Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in the DRIVER’S seat, drifting around Irwindale Speedway‘s oval? I asked Ryan Tuerck if he could show us around the track from a driver’s perspective. He was excited to show us how an FD run went down, so we grabbed some cameras and followed him out. Have a look! (more…)
The 2011 LA Auto Show is here! Over 50 cars are making their debuts at this year’s LA Auto Show, with 20 of them being international debuts! Make sure you are following @MOTORMAVENS on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook our for LIVE up-to-the-minute photo updates of the coolest cars at the show! We’ll be live blogging today and tomorrow to bring you the best cars of the show, as well as some behind the scenes moments that most people won’t get to see normally! (more…)
Our webmaster Brandon Campbell introduced me to this video, and I thought it was too good not to share. HBTV presents another episode of Depth of Speed. Josh Clason revisits Eric Bizek from JDM Legends in Utah. In this short video doc, Eric shares his passion and love of vintage Japanese cars. He takes an in-depth look into the quality and craftsmanship of the vintage cars along with his own personal restoration process. (more…)
Recently I’ve been checking out a lot of different videos; seeing what’s sick and what produced a dry, wheezing cough. I came across this one on ContourHD’s site. It features some truly inspired rally driving.
In the video, we ride along with Mads Østberg and his co-driver Jonas Andersson through Rally Sørland Shakedown in their Ford Fiesta S2000. To give you a little insight into the mad skills of these dudes, they beat Ken Block in the Swedish round of World Rally Championship and came second overall! And if you are wondering what the language is, it’s Swedish. By the way, my Swedish is a little rusty but I believe Jonas is actually reading Mads one of the Twilight books…..silly Swedes. LOL! (more…)
Recently we met up with our friends over at Japanese Nostalgic Car Magazine for this year’s Toyotafest (watch for the upcoming story), and they told us the epic news about the “hush-hush” project they had been working on with Hot Wheels!
Now we can finally share the great news with all our readers, and the above picture shows you the outcome. Hot Wheels is producing the legendary Hakosuka in die-cast form! Just to be clear, this isn’t a KPGC10 Skyline GT-R, it is actually a KGC10 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-X. One of the coolest things about this die cast project is the JNC inkan on the doors. Congratulations, guys!!!
The detail on the car is really nice! It has exterior oil cooler hoses, headlight covers and the interior is fully caged. JNC says it’s heavier than your typical Hot Wheels car so you KNOW this car is gonna fly down the track! Any one still have their orange Hot Wheels track? (more…)
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…)
As the reach of our automotive website continues to expand, the MotorMavens Crew and I have been fortunate enough to attract tons of new and exciting opportunities – they seem to just fall into our laps! You can only imagine how shocked I was when I received an email from the good people at SPEED Channel, saying “we’d love to chat with you.”
As the biggest cable network with automotive programming, SPEED is obviously huge – I’ve been watching various forms of racing on SPEED Channel for years. I had no idea that they were even aware of MotorMavens! I was definitely excited to speak to them on the phone.
Although SPEED Channel is headquartered in Charlotte NC, they are constantly filming shows in Southern California. During our phone call, I discovered that they were actually filming their newest TV program, Car Warriors, only 10 minutes away from where I live! They suggested that we come out and visit, so I invited our lovely Motormavenette Samantha Totem to come out and spend the day hanging out on set with me while they were filming – cool! When the cameras stopped rolling, the very first person we were introduced to was none other than George Barris.
Even if you’re too young to recognize the name ‘George Barris,’ you’ve undoubtedly seen the cars he has created. As the automotive legend behind Barris Kustom Industries in North Hollywood, George Barris has created some of the most iconic cars in movie and television history – the original Batmobile from the Batman TV show with Adam West and Burt Ward; the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard; KITT from Knight Rider; the original A-Team van; the DeLorean time machine from Back To The Future; the Munsters hot rod; and many many more.
As we got ourselves acquainted in between filming, Mr Barris invited us to visit him at his shop, which is like a museum of famous movie cars, toys, and Hollywood memorabilia. How could we pass that up?! (more…)
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...
I came across this inspiring video from 3seriesblogcom, featuring the new E90 BMW M3 Coupe and thought I’d share. The new M3 is the first to get a 4.0 liter V8 engine, which kicks out an amazing 414 horses and 295 ft-lbs of torque, taking you from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds. Oh, and daaammmn if you won’t look good doing it.
There’s a lot more I could say about this car, but let’s be honest – I’d drive that girl anywhere she wanted. Except my home…..where my lady would be…… waiting to kick the ever-loving @#$! out of me. Well, as long as I got to drive the M3, it’d be worth the beating…I guess. (Actually, knowing my gal, she’d probably forgive me if I just handed over the keys, hot girl or no hot girl.)
