Archive for September, 2009

VIDEO> Roegge Devil

Will Roegge just posted up a short edit he made from his visit to Chicago with our friends Risky Devil. I know street drifting is supposed to be bad (mmmkay)… but there is something about slammed out drift cars doing their thing against a raw urban cityscape that just warms my heart.

Take a look.

:: Andy Sapp


Evolution Motorsports, or EVOMS as they are also known by, is one of the most highly respected and successful Porsche tuners in the country. This white 996 initially caught our eye when we toured their facilities and scouted a fire-breathing, 230+mph capable, record-breaking 996 of a similar variety. Although that car has garnered a plethora of media attention within the Porsche community, this 2002 Porsche 996TT is certainly no slouch and is a fine example of the initial developments within EVOMS to reliably achieve 700+ hp in a complete package initially dubbed the GT750.

Since they worked on the development of this particular 996, EVOMS has also launched a standardized package for the 997, dubbed the EVT700, that can be seen here in addition to their own intelligent tuning services. However, for 996 fans around the world, it is easy to see why the earlier variant of the 911 Turbo remains so popular.   Read more...

VIDEO> Bonus Footage from FD Las Vegas

Formula Drift: Las Vegas from MotorMavens Dotcom on Vimeo.

Digging through our hard drive archives, I realized that the Motor Mavens crew often ends up shooting a lot of extra video footage or photos that don’t actually get posted on the site. Some time last week, I was looking through a folder in the hard drive that contained a bunch of video clips from the Formula D Las Vegas event.

The footage was shot with two cameras – While Antonio was busy shooting stills and video clips with his Canon 5D Mark II DSLR, Antonio’s younger brother David decided to try his hand at shooting some drifting video footage with the small, consumer level Canon HF S100 digital video camera that we had laying around here at the house.

Even though they didn’t shoot all that much video footage, and didn’t plan on releasing a video from this event, I decided that I might as well put some of David’s handheld camcorder footage together with the stuff Antonio shot with his DSLR. See if you can tell which cameras captured what.

We’d also be interested in finding out what our readers think… do you think Antonio should spend some more time trying to practice and hone his skills in shooting video? Or should he just stick to the still photos?

Hope you enjoy the video!

:: Travis Hodges

NEWSWORTHY> The gorgeous new Infiniti Essence

“Oh my god!” “Simply stunning!” “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” You can expect to hear people to say things like that when you tag along with the Essence, Infiniti’s new flagship concept car and 20th birthday present to itself, on a mini-tour of the U.S. This is the first that many Americans will be seeing of this 592-horsepower car since the Geneva auto show back in March.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Sevenstock Rotary Festival, Pt.1

This past Saturday at Mazda Headquarters in Irvine CA, rotary engined fans from all over the nation gathered at the annual Sevenstock Rotary Festival. I saw cars with license plates from a variety of different states there; it was cool to see how hardcore and dedicated many of these rotary owners were! I used to own a white FC3S RX7 (NA) for a little while before I bought my first AE86, and I loved it. I can definitely see where these rotary guys get their enthusiasm from.

In fact, one of the dedicated RX7 owners in attendance was our own Calvin Wan, who flew down to LA with his wife just for one day because they scored some super cheap plane tickets to Orange County for only $29 on Southwest! After picking them up at the airport, we went to eat dim sum at Capital Seafood in Irvine before heading to the show. I suppose the entire day had a "rotary theme" because Calvin noticed that even the plates that our dim sum was served in were round and triangular in shape, just like the rotor inside a 13B. Crazy.   Read more...

WEBMINING> Sumo Power R33 at Santa Pod

Last year on a trip to the UK, Antonio went to Santa Pod Raceway and came face to face with this pink R33 Skyline drag monster from Sumo Power.

This car is well known in the UK – the R33 stirred up quite a bit of attention from its performance numbers and overall impact! (Not to mention its pink paint job!) We came across this video from our buddy Stephane Benini from Clash Productions (who always produces great work), showing the pink powerhouse in action.

