Archive for May, 2011

GARAGE LIFE> JSP Fab K24A Powered AE86 Build

When it comes to drifting, whether it's professional, grassroots, or even street, the AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S is one of the most iconic cars around. The AE86 'hachi roku' and its 4AGE engine are a staple when it comes to drifting. However some more adventurous and fabrication savvy people have opted to swap in different engines. Not everyone is a fan of cross platform engine swaps, but I think pulling off a swap from a pure engineering standpoint is a feat of its own. One of the most desired AE86 cross platform swaps is the F20C/F22C engine from the Honda S2000 as it is one of the most powerful 4 cylinder N/A (normally aspirated) engines available.

About a week ago, JSP Fab's John Russakoff contacted me about an exclusive update to his Megan Racing/Nexen Tire Formula Drift competition car. For those of you who don't know John, he is one of the first in the AE86 community to perform a F20C engine swap into the AE86 Toyota Corolla Chassis - stateside at least. He has once again broken the cross platform swap barrier by putting a Honda K-Series front wheel drive engine into the AE86 while retaining the RWD platform. Going to be the very first fully completed and running K-Series AE86 in the US (and maybe even the world), he definitely had some hurdles to jump over when it came to engineering and fabrication.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> JZX81 Toyota Cresta from Calgary

The lesser-told stories of Formula Drift involve the homegrown teams and drivers who work their way up the rankings at grassroots and ProAm events to get the opportunity to pour out their own blood, sweat (and money) to face the best professional drifters in America. They represent the spirit of the sport.

In the spirit of representing the spirit of the sport (say that three times fast!), rookie Formula D driver Alex Lee came all the way down from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to debut his Driftmania Canadian Championship (DMCC) West winning 1990 Toyota Cresta at Long Beach! And he certainly did it with a bang!   Read more...

VIDEO> Mads Østberg at Rally Sørland Shakedown

Recently I’ve been checking out a lot of different videos; seeing what’s sick and what produced a dry, wheezing cough. I came across this one on ContourHD’s site. It features some truly inspired rally driving.

In the video, we ride along with Mads Østberg and his co-driver Jonas Andersson through Rally Sørland Shakedown in their Ford Fiesta S2000. To give you a little insight into the mad skills of these dudes, they beat Ken Block in the Swedish round of World Rally Championship and came second overall! And if you are wondering what the language is, it’s Swedish. By the way, my Swedish is a little rusty but I believe Jonas is actually reading Mads one of the Twilight books…..silly Swedes. LOL! (more…)


COVERAGE> It’s JDM Yo! Anniversary In Cerritos

Over a year ago, when you heard the phrase 'It's JDM Yo!' you would just think of a bunch of Japanese cars with parts from Japan following a trend. Now, as soon as you hear it, the first thing that comes to mind are the hot models and Tony 'It's JDM Yo' Lee with his posse at every major car show representing. The meet turned out more like a car show but with free entrance and in and out privileges for both people and cars. With vendors, food trucks, free NOS Energy Drinks to quench your thirst, and lots of eye candy the day went by without a hitch. A raffle, emceed by Tony and Miss Natalia Marie from NOS, was held and proceeds went to help fund Big Abe's daughter Sophie's funeral cost (if you don't know who Big Abe is, he's the guy with the big ass rim hanging from his neck). I have to give a big shout out to Big Abe for showing up to the meet after going through what he and his family had to endure.   Read more...

VIDEO> Smashing Trees at Oregon Trail Rally

Here’s a little rally goodness brought to you from last year’s Oregon Trail Rally by our friends at Contour. You have to respect a racing format that includes dodging trees, boulders, and wildlife at high speeds! This clip features Byron Garth (pilot), Sky Pinnick (co-pilot), a 2006 Subaru WRX…and an unsuspecting tree who just happens to be minding his business while trying to cross the road! (more…)


NEWSWORTHY> Hot Wheels x JNC Hakosuka

Hot Wheels Japanese Nostalgic Car Hakosuka Nissan Skyline HT 200GT X

Recently we met up with our friends over at Japanese Nostalgic Car Magazine for this year’s Toyotafest (watch for the upcoming story), and they told us the epic news about the “hush-hush” project they had been working on with Hot Wheels!

Now we can finally share the great news with all our readers, and the above picture shows you the outcome. Hot Wheels is producing the legendary Hakosuka in die-cast form! Just to be clear, this isn’t a KPGC10 Skyline GT-R, it is actually a KGC10 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-X. One of the coolest things about this die cast project is the JNC inkan on the doors. Congratulations, guys!!!

