Thursday, August 19, 2010

What to watch this weekend (Aug 20th-23rd)

  • Battle of the Supercars - Audi R8 (V10) vs. Ford GT; Thursday @ 10pm-10:30pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Twist the Throttle - Bimota & Alpine Stars; Saturday @ 1pm-2pm (Discovery's High Def Theater)
  • American Le Mans Series - Road America from Elkart Lake Wisconsin; Sunday @ 3pm-6pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Isle of Man TT - Practice Sessions; Monday @ 9pm-10pm (Discovery's High Def Theater)

For those who haven't checked out Isle of Man racing yet, it's gotta be tied for the hairiest motorsport you can do on wheels. Actually wait, the IOM TT tandem side car racing is.

Photo Courtesy of

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Event Recap: VAG Fair 2010

As I stated a few weeks back, 2010 is the fourth year of VAG Fair, a primarily Volkswagen and Audi enthusiast gathering organized and conceptualized by my buddy Cory Sterling of Euro Auto Source. It's surprising to say, but it was quite a bit bigger than last years show; by a hundred or so cars, as those who attended can attest. Thankfully, despite the low attendance of shows leading up to this one, people came out in droves, packed the house and patronized the many vendors that came to support the event. I was thoroughly impressed that despite the outstanding turnout this show still maintained the laid back, European auto-enthusiast, BYOB culture that is VAG Fair.

The first shot up top is what made me take the camera out the bag; an fan of my buddy Alexi's mk3 (see H20i 09' album) made a model of his car with a kit, RHD, plaid interior, 4spoke white wheels, the works...walked right up to him, never meeting Alexi before and gave the model car to him as a gift. This is what makes our scene great. I took a few snaps and started wandering. Plenty of cool cars came out...old mercs, e28s, e30s, b5s, a4s, mk2s, mk3s, a couple 930s too. And a mk4 I actually dig (it's the only one I shot); the owner did just about all of the fab, bodywork and paint himself and is good friends with my buddy Tim so I was aware of the car ahead of time.

The weather was good and mild, about 80 degrees with a cool breeze once the clouds rolled in. Unlike the previous two years where we had scattered storms and rain, this year held together and was miraculously dry the entire day...with sun even popping out for an hour or so around mid day (full on double rainbow!).

The night before the show at the Chili's GTG, I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne Bynum (of Bynum Build fame) and took the opportunity to pick his brain. His accent and laid back demeanor made me think of Bobby Bowden (FSU ball coach), but in all seriousness he was a very sharp and gracious gent. I spoke to him about the method and madness behind the cars his personal 'candy factory' puts out and he told me about the 84 GTI he brought to the show for Saturday. As usual, it did not disappoint.

This is the second show I got out of the house for this year and I'm glad I did. Got to run into all the usual suspects from the east coast (Getlow, VW Fiends, my MD peoples, NJ & PA crews) and am looking forward to seeing more of you a$sholes come H2o; it's just six weeks away so make sure you requested off the right weekend.

The full album is available here. Share this post and my pics mofos.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Red Coupe - Any progress is good...I think?

With the major junk out of the way it was time to begin the long process of fine tuning and get this car from a 10 footer to a sub-5 footer. Certain things I'd be able to address quick and some things I'd have to wait on, like re-wrapping the entire interior black. In this vain I took the opportunity to search for black interiors every chance I got; this would not only save me money on re-wrapping my tan vinyl bench black but also drastically cut down on the time I'd have to wait to convert my interior. While searching brought me black map pockets and armrests already, I still needed black vinyl doorcards. Through forum classified scouring I met a dude named Chris out in the Midwest. He had a black leather bench in solid condition as well as complete black doorcards. In order to fix the issue with shipping we worked out an arrangement via greyhound to ship them that way (I recommend greyhound bus shipping for anything large enough to have UPS or FedEx start talking 'hundreds' in the cost dept). Chris delivered as advertised and I drove down to bmore city to pick up my newest stash during rush hour on Friday afternoon (sigh). Fortunately the seats and cards lived up to the pictures and i quickly took vinyl cleaner to them and started breaking down my existing door cards one afternoon soon after delivery. The swap was painless and the interior started taking shape.

