Posts Tagged ‘Avon Bellamy’

PERSPECTIVE> Owning a Bugatti Veyron

Ever say to yourself, "Damn, that dude with the Bugatti Veyron must get all the women"? Well, I have - and it was more than enough incentive for me to desperately wish I owned one of these engineering marvels...but, the cost of ownership for this 253 mph speed machine is a bit different from owning a 1992 Honda Civic. So, if you're actually in the market for a brand new Bugatti Veyron, read this before you sign that massive check over to Bugatti. And, if you're reading this and you actually own a Veyron, I'll take a moment to ask you to please be my bestest friend.   Read more...

GALLERY> Mazda Shinari Concept

When I saw the first pictures released of the Mazda Shinari Concept, my immediate thought was Art In Motion. Corny, maybe, but it was an honest reaction. It was so beautiful to me. So, imagine my recent good fortune to get an opportunity to attend a Mazda press event!

At the event, I was given some information concerning what lies ahead for Mazda - the design path (and general mindset) that they will be taking to bring you a Mazda worthy of the 21st century.

As a part of this new direction that Mazda is taking, the Director of Communications briefly highlighted The Shinari. He didn't go into specifics but my mission for MotorMavens was clear - to find as much information about this car as possible. Not to mention, it wouldn't be MotorMavens if I couldn't find good pictures as well, right?   Read more...

VIDEO> Straight Outta Compton with Mad Mike

If for no other reason than getting a last minute “before they were famous” view of certain icons in West Coast gangsta rap, you should check out this video. In this second installment of interviews we did with the judges of the new SPEED Channel program Car Warriors, we meet the very down-to-earth Mad Mike, who most people might recognize from the television show Pimp My Ride.

If you were alive in the last six years and had any exposure to MTV, you probably think you know Mad Mike, but this interview introduces you to someone you’ve probably never met before – Mike Martin, a shade-tree, car stereo installer from Compton (in his own words). Whatever your preconceptions about Mike might be – leave them at the door. Nothing you see on TV is real… not even “Reality TV.” (more…)


GALLERY> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

WEBMINING > Ferrari 612 GTO Concept

Getting a design off the drawing board and into development can be an arduous task in the best of times but, after Ferrari's release of the 599 GTO, it may be quite some time before we see this beauty on the roads. So, if you're like me, you're asking "what has Ferrari planned for us in 2012 to replace the over-sized, grand tourer 612 Scaglietti?" Berlin-based designer Sasha Selipanov, AKA "The Angry Car Designer", has conjured up one fantastic design possibility for Big Brother's replacement.

This killer 612 GTO concept combines the sinuous lines of Ferrari's latest models with a nod to the famed 250 GTO. Just try to remember that the pictures you are now salivating over...are just renderings. Sorry to burst any newbie bubbles but any exposure to the renderings and concept cars of this industry should leave us all with one clear message: this may very well be the most beautiful car never to be built. After all, there is more than a slight chance that this design won't make it past the design room. However, despite the unfortunate realities of auto design and manufacturing, Selipanov continues to design drop dead gorgeous super cars.   Read more...

PERSPECTIVE> Drifting Changed My Life

There are so many cool aspects of being a part of MotorMavens but, to me, one of the coolest is witnessing the heart and passion of the automotive industry through the eyes of the ones who live and breathe it - the true mavens. We here at MotorMavens consider ourselves to be in that number as well but we're not here to tell our own story. Our vision has always been to showcase your story - your passion. Seeing this industry through the innovative eyes of guys like Roland Gallagher, Justin Shreeve, Lucas Perez, Yuta Akaishi, Daniel Bridle, Yoshi Shindo and all of the many others who love and live what they do (including you) - that's our way of keeping our eyes glued to the real motivating force behind the stats.

That's why this story by Jonathan McWhorter was so compelling to me. It's not about the money or the fame. It's not about your company budget or your connections. It's not even how long you've been in the industry. Those are not the things that make this industry so awesome. I could tell you but Jon did such a great job - I'll leave it in his capable hands. After all, he reminded me. So, without further ado...   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Superfine Serial Nine Cressidas

I can't imagine that, back in the mid 80s to early 90s, anyone thought of Toyota Cressidas as performance cars - after all, they were stuffed to the gills with power options and a plush interior. They were pseudo luxury cars that were made for taking trips to the grocery store and picking up the kids from school.

