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Double Skylining like a boss, what would you choose?

17th January 2018 — by Dan Stirzaker

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The Nissan Skyline, one of the most iconic `Japanese cars in the wild, seeing one on the road is rare, but when you get two come along, it’s a fully double-skyline moment

These likely pair had me frothing at the mechanical glands and it was almost as surreal as dating twins, while to the untrained eye they look the same, thanks to the paint and colour wheel choice, if you look deeper the subtle differences give them there own unique characters and I like that.

The older of the two, R32, has been gifted with the GTR front bumper, sides and rear spats. While at the time of this shoot the engine wasn’t too tuned, the owner made noises of making some serious power 4-500hp from the RB25 engine that lays beneath the hood. Punchy and useable power for the R32 chassis and perfect for those fast road jaunts on weekends

Who hearts fake rims – nobody. Volks squat under the arches in true JDM fashion and a big wink to the R32’s Nissan heritage

Now bring on the R33 – maybe a controversial model of Skyline. Some love it, others hate it. Known as being plumper then it’s earlier models it take some special kinda of loving, or at least that’s what the NAY sayers would lead you to believe. However, here at Fueltopia, we don’t mind some shapely curves, combined with JDM greatness we found ourselves ready for a party.

Rather than keeping it JDM, Cosmic Wheels allow this Wangan machine to lay down it’s power to the asphalt and we’ve got to think the owner brought some goodness with them in bronze on this 33. A few key mods also make us like this perticular model even more, the smoothed boot might be a thing of 90’s styling, but on this car really sets off the clean look from the back of the car. Deleting the spoiler also gives the car a clean side profile and accentuates the cars lines in a positive way.

While both the cars don’t have a major spec list for me to talk about and throw in numbers that would wear away my ‘0’ key, it’s more about shooting them and looking how these Japanese cars still have petrolheads looking at them in awe today some 25 years after they first hit the roads.

Being a photographer who loves cars is brilliant, being a photographer who loves Skylines is even better

 

Follow more of my journey Instagram @dan_stirzaker

Owners- R32 @michalsoltisik     R33 @lewiswhite1990

 

Reviews

Lexus GSF – A wolf in wolfs clothing

15th January 2018 — by Mark Turner

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, some days are better than others.
This day i got to smoke about in a Lexus GSF was a particularly good day.

Lexus GS-F

In a world that is becoming increasingly sanitised and restrictive, the Lexus GSF is one of a handful of rebellious cars sticking two fingers up at the fun police.

It’s not some tarted up pretender, this is a real, seasoned contender. Parked, quietly poised, it looked lean, fit and ready for action. The GSF is like that young guy you met once, wearing a really expensive suit and looking like a male model, ripped and handsome, good at everything.
You want to hate him but you can’t help admiring him.

I agree, the exterior is a little subjective, I get that. What it isn’t is a familiar, sensible old gentleman’s express, instead, Lexus opted for the new school, well dressed, head turning approach. It’s built for a purpose and makes no apologies for being that ambitious, good looking and aspirational.

Lexus GS-F

Opening the driver’s door, you are greeted with the coolest of interiors. It reeks of class with quality materials and driver focused ergonomics.
when you compare sitting inside an AMG Mercedes, you can’t help thinking that Mercedes are trying really hard to be, what they think its customer base wants them to be. This Lexus is what it is. The Lexus GSF feels entirely complete. Slide into the beautiful, sculpted, leather bucket seats and you feel like an integral part of the car, immediately at home and comfortable. It’s like it’s been made just for you.

Lexus GS-F

The Lexus in my opinion is near perfect. It has what it needs and it feels like it will last forever. I felt immediately at home, with controls and they were easy to figure out and use. Compare this to my last outing in a modern M-series BMW with its million different settings for gearbox, suspension, steering, and god knows what else – I’d need to have a NASA degree to even get to the shops.

