Posts Tagged ‘Edward Uche’

GALLERY> Gripwerks & S2Ki Forums BBQ Meet

There are times in life when one should expand one's horizons, embrace diversity and appreciate things that are personally "outside the norm." These Zen-like thoughts came to me while driving home from work one afternoon and I eventually came to the temporary conclusion that I COULD enjoy other vehicle makes and models and let my devoted passion for RX7s rest a little. I did stress that this was a temporary conclusion, didn't I?

The result of my moment of enlightenment? A new appreciation for Honda's road grappler - the Honda S2000. Which came just in time since a good buddy of mine, Scott Soonthonum, informed me that he was the proud owner of the CR edition S2K during my birthday celebration shortly thereafter. Funny how these things work out. We exchanged info with the intention of keeping in touch so that we could connect sometime in the near future.

In just a matter of days, I received a text from Scott inviting the MotorMavens crew to attend the Gripwerks & S2kI Forums' 1st Annual BBQ Meet. Let's take a look at what photographer Horacio Flores captured as I delve into the welcoming unknown.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Bisimoto Turbo Hybrid Honda CRZ

No one with any passing knowledge of the automotive industry is unaware of the upcoming release of the new Honda CR-Z - and most are very excited about the prospect. If you're a Honda tuner, the word excited is probably far too "whatevs" to describe your emotional state - especially if you're particularly fond of that wonder car that Honda released in the mid-1980s. If you're Bisi Ezerioha, you've already gotten beyond all of that. If you're Bisi, you've already built a version of the car that exceeds the power output of Porsche's 911 GT3 Hybrid - awesome.

As the owner of Bisimoto Engineering, and somewhat of a legend in the Honda community, Bisi is an overachiever when it comes to wringing every last ounce of power from any of the projects he accepts - often with ground-breaking results. MotorMavens crew members Antonio Alvendia, Herb Policarpio and I took a visit to his facility to see his latest masterpiece. We arrived just in time to see him adding the finishing touches to his Norm Reeves Honda purchased, 2011 Honda CR-Z.

As he went about his work, he took the time to explain his vision for this build which was to benchmark the CR-Z hybrid versus the newly released Porsche 911 GT3 hybrid which boasts a hefty 480hp at the crank and to do so while retaining the drivability, reliability, and eco-friendly nature of the original. In his own words: ìto really show them what Bisimoto Engineering could do.î In a matter of six weeks, not only had Bisi met his goal, he had exceeded the Porsche's horsepower numbers by 53 horses and developed 22 new aftermarket performance parts for the CR-Z. Did I mention he was an overachiever?   Read more...

SHOPAHOLIC> GMG Racing Open House

This past weekend, there were far too many events to cover, but I decided to make a quick stopover at the Global Motorsports Group (GMG) open house event. Antonio Alvendia, Edward Uche and I made the trek out to Santa Ana, California to check out some of the race-spec Porsches as well as the other customer cars that made it out on Saturday.

For you MotorMavens readers out there who aren't familiar with GMG (a Porsche tuning company), here's a little info. Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas and Fabryce Kutyba, GMG quickly rose up in the ranks as a premier tuning facility through racing in the SCCA World Challenge GT Series and ALMS race series. The guys were able to draw on their extensive racing background (with knowledge gained through painstaking R&D) to bring racing performance to their customers' street cars. GMG's primary focus is Porsches, but their shop doesn't shy away from Ferraris, Audis and Volkswagens - they cater to all German/Italian automobiles.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Insider’s Look at FD Long Beach

It's hard to believe that it has already been a week since Formula Drift took over the Streets of Long Beach. This weekend, the famous street course is still home to many a race fan. However this time, Long Beach has been taken over with open wheel racing fans that have been going to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for years and years. Since we don't really cover open wheel racing on Motor Mavens, I thought it would be good to post up some more photos from our experiences at Long Beach last weekend. (I know, some of you are thinking, it's about damn time!)

The first photo in our series is from one of the practice sessions. I think the practice sessions were actually a lot cooler and funner to watch at times than some of the tandem bouts, because it felt like freestyle drifting chaos within the confines of the white cement barriers and tire stacks that lined the streets of the LBC.   Read more...

