Archive | June, 2009

Fugazi Bride (or why you shouldn’t trust your ass to replicas)

29 Jun

Lately, alot of fugazi (fake) Bride seats have been popping up all over ebay, and the usual forums. So Shino and Bun at Lot-USA (Bride Japan’s sole distributor for North America) put together this nice check list on how to spot a fake.

Why fake it? Why trust a vital piece of safety equipment, and a key styling point on your car to a fake seat? Tons of guys out there try to impress people by making themselves bigger than they are…don’t do it, you look foolish. I get it, Bride seats can be expensive (though several models are very reasonably priced!), but if you can’t afford it, don’t worry – there is no shame there. Just save up till you can! Hit up the authorized Bride dealers for the US and see if any of their customers are interested in selling theirs and trading up. Use this guide to spot the fake, and grab yourself a good used set from one of the many forums out there. The end result will be something you’ll be proud of, something that has the right R&D behind it to be both stylish and safe, and something that will last, and hold it’s value for years to come.

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Shaun’s Build … another Update from the Body Shop

29 Jun

Just a few updated pics from the body shop this weekend.  The Amuse pieces are primed and everything is blocked and just about ready to go.  Rich asked me to come up this weekend to make some misc choices for the car.  One of the most important decisions that I had to make was the color … and it’s going to be, drum roll please … BMW’s Alpine White.

I think Kwame and Adam have talked me into a small simple sound system, too.  You guys are a bad influence, lol.

R.I.P. M.J.

26 Jun

Say what you want but this dude made some damn kickass music in his younger days. If you have a quality sound system (mobile or home) then you know exactly how good this shit sounds. The production on his CDs were top notch.

My favorite song is probably “Pretty Young Thing.” I used to rock out to this in one of my many sets of footie pajamas (I specifically remember the Winnie the Pooh jumpoffs) while pops used to blast this on his Kenwood stereo system on Saturday mornings. Ah the good ole days…

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

25 Jun

Umm, yeah so I already placed my order for these today for my own car as soon as I found out that these were en route. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

One of the most noticeable compromises in Nissan suspension performance is the 4 points on the rear subframe. The bushes are a very compliant hydraulic filled rubber bush that permits squirming of the rear end under bump/turn/acceleration. Whiteline has recently added to the range of subframe kits that currently covers 240SX/ 300Z with a proven fix for the Nissan 350Z and G35 platform. W92994 features the latest technology WHITELINE PLUS polyurethane bushings, steel componentry and very informative install guide. The translucent black bushings boast voiding points so that elements of compliance is achieved. The kit replaces all 4 point of the rear cradle on a 350Z or G35 Infiniti and results in a more responsive, predictable and enjoyable driving ‘Z.’

Whiteline Plus 350Z Traction Control Bushing Kit

Whiteline Plus 350Z Traction Control Bushing Kit

Key Benefits of WHITELINE PLUS
-The quality of ride of rubber, with the performance of solid links.
-Long lasting durability.
-Resistant to chemicals, oils and weathering.
-Enhanced handling, steering response and road holding stability.
-Increased traction and power transfer.

WHITELINE PLUS is a range of ‘NO COMPROMISE’ polyurethane suspension bushings and components. By ‘NO COMPROMISE’ we are referring to the polyurethane’s ability to provide the quality ride of rubber at lowerspeeds and at higher speeds to become firmer,(somewhat progressive) when under cornering, accelerating and braking loads, for CHASSIS CONTROL and improved handling.

Applications: 03-07 Nissan 350z & Infiniti G35

We have a few kits ordered up for inventory and expect them very shortly so let us know if you would like one for your ride.

Adam’s Project Z33: More Stuff!

25 Jun

No major news, but forward motion never-the-less. Picked up my fuel rails last night from the guys at Action Powdercoating. Vinny and the guys there are the best around – fast turnaround time, great prices, and they’ve been doing this for years. Had them done in a nice satin black, which hopefully will render them as close to invisible as possible once everything is installed

Also got a shipment of in SPL Differential Mount Bushings. We’re now a dealer for all their parts so if you need anything, just hit us up!

new625 007

new625 008

While I don’t have the 4.3 pumpkin back just yet, progress is being made on it. All sorts of custom ‘ish needs to be done to get that workable. I leaped before I looked on that one. Sleeves are being fabbed next week I was told for the pinion. Not sure what all else is involved to be honest….I’m sure it could be it’s own blog lol.

