SUPER CLEAN HKS 2.8L R32 GTR // MAY FEATURE

SUPER CLEAN HKS 2.8L R32 GT
// MAY FEATURE

Photos and words by: Jordan Leist

Jamie Paolucci’s taste in cars are very, very varied – try old and new Euros, VTEC powered JDM monsters and even some mid-90s Aussie V8 goodness all adorn the floor of his expansive workshop. Pinning him down to just the one style is impossible. I think this has a lot to do with his age. Years of loving cars as a kid, he has created a list of dream cars in his head, and he is slowly ticking them off. The love affair with this R32 started in 2015 practically by accident. It was during a late-night shopping expedition with his family that he became the proud owner of a new project.

“I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled across a mate’s car up for sale. I had always liked 32s, and the colour was a real standout. I couldn’t stop looking at it,” said Jamie. By the end of the Thursday night shopping trip, the girls all had new items for their wardrobes and dad was the proud owner of an R32 GTR.

“It was in reasonably good condition, I thought. The BMW Boston Green had originally been applied in Japan prior to being imported, and it was fairly neat all round. I planned to strip the driveline and reinvigorate the car with 20 years’ worth of evolution and turn it into a bit of a street/track bruiser that I could still drop the kids off to school in,” explained Jamie.

The mild tart-up soon became a comprehensive build and before he knew it, Jamie was well and truly in over his head. To begin with; the car was stripped down and carted off to Owen Ellis at Meltham Motors where the car was promptly rubbed back, and the bodywork was given some love.

With the car away on holiday, Jamie felt like he needed to achieve more, so he started to accumulate parts for the build. The first thing to appear on his credit card statement was a brand-spanking-new RB26 87mm block and head. The motor was also blessed with a HKS Step 2 2.8L stroker kit for some added displacement. A pair of HKS 272 Step 2 camshafts were added to the shopping list along with a whole heap of other HKS gear. Let’s just say, if it was in the HKS catalogue, Jamie bought it.

Induction comes from a Precision PE6870 turbo with a split rear housing, 3.5-inch dump, 60mm Turbosmart Pro Gate and a HKS Silent Pro cat-back exhaust. A healthy diet of E85 is maintained by ID1650 E85 compliant injectors fed by a Radium Engineering surge tank, and submerged fuel pumps while R34 GT-R coils provide the spark — the whole package is managed by a Link G4+ ECU. Cleverly, the surge tank, battery and ABS unit were all relocated to the boot and mounted on a billet tray. This provides easy access and declutters the engine bay to boot.

The cog-swapper is a 6-speed Getrag unit purchased brand new from Japan and is backed up by a DSC twin-plate clutch and 3.9 LSD differentials front and rear. A Trust drag intercooler keeps the intake temps manageable while the Koyo aluminium radiator and oil cooler keeps the fluid temperatures under control. Luke from Crazy Luke’s Speed Shop was assigned the task of fabrication duties. Notably, the custom-designed exhaust manifold, dump pipe, intercooler piping and catch can.

The combination of R35 GT-R callipers with AP Racing J Hook floating rotors are a welcome improvement over the old stoppers. The ultra-lightweight Nismo/Rays LMGT4 Omori 18 x 9.5-inch wheels are wrapped in Continental 265/35/18 rubber, and BC Racing ZR 3-way coilovers tied in with Ikeya Formula adjustable arms have the beast handling better than ever.

The interior, while reasonably well presented, paled in comparison to the now evolving engine bay and the smooth-as-silk green paint. Maintaining a JDM theme was paramount, but it also needed to be a clean, restrained approach – this meant no gauges/monitors mounted on the A-pillar or on top of the freshly re-covered dashboard. A battery of Defi gauges and ZD monitor were sent over east to Custom Clusters who fabricated the dash binnacle and centre console.

At this stage Jamie was convinced the car needed more: “I’ll be the first to admit, I really like the boy racer look, but it needs to be executed with balance, to be able to pull it off and not detract from the natural lines of the car.” Paul Nguyen from Solid Imports was given the task of sourcing some high-quality Japanese components to finish off the look Jamie was chasing. In addition to the already sourced Defi gauges, Paul located a pair of Bride Stradia Carbon Aramid seats with matching seat rails, and a Nardi Deep Corn suede wheel completes the period-correct interior.

Paul was also given an extensive carbon fibre wish list from Jamie, which included a Top Secret rear diffuser; Fujimura Rocket Dancer gurney flap, OEM boot wing, Nismo N1 boot lip, Abflug front lip extension, Varis bonnet and a Garage Defend cooling slam panel. “The carbon parts were just as I’d hoped but I wasn’t convinced on breaking up the paint on the car. Owen suggested including some green tint from the main body colour into the clear coat on some of the carbon parts. The gamble paid off in my eyes. At a distance to hue remains continuous, it’s only when you get up closer, especially in the sun, that you notice the carbon weave. The results speak for themselves.”

After having the car completed and driving it as much as he could, a good mate, Jarryd Thraves, somehow convinced Jamie that the 32 was better off in his garage. Reluctantly, Jamie handed over the keys and the rest, as they say, is history.

SUPER CLEAN HKS 2.8L R32 GTR // MAY FEATURE

old and new Euros, VTEC powered JDM monsters and even some mid-90s Aussie V8 goodness all adorn the floor of his expansive workshop. Pinning him down to just the one style is impossible. I think this has a lot to do with his age. Years of loving cars as a kid, he has created a list of dream cars in his head, and he is slowly ticking them off. The love affair with this R32 started in 2015 practically by accident. It was during a late-night shopping expedition with his family that he became the proud owner of a new project.

“I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled across a mate’s car up for sale. I had always liked 32s, and the colour was a real standout. I couldn’t stop looking at it,” said Jamie. By the end of the Thursday night shopping trip, the girls all had new items for their wardrobes and dad was the proud owner of an R32 GTR.

“It was in reasonably good condition, I thought. The BMW Boston Green had originally been applied in Japan prior to being imported, and it was fairly neat all round. I planned to strip the driveline and reinvigorate the car with 20 years’ worth of evolution and turn it into a bit of a street/track bruiser that I could still drop the kids off to school in,” explained Jamie.

The mild tart-up soon became a comprehensive build and before he knew it, Jamie was well and truly in over his head. To begin with; the car was stripped down and carted off to Owen Ellis at Meltham Motors where the car was promptly rubbed back, and the bodywork was given some love.

With the car away on holiday, Jamie felt like he needed to achieve more, so he started to accumulate parts for the build. The first thing to appear on his credit card statement was a brand-spanking-new RB26 87mm block and head. The motor was also blessed with a HKS Step 2 2.8L stroker kit for some added displacement. A pair of HKS 272 Step 2 camshafts were added to the shopping list along with a whole heap of other HKS gear. Let’s just say, if it was in the HKS catalogue, Jamie bought it.

Induction comes from a Precision PE6870 turbo with a split rear housing, 3.5-inch dump, 60mm Turbosmart Pro Gate and a HKS Silent Pro cat-back exhaust. A healthy diet of E85 is maintained by ID1650 E85 compliant injectors fed by a Radium Engineering surge tank, and submerged fuel pumps while R34 GT-R coils provide the spark — the whole package is managed by a Link G4+ ECU. Cleverly, the surge tank, battery and ABS unit were all relocated to the boot and mounted on a billet tray. This provides easy access and declutters the engine bay to boot.

The cog-swapper is a 6-speed Getrag unit purchased brand new from Japan and is backed up by a DSC twin-plate clutch and 3.9 LSD differentials front and rear. A Trust drag intercooler keeps the intake temps manageable while the Koyo aluminium radiator and oil cooler keeps the fluid temperatures under control. Luke from Crazy Luke’s Speed Shop was assigned the task of fabrication duties. Notably, the custom-designed exhaust manifold, dump pipe, intercooler piping and catch can.

The combination of R35 GT-R callipers with AP Racing J Hook floating rotors are a welcome improvement over the old stoppers. The ultra-lightweight Nismo/Rays LMGT4 Omori 18 x 9.5-inch wheels are wrapped in Continental 265/35/18 rubber, and BC Racing ZR 3-way coilovers tied in with Ikeya Formula adjustable arms have the beast handling better than ever.

The interior, while reasonably well presented, paled in comparison to the now evolving engine bay and the smooth-as-silk green paint. Maintaining a JDM theme was paramount, but it also needed to be a clean, restrained approach – this meant no gauges/monitors mounted on the A-pillar or on top of the freshly re-covered dashboard. A battery of Defi gauges and ZD monitor were sent over east to Custom Clusters who fabricated the dash binnacle and centre console.

At this stage Jamie was convinced the car needed more: “I’ll be the first to admit, I really like the boy racer look, but it needs to be executed with balance, to be able to pull it off and not detract from the natural lines of the car.” Paul Nguyen from Solid Imports was given the task of sourcing some high-quality Japanese components to finish off the look Jamie was chasing. In addition to the already sourced Defi gauges, Paul located a pair of Bride Stradia Carbon Aramid seats with matching seat rails, and a Nardi Deep Corn suede wheel completes the period-correct interior.

Paul was also given an extensive carbon fibre wish list from Jamie, which included a Top Secret rear diffuser; Fujimura Rocket Dancer gurney flap, OEM boot wing, Nismo N1 boot lip, Abflug front lip extension, Varis bonnet and a Garage Defend cooling slam panel.

“The carbon parts were just as I’d hoped but I wasn’t convinced on breaking up the paint on the car. Owen suggested including some green tint from the main body colour into the clear coat on some of the carbon parts. The gamble paid off in my eyes. At a distance to hue remains continuous, it’s only when you get up closer, especially in the sun, that you notice the carbon weave. The results speak for themselves.”

After having the car completed and driving it as much as he could, a good mate, Jarryd Thraves, somehow convinced Jamie that the 32 was better off in his garage. Reluctantly, Jamie handed over the keys and the rest, as they say, is history.


ABEWD’S ALL STREET SUPRA // APRIL FEATURE

ABEWD’S ALL STREET SUPRA
// APRIL FEATURE

Photos by: Ricky Rigutto | Words by: Ian Lee

A car and an engine that needs no introduction, the Toyota Supra and infamous 2JZ engine are engrained with JDM tuning and car culture. Ridiculously over engineered from factory, the kind folk from Toyota created a 90’s engine platform that even today can easily hold its own against most if not any modern day performance car. A huge boost to the Supra and 2JZ notoriety can be attributed to the Fast and Furious series which as most car people would know, was where Brian rebuilt from the ashes his famous orange aerotop. While for many this kickstarted their fascination and interest in the car, Abewd may have been that rare exception to the case.

See when Abewd picked up his first Baltic blue non-turbo supra, looks were what compelled him to buy the car. Having never watched the series at that point in time, the idea of a 2JZ was foreign to him – in fact, his original assumption was that since his car was a non-turbo it was a 1JZ! All he knew though was that the car looked amazing, sporting the aero lip spoiler and finished in a rather unique colour, this was all that mattered to him at the time.

When the search for his first Supra started, the car that caught his eye was a green, single turbo’d aerotop being sold for $27,000 (Abewd even remembers the seller’s full name) – talk about remembering your first love. The car had all the mods on it that he was after but the only problem as the cost was well over the price Abewd was willing to fork out. The car eventually sold and for years it remained off the radar while Abewd moved on to other Supra’s; still always wondering ‘what if’ and whether he’d have a chance to get the one that got away. Four years later, the car resurfaced and was again quickly sold before Abewd could get his hands on it but this time, he paid close attention to the car and its progression with the new owner. In its new home of Melbourne, the car underwent some big changes which included thousands being spent on the car to make it drag ready. A short while after these changes and with the right timing, Abewd made an offer to buy the car of his dreams or so he thought.

When the car made it to Sydney, the long-awaited feeling of anticipation and excitement quickly disappeared as on closer inspection, the car was not at all in line with the expectations he’d set for himself. This is perhaps partly because this was a long time coming in terms of ownership and also partly because he knew how much money had been spent in the previous owner’s hands, whatever the reason, Abewd felt he’d bought a lemon. A knocking, low compression motor, worn interior and paint, and to cap it off a notchy shifting on a virtually unbreakable gearbox gave the first few months of ownership a rocky start.

Not wanting to let this buying experience sour his romanticised view of the car, Abewd pulled up his socks and decided he’d make this car a platform and homage to the first Baltic Blue Supra he owned. Kass Bodyworks got started with the body whereby the car underwent a complete respray in and out to get rid of the original green paint and bring it to Baltic Blue. This wasn’t just a respray though as a number of body parts were added or replaced with near new (sometimes new) OEM parts such as the active lip spoiler, UK spec bonnet scoop, brand new body kit (front and read bumper + side skirts and mouldings), rare factory mudflaps and series 2 headlights. With the exception of the wide aftermarket CCW Classics wheels, the car presents itself as a clean, factory Supra – the exact look Abewd was going for. But for fellow Supra enthusiasts, he says that they’d know the subtle additions that have been put onto the car which make his particular Supra all that more unique.

