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WTF Friday: Soot-10


As people get more, and more, creative with their motor swaps any sort of unwritten rules about brand biases start to fade.

This is of course how it was in the “golden era” of hot rodding. Any motor, could end up anywhere, as long as the builder had the skill and desire to make it work.

When it comes to the s10 I’ve seen number of motors make their way under behind the Chevy badge, but up until yesterday a Volkswagen diesel motor wasn’t one of them.

The 1.9L turbo diesel engine can be found in several different model of Volkswagen which means there are plenty of them in junkyards to be had for a reasonable price, ripe for the picking.

After being pulled the motor in this truck was worked over a slightly before the swap (forged internals, ARP head studs etc) but I feel like fuel mileage was a priority here over lower 1/4 mile times or just plain outright speed.

Exterior wise, the truck looks to be heavily inspired by Jeff’s old S10 below.

Unlike Jeff’s truck, this one didn’t meet its demise parted out and is .

Starting this post I thought the truck was one of a kind, reveals that there are potentially two others out in the wild.

Are we on the cusp of a new generation of s10s powered by Volkswagen hearts? Maybe not yet… but perhaps soon.

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – September 2017


I know, I just recently did a video based Theme Tuesday (featuring Speed Academy and Vibrant Performance Retro Header Build-Off), but the end of September signifies time for another.

As usual this month runs the gamut of my automotive tastes stopping on a few videos you’ve probably seen then, traversing to some videos you may not have.

I’m writing an editorial on YouTube channels and I could use a few more to round it out so if any of you have recommendations let me know!

Mighty Mopar Monday


As things settle down around here after a fairly busy event filled summer, I can take the opportunity to read up on s sent in featuring awesome cars that you guys know I’d love.

First up this unique pro touring project sent in by automotive artist and all around good guy Chris Piscitelli of .

Chris sent along the for sale post for this car where it was listed for a steal of a deal at 13k. Why do I say a steal? Well considering the parts, and man hours already into this car, 13k is a more than fair price.

Under the hood of this A body is an SRT4, motor. Not everyone’s choice for a classic Dart but SRT motors are known to make good power when treated right and this one has been given some pampering.

Internally it has been fortified with DCR racing internals, crane cams, and a DCR head.

Hanging off a twin scroll turbo manifold is a AGO S256RS turbo, and on the opposite side is a custom intake manifold. The inter-cooler has also been plumbed up and sits nicely behind a vented factory bumper.

The body of the car has been blasted and coated in epoxy primer with 90% of the body work said to be complete. QA1 coils make up the suspension and mock up has been started for the 18×8 front 18×9.5 wheels.

A rendering of the original builders final vision is below.

The car was put up for sale in May, and according to the most recent update in the build thread, it was picked up in July for an undisclosed price.

There’s a lot to do for sure, but if the person who bought it is up to the task this could be one neat dart when the tools are put back in the box.

I feel a full Pro Touring relapse coming on after .

Good Style: D1SP Round III


I don’t know a lot about drifting. I could try to sound deeply connected to the scene by claiming I spent my nights as a youth watching Initial D and worshiping Keiichi Tsuchiya but that would be lie.

However I’d like to think that I know cool, and there’s few things cooler than a clean car banging limiter while travelling sideways through a corner at full lock.

That’s what first turned my eye towards drifting and what has kept me interested today.

As drifting became more mainstream its representation changed so noticeably that even as a casual observer I was able to pick up on it.

The demands of creating a seat filling spectator sport meant more angle, and more smoke became mandatory. Corporate sponsors got involved and heavily influenced livery, horsepower numbers increased drastically and angle kits dictated near 4×4 level ride heights.

Pro cars started to visually (pardon the pun) drift further away from street cars.

On the opposite end of the spectrum many new comers started gravitating towards a contorted vision of the missile car. Rear wheel drive heaps were pulled from their graves, spray painted with a few catchy slogans, and slung around tracks with drivers hoping for the best.

Again, the classic street car style that drifting originated from became somewhat harder to find.

D1SP’s mandate is to fix all that, at least here in Ontario. To quote the they are ‘a group of individuals out to change the hole Ontario drifting has dug itself into’.

They’ve stripped back their events to focus on the most important parts of drifting; good cars, good times, good friends, and good style.

D1SP events are not open invite, you must apply to drive and the selection process has three main considerations; a driver’s skill, a driver’s car, and a driver’s personality.

If you have a great personality but your car is wearing the battle scars of a few too many events you’re asked to ‘style up’ for the next round, if you need more seat time other events are suggested to practice at and you’re encouraged to apply again at a later date, if your personality is off-putting well…

A selection process such as this might seem pretentious, or even arrogant, but it’s not. It’s just a way to ensure that the event stays controlled and that the “vibe” stays consistent.