This video is an oldie but goodie!  If you live in the UK, you can check out Sumo Power’s Skyline, “Fuujin” in action at Santa Pod next weekend! According to Sumo Power owner Andy Barnes, Fuujin means “God of Wind” in Japanese… so either Andy drives it really fast, or he just passes a lot of gas. Maybe both.

Before I forget, Antonio also did a killer photo set and story on this sick Skyline sometime last year, so don’t forget to cllick through to check it out!


::Travis Hodges

Antonio’s photos and story of Fuujin, the Sumo Power Drag R33

VIDEO> Offset is Everything at Nisei


Most Motor Mavens readers have been following Antonio’s photos and stories from Nisei Showoff, so we’ve decided to release a video of the event as well! We really wanted to highlight something that impressed us at the show – the fact that so many of these great cars are stepping up their game with aggressive offset and negative camber!

Forget the trophies – for us, the super slammed cars with the best wheels, stance, engine mods and paint jobs were the stars of the show. Nisei Showoff wasn’t about the models (although there were a few that showed up, haha); it was about the hottest street cars. Events like this are becoming more and more rare. We feel privileged that we were there to support Ken Miyoshi on his last Nisei Showoff, because of the great feeling that this show produced. Props to Ken and the Mainstream Productions crew for bringing us an awesome day of street cars and good friends in the middle of Little Tokyo.

We hop you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to leave comments!

:: Travis Hodges

More 2009 Nisei Showoff on MOTORMAVENS

ARCHAEOLOGY> Honda Love at Nisei Showoff

Sorry today's update took so long... the site had some software issues, so thanks for being patient with us as we deal with these growing pains! Before I transfer my Nisei Showoff photos to one of my terabyte hard drives for archival, I thought I'd just put a few more photos up on the site.

Reppin Los Angeles... is the Phaze 2 crew, bringin it hard with some of the sickest Hondas at the show. Phaze 2 is all about slammed cars with aggressive offset and stretched tires, and they all seem to have contrasting color engine bays with super clean wire tucks. They floss it hard too - they all rocked their cars hoodless, so other crews would realize just how much effort they would need to put in to get to the Phaze 2 level.   Read more...

VIDEO> Evergreen Drift Round 4

Evergreen Drift Round 4 from MotorMavens Dotcom on Vimeo.

Hey guys, it’s Justin again. Last Sunday, I visited Monroe, Washington for Round 4 of the Evergreen Drift series. The final round saw a lot of upsets as some drivers weren’t able to attend and others were plagued with car troubles. Overall, it was an exciting day, making for lots of good footage.

For more information regarding the Evergreen Drift series, please visit

:: Justin Shreeve

OH SNAP> Boxcar Sessions

Recently, I’ve been doing some research on good commuter cars that can fit A LOT of camera equipment inside, but still get great gas mileage. I’ve looked at the new Scion xB, Nissan Cube, and also the Kia Soul. There are certain things I liked about all of these cars, but for some reason, I’m still more drawn to the old school original boxy style of the first gen Scion xB.

In my opinion, the Nissan Cube looks closer to the first gen xB than the second gen xB does… but it still doesn’t capture the same feeling as the first generation Scion xB. Maybe it’s because the first gen xB has Japanese roots as a Toyota bB, with tons of Japanese aftermarket parts available, from big wheel VIP style to lowdown/shakotan 15 inch wheel style… and a ton of dope aero kits like Kenstyle or Damd. (The Damd Gulf Toyota bB had me jockin like crazy when it first came out!)