To address the carpet, which is so heavy and bulky you either find it local or not at all, I figured out a pretty decent barter with my e30 wrenchin' partner in crime, Ethan. He gave me the black carpet from his e30 and I gave him my IE catback exhaust and assistance with removing his cluster. This worked out great as I had stumbled into an online group-buy for a Stromung unit, that I couldn't refuse, and ordered a custom stainless unit from their Huntington Beach HQ. This lovely exhaust had been sitting in my basement, whispering sweet nothings to me for weeks now and once the time was right would be installed (along with the new exhaust hanger kit I bought soon after that group buy). At the same time as this barter was getting arranged, he was in the process of landing his own second-hand carpet from another friend of ours. Getting back to the point though, I ended up scheduling a thrash at my house so I could complete my interior make-over with the new black (charcoal technically) carpet. Since he had gone through this before, we had all the tools and know-how between us to get the job done relatively quickly.

After some grueling labor in the hot sun, and some tag-teaming effort getting the carpet of each of our cars from around the gas pedal (what a PITA), we had everything out of the cars to get the swap completed.

After three hours or so of sweatin' to the oldies due to some bolts that didn't want to go on when reinstalling my seats, we called it a day. Stellas and Pizza did the trick for recharging weary souls. The only unplanned issue after this process was the clips that needed to be removed in order to reinstall the doorjam sills that cover up the carpet edges. Within a week I had new clips ordered and was good to go. Before that happened I took the car up to Dubs on the Beach and took this while bullshttin on Saturday.

As you can see, I still needed to get the OBC replaced - the thing is I already bought one used, but due to misunderstanding how it snapped out of the screwed in surround, I was waiting to install the new one when I replaced the dash/removed the AC panel. Once I realized not that much needed to be done, I took care of it quickly one Friday in early June. It's awesome to have everything working like it should on an old car. My check panel kept popping out on hard bumps so while I was at it fixing things on the interior that day I used some double sided tape to help keep it secured.

The other major thing I did during the spring was give the car a good claybar and wax. I would've polished more, but upon doing a test polish by hand and seeing red on my microfiber cloth I realized this was a baked enamel paint job as I suspected. I decided to just spot polish problem areas here and there and then move on to waxing. This was definitely a good idea and the results were solid.

If you look closely you can see how the hood doesn't quite line up right (I also need to clean up the headlight rings). While messing with panel adjustment earlier in the spring I found myself out of any additional adjustment using factory methods. This, along with a few other odds and ends, will be addressed by my bodyguy once I get the money together. So little time and money, so much crap to take care of.

Monday, August 16, 2010


There is nothing quite like the early stage of a project. That shell, that field piece, that pristine runner that's been parked at the same shop for ten years with the one bad tire, and you've known. You've known your plan for it since you first saw it. All out racer. Cruiser. OEM+/-. It's your dream car (or one of them, anyways). You've been by there countless times, talking to the owner about it, letting them in on your vision of what it could, no, ought to be. The owner understands you. He gets it, but it's been his dream, or it's his first, or it's his late fathers'. You pine for it, all the while keeping the smutz from piling up too thickly, and clearing the debris from the raintray. You think you'll never get a chance. But then it happens! The call! All those years of badgering and note-leaving have finally culminated!

These posts will be dedicated to those initial moments of a project, before the heartbreak, before the sloppy bodywork, before the sobering moments of failure, before the graft and hard work finally pay off. The moments that say "this is the one." That secret stash of parts you've been piling up will finally have a home. That wheel set you've waited for the right car will finally be put to use. That motor you've always wanted to see finished. It's here, and it's ready. Now it's all up to you.

Car Pron - Autocar drives the GT3R Hybrid

Take one of the best performing track cars on earth, the Porsche 911 GT3R, add a spent energy regenerative braking system more dynamic than traditional KERS, and you get an semi-awd powerhouse.

Autocar strikes again, so our thanks go out to them. If you'd like to find out more about this machine and it's attempt at history during the 24hr of Nurburgring this past spring, visit the Porsche Channel.