As for the interior, you won’t find too many aftermarket parts and like the exterior, rare factory option parts were sourced such as the carbon steering wheel, TRD dash, knee rests, aluminium pedals, funky confetti floor mats and a pretty neat device called a conlight. After some Googling, it’s basically an optional light sensor that would turn the headlights on and off depending on the darkness outside – the things you learn! The doorcards, dash, roof and dashboard also got retrimmed during the interior rework for good measure.

Now I’m sure you’re not reading this post to know what was done to the exterior or interior of a Supra because let’s be honest, as far as iconic JDM cars go, there is very little to improve on from the factory finish that Toyota bestowed onto this car. You’re here to gush over the 2JZ in all its high boost glory. To cut to the chase, the car produces a whopping 750hp on its current low boost setting of 23psi however the turbo and supporting mods are rated to over 40psi. Now a days, 1000hp Supra’s are not uncommon and seem to be the bare minimum expectation as far as the internet is concerned. The reality is that even with strong foundations, there still needs to be appropriate levels of mechanical and engineering planning required to produce the power in a safe and reliable manner.

Calling on Motorsport Mechanical, 4mance Automotive and JEM, the direction of the build was to retain the factory 3 litre displacement and work on strengthening both the bottom and top end as well as the addition of a massive Precision 6870 turbo. The final build included (starting from the bottom end); ACL bearings, Spool rods, CP pistons, ARP studs, BC stage 3 cams, 6 boost manifold, an assortment of replacement OEM parts (such as tensioners, pumps and gaskets) and much more. For fuelling, the car is running three e85 compatible Walbro 460 pumps and X-purt 1550cc injectors. Haltech hardware throughout was used for engine management to orchestrate the entire package and get the most out of the engine and supporting mods. As for that pesky gearbox, Abewd opted for a brand new v161 along with an RPS twin plate clutch that should see the power get to the wheels for years to come.

The finished car is something that spurs mixed emotions for Abewd given the initial disappointment but every time he gets behind the wheel, he knows the pain was worth it in the end. As far as plans for the car goes, Abewd says he’s happy to enjoy dailying it for a while and potentially export it to the US through his export business “All Street” that specialise in Supra exportation to make way for other project cars.

ABEWD’S ALL STREET SUPRA // APRIL FEATURE

A car and an engine that needs no introduction, the Toyota Supra and infamous 2JZ engine are engrained with JDM tuning and car culture. Ridiculously over engineered from factory, the kind folk from Toyota created a 90’s engine platform that even today can easily hold its own against most if not any modern day performance car. A huge boost to the Supra and 2JZ notoriety can be attributed to the Fast and Furious series which as most car people would know, was where Brian rebuilt from the ashes his famous orange aerotop. While for many this kickstarted their fascination and interest in the car, Abewd may have been that rare exception to the case.

See when Abewd picked up his first Baltic blue non-turbo supra, looks were what compelled him to buy the car. Having never watched the series at that point in time, the idea of a 2JZ was foreign to him – in fact, his original assumption was that since his car was a non-turbo it was a 1JZ! All he knew though was that the car looked amazing, sporting the aero lip spoiler and finished in a rather unique colour, this was all that mattered to him at the time.

When the search for his first Supra started, the car that caught his eye was a green, single turbo’d aerotop being sold for $27,000 (Abewd even remembers the seller’s full name) – talk about remembering your first love. The car had all the mods on it that he was after but the only problem as the cost was well over the price Abewd was willing to fork out. The car eventually sold and for years it remained off the radar while Abewd moved on to other Supra’s; still always wondering ‘what if’ and whether he’d have a chance to get the one that got away.

Four years later, the car resurfaced and was again quickly sold before Abewd could get his hands on it but this time, he paid close attention to the car and its progression with the new owner. In its new home of Melbourne, the car underwent some big changes which included thousands being spent on the car to make it drag ready. A short while after these changes and with the right timing, Abewd made an offer to buy the car of his dreams or so he thought.

When the car made it to Sydney, the long-awaited feeling of anticipation and excitement quickly disappeared as on closer inspection, the car was not at all in line with the expectations he’d set for himself. This is perhaps partly because this was a long time coming in terms of ownership and also partly because he knew how much money had been spent in the previous owner’s hands, whatever the reason, Abewd felt he’d bought a lemon. A knocking, low compression motor, worn interior and paint, and to cap it off a notchy shifting on a virtually unbreakable gearbox gave the first few months of ownership a rocky start.

Not wanting to let this buying experience sour his romanticised view of the car, Abewd pulled up his socks and decided he’d make this car a platform and homage to the first Baltic Blue Supra he owned. Kass Bodyworks got started with the body whereby the car underwent a complete respray in and out to get rid of the original green paint and bring it to Baltic Blue. This wasn’t just a respray though as a number of body parts were added or replaced with near new (sometimes new) OEM parts such as the active lip spoiler, UK spec bonnet scoop, brand new body kit (front and read bumper + side skirts and mouldings), rare factory mudflaps and series 2 headlights. With the exception of the wide aftermarket CCW Classics wheels, the car presents itself as a clean, factory Supra – the exact look Abewd was going for.

But for fellow Supra enthusiasts, he says that they’d know the subtle additions that have been put onto the car which make his particular Supra all that more unique. As for the interior, you won’t find too many aftermarket parts and like the exterior, rare factory option parts were sourced such as the carbon steering wheel, TRD dash, knee rests, aluminium pedals, funky confetti floor mats and a pretty neat device called a conlight. After some Googling, it’s basically an optional light sensor that would turn the headlights on and off depending on the darkness outside – the things you learn! The doorcards, dash, roof and dashboard also got retrimmed during the interior rework for good measure.

Now I’m sure you’re not reading this post to know what was done to the exterior or interior of a Supra because let’s be honest, as far as iconic JDM cars go, there is very little to improve on from the factory finish that Toyota bestowed onto this car. You’re here to gush over the 2JZ in all its high boost glory. To cut to the chase, the car produces a whopping 750hp on its current low boost setting of 23psi however the turbo and supporting mods are rated to over 40psi.

Now a days, 1000hp Supra’s are not uncommon and seem to be the bare minimum expectation as far as the internet is concerned. The reality is that even with strong foundations, there still needs to be appropriate levels of mechanical and engineering planning required to produce the power in a safe and reliable manner.

Calling on Motorsport Mechanical, 4mance Automotive and JEM, the direction of the build was to retain the factory 3 litre displacement and work on strengthening both the bottom and top end as well as the addition of a massive Precision 6870 turbo. The final build included (starting from the bottom end); ACL bearings, Spool rods, CP pistons, ARP studs, BC stage 3 cams, 6 boost manifold, an assortment of replacement OEM parts (such as tensioners, pumps and gaskets) and much, much more.

For fuelling, the car is running three e85 compatible Walbro 460 pumps and X-purt 1550cc injectors. Haltech hardware throughout was used for engine management to orchestrate the entire package and get the most out of the engine and supporting mods. As for that pesky gearbox, Abewd opted for a brand new v161 along with an RPS twin plate clutch that should see the power get to the wheels for years to come.

The finished car is something that spurs mixed emotions for Abewd given the initial disappointment but every time he gets behind the wheel, he knows the pain was worth it in the end. As far as plans for the car goes, Abewd says he’s happy to enjoy dailying it for a while and potentially export it to the US through his export business “All Street” that specialise in Supra exportation to make way for other project cars.


NAT’S IMMACULATE FD RX7 // MARCH FEATURE

NAT’S IMMACULATE FD RX7
// MARCH FEATURE

Photos and words by: Jordan Leist

I couldn’t have picked a worse day to shoot Nat Graham-Helwig’s slick FD RX7 – the last thing I was expecting was a torrential downpour in the middle of the Western Australian summer. We both agreed the worst was past us, so we planned on meeting up at 8 PM. We hadn’t even set up the car for the first photo when the next deluge occurred. As the rain belted down, we both scampered for cover. The rain didn’t bother Nat though; he doesn’t sweat the little things, he hasn’t got time for that. The car is a street car so no need to panic about a bit of water, the rain actually did us a favour; we had a chance to catch up and chat.

It had been a few months since we had last seen each other. Nat runs two hugely-successful restaurants and is a father of two, so spare time isn’t in his vocabulary these days. For me, well, I am a professional procrastinator and time waster, so I am all over the shop. We are two very different people, but we have been mates for over 20 years now, and we share the same passion – modified cars.

As we chatted away, the conversation bounced from topic to topic with ease, and as usual, we began to reminisce. Nat and I became mates when the ‘Auto Salon’ days were kicking off, so that became a topic that created a tonne of laughter and old stories shared as the thunder clapped in the distance. I was busy rolling old school Mazdas back then, while Nat was into the late-model, plastic bumper stuff. He was well-known in the scene, and his over-the-top GC8 WRX was a polarizing car. That car went on to be Fast Fours & Rotaries cover car and cleaned up at a tonne of major shows. It was one of Perth’s finest imports.

Since then, Nat has moved through high-tech Euros, bikes, back to Japanese rides and then more Euro stuff. One thing he has a knack of doing is taking the mundane and flipping it to create a head-turner. His current RX7 is proof of just that. Over the years, the car has evolved and gone through several changes. Funnily enough, this is the most subtle version of the car I have seen to date and is the look that Nat prefers most. The one thing he would change though is getting the chance to have the factory pop up headlights retrofitted one day. The previous owner had cut the supports to install the aftermarket units. In all honesty, Nat isn’t a fan.

“I think that changing wheels gives the most significant and most dramatic change towards the look of any car. I do take it to extremes though. From stanced; race wheels, old school and street wheels I have a set for all occasions.,” laughed Nat, and he isn’t joking. For the shoot, we used two sets of wheels – the Work Zistance 19×10 and 19×11 with Nitto 255/285 Invo tyres and a set of Volk CE28RT’s with Nitto Invo 235/265 rubber.

With the rain not giving up, we decided to ditch our current location and head back to my workshop to try our best to get some images. Throughout the night, the rain hampered our progress almost as much as our constant conversations.

Getting back to the car, the FD was all about firing up an unrequited love for Nat. “I previously owned a 2000 FD RX7 in my early twenties but, it was short-lived because I couldn’t afford the up-keep nor the fuel. It wasn’t practical, it was loud, low and tiny but it had an unmistakable raw style to it; it was a drivers car, it was my favourite car to drive, along with my E46 M3. I thought back to those days, and I realised that was the car that I needed to get again for my adrenaline fix. After giving up riding my Ducatis for safety reasons, I wanted to share my passion with my boys, so the Mazda was the best option,” explained Nat.

He located a ’99 FD3S locally, which was blessed with a fresh rebuild and some goodies thrown at it. “I wanted a nice streetcar; it was to be a ‘fast’ daily driver with some neat cosmetics and of course, a bit of go. I had the intention of just leaving it as-is, but that idea lasted literally five minutes – I started tearing the car apart on the first day, and that night, I was already ordering parts online.”

The car had an oversized GT wing, which was far from Nat’s taste, so that got the boot and that one alteration opened up a can of worms. “I had the holes welded up and got the hatch resprayed, but then I decided to paint the whole car in the BMW San Marino Blue instead. It was a snap decision but a good one, I think,” remarked Nat. I tend to agree, the new colour suits the classic 90’s lines of the Mazda.

On this version of the RX7, the body mods are more laid back. It has worn several radical aftermarket parts, but for now, the latest list of aesthetic improvements are limited to Ganador mirrors, the carbon front lip and Feed side skirts, Rocket Bunny rear side flaps, Abflug wing and the Glow Shop tail lights. Previously, Nat had the rear wiper and side markers shaved for a smoother look.

The car was looking the goods now, but it was far from running the best. “After six months of driving, the sequential turbos started to play up, and the only solution I felt was to go a bigger single unit, nothing over the top, just a solid application for the street. While everybody suggested a T04Z and Microtech, I went a different direction with a BorgWarner 8374 and employed a Haltech Elite 1500 for tuning purposes. I like to be different.”

The 13b was extend ported, dowelled and given a full rebuild. Twin 044 pumps send the E85 hurtling towards 2000cc Bosch injectors, while the spent gases exit via a 3-inch straight-through exhaust. Cade Bell from Racing Dynamics got the whole package to work the way Nat desired. “It is pointless having a car that makes big power but then doesn’t have a decent cold start or can’t idle for that matter. Cade made the car fun to drive and a pain-free experience. I am more than happy with the 527rwhp it made on 26psi. I don’t need any more; I can assure you of that,”.

Locked in behind the 13B donk is a standard 5-speed ‘box with a twin-plate carbon clutch. Pulling the rocket up are Wilwood front calipers with slotted discs. Tein coil overs got the go-ahead, as did a Cusco strut brace.

Inside the ride are Bride kevlar Stradia seats, a Nardi wheel and a some neat touches from renown tuning-house RE Amemiya. The subtle changes are just enough.

