Home Blog Page 18

WTF Friday: Medieval Times


I’ve often posted about show rods and how I wish they were still around. Sure they were often impractical, and completely un-drivable but they were neat and really pushed creative borders. “Medieval One” just might be the closest thing to a modern show rod I have ever seen.

It’s over the top, completely ridiculous, and yet totally driveable and pretty damn impressive.

The car… helmet… hot rod, is build around a laser cut chassis made of 2x4x3/16 wall tubing. Static up front, with a drop axle and leaf springs it uses air ride out back.

Power comes from a Supercharged 355 small block with a custom accessory drive and one of a kind snake headers. There are 1,800 scales on said headers all tig welded together.

The knights helmet is actually a modified industrial propane tank, and the face shield is made with 1/16-inch steel. Doubling as a windshield and door the entire thing actuates to let the driver in and out.

The wheels are also one offs, styled to match the theme of the build. Bohata Designs is through if nothing else with the knightly theme being executed in every inch of the car.

It is most certainly an over the top creation but it is exactly what the owner wanted and it is perfectly capable of doing a burn out which really is the litmus test for any hot rod.

There’s a short video about the car below and a full feature on .

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed April 2017


Well, April has come and gone. Plus side we are a month closer to Summer temperatures here in Ontario. Awesome. However it has been raining a LOT. Not so Awesome. Especially when said rain has slowly started entered your garage.

But, garage issues aside (I have still been spending a lot of time out there) here is what I have been watching when I do sit down in front of the computer for a few moments.

Before we get started with my picks here’s two contributions from March via Dorian Brooks, thanks Dorian!

Am I the only one who really wants to see this car do more than just sort of drive around parking lots?

The Curious Case Of Rauh Welt Begriff


The rise in popularity of , and its creator Nakai-san, has been interesting to watch. Introduced broadly to North America in late 2008, the RWB aesthetic instantly had people talking.

Some were, and still are, hopping mad about the cars. Others like myself enjoyed what we saw and a third group of skeptics observed with quiet curiosity.

Rough World – Dino Dalle Carbonare –

Like many my first introduction to the ‘Rough World’ ethos came via the un-apologetically raw Stella Artios. The literal street sweeping stance, combined with matte black paint and gold brake dust caked Work wheels remains, in this author’s eyes, the best embodiment of RWB ever.

It wasn’t prim, it wasn’t proper, and it damn sure wasn’t polished. It was a street car that had the attitude of a track car.

The cars that followed through to about 2010 were more of the same. The ‘golden era’ RWB cars perfectly represented what early articles about RWB conveyed. Individuality sprinkled with an unwavering sense of defiance and a desire to be driven.

By 2011 I still hadn’t seen one in person, but every time I saw one online I could smell raw fuel and hear the sounds of stones hitting the under carriage while carving through a back road.

Sure the motors in nearly all of them are stock (Note:  has six none of which are mechanically stock) but their image, combined with brief glimpses of the Idlers endurance race, suggested that these cars were driven to, and often passed, their limit with some regularity.

Since at this time the cars were quite a distance away, they were shrouded in secrecy by location that helped with their fame and image. The fact they couldn’t easily be accessed gave them an intangible presence through media.

I have no shame in admitting that I fan boyed a little when I saw Unfuckwithable in person at SEMA in 2012. After all this time building these cars up in my head I was thrilled the car delivered in person on all fronts. After the show I honestly wondered if I’d ever get the chance again.

Little did I know that shortly after that everything would change. Nakai-san started building more of the cars in North America. He refined his process to keep up with the demand, and the cars became more refined to suit.

In the process they lost their edge.

The first RWB I saw and didn’t like was in 2014. It was too high, too clean, and for an RWB build it lacked the in your face attitude that was consistent in all the others.

It was around this time that the cars had become not only a fashion statement but fairly common place. Not common place for everyone globally but at least online.

There’s nothing wrong with cars that are fashion statements, plenty are, but few have transitioned from unattainable and mysterious, to tangible and revealed so quickly. Nakai-san is now essentially on call year round to build the cars for whoever is willing to foot the bill.

In 2016 Nakai-san seemed to be in a constant state of travel. He stopped in Canada several times, both in Toronto and Vancouver, the United States and Thailand.

According to SpeedHunters in total for 2016, more than one a week. That’s an impressive, nay, damn near ridiculous number.