The detail on the car is really nice! It has exterior oil cooler hoses, headlight covers and the interior is fully caged. JNC says it’s heavier than your typical Hot Wheels car so you KNOW this car is gonna fly down the track! Any one still have their orange Hot Wheels track? (more…)


VIDEO> Low n’ Slow VW Beetles in the UK

Low n’ Slow – A Beetle Film from Stephen Brooks on Vimeo.

Stephen Brooks is at it again with his video camera. This time around instead of drifting, we get a spotlight on some dope Volkswagens of the Low n’ Slow Club VW from the UK. I’m definitely diggin’ these two uber-low Type 1 Beetles, you just can’t go wrong with a classic design laying frame. However, there are no airbags here. The lows you see are brought to you by static drops. That takes “form over function” to another level.

:: Jonathan McWhorter


CENTER STAGE> Fresh & Clean BMW E30 in Atlanta

Cleanliness, it seems, is a bit of a relative term. Whether you are following Webster's definition or the definition that has been popularly sculpted within the car scene, there are varying degrees of what could be considered a clean car. There even seems to be some disagreement as to what exactly that means. Is it the application of the owner's taste? Is it the degree to which he has maintained his vehicle? Is it keeping a simplistic/minimalist approach or just doing things right over all? Whatever it may be, this gorgeous BMW E30 owned by Georgia native, Ryan Sermonet, epitomizes all of the above.   Read more...

VIDEO> Drift Posse – Road To Formula Drift Atlanta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPvpCt5KZeY

Today is Dan Cyr of Cyrious Productions‘ Birthday!  If you don’t know who Dan Cyr is, he’s the brother of the Pat Cyr, the baddest privateer AE86 Formula Drift rookie who cleaned up at the Irwindale Pro Am event in the tail end of 2010.  What a better way to honor Dan’s efforts as a drift documentarian than posting his latest video from Formula Drift Round 2 – Atlanta.  It’s the best we can do Dan!  We are all starving artists for now. Happy Birthday!

What does it feel to be the proverbial black sheep?  Or better yet, the wolf in sheep’s clothing?  Before you contemplate and think that I’m going to throw all kinds of cliché’s at you, consider where privateers like Pat Cyr sit right now in the world of Formula Drift.   It’s hardly cliché at all to see a 360hp, garage built, ratty AE86 in a field of expensive dream machines and famous drivers.  To me, and to countless others, the story of the “underdog” never gets old. (more…)


COVERAGE> Retro Toyota Meet at Ace Cafe London!

On the 25th of April, the legendary Ace Cafe in London was home to the first Retro Toyota Gathering. Organised by The Corolla Brotherhood, the meet was held to bring together some of the sweetest Corolla AE86s and other classic Toyotas from around the UK and even Europe!

I'm a big fan of Toyota's little AE86 (and I know a lot of MotorMavens readers are too) so, when I first heard about the plans for this meet earlier in the year, I knew I had to go! Let's take a look at some of the great cars that turned up!   Read more...

OH SNAP> Happy 5-13! Koguchi Power RPS13 180SX

Yoshinori Koguchi Power RPS13 180SX Tochigi Japan Drift Tengoku KSTYLE

Oh Snap! Today is May 13th (5-13), officially referred to as S13 day to all my ichisan friends from Japan. In honor of the S13, I thought I’d post up a photo of a certain Koguchi Power RPS13 180SX built by a man who is revered by many as the King of the S13sYoshinori Koguchi. (more…)


COVERAGE> The Formula D Atlanta Experience Pt. 2

Keeping our coverage of Round 2 of Formula Drift at Road Atlanta coming, we bring you more photos of the Pro Am rounds as well as the main event. Road Atlanta is a unique venue in that it is a world class road course that sees everything from the likes of Le Mans prototype cars to your neighbor who enjoys exercising his right foot every now and again. The Formula Drift weekend is no different - you get a mix of high-dollar, corporate-backed monster machines competing door to door with a backyard creation that you saw built from the ground up on your local forum.   Read more...

VIDEO> Drift Allstars Return to Teesside Autodrome

The end of April was the start of the 2011 Drift Allstars series (formally known as JDM Allstars) and it probably couldn’t have been a better start to the season. For Round One, the series returned Teesside Autodrome – a fantastic circuit that was once home to a lot of drifting in the UK. In fact it was where the very first Drift Allstars event was held in March 2008. Drifting was sadly stopped at Teesside a few years ago, but earlier this year it opened up it’s doors again to practice days and events!