Lexus GS-F

So I’ve sold you the dream and we’ve established it looks good inside and out, but that’s just the starting point of what makes this car lit AF. Fire the GSF up and you almost feel guilty as the noise is so magnificent, it’s criminal.
Powered by a 5L petrol V8 that produces 477 DIN hp at 7100rpm and 530 Nm of torque that’s enough to give my nan a 30 second face lift as I plant the good foot off the lights.
There’s a flappy paddle gearbox and I’m not a fan of flappy paddles. However, this one almost has me coming out the closet of flappyness. Changes were fast, fuss free and precise but it still feels mechanical and direct.
Acceleration is relentless – I know i’ve mentioned it, but it’s that good I’m going to say it twice.
It’s an assault on your senses, addictive as any vice, i’d say this is mechanical crack. Chucking it around some B-roads nothing unsettles it, not once did I feel threatened or scared, like a giant amongst men, you feel invincible, a total B-road slayer, the McGregor of the automotive highway.
Laying off the loud pedal, taking it steady for a few miles allowed me to catch my breath, but it wasn’t long till the hunt for clear road starting niggling away at your soul and making that glorious 32 valve V8 shout again.

Lexus GS-F

Let’s not forget that this supercar level of performance is wrapped up in a 4 door family car. A family car that can get to 100kph in 4.6 seconds and see an official top speed of just shy of 170 mph. That’s mental

Closing case on why this car should be on your driveway

It’s looks great, it’s a V8, it goes like race car on the road and can turn it’s hand to anything. I could do the school run in the morning, drive over to Silverstone and slay all on a track day, pop to a supermarket, throw my suit on and visit a customer on the way back to pick the kids up from School. Magnificent. Thanks Lexus.

Lexus GS-F

Lexus GS-F

Lexus GS-F

Lexus GS-F

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our year in pictures, 2017 we salute you

29th December 2017 — by Mark Turner

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I’d like to compare shooting for Fueltopia to white water rafting; exciting, challenging, scary at times, but ultimately satisfying. While we close the books on 2017, I’ll take you for a look back at the past 12 months, the cars, writers, photographers and their own submitted highlights of what has been a petrol fuelled whirlwind.

On reflection, we also want to add a ‘thank you’, yeah you, reading this right now. None of this would be possible without your support, clicks, shares, feedback.

January. – Intergalactic PlanetarE36


With inspiration drawing from Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic, James’s e36 rides on an Air Lift Performance system and 18 inch Rotiform TMB’s.
The incredible wrap was designed by CIAY and fitted by JD Wraps. There’s a feast of upgrades from an M3 CSL duck tail to a custom built EMP exhaust, Corbeau bucket seats, ASD hydro, half cage and more.

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February. Purpose Built Barrel Hunter

Just days away from the beginning of the 2017 Fueltopia Barrel Sprint season, this S14 met it’s demise at Coventry MotorFest when it made a firm introduction with a concrete pillar underneath the ring roads.
Another S13 was sourced and Mark Young at Japs Motorsport took on an impossible task and completed the transformation from a bare shell to a seam welded, 385bhp monster with with a serious weight loss fetish in a mere 7 days

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March. Packing A Punch

Dan Fegent, our O.G snapper, caught up with Perry Stephenson and his Monstrous looking MGB.
At the time of these photos it was running a 4.8 litre v8 (bored out Rover 3.9 V8) coupled to a supercharger from a Sherman tank! Perry believes its running around 400bhp with 600 ft/lbs of torque. A beautiful car that pushes the tastes of the purists to absolute limits

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April. Stunt Festival and Streetfighter Show

The Ace Cafe Stunt Festival featured the Streetfighter Show & the Fueltopia Barrel Sprint. It saw 2 wheel and 4 wheel worlds collide in a perfect display of raw rider & driver talent.
Static displays of bikes and cars were varied & ample. Allowing each patriot of two or four wheel a chance to get up close and personal with each others offerings. Ace Cafe put on a hearty food stand so those could sit and discuss their discoveries & settle their differences.