Vibe is an intangible thing, that is hard to explain, but it can make or break an event. When a vibe changes from good to bad it’s extremely hard to course correct.

The vibe at D1SP is just right and worth fiercely protecting.

The best way for me to describe it is, for those of you that currently participate, or did partake in action sports, is like a private trails jam or backyard ramp session with your close friends.

Complete with good music, a BBQ, and even a doggo.

Everyone pushes each other to drive their best, but besides trying to lay down a line similar to that of your friend there’s no formal competition or pressure.

Participants are free to drive as much or as little as they want, and as hard or conservative as they want.

The event takes place at the skid pad because with a few cones the course can be configured any number of ways, and utilized forwards, backwards, with all the clipping zones or without depending on the driver.

Furthermore there’s no worry about unpredictable drivers on the course in front or behind, no delays to pull a car out of the grass, and no fear of track walls.

It also means that spectators are never too far away from the action.

Which is great if you bring a little enthusiast along (Note: this is why most of the photos are shot from a similar angle).

Having only covered competition events the past few years, seeing the cars at D1SP was pretty refreshing.

These were, without a doubt, some of the best looking drift cars in Ontario and they were joined by some darn good looking cars from the US as well.

I know, I know, it seems a bit redundant to drill down on the style factor of this event but what can I say, I’m an aesthetics guy at heart.

Wheel tuck, dish, big kits, some stickers, you know I’m all about that.

Given that a properly wheeled car can be hard to keep presentable I respect the fact that all of these drivers take the time and care to keep their cars as such.

It makes the cars a treat to look at sitting still or going fast.

There isn’t really much more left to say about the event. It was a great time with good people and I’m glad I was able to make it out.

Shout out to all the drivers for making it an enjoyable event to watch, and not running over myself or Ash, and the organizers for extending an open invite.

If looks like your idea of a good time be sure to keep up to date on their 2018 events via their . I plan to make it to at least one again in 2018 so hopefully see you there.

You bring the style, I’ll bring the camera.

Theme Tuesdays: VR6 In Everything


The Volkswagen VR6 is considered by many to be one of the best sounding six cylinder motors ever built. In addition to having distinctive bark the VR6 also has an impressive bite, especially when you throw some boost into the mix.

The only ‘downside’ to the VR6 is its packaging, not everyone who acknowledges the VR6 prowess wants it in a Golf, Beetle, A3 or TT. Of course that can be ‘easily’ solved by yanking the motor from its moorings and dropping it somewhere else.

Much like the Honda K20 and Nissan SR20, the VR6 has started to appear in damn near everything, don’t believe me? Take a look at the examples below.

This is perhaps the oldest swap in this post, and I imagine when the car was first revealed quite a few people were upset
Curiously no further information exists about this car outside of
The VR6 Triumph TR6 is, or was, from here in Ontario
It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it so I am actually not sure if it is still around
The swap was quite well done either way
Remember the running “Fix it again Tony” gag for Fiats?
Well Tony did indeed fix it, with a R32 VR6 mounted inline versus transverse –

Because VR6 swaps are naturally quite popular among the Volkswagen community I tried to keep this post Volkswagen chassis free, with this and the Beetle following it noteworthy exceptions
Where you would traditional find a motor in this Caddy there’s a fuel tank….
…a VR6 now sits in the rear end – Photo:

A VR6 in an aircooled Beetle does not look like an easy feat to pull off – Photo:
It looks like its impossible to fit with a deck lid affixed, this makes the result look a little abrupt – Photo:
built this Opel Calibra with not one…
…but two vr6 motors, working together the car puts down 700 horse and runs the quarter-mile in under 9 seconds. –

I should probably do a Theme Tuesday on older Audis some day…
This particular Audi 80 has a R32 spec VR6 with a Holset HX35 hung off the side,

With a paint job like this, you know that this car 930 wasn’t built by a purist
A VR6 with a turbo sits where the original motor would have
If the camo look wasn’t your thing well, the car looks like this these days. Again purists are likely to stay mad but I think it looks incredible.

Trevor, with the VR6S14 is who first introduced me to the Ratchet RX-7, a VR6T powered RX-7

Speaking of Trevor, he’s been pretty busy of late…
Though it’s not looking prim and polished the car is back on the streets for the rest of the season after a long time off the road being rebuilt, looking forward to shooting again the next time its finished

WTF Friday: 1JZ Third Gen Camaro


In the heyday of message boards the thread on Volkswagen Vortex was the jam, and contributed to many WTF Friday posts.

It more or less fell off about three years ago, but occasionally I get an notification telling me that it was updated.

The most recent of those updates contained the engine bay of a fairly down on its luck looking third generation Camaro. That engine bay didn’t contain a 305 TPI or some such paperweight but rather a Toyota 1JZ.

The builder on vortex, offered little in the way of information about the swap, but, one of his previous threads about his Subaru builds suggests he knows his way around a wrench.

