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Event

Veterans of the Car World

10th October 2017 — by Phil McCusker

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“You’re in the desert… why would the car need wind-shield wipers?

Imagine spending the week, looking at impressive builds in the worlds biggest car show, SEMA. Sounds like a dream…. Right?

No. Las Vegas has been the hub of one of the largest Automotive events for several years, the show itself has been going for a lot longer than I have been around, but there are some guys that have been tinkering with cars, for as long as the SEMA show has been around, and probably before.

We were looking for something else, less crazy than the builds we spotted at SEMA…

Cue a 3 Hour drive via the Mojave Desert, to Lake Havasu City, AZ

Next to a Man Made lake in Arizona, stands 43 Square Miles of desert town, steeped in Military history after being founded as an Army Air Corps camp back in the 1950’s so it makes sense that we stumbled upon a Veterans Car meet.

I have always been a fan of the car culture in America, the builds are often insane and I have always had a soft spot for american muscle.

This green ’63 Thunderbird was no exception, the fine attention to every detail was obvious that this car had been built with a lot of love over the last few years, for a car that was over 50 Years Old, it was in better condition than most show cars that I have seen in the UK.

Small Details, when in the Desert, you don’t need everything. The minimal yearly rainfall, means that you can get away with not having wipers, not that I can imagine the torque heavy V8 that breathes life into the Green machine would be fun to drive in the Rain!

This Richard Petty inspired Plymouth Belvedere was a throwback to the ’66 & ’67 NASCAR Grand National Season, was it a genuine Petty Car? I Sadly don’t have the answer for that, perhaps it is, going by the Trophies that were found near the car.

“Fast Toys, aren’t just for the Boys”

I found an amazing atmosphere in Lake Havasu, everybody had the time for everyone else, there was no, I’m better than you Chevy Guys, you Ford Guys, nothing, the feeling of a passion bringing people together in one place was overwhelming, for some of them, this wasn’t the first time they had met, with many having served tours around the world, from Vietnam all the way to some of the most recent campaigns.

As I walked around, having video called some people back home in the UK, scanning the array of metal that surrounded me, I found myself looking for smaller details, oddities and just general cool things

I then spotted something that looked a bit out of place.

When I first cast my eye over towards this Chevy Nova, I noticed a POW MIA Ribbon on the back, nothing unusual to find in the United States, they are very proud as a Nation when it comes to their Military, but as I looked closer I found that there was not one, but two Hummingbirds, one hidden below the Ribbon, signifying the sacrifice that someone has made, for their Country, that they were so proud of, that they felt the need to defend it at the ultimate cost.

This was an unusual sight, but a prime example of the dedication to the cars here, this was a C6 Generation Corvette, but the rear end took a moment, it has a ’63 Stingray rear end, which you would almost take for granted the amount of work that would go into this, the paint, the general thought process to come up with the idea in the first place is just beyond what I could dream up.

I will return one day to Lake Havasu City, hopefully with some cold hard cash and head for the Docks in a piece of American Car history.

Words & Pictures – Phil McCusker

Reviews

ITS A VIP THING

16th March 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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Japan & the JDM craze is nothing new, its an influence on the lives of so many with their mindset and ways of life. Their car culture especially plays a huge part with so many automotive fans from around the globe. From every documentary we’ve seen on the subject they are totally trendsetters without even knowing it, what we deem to be cool is often just because it was the only way to do it to them and therefore it simply worked.

So it would seem that little thought is put into what others think… refreshing that 😉

In the western world this kind of attitude can bring on hate. The desire to be different is shot down and conforming to the masses is the standard by which you are judged. With all that being said, we wanted to bring you all a little slice of the Japanese mindset from way up North in Aberdeen. A Lexus GS300 Sport that would not look out of place cruising the streets of Tokyo. At its heart is a JDM 2JZGE, for people who don’t live their lives knowing engine codes, thats a straight 6 3.0 litre engine pushing out around 240bhp and bundles of useable torque, easily moving this VIP wagon through the streets.

Its owner, Fraser, has a solid spec list of modifications, not the all of which are the usual ones you’d expect, its an awesome mix of mostly driveway mods that work, again saluting that JDM culture of doing it yourself & doing whatever you want.