So check out the sick ride this video takes you on and dream of the day that you get to pick-up your luscious lady from the airport and take her for a ride… in… your… M3… *cough*cough*
:: Travis Hodges
With all the great things I’ve been hearing about last week’s Formula Drift Seattle event, it’s getting me amped to see what will happen at the Las Vegas round of the championship series. I’ve been checking out a lot of our video footage from the event, but I remain drawn to the great POV (point-of-view) footage that Justin Shreeve captured with a ContourHD mountable/wearable video camera.
This particular video clip shows former D1GP Series Champ Ryuji Miki drifting his newly built Lexus SC430 on the banking at Evergreen Speedway. For those who havent driven or ridden along on the Evergreen Speedway course, this video is a great way to check the track out – from a driver’s perspective.
We’ve got more clips and we’ll be showing some of our favorite POV footage from time to time. Meanwhile click this link to see other shots from Formula D Seattle and Formula D Irwindale, as featured on the new MotorMavens Channel on ContourHD’s website.
:: Travis Hodges
Many of you know about Apple’s new iPhone 4. What you may not know is that it now shoots 720HD video! That, my friends, is epic to say the least. While doing some research on one of my favorite directors of photography (Vincent Laforet), I came across this amazing video shot entirely on a iPhone 4, with no color correction from Hoptocopter Films on YouTube. Titled “156 turns,” it features Team Ducati Spider Grip‘s Greg Tracy on a stock Ducati Multistrada during the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb.
I know we normally don’t follow much motorcycle racing, but this video is definitely worth watching. 156 Turns captures the power, passion and precision involved in this race. Rhys Millen even makes a powerful statement in the video, “Somebody once asked me if I ever caught air up here….I said, ‘no, but if I ever did, I don’t think I’d ever come down…’”
All I can say is, great racing, great film making, and DAMN, I want an iPhone 4!
:: Travis Hodges
Here is my follow up video to Antonio’s coverage of the Rod and Kulture DragFest at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California. I was there at the event last year, and the impact of the funny cars still hadn’t left me. However, now I think they’ve left a permanent mark on me after this years event.
I’m telling you, trying to hold a camera steady as one of those cars passes you on the dragstrip is a SERIOUS challenge. As the nitro dragsters and funny cars pass you along the quarter mile drag strip, you can feel it in your chest! The ground shakes from all the displaced air, as smoke (and sometimes flame) shoot out the stainless formed headers… it’s just amazing. (more…)
As you can see from the above video, we thought it would be great to release some of our Point of View (POV) footage from last years “The Spirit of Irwindale“ to get you in the spirit of the up coming Formula Drift Round 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. New playlists have been added to our MotorMavens YouTube Channel: Drifting Vids, Motormavens POV and Owle iphone adapter. Our POV footage is raw and I only took out the boring stuff. Haha!
So enjoy and revisit all of your favorite videos that are up on the MotorMavens Channel.
We also just added Justins Shreeve’s “The Spirit of Long Beach.” He, Joe Ayala, Andy Sapp and Antonio are all going to be down at Road Atlanta this weekend, so you know our stories from the event will be pretty interesting!
:: Travis Hodges
Even though I've always admired and respected cars like 1968 Camaros and Shelby Daytona coupes, I'll honestly admit that when I was younger, I was never really interested in musclecars or hot rodding either - probably because I completely misunderstood what hot rod culture was all about! I used to think that hot rods were only for old guys that wore unfashionable Hawaiian print shirts with their cargo shorts, long white socks, and military trucker hats bearing the name of some sort of Navy vessel they worked on back in the day. I just didn't get it. The whole hot rod scene just didn't connect for me - possibly because most of the muscle car owners from my high school were always at odds with the import car crowd. Their high-and-mighty attitudes and constant disparagement of the 4-cylinder cars I loved created a social barrier that made it hard for Japanese car enthusiasts like me to connect to and learn about the cooler aspects of hot rodding.
It actually wasn't until I began building and restoring my 1973 Corolla 1600SR that I began seeing a lot of parallels between the Japanese nostalgic car culture that I love and the whole hot rod and scene. I don't want to get too deep into this subject (at least not in this story), but let's just say I'm a big fan of traditional hot rods, retro funny cars, and diggers now! This being said, I obviously couldn't miss Rod&Kulture Magazine's annual Dragfest at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA this weekend! Read more...
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...
By now you're probably thinking, "Enough already, dude, what's up with the sexy car?" You may even be asking where I got the plane for this shot. Well, this picture was totally a fluke. While wandering aimlessly around AE Performance's shop, which is located at the Chino private air field, we happened to stumble upon this nice gentleman's immaculate 1939 Lockheed executive twin prop plane. In the early 1940s, this was the plane of choice for shuttling around the ultra wealthy. Over 70 years later, it makes for an amazing shot, doesn't it?