The plenum is still up with the engine guru. I’m going to check up on that tomorrow and see if he found anything interesting. I have picked out a throttle body now just have to acquire it and send it up to have an adapter plate made up so I don’t have to hack up the Cosworth.

Dave – you’re not reading this, but answer my text….I needs a cluster ! Seriously, I can’t wait to see what he works up for that thing – I think I’m looking forward to that part more than anything else at this point!

What could have been…

23 Jun

I was cleaning up some old pictures and found these.  They were supposed to be my street wheels after the Superleggera kit was on.  Sadly, they won’t fit without running a stretch tire/ lots of camber and a huge spacer … and, I didn’t want to have to completely align the car every time I swapped wheels for a track day.

I have only one thing to say … sadface

Adam’s NA Z33- Update

20 Jun

Slowly buy surely we’re making some progress. I seriously can’t wait till this round of stuff is in the bag so I can enjoy the damn car again. She looks lonely sitting there without being used. Thankfully for the car (but sucks in general) the weather here in May and June has been horrendous, so I haven’t missed a ton of driving opportunities. But you know how projects go – at a certain point you just want to see them, or at least phases of them, done!

So today, I dropped the fuel rails off to the powdercoaters – will snap some before/afters when I get them back. Billy came down so we finally finished sanding the hood and did the first coat of primer. While we were at it, primed the cover for a bike that has been on the back burner for a minute (I think it’s from a Gixxer 750, but don’t quote me)

new619 022

Drop Dead (Sexy) Drop Top

20 Jun

Rod (good customer and friend) stopped by with his immaculate Z33 Roadster a couple weeks ago to get some fresh seating. Out came the OEM, and in went the rare Bride Vorga Japan Limited Edition. Now we just need to convince him to do the other side!

One of the cleanest Z’s out there – understated, but nicely modded. Volks, Stoptech BBK, C West front lip, JP Sides…..just a clean example of a tastefully modded Z.

Breaking News

19 Jun

A new era is coming for Formula 1; the Formula One Teams Association have announced they will be leaving Formula One and starting a breakaway world championship. I’ve been following the fighting back and forth pretty closely over the past few weeks on sites like f1-live.com and grandprix.com and I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Hopefully the FOTA showing that they’re not opposed to breaking away will bring the FIA back to the table to negotiate a little more. I’m not sure what I think about a break away series yet, other that I think the FIA is being a bit ridiculous to ask some of the top teams to cut expenditures by as much as 90% from one year to the next. It’s reported that some of the top teams spend in excess of €450 million and the FIA wants to reduce this to €45 million by next year. The one thing I do know is that F1 is not the same without teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault.

Quick edit. –  A few weeks ago, Flavio Briatore was quoted as saying “It is not correct that teams of GP2 race with us; it brings down our image and our technology.  We are devaluing Formula One, [w]e want a Formula One that is unique, with the best technology and the best teams and drivers.”  I have to agree with his statements.  F1 has been and should be the pinnacle of motor sports, imposing such a strict budget cap will severely limit the level of innovation that we see within the sport.

If we look at it this in terms of the 2009 season “[a]t a time when we are talking about bringing down budgets to £30 million a year, we have spent £15m on KERS and and other £10m on diffusers. So that leaves five more for travel and paying the employees!” It’s hard not to agree.

From F1-Live

In the dead of Thursday night in England, the eight Formula One Teams’ Association members issued a statement announcing that a breakaway world championship will be formed.

The announcement came on the eve of the FIA’s Friday deadline for making unconditional entries for the official Formula One series, and amid the sides’ deadlocked negotiations about income, governance and rules.

“The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA,” the statement read. “The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored.

“Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006.”

The statement was issued on behalf of BMW, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota and the two Red Bull owned teams.

“These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners,” said FOTA.

The details of the new series, including a name, circuits and starting year, have not yet been announced. At present its grid would feature 16 cars, unless the eight involved teams each field three drivers.

“This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders,” the statement continued.

“The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”

The formation of the series will spark more political turmoil, especially given that Ferrari and the Red Bull teams were unconditionally included on the FIA’s entry list, due to disputed agreements with the F1 ruling bodies.

F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, whose Formula One Management is contracted to and aligned with the FIA and President Max Mosley, has already vowed to legally challenge the defection of teams, and any attempts to negotiate with his contracted promoters and TV broadcasters.

The inclusion on the breakaway series of loved venues including Monaco, Spa and Monza will therefore be contested, while FOTA’s plans do not involve the successful British team and expelled FOTA member Williams, which like Force India is committed to the FIA championship next year.