A fully fettled exhaust and intake allow it to be heard long before its seen. But its the presence in person that demands your attention. Its most striking party piece would have to be the D2 Air Suspension system, dropping it to a floor scraping height thanks to 2 air zenith OBD2 compressors hugging the Works Rezax 2’s perfectly and worthy of its street sweeper gang sticker.

To suit all these lows the outside is as purposefully unique as possible with a Vertex front bumper flowing nicely into matching side skirts and a half cut OEM rear bumper allowing a Top Secret style rear diffuser to poke through finishing it all off perfectly. Spoiler wise its got a choice, the Toms roof spoiler is a permanent addition but bonnet spoilers, well, they come and go. As of this shoot it had a 326 Power spoiler, however we’ve seen since that its gone full BGW, an awesome addition to the overall look.

The interior has two red Recaro seats perfectly suiting the driven styling of this build. Adorned with stickers of varying degrees of awesomeness collected from travels to J town, once inside you’d think you were there. In fact check you can check this out for yourself in all its glory thanks to the work of Alex McArthur who has produced this ace video on the car, we feel summing it up perfectly.

This build isn’t a ‘trying too hard’ JDM replica, this is built completely to their same standard. If it fits it works, if it doesn’t fit well you just make it fit, you don’t listen to what the masses say, you don’t adhere to their set rules & accepted mods, this right here is the perfect example of the Japanese car culture.

News

Ford GT sets top speed dominance

25th January 2017 — by Black Flagged

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The Ford GT has set a scorching top spot at the Blue Oval offices with a dash melting top speed of 216mph

Like the glass cockpit in airplanes and race cars, the all-new Ford GT features an all-digital instrument display in the car’s dashboard that quickly and easily presents information to the driver, based on five special driving modes.
Like the glass cockpit in airplanes and race cars, the all-new Ford GT features an all-digital instrument display in the car’s dashboard that quickly and easily presents information to the driver, based on five special driving modes.

 

The Ecoboost 3.5 V6 engine, strong-arms a punchy 647hp and a asphalt assaulting 550lb/ft of torque. With the cars dry weight at a Weight Watcher friendly 1400kg, It pushes the Ford GT to the top of the table, making it the fastest car in the Ford production line up.

In recent tests at the Calabogie Moorpark in Canada, the Ford GT also proved it’s no straight line pony. It clocked in quicker lap times than both the McLaren 675LT and the Ferrari 458 Speciale

We’re stoked to see that Ford are producing a car with Supercar slaying capabilities and look forward to seeing how the GT will develop with some aftermarket touches

 

 

 

News

This is what we lose

7th November 2016 — by Ruben Langa

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Near my home town there are  a series of perfect roads. A place to disconnect when you want to plant the good foot and escape. In fact they’re so good it might not surprise you to learn that they’re also WRC stages. For the local hoons there weekend fun, but nothing can compare taking on its challenges than being behind the wheel of a VW Polo WRC 2017.

In 2016 a keen rally fan will notice that the VW Polo has gained in it’s width, stance and over all look and feel. The car has been overhauled by the engineers from DTM, but while they’re not over the top, the centimetres here and there will add all the difference when shooting for podiums.

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It doesn’t stop with the body, the electronic central diff, suspension, tyres, brakes have been finely fettled with that the car now has a more dynamic handling package – it’s that train on rails effect when it carves the asphalt curves of the Spanish countryside

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While some will say visually it doesn’t deliver that look of speed, the bigger turbocharger that sucks power to over 380hp and 500n/m would massively disagree. Ok it’s doesn’t visually look as fast, but this thing is literally helping the earth spin on its axis its producing so much grip.

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In my mind, i’ve seen one of the fastest cars of the WRC and with Ogier, Latvala & Mikkelsen behind the wheel, I think it’s undoubtedly a car that will not become an icon within the WRC’s history books. Make sure you take in the sights and sounds of what i’d consider to be as exciting a car as the old Group B era.

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Event

The Revolution – British Drift Championship Round 2 – Driftland

22nd June 2016 — by Connor Mathieson

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The Revolution has begun, Driftland has now hosted its first BDC event and shown just how incredible the driver level of the BDC has come along in such a short period of time. ProAm for a long time has been the great underdog of the BDC. In previous years there has been only a small crowd that attends. Round 2 has really amped up the hype for the ProAm category.

