Carspotting

CARSPOTTING> Stay Classy With a Vintage Fiat 500

While we were in San Diego checking out the Socal Euro Gathering with our friends from the Purist Group, we stumbled upon this shiny red Fiat 500 with Abarth badges on it. The car was parked alongside several newer Fiat 500 models on display from Kearny Mesa Fiat. I just couldn't resist the classic styling of the original Cinquecento that made Fiat famous all over Europe, so I had to take a closer look!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Corvette Stingray at Sebring 12H

Looking through the photos we shot at the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida (Their official name is WAY too long to say in one breath; it means Sebring had a good ad sales guy), we couldn't help but drop our jaws when staring at this Corvette Stingray from Howey Farms Racing. We don't know much about the car and the driver, but apparently it was being driven by Clark Howey, a man with years and years of track experience at Sebring under his belt.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Ben Sopra R35 GTR at Buttonwillow

This weekend, I went out to Buttonwillow Raceway for the Global Time Attack and Shift S3ctor Pro Am with my friends from Whiteline Suspension. While walking around the paddock, I couldn't stop staring at this blue Ben Sopra R35 Nissan GTR from R's Tuning. This thing looks menacing as hell, especially from the rear! While many people might have seen this car at the SEMA Show in November or in the Fast & Furious 6 movie trailer, I honestly didn't recognize it at first.

When I walked up to the car in the paddock garage, I was thinking, "Oh damn. Someone built another Ben Sopra GTR?!" While I see R35 GTRs all the time (there are 3 of them on the street I live on), it's not often that I get to see one done up with the super expensive Ben Sopra aero kit. At $45K, the Ben Sopra aero costs slightly more than half the price of the car! This was definitely a treat and a surprise - this weekend was the first time I got to see a Ben Sopra GTR in action on a race track!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Bentley Continental GT3 Close Up

Need yet another reason to visit the LA Auto Show? How about a chance to see the new Bentley Continental GT3 up close and personal?! Based on the fastest ever road car to bear the Bentley badge (the Bentley GT Speed), the Bentley Continental GT3 is an FIA approved concept race car with a 2013 racing program that's currently in development.

Signalling Bentley’s return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company’s founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Ford GT40 Chassis 1051

You Better Win. More demanding words have never been spoken in the history of racing. In an infamous three word memo to his engineers and executives prior to the 1966 LeMans 24 Hour endurance race, Henry Ford II would stand for nothing less than victory.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Le Mans 24H Cunningham Corvette

While I was shooting an event feature for the newly launched Driving Line website I'm spearheading, I had the good fortune to meet this 1960 Chevrolet Corvette. While I walked through the collection of multimillion dollar cars at the Greystone Mansion Concours d'Elegance in Beverly Hills, I was drawn to the vented hood, racing number plate, blue headlight covers, and yellow fog lights on the car. It's not very common to see a 1960 Corvette in person, but it's even less common to see a racing version of the car!

It turns out that this particular Corvette was actually a historic race car, owned by elite car collector and Beverly Hills resident Bruce Meyer - it was one of three Corvettes that actually raced in competition at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960, when the cars were still brand new! The cars were campaigned by renown Corvette race team Briggs & Cunningham, and were flown over to France to compete at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe.

It is already pretty amazing to think about race cars being flown around the world to compete in high end motor racing events, but can you imagine what it must have been like in the 1960s, when airplane travel was much less prevalent than today?!

I found an AMAZING historic documentary film from the 1960s that tells the story of the Briggs & Cunningham Corvette team and their adventures at Le Mans. It shows actual footage of the cars driving around on French city streets in the 1960s, and gives viewers a rare look at what it was actually like to be at Le Mans back then!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Northwest 350Z on Weds Kranze

Everyone has their own personal style, preference and idea of what inspires and motivates them. Just as in so many other areas of our lives, these influences and tastes come through in the selection and overall direction of an automobile and its build. The great thing about having an automotive based hobby is that every part, every color and every look has a purpose to the individual builder. You really can say that, just by looking a car, you can tell a lot about the owner. Some like to take themes to extremes and others like to keep it mild. Some are more race oriented for track purposes and others lean more toward street driven enjoyment that allows for a less practical method of tuning. That's where Ryan Lee and his bagged 2003 Nissan 350z come in.

