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The Appeal Of A Fairlady: Tim’s ’72 G Nose Datsun 240


Sitting in the deep bucket Bride seat as we moved from the first shoot location to the next, it became immediately apparent to me that the 240 featured today is a driver’s car.

The ride is firm, there’s a satisfying clunk when put into gear and the sound of the L28 motor tempts you to bring it up to redline at any excuse.

Inside, the interior is fully trimmed, yet quite spartan. There’s everything you need to enjoy your spirited drive and nothing you don’t. A trio of gauges sit above the HVAC controls to monitor the vehicles vitals and a Nardi wheel keeps things headed down the road.

A wood grain knob topped gear stick protrudes from a custom shift boot (care of the previous owner) and that pretty well wraps up the interior modifications.

I don’t even recall seeing a radio.

Like the inside, the outside of the car is a mix of modifications aimed at making the driving experience better from both a visual and performance stand point.

Make no mistake that while this car does look absolutely phenomenal, it’s no show pony and can be easier found on the track than in a parking lot.

Still, it’s hard to deny its visual appeal.

The Marugen Shoukai Works body kit couldn’t better suit the car, and paired with the authentic G nose front end the car has a timeless look about it.

Ten days, ten months, ten years from now it will always be a head turner.

Under the flares are 15×11 sized RS Watanabe wheels with 235/50/15 Toyo R88 rubber. Behind the front wheels are Wildwood four piston brakes.

Out back the factory drums remain, owner Tim saw no need to swap to discs. As it’s set up he has no problem reining the car in before corners on the track days he frequents.

Under the hood, as mentioned is an L28 motor. It’s not stock however as Tim stroked it out to 3.0L and brought the compression to an 11:1 ration in the process.

Atop the motor are three Mikuni carbs fit to a Mikuni runner.

Since blow by is what necessitated the original engine rebuild, Tim keeps the under hood of the car remarkably clean at all times.

It makes it easier to see visually if he’s got an oil leak problem he should be concerned about.

Again, with function being the focus, bracing has been applied to the chassis in various areas. A T3 triangular strut tower brace stiffens up the front end with the help of a matching T3 unit in the rear.

Inside an Auto power rollbar adds further stiffening and added protection should the car end up shiny side down.

Ground control coil overs and Tockico illumina shocks are found at each corner. Additionally all of the control arms have been replacedl Futofab billet control arms are fit up front with matching tension rods. In the rear more T3 parts come into play in place of the factory arms.

Tim seemed a bit shocked when I complimented the ride of the car, but all things considered it was quite enjoyable.

Responsive and firm, but not bone jarring in the least.

As the sun set on the shoot, and the light danced off the fresh paint, I took a few extra moments to study the details that make this car a true Japanese classic.

The first time I saw Tim’s car was at Fitted in 2015 and while it wasn’t part of the show, it certainly stole some of it.

Being able to catch up with it two years larer for some photos was a treat and I thank Tim for taking the time out of his schedule to indulge me.

Next time of course, I’ll have to catch it on the track.

Guest Blog: What I Am Teaching My Child About Cars, So They Won’t Be Just Another Statistic


I get a lot of contributed post inquiries for this site, so when Patty from dropped a line I was intrigued. The connection between a single mom blogger and wasn’t immediately apparent so I asked Patty what she had in mind.

Unlike a lot of people who submit Patty came prepared with an idea that resonated with me. She reminded me that most ‘millennials’ have no idea how to change their own oil or tires. Worse still they don’t even know how to get their car repaired without getting ripped off.

Since high school (many moons ago) I’ve always felt that auto shop should have been a mandatory course, considering how many people depend on cars day in and day out.

That ideal is, I’m told, unrealistic so maybe parents like Patty are what we should hope for. Take it away Patty…

For teens, getting their driver’s license is a rite of passage, a giant step towards the independence they so covet. For parents, it’s the beginning of a bad dream – , late-night worrying, the inevitable dings or worse. It does get easier – teens learn by experience everyday and parents become more comfortable handing over the keys. For many parents it’s enough that their kids know how to get themselves home safely. However, that’s just the beginning. What your kids don’t know about driving cars could wind up costing you and them more money and trouble than you bargained for.

With my 20/20 hindsight glasses on I can see a number ways that, if I had only known better, I could have saved myself a lot of frustration, heartache and money. I was an only child and my dad died a year before I got my license, so I had no one around to teach me what I needed to know about cars. I in high school when I opted for wood shop instead of auto shop. Oh sure, I could drive. I was a great driver. But, as the years went by, it became clear that I really knew nothing about cars and I paid a big price. Intent on not letting that happen to my child, here is what I believe all parents should teach their children.

