Posts Tagged ‘Garage Autohero’

STOLEN> Walker Wilkerson’s Formula Drift Car!

Formula Drift driver Walker Wilkerson had his Truck, Trailer and Formula D race car stolen and it was last spotted in Carson, CA! Please Keep an eye out for the truck and trailer. It has Washington State license plates 3614XR. Please contact authorities and Walker if you spot the car, truck or trailer. Additional details can be found on Instagram, twitter and tumblr, @MOTORMAVENS @WalkerWilkerson   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift: The Battle in Seattle

This year’s Formula Drift event held at Evergreen Speedway marked the sixth year that the track has hosted the FD Seattle event. Having been at every single one, I can honestly say that this year was no less amazing as every year before it. The stands and the pits were packed with adults and children alike, with every single person smiling from ear to ear!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Returns To Seattle

Formula Drift Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway has to be one of my favorite events all year (albeit, I'm biased as a Seattle local)! Not only is it my home town, but this race track has one of the biggest bankings in the series - and just like Irwindale Speedway, there's not much room for error. Everyone in the Northwest drifting community has witnessed a lot of crashes at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe WA throughout the years, and with something like 56 drivers registered for this event, we are sure to get one hell of a show this year!   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...

OH SNAP> Garage Autohero Datsun 510 Snowed In

Garage Autohero Datsun 510 turbo turbocharged Ray Stonehocker Watanabe Yoshi Shindo rusty snow Nissan Bluebird

This past week, the Pacific Northwest experienced a snow storm which left thousands without power. I was even stranded at home for a little while! I can’t even remember the last time Washington got so much snow! However, as I pondered the situation more, I realized that this could be one of those “lemons into lemonade” moments (or, is that “ice into ice cream“). (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> 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...

OH SNAP> Power Move Super Slammed S14 Stuntin’

Daniel Ressa has been building his Nissan S14 a bit longer then I've been building mine. He's a lot further and lower then I am. LOL! I just can't deny that his S14 is, without exception, one of my favorites. He's always looking to get rare wheels and little parts that no one really has or wants to pay for. He is all about attention to little details on his car. If you know Danny, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Beyond the super slammed, tucking rear wheels, dragging side skirts, and destroying go-kart plastic barriers - this car actually gets driven hard. Form and function.   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2011 Formula D Seattle, Day One

Once again Formula D makes the stop in my hometown Seattle, Washington! This is always one of my favorite events because, not only is it my home track, it's also where we see the Northwest grassroots drivers come out and show everyone what they're really are made of. Seattle has a way of making people rise to the occasion!

Earlier in the day, I received a phone call from Rob Primo telling me that practice was rained out. It was very disappointing because practice is my favorite time to shoot the cars on track. Seattle strikes again. However, she can be forgiving at times. A couple of hours later I received another call from Rob. The rain had stopped and the track was dry. Practice was on again! I think you already know that I quickly grabbed my camera gear and drove straight there before Seattle had a chance to change her mind. So, I guess you can thank beautiful Lady Seattle for what you're about to see.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Evergreen Drift Pro-Am Round 2

The Evergreen Pro-Am Round Two event was this past Sunday and it did not disappoint. The very best of the Northwest were out in abundance competing for a professional Formula D license. Drivers from Oregon to as far away as Canada made their way to the centrally located Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. The very same place that will be hosting Formula Drift Round 5 in July.

In addition to the head to head drift action of the Pro-Am, the grassroots drift series was intertwined with the event as well. These drivers are not necessarily novices but they don't have the required safety equipment to run the full track which includes the big 5/8th track. With all of this happening in the same place at the same time, there are bound to be interesting stories to tell from all aspects of the day!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Pacific Grand Prix Open Event

Last Saturday marked another successful event held at Pacific Grand Prix. It was a full event with not a spot left open on the roster for drivers - a roster which included two Formula D drivers who are currently in the top 10 in standings: Justin "JTP" Pawlak and newcomer Walker Wilkerson.

In addition to the great American pros in attendance, it was an international affair as well. The Drift Union drift team from Canada came down again to show us how to have fun with style in their textbook tandem sessions.