Sadly I couldn’t make it to the opening round due to a scheduling conflict, but it looked like it was a great event with the hard charging Irish drivers taking all 3 places on the podium! Fortunately Fraser Gordon was there to capture the event in magical moving pictures, and this is the resulting film! (more…)


COVERAGE> The Formula D Atlanta Experience Pt.1

For the MotorMavens Crew, Round Two of the 2011 Formula Drift Championship at Road Atlanta represented a lot of hard work, and about 6 or 7 total hours of sleep for the entire weekend. Since our Associate Editor Jonathan "J-Mac" McWhorter lives in the Atlanta area, he volunteered to be the team leader for the weekend, and coordinated everything for the out-of-state crew members that would be flying in for the event.

Some people may not realize this, but Road Atlanta is a very special place for the MotorMavens Crew. Anyone who knows MotorMavens co-founder Andy Sapp can tell you that he has a very fond place in his heart for Road Atlanta. Even though Andy coined the now famous phrase Keep Drifting Fun, he has been drifting competitively at Formula D events in Atlanta ever since 2004 - the very first event in the Formula Drift series. Ever.
  Read more...

VIDEO> Scenes from Formula Drift Atlanta

To be quite honest, Hotlanta Georgia isn’t always hot. Sometimes, it’s the skilled drivers and drunken spectators who raise the temperature through the metaphorical roof. As you patiently await the release of Joe Ayala and my 2011 DVD titled TANDEM OF DIE, take a gander at our teaser from Formula Drift Atlanta!
(more…)


COVERAGE> Live From Formula D Atlanta Day 2

I'm back in the media tower at Road Atlanta and clicking away at my keyboard while open practice adds clouds to the cloudless sky over the track. I swear, it was clear and blue before the drifting started, now we've got puffy white clouds everywhere. Coincidence? Probably. Our sharpshooters Yoshi Shindo and Oliver Petalver are still on track right now and I'm going to give you a mix of what they've gotten so far today as well as some more shots from yesterday's practice.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Atlanta Practice Session

Right now I'm sitting in the media tower at Road Atlanta while practice continues just over the hill on the course. That's right, Allen Iverson, we're talkin' about practice! Not the game, but practice. With that being said, even though it was practice, the drivers were pushing it to the limit and beyond. Many cars ended up in the kitty litter on the initiation corner and some went into the wall.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Walker Wilkerson’s Autohero S13

If you dont know who Walker Wilkerson is by now - you will soon enough. From seemingly out of nowhere, he showed up to the first event of the 2011 Formula Drift season and had an incredibly strong showing. Walker outscored many Formula D veterans in qualifying, moving forward to wow the crowd with exciting tandem performances, much like fan favorite Fredric Aasbo did with his JZA80 Supra last year.

With limited seat time he wowed the judges in his purple widebody Nissan S13 240SX coupe, equipped with a stroked 480hp monster SR20DET, during qualifying. Eventually landing high at 7th place, deep within veteran territory. And with that explosive entrance in the pro arena - he secured his spot in the big show on Saturday in the Top 32. Not bad for a first timer in, well, pretty much everything for the day.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Lowdailys British BMW On Bags

Sometimes in life it's nice to get out of your usual comfort zone and experience something new. I've been involved with and have been shooting drifting for a good few years now and I've reached a point where the excitement to go out and shoot it isn't as great as it used to be. So a few weeks ago I decided that this year I'm taking a little step back from drifting to go capture and expand my knowledge of other car cultures in the UK. If I'm honest I'd been so caught up in my little smoke filled drifting world that I'd almost forgotten that the UK is home to just SO much in the way of car culture. For such a small country it's crammed with automotive goodness, and I'd like to do my best to bring more of that goodness to MotorMavens readers from around the world.

All I needed was my first chance to do something new - and that chance recently came in the form of this BMW E46 3 series owned by Josh Mussell of the Lowdailys crew.   Read more...

VIDEO> A Tribute to Ayrton Senna da Silva

Seventeen years ago today, at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy, the racing world lost the legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna, who many racing fans consider to be the best Formula One driver of all time. The death of the three-time Formula One World Champion on May 1, 1994 occurred as a result of his car crashing into a concrete barrier while he was leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Because of today’s date, I felt it was appropriate to post the trailer to the Working Title Pictures documentary film, SENNA, which will be distributed by Universal Pictures and released in US theaters later this year. The documentary film was actually produced by passionate Brazilians (rightfully so), and was released as a test in Japan, before it went on to win at the Sundance Film Festival. (more…)