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May. Getting Ready for Speedway

Andi Gordon jumped on a plane to Slovenia for the first round of the 2017 Speedway Grand Prix series. His third season shooting Speedway for Monster Energy.
If you don’t already know, they race on a dirt oval, they don’t have breaks and it takes balls of granite to even twist the throttle and they fly past in a blink of an eye.
To get creative, expressive shots of Speedway you need to build relationships with riders, mechanics, managers and anyone else who you are going to get in the way of while cutting about in the pits.

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June. Coventry Motofest

Coventry MotoFest, an annual festival celebrating the region’s historic motoring heritage in the heart of Coventry but with the added draw of it being held on the cities public ring road. Think Monaco, take away the sea, double the size and slap on a West Midlands accent and you’re pretty much there.
Crowds lined up on slip roads and cross overs using the landscape as some sort of amphitheatre. It was utterly bizarre and brilliant at the same time.
Under one of the fly overs was a converted car park which was home to our Formula G demonstrations as well as Drift Outlaws.

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July. Players Classic

If you had to ask us if you had to visit one car show, without question, it would have to be Players Classic. It is hard to imagine how they could improve an event like this, but the plans the Players team have in store will no doubt leave this event as another yearly champion of car shows. I mean, where else would you find a lowrider Chevy Impala parked about 20ft away from a McLaren 675LT both of which receiving praise and respect?
In 2018 the event will span two days, with over 800 cars in attendance, 10,000’s applying you know you need something special to get through the gate

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August. 6R4.NET Track Day – Curborough

6R4.net co-founder Nicky Lindon organises a track day that is rolling piece of motoring history, that doesn’t spare the ponies.

If like us you didn’t get to see Group B’s in action then this track day brings them up close and personal and with the added bonus of hearing them at Max Attack! Line up’s include Ford RS200’s, the ultra-rare Escort RS1700T and a smattering of kick-ass Metro 6R4’s

Our rally and rallycross Guru, Steve White, even managed to sneak into the co-driver’s seat of Nigel Mummery’s Ford RS200 and brought us some amazing highlights

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September. Night Sessions – Dan Guirey

Let’s set you the scene, a local UK car meet, in the pouring rain, Dave Cox braved the elements to take the opportunity to capture the soul of Dan Guirey’s Mk1 Golf.
It’s cute proportions disguise the animal that it is. Peel back the wrapper and you will be greeted with a 1.8L 8 valve G60 engine which is turbo charged. The result is an engine capable of 300bhp! Plenty given the car’s weight. Dan is running the car at 240bhp due to handling issues.

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October. Edd Tubbs’ ’32 Ford Pickup

Nestled between an Evo and Mk2 Escort, a ’32 Ford Pickup that made us stop and stare. A labour of automotive love that took 4 years of busted knuckles and passion
In that time this Pickup has been stripped down to its bare chassis, laddered the rear and added a new cross members to allow the inclusion of modern coilovers – pretty neat huh?
In true HotRod style the roof has been chopped 2 inches and the cab channelled by 3”.
A Rover 3.5 v8 is hard to miss as it protrudes proudly from the engine bay. It has been completely rebuilt, re bored new high compression pistons and bearings, fast road cam, Holley 4 barrel, hand built open headers laker style and a Cadillac air box.

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November. Behind the Scenes: Formula G Pilot TV Show

CTRL, the team behind RC Racing TV contacted us earlier this year with a vision of using their expertise gained in producing programs about radio controlled cars to create a new pilot for a TV show all about Formula G. They see it as the new breakthrough in racing and something different to what is currently shown on many motoring channels.
Mat the director said “As soon as we saw the events that Fueltopia did we loved how exciting, accessible and ‘real’ the racing was, we can’t wait to show this to everyone else too”.

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December. Bagged Bull

Add power, attitude and heavily caffeinated graphics to a Scirocco and what you get is a pretty cool VW.
This is a classic father, son story as many a car build, but I think what we got here was something unique and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
A Racingline Performance air intake helps feeds the turbo whilst the Forge Motorsport intercooler helps intake temps stay down. An APR Stage 2+ map brings the final number to 370bhp.