Meet The Australasian RWB Family – Matthew Everingham –

So far in 2017 he finished three in Dubai, and another six in Australia. With at least one new car rolling out every month the peanut gallery has had their bag of peanuts topped up and is throwing them relentlessly. Further still they’ve had former members of the opposition join their ranks.

There were always criticisms that Nakai was doing nothing original, but the more that his process is revealed the more people start to question the merit of his work.

Will he ever change his designs drastically? Why does he free hand everything? Does he treat the metal after the cuts? Why does he act like hardware store silicone is some secret sauce? Does he realize the effect he is single handily having on the Porsche market?

All questions I’ve seen recently. But despite these questions, and a growing number of people asking them, the demand for Nakai-san’s work has not faltered.

The adage what goes up must come down seems not to apply here. People call it a fad, but how many years in does it take for something to not be acknowledged as a fad? How many cars need to be built for a style to be considered timeless?

I recently read that Nakai himself doesn’t actually read, or care for, the internet. This means that there is still some purity in what he does. He modifies these cars because he genuinely wants to do it. Hopefully the critics can take some solace in the fact that underneath it all this is a man simply doing what he loves.

Without getting to philosophical finding ones calling in life is difficult. Nakai-san is in the privileged position that not only has he found his, but he’s found a way to market it.

The allure and mystery around RWB may have faded, but if the past seven years are any indication, Rough World is here to stay.

Theme Tuesdays: SSR Longchamps


It’s time for another wheel appreciation Theme Tuesday. This time I’ve thumbed through the classic Japanese wheel catalog and landed on the timeless SSR Longchamp wheel. The Long champ came in a few different variations but each has proven to be equally versatile.

Long (pun intended) out of production if you want a Longchamp wheel you are going to have to do some searching. They are not the rarest of the rare (like say Defin fins), but if you like a good deal perhaps look for something else. Also I think they topped out at 17 inches so if you’re looking for something bigger you might be out of luck.


Longchamps are a great wheel for basically any classic Japanese vehicle
It took me awhile to find a truck sitting on Longchamps but this will do, oh yes this will do
A ’69 Datsun on Longchamps via  photography by
Datsuns do take particularly well to Longchamps
Or is it that Longchamps take well to Datsuns? Via
How about a 510 to round things out. via
This CRX is one one of the subtle Longchamp variations I menitoned in the intro, I believe refinished this set
This is one of the best Longchamp applications I have seen locally
The Holset turbo suits this car pretty well too… and posting the car without the engine bay is sacrilege
has a really awesome looking 240 I somehow just
How about a Lada Samara hammered on Longchamps? 
To close things out here’s an Impala on what look like they might just be SSR Longchamps. It is pretty fan boy to say but I really love how Japan does American Metal! – via

Project Why Wait: Are We On The Air(Lift)?


The fact that I am going to be running components on shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The large banner behind my work bench was a bit of foreshadowing, and an easy indication of where my air ride loyalty lies.

I’ve had  struts, and Autopilot v2 management supporting my car since 2013 and the system has performed admirably all year round in that time.

When Air Lift Performance released their new management system it was quite literally the only digital option I considered.

ALP doesn’t release a product just to release a product, nor do they do they rush anything to the market. Their entire line up is calculated and developed to better perform than their previous iterations and market alternatives. The products are only released after rigorous testing. This testing happens both in the lab of their Michigan based facility and on the roads.

Everything you see above actually arrived almost a year ago but I managed to resist the urge to completely un-box the delivery until a few weeks ago.

Since receiving my shipment the 3P/H management has become pretty common place which means I had seen it before.

However one part of the equation I had never seen was the physical packaging.

It might seem silly to talk about the packaging of a product, but when you’re dealing with a wide variety of manufacturers the ones that take time to work on presentation stand out.

Parts such as this cost a significant chunk of change, so it is nice when a company values your purchase by not only standing behind their product, but putting it in a nice package to boot.

Before I got to opening the management however I unwrapped the brawn that goes with the brains.

For the truck I’ve gone with , literally twice what is in my Mazda. My reasoning for going with more air is pretty simple, not only is the truck heavier, but the truck also affords more physical space to mount the components than my speed3 does.

More air equals more play time and less compressor noise.

