Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What to watch this weekend (July 31st - Aug 1st)

  • Formula 1 - Hungarian Gran Prix; Sunday @ 7:30am-10pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Formula 1 - Hungarian Gran Prix; Sunday @ 2:30am-5pm (replay) (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • GP2 Championship Racing @ Hungarian Gran Prix; Sunday @ 6am-7:30am (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Battle of the Supercars - Turbo 10' Camaro vs 10' Shelby GT500; Friday @ 10pm-10:30pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Battle of the Supercars - GT3RS vs tuned F430; Friday @ 10:30pm-11pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)

picture courtesy of

The Red Coupe - Introduction

I've been attached to VWs for what seems like forever; I've definitely cut my teeth on watercooled VWs as my introduction to being a hands-on with automobiles. After all the effort, money spent and time in the VW scene, however, I really needed a change. I looked all over for a suitable small car I could play with to take on a new challenge and have a more rewarding driving experience if I chose to do so as my ownership played itself out. My requirements were something reasonably priced to buy and to get parts for, as well as relatively easy to work on; this is why older cars are awesome. I hopped forums and did extensive independent research on several models from VW, Audi and BMW (Porsche is still a bit out of my range unfortunately) over the course of ~14 months. I checked every online resource I could to see what was on the market within reasonable driving distance and decided to sell my second car.

My search lead me to a old manual transmission BMW 3-series; a zinno red 325i E30 to be exact. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I liked what I heard from the PO about the condition of the drivetrain and was willing to drive out to see if everything else was up to my standards. I got to the POs house in PA and he was a nice guy. The car lived up to most expectations from the pictures, but more importantly I got to see in detail everything that I'd want to change, replace, improve upon and repair...the list was pretty long. Fortunately, the price was right and the test drive of that old straight six with short gearing (4.10 LSD) left me with a smile on my I bought the car and drove it home. The original stereo was a tape deck so I brought my 'Wut? Thee Album' Redman tape (of the same color), but the blurred blown LCD panel didn't clearly inform me a security code needed to be entered (turned out to be written on the top of the stereo later) so no music for me. It was for the best though, because I wanted to find out all the noises the car made, find out what was normal and what wasn't, see what problems were around the corner and most importantly listen to the motor and IE exhaust wind through the rpms. It was a nice drive.

I got home and immediately popped the hood, popped off the kidney grill, then started prepping it for matte black paint, which I had in my garage. It was mid-January and cold as sht, so I did a half-assed job, but I was determined to put my touches on this new car as quickly as possible. I called it a night a little after sunset and 4 coats of SEM were applied.

Not much more happened with the car as winter was ironically just getting warmed up. Thankfully the PO gave me a Bently Manual (which I studied a couple times a day) and a fresh set of winter tires on steelies; the latter would turn out to be the best gift ever in just another week or two. Before I put on those steelies, the snowfall started small. Here is one of my earliest shots of it:

Still much work to be done, but I'd have to wait until Spring.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For the love of P. #1 - RWB

If you haven't been able to tell yet, we love Porsche. In this series we'll do our best to put something dope involving Porsche(s) once a week. First up, a car from Rauh-Welt. They're a tuner out of Japan obsessed with nutty, distinctly 'GT2 RSR' styled, highly tuned 911s. Enjoy.

Pic courtesy of / Video courtesy of 0-60 Magazine

The sickness.

Anyone who is a true carnut has had something similar to the following chain of events happen: "I need a car just to run around in as a daily, so I can stop driving my project car around." "I'll just get some coils for it." "Coils and wheels, breh. That's all I'm doing." "I'm just gonna respray the front bumper, it's got some road-rash on it from the previous owner." Next thing you know, a car you thought you like has been sold, proceeds are quickly dumped into parts, swag and bodywork for the new car. And you know what the problem now is? The new car is way too nice to drive everywhere, so you need another gd daily.

Back in 98' I had no car to call my own. My car was always the car I borrowed from my parents to run around in. Then that June I had an opportunity to buy something with my parents assistance (read "credit & down payment"). It had to be cheap so I could handle monthly payments as I was a semi-jobless college student. I got that car, was quite enamored with it. I got a little more into show going, bought a couple more enthusiast magazines than before and next thing you know I had a grandiose plan of how I was going to blow the rest of my money until I built my perfect version of that car. Time slowly grinds by as I had little money to modify it. As broke-ness kept me from major purchases over the years, my tastes adjusted themselves; I wanted my car fast at first, then I realized my limitations on funding and focused on looks. Fast forward to 06', I'm now gainfully employed, and I found a place that could take care of the bodywork my beloved aging car needed as well as make my vision come to fruition. There was one problem that I didn't think of before I was a month away from dropping it off, "what the hell am I going to drive around in while the bodywork takes place?"

