Random Dope

RANDOM DOPE> 2014 Toyota Corolla Commercial

COOL!!! Has anyone else noticed all the classic Toyotas used in the television commercial for the 2014 Toyota Corolla??? I got to see a sneak preview of this TV commercial a couple weeks ago when I was in San Diego for the 2014 Corolla’s Official Media Preview and Test Drive, and I’ve been excited to share it ever since! I’m sneaky, so I even shot a few undercover “on the downlow” videos of Toyota’s new TV commercial with my iPad Mini when they weren’t looking – just so I could show my friends! (more…)

RANDOM DOPE> Forza Motorsport 4 Reviewed

I love Forza Motorsport 4! As an avid fan of the Forza Motorsport Series, I was more than excited to have the opportunity to get my hands on the Forza Motorsport 4 video game before it was released to the general public! I must say, I had high expectations for Forza 4, since I’ve always had Forza 3 as the game I could always turn to when I got sick of playing everything else.

The first thing I noticed about Forza Motorsport 4 was the incredible lighting - it’s a bit difficult to describe how incredibly well Turn 10 nailed the lighting in this game! Whether you were looking at your cars inside the garage or outside, they made it look like what you would see if you were actually in your garage looking at your car. I heard that they revamped the tire physics and handling of the cars, and noticed that in the new “simulation” mode, the car steers and reacts more like a real car. This is one of the reasons why I’ve been a fan of Forza, It doesn't feel like a fictional arcade game - it’s closer to a driving simulator.   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> MSD Ignition Amp Retro Redux

MSD 6AL ignition amplifier 40th Anniversary retro Old School Look limited Vintage Classic Car Period Correct nostalgic nos 1970

It’s no secret that I and the rest of the MotorMavens Crew have a certain affinity for old school cars; especially cars from the 1960s and 1970s. When it comes to modifying a car from this era, I personally find it extremely important to retain the car’s old school look and personality. After all, the retro character is what I like most about a nostalgic car!

For those interested in making tasteful upgrades to their vintage vehicles in a period correct fashion, the ignition experts from MSD have released a limited edition retro redux version of their popular MSD 6AL ignition amplifier to celebrate the company’s 40th Anniversary! This 40th Anniversary 6AL amp features all the spark amplification power and features of their current 6AL model, but has the vintage MSD logo from 1970 on the outer casing. COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. (more…)

RANDOM DOPE> Garrett Turbo Boost Adviser App

For people who aren’t brainiac rocket scientists, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what kind of turbo you need if you’re trying to build a motor that pushes out 500 horsepower. Or 750 horsepower. Or a thousand!

Luckily for those of us that are mathematically challenged, our friends over at Garrett Turbo Systems have put their knowledge in our hands (err, our iPhones… which are in our hands)!  They’ve developed an app that will help you decide on a turbocharger for your specific application.  This is like having all the smarty-pants Garrett engineers in your pocket.

With some basic inputs on your power goals and engine parameters, the app will recommend the appropriate Garrett Turbos to meet your custom specifications.  It will even lay out compressor maps so that you can check things like your efficiency, boost pressure capability, and even turbo speed!


RANDOM DOPE> The DSPORT Party in Hollywood

DSPORT Magazine 100th issue Anniversary Party Voyeur 7969 Hollywood Open Bar

Tonight, we’re going to party – all the Southern Cali-based people from the automotive aftermarket industry are going to the DSPORT 100th Issue Anniversary party! It’s going to take place at a club called Voyeur in the heart of Hollywood, and DSPORT said we could invite all our friends. This means YOU! Our Southern Cali-based MotorMavens Crew members will be in attendance (as well as MotorMavenette Samantha Totem) for sure – not just to drink up all the free drinks that the DSPORT Crew will be pouring us in the NOS Energy Drink VIP Lounge, but to celebrate the success story of an independent automotive publication!

These days, most of the big automotive media outlets online and in print are controlled by big multi-million dollar corporations. Unfortunately, many of these big corporate giants are able to step all over the smaller independent guys just because they have more money to throw around… and aftermarket advertisers seem to always flock to those that are already big. This forces all the real hardcore independents out there to hustle and struggle just to stay alive; just to keep the lights on; just to make it to the next event; just to keep pushing out more quality content. (more…)

RANDOM DOPE> The Toyota Swagger Wagon

As far as I recall, Toyota has been running these hilarious videos with the Sienna Family since the Super Bowl. (If my memory serves correctly; but I dunno, my favorite beer, Shiner Bock may have confused me… LOL.