When Ryan rolls up to places, slammed to the ground, on a bright Pacific Northwest day, people take notice. The sun reflects off the wheel centers catching your eye before your brain even realizes what's going on. In the split second after that moment, you unconsciously decide to either praise or criticize Ryan’s ride. Either way - his point is made. His goal has been met and, whether you like it or not, you have already recognized his hard work and personal style.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Walker Wilkerson’s S13 Goes V8

After Walker Wilkerson finished 18th overall in the 2011 Formula D season and barely missed the Rookie of the Year finish, Walker knew he had to step up his game for the 2012 season. Being in the Top 20 wasn't good enough for him! He told me about how much he has learned as a driver and mechanic to keep his car maintained for each event. Which led him into big changes for the 2012 season. While talking to Walker about his future plans, he revealed that he realized he would have to ditch the SR20DET and go V8 to be even more competitive. I was shocked but I knew that this could help him out in the long run. However, I (and many others) will miss the sound of a stroked SR20 coming out of his exhaust.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> ASM (Autobacs) Equipped AP2 S2K

Sometimes you run into modified cars at times that you might not expect... Not too long ago, I went to a friend's house so we could roll together to a car event. Right as I pulled up onto his street, I noticed this bright red Honda S2000 parked in the alley behind his house. It was super clean, with only one sticker on the entire car - a red and white MotorMavens "M" sticker on the lower corner of the windshield. Wow, how awesome... I hadn't even seen the car before, or met the owner of the car, and it was already rocking our sticker!

Just a few minutes later, my friend Terry Pham from Infinit Wheels introduced me Anthony Juarez, the owner of the car. Anthony told me that he bought the car pretty recently from a guy in Las Vegas, and brought it all the way home to Southern California. Since I already had my camera with me anyway, I just had to grab some photos!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Montego Blue Miata With Meisters

Fall is arguably one of the most beautiful times of the year in Washington - aside from the rain that is. The normally muted palette caused by an overcast sky suddenly comes to life with bright orange, red and yellow leaves amidst the evergreens that stand fully dressed all year. It's in times like these that the Seattle car community shines; auto enthusiasts like Karim Kerawala keep their rides looking fresh all year round. Where the question of, “Is this your daily driver?”, is met with a slight smirk, because this Montego Blue 1997 Mazda Miata is, in fact, Karim’s daily driver and any other suggestion would be more than absurd - there's no other way to roll.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> 2013 Scion FR-S Finally Revealed!

Last night, most of the who's who in automotive media were invited to a special party at Milk Studios in Hollywood, hosted by our friends at Scion. This party was a celebration, an introduction, and a firsthand look at their new baby... the front engine, rear wheel drive Scion FR-S.

Since everyone who has been on ANY form of automotive website in the past 6 months has undoubtedly already heard of the FR-S, I won't spend too much time talking about the specs at this moment - we'll wait for a test drive. However, let's take a closer look at what everyone is hyping up as the new coming of the AE86!   Read more...

BN Sports IS300 in the Pacific Northwest

While recently trying to dig up photos of this car, I realized this article was never published. Somewhere along the way, it became buried beneath all the other drafts and never resurfaced. I love Nick's car too much to allow that to happen, so here is the article in it's entirety, written and photographed in April of this year by international superstar Joe Ayala himself. Joe, take it away!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Chevy Corvair Boogie Van at SEMA

On our way through the halls of SEMA 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we spotted this dope 1964 Chevrolet Corvair van. Surrounded by Benzes, Camaros, GT-Rs and NSXs, this van stuck out of the crowd - in a good way of course. The Corvair isn't owned by a large company or a show car team, but rather a photographer - John Jackson of Not Stock Photography. I haven't had a chance to meet him but looking at his van and his website (notstockphotography.com) proves that this guy has some seriously cool style. From the matte paint job with custom air brushing on the body and roof, there were no details spared on this build. One thing I have to say is that it's pretty dope to see other photographers who are into building cars as much as they are taking sick photos!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Our Favorite Cars at SEMA 2011

SEMA Show 2011 is here! Here at the Las Vegas Convention Center, there are still quite a few vendors and car builders doing last minute prep work at their respective booths. As I walked amidst the hustle and bustle of the 2011 SEMA Show, I've been "live blogging" by posting photos of cars that caught my eye! Follow @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook so you can see our favorite cars only moments after we spot them ourselves!

Of course, EVERYONE has been hypebeasting about the newly built Porsches by Rauh Welt Begriff. As excited as I am to see RWB Porsches in the USA for the first time, people-in-the-know have already been following the builds online... so I decided not to lead off with those photos for our SEMA coverage. We'll be posting more about Rauh Welt soon enough... but since everyone knows what the RWB Porsches look like, let's have a look at some of the other stylish cars at this year's SEMA!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Instant Gentleman RPS13 With LS2

While some Formula D drivers are trying to get on podium, some are trying to get their cars done before the last few events. Nikolay Konstantinov has been doing just that.

After a pretty bad crash at Irwindale last year, he's been planning and redoing his car to be even more competitive this year. This is the same car that he drove last year with a new scheme. He ended up ditching the Type-X for the Instant Gentlemen kit. He also ditched the RB25DET for an LS2. No hate mail - please.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> JUN Time Attack WRX in Norway

After the dust had settled and everyone had gone home from the Gatebil Rudskogen event, Lars Harlem asked Justin Shreeve and I if we wanted to see his time attack Subaru WRX. He had told us about his car months ago and I had seen it in various videos so I was more than excited to check it out.   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...

CARSPOTTING> Scotland Street Style Redux

Scotland - a country that's home to some of the freshest street cars that I've seen in person since I've been shooting for MotorMavens. You may remember awhile back I did a feature (which you can check out here) on a crew of sweet drift cars in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh.