The photo of the car at a gas station also alludes to the fact that the car is indeed driveable. Hopefully he posts some more on this build soon, as I’m pretty sure at this point it is completely one of a kind.

Celebrating Fifteen Years: The 2017 CSCS Season Finale


As I rounded the final corner on Kohler Road towards Toronto Motorsports Park Cayuga, ‘It’s Been A Long Time’ cued up on my car stereo.

A classic DJ Premier produced track is always appropriate, but it was especially fitting this day because it had indeed been a long time since I’d personally attended a event. Been a long time also applies to how long CSCS has been in operation, fifteen years as of 2017.

Keeping a multi faceted event like this running for fifteen years is no small feat, and it is one that the organizers of CSCS are rightfully proud of.

The event staff, many of whom have been around since day one, remember the humble beginnings of the event and shared anecdotes of those early days on the mic throughout the day.

Starting with little more than a stop watch, a pop up tent and house speakers it’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication to grow the series into what it has become today.

Their dedication is extremely appreciated by the community. Evidence of this is in the attendance numbers of the final round.

The venue was absolutely packed full of enthusiasts. Admittedly I can’t speak for every round of 2017, but if the turnout has been like this all year, then CSCS has had a very successful fifteenth season.

For me CSCS was a bit of a reunion, catching up with several people I have not seen since my last round in 2014. It was great to see not only how much the event had changed, but how much many of the cars had as well.

Up above is Tim’s previously texture painted Subaru in its new wrapped guise.

Another welcomed familiar face was Emilio Ciccarelli of TWOLITREmedia, a fellow photographer and Honda enthusiast who I’ve not seen in a number of years.

Though I didn’t clue in right away, I honestly should have known the Civic above was his the second I saw it.

The exacting level of detail and tasteful modifications could only come from someone who’s as dedicated to the EK chassis as Emilio is.

Familiar faces, and familiar cars, didn’t just end in the show and shine. Some of my favorite local drivers, Mike Gardner, James Houghton, and Dov Arnoff were all at the finale round looking faster than ever in cars that looked better than ever.

Dov and James also managed to convince some friends from the United States to come out to the finale and try their hand at the challenging Cayuga race course.

One such friend piloted this monster of a Nissan 240 that I had to track down in the pits for a closer look.

Extreme is the only way to describe this car and watching it run around the track was quite exciting.

Despite being fit with functional aero — designed via 3D scanning and simulation– the car still looked to be a handful to drive, wanting to step out sideways every hard corner exit.

Blisteringly fast regardless, Bill Washburn () put down a time of 1.13.1 before being forced to retire due to unfortunate mechanical failure.

All was not for not however as that time was good enough for first place in the unlimited rear wheel drive class, and just 3/10ths of a second off the track record.

Being the last round drivers were chasing podium spots and track records quite aggressively. A new track record did get set shortly after at 1:08.335 by Richard Boake in his Subaru known as “Black Storm”.

On the drift side of things the level of driving at CSCS has certainly improved considerably.

Again, there were plenty of familiar faces in the field but also a few new comers from my perspective.

CSCS was the first drift event I had the pleasure of photographing, and remains one of my favorites to shoot. Though I’m not to proud to admit  it took me a few extra moments to remember exactly how to shoot drifting.

I’ll spare you guys the number of blurry photos I silently deleted from this post.

A real highlight of this round was the battle between local driver and friend Pat Cyr and Pennsylvanian Troy Manners, two drivers I am more accustom to seeing at Formula Drift Canada.

Both great drivers, their tandem battles were incredibly close. After a OMT Troy ended up the victor, and later the over all winner for the day.

A new addition to the CSCS daily schedule is the ever popular car limbo.

As is usually the case Miatas stole the show, but ‘s beautiful FC did a good job of holding things down for those of us who are not hair dressers.

I found myself going back to look at her car a couple of times throughout the day. I’ve always thought myself more of an FD fan, but now I am beginning to wonder…

As a whole the CSCS show and shine had a large showing of well put together cars and trucks.

Again, it’s great to see that the show and shine has grown in size and quality with the rest of the event.

My favorite entrant of the extensive field had to be the beetle that I started out this post with.

It’s a simple car at first glance, but the execution is what really puts it over the top.

Nothing was left un resorted and period correct additions were added throughout. Overall the car was also absolutely spotless.

If you have not been to CSCS event in few years like myself I encourage you yo make an effort to attend at least one next year, you won’t be disappointed.

Congrats to the entire CSCS staff for a surveillance fifteenth season and I’ll try not to be as much of a stranger in season sixteen.

Theme Tuesdays: Vibrant Performance/Speed Academy Retro Header Build Off


Usually I reserve video based Theme Tuesday posts for the end of month ‘Recently Viewed’ round up, but I am making an exception this week for what, in my opinion, is a stand out series of videos put together by And .