“I don’t plan on doing much more to the car now, but that is easier said than done. If I can stay away from making more changes, I will maintain it for my boys. They can enjoy it together when they are older. They think it’s so cool, so I know they will appreciate it. They love helping change wheels and parts over; it must be in their DNA. Having them involved with this car is the best part of the build, by far.”

NAT’S IMMACULATE FD RX7 // MARCH FEATURE

I couldn’t have picked a worse day to shoot Nat Graham-Helwig’s slick FD RX7 – the last thing I was expecting was a torrential downpour in the middle of the Western Australian summer. We both agreed the worst was past us, so we planned on meeting up at 8 PM. We hadn’t even set up the car for the first photo when the next deluge occurred. As the rain belted down, we both scampered for cover. The rain didn’t bother Nat though; he doesn’t sweat the little things, he hasn’t got time for that. The car is a street car so no need to panic about a bit of water, the rain actually did us a favour; we had a chance to catch up and chat.

It had been a few months since we had last seen each other. Nat runs two hugely-successful restaurants and is a father of two, so spare time isn’t in his vocabulary these days. For me, well, I am a professional procrastinator and time waster, so I am all over the shop. We are two very different people, but we have been mates for over 20 years now, and we share the same passion – modified cars.

As we chatted away, the conversation bounced from topic to topic with ease, and as usual, we began to reminisce. Nat and I became mates when the ‘Auto Salon’ days were kicking off, so that became a topic that created a tonne of laughter and old stories shared as the thunder clapped in the distance. I was busy rolling old school Mazdas back then, while Nat was into the late-model, plastic bumper stuff. He was well-known in the scene, and his over-the-top GC8 WRX was a polarizing car. That car went on to be Fast Fours & Rotaries cover car and cleaned up at a tonne of major shows. It was one of Perth’s finest imports.

Since then, Nat has moved through high-tech Euros, bikes, back to Japanese rides and then more Euro stuff. One thing he has a knack of doing is taking the mundane and flipping it to create a head-turner. His current RX7 is proof of just that. Over the years, the car has evolved and gone through several changes. Funnily enough, this is the most subtle version of the car I have seen to date and is the look that Nat prefers most. The one thing he would change though is getting the chance to have the factory pop up headlights retrofitted one day. The previous owner had cut the supports to install the aftermarket units. In all honesty, Nat isn’t a fan.

“I think that changing wheels gives the most significant and most dramatic change towards the look of any car. I do take it to extremes though. From stanced; race wheels, old school and street wheels I have a set for all occasions.,” laughed Nat, and he isn’t joking. For the shoot, we used two sets of wheels – the Work Zistance 19×10 and 19×11 with Nitto 255/285 Invo tyres and a set of Volk CE28RT’s with Nitto Invo 235/265 rubber.

With the rain not giving up, we decided to ditch our current location and head back to my workshop to try our best to get some images. Throughout the night, the rain hampered our progress almost as much as our constant conversations.

Getting back to the car, the FD was all about firing up an unrequited love for Nat. “I previously owned a 2000 FD RX7 in my early twenties but, it was short-lived because I couldn’t afford the up-keep nor the fuel. It wasn’t practical, it was loud, low and tiny but it had an unmistakable raw style to it; it was a drivers car, it was my favourite car to drive, along with my E46 M3. I thought back to those days, and I realised that was the car that I needed to get again for my adrenaline fix. After giving up riding my Ducatis for safety reasons, I wanted to share my passion with my boys, so the Mazda was the best option,” explained Nat.

He located a ’99 FD3S locally, which was blessed with a fresh rebuild and some goodies thrown at it. “I wanted a nice streetcar; it was to be a ‘fast’ daily driver with some neat cosmetics and of course, a bit of go. I had the intention of just leaving it as-is, but that idea lasted literally five minutes – I started tearing the car apart on the first day, and that night, I was already ordering parts online.”

The car had an oversized GT wing, which was far from Nat’s taste, so that got the boot and that one alteration opened up a can of worms. “I had the holes welded up and got the hatch resprayed, but then I decided to paint the whole car in the BMW San Marino Blue instead. It was a snap decision but a good one, I think,” remarked Nat. I tend to agree, the new colour suits the classic 90’s lines of the Mazda.

On this version of the RX7, the body mods are more laid back. It has worn several radical aftermarket parts, but for now, the latest list of aesthetic improvements are limited to Ganador mirrors, the carbon front lip and Feed side skirts, Rocket Bunny rear side flaps, Abflug wing and the Glow Shop tail lights. Previously, Nat had the rear wiper and side markers shaved for a smoother look.

The car was looking the goods now, but it was far from running the best. “After six months of driving, the sequential turbos started to play up, and the only solution I felt was to go a bigger single unit, nothing over the top, just a solid application for the street. While everybody suggested a T04Z and Microtech, I went a different direction with a BorgWarner 8374 and employed a Haltech Elite 1500 for tuning purposes. I like to be different.”

The 13b was extend ported, dowelled and given a full rebuild. Twin 044 pumps send the E85 hurtling towards 2000cc Bosch injectors, while the spent gases exit via a 3-inch straight-through exhaust. Cade Bell from Racing Dynamics got the whole package to work the way Nat desired. “It is pointless having a car that makes big power but then doesn’t have a decent cold start or can’t idle for that matter. Cade made the car fun to drive and a pain-free experience. I am more than happy with the 527rwhp it made on 26psi. I don’t need any more; I can assure you of that,” laughed Nat.

Locked in behind the 13B donk is a standard 5-speed ‘box with a twin-plate carbon clutch. Pulling the rocket up are Wilwood front calipers with slotted discs. Tein coil overs got the go-ahead, as did a Cusco strut brace.

Inside the ride are Bride kevlar Stradia seats, a Nardi wheel and a some neat touches from renown tuning-house RE Amemiya. The subtle changes are just enough.

“I don’t plan on doing much more to the car now, but that is easier said than done. If I can stay away from making more changes, I will maintain it for my boys. They can enjoy it together when they are older. They think it’s so cool, so I know they will appreciate it. They love helping change wheels and parts over; it must be in their DNA. Having them involved with this car is the best part of the build, by far. I am blessed.”


ALEX'S TE4SER S14 200SX // FEBRUARY FEATURE

ALEX'S TE4SER S14 200SX
// FEBRUARY FEATURE

Photos by: Ricky Rigutto | Words by: Ian Lee

It’s often said that you never fully appreciate something you have until it’s gone. A feeling that Alex felt not long after selling his S14 almost three years ago. Although the car was separated by some distance having been sold to a buyer in Queensland, distance alone wasn’t enough for the car to be forgotten. You see during the first round of ownership, Alex had big plans for the car, plans that today have come to fruition but were put back on the shelf the moment the car was gone.

With a restless mind knowing that he had unfinished work, Alex mustered up what he needed to do and made the trip up north and bought back his S14 with plans to finish off what he started.

During the original ownership, Alex had painted the S14 in a metallic grey and had it sitting nicely on a set of the SSR SP3 wheels. Despite the S14 already being clean and tidy, Alex wanted to take it to the next level and build the car he’d always wanted and to leave a unique mark on it once it was done.

Starting with the body, Alex both prepped and painted the entire car himself in a custom pearl red with PPG vibrance clear to give the car a mirror finish ontop of the deep, bold colour underneath. With the help of some friends in the industry, Alex also had the rear quarters pumped and the genuine Kouki body kit aligned perfectly during the body restoration process.

With a bit more space to play with, the original SSR’s were swapped in favour of wider Work VSXX wheels which give the car a great stance. Dmax headlights, taillights and Ganador mirrors complete the exterior look of the car.

The car is not all show though and like the plates suggest, the outside appearance is only a teaser to the powerhouse under the hood. His brother Andrew at Malibu Mechanical led the engineering front for this build and was responsible in all things motor, exhaust and wiring – not a small feat and one that Alex says he is eternally grateful to his brother for. Opting to leave the bottom end stock meant that everything else needed an overhaul to achieve the power that Alex was chasing.

Kelford 268/272 cams, 1650cc injectors, Hypertune inlet manifold, billet fuel rail system and throttle body are some of the goodies helping to support the Garrett GT3584rs produce a comfortable 350kw at the wheels. Alex says the goal is to go for the 400kw later in the year, and to help get all of that power to the ground is a built 3 speed C4 800hp rated transmission. Taking the opportunity to do the engine bay tuck and shave he’d always wanted, Alex was left with a bare canvas to plan out the best piping routes for the intercooler, exhaust and radiator.

Capping off the mods to the car is the completely reupholstered interior in black suede and red stitched accents to go with the car’s exterior. Bride Stradia’s were given the same upholstery treatment to blend in the bucket seats to the rest of the interior. While words are limited in describing the cleanliness of the interior, hopefully the pictures do it justice and if that’s not enough to convince you, Alex’s S14 also netted the Hot Import Nights 2019’s Hottest Interior award along with other accolades from the night.

With most of what he wanted to achieve in his second chance of ownership, Alex says there may be some minor changes in the future but at large he’s keen to just enjoy the car for what it is.

ALEX'S TE4SER S14 200SX // FEBRUARY FEATURE

It’s often said that you never fully appreciate something you have until it’s gone. A feeling that Alex felt not long after selling his S14 almost three years ago. Although the car was separated by some distance having been sold to a buyer in Queensland, distance alone wasn’t enough for the car to be forgotten. You see during the first round of ownership, Alex had big plans for the car, plans that today have come to fruition but were put back on the shelf the moment the car was gone. With a restless mind knowing that he had unfinished work, Alex mustered up what he needed to do and made the trip up north and bought back his S14 with plans to finish off what he started.

During the original ownership, Alex had painted the S14 in a metallic grey and had it sitting nicely on a set of the SSR SP3 wheels. Despite the S14 already being clean and tidy, Alex wanted to take it to the next level and build the car he’d always wanted and to leave a unique mark on it once it was done.

Starting with the body, Alex both prepped and painted the entire car himself in a custom pearl red with PPG vibrance clear to give the car a mirror finish ontop of the deep, bold colour underneath. With the help of some friends in the industry, Alex also had the rear quarters pumped and the genuine Kouki body kit aligned perfectly during the body restoration process.

With a bit more space to play with, the original SSR’s were swapped in favour of wider Work VSXX wheels which give the car a great stance. Dmax headlights, taillights and Ganador mirrors complete the exterior look of the car.

The car is not all show though and like the plates suggest, the outside appearance is only a teaser to the powerhouse under the hood. His brother Andrew at Malibu Mechanical led the engineering front for this build and was responsible in all things motor, exhaust and wiring – not a small feat and one that Alex says he is eternally grateful to his brother for. Opting to leave the bottom end stock meant that everything else needed an overhaul to achieve the power that Alex was chasing.

Kelford 268/272 cams, 1650cc injectors, Hypertune inlet manifold, billet fuel rail system and throttle body are some of the goodies helping to support the Garrett GT3584rs produce a comfortable 350kw at the wheels. Alex says the goal is to go for the 400kw later in the year, and to help get all of that power to the ground is a built 3 speed C4 800hp rated transmission. Taking the opportunity to do the engine bay tuck and shave he’d always wanted, Alex was left with a bare canvas to plan out the best piping routes for the intercooler, exhaust and radiator.

Capping off the mods to the car is the completely reupholstered interior in black suede and red stitched accents to go with the car’s exterior. Bride Stradia’s were given the same upholstery treatment to blend in the bucket seats to the rest of the interior. While words are limited in describing the cleanliness of the interior, hopefully the pictures do it justice and if that’s not enough to convince you, Alex’s S14 also netted the Hot Import Nights 2019’s Hottest Interior award along with other accolades from the night.

With most of what he wanted to achieve in his second chance of ownership, Alex says there may be some minor changes in the future but at large he’s keen to just enjoy the car for what it is.




NEIL'S WIDEBODY 180SX // JANUARY FEATURE

NEIL'S WIDEBODY 180SX
// JANUARY FEATURE

Photos by: Khang Nguyen | Words by: Ian Lee

As far as barn restorations go, this is pretty much up there with the best of them. A completely gutted, un-finished, un-rolling shell of a 180sx. A literal ghost in a shell waiting to be revived. It takes a lot of commitment to pick up a project like this, many a times people often get an initial kick of inertia and enthusiasm to start these long journeys only to burn out of funds or patience. But for brothers Neil and Dave at Primal Garage who specialise in paint, panel work and everything mechanical in-between, the 180sx barn find was a perfect car in their eyes to showcase their skills amassed over the years in running a workshop.