ProAm was quite easily the most exhilarating and intense round of drifting I’ve witnessed in a long time from the BDC. Driver levels are through the roof, this was easily recognised even in practice with some really close proximity runs straight from the start.

Qualifying has always been one of the more boring elements to a drift event, But with everyone giving it their all from the start, there was some really awesome to watch runs in qualifying. With the element of 2 wall runs in the section as well as having a pretty minimal run off, it was going to be an exciting day for sure.

Even more entertaining than that is when you look at the 2 new competitors in the ProAm class.. Ryan Caldwell, the 14 year old Northern Irish drifter in the quite insane RB powered 180sx. Then just when you think, “Damn hes young!” you see that Jack Shanahan’s younger Brother Conor, who has only just turned 13 years old would also be competing. Watching these 2 guys placing 1st and 2nd in qualifying at an age where most of us where playing with a tamagotchi is quite ridiculous.

To my surprise the wall hadn’t claimed anywhere close to the amount of people i had expected, especially when you consider your running down the wall on entry and then you ran back up it at the end of the section. Jason Clark was one of the unfortunate few who had lost to the wall, tagging the wall at the end of the run throwing the front of the car back into the wall.

The steep hill only a few feet behind clip 2 was the car destroyer, Stu Farley had one of the most spectacular crashes I have ever seen at Driftland. Clipping the grass with the rear of the car sending him flying through the air and almost doing a full airborne 180. The commitment level of drivers was really something else, all day people were throwing hard and fast into clip 2 in an attempt to run the perfect wide line that the judges wanted.

Conor Shanahan’s first battle was against Lewis Mitchell, i can imagine everyone was excited for this battle. The first time many people would see Conor drive in a battle in person and maybe even the first time they had heard about him.

Conor’s talents as a driver were immediately obvious. On his chase run he was not scared to throw it right on the door of Lewis. Naturally with such a dominating couple of runs he would progress.

Next battle on the agenda would see 14 year old Ryan Caldwell come up against the mighty Steve Will in what has the be the most insane E36 i have ever seen, never mind the noise that it produces.. Unfortunately for Ryan, Steve would take the win, which as you can see made him quite happy.

Bradley Wallbank was running the most under powered car in the whole field in ProAm, unable to compete in his BDC car, he instead brought up his missile E36. Amazingly earlier in the day he would beat Richard McCourt in the Lassa Tyres R33 to progress into the top 16 where he would face Karl Farrar. After a strong fight the win would go over to Karl, unlucky for Bradley not to get further but for the cars he was put up against he certainly put up an amazing fight!

Local hero Andi Halkett would come up against the mighty Matthew Denham who was on fire all day. On the first run Andi’s E36 simply could not catch the RX8 through the first few clips and would only be able to catch Matthew in the last section. When roles were reversed it was clear who would be the winner. With the amount of grip and power the RX8 has, it was to no surprise that matthew could keep on the door of Andi throughout the entire run.

Like any event there is always 1 single driver that stands out from the rest, for me that was Matthew Denham in the V8 Turbo RX8. his semi final battle would be against another stand out driver who i think a lot of people expected to be in the top 4. Conor and Matthew had a really intense battle and much to my delight, Matthew would progress through to the final pitting himself up against Steve Will, While Conor would face Scott Cartledge in the 1UZ R33 for the 3rd place spot.

The 3rd place battle was fairly cut and dry, unfortunately for Scott he just didn’t have enough forward bite in the tyres to be able to keep up with Conor. A very well deserved 4th place for Scott after taking down some mighty foes earlier in the day.

2 cars and 2 drivers that had been standout crowd pleasers all day had made it to the final. Their first 2 runs where far too close to call for the judges prompting a one more time decision. It would take only the slightest difference in line/angle or proximity to separate the two drivers in the end.

At the end of it all, Steve Will much to his delight would take the top spot from Matthew Denham.

This ProAm fight had been such an exhilarating day of hard fought battles, each driver gave it their all pushing their own limits to the test and what an event it created. The work David Egan & his team has put into the BDC in such a short space of time time has really catapulted the series forward and set the stage for the rest of the season to come.