That perception of these four-door beauties changed when engines like the 1JZGTE and 2JZGTE started to become more accessible with the spike in JDM import parts coming into the US within the last decade. With minimal work, and a good knowledge of cars, one could have a powerful car with less investment than, say... a 240SX or AE86. Opting for the straight six turbo 1/2JZ engines was a no-brainer if you had a Cressida.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Imports at Bonneville Salt Flats

I'm stoked to be writing about the Bonneville Salt Flats for MotorMavens! I've been a HUGE fan of the site since it started last year. A super quick intro might be in order, I guess... I'm Chris Hecht, originally from SoCal, now living in Utah. I'm a husband of ten years, father of four boys, Quality Engineer for a medical device manufacturer by day, and car fanatic by... day and night. I live two hours from Lands End - where paved road meets the other planet known as the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I've been going to Bonneville's "Great White Dyno" for three (going on four) years. I was first invited out by my co-worker and friend Dallas Volk (too bad he's no relation to Volk wheels haha) - but he is a member of the prestigious 200MPH Club. He and his family have been racing a 1929 Ford Roadster his entire life. Dallas, his dad Larry (current President of the 200MPH Club!), brother Patrick and sister Allison (nicknamed "Hollywood") are all in the 200MPH Club. I'm not, but I have contracted a dreaded disease...

I've officially been diagnosed with Salt Fever - and it's uber contagious. Bonneville has its own culture and feel, just like drifting, time attack or drag racing. There are the old timers and veterans who keep the traditions alive with the new blood learning the ropes while adding their own style, flair and background.

I hope to bring to the MotorMavens readers a view of this motorsport and share the cars and culture that make it what it is today. For this first post, we'll have a look at some of the import land speed cars I've spotted. As you'd guess, the majority of cars built to make top speed runs down the long salt, of course, are American. However, the great part about Bonneville (and El Mirage) is that there are A LOT of classes to run in - many of which are perfect for Japanese and European cars because of their engine selections and aerodynamics.

Check the first picture. This Ferrari (#288) runs in the AA/BGMS class (AA = over 500 cubic inches, Blown (super or turbocharger), Gas Modified Sports). According to SCTA's site, it went 235mph and there's a comment on the notes..."Smoke?" Like any motorsport, land speed racing is all about the details. Check the front fenders...aero diffusers (not sure what they call them) to help direct the airflow and add stability. Most of these cars never see a wind tunnel, but the aero tricks are tried and true.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> @PO RX-8 TWINS

Often overlooked, the Bay Area has always had a thriving car scene. As of late, there have been some crews coming out that are really bringing attention the cars being built in Northern California. One such crew is the @PO Crew (pronounced ‘at-po’). Starting out as a group of friends hanging out and getting into cars, the @PO Crew has now come to represent the embodiment of clean cars with proper stance and wheel offsets. And if you are wondering where the name comes from, @PO stands for ‘attract police’, which I’m sure they do when they get together.

Often overlooked, the Bay Area has always had a thriving car scene. As of late, there have been some crews coming out that are really bringing attention the cars being built in Northern California. One such crew is the @PO Crew (pronounced ‘at-po’). Starting out as a group of friends hanging out and getting into cars, the @PO Crew has now come to represent the embodiment of clean cars with proper stance and wheel offsets. And if you are wondering where the name comes from, @PO stands for ‘attract police’, which I’m sure they do when they get together.   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars at Nissan Factory Pt.2

Sunday morning came quickly and, even though I hate waking up early, the pre-drift event excitement on my mind was enough to make me drag myself out of bed. I arrived at the track and headed over to the new paddock where everyone was setting up. The weather had taken a turn for the worse compared to the previous day's roasting hot sun. The wind had picked up a lot. So much, in fact, that it was blowing tents into the air and whatever else wasn't nailed to the ground. A quick glance up at the sky confirmed that the weather wouldn't be getting any better...But I wasn't about to go home because of a little bad weather and neither was anyone else! Bad weather is what we do best here in the UK so, either way, we were gonna make this an awesome event!   Read more...