Nothing quite compares to the feeling of wanting to outdo someone more than that of sibling rivalry between brothers. For Neil and David back in 2001, it was who had the fastest car. After his brother got hands on a turbo Mtisubishi Cordia, Neil was on the hunt for something quicker. Travelling to Canberra of all places to find his first JDM car, Neil got close to buying a Silvia but the dealer had other plans last minute and made the sale to someone else. Determined to not leave Canberra in the same car he came in, Neil frantically booked test drives with different dealers, trying Skyline’s, 180’s and anything turbo he could get his hands on. Eventually Neil found a black 1990 CA18 180SX with some mild mods and thought, this is it. A deal was struck and for the next 10 years, this was Neil’s project car, drift car and the genesis of Primal Garage.

After a crash at the track bent the shell of the 180, the car was towed back to the workshop where after 6 months sitting there, it faded into the decor and surroundings. Realising the car was beyond salvaging, an off chance presented itself to Neil when a friend offered a straight 180sx shell. The shell itself was as bare as it gets and for the first few visits to his friend’s shed, Neil spent time putting in the right parts to at least get the car in a rolling state. Once it was able to roll, the car was hauled back to the Primal Garage workshop to undergo an overhaul to make it the car you see today.

Project 180sx 2.0 came at the perfect time as Neil had already committed to a road trip to Tasmania in 4 weeks however up until then, he had no car to drive. Incredibly, even in that 4 week time frame, Neil and his brother were able to transform the car from its sorry state and into more or less what you see in the pictures today – widebody paint and all. Immediately after getting the car, the G Corporation Flash widebody panels were ordered in from Japan which crossed off a big item on the to do list (even this arriving in 4 weeks is an achievement in itself!). Salvaging what they could from Neil’s first 180, the rest of the parts were ordered in to make the car at least driveable by the end of the 4 weeks.

Neil was in charge of all the mechanical work, engine build and paint prep for the car while his brother took care of all the metal fabrication and final paint work. The two brothers slaved to meet the deadline and through sheer will and determination, at the end of four weeks a presentable and driveable car came out of the garage and ready to take on the open roads.

Going over the car (as it sits today) you can really appreciate the fabrication work that’s been put in. Neil says that despite owning the car for almost 7 years, the car itself has not changed dramatically from that initial 4 week build which is impressive given the pace in which the car scene changes. Starting with the body, this saw some later enhancements including a genuine Hotroad body kit, Origin Labos bonnet and Dmax roof wing. Reading this list out does seem like a lot of extra panels to add onto the car but through careful selection and pairing with a great final colour, the 180 doesn’t come across as over done at all. During street duties the car rides on a set of silver SSR SP3’s (18×9.5 +3 18×10.5 – 3) which give the car some great stance whilst doing justice to the widen guards. A very purposeful selection of suspension parts from Cusco, Whiteline, Ikeya and some in-house Primal Garage parts have been installed to address the car’s regular drifting requirements.

David’s workmanship as a fabricator really gets put on display the moment you look into the engine bay. In here, you’ll find a tubbed, shaved and tucked canvas that looks more show car spec than drift car but like the rest of the car are all purposeful in nature. For example the tubbed guards grant significant improvements in space to allow tighter wheel positions while drifting. The wide array of custom cooler piping, oil coolers, catch cans and exhaust piping look great against the dark engine bay and help showcase David’s craftsmanship as a fabricator.

Initially running a GT2871r and making around 330hp, the engine has undergone a number of iterations due to unforeseen engine failures over the years – 2 to be exact, but I’m sure Neil isn’t counting. The current setup hosts a high mount Greddy TD06 high mount turbo which has been paired to a fully built SR20. ARP, Aries and Eagle bottom end components were used to help improve reliability and through a previous experience, a stronger 1.1mm Cosworth head gasket was sourced to prevent any repeat heartache. Headwork includes Tomei cams, Supertech valve stems, S13 adjustable cam gears and a fuel setup leveraging a Mazworks billet rail and Bosch 1000cc injectors. With the new setup, the car easily makes 400hp and 457nm of torque on 17psi which Neil says is plenty enough for the track and street.

Like the engine bay, the interior of the car does not immediately scream track car as you’d be hard pressed to find striking differences between this and some of the purely street driven modified cars we’ve shared on this page. The car is not stripped out as you’d expect for a drift car with most of the stock 180sx interior being retained and tweaked. Bride Vios and Euro seats have been installed with the suede material of the seats being used as a reference point for other interior parts such as the glovebox, door cards and centre console. Apexi and AEM have been fitted conveniently for the driver to keep close eyes on the engine vitals. This included creation of a custom dash to house some of the gauges and an Autometer C2 tachometer. Lastly to finish off the interior, a roll cage has also been installed in the car because you know, safety first.

To me, Neil’s car is a perfect blend of form and function. The styling and attention to detail in the aesthetics of the car are up there with some of the best street builds but it takes a brave person to then be willing to put a car like this sideways on a track at over 100km/h. Fortunately Neil didn’t compromise at all with the selection of functional parts needed to make the car safe but also enjoyable on the track. Despite the various setbacks that the car has had over the years of ownership, Neil says he’s extremely grateful and lucky to have his brother’s support and skills at every setback. Still not sure who owns the faster car but with a track day just passed, I guess we’ll have to wait for the score card.

NEIL'S WIDEBODY 180SX // JANUARY FEATURE

As far as barn restorations go, this is pretty much up there with the best of them. A completely gutted, un-finished, un-rolling shell of a 180sx. A literal ghost in a shell waiting to be revived. It takes a lot of commitment to pick up a project like this, many a times people often get an initial kick of inertia and enthusiasm to start these long journeys only to burn out of funds or patience. But for brothers Neil and Dave at Primal Garage who specialise in paint, panel work and everything mechanical in-between, the 180sx barn find was a perfect car in their eyes to showcase their skills amassed over the years in running a workshop.

Nothing quite compares to the feeling of wanting to outdo someone more than that of sibling rivalry between brothers. For Neil and David back in 2001, it was who had the fastest car. After his brother got hands on a turbo Mtisubishi Cordia, Neil was on the hunt for something quicker. Travelling to Canberra of all places to find his first JDM car, Neil got close to buying a Silvia but the dealer had other plans last minute and made the sale to someone else.

Determined to not leave Canberra in the same car he came in, Neil frantically booked test drives with different dealers, trying Skyline’s, 180’s and anything turbo he could get his hands on. Eventually Neil found a black 1990 CA18 180SX with some mild mods and thought, this is it. A deal was struck and for the next 10 years, this was Neil’s project car, drift car and the genesis of Primal Garage.

After a crash at the track bent the shell of the 180, the car was towed back to the workshop where after 6 months sitting there, it faded into the decor and surroundings. Realising the car was beyond salvaging, an off chance presented itself to Neil when a friend offered a straight 180sx shell. The shell itself was as bare as it gets and for the first few visits to his friend’s shed, Neil spent time putting in the right parts to at least get the car in a rolling state. Once it was able to roll, the car was hauled back to the Primal Garage workshop to undergo an overhaul to make it the car you see today.

Project 180sx 2.0 came at the perfect time as Neil had already committed to a road trip to Tasmania in 4 weeks however up until then, he had no car to drive. Incredibly, even in that 4 week time frame, Neil and his brother were able to transform the car from its sorry state and into more or less what you see in the pictures today – widebody paint and all. Immediately after getting the car, the G Corporation Flash widebody panels were ordered in from Japan which crossed off a big item on the to do list (even this arriving in 4 weeks is an achievement in itself!). Salvaging what they could from Neil’s first 180, the rest of the parts were ordered in to make the car at least driveable by the end of the 4 weeks.

Neil was in charge of all the mechanical work, engine build and paint prep for the car while his brother took care of all the metal fabrication and final paint work. The two brothers slaved to meet the deadline and through sheer will and determination, at the end of four weeks a presentable and driveable car came out of the garage and ready to take on the open roads.

Going over the car (as it sits today) you can really appreciate the fabrication work that’s been put in. Neil says that despite owning the car for almost 7 years, the car itself has not changed dramatically from that initial 4 week build which is impressive given the pace in which the car scene changes.

Starting with the body, this saw some later enhancements including a genuine Hotroad body kit, Origin Labos bonnet and Dmax roof wing. Reading this list out does seem like a lot of extra panels to add onto the car but through careful selection and pairing with a great final colour, the 180 doesn’t come across as over done at all. During street duties the car rides on a set of silver SSR SP3’s (18×9.5 +3 18×10.5 – 3) which give the car some great stance whilst doing justice to the widen guards.

A very purposeful selection of suspension parts from Cusco, Whiteline, Ikeya and some in-house Primal Garage parts have been installed to address the car’s regular drifting requirements.

David’s workmanship as a fabricator really gets put on display the moment you look into the engine bay. In here, you’ll find a tubbed, shaved and tucked canvas that looks more show car spec than drift car but like the rest of the car are all purposeful in nature.

For example the tubbed guards grant significant improvements in space to allow tighter wheel positions while drifting. The wide array of custom cooler piping, oil coolers, catch cans and exhaust piping look great against the dark engine bay and help showcase David’s craftsmanship as a fabricator.

Initially running a GT2871r and making around 330hp, the engine has undergone a number of iterations due to unforeseen engine failures over the years – 2 to be exact, but I’m sure Neil isn’t counting. The current setup hosts a high mount Greddy TD06 high mount turbo which has been paired to a fully built SR20. ARP, Aries and Eagle bottom end components were used to help improve reliability and through a previous experience, a stronger 1.1mm Cosworth head gasket was sourced to prevent any repeat heartache.

Headwork includes Tomei cams, Supertech valve stems, S13 adjustable cam gears and a fuel setup leveraging a Mazworks billet rail and Bosch 1000cc injectors. With the new setup, the car easily makes 400hp and 457nm of torque on 17psi which Neil says is plenty enough for the track and street.

Like the engine bay, the interior of the car does not immediately scream track car as you’d be hard pressed to find striking differences between this and some of the purely street driven modified cars we’ve shared on this page. The car is not stripped out as you’d expect for a drift car with most of the stock 180sx interior being retained and tweaked. Bride Vios and Euro seats have been installed with the suede material of the seats being used as a reference point for other interior parts such as the glovebox, door cards and centre console.

Apexi and AEM have been fitted conveniently for the driver to keep close eyes on the engine vitals. This included creation of a custom dash to house some of the gauges and an Autometer C2 tachometer. Lastly to finish off the interior, a roll cage has also been installed in the car because you know, safety first.

To me, Neil’s car is a perfect blend of form and function. The styling and attention to detail in the aesthetics of the car are up there with some of the best street builds but it takes a brave person to then be willing to put a car like this sideways on a track at over 100km/h. Fortunately Neil didn’t compromise at all with the selection of functional parts needed to make the car safe but also enjoyable on the track.

Despite the various setbacks that the car has had over the years of ownership, Neil says he’s extremely grateful and lucky to have his brother’s support and skills at every setback. Still not sure who owns the faster car but with a track day just passed, I guess we’ll have to wait for the score card.


CHOOK’S ROCKET BUNNY 350Z // DECEMBER FEATURE

CHOOK’S ROCKET BUNNY 350Z
// DECEMBER FEATURE

Photos by: Ricky Rigutto | Words by: Ian Lee

Hot Import Nights is arguably one of the most premier auto tuner car events around the world with the first event debuting in the States back in 1998. More recently, the show has made its way over the Pacific and landed on the shores of Australia where for the past 3 years it has been serving up some of the best builds for the public to admire. Of course with such a high profile event, spectators expect nothing short of the very best and to see something you’d not normally see at a regular car show. Sure uniqueness is one component, but final polish, finish and execution of the mods must be top notch. Precision fitment of panels, near mirror sheen paint jobs, mind blowing wheel fitment and engine bays cleaner than most cars interiors all require dedication that is second to none. These characteristics are certainly a lot to find in a single car but for Chookie, this was a challenge and opportunity he relished and lead to his famous Rocket Bunny 350Z being the flagship car for Hot Import Nights.

Although owning a number of other iconic JDM cars like a Corolla AE82, EG Civic, 180SX and a Lexus GS300, Chookie said he’s always had a soft spot for the Fairlady series. When the Z33 first got released, he remembers seeing and thinking it had a striking resemblance to the sleek silhouette of the Porsche 911’s which who can deny looks absolutely incredible. Wanting to stick to JDM, Chookie went ahead and a picked up a bone stock 2005 model 350Z. Despite being a sports car, Nissan only offered the car in some pretty uninspiring base colours upon initial release. In 2005 however, Nissan released a special 35th anniversary edition which commemorated the debut of the 240z – the OG Fairlady Z. In addition to the engine tune, the special edition also came factory in a Ultra Yellow paint code which ended up being the colour Chookie decided on when it came to getting his car.

After a hot second of daily driving duties, the car entered project mode thanks to a company car being provided to Chookie. The first round of modifications was a complete respray in a more neutral, non-metallic, Porsche inspired yellow. While the paint was in decent condition to begin with, Chookie wanted to install some new aftermarket parts and decided to go all in with not only spraying the body kit but the whole car. These included rear pods, side skirts, front bar, and a massive Big Country Labs rear spoiler which gave the car a wide and aggressive profile. A fat set of Work Emotion CR Kai’s and coilovers made sure that the ample stock guard room was filled out as much as possible and with that, ZE-8055 v1 was complete.