VIDEO> VegasDrift Checkup: Mike Bolaños

VD CheckUp-Mike Bolanos from Robert Strohmeyer on Vimeo.

I just saw this “VD Checkup” video posted on the VegasDrift site. The VD Checkup is basically a “driver profile video” of sorts, which allows people to get to know the folks involved with VegasDrift. In this particular installment, AE86/S13 driver Mike Bolanos sits down for a quick one-on-one talk with AE86 bretheren (and MotorMavens chief editor) Antonio Alvendia, who just happened to be in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. This soft spoken individual (I’m obviously talking about Mike) briefly talks about his experience as a driver and a Vegas ProAm judge.

I always see Mike at drift events, and I think it’s cool that he’s so committed to fully living out his drift lifestyle. For those not in the know, Mike is also very much involved in Just Drift, thanks to JD event organizer Charlie Ongsingco. Want to learn more about Mike? Check out his website and add him on Facebook. While there, also be sure to add the new MotorMavens Blog Fan Page. Pleasure getting to know you Mike, you too are a true MotorMaven.

:: Edward Uche


NEWSWORTHY> Formula Drifting on Hollywood Blvd

With Round 1 of the Formula Drift Championship finished this past weekend, and the Formula D Team Drift competition at Long Beach this upcoming weekend, some of the Formula D stars put on a very special show earlier today (Thursday night) in Hollywood. Apparently, this was part of a promotion for the IZOD Indycar Series and the Long Beach Grand Prix coming up this weekend, but whatever... we don't give a two sh!ts about Indycars - bring on more drifting!

There were actually several rotary powered vehicles in attendance for the drift demo, but by far, the best looking car (in our opinion) was certainly Justin Pawlak's mean green FC3S RX7.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Fun at Long Beach

I know, everyone has been waiting to see our first installment of Formula D Long Beach pics. So have I! We just had to get some other deadlines out of the way before we could begin posting our images from this weekend's Formula Drift event on the Streets of Long Beach!

This past weekend was certainly an exciting one. I was excited to see all the new cars that were debuting at Long Beach, as well as seeing a lot of good friends from different parts of the world, even if it would be only for a brief moment. Unfortunately, when you're working at the event like I am, you're usually hustling about, going from one spot to the next, and you don't have as much time as you'd like to just chill and spend time with good friends. This event was definitely like that for me.

I was trying to juggle shooting photos for the website while overseeing the Motor Mavens Crew's event promotions efforts. Not an easy task! Also, on the Saturday of the event, I was asked to help out with the filming of The Grid, which is a UK-based motorsports television show that airs in 120 countries around the world! And... on top of all that, we debuted the new MotorMavens X DSTROYR "Follow The Leader" shirt at our booth, which was managed by super designer Jon Chase, the creative genius behind the brands DSTROYR and Famous Stars and Straps. I and the entire Motor Mavens Crew definitely had our hustle mode switched ON this weekend!   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Monster Mustang Revealed

I just got back from Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory in Los Angeles, where Monster Energy Drink and Falken Tires were having a party to announce their big news. Of course, quite a lot of media people already knew about it before the party, as the email invitations weren’t exactly subtle; especially when several people kept asking me throughout the day, “Hey, are you going to the Monster party tonight?”

As with most of these types of shindigs, the event was pretty a much who’s who of the drifting, automotive, and beverage industries, mixed in with skaters, media people, and a whole lot of females. For me, it was fun because it was a chance to hang out and enjoy some laughs and the open bar with some of my industry friends, as well as meet some cool people from the grassroots drifting scenes in different states (and countries). While several people were out there trying to meet pro skater Rob Dyrdek (of the MTV show, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory), Motor Mavens’ resident skate fiends Edward Uche and Justin Shreeve were just salivating at the chance to skate the ramps at the Fantasy Factory. (They got to skate for a little bit until the security guards came up and said, “you guys need to stop because your skateboards might hit someone, and we could get sued.” Aw man!