Basically, this is one of the best automobile advertising campaigns I have ever seen. All the other minivan ads out there consist of selling how many kids, along with their gear you can fit in them. Not Toyota though! Toyota went a whole different route!

They created the “Sienna Family” who is basically a trendy, full of themselves family, whose commercials are awesome. Their latest is the Swagger Wagon music video, which has topped them all. Not only could I not stop laughing, but the “sipping tea, keep my pinky up,” along with the little girl pop & locking it made me lose it.

I may not be a fan of minivans, but this family knows how to roll hard – well, at least the writers of the ad campaign do, haha.

:: Scottie Scheetz

RANDOM DOPE> MotorMavens Lanyards at FD ATL!

This just in! We’re pretty excited that we just got our first batch of MotorMavens lanyards finished, thanks to our friends at AAA Silkscreen. (If you’re interested in making some lanyards for your own company or crew, go ahead and hit them up and tell them Antonio sent you!) We’ll have the MotorMavens lanyards available at the MotorMavens booth at Road Atlanta this weekend… look out for our vertical flags in the pit area! We’ll be near the Falken Tire rig!

We’ll also be adding them to our online shop sometime after the Formula D event this weekend… but right now, I’m super busy getting all my camera gear and booth supplies ready, and Andy is getting his black E46 BMW ready, because he’s gonna be driving Formula D Atlanta! Make sure to cheer him on if you see him! (Just to avoid any confusion, his car is the black BMW E46 with the polished Racing Dynamics wheels!)

:: Antonio Alvendia

AAA Silkscreen (LOL at their ghetto ass “website” but they print for EVERYBODY in the car industry)

RANDOM DOPE> Drift Mechaniks on Top Gear?!

Browsing Facebook this morning, I saw a status update from our own Lieze Truter, saying that our good buddies, the mighty Drift Mechaniks from Atlanta have been featured on Top Gear! I clicked the link to see what she was talking about, and apparently Top Gear featured a video that was produced by the dynamic bearded video duo of Roegge and Herron! Congratulations, guys!

When I clicked through to watch the video, it looked like a great mash up of footage from both video shooters, featuring one of the secret Drift Mechaniks drifting practice days at Nashville Super Speedway! Very cool! It even features some footy of our own art director Andy Sapp, who looks like his face is being overrun by a forest of facial hair, haha! It was pretty cool to see MotorMavens stickers on the Drift Mechaniks cars in the video! So make sure to watch all the Drift Mechaniks in this video and see how Andy gets down when he’s not designing stuff on his Mac! I just lovvvvve the way his E46 BMW looks with those ultra baller steez Racing Dynamics wheels!

Big ups to Drift Mechaniks, and big ups to Will and Josh! I’m sure you might already know this, but the dynamic bearded duo of Roegge and Herron are now traveling cross country in a van, filming videos (No, not THOSE types of videos. Although I’m sure our boy Josh is super down. He even has POV equipment.) for the newest video project they’re working on!

So enjoy the re-run of this video on our site, and in the immortal words of Andy Sapp, “Keep Drifting Fun! …Or Else.”

:: Antonio Alvendia

RANDOM DOPE> Making the Transparent 370Z Shell

I received an email from Tobin Honda of DSPORT Magazine earlier today, saying, “Check this video out!!! This looks dope!”

Since my Inbox gets flooded with hundreds of emails every day, I normally don’t take the time to click ALL the video links my friends send me, because I just can’t get to them all, and still get all my work done! I don’t even know what made me click on the link to this video, as the email didn’t provide much of a teaser or explanation about what I’d be watching.

However, for some reason, I decided to click on the video link in Tobin’s email… and I’m glad I did. Did you check the video out?! That was dope! Now most of you may be thinking, “MotorMavens doesn’t normally put blatant advertising such as this in their editorial lineup… what gives?” Well, we sure didn’t receive any form of compensation, endorsement, or product giveaways from Shell. Hell, I don’t even know where to buy Shell Helix… I’m not necessarily interested in this video as a form of advertising.

What interests ME is… damn! They made a CLEAR Z34 Nissan 370Z! That joint was straight up TRANSPARENT! If Wonder Woman had a car, that would be her whip. For sure! The technology and creativity utilized to create this video was just INSANE. It’s pretty crazy to see what big companies can do when they have an excess of money at their disposal.

However, if I had their financial resources to burn, I’d FOR SURE construct a clear AE86 Sprinter Trueno hatchback – with real RS Watanabe Type R wheels and a life size, functioning 4AG engine under the hood. DAMN! The concept of this project is so dope! And random. (Hence the name of the post category.)