Although the BCL wing attracted more attention from the local police than fellow car enthusiasts, the car was reasonably tame by modification standards. The later installation of an Airlift Suspension kit helped in giving the car immediate, modern flexibility in laying out the car for the crowds and being able to comfortably drive home at the flick of a switch. So for some time, Chookie kept the car more or less the same with some minor aesthetic changes here and there like front canards and a NFS Underground-esque green livery down the side of the car.

Knowing deep down that he wanted to build the car into something even more unique, Chookie searched for inspiration on what kind of body kits, wheel setups and colours ticked the boxes he had for his iteration 2 build. If you want to be a (big) kid in a candy shop for car inspiration where do you go? You go to the Tokyo Auto Salon of course. So at the start of 2017, Chookie made his automotive pilgrimage to the car tuning Mecca of the world. Returning back from the land of the rising sun full of ideas and inspiration a plan was set in motion to turn the yellow Z into a one of a kind Rocket Bunny, twin turbo, tuner centric car.

While with previous cars he’d owned, Chookie says when he was younger and had more time he was pretty hands on in terms of personally modifying his cars. However with less time in the day and a need for nothing short of perfection for the finished Z, he wanted to leave the assembly to the experts in the industry. Starting with the sourcing of the genuine Rocket Bunny kit, Chookie enlisted the help of Concept Garage to mould the various body panels onto the car. In total, there’s around 8 parts including the front bumper, front and rear fenders, front splitter, rear splitter and boot lip. Like most body kits, a bit of massaging was required to get everything to line up properly but Chookie says he can’t be more happy with the results and work put in by Concept Garage.

The colour of the car is a “Brandy Wine” mix that was put together by Auto Elements after a number of different samples to find the right colour to pair with the new body kit. Similarly to colours like Nissan’s Midnight Purple, this custom colour mix gives a colour change effect depending on the light source – take it from me it is not an easy colour spectrum to capture in a single photo! In brighter / more direct sunlight, the car certainly gives off more of that burgundy wine colour however at night the car transforms into a night runner with the cooler, deeper purple coming through. Finishing off the paint work are some subtle gold accents that have been applied to the edges of the front and rear splitter and side skirts.

AutoCraze were able to help track down and put in a custom order for the huge 19inch golden Rotiform USF wheels from the states which took over stance duties from the Work CR Kai’s. Nothing quite exaggerates a wide body better than having ridiculously dished wheels! Finally, taking a page directly out of a tuner magazine from the 90’s is the adornment of stickers of product brands used on the car. Although generally stereotyped as a ‘ricer’ mod and internet trolling, I personally think that when done on a purpose built tuner car like Chookie’s, it only helps to further accentuate and stay more true to the look and culture.

Although with what I’ve told you and what you can probably see by now, Chookie’s car has already received praise and accolades for how it’s turned out. Debuting at the first Australian Hot Import Night event a few years ago, and returning ever since. With the looks, stance, paint and body work more than enough to keep you occupied, it’s understandable if you’ve already forgotten about Chookie’s other goal when he started building the car; the twin turbo setup. It is in fact packing some serious heat via a pair of rear mounted Garrett GTX3071r’s. Other supporting bits to this build include twin GFB EX44 external waste gates, GFB SV50 blow off valves, supporting fuelling and ignition mods and finally an Emtron ECU. The car isn’t tuned yet however Chookie says that with a lower spec’d and more conventional bolt on kit than his on the same VQ35DE motor, 300kw is not uncommon with a safe tune. So naturally, the expected power for his setup should easily make that and then some but only time will tell once the tune happens!

MODS LIST

– Stock VQ35DE
– Twin turbos rear mounted
– Two Garrett GTX3071Rs
– GFB twin EX44 waste gates
– GFB twin SV50 blow off valves
– FX-R fuel regulator

– 6 speed
– Exedy heavy duty clutch
– Solid mass fly wheel conversion

– Emtron

– Factory Brembos

– Rotifrom USF matte gold centres with candy gold clear lips
– 19×12 front and 19×14 rear
– Nitto INVO 305/30 R19 front
– Nitto INVO 45/30 R19 rear

– Complete genuine Rocket Bunny kit
– House of Kolor brandywine
– Rear wiper
– Antenna delete

– Like Wise gearknob

– Air Lift Performance 3H air suspension

CHOOK’S ROCKET BUNNY 350Z // DECEMBER FEATURE

Hot Import Nights is arguably one of the most premier auto tuner car events around the world with the first event debuting in the States back in 1998. More recently, the show has made its way over the Pacific and landed on the shores of Australia where for the past 3 years it has been serving up some of the best builds for the public to admire. Of course with such a high profile event, spectators expect nothing short of the very best and to see something you’d not normally see at a regular car show.

Sure uniqueness is one component, but final polish, finish and execution of the mods must be top notch. Precision fitment of panels, near mirror sheen paint jobs, mind blowing wheel fitment and engine bays cleaner than most cars interiors all require dedication that is second to none. These characteristics are certainly a lot to find in a single car but for Chookie, this was a challenge and opportunity he relished and lead to his famous Rocket Bunny 350Z being the flagship car for Hot Import Nights.

Although owning a number of other iconic JDM cars like a AE82, EG Civic, 180SX and a GS300, Chookie said he’s always had a soft spot for the Fairlady series. When the Z33 first got released, he remembers seeing and thinking it had a striking resemblance to the sleek silhouette of the Porsche 911’s which who can deny looks absolutely incredible. Wanting to stick to JDM, Chookie went ahead and a picked up a bone stock 2005 model 350Z.

Despite being a sports car, Nissan only offered the car in some pretty uninspiring base colours upon initial release. In 2005 however, Nissan released a special 35th anniversary edition which commemorated the debut of the 240z – the OG Fairlady Z. In addition to the engine tune, the special edition also came factory in a Ultra Yellow paint code which ended up being the colour Chookie decided on when it came to getting his car.

After a hot second of daily driving duties, the car entered project mode thanks to a company car. The first round of modifications was a complete respray in a more neutral, non-metallic, Porsche inspired yellow. While the paint was in decent condition to begin with, Chookie wanted to install some new aftermarket parts and decided to go all in with not only spraying the body kit but the whole car.

These included rear pods, side skirts, front bar, and a Big Country Labs rear spoiler which gave the car a wide and aggressive profile. A set of CR Kai’s and coilovers made sure that the ample stock guard room was filled out as much as possible and with that, ZE-8055 v1 was complete.

Although the BCL wing attracted more attention from the local police than fellow car enthusiasts, the car was reasonably tame by modification standards. The later installation of an Airlift Suspension kit helped in giving the car immediate, modern flexibility in laying out the car for the crowds and being able to comfortably drive home at the flick of a switch. So for some time, Chookie kept the car more or less the same with some minor aesthetic changes here and there like front canards and a NFS Underground-esque green livery down the side of the car.

Knowing deep down that he wanted to build the car into something even more unique, Chookie searched for inspiration on what kind of body kits, wheel setups and colours ticked the boxes he had for his iteration 2 build. If you want to be a (big) kid in a candy shop for car inspiration where do you go? You go to the Tokyo Auto Salon of course.

So at the start of 2017, Chookie made his automotive pilgrimage to the car tuning Mecca of the world. Returning back from the land of the rising sun full of ideas and inspiration a plan was set in motion to turn the yellow Z into a one of a kind Rocket Bunny, twin turbo, tuner centric car.

While with previous cars he’d owned, Chookie says when he was younger and had more time he was pretty hands on in terms of personally modifying his cars. However with less time in the day and a need for nothing short of perfection for the finished Z, he wanted to leave the assembly to the experts in the industry. Starting with the sourcing of the genuine Rocket Bunny kit, Chookie enlisted the help of Concept Garage to mould the various body panels onto the car. In total, there’s around 8 parts including the front bumper, front and rear fenders, front splitter, rear splitter and boot lip. Like most body kits, a bit of massaging was required to get everything to line up properly but Chookie says he can’t be more happy with the results and work put in by Concept Garage.

The colour of the car is a “Brandy Wine” mix that was put together by Auto Elements after a number of different samples to find the right colour to pair with the new body kit. Similarly to colours like Nissan’s Midnight Purple, this custom colour mix gives a colour change effect depending on the light source – take it from me it is not an easy colour spectrum to capture in a single photo! In brighter / more direct sunlight, the car certainly gives off more of that burgundy wine colour however at night the car transforms into a night runner with the cooler, deeper purple coming through. Finishing off the paint work are some subtle gold accents that have been applied to the edges of the front and rear splitter and side skirts.

AutoCraze were able to help track down and put in a custom order for the huge 19inch golden Rotiform USF wheels from the states which took over stance duties from the Work CR Kai’s. Nothing quite exaggerates a wide body better than having ridiculously dished wheels! Finally, taking a page directly out of a tuner magazine from the 90’s is the adornment of stickers of product brands used on the car. Although generally stereotyped as a ‘ricer’ mod and internet trolling, I personally think that when done on a purpose built tuner car like Chookie’s, it only helps to further accentuate and stay more true to the look and culture.

Although with what I’ve told you and what you can probably see by now, Chookie’s car has already received praise and accolades for how it’s turned out. Debuting at the first Australian HIN event a few years ago, and returning ever since. With the looks, stance, paint and body work more than enough to keep you occupied, it’s understandable if you’ve already forgotten about Chookie’s other goal when he started building the car; the twin turbo setup. It is in fact packing some serious heat via a pair of rear mounted Garrett GTX3071r’s. Other supporting bits to this build include twin GFB EX44 external waste gates, GFB SV50 blow off valves, supporting fuelling and ignition mods and finally an Emtron ECU.

The car isn’t tuned yet however Chookie says that with a lower spec’d and more conventional bolt on kit than his on the same VQ35DE motor, 300kw is not uncommon with a safe tune. So naturally, the expected power for his setup should easily make that and then some but only time will tell once the tune happens!

MODS LIST

– Stock VQ35DE
– Twin turbos rear mounted
– Two Garrett GTX3071Rs
– GFB twin EX44 waste gates
– GFB twin SV50 blow off valves
– FX-R fuel regulator

– 6 speed
– Exedy heavy duty clutch
– Solid mass fly wheel conversion

– Emtron

– Factory Brembos

– Rotifrom USF matte gold centres with candy gold clear lips
– 19×12 front and 19×14 rear
– Nitto INVO 305/30 R19 front
– Nitto INVO 45/30 R19 rear

– Complete genuine Rocket Bunny kit
– House of Kolor brandywine
– Rear wiper
– Antenna delete

– Like Wise gearknob

– Air Lift Performance 3H air suspension


JJ'S RB28 POWERED 1000HP S14 // NOVEMBER FEATURE

JJ'S RB28 POWERED 1000HP S14
// NOVEMBER FEATURE

Photos by: Ricky Rigutto | Words by: Ian Lee

At a glance, JJ’s series 2 S14 presents itself as a neat and tidy build with enhancements to an already good looking chassis. The custom grey paint, TE37 SL’s, Origin boot lip and eye catching green Brembo’s combine well to give the late 90’s JDM icon a refreshing look on a 20+ year old car. However, a word of warning to those thinking of giving this unobtrusive looking car a run at the traffic lights. Unless you’re packing some serious horsepower, you’ll be in for a rude shock when JJ is already at home, parked and sitting on the lounge by the time you’re arriving at the next set of lights.

Luckily, JJ’s been kind enough to save most people from embarrassment by dawning custom “R26” number plates which I think give a fairly obvious ‘warning’ or ‘danger’ sign to those pulling up from behind the car at the lights. Not that it needs much justification to put an RB26 into any car, this particular S14 and setup was something that JJ has worked towards starting from an early age obsession with S14’s. He says his obsession started off as a result of his brother’s close friend buying, restoring and selling damaged S14’s from auctions. From time to time, his brother would help out by storing his friend’s in progress repair jobs at the family home where JJ would occasionally help out and as they say, the rest was history.

JJ’s first S14 he bought some years later gave him a foundational understanding of the car and its ins and outs, it’s good sides, bad sides and eventually its limits. The car was modified over some time and was able to pull a very respectable 460hp from the stock bottom end SR20 however the solution for more power came through a bit of coincidence and sheer luck. While looking through one of Facebook’s many car groups, JJ stumbled across a package for an R34 RB26 motor, 6 boost manifold and 5 speed RB25 gearbox with a PPG dog gear set.

JJ got in contact with the seller and made a lowball offer not expecting to strike a deal but to his surprise the seller replied “if you come tomorrow with the money you can take it”. If you don’t buy the ticket, you can’t win the lottery as they say! The next day, armed with a Camry and some pretty wild assumptions, he drove 2 hours to pick up the drivetrain. JJ now reflects that another car would’ve made for a much easier pickup as after conceding there was no chance of fitting it into the boot without disassembly, he made the decision to drive back with the motor hanging out of the boot.