Regardless, I had a chance to chill for a bit with my buddy Vaughn Gittin Senior (JR’s dad) and congratulate him on the new venture. Man, he was just beaming, super proud of his son’s accomplishments thus far. So CONGRATULATIONS to Vaughn Gittin Sr. and to JR… we can’t wait to see that thing out on the track!

:: Antonio Alvendia

PS: For more pics from the party tonight (and by more pics, I mean pics of the girls that were in attendance)… then add Motor Mavens Crew on Facebook and check out our albums! The photo above was shot with my Canon S90 point and shoot pocket camera! (Too bad Eri moved a little though… I forgot to tell her it was a long exposure.)


VIDEO> Vernal Equinox of Drifting

VERNAL EQUINOX Test Shooting 2 from Clashproduction on Vimeo.

In case you haven’t yet heard, friend-of-the-MotorMavens Stephane Benini, the French motorsports film heavyweight from ClashProduction has just released a “test shoot” teaser of the new film he’s currently shooting – Vernal Equinox.

I’m not quite sure what Vernal Equinox means, but I do know that this video is pretty damn fresh. Antonio says he loves it and he thinks it’s being shot with Canon DSLRs, but whatever the case, the imagery in this video is just stunning. Big respects to the Clash camera crew in Paris! (And the driver, for drifting that S15 Silvia indoors!)

:: Edward Uche


COVERAGE> HellaFlush Scrapes Buttonwillow Pt.1

This weekend, many of the best stanced cars in California made their way to the HellaFlush 3.5 meet at Buttonwillow Raceway, which was located in the middle of BFE, along the Interstate 5 highway. The stretched tire movement has finally been getting a lot of attention in the past couple years, which is awesome because I've trying to promote it for quite a while... but it took a long time for it to catch on. Now that insane offset cars have been popping up all over the internet for the past couple years, people have started building their cars with a focus on aggressive stance and aggressive wheel offset. It sure took a long time for the message to spread though. I first began writing stories about how "Offset is Everything" in magazines, websites, and talked about it at drifting events/carshows that I emceed since... 2004? 2005? It's funny to think that people used to make fun of me when I would talk about rocking negative offset wheels, demon camber on AE86s, super low down (shakotan) stance, hippari tires (stretched tires), and tsuraichi (cars running aggressive offset wheels and tucking tire). In fact, I distinctly remember emceeing a Drift Showoff event out in Houston TX in 2005, and some of the DA homies were like, "Dude. It's like negative offset is all you ever talk about!" (HAHA, they were absolutely right.) I'm so glad that multiple forward thinking websites, forums and blogs across the internet have virally spread this message and made aggressive stanced cars popular; now it's a whole different ball game!

The way a car sits has absolutely everything to do with the image it projects - it all has to be just right! Aggressive offset wheels that stick out too much = lowrider. Big wheels with thin tires (non stretched) on cars that aren't slammed enough = DUB style. (Yuck.) Slamming cars to the ground without enough width, offset and tire stretch = 1990s FF Honda style.

Since neither of the aforementioned styles are desirable when it comes to making a fashionable looking car, it's nice to see that car owners all over North America have been stepping up their wheel game - a game that was rumored to have started in Europe (gotta give props to those Euro car guys... Mk1 Golfs FTW!) or Japan (Bosozoku/Yanki car builders, kyusha kai car builders, and VIP car builders). While I'm not exactly certain of the exact origins or history of this style of automotive stance, I personally first noticed it in the late 1990s/early 2000s, thanks to AE86s that were built by my favorite drift teams - Running Free and Rough World.

It was awesome to see some of the West Coast's most dedicated car owners with aggressive stances come out to the event. I saw Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Lexus owners from Southern California; Northern Cali Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, and BMW owners from as far as Fairfield CA and Sacramento... I even saw a slammed Mercedes Benz from Las Vegas!   Read more...

WEBMINING> Savanna GT/Mazda RX3 Memories

I’m mad, seriously. Christmas weekend it is, but man….I can’t hold back this level of hurt. Friends of mine can vouch for the level of anger I experience when seeing a Mazda RX3. When I let mine go up for sale, I thought it might feel good to let something move on… WRONG. I now fully regret the transaction and wish life had a rewind button like that of a DVD player – call it seller’s remorse.