Car Maintenance for Kids

I find it interesting that of young adults would give up manually driving a car for a self-driving car. Maybe it’s because it will be one less thing they have to do – drive. Regardless of who is driving the car, it still requires maintenance. Car maintenance can be very expensive, especially if you don’t keep up with it. Forty percent of those same young adults said they were surprised by the high cost of maintenance. I don’t want me child to be surprised by anything, so I taught them some basic maintenance tips.

Tour under the hood. Give them a tour under the hood, pointing out the key parts that make the car run and what happens when they aren’t working properly–spark plugs, battery, air filter, etc. Don’t go too far into the weeds because you will want to quiz them by asking them to identify the parts.

Check fluids and tire pressure. Point out the various fluid sticks and explain why it’s important to check all of the fluids, including the oil, transmission, coolant and window wiper fluid. Make sure there is a tire pressure gauge in the car and teach them the importance of maintaining the proper tire pressure. This should be done on a monthly basis. If any of the fluids need filling or replacing, walk your teens through the steps.

Change the oil. When done on schedule, using the right grade of oil, changing the oil can extend the life of the car. Nearly one-third of young adults don’t know how to change the oil in their car. With all of the drive-through oil change shops, that may not be a big deal, but it is important that your teen drivers know how it’s done because it’s one more way to save money.

Change a tire. There is some comfort in knowing that 80 percent of young adults do know how to change a tire. Don’t let your kids be part of the 20 percent who don’t. With cell phones and roadside assistance you may not think there is a need, but flat tires don’t always occur within range of cell phone service.

Get a repair quote. When you need to take your car in for repairs, teach your kids how to get an honest quote. The Internet is their friend and they can use it to get online estimates from sites like RepairPal.com. They can also search Edmunds.com’s Car Maintenance Guide for an estimate. In searching for a garage, they can use Yelp.com to find the ones with the best ratings and reviews. Finally, teach them how to call a garage to get an estimate and let them know you are shopping around.

The best time to start teaching your kids about cars is when they first show an interest in them. I sleep a little better at night knowing my kid knows their way around cars.

Theme Tuesdays: Door Art


I am going to admit that this week’s Theme Tuesday is largely self-serving because door art is something Project Why Wait is most certainly going to have when it’s complete.

Thinking about it now is a few steps ahead, but a little inspiration and forethought never hurt anyone.

You are all of course welcome to pull some inspiration from this post as well for your own project.

Sharing is caring right?

This is hands down one of my favorite examples of door art
If I recall correctly this art is a tribute to the builder’s late mother as well which only makes it more respectable
I’m taking a lot of styling cues from this truck, so it only makes sense to include it
I apologize for not having a closer shot of this art, but I included it because of the unique off-color door that just seems to work
Love the detail work on this piece, if anyone knows the artist do let me know
The entire war plane influence is so well done on TJ Lavin’s shoebox
Sic Ryde does his door art a little differently. The giant doors of dually help, and it works as great brand advertisement
The Instigator comes up in every paint related post I do and how could it not?
The ELTA summer Bash and Big Go drags had lots of door art to consider
In today’s over sensative world having this on your door is a bold move,  looks killer though
I loved the extra depth in the lettering on this car. Something to consider…
I spotted this car at a local cruise night, this could fall under door numbering, but I think the Born To Run text and the illusion of ellipses makes it a good candidate for this post
A bit of humor in door art never hurt anyone then eh? –
I like colors in this one. I could see various blues and white working on my truck quite well –

This is a quick list of course so you can expect subsequent posts to come down the road.

If you’ve got some awesome door art feel free to share!

Talented Dipshits: Why Don’t Minitruckers Get The Respect They Deserve?


If you’re anywhere within earshot of the minitruck community then you are likely already well aware that fabricator/celebrity Jesse James gave mini-truckers the label of ‘dipshits’ in a recent Instagram post.

Whether or not he meant the entire community, or specific individuals, doesn’t matter at this point because he’s achieved his goal of gaining publicity for his built SEMA project.

A post shared by (@popeofwelding) on

Jesse has never been the type to make friends with his words, but in this case he’s just the most famous in a long line of people to throw undue shade at a community that really doesn’t deserve it.

Minitrucking has been around for at least thirty years and innovation and creativity have been a part of the community since day one. Putting a truck on the ground is much more complicated than replacing springs, dialing in some camber and rolling fenders.

To get things sitting properly minitruckers borrowed attributes from other scenes and meshed them together in their own unique way.

A truly well-rounded minitruck build fires on all cylinders. Body drops,  panel shaving, suicide doors, rag tops, widened wheels, wire tucks, are all incredibly common place among the truck community.

As are completely custom chassis, oddball platforms and off the wall motor swaps of all kinds.

Simply put the minitruck community is not a bolt on one and the resourceful, creative nature of minitruckers has led to technological breakthroughs that extend far beyond the confines of a truck bed.