I chose the brushed option,  over the polished alternative, because I knew I’d be painting the tank. Poof can, powder, or spray gun it is easier to prep and paint a brushed surface than it is a polished one.

I also know these tanks are pretty stout after the one in my car endured a fairly significant accident without failing.

For compressors I chose a dual pack of . This is again double what is in my car. I’ve never had any significant issue with my Viair units, and I have not found them overly loud so I saw no reason to choose something else.

One downside to Viair compressors was that previously they only came in chrome. That has been rectified with their black line, and the black line looks damn good.

The leader hose and check valve are also black which is a nice touch. However if there is a Viair weak link it’s the check valve above which I’ll be replacing with a SMC unit.

Moving back to the 3P/H unit the first box I opened was the manifold and controller. Yes I’d seen both before in person but these were different because these were mine, which meant I could stare, ogle, and fondle at will.

If I had a single criticism of the Autopilot V2 system it would be that the controller is fairly utilitarian. It works flawlessly, is sized well, and is quite rugged, but visually it’s not the most attractive thing in the world. Especially when compared to some of the other options that are available.

This is certainly not the case with the new controller which is a lovely piece of kit. It carries with it the significant weight of a quality piece along with the fit and finish you’d expect with any modern quality electric device.

If I’m to be honest I’ve already got a bit of anxiety about cleaning finger prints off it meticulously, similar to how I was with my first idevice.

The manifold is also a very nice piece. The harness entry point is in a much more becoming location than the V2s plug was located. An engraved plate bearing the Air Lift Performance logo, versus the Air Lift Company Logo of the Auto Pilot V2, looks great as well.

Overall this is a piece designed to be featured in air installs rather than tucked away out of view.

SMC push to connect fittings are the line interface of choice, and I ordered this one in 3/8 line for faster articulation than with my car. Again the whole ‘it weighs more’ reality plays into the choices here.

From what I’m told a truck on 1/4 is no bueno.

The pressure vs ride height choice was an easy one to make. I like my pressure based system, don’t get me wrong, but since becoming a father and carrying wildly different weight loads of stuff from weekend to weekend I see the value in a height based system.

Stance is, as you know, everything in my eyes and typically I don’t allow for a lot of room for error in my preferred ride height.

Suffice to say too low past my desired pre set and things hit other things which isn’t ideal.

Furthermore since my wife will be driving the truck on occasion the ability to set a (slightly) higher preset for her and not have to worry about what she’s hauling altering the height is a great piece of mind.

The installation of the system, will be documented at a later date but I did take a look at all the weatherproof, tested, harnesses to see what I was in for. With the included literature I’m sure it should be pretty straight forward. Should it not be Blair has offered to come by and lend a hand in my garage for a beer or two.

To make the installation as easy as possible includes literally everything you need include a water trap, and even a line cutter.

Now obviously there’s quite ways to go before I get to installing these system, but if you take a peak on you’ll notice that I’m actually not all that far from some of these parts getting put to use in the near future.

WTF Friday: Kicking Horse


Kijiji three-peat this week with go kart sized ’65 Mustang replica. Usually scaled down cars such as this are made of fiberglass and the proportions a little wacky, but wheels and a few other details aside this looks pretty convincing.

A custom effort completed in 2002 this baby ‘stang is hand-built and the builder was clearly meticulous.

Powered by a 5 horsepower motor (which is impressive given its 450lb weight) the diminutive Mustang has all of the visual elements a real Mustang would. Antenna, door handles, side trim, and emblems it’s all there.

It even looks to have legitimate Mustang headlights, which though they give the car a bit of a shocked expression, are a nice touch for authenticity.

The steering wheel looks to be the real deal too, or at least a real 1:1 wheel and over all the interior is no half effort. Carpeted and fully trimmed it even features an AM/FM radio for those long trips at 35mph. There’s no mention of if the gauges work, but I imagine they do given the level of detail gone into the rest of the car.

The car comes with the trailer, and a cover, for a pretty substantial price of $14,995. Unsurprisingly it is still  and while I think it’s cool I don’t think it’s near 15k worth of cool. I’ve been wrong before though.

Theme Tuesdays: K Swaps


The K20 has –at least to a Honda outsider like myself– quickly become one of the most popular Honda motors for swapping not only into other Hondas, but any car that could use a high revving four-cylinder motor.