Knowing that the body for this new motor had to be an S14, he set himself the goal of creating the best street driven S14 in Australia. Not wanting to tear down his original legacy, the hunt was on for another body to transplant the motor into. A running, stock Cobalt green S14 was sourced in Melbourne not long after the motor purchase. The car was trailered to JJ and it was driven for two weeks before the stripping process started. The SR20 was taken out and the car was sent to 2SUS for a new look on life. JJ chose to go with a custom grey similar to the highly popular Nardo Grey you see on the European hot hatches like the Audi RS3. For the body, JJ decided to keep a mostly OEM style to the car to keep it as low profile as possible while cruising on the streets.

A set of Evo Brembo’s were sourced for the car and while at the painters also received a touch up in an eye catching bright green which gives the car a Porsche GT-esque colour combination. Completing the exterior is the always classic, always appreciated TE37 SL Pressed Double Blacks (18×9.5 +15 and 18×10.5 +15). With the car hoping to see plenty of the drag strip, JJ knew he had to have some beefy tyres on the rear to keep the power down; 265’s to be exact. Catering for this wide setup meant that rear guards had to be pumped considerably, he says 2SUS were fantastic in making the setup functional but still able to maintain the factory lines of the S14.

Whilst the custom grey paint was mixed and applied to the car, JJ was at home doing the final checks and tidy ups on the motor so that by the time the car was back, it was a matter of assembly. The guys at Croydon Racing Developments did an amazing job to get the car up and running. Time was spent on the fabrication, wiring and tune to make a whopping 700hp! Wasting no time at all, JJ took the car straight to the proving grounds where he cracked a 10.7 @ 138mph. Fast right? For most yes, but for JJ, absolutely not; talk about high standards. But this desire to go faster only makes this story more interesting as for the next three years, JJ plotted and contemplated the mad decision he was about to make and how he was going to execute the next phase of his car.

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. JJ knew that to meet his power goals, a big change had to happen and so he decided to strip the car back and begin assembling a new motor. Starting off as an RB26 rebuild with rods, pistons and a new Garret turbo, JJ had a pretty clear plan in mind for how his car was going to turn out. However, after some ‘convincing’ by mates that a Nitto 2.8L rebuild was the better way to go, JJ scrapped the original build plans and got to figuring out how best to assemble a drag purpose stroker engine. Complementing the new larger block were an assortment of high quality parts including; a full race port CRD head (capable of revving to 11,000rpm), a custom 8L sump and Nitto oil pump, Hypertune manifold, an array of Turbosmart parts and finally a Precision 7675; a turbo big enough for a boat. The parts weren’t assembled in haste by any means and the careful arrangement and custom fabricated covers, pipes and hoses pay off in a big way when you get a chance to look under the hood.

A Samsonas 6 speed sequential gearbox was also added into the remake list to allow for those critically timed shifts to be made down the quarter mile. Through a custom two-piece tall shaft, power is sent to an OS Giken rear differential and billet drive shafts that allow the power to be delivered as efficiently as possible to the rear tyres. A drag purpose suspension setup sees MCA coilovers and an assortment of Hardrace arms, bushes and sway bars. Lastly, the brains of the car is managed by a complete Motec setup including; M150 ECU, oil, fuel, boost and lambda sensors, a Motec dash and 4 port boost solenoid. All these changes culminated in the car’s final output of over 1000hp at the wheels making it one of Australia’s fastest street S14’s.

Being street driven, the car was never intended to be built in a way that made it impractical. If you take a look at the interior of JJ’s car and other than the Samsonas shifter and Motec cluster, there isn’t much to give away what the car is really capable of. The car maintains all the standard trimmings and luxuries like aircon, radio, door panels and even a dash mat! Nothing quite beats the convenience of driving home in the same car you just sent down the quarter mile. Thanks to the digital cluster, you won’t find intrusive gauges in the cabin as all the vital readouts can be displayed at the click of a button. Some tidy upholstery changes in black velour around the car paired with the Recaro SR5’s cap off the interior mods. One surprising interior upgrade not found in JJ’s car is a roll cage which he says he has no intention of installing in the near future.

Since the car made four digits it’s yet to make its return to Western Sydney International Dragway. Given the strict guidelines around sub 10 second cars running without a chute or roll cage, JJ has all but one chance to really smash his previous 10 second pass and make 4 years of effort just that much more satisfying.

JJ would like to thank all the vendors and workshops that helped piece together his dream setup including Kosta and Omar from CRD, Westside Mechanics, Concept Garage, Heasmans Steering, 2SUS custom resprays, Hypertune, Performance Coatings, Make Me Go Fast, Hamza, Salim and lastly his wife for her unquestionable patience and support throughout the entire build.

MODS LIST

– 1050whp
– 783rwkw

– Nitto Performance engineering 2.8L stroker
– Nitto Billet oil pump
– Custom 8L Sump
– Nitto Race Drag head gasket
– Full race port CRD spec Head 11,000 rev capable
– N1 Water pump
– ATI Balancer
– Ross Performance trigger kit
– Bosch Drive by wire throttle
– Platinum racing products R35 Coil pack kit
– Precision 7675 Gen 2 sportsman turbo
– 6boost twin scroll turbo manifold
– 4-inch stainless turbo back exhaust
– Twin Turbosmart 40mm wastegates
– Turbosmart race port blow off valve
– Hyper tune inlet manifold
– Siemens deka 2400cc injectors
– Advanced 150amp Alternator
– AI sp 1200 Surge tank
– Twin walbro 520 fuel pumps
– Astra Electric power steering

– Samsonas 6 speeds sequential
– Os Giken triple plate clutch
– Custom 2 piece tailshaft
– Os giken 1.5way diff
– Billet rear shafts

– Motec M150GPR
– Motec C127 Dash
– Motec 15 button keypad
– Motec Oil, Fuel and boost pressure sensors
– Motec Lambda sensor
– Motec 4 port boost control Solenoid
– Motec GT101 sensor

– Front Evo 9 Brembo’s
– Evo 10 350mm rotors
– Project mu pads
– Braided lines
– Alpha omega adapter kit

Street setup
– Rays TE37sl Double pressed black
– 18×9.5 fronts and 18×10.5 rears
– Federal RSRR semi slicks
– 245/35/18
– 265/35/18

Race setup
– Belak Industries single bead lock rears 15×9
– Mickey Thompson Street Rs 275/50/15

– Custom grey mix paint
– Jap spec rear bar
– Origin labo Boot lip

– Genuine Recaro speed front seats in black velour with double white stitch
– Genuine Recaro rails
– Custom Motec c127 cluster install
– Samsonas shifter surround in black velour with double white stitch
– Custom trim door inserts in black velour with double white stitch
– Rear s15 seats custom trim in black velour with double white stitch
– Custom boot install and trimmed in black velour
– Dash matt

– Front MCA XR coil overs
– Hard race front lower control arm
– Hard race front tension rod
– Nismo power brace
– White line front sway bar
– DCS front strut brace
– Rear Import Drag Solutions double adjustable rear drag shocks
– Hard race rear traction arms
– Hard race rear camber arms
– Hard race rear toe arms
– Hard race rear adjustable lower control arm
– Hard race rear sway bar
– Hard race bushes throughout whole car

JJ'S RB28 POWERED 1000HP S14 // NOVEMBER FEATURE

At a glance, JJ’s series 2 S14 presents itself as a neat and tidy build with enhancements to an already good looking chassis. The custom grey paint, TE37 SL’s, Origin boot lip and big Brembo’s combine well to give the late 90’s JDM icon a refreshing look on a 20+ year old car.

However, a word of warning to those thinking of giving this unobtrusive looking car a run at the traffic lights. Unless you’re packing serious horsepower, you’ll be in for a shock when JJ is already at home, parked and sitting on the lounge by the time you’re arriving at the next set of lights.

Luckily, JJ’s been kind enough to save most people from embarrassment by dawning custom “R26” number plates which I think give a fairly obvious ‘warning’ or ‘danger’ sign to those pulling up from behind the car at the lights. Not that it needs much justification to put an RB26 into any car, this particular S14 and setup was something that JJ has worked towards starting from an early age obsession.

He says his obsession started off as a result of his brother’s close friend buying, restoring and selling damaged S14’s from auctions. From time to time, his brother would help out by storing his friend’s in progress repair jobs at the family home where JJ would occasionally help out and as they say, the rest was history.

JJ’s first S14 he bought some years later gave him a foundational understanding of the car and its ins and outs, it’s good sides, bad sides and eventually its limits. The car was modified over some time and was able to pull a very respectable 460hp from the stock bottom end SR20 however the solution for more power came through a bit of coincidence and sheer luck. While looking through one of Facebook’s many car groups, JJ stumbled across a package for an R34 RB26 motor, 6 boost manifold and 5 speed RB25 gearbox.

JJ got in contact with the seller and made a lowball offer not expecting to strike a deal but to his surprise the seller replied “if you come tomorrow with the money you can take it”. If you don’t buy the ticket, you can’t win the lottery as they say! The next day, armed with a Camry and some pretty wild assumptions, he drove 2 hours to pick up the drivetrain.

JJ now reflects that another car would’ve made for a much easier pickup as after conceding there was no chance of fitting it into the boot without disassembly, he made the decision to drive back with the motor hanging out of the boot.

Knowing that the body for this new motor had to be an S14, he set himself the goal of creating the best street driven S14 in Australia. Not wanting to tear down his original legacy, the hunt was on for another body to transplant the motor into. A running, stock Cobalt green S14 was sourced in Melbourne not long after the motor purchase.

The car was trailered to JJ and it was driven for two weeks before the stripping process started. The SR20 was taken out and the car was sent to 2SUS for a new look on life. JJ chose to go with a custom grey similar to the highly popular Nardo Grey you see on the European hot hatches like the Audi RS3. For the body, JJ decided to keep a mostly OEM style to the car to keep it as low profile as possible while cruising on the streets.

A set of Evo Brembo’s were sourced for the car and while at the painters also received a touch up in an eye catching bright green which gives the car a Porsche GT-esque colour combination. Completing the exterior is the always classic, always appreciated TE37 SL Pressed Double Blacks (18×9.5 +15 and 18×10.5 +15). With the car hoping to see plenty of the drag strip, JJ knew he had to have some beefy tyres on the rear to keep the power down; 265’s to be exact.

Catering for this wide setup meant that rear guards had to be pumped considerably, he says 2SUS were fantastic in making the setup functional but still able to maintain the factory lines of the S14.

Whilst the custom grey paint was mixed and applied to the car, JJ was at home doing the final checks and tidy ups on the motor so that by the time the car was back, it was a matter of assembly. The guys at Croydon Racing Developments did an amazing job to get the car up and running. Time was spent on the fabrication, wiring and tune to make a whopping 700hp!

Wasting no time at all, JJ took the car straight to the proving grounds where he cracked a 10.7 @ 138mph. Fast right? For most yes, but for JJ, absolutely not; talk about high standards. But this desire to go faster only makes this story more interesting as for the next three years, JJ plotted and contemplated the mad decision he was about to make and how he was going to execute the next phas.

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. JJ knew that to meet his power goals, a big change had to happen and so he decided to strip the car back and begin assembling a new motor.

Starting off as an RB26 rebuild with rods, pistons and a new Garret turbo, JJ had a pretty clear plan in mind for how his car was going to turn out. However, after some ‘convincing’ by mates that a Nitto 2.8L rebuild was the better way to go, JJ scrapped the original build plans and got to figuring out how best to assemble a drag purpose stroker engine.

Complementing the new larger block were an assortment of high quality parts including; a full race port CRD head (capable of revving to 11,000rpm), a custom 8L sump and Nitto oil pump, Hypertune manifold, an array of Turbosmart parts and finally a Precision 7675; a turbo big enough for a boat. The parts weren’t assembled in haste by any means and the careful arrangement and custom fabricated covers, pipes and hoses pay off in a big way when you get a chance to look under the hood of JJ’s car.

A Samsonas 6 speed sequential gearbox was also added into the remake list to allow for those critically timed shifts to be made down the quarter mile. Through a custom two-piece tall shaft, power is sent to an OS Giken rear differential and billet drive shafts that allow the power to be delivered as efficiently as possible to the rear tyres.

A drag purpose suspension setup sees MCA coilovers and an assortment of Hardrace arms, bushes and sway bars. Lastly, the brains of the car is managed by a complete Motec setup including; M150 ECU, oil, fuel, boost and lambda sensors, a Motec dash and 4 port boost solenoid.

All these changes culminated in the car’s final output of over 1000hp at the wheels making it easily one of Australia’s fastest street driven S14’s.

Being street driven, the car was never intended to be built in a way that made it impractical. If you take a look at the interior of JJ’s car and other than the Samsonas shifter and Motec cluster, there isn’t much to give away what the car is really capable of.