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Tis’ The Season

22nd December 2017 — by Nick Simmonds

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Today I used my 1996 Toyota Celica GT-Four to pick up my Christmas Tree….this may not seem like the most gripping headline but hear me out!

This car, for the first time is now considered a classic (by my insurance company that is) but rarely gets the use/attention it deserves from me! I originally bought the car back in 2015 for a staggeringly low £750, that’s not a typo either lol. I even got a years MOT with that too, the catch? It was painfully faded, it had 122,000 miles on it, the rear diff was leaking oil, the clutch was a little high (a job no-one wants to undertake) and the radio didn’t work but come on….a genuine 240bhp rally car for the road for under £800….I was made up!

For the first 13 months I used it as a daily, racking up an impressive 19 thousand miles…..since then It’s driven me around demanding b-roads that surround the Lake District, across Europe tackling Swiss mountain passes such as Gotthard, Grimsel & Furka and last year it took me to Le Mans and back! It’s safe to say during my ownership over the last few years we’ve racked up some impressive road trips and experiences! To say this car has grown on me is an understatement, it all dates back to a 9 year old me sat playing Sega Rally Championship at my local Arcade, what car would I always want to pick? You got it! That uber-cool green and red liveried up white Celica GT-Four and that’s when I decided it was the car for me.

Yes the Subaru & Evo’s of the day stole the headlines with win after win in their respective rally’s but for me the understated nature of the Celica made it more of an attraction it was always the plucky under dog. Sadly the fact Toyota Team Europe got a fair old rap on the knuckles for somewhat “cheating” by means of a clever turbo restriction bypass (well worth a google by the way) and the fact that this car cost new in 1996 a WHOPPING thirty two thousand pounds….yep! 32 grand! Christ in the 90’s you could buy most of Spain for that much! It’s safe to say it wasn’t the consumer success Toyota had hoped for.

That said mine is a pretty honest example it has 147,000 miles on the clock currently and it’s a UK spec, so has been on pothole riddled roads and salted motorways from day zero but you know what? Sit it next to a Ford Escort Cosworth from the same year that has lived a similar life and I would put good money (probably not £32,000 to be fair) but still at least a fiver that I reckon the ol’Celica would be in a better state than the Ford.

In conclusion it turns out today that the best van/christmas tree collection vehicle ever, is a 90’s Jap 4wd rally car with questionable (faded) salmon paint.

Words & Pictures By Nick Simmo

Reviews

Bagged Bull

1st December 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Ben Walker’s bagged bull.

Add power, attitude and heavily caffeinated graphics to a Scirocco and what you get is a pretty cool VW.

I had spotted Ben’s Scirocco on instagram on the way to work one day. Thumbing through the social network platform, it’s bold graphics and low stance easily grabbed my attention. I fired off a message to arrange a shoot and a couple of weeks later, I was on the way to Nottingham.

I’ll be honest, during the run up to the shoot I was wondering whether I actually wanted to make the 300 mile round trip to shoot another bagged VW. I can honestly say, I am glad I stuck with it.

I met Ben in an underground car park under his flat in the city centre. What I wasn’t expecting to find was the fact that this car park could be plunged into darkness! Did someone say light painting?

I relish any opportunity to get the lights out and create some striking imagery of cars. As I was doing so it was pretty evident that this car looked even better than it had done on instagram. The wrap had been designed by Ben himself along with the help of his Dad.

Impressive given the quality of the wrap job and that Ben had never done this before. But it was the classic father, son story that made me smile. I like the idea of figuring out how to do something on your drive with your Dad.

His Dad actually drove me whilst we did the rolling shots and was nice to hear his perspective on the car too. Clearly he was a petrol head and “just likes working on cars with his son”. The two of them occasionally go on spirited drives together and often have mini drag races between lights. LADS.

 

Back to the car, the wrap gives it a Rally car sort of vibe that I really like. With it’s low altitude and big wheels, you could almost imagine this to be set up for tarmac in the WRC. Those wheels in question are forged Rotiform IND’s measuring at 19inches all around.