In North America the K Series motor gained notoriety on the Acura RSX Type S. However they are also available in Civics SIs, TSX, and Accords making anywhere from 150hp to 200hp stock depending on donor vehicle and trim.

Due to the motors increasing popularity a number or resources have become available for the ambitious k swapper. This means that currently all bets are off when it comes to where the k motor might end up.

Today the motor is perhaps as popular as the f20 when it comes to versatility.

This is still one of my favorite K swapped vehicles.
I think this car went through a rebuild shortly after this (I’m sure you noticed the rust around the strut towers) but I can’t remember the owners social info to look it up – Photos via
Finding running video of this Volkswagen took a bit of digging but it is below

1/4 mile addicted Volkswagen owners are also partaking in k swaps

This turbo k swapped EF is from the same shop that did the turbo B series, rear wheel drive, Accord that was at this year’s Motorama show
This K20, awd, mini was a real kick in the pants for this long overdue Theme Tuesday
The motor install is naturally as clean as the rest of the car
Francesco ditched the d he had in this car last year for a K
Javed’s EL is also k swapped, though with how often he changes his car I wouldn’t be surprised if something else popped under hood soon

I geeked over this car last year at Motorama simply because DA Integras are super, super rare to see at shows around here these days
This was the first K swapped Mazda I ever saw, and turbo to boot. Via
As it turns out, there are at least two turbo K swapped FDs
Build photos of this project can be found on

I learned yesterday that K swapped Miatas are indeed a thing, and kits can be purchased from

Even if this car didn’t have a K under the hood I would have probably found a reason to post it via
Of course true to this week’s Theme the car is powered by a supercharged k20. It is owned by
Another entry
This 72 is unsuspecting from the outside but as you can tell by the engine bay shot above, it packs a punch

Almost as though it was fate, someone is currently swapping a K series into a Fiero, which is just the type of random stuff I like to showcase in these Theme Tuesdays.

And obviously I have to include the 900(!!) hp k swapped Toyota MR2 – and

The same motor is now in an NSX and, as expected, beating up on all sorts of challengers

Do you have a K project? Let me know in the comments below!

WTF Friday: Sidetracked


are pretty cool. They come in a variety of sizes, so that they can fit on a wide range of vehicles. Made of rubber they can also do short trips on road without making an ungodly squealing racket.

However, they are expensive. So what’s the alternative? Do it yourself of course! Which is exactly what the owner/builder of this Dodge Durango did.

Details are mysteriously scarce about the vehicles overall conception and construction, but it looks like the tracks are mounted to the factory suspension as simply as possible. The factory hubs and brakes were removed and replaced with flat car up front and a straight tube in the rear.

The Durango actually looks to be in fairly good shape, all things considered, which really makes me wonder what provoked this conversion.

Those of you familiar with industrial equipment have any idea where the tracks might have originated? With dual pumpkins and differential mounted brakes I imagine the set up is pretty recognizable if you know what you are looking at.

This is another Kijiji special, but the owner doesn’t want cash he’s looking to trade. You can see what he wants to barter for .

Project Why Wait: So Fresh And So Clean


I’ve been holding out on you guys, the chassis for ‘Project Why Wait?’ actually returned from about a month ago and I’ve kept pretty quiet about it. Believe me, I was excited and wanted to share photos immediately, but I’m still a few parts short of showing significant build process so I was gun-shy.

I have since come to my senses and realized that the frame coming back is significant progress because it means I can start bolting things up, theoretically for the last time.

Seeing the frame painted, and not covered in a moderately thick coat of rust, is a great sight.

To get it how it looks today Stripping Tech sand –well actually walnut– blasted it to remove all of the rust before coating it in POR-15 and then single stage automotive paint.

Traditionally Stripping Tech deals with powder-coat, but because of the frames size powder was out. But POR-15 covered in paint should be plenty durable and keep the elements from harming the metal.

Should rocks nick the surface I’ve already got a couple of rattle cans on deck for touch ups now and in the future.

Color was something I deliberated over for quite some time. I wanted something that wasn’t black (everyone has black) but I also wanted something that was versatile.

I didn’t want to go with too loud of a color however, just in case I fall on a sack of money and decide to respray the truck.

I settled on a metallic gun-metal and I was a nervous wreck until I saw it in person, but I think it all worked out.

My plan is for the rest of the components (wherever possible) to be black and I think the two colors will work very well together.