Well, once again, I happened to be in the land of the rising Haggis (click here if you're unfamiliar with Haggis), and thought it would be cool to catch up with some of the guys and see how their cars were getting on! I hope you enjoy the dramatic "black and white" theme - it seemed to go so well with the cars and the scenery of Edinburgh.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Comrades FC3S Truckasaurus RX7

Not too long ago I attended Fatlace WordUp, a monthly drift practice session in Santa Clara, CA that is only open to drivers and media. While most of the cars in attendance consisted of your average beat-up S13s and AE86s, one machine in particular caught my eye. This loud, sparkly red, slammed 1987 RX7 pickup truck conversion was the center of attention as it attacked corners with massive angle. The car, or truck, belongs to Earl Smith of the Comrades Crew from Washington. He recently moved down to California and this was the first time I saw the project at an event so let's check it out...   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Street Car Style in Scotland!

I’ve been traveling up and down to the city of Edinburgh in Scotland for a good few years now but, for some reason, the whole the time I’ve been shooting for MotorMavens, I never really thought to check out the car scene up there. In fact, I didn’t really know there was much of one!

It turns out I was very wrong and there’s actually a really strong scene there with a ton of fantastic modified cars. It just seems to be a little more hidden than down in England. Fortunately, a good friend of mine named Fraser Gordon was there to show me otherwise. He was coming to Edinburgh for the day from the city further west known as Glasgow, so he phoned me up and we organised to meet up with some of his friends to chill out, take some photos and see the sights of Edinburgh. It just happened to be in four sweet-looking and sounding drift cars.

Not your usual sightseeing tour then…   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Supercharged S2000 from Seattle

Sometimes I wonder how big or small this world can be. When you think you've seen it all, something just comes out of nowhere and blows your mind! This is exactly what happened with me and Marc Tham's S2000. I pulled into the local gas station to fill up the "Yoshivan" and get a few packs of smokes when I noticed this super clean 2007 Honda S2000. After a few glances, I went up to the owner and started to chat with him about his car. After a brief conversation I knew I had to share this beautiful machine with everyone!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> N. Konstantinov’s Kouki Monster

When I was still playing around with my skateboards and dirt bikes, guys like Nikolay Konstantinov and Chris Crisostomo were setting up Nissan 240SXs for drifting - in fact they were the very first guys that I had ever met who built cars for drifting. I had no idea that something called "drifting" even existed. I remember, when I was about 14 or 15, wandering by my neighbor's house (which happened to be Chris') and seeing both of their cars for the first time. They had mostly stock bodies but were low to the ground with aggressive wheels. I was instantly hooked.

In fact, the first nice-stanced car I ever saw; the first SR swapped 240SX I ever saw; the first time I rode in a car that was drifting; and the first minor crash I experienced while drifting... all of these experiences came from hanging out with Nikolay. I guess you can say he popped my cherry in the drifting scene. LOL! So, when Nikolay asked if i wanted to do a quick photoshoot with his car while on break from drifting at Pacific Grand Prix, you know I had no choice but to take him up on his offer!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Farm Boys CC & Wrecked Metals

I arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats around noon on Friday, August 13th (huh, Friday the 13th - my lucky day). Friday is considered a Tech Inspection day where teams arrive early to get their cars inspected by the SCTA Officials before racing begins on Saturday. I picked up my Media Pass from JoAnne at the SCTA trailer (one of them anyway - there are like four). Even though there was no racing going on, there was plenty to see, so I immediately headed over to the pit area on my 1959 J.C. Higgins beach cruiser pit bike to have a look around. To look legit out on the salt, you've gotta bring a beach cruiser. LOL! As the day was coming to an end and I was ready to head over to the Nugget Casino Cruise-In, I spotted a group of hot rods parked outside the pit area. It was the Farm Boys Car Club from Boise, Idaho having an impromptu photo shoot of their own. I put the pedal to the metal on my Higgins bike and hustled on over to get some shots.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus

Many of us are dreamers, striving toward our dreams and goals, stopping at nothing to reach that finish line. Rolando Alvarado’s 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus took 30+ years to cross the metaphorical finish line - but what a great finish line to cross!

Growing up, Rolando was always a fan of the air-cooled Volkswagen scene and it quickly became a personal goal of his to acquire one. It was his father’s 1954 European oval window VW Bug that got his heart pumping and started his love for the air-cooled engines. Despite that, it took a while for Rolando to realize his dream. It wasn’t until 1980 that he finally got his very first VW. Of course, being the die-hard VW head that he is, it ended up being a 69’ VW Bug.

The first time I laid eyes on this Bus, I just knew that there had to be a story behind it. To many, a Bus may just be another form of transportation, but to me this iconic Bus was a moment in a time when life was a lot simpler - the time of Wood Stock, hippies running through Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, Jefferson Airplane...good times. During the photo shoot, this Bus almost became a time capsule to channel what life was like back then - an icon to remind us how things used to be.   Read more...