:: Antonio Alvendia

OH SNAP> B120 Shakotan Sunny Truck

I love finding new things to learn about. Hours can be spent listening to new music, or researching new car parts that I don’t need. So when I came across this crazy low little truck, I had to find out as much about it as I could. I’m not too familiar with all the cool old school cars that came out of Japan, so I had to enlist the help of some old school motor-heads to point me in the right direction. It was quickly revealed to be a Nissan Sunny truck (possibly B120 or GB120).

This rad truck is actually a ute, based off the Sunny car. Its basically a Japanese version of an El Camino or Ranchero, which I like because my grandpa had an El Camino with an 8-Track player in it when I was younger, so I am quite fond of quirky rides just like this Sunny.

In Stock form this car would catch many a gear head’s eye I’m sure, but this one in particular is dripping with classic Japanese style. The tires on the 12inch rims look like they could explode with one bad speed bump; the fitment is just crazy! The front lip looks like it might be retrofitted from a different application, but its so well matched that its really hard to tell for sure. I love rides like these, the impractical driven on the street for all the laymen to gawk at.

When I was a kid we had a couple Datsun 620 Bullet-side trucks; one blue and one green. At the time I didn’t know what they were, or what they could be, but when I look back on it, I wish we had kept them around. As I get older, and appreciate more cars, my want list keeps growing from old to new. I had briefly thought about getting another Datsun truck, but after looking at this Sunny, and then hearing that a friend of mine found a complete Toyota Stout in a barn recently, it got me thinking of getting an old rare mini-truck. Maybe someday when I finish my current projects, haha, yeah right…

:: Lucas Perez

Original link to the photo
As found on

This photo is from this blog:
Check it out, as they have some pretty awesome pics on there.

RANDOM DOPE> Drift Sumi-e iPhone Game

During this off-season I teamed up with Objectify, a start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area on an iPhone / iPod Touch App called Drift Sumi-e (su-me-eh). We wanted to create an all-new game concept that incorporates authentic drifting dynamics with the beautiful art form of Sumi-e (that’s “su-me-eh”) brush painting. The game carries a calming Zen-like nature as you watch your art come to life, and a unique yet simple game play dynamic, specially designed for the touch controls.   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> Get MotorMavens on your iPhone!

Hey MotorMavens readers! If you own an iPhone (or iPod Touch), make sure to get MotorMavens on your iPhone! Most of the people in the Motor Mavens Crew use iPhones, and we always check the site from our phones, just to see what's going on and who's commenting... and it just dawned on us that we should show our readers how to do it also! (duh, we're such dummies sometimes for not doing this sooner)

It's so simple, there are only 4 steps! The instructions are below. (With pictures, so you don't really need to read the instructions, hehe)   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> S30 Fairlady 240Z by Jan Trondsen

HOLY FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. I'm currently trying to recompose myself; you wouldn't believe how hard my jaw hit the floor when I first saw these renderings. I must have been shaking my head, muttering expletives for a good 20 minutes.

AMAZING. Now THIS is what it's all about. This is a 3D sculpted rendering of a 1972 S30 240Z, which apparently has ZG flares and a standard Z432 nose with a BRE front chin spoiler.

The artist behind all this is actually an old school friend of mine; his name is Jan Trondsen (pronounced yawn, like you're sleepy), and he is first and foremost a car guy that's passionate about vintage Datsuns, and he has been that way since the first day I met him, over ten years ago. Nowadays, Jan is an alumnus of the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and a professional 3D sculptor working for a major car company... but it wasn't like that when we first met. When we first met, we were just a bunch of super broke car enthusiasts from the SF Bay Area that frequented the illegal street races, hardly able to scrape together enough funds to buy rebuild kits for the Mikuni 44phh carbs we wanted for our cars.

Nothing makes me happier or more inspired than seeing good people like Jan progress in their careers, all without losing focus on what made them passionate about cars in the first place. Let's face it. There are WAY too many corporate schmucks working within the auto industry; men and women that don't give a rat's ass about WHY people devote their whole lives to cars, or what makes cars cool. There are way too many non-car-people out there that scored jobs at big car companies just because they had degrees and were looking for a big corporate job with benefits after college. Jan is definitely not one of those. I'm glad to see there are still some folks out there who are intensely passionate about cars like all of us are (by all of us, I'm referring to the MotorMavens readers).   Read more...