Large crowds of spectators arrived, filling the stands and lining the fences en masse to catch a view of the great driving presented that day. NOS Energy Drink and (for the first time) Greg Young from Northwest Riders clothing, set up shop to talk to people and to hand out prizes. If you missed it, don't feel too bad - here's the next best thing to being there!   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...

COVERAGE> Northwest Nissans Golden Gardens

It's hit or miss, in Seattle, in the early Spring. Some days the sun is out and shining - some days, something resembling a monsoon could turn the parking lots into lakes. Even though it's only warmed up to nearly 55 degrees outside, Seattle-ites treat it like mid-Summer. That's what we are accustomed to here in the Northwest. Still, every year, toward the end of March, rain or shine, the Northwest Nissans' Golden Gardens Meet is always a huge success.

This year, unfortunately, it was a bit wet with the sun only barely shining though the thin veil of overcast clouds later in the day. Weather aside, this year was just as packed as previous years with three main lots filling up. The parking overflowed along the street for at least a half mile. I could tell it was going to be a meet well worth checking out!   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...

CENTER STAGE> JCCS Award Winning Sakura 510

Building a car from the ground up isn't an easy task to do - physically or mentally. Some might already know exactly what they want to do, while others may have a general idea and focus on one thing at a time. Plans always change (which is the exact reason why my S14 has been sitting for over a year) but one thing that all these owners have in common is...Dedication.

This Datsun 510 project was started 13 years (and three owners) ago. The original owner (Joe Smith - sounds like an alias), had the body and paint done. He also accumulated a lot of NOS (new old stock) parts though the Nissan dealer he worked for but the car was never finished. Eventually the car ended up seeing two other owners before Dom Stokes bought it.   Read more...

PERSPECTIVE> Formula D Seattle Through My Eyes

Since Formula D Seattle, all the members of the crew have all been super incredibly busy handling all sorts of things related to the website and promotions, so we decided to hold off on our normal "event coverage" stories so that I could write different type of story - something more of a perspective piece. Normally, we always have Antonio write the event stories, because he seems to have the most experience, and he knows all the details of the drivers and everything. However, this time, the guys asked ME to write about my own personal experiences at FD Seattle.

This year's Formula D Seattle marks my first anniversary as a part of the Motor Mavens Crew. At last year's event, I didn't even know Antonio yet. In fact, I only met him at the end of the event, when he was out in the parking lot, chillin with our friends Ian Dillon and Raymond Vazquez.

I gotta say... this year has been one hell of a ride! Just in this past year, I've attended three other Formula D events, done multiple local drift event coverages, car features, cruises, meets, and everything else in between. As a local Seattle-based contributor for MotorMavens, my main goal was to blow up the Pacific Northwest scene since I know it has some of the sickest cars around! We also have some highly skilled drifters up here - such as Formula D drivers Roland Gallagher, Nikolay Konstantinov, Ian Fournier, and Victor Moore. Since this event was local, there was no doubt that all these guys would be attending. I knew this was going to be a great event!   Read more...

PERSPECTIVE> Comrades Invade Formula D Seattle!

I remember four years ago when Formula Drift first came to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. It was like we had won the lottery because, for the previous years, the closest FD ever came was California. If you have ever attended the Seattle FD event, you know how nuts it can get. I have heard that the crowd is among the loudest if not the loudest of all the stops on the tour. I'd like to attribute that to the large group of local drifters who sat right under the Judges booth that first year and got the crowd pumped up - even doing the wave! The next year they gave us cow bells - Big Mistake.

What I am getting at is simply that Formula D is a big thing here in the North West. This year FD has formally made the event a two day spectacle where you can come on Friday and witness the practice and qualifying - But, really, we've been going to the track on Friday to watch these pros rip it up on our home track for about three years now. Did they start the Friday thing this year because of us? Probably not, but it's awesome for the fans to get the full picture of the field of drivers that so desperately want to make it in the big Saturday show.