I’d show more of the black components, and more of the frame unwrapped, but because I am not in a hurry to scratch anything I am keeping things under wraps until I start work on a particular area.

Along with the frame and suspension components went my rear end, which I discovered was actually a bit hurt on the day of delivery.

Too heavy to lift out of the truck solo I decided to bring it along, get it coated, and deal with what was wrong later.

Doing this was a bit of a gamble but the axles did spin with each other, just not when the yoke was turned, so I took a chance on not all hope being lost.

This week I took it apart and with the help of the good people at I’ve determined that it is missing a shim between the axle and the carrier. Rolling it around without said shim cocked the carrier sideways and now it doesn’t engage with the pinion gear.

I’ve arranged for a local shop to take a look at it, then I will make my next move after that. It is a limited slip equipped unit, with a cruise ready 2.77 ratio so it wouldn’t be a bad fit for the truck as is.

But a few upgrades couldn’t hurt either…

Since putting the rear suspension in was out of the question, and a friend currently has my front lower control arms to put in some bushings, I decided to square away mounting my fuel cell.

I taped up the top of the cell so that I could mark where I wanted the tank straps to go. In my head I was going to go across the tank vertically but because of how far back I mounted the fuel cell holder I had to go horizontally.

On my workbench I think taped insulators to the tank to minimize metal on metal . Yes, those are rim strips from the inside of a bike wheel. They are long, straight, cheap, durable and should do the job.

This isn’t the last bike part that will work its way into this build I assure you.

A little heat and persuasion bent the steel straps I purchased over the tank easy enough, and I plan to sand out the vice marks before I hit everything with a lick of paint.

For mounting I decided to put oval holes in the bottom of each strap which would allow me to put the strap on easily, push it down snug against the tank, then bolt it tight.

I created slotted holes using the classic drill two holes then walk it out method. Then I took a dremel to it afterward just to make installation and removal as painless as possible.

There’s still minor finessing I could do here, but the idea works as planned.

Next was how to mount the studs to the tank tray. The idea of grinding and then welding into my freshly painted frame didn’t thrill me, so I thought of another solution.

It is quite simple really, a bolt welded to some sheet metal that has been bent to a 90 degree angle. The weight of the tank keeps the bolt in place, and the strap bolts to the nut.

I’ll be cleaning these up a little more as well before applying a bit of rubber to them.

Here is where the studs protrude through the straps. I counter sunk the hole so the nut fits in nice and tight because I don’t have much clearance to work with between the tank and its mount.

This mounting solution isn’t completely hidden but it is pretty unobtrusive.

After all of the above it was time to test fit the straps. I bent one a little long so I had to cut some out then weld it back together. Purchasing a welder is one of the best things I’ve ever done, even if it is just a little Migpack 10. 

Here’s the straps loosely mounted with the welds ground down. I recently ordered an drop in fuel pump from that I intend to mock-up before painting the fuel cell black.

I should have more parts and things to work on as early as Monday of next week, so here’s hoping this summer will be an exciting summer of progress on ‘Project Why Wait’!

Theme Tuesdays: Odds And Sods


Opted to raid my cache of random photos last night while I think of some new Theme Tuesday topics (or better yet go out and shoot some).

Most of these photos are inspiration for future “what if” projects, photo ideas, or Theme Tuesdays that were started but never finished.

I’ve credited where I could but some I saved from as far back as 2010 so I can’t remember where they originated. If you know let me know I can update accordingly!

I am fairly certain I originally pulled this stunning e30 m3 from
This photo makes me fondly remember the days of clean quarters and non shock value wheel fitment
This truck has changed slightly since it’s feature. I really like the Green wash took this one
I briefly started a 454ss Theme Tuesday but couldn’t find enough source material, I may start again – This truck belongs (or belonged) to
I suppose around the same time I was pulling together a G body post as well
I repost this photo every now and again just because of how rare low Dakotas are – via:
is a great source for some of th e most bizarre car photos ever
Wheel standers and bed dancers are still on my must see list
If you can believe it, this car is the previously featured VR6 powered s14. Trevor is super serious this second time around
Hubs and whites and bags, via
This feels like the work of but I am not sure if it is
Love photos like this, that capture the roots of car culture

I love vintage lowrider photos too. So much style
Something from the guys at

Does anyone know if this car was ever finished? I imagine if it was there’s quite a few really angry people floating around