Here in the continental United States, I gotta give props to guys like the bB Squad and especially Paolo Luna and Kenny Leadsled in Las Vegas, who build cars that are so stylish, they inspire other Scion owners to bite their steez. In my opinion, THESE are the guys that Scion USA corporate needs to give “build project” cars to. (I hope you’re reading this, Kennedy, Craig, M.J. and Steve!) These are the real grassroots, die hard Scion guys that deserve a chance to build a fresh box, because they have so much style! I’ve been to Scion car shows in other parts of the United States, and I was just horrified by the way some people built their Scions… especially the ones with cheesy themes! For real!

Anyway, the whole point in me writing this… is that I wanted to give props where it was due, and shine a much needed light on these guys, who have put together some of the freshest Scions I’ve seen in the USA thus far. I never got around to shooting Kenny’s car (Sorry Kenny!), but if you want to check out Paolo Luna’s xB, then click here to see the feature on Paolo’s car that I shot and wrote back when I was still promoting that other high traffic car blog site. =)

::Antonio Alvendia

Paolo Luna’s xB feature from last year

WEBMINING>Team Battle:Drift by Stephen Brooks

Team Battle:Drift from Stephen Brooks on Vimeo.

I’ve been checking out Stephen Brooks’ work lately on Vimeo. The man from the land of tea and crumpets makes great videos, but this one really stood out to me in particular. It was shot during a team drift event (hence the name) at the Norfolk Arena, which is about 2.5 hours North of London.

Although I’m not too keen on the song choice, I think it matched the content of the video very well. Beyond that, I feel like this piece does a great job to portray all the emotions behind the scenes of a drift event. Don’t worry though, there’s great drifting footage as well!

::Justin Shreeve

NEWSWORTHY> Get Free Kicks from Vans!

Apparently, the collabo contest that Vans Shoes is doing with Mitsubishi is proving to be pretty popular. I decided to post this up in case some of our readers haven’t seen this video yet. You can enter the contest to win some free shoes from Vans or a bag of random stuff from Mitsubishi Motors America!

All you need to go is guess how many boxes of Vans shoes they were able to fit inside the new Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback wagon and send it in. Some of the Motor Mavens have already entered in their guesses… maybe I’ll enter the contest too, and see if I can win some shoes.

Good luck!

:: Jeff Yip


Just a few years ago, aggressive fitment wheels were a pretty rare find on cars in the United States. Most people thought that getting wheels that "fit" well meant that the wheels wouldn't have any rubbing or clearance issues. Nowadays, the trendsetters in the scene have completely changed the game, and all the "cool kids" with the best wheel fitment are all about stretched tires and seeing how close you can get your wheels/tires to the fenders.

The owner of this slammed Subaru Impreza WRX STi is a seventeen year old (Yes, I said 17 years old!) high school student named Abbitt Wilkerson from AW Films. Abbitt has been making a name for himself; not only because he shoots some of the most popular car videos up here in the Northwest, but also because he has a driving passion for building Subarus with the common thread of aggressive wheel fitment.   Read more...

WEBMINING> The Thai Drifting Scene

We found this video just clicking around on Youtube… apparently the drifting scene is strong in Thailand too! Check out the Nissan A31 Cefiro police car… convertible?! Crazy! The umbrella girls look pretty cute too… Have a look!

::Yoshi Shindo

NEWSWORTHY> 2010 Camaro Enters Formula Drift

You heard it FIRST from!!! Some of our readers may remember Luke Loneberger's Chevy LS1 turbo-engined S14 from our All Star Bash and Megan Racing Competition stories. Well, apparently we were just given the green light to release the big news that we've been keeping under our hats for the past couple months! Los Gatos, California based Luke Loneberger will be building Conrad Grunewald's new competition car for the 2010 Formula Drift season - a brand new Chevrolet Camaro SS, with Hankook as the tire sponsor.

Apparently all of Conrad's work as a driving instructor at Skip Barber Racing School and his unmistakable presence when driving the Tanaka Racing Corvette in Formula D last year has finally paid off. Let's also not forget - Conrad isn't a stranger to the Formula D podium! We have photos to prove it!