The car maintains all the standard trimmings and luxuries like aircon, radio, door panels and even a dash mat! Nothing quite beats the convenience of driving home in the same car you just sent down the quarter mile.

Thanks to the digital cluster, you won’t find intrusive gauges in the cabin as all the vital readouts can be displayed at the click of a button. Some tidy upholstery changes in black velour around the car paired with the Recaro SR5’s cap off the interior mods. One surprising interior upgrade not found in JJ’s car is a roll cage which he says he has no intention of installing in the near future.

Since the car made four digits it’s yet to make its return to Western Sydney International Dragway. Given the strict guidelines around sub 10 second cars running without a chute or roll cage, JJ has all but one chance to really smash his previous 10 second pass and make 4 years of effort just that much more satisfying.

JJ would like to thank all the vendors and workshops that helped piece together his dream setup including Kosta and Omar from CRD, Westside Mechanics, Concept Garage, Heasmans Steering, 2SUS custom resprays, Hypertune, Performance Coatings, Make Me Go Fast, Hamza, Salim and lastly his wife for her unquestionable patience and support throughout the entire build.

MODS LIST

– 1050whp
– 783rwkw

– Nitto Performance engineering 2.8L stroker
– Nitto Billet oil pump
– Custom 8L Sump
– Nitto Race Drag head gasket
– Full race port CRD spec Head 11,000 rev capable
– N1 Water pump
– ATI Balancer
– Ross Performance trigger kit
– Bosch Drive by wire throttle
– Platinum racing products R35 Coil pack kit
– Precision 7675 Gen 2 sportsman turbo
– 6boost twin scroll turbo manifold
– 4-inch stainless turbo back exhaust
– Twin Turbosmart 40mm wastegates
– Turbosmart race port blow off valve
– Hyper tune inlet manifold
– Siemens deka 2400cc injectors
– Advanced 150amp Alternator
– AI sp 1200 Surge tank
– Twin walbro 520 fuel pumps
– Astra Electric power steering

– Samsonas 6 speeds sequential
– Os Giken triple plate clutch
– Custom 2 piece tailshaft
– Os giken 1.5way diff
– Billet rear shafts

– Motec M150GPR
– Motec C127 Dash
– Motec 15 button keypad
– Motec Oil, Fuel and boost pressure sensors
– Motec Lambda sensor
– Motec 4 port boost control Solenoid
– Motec GT101 sensor

– Front Evo 9 Brembo’s
– Evo 10 350mm rotors
– Project mu pads
– Braided lines
– Alpha omega adapter kit

Street setup
– Rays TE37sl Double pressed black
– 18×9.5 fronts and 18×10.5 rears
– Federal RSRR semi slicks
– 245/35/18
– 265/35/18

Race setup
– Belak Industries single bead lock rears 15×9
– Mickey Thompson Street Rs 275/50/15

– Custom grey mix paint
– Jap spec rear bar
– Origin labo Boot lip

– Genuine Recaro speed front seats in black velour with double white stitch
– Genuine Recaro rails
– Custom Motec c127 cluster install
– Samsonas shifter surround in black velour with double white stitch
– Custom trim door inserts in black velour with double white stitch
– Rear s15 seats custom trim in black velour with double white stitch
– Custom boot install and trimmed in black velour
– Dash matt

– Front MCA XR coil overs
– Hard race front lower control arm
– Hard race front tension rod
– Nismo power brace
– White line front sway bar
– DCS front strut brace
– Rear Import Drag Solutions double adjustable rear drag shocks
– Hard race rear traction arms
– Hard race rear camber arms
– Hard race rear toe arms
– Hard race rear adjustable lower control arm
– Hard race rear sway bar
– Hard race bushes throughout whole car


DENIS’S 1JZ SWAPPED BMW E30 // OCTOBER FEATURE

DENIS’S 1JZ SWAPPED BMW E30
// OCTOBER FEATURE

Photos by: Alan Luy | Words by: Ian Lee

4 years of ownership, a life time obsession, a mountain of fried tyres, and a car that’s been transformed from drift pig to prized show pony. This is the story of Denis’s 1JZ swapped 1986 BMW E30.

A cult hero in the euro scene, the BMW E30 chassis is one of the more iconic older generation European performance cars that has sustained its prestige and appeal throughout the generations since its release back in the early 80’s. Back then, the crème of the crop from this chassis was of course the M3. Producing around 150kw from it’s inline 4, 2.5 litre motor, these cars were fast and had a mean presence on the German roads with their flared body work and big rear spoiler. However, just like other older classic European performance cars, the value of M3’s has increased significantly. A quick Carsales check shows only two listed for around $80k!

At 18, Denis conceded that owning his dream E30 M3 wasn’t meant to be given the eye watering prices they were demanding. Instead, he settled on a 1984 E30 sedan that his grandpa and parents bought for $2000. While not an M3 the E30 body still has a unique silhouette and style that can be appreciated and for what it’s worth, ownership of the sedan allowed Denis to really familiarise himself with the chassis. Tearing down and tinkering with it to know all the ins and outs of the car; I’m not sure Denis would have the heart to do this on a genuine E30 M3!

Like any young car enthusiast, after the fun of the initial purchase died down, Denis wanted his car to go fast and he wanted it to happen yesterday. Fuelled by his growing interest in drifting, the humble Bavarian motor in his sedan would barely break traction yet along go sideways at 80km/h. Determined that there was a way to pair his passion of E30’s and drifting, Denis searched for the right opportunity.

The right opportunity eventually presented itself but it wasn’t without a twist that required some patience and some crafty convincing on Denis’s part. Through the E30 community, a friend by the name of Alex based in QLD, who also shared a passion for drifting had actually built a drift purpose E30 coupe. A build that was 9 years in the making, it checked off all of what Denis wanted, the right body (albeit a bit rough around the edges), the right suspension setup for drifting, and most importantly the right powerplant thanks to the 1JZ engine swap. The stars seemed to align however the twist in this story was that while Alex did sell the car, it wasn’t to Denis, well not the first time anyway.

To cut a long story short, Alex sold the car to a guy, who sold the car to another guy, who then sold the car back to Alex. Make sense? So with Alex back in ownership of his original project car, Denis found out through conversation that Alex was actually on the lookout for an E30 M3. Sensing the opportunity, Denis set off like a blood hound to find an M3.

Amazingly he was able to scout a mint, untouched, undriven E30 M3 based in Melbourne and with that, the jigsaw pieces fell into place. After a few months of convincing, Alex agreed to sell his 1JZ swapped E30 to Denis and trailered down the car to Melbourne to then pick up the M3 that Denis had found for him.

With the right car finally in his ownership, Denis got to work to make his own mark the BMW. The interior saw a race inspired overhaul consisting of fixed back Sparco seats, suede wrapped panels and an assortment of various Defi gauges sitting snugly in the dash to help monitor all the car’s vitals through an intense drifting session. Rather than pairing the car with a set of European wheels, Denis decided on opting for a custom set of Japanese Impul Hoshino G5’s in 15×10 -0 offset all round giving it a great overall stance and classic car aesthetic. The car was then capped off with a completely new front steering setup including a quick ratio steering rack, control arms and SLR speed kit which made sure that when this thing hit the turns, it was hitting them hard.

With these improvements made, the car saw a good couple years of drifting on the track. Denis says the car has never missed a beat thanks to the sound reliability of the 1JZ motor and tune which to his knowledge, has been unchanged for the last 6 years! It’s really no surprise that the JZ motors are so commonly used in the drift scene. The motor is bundled with a Garett 3076R, 6 boost manifold, Sard 880cc injectors, 50mm wastegate and HKS cams to make just over 400hp at 21psi all day, every day. For the transmission, an R154 gearbox with OS Giken clutch and flywheel put power to the rear 2 way Kaaz LSD via a custom 3 inch tail shaft.

After the drifting accolades and battle scars on the car started building up, Denis eventually started to feel a bit bad for the old girl and decided it was time to hang up the boots for the car in terms of drifting duties. Instead he wanted his E30 to be a show car, something that he was able to proudly put on display and allow others to appreciate what he saw in the E30’s as an 18 year old. Denis enlisted the help of DT Panels in Melbourne to help refresh the car’s tired exterior which resulted in a full respray in BMW E39 Mineral Grey. The genuine Mtech 1 body kit, seamlessly flared guards, front lip and boot spoiler make for a tidy finished product that with the hood closed, hides any trace of the true origins of the car.

With another E30 drift car in the making and a newly acquired S13, Denis hopes to allow this BMW a much needed retirement as a street / show car that’s able to pay homage to a bygone era of performance European cars that with the right mods can still hold their own today.

MODS LIST

– Non vvti 1jz gte
– 6 boost exhaust manifold
– Garrett gtx3076r
– Turbosmart 50mm wastegate
– Custom 3” exhaust with blast pipes
– Koyo radiator with twin thermos
– HKS cams and cam gears
– Custom made intake manifold
– Sard 880cc injectors
– Custom cam covers
– Custom catch can
– PWR intercooler with custom 1 piece piping
– 40L fuel cell
– Holley blue lift pump
– 2.5L surge tank
– Bosch 044 feed pump
– Whole car is done in braided hoses and speedflow fittings

– R154 gearbox
– OS giken triple plate clutch
– Custom made 3” tail shaft
– Kaaz 2 way lsd diff

– Motec m48 pro ecu
– Motec ignition expander
– Motec loom and sensors

– E32 hydraulic booster
– Braided lines
– E30 6 cyl drilled and slotted rotors
– Chasebays hydraulic handbrake
– Custom lines
– Twin caliper rear setup
– Wilwood calipers

– Custom made 15×10 -/+0 Impul Hoshino G5
Always run toyo r1r semi slicks for front but atm it’s on nankang ar1
Rear usually Jinyu

— Custom made metal flares with shaved guards
– Full respray in BMW B39 Mineral Grey
– Genuine mtech 1 full bodykit
– Custom roof spoiler lip
– Custom front splitter lip
– Slightly tinted headlights
– Custom rear tail lights

– Sparco sprint V seats
– Custom suede trimmed dash, centre console, rear seat delete
– Flake red rollcage
– Custom cluster with defi white series gauges
– Nardi steering wheel
– Custom snap-on shifter

– Cusco 10kg front coilovers
– Tein 8kg rx7 coilovers modified to fit e30 and converted to “true” coilover type
– Custom front and rear strut brace
– Custom extended control arms
– SLR “mini kit” and lollipops

DENIS’S 1JZ SWAPPED BMW E30 // OCTOBER FEATURE

4 years of ownership, a life time obsession, a mountain of fried tyres, and a car that’s been transformed from drift pig to prized show pony. This is the story of Denis’s 1JZ swapped 1986 BMW E30.

A cult hero in the euro scene, the BMW E30 chassis is one of the more iconic older generation European performance cars that has sustained its prestige and appeal throughout the generations since its release back in the early 80’s. Back then, the crème of the crop from this chassis was of course the M3.

Producing around 150kw from it’s inline 4, 2.5 litre motor, these cars were fast and had a mean presence on the German roads with their flared body work and big rear spoiler. However, just like other older classic European performance cars, the value of M3’s has increased significantly. A quick Carsales check shows only two listed for around $80k!

At 18, Denis conceded that owning his dream E30 M3 wasn’t meant to be given the eye watering prices they were demanding. Instead, he settled on a 1984 E30 sedan that his grandpa and parents bought for $2000.

While not an M3 the E30 body still has a unique silhouette and style that can be appreciated and for what it’s worth, ownership of the sedan allowed Denis to really familiarise himself with the chassis. Tearing down and tinkering with it to know all the ins and outs of the car; I’m not sure Denis would have the heart to do this on a genuine E30 M3!

Like any young car enthusiast, after the fun of the initial purchase died down, Denis wanted his car to go fast and he wanted it to happen yesterday. Fuelled by his growing interest in drifting, the humble Bavarian motor in his sedan would barely break traction yet along go sideways at 80km/h. Determined that there was a way to pair his passion of E30’s and drifting, Denis searched for the right opportunity.

The right opportunity eventually presented itself but it wasn’t without a twist that required some patience and some crafty convincing on Denis’s part. Through the E30 community, a friend by the name of Alex based in QLD, who also shared a passion for drifting had actually built a drift purpose E30.

A build that was 9 years in the making, it checked off all of what Denis wanted, the right body (albeit a bit rough around the edges), the right suspension setup for drifting, and most importantly the right powerplant thanks to the 1JZ engine swap. The stars seemed to align however the twist in this story was that while Alex did sell the car, it wasn’t to Denis, well not the first time anyway.

To cut a long story short, Alex sold the car to a guy, who sold the car to another guy, who then sold the car back to Alex. Make sense? So with Alex back in ownership of his original project car, Denis found out through conversation that Alex was actually on the lookout for an E30 M3. Sensing the opportunity, Denis set off like a blood hound to find an M3.

