a flat black)
The taillights were even shot in a matte clear to play off the rest of the car. If you look closely on the hood you will notice the paint fades to reveal the carbon hood. The front grill is just perfect with the eyelids perfectly flowing into the body lines.
Once again, Clark and his company has continue to set the bar very high. Those that have following his career know many more projects will continues to unveil from VIP AutoSalon.
The infamous Lexus came out President Day weekend to just have a good day with the locals.
By now the shop AutoFashion has become a name well known in the industry. Freddie and his talented crew build incredible projects for media and corporate level. Still just a few years in business they have established themselves as the elite VIP tuning shop in San Diego.
Freddie built this Celsior as a demo car to showcase what the company can offer. Infact this car has toured with Falken tires and several SEMA shows in the pass.
Started life as a UCF30. The entire front end was converted to the later year UCF31 that included headlights, grill, radiator support, hood just to name the easy part. Those that want to go this route need to be warned by the complexity of the headlight wiring. The aero kit is full Junction Produce that includes front bumper, rear bumper, skirts, door caps, fenders, wing, hood bonnet, hood spoiler and the ultra rare and discontinued exhaust. Taillights are L.E.D replacements and the car rocks Airrunner suspension. The interior is D.A.D. chubacha fur dipped in white. (the ladies love this feature) Last, the most important element with a build are the wheels. Those with a sharp eye will notice these Leon Hirdiritt Bells in 21" inches all around. Maybe because I too have a UCF30, but this is one of my favorite Celsiors on this side of the ocean.
Sadly, the car is for sale or part out. Contact AutoFashion if you are interested:
Wednesday, February 18
Another big brake company currently stepping-up and offering custom and street application is BAER Brakes. BAER is huge in the Domestic car industry. Many muscle machine and street machines either rock BAER or Wilwood. If you are looking for an inexpensive completely forged 6-piston caliper, look into BAER.
They offer a wide variety of packages for today's modern cars to custom applications for builds and projects. Look into BAER, they will cause some noise in the years to come.
From the Penske Racing Museum in Arizona
This car driven by Mark Donohue won the anugual IROC race at Riverside in 1973. Mark Donohue won 3 of the 4 races to win the first IROC Championship. The idea of the IROC series was to take identically prepared cars and have drivers from different series compete against each other
Driven: Mark Donohue
Car: Porsche RSR
Engine: 3.0 Liter - 180 ci.
Aircooled Flat Six
HP: 316bhp @ 8,000 rpm
Fuel Cap: 29 U.S. Gallons
Weight: 2,000 lbs
Here you can see the Cup system mounted on top of the Coilover. Looks like the upper mount has to be take apart and the top of the spring sits flush to the Cup. Air fills the Cup chamber hence pushes down on the spring and raises the car. Actually, what this is doing is applying more spring rate, it is not literally raising the coilover up and down. Notice the shock never moves.
That's why this system is meant for driving low and raising a few inches for ground clearance.
This image was taken from a personal blog in Japan. Caution; he mentioned the stitch box breaking twice and leaks in the fittings. Looking closer at what Roberuta offers in their kits, their fittings are plastic and stainless steel. Clearly not strong enough.
My suggestion would be to upgrade and replace all the lines and fittings to brass. Plastic will not hold under extreme PSI. In time, it will crack and leak.
Overall, the theory is solid. For those that want to retain spring/shock combo to drive low without going to full air bag system, the Roberuta Cup kit is what you need.
Junction Produce Japan announced their new 2nd gen Scara wheel at this years TAS (Tokyo Auto Salon). The wheels are now manufactured by WORK Japan and comes in new sizes. Ranging from 19" to 21" inches of step or reverse lip. This new Scar has a redesigned center cap that looks quite sexy and etched in "Scara" word on one spoke. Those from the old-school may remember the previous OZ Scara's to have the same etching.
Since WORK is now the manufacturer, the wheel is many times stronger than before. Custom finishes are also now possible with endless combination.