Thanks to Andrew and Conrad from CG Racing, we're able to present you with these sneak peek photos!   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> JDM Allstars Action

Here are some more photos from the JDM Allstars event at Wembley. The skies over London were bright and clear for a moment... I was feeling a bit burnt and tired from standing out on track for hours the day before, so I took some time to relax around the paddock area catching up with some friends, drivers and setting up my camera before heading over to the drivers briefing tent to see what the day had in store. I soon learned that the morning session was dedicated to qualifying for the Top 32 battles.

The qualifying would be run using the new Super Lap format. With the Super Lap, drivers are given just one single run to lay down their best score, no warm up laps, or anything. The judges were also wanting to see the drivers give it their all and get their cars as close as they could to the wall. A lot of pressure, but it was definitely gonna be exciting!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Rob Primo's RPS13 180SX

While at one of the Evergreen Drift events. i was just walking around the starting grid before they started to run. I was just having a good time with all the guys out there when I noticed this clean RPS13 with an aggressive stance and rolling on some proper fitting Work CR Kais. When the driver got out of the car on the right hand side, I noticed it was Rob Primo. Rob just got some OEM 180sx aero along with fresh blue paint and got some new wheels. The white and blue color combination works very well. I also noticed he shaved the side marker lights and his windshield washer squirters also, a nice touch to keeping the car nice and clean.   Read more...

WEBMINING> JDM Allstars is hungry!

Drifting at JDM Allstars – Trax 2009 Season Finale from JDM Allstars on Vimeo.

Internally, a few members of the Motor Mavens crew have been talking about this video for the past few days, but we’ve been really swamped with other work this week and we couldn’t get to posting it up until just now – sorry! Everyone in the USA seems to think of Formula Drift when they think about professional drifting. However, we’d like to take a quick moment to recognize the JDM Allstars series in the UK for all the momentum they have gained. Even though JDM Allstars started in 2007 as a small UK privateer series, they have really grown up in the past few years! Now their series is even attracting drivers from other countries within continental Europe!

There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing a group of hungry underdogs rise up and become successful because they’re passionate in what they’re doing!

Much respect JDM Allstars!

:: Travis Hodges

WEBMINING> Cyrious About Drifting

CYRIOUS PRODUCTIONS – Drift Maniacs from Cyrious Productions on Vimeo.

Greetings! My name is Jover! I’ve been Antonio’s homeboy, representing from up here in Canada since the late 90’s, eh! Think of me as his shorter, somewhat similar “brother from another mother” that is also a nut for all things related to AE86s and drifting.

Speaking of AE86’s, Pat Cyr from Drift Posse dominated the podium this year in the DMCC (Drift Mania Championnat Canadien) Series, taking the 2nd place spot in the series and making a HUGE name for himself amongst a field of professionally backed teams, most of whom are running big, bad V8s!

Not bad for an AE86 that still runs a 4AGE motor, on a privateer budget! If it wasn’t for a broken axleshaft in the Quarter Final heat in Toronto, he’d be sitting in the top slot in the points…but that’s racing folks! Look for a feature on this dirty hachiroku, and the equally badass wheelman from Drift Posse soon here on MotorMavens!

For now, enjoy this video his brother, Dan Cyr put together from the DMCC -Toronto Round 4 and the DriftOps Drift Lapping day at Shannonville. This is how we do it up, turn up the speakers!

::Jover Papag

CARSPOTTING> Vintage Hammer strikes El Mirage

As you may have seen our previous post about land speed racing, this past weekend we headed out to the most famous dry lake bed in Southern California - El Mirage. We arrived in the afternoon and the weather was hot, but the racing was cooling off. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had been blowing extremely strong cross winds across the desert, which eventually brought the event to an early stop. Undaunted by a little wind and a lot of dust, we continued on through the pit area until the dull sheen of dust covered metal captured our attention.