This was the beginning of the a way. I bought a second car, for the "interim"; it was an even older car, albeit nicely restored. I learned something very important about myself when I bought this second car; I can't have things that were beat to sht before I got them and if I could, I'd buy everything new. If I had a more agreeable disposition I could just buy a cheap import hatch with good mileage and just get through life with a mp3 stereo for the road trips and regular maintenance; but I'm not built that way. Everything I have must be at a certain level of niceness and I'll do whatever it takes to keep that up.

As I've gotten older, playing the game with stuff I've put together, buying assorted jewelry for my cars over the years, selling my last project (the second car) and replacing it with a new one this past winter (the third car), I've matured slightly. I've gotten a bit more realistic with my goals, I've lost a bit of the steam on my relentless pursuit of finishing things right now, and am doing a better job of not blindly spending on cool parts n' sht. Of course there are things that make my slight maturation a necessity now; I'm married and own a home (I miss not owning a mortgage) with a lovely but small garage for my first car; I also have a gang of joint bills to pay every month and there are bigger and better investments to throw money at. But when I think about it...if I didn't own a house right now and slept in the ol' twin mattress at my parents house and still had my current job, I would be on the same high-speed pace as before. I would be made fun of by my coworkers, but I would have dopeness as far as the eye could see...all on my parents (and gf's uncles) driveway. My parents would be periodically (read bi-weekly) harassing me to grow up and get out of the house. I'd probably still be married, but under constant verbal assault from Beth on when we're going to buy a house; I'd use the "this market is terrible, we need to wait" defense for a year or two, then it'd be right now as I type.

I guess what I'm getting at, for all of you out there with this sickness, is to keep things reasonable and think long term. It's just a car. If you don't own a home how can you have a dope garage with all your dope sht in it? Mid-life crisis purchases make up for this time of light cash flow. You will buy something better than your current car 3-5 years from now. And you may ask yourself, "Is spending ten grand on upgrade parts, bodywork and a respray a good idea?" Well, I can't answer that question for you, but if you live with these questions, you've come to the right place.

Here's an e-beer to everyone who has a car or three that won't stop yelling at them for money, and are happy to provide it. I'm gonna go blow a couple grips on another set of wheels and write a post about it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Upcoming Show: VAG Fair 2010

It's about that time again for one of the best and most laid back East Coast shows you'll find, conveniently (to those in Maryland like myself) at the York Fairgrounds in York, PA. This show I speak of is called VAG Fair and it's put on by one of the more well known veteran VW guys in the Tri-State Area, Cory Sterling. VAG Fair started off a ambitious plan for a chill local show (with dope cars) in Cory's head over three years ago, but with solid capital raised and the help of good friends, came to fruition with the First Annual VAG Fair event in 2007. As each year has passed, this show has gotten bigger and better, all while maintaining the same atmosphere; which is a very hard thing to do. I've had the pleasure of attending (and showing) in all of the previous years shows and look forward to doin' the damn thang again Saturday August 14th, 2010 @ 11:00am. Please see visit the VAG Fair website for more information including instructions for registration.

Some of past years' favorites:

All of my shots from the past three VAG Fair shows can be see in the AP Car Show Archive. See yall mofos there!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Car Pron - 911 GT3 Cup @ Pikes Peak 2010

911 GT3 cup + race spec rain tires = pikes peak hill climb record.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A picture is worth 1000 words.

It's taken a couple days, but I've got just about every Euro-themed car show I've ever shot uploaded to the new 'Show Coverage Archive' in the Automotive section of the AP Photobucket. This newly uploaded crop of shots is broke into different sections; there's current shows (2008 to present) which are visible immediately and 'Classic' shows from 2007 and back. To make things nice and easy to checkout going forward, I've created a Media section with a direct link to the top right. There's so much history in there I even surprised myself. I'll be trimming the fat off these uploads over the next few days; in order to save time I just uploaded everything under a particular folder (from my HD's of doom); repeats of shots (shooting all jpeg back then so what you see is what ya get) and throw aways.

If attention is paid, you'll see how my style developed, when ambition exceeded the limits of my old cameras (see below), when previous camera's took craps on me (H2oI 2003 *ahem*) and I upgraded, when I stopped caring about all the cars and just shot what was interesting, and lastly all the material posted (passed around as well as imitated - very flattering) on various international forums, for the past several years, including that which was kept private until now. Most importantly you'll see how the scene has changed over the years.

I still have plenty of HD of doom archived shots from old Import shows, but I doubt they'd be wildly popular; I was mainly shooting aspiring local models in front of crap cars, so not much to see. There are a couple non-euro but cool events though, so I'll add them to bucket when I get to it. The best thing about looking back at this old material is seeing when I got consistent with vision, but just didn't have the tools to produce the quality of picture I was capable of. That chase has brought me where I am now. Enjoy mofos.

H2oI 04'

Deutsche Werks 05'
H2oI 03'