Amazingly he was able to scout a mint, untouched, undriven E30 M3 based in Melbourne and with that, the jigsaw pieces fell into place. After a few months of convincing, Alex agreed to sell his 1JZ swapped E30 to Denis and trailered down the car to Melbourne to then pick up the M3 that Denis had found for him.

With the right car finally in his ownership, Denis got to work to make his own mark the BMW. The interior saw a race inspired overhaul consisting of fixed back Sparco seats, suede wrapped panels and an assortment of various Defi gauges sitting snugly in the dash to help monitor all the car’s vitals through an intense drifting session.

Rather than pairing the car with a set of European wheels, Denis decided on opting for a custom set of Japanese Impul Hoshino G5’s in 15×10 -0 offset all round giving it a great overall stance and classic car aesthetic. The car was then capped off with a completely new front steering setup including a quick ratio steering rack, control arms and SLR speed kit which made sure that when this thing hit the turns, it was hitting them hard.

With these improvements made, the car saw a good couple years of drifting on the track. Denis says the car has never missed a beat thanks to the sound reliability of the 1JZ motor and tune which to his knowledge, has been unchanged for the last 6 years! It’s really no surprise that the JZ motors are so commonly used in the drift scene.

The motor is bundled with a Garett 3076R, 6 boost manifold, Sard 880cc injectors, 50mm wastegate and HKS cams to make just over 400hp at 21psi all day, every day. For the transmission, an R154 gearbox with OS Giken clutch and flywheel put power to the rear 2 way Kaaz LSD via a custom 3 inch tail shaft.

After the drifting accolades and battle scars on the car started building up, Denis eventually started to feel a bit bad for the old girl and decided it was time to hang up the boots for the car in terms of drifting duties. Instead he wanted his E30 to be a show car, something that he was able to proudly put on display and allow others to appreciate what he saw in the E30’s as an 18 year old.

Denis enlisted the help of DT Panels in Melbourne to help refresh the car’s tired exterior which resulted in a full respray in BMW E39 Mineral Grey. The genuine Mtech 1 body kit, seamlessly flared guards, front lip and boot spoiler make for a tidy finished product that with the hood closed, hides any trace of the true origins of the car.

With another E30 drift car in the making and a newly acquired S13, Denis hopes to allow this BMW a much needed retirement as a street / show car that’s able to pay homage to a bygone era of performance European cars that with the right mods can still hold their own today.

MODS LIST

– Non vvti 1jz gte
– 6 boost exhaust manifold
– Garrett gtx3076r
– Turbosmart 50mm wastegate
– Custom 3” exhaust with blast pipes
– Koyo radiator with twin thermos
– HKS cams and cam gears
– Custom made intake manifold
– Sard 880cc injectors
– Custom cam covers
– Custom catch can
– PWR intercooler with custom 1 piece piping
– 40L fuel cell
– Holley blue lift pump
– 2.5L surge tank
– Bosch 044 feed pump
– Whole car is done in braided hoses and speedflow fittings

– R154 gearbox
– OS giken triple plate clutch
– Custom made 3” tail shaft
– Kaaz 2 way lsd diff

– Motec m48 pro ecu
– Motec ignition expander
– Motec loom and sensors

– E32 hydraulic booster
– Braided lines
– E30 6 cyl drilled and slotted rotors
– Chasebays hydraulic handbrake
– Custom lines
– Twin caliper rear setup
– Wilwood calipers

– Custom made 15×10 -/+0 Impul Hoshino G5
Always run toyo r1r semi slicks for front but atm it’s on nankang ar1
Rear usually Jinyu

– Custom made metal flares with shaved guards
– Full respray in BMW B39 Mineral Grey
– Genuine mtech 1 full bodykit
– Custom roof spoiler lip
– Custom front splitter lip
– Slightly tinted headlights
– Custom rear tail lights

– Sparco sprint V seats
– Custom suede trimmed dash, centre console, rear seat delete
– Flake red rollcage
– Custom cluster with defi white series gauges
– Nardi steering wheel
– Custom snap-on shifter

– Cusco 10kg front coilovers
– Tein 8kg rx7 coilovers modified to fit e30 and converted to “true” coilover type
– Custom front and rear strut brace
– Custom extended control arms
– SLR “mini kit” and lollipops


DAVID'S WIDEBODY EVO 8 MR // SEPTEMBER FEATURE

DAVID'S WIDEBODY EVO 8 MR
// SEPTEMBER FEATURE

Photos by: Black Market Media | Words by: Ian Lee

Like many in the Japanese car community, David grew up aspiring to own a GTR. Having owned an R34 GTT for quite some time, he had his heart set on an R34 GTR M-Spec in Japan that he’d been hawking for some time. Sadly the car was sold before he was able to put a deposit down and given today’s prices of GTR’s it only makes the story an even more of a bitter pill to swallow.

Heart broken and somewhat searching for a rebound, David started looking into Evo’s. Now I don’t want to say Evo’s are second fiddle to GTR’s but it seems to be a common ownership trajectory in the car community whereby Evo owners sell up and move to GTR’s (not that David fits in this bucket). Maybe it’s seen as the natural progression of AWD turbo performance for owners but let’s not pretend that Evo’s can’t can hold their own, I mean just look at how well they do at Sydney’s WTAC! Outside of circuit racing, Evo’s also have a pretty impressive track record on the drag strip with cars like Powertune’s Snowflake Evo 9 cemented in the Aussie car community as one of the fastest street trimmed cars in the quarter mile at the time. It was a combination of these characteristics, a lot of YouTubing and seeing a few in the flesh that convinced David that the Evo was the right car for him.

When he first got the car, it was a completely bone stock silver 8MR from Japan; a pretty stark contrast to the car you see in the photos today. In retrospect, David said back then ‘I had no intentions of going wide body as I couldn’t justify spending so much money – and here we are”. David’s goal was simple, to make a daily driver that could make his work commutes a bit more interesting. Sounds simple enough right? David’s first mods were your standard bolt ons that included a full exhaust from the dump pipe through to a HKS Hi-Power Silent cat back as well as a rare GruppeM Carbon fibre air box. A set of BC Racing coilovers and bronze Work CR Kai’s completed the look of the car and David was pretty chuffed with what he had assembled. It had the noise, the looks and the daily ability that he wanted from his car, in fact it was perfect for him!

A year on, David found himself wanting some titanium goodness and thought he’d splurge on the coveted Tomei Ti-Extreme that many Evo owners are familiar with. The raspier exhaust note does sound incredible but with a louder note comes some sacrifice in the daily appeal of the car. Adding to his growing collection of mods was another go-to Evo combination of an FP Red turbo and GSC S2 cams. With these plus a few supporting mods like a fuel pump and injectors, David’s car was well on its way to making respectable power for a street car, all that was left was a tune.

For those OG Evo owner’s out there, when it came to tuning your car (especially if you were based in NSW) there was only one guy to go to, Benchmark Solutions. A household name on the EvoOz forums, Benchmark had a great rep and for David it was an easy choice. Not long after linking up with Benny, David was pleased to have a cracking 279kw on 98. The added power put it’s toll on the car however as the stock clutch eventually blew up after a few months. Thankfully with the help of some overnight parts from Japan (courtesy of always resourceful Jesse Streeter) the car was back on the road with a brand new ORC Ogura Twin Plate.

For those who’ve attended a decent Aussie wedding, the chances of some mandatory, marital celebration skids are pretty high. On a sweltering January day, David and his mate with an S14 brought along their Japanese dates for some wedding shenanigans and well, I think we know where this is going. While I think his mate got the sh*ter end of the stick with a blown motor, David ended up walking away from the wedding (literally) with a blown turbo, a fresh set of car problems and plenty of funny stories to tell from the day.

A new locally made GT Pumps 712 turbo was sourced to replace the broken FP Red and Benchmark was again summoned for duties to retune the car on the new setup. What was originally meant to be a touch up tune eventually snowballed (a common theme in David’s history with his Evo) into a two week process to get a flex tune setup which returned 270kw on 98 and 310kw on e85! Some additional supporting mods like a M&W COP kit, Brian Crower cam gears, ARP head studs and Hypertune exhaust manifold also managed to sneak their way into the intermission of David’s ‘touch up tune’ which undoubtedly contributed to the massive power gain.

The car remained relatively untouched for a few years, however like any bad addiction, the itch came back and David felt the desire to modify his car. Given the motor was done to his liking, the next obvious choice for change was the visuals of the car. The Aussie Evo scene has produced some stellar wide body examples in the past (some of which have featured on our website) and it was through seeing Luke Xie’s Midnight Purple Voltex Evo that David had all the convincing he needed to pull the trigger on a similar build himself. Like many other wide body Evo’s of the past, David’s Evo was entrusted to Peter at Bodyform to produce the final product you see today.

Like a true artisan, Pete managed to seamlessly mould APR rear fender and doors into the existing body lines of the car and also ensure enough space for the massive 18×11 SSR wheels that the car would be riding on. Up front, a Voltex inspired front fender was made with a hidden side indicator and vent added too. By far my favourite thing on the car is the assortment of Varis parts including the front bar, side skirts and rear diffuser – a great change from the regular Voltex kits we often see. For paint, David’s first choice of Honda Rootbeer proved to be a bit more difficult to match than expected and instead David was convinced into settling on the Range Rover Ruffina Red colour you see today; a decision he says he was much happier with after seeing the finish product. Some neat enhancements to both the front custom RGB head lights and rear USDM tail lights finish the car off nicely.

Inspired by a Snowflake and snowballing a build himself, the story of David’s Evo has sadly ended. Since writing this article, David has parted ways with his car due to a change in personal circumstances placing him ironically in need of a more daily drivable car. He passes it on with no regrets to what he’s done to his former pride and joy but I think David’s story is a common one in the car scene. It reinforces the joy and addiction we often get when building cars and quite often it’s the journey that makes the ownership more memorable than having the finished product. Wishing David all the best on his quest for a new ‘daily’ but something tells me history may just repeat itself.

MODS LIST

– GT Pumps 712 turbo
– Hypertune HypeX 347SS Exhaust Manifold
– Turbosmart Kompact Plumb back BOV
– GSC Power Division S2 Billet Camshafts
– Supertech Valve Springs
– Supertech Titanium Retainers
– Supertech Valve Stem Seals
– APR Headstuds
– Brian Crower Cam Gears
– M&W Coil on Plug kit
– Walbro 416 Fuel Pump
– Custom made Intercooler piping
– Custom made Mafless Intake pipe
– TurboXS front pipe
– Invidia dump pipe
– Kakimoto Regu 96&R Catback
– GruppeM Carbon fibre duct
– AMS Front mount Intercooler
– 4” K&N intake
– Aftermarket Radiator
– Fullriver HC20 mini battery
– JM Fabrication mini battery tray
– MAFLESS Speed density flex fuel tune by BenchMark Solutions
– ARC engine cover
– Custom ‘midnight purple’ painted rocker cover

– ORC Ogura Twin plate racing clutch
– Lightened flywheel

– Factory ECU

– DBA 4000 rotors
– Ferodo DS2500 pads

– SSR SP1 18×11-0
– Yokohama Advan AD08R 285/30/18

– Professionally resprayed by Sharpline Paints
– Custom widebody done by Peter at Bodyform Motorsports
– Varis rear diffuser
– Varis sideskirts
– Varis front bumper
– USDM Evo Tail lights
– Custom headlights with bluetooth demon eyes and sequential indicators done by That Headlight Guy
– Professionally detailed and ceramic coated by R.H. Detailing

– Steering wheel professionally retrimmed in napa leather & seude by Muse Design
– Evo 9 front leather seats • Retrimmed leather rear seats
– Muse Design armrest cover, hand brake boot and shift boot in suede and red stitching
– HKS Lowered Seat rails
– Tomei Duracon shift kno

– BC Racing BR coilovers
– Cusco front power brace
– Cusco from strut brace

DAVID'S WIDEBODY EVO 8 MR // SEPTEMBER FEATURE

Like many in the Japanese car community, David grew up aspiring to own a GTR. Having owned an R34 GTT for quite some time, he had his heart set on an R34 GTR M-Spec in Japan that he’d been hawking for some time. Sadly the car was sold before he was able to put a deposit down and given the current prices of GTR’s it only makes the story an even more of a bitter pill to swallow.

Heart broken and somewhat searching for a rebound, David started looking into Evo’s. Now I don’t want to say Evo’s are second fiddle to GTR’s but it seems to be a common ownership trajectory in the car community whereby Evo owners sell up and move to GTR’s (not that David fits in this bucket). Maybe it’s seen as the natural progression of AWD turbo performance for owners but let’s not pretend that Evo’s can’t can hold their own, I mean just look at how well they do at Sydney’s WTAC!

Outside of circuit racing, Evo’s also have a pretty impressive track record on the drag strip with cars like Powertune’s Snowflake Evo 9 cemented in the Aussie car community as one of the fastest street trimmed cars in the quarter mile at the time. It was a combination of these characteristics, a lot of YouTubing and seeing a few in the flesh that convinced David that the Evo was the right car.