Strong and resilient with something to prove, this rear engine modified roadster provided contrast to the cracked up surface of the historic lake bed. After speaking to a few helpful guys hanging out nearby, we were told that this roadster was designed and built by an experienced land speed racer named Fabian Valdez from Vintage Hammer Garage in Yucaipa, California.   Read more...

COVERAGE> El Mirage and Land Speed Racing

About an hour and a half north of Los Angeles lies El Mirage, a historic dry lake bed that has been a home to land speed racing and the organization that hosts these land speed racing events, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) for over 60 years. Just think about it - sixty years! That's a long time. Even though it is only about 1.5 hours from where I live and I've known about El Mirage for years, I had never actually been to El Mirage until this past weekend.

For me, the journey to El Mirage was something like a time warp. We had to drive through the high desert of the Antelope Valley, and eventually began noticing lots of old homes and old buildings... not to mention ghost-town looking businesses that look like they haven't seen a customer walk through their doors in a decade.

On Sunday, Travis and I decided to drive our Nissan Cube press vehicle up to El Mirage to check out the scene and see what it was all about. On the way to the legendary dry lake bed, we stopped off at this liquor store/gas station for drinks, and were happy to find an old Ford hot rod parked outside at the gas pump. I approached the owner of the car, a gentleman named Dave, and said hello while he was refueling his hot rod with a funnel, as the gas station's modern style gas nozzles wouldn't be long or slender enough to get the entire neck of the fuel nozzle into the vintage gas tank without spilling onto the side of his old Ford.   Read more...


Subaru Impreza by FORMAT67.NET from FORMAT67.NET on Vimeo.

My friend Eric just got his driver’s license, and along with it: his first car. Now, most people get a crappy, beat-up, old junker for their first car. But up here in Reno NV, due to the crazy winters and icy roads, that just won’t cut it. So instead he took out a loan from his parents and got a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX. How lucky!?

While browsing the internet, looking for inspiration on how to fix it up, we stumbled across this awesome Impreza video. Aside from the amazing videography and post-production, these two modified 2002 Subarus just look bad ass.

Now he may not be able to go racing on an airport runway, but I’m pretty damn sure Eric found his inspiration.


:: David Ponton

NEWSWORTHY> DriftMechaniks Demo at Motorsport Nationals

DriftMechaniks Demo @ Motorsport Nationals

If you’re in or around Atlanta this weekend, be sure to come out to Atlanta Motor Speedway to catch some demo action from my local team! We will be doing 3 demos on Saturday, and another 3 to wrap things up on Sunday. Atlanta natives Erin Sanford, David Jones, Daniel Willie, and myself will be out there pushing our Yokohama Advans to their limit. It is guaranteed to be a crazy show!

Many of you may be unfamiliar with Motorsport Nationals, which is more-or-less the show that has replaced the now-defunct ‘Nopi Nationals’. Nopi Motorsports has nothing to do with Motorsport Nationals, and is now overseen by an outside company hired by Atlanta Motor Speedway. We are really excited to be working with Motorsport Nationals and Yokohama ADVAN Tires to bring drifting back to Atlanta Motor Speedway!

:: Andy Sapp

CARSPOTTING> Josh Herron's S14

I can't remember the last time I was in Las Vegas when I wasn't covering an event or taking photos for work. It seems like an reoccurring thing when it comes to traveling for me, I never have time to hang with friends or just kick back. However my recent trip to Vegas was non-work related and I basically had the whole weekend to do whatever and go wherever my heart desired! After receiving a phone call from my dad asking if I would like to accompany him on his business trip to Vegas for the weekend, it didn't take me long to respond with an enthusiastic "Yes!". Once I arrived in Vegas I wasted no time getting in touch with people, while making sure I contacted a certain Internet celebrity!

Enter Josh Herron. This young and talented videographer has made some of the most creative drift videos I've ever seen, while also averaging 200,000 views on each video, and reaching the acclaimed Internet celebrity status all before the age of 21. And I thought I was a media prodigy. :D   Read more...