Taikyu

16 Jun

supertaikyu1

endlesstaikyu1

endlesstaikyu2

Midori Force Z33…

16 Jun

Sadly this beauty is up on the Auction block. I hope it goes to a good home (or is at a good home if it has been sold already).

Alcon monoblock brakes…. drool…..

“The Lion Has Roared”

14 Jun

peugot908lemans

For the first time in 16 years, Peugot has emerged victorious at the 24 Hours of LeMans. The 908, a direct injection, diesel powered, twin turbo, prototype style machine, was able to take down the previously dominant Audi’s, completing 382 laps, for a total of 3000 miles. The second place car was also a Peugot 908, completing 381 laps.

I love the design of this car – so many swoops and curves. The powerplant is simply a technological marvel. The cutting edge nature of the series in general is part of what makes the event so intoxicating for me.

Is Price Matching Stupid?

13 Jun

Back in the day, when this industry was taking off in the early to mid 90’s, competition in the performance aftermarket was slim in comparison to the number of businesses out there today.

What was once a niche market is now far more familiar to the masses. You can “blame” the movies (we all know the ones), but markets won’t sustain such expansion on the back Hollywood alone. It’s the passion to make our cars better. It’s the simple fact that the pursuit of automotive performance and style is a disease, and it infects new hosts daily.

So, while the industry evolves, the customer changes as well. With endless vendors out there (many of them fly-by-night companies) the customer wields a bit more power these days. Therefore, it makes sense that prices have dropped for products and brands that just aren’t so rare anymore.

With that, the customer is more informed and eager to find the best prices. While I can appreciate the fact that nobody wants to “overpay” for a given product, I can’t wrap my head around the concept of price matching in this industry.

With stiff competition out there, it’s only natural that price has become increasingly important to the customer. I get it. However, if price is the main concern when shopping for product X, why ask a trusted vendor to price match when that customer has seemingly already found the lower price? Why not just buy the product from that vendor? Why would a customer get angry when the request is refused? Especially considering that most business in this industry occurs over the phone or on the internet. One location is no more convenient than the other. It’s not like asking your local best-buy to match the price a Sears location 30 miles away for the same appliance. I don’t get it.  There has to be a reason.  Perhaps it’s because the other vendor is not so trusted?  Who knows.

Would you ask a gas station attendant to match the price across the street? Why not pull into that station instead?

We’ve been operating far longer than most (13 years). While far from the perfect business, I’d like to think that some of our practices work as we continue to grow year after year and have evolved with the industry. I know we cannot offer the lowest price on every item at every time. Nobody can. Moreover, I’m NOT willing to make pennies or possibly lose money on a sale JUST for the sake of making a sale. It’s bad for my business…hell, it’s bad for any business. I’m willing to let the market drive how business is done, but I’m not willing to do business that doesn’t make sense.

Smart business. What a concept. Maybe it’s why we’re still going strong and I can name quite a few businesses that couldn’t survive a year.

Fine Whine? LOL…Hey, It’s What It Says On The Car

12 Jun

Rich, the owner of Blue Ribbon Auto Body (a top notch body shop and the best on Long Island from everything I’ve seen and heard) was kind enough to show me some of his cars that were at the shop the other day. This is his 1985 Euro-Spec (notice the lack of front and rear bumpers, the existence of the mandatory rear fog light and the absence of rear side markers unlike the U.S. spec model) Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole.

I never was a really big fan of this car, the fact that I was four years old when this was released might have something to do with it (actually I love a lot of cars that were released before my parents even met so that’s a moot point…tangent alert, tangent alert, my bad),  but I have to say this car really is a sight to be seen in person. This vehicle is a prime example of how far advanced Lamborghini is/was as an automobile manufacturer at the time. The front doesn’t do much for me but I love the aggressiveness of the rear. Not to mention 455 bhp is nothing to scoff at either, V12 POWA!!!

For those of you wondering, since Rich purchased this car brand new back in 1985 and had it flown over from Europe, he has put approximately 20K miles on it and he has driven it as recently as last Sunday. So it does get driven, not much but still.

Oh here are some clips I found about this car…

….Slide Away

12 Jun

Our customer John from NJ sent me a few pics last week that I thought were really cool. Admittedly, I’m not into the whole drifting thing, but gotta give respect where it’s due to those who do it, and enjoy it!

John’s Z is a bevy of cool parts that you don’t see everyday….with new stuff coming via “brown” as we speak! Wheels are Logan-san approved!