While many won’t admit it, or just plain don’t know, the modern air suspension community owes a lot of its advancement to ‘idiots that just want to drag bumper’.

Had minitruckers not been early adopters, and work out the kinks, the air suspension industry likely wouldn’t be where it is today.

It’s through their experiments with chains of valves that compact valve manifolds were born. Similarly the need for something more than a switch box lead to advanced digital management systems.

and each have minitruckers embedded in their operational and development staff.

Companies like and who are on the bleeding edge with modular tanks and heated valve blocks, were built on the backs of hard-working individuals with roots in minitrucking.

From a fabrication stand point the minitruck community has always had shining  stars. Sure in the early days crude mono leaf set ups may have been prevalent, but today well-engineered and thought out multi link suspension kits, or complete custom chassis are the norm.

Many of the best fabricators I know, and several I don’t, have backgrounds in the minitruckin industry. In fact there’s so much useful knowledge tucked away in the minitruck community that there’s even a book coming out focused on properly engineering suspension systems to go as low as possible but still be safe and reliable.

In the right hands this book will lead to better built trucks overall. Combating the stereotypes that minitruckers are hacks.

 It’s easy to criticize minitrucks as an outsider but let’s be real, overly ambitions back yard builders keen to ‘waste metal’ and armed with a 110 amp stick welder and a six-pack of beer exist in every subset of car culture.

For every dodgy s10 back half in the minitruck community, there’s a botched flare install in the import scene, or terrible ‘rat rod’ atrocity in the hot rod world.

Aesthetically Minitrucks are typically known for skulls, scallops, wild paint and all sorts of over the top airbrushed magic but there’s been a shift in recent years towards building trucks of classic ‘resto-mod’ quality.

The most prominent example of this is the ‘Stranger’ built by  a truck highly regarded as one of the best minis ever built. This truck proved that it was possible to build a minitruck at the same level of quality (and maybe even higher) of any other genre.

The Stranger, and trucks like it, catapulted the quality of minitrucks tenfold. Attention to detail returned to the forefront and since then highly detailed truck projects have continued to emerge across the globe.

Sure you can argue that minitruckers might have their socks too high, hat brims too straight, and get a little too wild at shows. But all that aside they really are not any worse off than other genres.

I challenge any of you reading this who are skeptical of the minitruckin community to go to one of their events and take a hard look. Chances are you’ll see something you like.

Call them dipshits if you want, but they’re some talented dipshits for damn certain.

Theme Tuesdays: First Generation Lexus IS300s – Pt 3


Am I alone in thinking that the first generation IS300 is the best IS300? Probably not. It was a great looking rear wheel drive sedan when it was released and it has gracefully transitioned into a modern classic today.

Reasonably sized in comparison to today ‘IS’ models, aggressive yet refined, and with an available wagon option its hard to argue that the IS300 didn’t start of on the right foot.

Sure the five speed auto trans in most of them tempers the cars awesomeness to some degree, but the fact that the came with 2JZ in Japan means that swapping the motor and transmission isn’t an unreasonable lift.

Like so many luxury cars, as they’ve aged, they’ve fallen into the price range of those who want to modify them quite heavily. The result of the IS300 becoming more attainable is a healthy community of modified models.

With that in mind it’s time to follow-up 2012s IS300 Theme Tuesday.

Start things off with a bug turbocharged bang, I’ve posted this car before, and never seen it again, but there’s no denying it makes a visual impression
It’s a build, and though I can’t find video of it running there is a picture
If you read the D1SP coverage then you already know that this car has no issues running
owns and slides this car on the regular
This wrapped brown beauty was subject of a feature shot by
I think the car was parted out shortly after this shoot
Sadly this car was rear ended and is no longer with us
The owner has moved on to another Lexus, but still, this one was sweet
This car has gone through af ew different makeovers over the years
It currently looks like this, with  Rocket bunny kit fitted, and as of recently air suspension

No local IS300 tribute is complete without photos of Aidan’s car
It’s great to see ‘The Unicorn’ out this year
Big side skirts work so damn well on IS300s, as do deep dish three spokes – Photo:
Nine times out of 10 Bazreia are a great choice. – Source:
This car was a for Rev’d mag, but I don’t think it every got off the ground. Maybe it was the spoilers fault (sorry dad joke)
sportcross is outstanding. Photo:
I can’t deny that I’m intrigued by s car, he has certainly taken a unique path with it
I’m listening to west coast rap mix as I type this so s car only seems fitting
The same car at earlier stage in its life
AJ Gillet () is pretty good at doubling down
Neither car is exempt from track duty either. – Photo:
Since most of the cars in this post have been drift/style oriented how about a street/track build? – Source:
has the details on this – Source:

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