WEBMINING> Lexus SC430 Drift w/ Apex’i

Last night Antonio and a few of the MotorMavens crew were chillin’ with our friends from Apex’i and Lexus at a pretty sick party they were hosting. In anticipation of this weekend’s FD event and to celebrate Ryuji Miki’s new Lexus SC430, they showed this video – “Lexus Drift”.

A highlight for me was the POV footage using the ContourHD camera. I first discovered this company and camera last year when looking for a great POV camera. We had our first opportunity to use the camera at last year’s Formula Drift Championships at Irwindale. We captured some killer footage! My favorite part was seeing Justin Pawlak as he scraped the wall. Super dope!

So enjoy this video from Apex’i, Lexus and Kevin Lee. Don’t forget to check out our live feed tomorrow. Be on the look out for MotorMavens’ epic coverage of the event. Make sure you check out our video highlights. We’ll being using our ContourHDs, so you KNOW its going be SIIIIICK!

Have a great Formula Drift weekend!

Enjoy!

:: Travis Hodges


COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Rd.3 – Nissan Factory

Just four days after the fantastic JDM Allstars Round 2, it was already time for me and video dude extraordinaire Josh Allen to hit the road again and head on up north to the city of Sunderland for Round 3. One long journey on probably the most boring road in the UK later and we finally arrived at our destination - The Nissan Factory.

The fact that Nissan itself was down to hold a drift event outside one of its factories was pretty cool. But the actual location to me was even cooler. Set on a section of land that usually holds hundreds and hundreds of freshly built Nissans, we were surrounded by factory buildings and trees with giant wind turbines looming over head. It's a testament to the JDM Allstars team that they can turn something as bland as a car park into an exciting place to hold their competition.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Hot Rods at Washington Billetproof

I always feel a strong sense of pride when I go to a hot rod show. Hot rodding is as American as you can get - home grown and originating fully here in the States. Starting with young servicemen after World War II, restless and full of testosterone, the whole sub-culture that has emerged from it has even influenced styles for clothing, current cars, and music. So, I'm pretty sure you would be hard pressed to find a car enthusiast who didn't like old American rods - there is just an appreciation for the whole lifestyle.

Yoshi Shindo and I were able to make the trek down to Chehalis, WA on June 26th to attend the third annual Billetproof Hotrod and Custom Car Show, which bills itself as the "World's Least Important Car Show!". Sounds a bit self-deprecating to me as it is one of my favorite hot rod shows and, since this marks the second year I have attended, it's clearly important to me.

The show is a bit different from most current hotrod shows, as you can guess by its name, because no cars with billet are allowed to participate. You might ask why, since so many parts are now being produced with this technology specifically for the custom car industry, but it's because the technology didn't exist back in the classic days of hotrodding. Only cars that are traditionally modified and those that precede 1964 are allowed to attend.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> AC Schnitzer E34 BMW 5 Series

For some people, a car may be just a way to get from one place to the next. However, for guys like Adam Luong, it’s all about how you look on the way. If you were driving around town in this 1995 E34 5 Series, you can understand how a guy could feel that way.

It’s a rarity to see a 16 year old car in as pristine condition as this. Since my encounters with most 5 series bimmers leave much to be desired, it's always a pleasure to discover one that has been built right - call it a pleasant surprise. This specimen is so clean that, to the untrained eye, it appears almost to have just rolled off the Bavarian assembly line yesterday.

You may recall that, back in the 1990s, the BMW 5 Series was the top mid-sized sedan in its class - a class with very little competition. It was a must have for dads all across suburbia. Well, little has changed since then except that the 5 series has grown up to become a more elegant machine jam packed with enough gizmos and gadgetry to make a technologically inclined person go into mental overload. I could go on and 0n about my take on how the technological interface in modern BMWs dilutes the driving experience, that's not what we're here for. Today, it's all about Adam Luong and his little piece of 5 Series heaven.

It was actually Antonio who first spotted this fine specimen at the Wek'fest in San Francisco. When he saw it again at the Bimmerfest in Pasadena, he told me about it and caught my full attention when he said that it was the cleanest E34 he'd ever seen. With a guy like Antonio saying that, I just had to see for myself. When I saw the car in person, I just had to agree.   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Rd.2 – Donington Alpine!

