Friday, August 29, 2008

Like Hell

The guys at Jalopnik posted up their next pair of cars in their Project Car Hell series. Basically, readers will choose which project car will send them to hell. This time they chose cars that i'm most familiar with Toyota Corolla SR5 and Toyota Corolla FX16. Granted i'm pretty muched versed both chassis. The possibilities are endless of what you could do to either one. But which would you choose? To read up and vote click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AE82: Not reallly JDM

Toyota Corolla FX16 wasn't built in Japan, but at the NUMMI plant in Fremont California. Joint venture with General Motors and Toyota, which brought you Geo Prizm/ Toyota Corolla and Pontiac Vibe/ Toyota Matrix. Built to go head to head with VW's Golf and Honda's Civic HB, it was built with either an 8 valve (4AC) or 16 valve (4AGE).
Today let's look at what 20 years of waiting for the right power plant brings to the patient. Here we have my buddy Brian and his ultra sleeper. Powered by a 4AGZE and mated to a 6 speed transmission. The supercharged engine is sourced from a US spec MR2 and the transmission is from a Japan spec AE111 Corolla.

Having the opportunity to drive it, because I was working on it, for a day was indeed pleasant. Since the car has a functioning a/c system it made much more bearable to drive on a typical sunny day in So Cal.

Coupled with the 6 six speed transmission it really runs through the gears quickly. The power from the supercharger is smooth and linear. It pulls hard off the line at a traffic light and can pass with ease on the freeway.The whine produced from the clutch activated supercharger is great, but not as great as a pssh from a turbo.

The hood scoop sourced from an AE92 Levin is the only thing you'll see to warn you of the cars potential. I'm sure some of the noobs will ask if it's a Subaru or something.The wheels are standard Toyota steels with Factory Toyota hub caps.
The car is a bit rough around the edges, with it's rusty hatch and worn out paint. But with a healthy dose of boost who the hell cares.

Overall the package is great, small light weight hatch with good power and to top it all off it's street legal, thanks to the use of the U.S. spec MR2 supercharged engine setup. If Toyota/ General Motors offered this in their line up back in the day i'm sure we'll see much of these cars on the road.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Returning to Turbo Power

Helio Castroneves IRL Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway - 2008 Indy 500
Originally uploaded by J4F1950 reports the IRL will be changing their engine program to incorporate turbochargers by 2011. Before the nasty seperation, the use of turbochargers were used in CART for many years. I remember going to the Long Beach GP back in the day and love the way cars sounded. Besides the use of turbos, a drop in cylinders to either 4 or 6 has been mentioned. Which I think will probably benefit the consumer since technology in racing will always trickle down to the consumer. Let's hope that there will be more manufacturers stepping up to the plate in the rebirth of open wheel racing in America.

Restoration with AE86

As the years go by, many AE86 parts become discontinued by Toyota. With the popularity of the car with drift hooligans, and show car aficionados, the amount of original cars becomes less. I'm not knocking on anyone, but let's face it, Japan import cars, aside from the Z, doesn't have much of a following when it comes to restoration compared it's American counterpart. I still have a hard time looking for parts for my S124 Mazda RX-3/ Savannah.
I found some really awesome replica decals made by a Club4AG member. I must admit these decals are definitely the best knock offs i've seen so far.

Comparing these with the originals off my car it's it's very close to stock. Even down to the dots on the side door decals, which can't be seen in the photos.
It's unfortunate that Toyota has decided to discontinue parts, but hopefully there will be people who will step up to the plate and create parts that are worthy for use in restoration.

Monday, August 18, 2008

35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races

The sounds of vintage race cars firing up warming up their engines for the morning practice session is pure bliss. Something I could never imagine I’d would ever wake up to such an awesome sound. The annual Monterey Historic Races, now in it’s 35th year brings the sights, smells, and sounds of past racing to the present. It’s one thing to watch the old videos and to view old pictures of racing’s past, but to be there is something that just takes it to another level.

There was so much to photograph that I wasn’t able to cover that much, partly due to my cheap battery that got knocked out early. Remember kids, get the factory made stuff it’s much better.

Photos of some early morning practice sessions.

Formula Juniors taking the track in mass numbers.

The Trans Am race was probably the best racing I’ve seen all weekend. These guys were really going at each other with numerous lead changes.

The old Formula 1 cars were outright amazing to watch. The sounds emanating from these works of art have no comparison.