As you’re no doubt already well aware, I am a big fan of both of these local content outlets and an even larger fan of this series where they’ve faced off against each other to build custom headers for their classic cars.

In Vibrant’s corner Aaron Weir is building a header for Art’s BMW 2002, while in Speed Academy’s ‘California’ Jay is building a header for ‘Connie’, Dave’s 1977 Toyota Celica GT.

Both take a different approach to the project, Vibrant’s is a bit more of a one off creation and Speed Academy’s is set up to be a part that could be replicated, exactly, several times over.

As a basic fabricator I like the trial and error approach of Vibrant’s method, but as a bit of a tech geek I appreciate the technical approach behind Speed Academy’s approach.

The entire series isn’t quite done yet, so when it is I will update this post, but it is certainly worth catching up on if this is your first time hearing about it.

If you can recommend any further videos of the same vein I’d love to see them.

WTF Friday: If Four Doors Are Good, Are Six Better?


Four doors for more whores, one of the most commonly heard expressions whenever a cool four door appears.

Another commonly used phrase is everything is bigger in Texas. Combine the two and you end up with this.

“This”, in this case being a six door 1980 Chevy dually pick up. Finished in a reddish brown hue, and looking to be fairly straight and clean all things considered.

Seating consist of four custom upholstered bucket seats and a bench seat equating to essentially room for everyone in your immediate and extended family.

To make things better this truck is on Air Ride,  –it’s not body dropped, which would be the icing on the cake– but it is still pretty awesome.

There’s a few Cadillac bits strewn about, which is a love hate thing, but again its still pretty clean. Power for this truck comes from a 454 but given it’s size all out performance is likely not high up on this vehicles capabilities.

It is for $10,000 USD but the price is firm and negotiable all at the same time so who knows how much you could actually get it for. Maybe start donations for gas if you decided to get it though.

Theme Tuesdays: Diesel Motors In Everything


There was a time when the words ‘diesel’ and ‘performance’ were seemingly at odds with one another. Those days are quickly becoming a thing of the past as diesel tuning progresses at an alarming rate year after year.

As a result diesel motors are starting to appear as a performance alternative to gas motors in all sorts of different applications.

Depending on where you source the motors these swaps can range from straight forward and low/modest budget (Cummins 4bt) to expensive and complicated (common rail Cummins), but when you consider that at their core diesel motors are quite simple I imagine even more vehicles will be ‘rolling coal’ in the years to come.

Bob Ward found the 7.3 International diesel motor for his truck from a Ford E series van, he then strapped a large Holset to it for some more power
If you have not read the feature on this truck it’s up here
This truck has since undergone a bit of an overhaul since these photos, but the swap remains
It looks a little utilitarian here, but has since been cleaned up quite a bit as seen below

A post shared by (@saint_jeffrey) on

What in tarnation, Is that a Cummins in a Power Wagon?
Why yes, yes it is. This cool truck was spotted at Berlin Klassik in 2014, and if I recall correctly was built in Ottawa Ontario
made diesel swaps incredibly popular with this photo of their diesel rod
This ’28 Dodge has a 12V Cummins in it, the motors been worked over to put out 1270 ft.-lbs of torque and 693 rwhp
This Cummins powered C10 is known as the ‘Diezl Rat’

It’s a pretty gnarly looking truck, impossible to miss and I post it often
I don’t have a photo of the motor in this, unfortunately, but it’s actually a chassis swap

The underpinnings of the truck are Dodge, and the motor is a Cummins, obviously
Nearing the end of the local swaps with this 4bt swapped Miata – Photo:
Packaging is one of the hardest parts of diesel swaps, as you can tell with how well this motor ‘fits’ – Photo:

Not to be outdone by the Miata, put 6.0L Power Stroke Diesel V8 into a skyline with two BorgWarner turbos hanging off it. Argus is hoping the car will eventually put down 650 hp to the wheels and 1200 foot pounds of torque – Photo:

The 240 below is one of the first 4bt imports I came across. It might be the first, but I don’t have records to prove or disprove that

Switch things up and keep it classy with a Cummins powered Bentley
No engine bay shots of this one sadly

Here’s another diesel swapped B machine, this one with a motor 3.0 VW TDI motor

This semi truck themed Nova is from a previous WTF Friday post

For those who might like their Diesel (Durmax in this case) cars to be a little bit more traditional looking, Mike Racke built this back in 2009 – Photo:
Pacific Performance Engineering is a big name in diesel performance and they had a hand in this gorgeous twin turbo engine bay
SEMA is just around the corner, and this 1950 Cadillac was the topic of – Photo:
That’s a 5.9L cummins under the hood. – Photo:

Got a favorite diesel swap of your own that I missed? Let me know so I can pull together a part II of this post!