When I first heard that JDM Allstars was coming to Donington Park for Round 2 of the championship, I was a little confused as to where the event would be held. Would it be on the actual race circuit? Since it's currently under reconstruction, any idea of that went out the window. Would it be on the large plot of land off to the side of the track known as the "Launch Pad"? Well, since two other drift series have used that area in the past, it didn't seem to fit JDM's approach which usually involves coming up with fresh and exciting course designs.

I later heard that the plan was to hold it on something called the Donington Alpine Circuit. I had no clue what that was until I came along to the shoot of the promotional video a few weeks back. Then it all became clear. On the outskirts of the main track and the Launch Pad is a fast, wide, almost mountain road-like track that the JDM Crew decided to use. It's made up of four corners and a steep uphill straight where the cars seemingly come out of nowhere and fly over the top. There's a right transition into the second turn, aiming for a clipping point close to the deadly armco, then a transition left into the third turn where you plant the throttle and bring the rear of the car to the armco on the straight, leading to another transition right into the final hairpin turn.

Fast corners, armco barriers on all sides and beautiful scenery all around. This was looking to be one of the most unique and exciting drift events in the JDM Allstars calendar.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Pat Cyr, DMCC Winner with AE86!

As I write this, Pat Cyr of Drift Posse is sending me a text message from the DMCC – Drift Mania Canadian Championship - Round 2 on Sunday, June 20 informing me that he has won the event! Congratulations Pat!

When I think of the hard campaigning privateer, there's no one that comes more quick ly to mind than Pat. He and his team bring the perfect mix of heart, dedication and style to every event - and it shows.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Rotiform’s A4 Avant on the Floor

One thing about lining up a photo shoot is that sometimes it doesn't always go according to plan. After several months of planning, I was finally able to lock down a shoot date with Brian Henderson's 2010 B8 Audi A4 Avant. This, my friends, is what I would call a truly magnificent piece of machinery. Everything about it oozes class and originality - and who doesn't like class and originality?

After hanging around for awhile talking "car guy stuff" with Brian and Jason Whipple, the two guys who run the Rotiform shop, I was able to find out a little bit more about Brian's previous car history. Much more than just the car, I was interested in getting to know the reasoning behind the choice of the beautiful B8 Audi A4 Avant you see here as well as the motivating force behind Rotiform.   Read more...

GUEST BLOG> BMW Mania at Studie Tokyo w/WSTO

It's not often that MotorMavens gets a guest blog but when our friends at WSTO got an opportunity to go to the Tokyo Auto Salon and visit Studie - we were more than happy to let them tell their story. And so, without further ado - Julius Choi of WSTO visits Studie. Enjoy!

Imagine getting a call telling you that you and one other guy are the $10 million winners of the state lottery - all you have to do is split the money. Cool, right? Now, imagine the state lottery commission calling again to tell you that the other guy lost his ticket and the whole $10 million is yours. If you have a good imagination, that about sums up how excited I felt getting a chance to attend my first Tokyo Auto Salon - sort of like that lottery winner. But, when I got to visit Studie, the ultra high-end tuner shop, it was almost like getting that second call.

Studie has five locations; Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe, Sendai and Kidnie. I had the honor of visiting two of these amazing shops; Studie Tokyo (their latest which opened last year) and the main hub, Studie Yokohama.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise, Part 2

Summer is late this year in Washington state. Usually, around this time, the sickness of the overcast weather breaks and June is quite nice. However, this year the clouds are sticking around longer than expected - make that wanted. But the weather can be beaten - by those with enough motivation to attempt it.

Through the mountain pass where it looks the gloomiest and down the other side; hope shines through. The clouds break away slowly as you come down Stevens Pass and the rays warm you through the windows. As you get closer to the end of the mountains, the river next to the highway rushes and you can hear it now that you've rolled down your windows. There, nestled at the bottom of the east side of the Cascade Mountains, lies a small and amazing little town called Leavenworth - where every year, for the last 10 years, hordes of Euro cars descend from the mountains to disturb its unsuspecting calm.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Fatal Lexus LF-A Crash At Nurburgring

Just in case you guys haven’t heard the sad news from Nurburgring yet… while test driving a Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition on the 410 highway just outside Nurburg, Germany, Toyota’s chief test driver died in a head-on collision with two other drivers test driving a new BMW.