Speaking of F1, this year's guest of honor was racing legend Mario Andretti. Commerating his winning the Formula 1 World Championship in 1978. The celebration included the man himself driving the John Player’s Special Lotus race car that propelled him to that championship.

The IMSA era cars brought out some really awesome Porsches to grid.

Toyota brought out a couple of their retired race cars that were campaigned in the 80’s and early 90’s.

If you’re a fan of auto racing this is a must see. To see these cars back on track is nothing that a museum nor some rich dude’s garage can never replicate. Props goes to all who bring out their cars for a romp on the tarmac. Remembering what it was like and for some of the younger folks an era where racers were racers.

For more information on this event click here.
To view more pics of the event click here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Road Trip: Monterey Historics

Visceral Racing at Monterey Historics
Originally uploaded by jalopnik

As you read this me and some friends will be on our way to Laguna Seca Raceway for the 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Where vintage race cars will once again do battle with one another, but in a gentleman sort of manner. In other words no rubbin', bumpin' or roughin' up each other. This will be the first time i'll be attending this event and being the aficionado of racing and classics, this will definitely be a treat. I'll have pics and a report when I get back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New but not New

Aeromotion has brought out an adjustable wing that provides down force at different racing situations. It’s very fascinating piece that’s for sure. The first adjustable wing was incorporated by Jim Hall and the gang at Chaparral Cars back in the 60's. What separates the early version to this current configuration is the use of a ‘brain’ to control the angle of attack during acceleration, braking, and turning. The driver doesn’t need to fiddle with manual controls, like the early Chaparral 2E. It's also split so to apply down force on corners of the wheel when needed. The wing is still in it’s testing stages so no solid numbers on the effectiveness of wing. With any new product there will be doubters as I’ve already been reading on Autoblog, but if you’re looking at every edge on winning, I’m sure this will be on the list.

Source: Aeromotion, Autoblog

Friday, August 8, 2008

Relax and enjoy

Something I thought was really funny. If you take offense to this then you're one of the people he's talking about. tisk tisk

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Corolla GT-S

August 6 is also known has hachiroku day to AE86 enthusiasts. If you haven’t figured it out already, the 86 in the chassis code is the same as the date August 6. It’s the unofficial birthday of the Corolla since no one actually knows the when the first one rolled off the assembly line. Unfortunately for me, I had completely forgotten the date. But fellow enthusiast Antonio A. had posted up on his Speedhunter site. Thanks dood for reminding us how much we love our beloved cars so much. Here’s a couple of photos of Corollas back here in so cal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pro Am Arizona

The destination Tucson, Arizona, with temperatures hovering at the high 90’s dabbling around 100 and humidity that I only used to see when I used to live in the dirty south. Drift Association and Turn Style Drift held the next round of competition for Formula D Pro-Am qualifier. But you may ask why am I here since I qualified at Utah. I helped out Kat tow her car out to compete and to take photos on the side.

The event was held at the Southwestern International Raceway aka SIR. I wonder if a lot of Civics like racing here?

Kat putting on her game face before competition. I’m jealous cause she’s rocking the Recaro SPG bucket. I want one to replace my old ratty Cobra Sebring I’ve had for too long.

Everyone must follow the rules or else Naoki won’t be happy.

Hiro Sumida made a surprise appearance to judge with Taka. The day before, they were prepping their competition cars for a dyno session. Yet they still had time to come and judge the competition.

Taka setup a pretty fast course, which some of the local competitors weren’t expecting. But leave it up to Taka to setup a kick ass course.

Not knowing any of the local drivers, I was really amazed with their skill. The level of driving was really impressive as they were laying it down like pros.

This particular car caught my eye with consistent runs all day long. Toyota Cressida powered by a JZ turbo engine. With it’s sick wheel selection it looked great on and off the track. It just needs a bumper from BN Sports to complete the look.

Here’s something you don’t see at any drift event, Nissan 200SX chassis code S12. Known as Silvia from it’s birth home of Japan. Powered by the CA18DET. The driver was also very skilled made some excellent runs.

The only AE86 in the field is actually a real deal Japan import. Powered by a 4AGZE under the hood. The car sports N2 flares and a front bumper grafted from another car. Importing the Japan street style to the states.

As night loomed over me, I decided to quit taking photos since my camera sucks at night.

Thanks to Drift Association and Turn Style Drift for putting up an awesome event. And everyone else who helped with event.

Congratulations to all who competed and who qualified for nationals.

For photos click here.