Now, for the first time since Seattle has been a stop on the pro drift series, we have our home team: Nikolay Konstantinov, Ian Fournier, Victor Moore and last, but certainly not least, Roland Gallagher. Four local guys we can cheer on and share in their glory and accomplishments. It's hard to believe these guys are stepping up to a national stage - ready to make their dreams come true and, whatever the outcome, the NW is proud of them.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Comrades Invade Pacific Grand Prix

As with most things in life, there are goals that people set for themselves in whatever they do. Some aspire to be the best in their field and pit themselves against others to see where they stand. For others, just being a part of the camaraderie or community is enough. They participate just for the sheer excitement rather than competition. Luckily, in the North West, we have a huge mix of both ranging from the new Formula Drift Pro and Pro-Am drivers to the guys who keep it strictly fun. Whatever category any of these guys fall under, it's with great pride that I can say all of them are grassroots drivers. Which brings me to Comrades.

For those that don't know, Comrades started from humble beginnings when four local drift teams decided to unite under one banner years ago. Now that banner has grown to include all NW grassroots drifters from Oregon to Canada.

May 15th set a new benchmark for drifting in the NW when the Comrades were invited to tear up the track at Pacific Grand Prix in Kent, WA. New Pros and old schoolers came out to drive on this newly created track, owned and operated by Paul Zalud, that spans a little less than a mile with a layout "that kinda gives you that Bihoku vibe."(Haha, it's a reference to a Japanese race track, Bihoku Highland)

The Mighty MotorMavens Crew was out in full force as well. Covering the entire event from the driving (by me), video from Abbit Wilkerson and Justin Shreeve to, of course, photos from Yoshi Shindo and new comer Jeff Santiago - both armed to the teeth with their new Canon EOS 7D cameras.   Read more...

OH SNAP> The Demon That Makes Trophies of Men

A lot of times when you buy a car, you have a plan. Sometimes it can be just a mild street car build, or full on race car that will never see a day on the streets. In my experience my builds are always unexpected, starting off with just a daily driver that turns into a full blown money eating machine. Either way, planned or not planned we all have the same passion on getting our cars to become what we imagine in our minds. It always amazes me how far we go to do that. (more…)


CENTER STAGE> Garage Autohero Datsun 510

Whenever I hear the words Datsun 510, I picture either a fully restored and super clean car or a moss-covered, stock car that has been hiding under bushes for the past 10 or more years. Either way, in my opinion, this is one of the most amazing cars built to date. These days, everything possible has been done to modify them including SR20DET, KA24DE, and VG30 swaps. But, no matter what kind of fancy wheels or paint jobs they may have, they are always a dime in my eyes. Apparently the guys at Garage Autohero feel the same way.

The story begins with Ray Stonehocker and his desire to build a daily driven showcase car for his shop - Garage Autohero. He wanted something completely different from everyone else so he stayed away from the obvious Nissan Skylines or Toyota Supras that are crazy fast with the very expensive paint jobs. Ray wanted to take a step in the opposite direction. He chose to go with the Datsun 510. He had a chance to buy an old 510 from a friend not too long ago - but not in pristine condition. The 510 had some rust issues, fading paint, and the years had just taken a major toll on the poor car. That didn't stop Ray though. In fact, it was exactly what he wanted.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Sick Stanced STi

Just a few years ago, aggressive fitment wheels were a pretty rare find on cars in the United States. Most people thought that getting wheels that "fit" well meant that the wheels wouldn't have any rubbing or clearance issues. Nowadays, the trendsetters in the scene have completely changed the game, and all the "cool kids" with the best wheel fitment are all about stretched tires and seeing how close you can get your wheels/tires to the fenders.

The owner of this slammed Subaru Impreza WRX STi is a seventeen year old (Yes, I said 17 years old!) high school student named Abbitt Wilkerson from AW Films. Abbitt has been making a name for himself; not only because he shoots some of the most popular car videos up here in the Northwest, but also because he has a driving passion for building Subarus with the common thread of aggressive wheel fitment.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Evergreen Drift, Round 3

When everyone leaves after Formula D in Seattle every year, many people seem to forget about Pacific Northwest drifting. Thanks to Kelly and Eddi from Evergreen Drift, the local drivers from Washington, Oregon, and Canada are able to come back to the very same track where Formula D is held at - Evergreen Speedway in Monroe Washington. This past weekend, some of the same drivers that competed in the Evergreen Pro AM came back out and tackled the 3/8s bank with all they had for Round 3 of the Evergreen Drift Championship.   Read more...