Both BMW drivers survived the crash (but are hospitalized in critical condition), but unfortunately, Toyota’s driver (who Autoblog speculates is Hiromu Naruse – the personal driver of Toyota head honcho Akio Toyoda, and a highly esteemed driver who is known within the Toyota organization as the Godfather of the LFA) didn’t survive the crash.

For more information and photos, follow this link to Autoblog.

:: Avon Bellamy


ROADTRIP> NASCAR from the Outside Looking In

I know that NASCAR isn't a topic normally covered here at MotorMavens...and I sure as hell never expected to be the person covering it. I'll be completely honest here. Even as a kid, I was never a huge fan of NASCAR. I imagined it couldn't be too entertaining watching cars go around an oval for hundreds of miles. Not only that, but I just didn't feel like I really fit in with the typical NASCAR fans... but I guess I never really gave it a chance.

I was approached by MotorMavens about traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina to cover the NASCAR All Star Race weekend. MotorMavens was invited to cover the race as guests of Mobil 1, as well as take a tour of a full-blown racing facility, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and a few other surprise stops along the way. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. Regardless of what I thought I knew about NASCAR, I decided I was going to approach it with an open mind. It's a good thing, too... because I learned a lot of interesting things about NASCAR and had a lot of fun in the process!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise in WA

All my friends know that I stay up really late every day, so when I wake up early for an event, it's usually because I'm motivated to shoot a drift event or some kind of local Japanese car-based meet. However, waking up just to go to a car cruise is a completely new concept for me. I've heard about the Leavenworth Euro Cruise for few years now, and to be honest.. I never really cared to check it out until now! It's a good thing I stepped out of my shell though, because there were a lot of cool cars at the event that I probably wouldn't have ever seen if I didn't go!

It's true what they say - as we get older, things change, our minds open up, and sometimes... we realize what we been missing. This cruise from Bellevue Community College to the touristy city of Leavenworth, with a stop at Washington's famous Steven's Pass was definitely something I've been missing out on for a long time! I attended the cruise with our writer Lucas Perez and photo newcomer Jeff Santiago, and even though we rolled up with Lucas's R32 Skyline and Jeff's Honda S2000, mostly everyone seemed cool with our non-euro cars attending. Well, at least they didn't throw eggs at us or anything.   Read more...

COVERAGE> PGP Graduation Day Bash!

Around this time every year, school is finishing, with the stress from class and tests ready to be let out. For some, it marks a changing point; a time to move on, ready to take on the world... or off to the next phase of school after the summer.

Luckily for us, it was Rob Primo's graduation day on Saturday June 12th, because after several years of school, graduating with an MBA from Western Washington University, he went out with a bang, holding the second drift event at Pacific Grand Prix, inviting about 26 of his drifting friends and even more spectators. I couldn't think of a better way than drifting to celebrate and let loose after learning things like how magnets and rainbows work!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Lone Star Bash is Texas Drifting!

You've probably heard the saying, "Everything is Bigger in Texas." Well, it definitely holds a bit of truth when you're talking about the grassroots drifting scene in Texas. There are a tremendous amount of talented drivers, some amazingly well built cars, and plenty of events year round.

The downside to such an active scene is that every driver doesn't go to every event. Many of the best Texas drivers are now competing nationally, so schedule conflicts and the financial burden that comes with competition keep them from attending as often. You may go to an event and experience a less than stellar turnout and end up missing all of your favorite drivers. Luckily, Aaron Losey of Fabricated Motorsports has found a solution - once a year, a huge event is thrown in Mineral Wells, TX. This is the event that tops every other event of the year... Lone Star Bash! Everybody goes to Lone Star Bash!

I decided I'd go ahead and catch a ride with my friends at 786 Motoring since they'd be trailering Ameen Rizvi's 2JZGTE powered Toyota Cressida (previously featured on MotorMavens) up to Mineral Wells for the event. You can't beat a road trip! Sometimes, you have nearly as much fun on the road as you do at the events, especially when you're in a truck packed with six or seven friends. There is definitely never a dull moment with these guys!   Read more...