The Porsche GT3 is no slouch. It's the embodiment of the whole "rear-engined sports car" vibe. Just climbing into one evokes a Zen-like feeling of oneness with the road. For me, what makes a Porsche so great (I mean, besides those sexy hips it calls fenders) is the tone the engine produces at idle or wide open throttle - siiiick. It's everything from the undeniable racing pedigree to the fact that Porsche actually took out a patent on the 911 body style. Need I say more?
Straight out of the box, the GT3 is ready to conquer any track you throw at it. But for some people, that's just not enough. This particular Porsche is for those people. For them, Porsche decided to put the GT3 on a strict diet regimen to shed some unnecessary weight - a mere 44lbs. "What good is that," you say? Let me tell you - it makes a huge difference. So when I heard that the guys at AE Performance had a rare white Euro-spec 2007 Porsche GT3 RS sitting at their shop, I just had to check it out! Read more...
We showed a snapshot of the new 5Axis Scion xB at the SEMA show back in November… here’s a closer look at some of the details of the car, as shot real “quick style” with Antonio’s Canon S90 point&shoot pocket camera.
What we really like about this Scion xB is the fact that it’s the first time we’ve seen anyone make the newer Scion xB look really, really cool. Think about it – DJ equipment, dancefloor and strobelights aside… we think if Troy Sumitomo, the man behind 5Axis, made those flares, wheels and fender mirrors available for your everyday Joe Schmoe Scion owner to buy… well, we’d see a lot more second gen xBs on the road that actually look cool.
After all, we can definitely picture a guy who owns a fully built KP61 Toyota Starlet with TRD N2 works fender flares driving a widebody Scion xB like this as his daily driven commute car, even with the automatic transmission. We think these flares and wheels would be a hit… (Antonio was already trying to figure out what other cars those wheels would fit on) but what do you guys think?
:: Travis Hodges
PS: Don’t you think this xB would fit perfectly in the DJ Hero booth at a big video game convention, like E3?
In my previous post about Porsche’s new Boxster Spyder you may have noticed that this was the car that greeted me as I entered the hallway of the Porsche gallery. I didn’t include it as a part of the other story because I was so enamored with this beautiful machine, I wanted to allow it a brief moment in the spotlight – alone.
In the early 60′s, rules governing sports cars were modified and automakers had to follow suit. Of course if you ask me, I don’t need rules to make me modify a car! Haha. The frame of the earlier 718 RKS was widened, the wheelbase lengthened and the rear swing axle suspension was replaced with the more modern wishbone. In doing this Porsche created the RS 60 and 61. The beauty above is the open air version of the 718 RS 60, 61. The 718 W-RS.
One of my favorite things about this particular car is that in 1963, Edgar Barth won the European Hill climb with the W-RS. Not only is this car outstandingly sick looking, it has a serious race winning history as well. Today, Barth’s 240bhp modified 718 W-RS wouldn’t beat anyone racing up Pikes Peak , but DAMN you’d look good going up, down and around it. I’m thinking more like a road trip to Vegas. Maybe with the weather like it is right now, I should be driving down the New Zealand coast where it’s summer. Mmmmm warm weather…..
Where would you like to be driving right now? Let me know.
:: Travis Hodges
Even though we don’t cover motorcycles too often on the Motor Mavens site, sometimes we come across bikes that are just so cool looking, we gotta put em on the site! We were walking around at the 2009 Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway, drenched in rain when we spotted this particular Triumph motorcycle getting rained on.
All our DSLRs were covered up and protected, but luckily we had a Canon S90 on hand, which is definitely one of the top two Canon pocket cameras (the S90 and the G11 are the best in our opinions) out right now. The S90 was able to shoot a quick video in the rain, just so we could show the details of the bike before trying to shelter our camera gear underneath a tent.
This Triumph makes us want to build a bike… so cool.
:: Travis Hodges
The Spyder is the latest offering from bespoke car-builder, Spyker Cars. It's Spyker's latest offering of hand-crafted quality and exclusivity - and it has a little "get up and go" too. Who doesn't like that? Apparently, not everyone. Read more...
Sure, the 2 might seem like a let-down compared to supercars like the LFA and the SLS but, let's keep it real, how many of you have the solid-gold wheelbarrow filled with diamonds and rubies that they're asking as a down payment for one of those America's Next Top Model magnets? It's like buying a Picasso. You just can't nail it up on your living room wall (perish the thought!). No. Protocol requires that you buy a freakin' museum to display it. Do you have a museum? I didn't think so.
So, being the Motor Mavens that we are, we figured we'd throw in a "real" car to talk you guys in off the ledge. We believe (in the immortal words of the bard, R. Kelly) that you can fly - but we figured you might just want to drive first. Read more...