*Do realize the step-lip offered from WORK is not like the old style. The outer lip does not extrude outward, instead it rolls back into the wheel.
I personally appreciate the old school lip better but it is what it is.
Rim width and offsets choices are plentiful with up to 12" inch width and negative offset. But retail for one 20" inch standard finish will cost you over $1,760 US. That's tough to swallow. Only a select few will get their hands on these.
Junction Produce is once again trying to establish themselves as the elite and the original of VIP tuning. Let's see if the Bippu community agrees.
Tuesday, February 17
Customizing wheels with different finishes and styles have finally trickled down to consumer level. Sure, ppl have always painted or chromed or polished their wheels to reflect a certain color combo or theme. Today, I want to educated ppl on what it means to have the windows painted.
This blue VW Golf has a great set of BBS RS wheels. What may look like painted centers actually are not. The flat surface of the wheel is standard polish while the "windows" the in between of the spokes are painted. That then creates this subtle blue effect while stopped and spins in blue in motion.
Pretty cool effect.
Painted windows = the sides of the spoke.
I came across these images last week on a German forum. These tuners are so die hard.. they buy old and used wheel, take them apart and buys new rims and barrels to their exact specs.. nothing like us, picking up a phone and ordering the latest and greatest from HRE or Work for premium. These guys are the grassroots.
I love step-lip.. but not any step-lip. It has to be the old school style where the finial lip edge extrudes outward, hence creating another tiny step.. HAWT!!!
Take a lesson from these fine examples of old school wheels and maximized offset to refinish and rebuilding wheels.
K-break Japan is offering their new Big Brake Kit for many VIP chassis. Funny, those with a keen eye will notice that these look very similar to another brand here in the US.
Wanna take a guess. ;)
K-Break list these "rebadged" brake kit for over $5,300 US just for the 6-piston fronts where as the US equivalence is nearly half that price.
What's the big picture here? Anyone can have their own branded brakes as long as the marketing is clever. People will pay if they believe it to have that value and worth.
So with that said, I'm launching my own brakes too!
Not made in Japan.
Roberuta Cups are sought after in the luxury to exotic car industry. What are they and what do they do?
Roberuta manufactures cup/canover air system for coilover suspension systems. Basically it sits on top of the coilover and allows for 3-4" inches of shaft movement, which is powered by air, thus raising the car for ground clearance.
**What ppl do not fully understand is, Cup systems are for those that want to drive low on coilovers but have the adjust ability of raising the car to clear speed bumps or driveways. This system is NOT to be driven on while air-up. This is not rubber bags that have flex, give and play. If you do drive on can/over systems, they will leak and eventually break.
The design is quite simple but since there are really no real competition, Roberuta charges a ridiculous $3,000 grand for just the 2 cup system and an additional $2000 for the rears.
There is a company called AirForce that recently announced their Cup/Coilover system. The only problem is their Cups will only work with their coilovers meaning customers are forced to run their coilover setup without really knowing what and who manufactures them. Plus for those owners already on coilvers like HKS, ZEAL, Ohlins, they are pretty much left to start from scratch.
I would like to see a more cost effective attempt of this concept meant for everyday drivers. Sure the exotic car owners can care less for dumping $6k into this since their oil change will probably cost more, but what about the EVO or Honda owner.. do they not have the right to drive low and save their rare JDM kits from the brutal world of potholes and rough roads..
Not many ppl can have the opportunity to build cars, need to say, build excellent trend setting examples of rare Japan only cars. Well, this very clean example of a S15 Nissan RHD is from Virginia and built by a girl.. oh yes, a girl.
Jennifer Jar has one of the sickest S15 Siliva's on the planet. Just check out her extreme wheel fitment: 18x9 and 18x10 all on +4mm offset.. crazy!
She even has a very rare and expensive Roberuta Cup air system mated to Fortune 500 coilovers. Be jealous, be very jealous.. b/c this build only took 6 months and apparently this car started out looking like a real POS.
Congrats on making Import Tuner this month and good luck to you Jennifer!