While I’m watching this video, gritting my teeth and wiping tears from my eyes, you can enjoy viewing this beautiful Mazda Savanna GT as it graces the country side roads of Japan. Take a closer look at the interior shots, and wish upon many stars that I may one day accomplish supreme levels of cool when building my next old school Mazda. Recaro front seats and Burberry-esque cloth covered rear seats. Observe the fresh RS Watanabe wheels which appear to be somewhere in the realm of 14 inches with a healthy tire side wall. Awesome fender mirrors? Check. Front lip with aero? Absolutely. If you own an RX3, please use this footage as a template and do not… I repeat, DO NOT sell your RX3. Unless of course I come knocking at your door inquiring about it. Then and ONLY then is it permissible. **sniff sniff**

: : Edward Uche


WEBMINING> Trial Tuning Spirit 20B FD3S RX7

I flew out to L.A. this week to spend Christmas with my family, which gave me the opportunity to meet up with Antonio Alvendia and Edward Uche for the first time.  Of course cars were a topic covered quite a bit as the night went on and RX7 project cars were brought to light…  This of course brought on the discussion of dream builds and this video I am posting now.  I honestly can not give you a solid figure of how many times I have watched this video ever since it was posted on Youtube.  I would guess Edward couldn’t give you a guesstimate either.

What I can tell you is the car was built by Trial Tuning Spirit.  The FD3S has a 3 rotor swap, running ITBs and and a slew of custom parts all done to make it a beast of a track car.  Just listen to the beautiful music it makes – who wouldn’t want this in their garage???

I must say though.  On my wedding day, I want a car much like this waiting for me at the end of the ceremony to take us away.  Hopefully, rotors will be tied behind the car on rope to drag down the street behind us.

:: Scottie Scheetz

PS: Below is the car’s spec sheet, posted in Janglish (gotta keep it legit!) by the original poster of the video. (gamikoulas@hcn.zaq.ne.jp) (more…)


WEBMINING> SA22C RX7 vs DR30 Skyline

When a buddy of mine (thanks Royce!) first showed me this video, I was floored. It’s so cool that we get to see the Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya “brapping” around in a circuit spec 1972 Mazda RX3 (Savanna GT) at the start of this vid. I felt so excited that a driver such as Tsuchiya, who we all know has driven some really amazing vehicles, found himself piloting such an iconic rotary – the legendary SA22C RX7!

Man, and does he drive this car! So dope. He smashed on that Nissan DR30 in full disrespct of it’s Skyline presence. It’s great seeing this type of performance on a race course from a Mazda.

Now I want a first gen RX7 haha….I’m positive you will too after seeing this. Observe Keiichi’s rotary aggression!

:: Edward Uche


COVERAGE> Old Skool & Rotary Turkey Day Run

What's going on! My name is Edward Uche. I live in Los Angeles, and I am the newest addition to the Motor Mavens Crew. I've followed this automotive blog since it began back in April and words cannot describe how excited I am to join as a contributor. As the owner of a turbocharged FC3s RX7, I'd love to meet other readers of this site at a track day or event in the near future. However, right now it's my honor to present you my first contribution, which deals with a subject I'm extremely passionate about - seeking knowledge involving all things Rotary. I'm happy to connect with all you fellow car enthusiasts and mavens out there; now lets begin...

What happens when you combine a national holiday and time off work with family and friends? ...a well devised plan for a cruise, that's what. During my Thanksgiving festivities this past week, I couldn't help but squirm with anticipation for this weekend's big rotary event, RX7Club.com's annual "Turkey Run." The meeting location launching the rotary/old skool massive would be RX3 owner and MMA trainer Savant Young's Fight Academy in Pasadena CA. There were so many varieties of cars to be seen; RX2s, RX3s, FCs, FDs, Miatas, and even Toyota TE21s and S13s.

Keeping up with the latest in grassroots events, the members of the Southern Cali Motor Mavens Crew were on a mission to bring our viewers a look into the organic Los Angeles car culture. Witness.   Read more...