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New SSR Wheel Reveal Part I: GTV Series

7 Nov

SSR has a bunch of new products for 2014. First outta the gate are the GTV series. These are a 1 piece flowform produced setup which yields weight and strength that approaches that of a forged setup without the price tag. Trust us, pricing is ON POINT!!! There classic yet contemporary designs are offered, each in Phantom Silver or Flat Black, in sizes ranging from 15-19 inch.

Contact us to order

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GT Spec Trunk Cage for 370Z

30 Oct

GT Spec Trunk Cage 370Z

GT Spec Trunk Cage 370Z


we showed off a prototype trunk cage for the 370Z coupe from GT Spec. Good things come to those who wait, and now it’s finally being released for in November/December 2013. Contact us for details and pricing, or to reserve one for yourself

Tech Talk: FRP (Fiberglass) vs Blended Materials for Aftermarket Body Kits

24 Sep

We get this question ALL the time – what is the ‘right’ material to select when buying aftermarket body parts? There are a range of materials that manufacturers use. Several higher end manufacturers, mainly in the Japanese realm, offer several of their products in both FRP as well as a blended, or hybrid material. FRP stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. This term is tossed around alot in the aftermarket aero world. It’s a bit of a catch all term, that generally describes a range of composites (parts made by mixing various materials together). Without getting boring, there are differences among “FRP” blends. Not only do the materials mixed together vary, so do the epoxy types used to hold them together. Since a fiberglass part is only as good as the quality of the mold used to produce it, that is why you see such a huge variation in pricing among parts that on their surface look similar. This is an area where you get what you pay for. For ease of terminology, I will stick to using the generic term “FRP”, but I am specifically referring to the better-branded/manufactured stuff out there, since that is what I am most familiar with. FRP has many fantastic properties. It is extremely strong relative (especially) relative to it’s weight (it’s light), it can be molded into many complex shapes, it is easily repaired should it get damaged, and it’s able to be produced at relatively low costs. FRP really has no downsides in and of itself, it is a terrific material for these type of parts. Some will say that urethane is ALWAYS better, and it’s simply not the case. Urethane molds are extremely expensive to produce, which is why you rarely see aftermarket aero parts offered in the material to begin with. When you do, they tend to be extremely heavy relative to their FRP counterparts. Urethane is extremely durable, mainly because it has so much tensile strength, but should it be damaged via impact, it’s very difficult (and often impossible), to repair. Most times when it suffers such an impact, it has to be replaced. Fiberglass on the otherhand can literally be decimated – shattered into multiple chunks after an impact, but joined back together relatively easily. Serviceability is a big benefit of FRP parts. Another issue with aftermarket urethane, that is often overlooked, is longevity. Depending on where in the world you live, the urethane can break down over the course of time, due to environmental conditions. This process can cause the urethane to lose its shape and literally deform. As this happens, its aesthetic value and its durability both suffer.

In the last 10 years (give or take), we’ve seen variations of fiberglass hit the market. These are components use a combination of different man made materials (urethane, various plastics, etc) added into the “FRP” mixture, and sealed with a different type of epoxy. The purpose of this type of material was to bridge the gap between the aftermarket urethane parts and the OEM plastic/urethane level parts. These blended, or hybrid materials are more flexible vs their straight FRP counterparts, but not as flexible as a full urethane part. In the case of manufacturers like INGS and CWest, their blended materials have the added bonus of requiring much less prep time before they are ready for paint. This type of manufacturing is more expensive to do, so only a handful of worthwhile companies offer it. Several try (mostly knockoff firms), and succeed to varying degrees. In many cases I have seen, while the material itself is generally quite good, in the interest the mold quality suffers. Molds are used for longer than they should be, or simply are inaccurate in the first place. This results in unwanted gaps when installed, or parts that are too long, too short, and require significant prep work in order to actually install on the car. Prep work is expensive, generally charged per hour, and can quickly make the ‘savings’ vs the genuine article disappear. While the hybrid/blended parts are slightly heavier than their FRP counterparts, they are nowhere near the level of a urethane part. Somewhere on the order of 5% or so heavier.

Light Content

22 Sep

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Sorry for the lack of content…accidentally had the auto-post featured turned off!

Dark Horse

11 Sep

Super clean R33 GTR featuring an Endless big brake kit (Mono 6 brake kit front and rear, tucked neatly behind NISMO 18 inch wheels). A stunning result (both in looks, and certainly performance). Need an Endless kit for your car? Drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com and see what the premier brake supplier has to offer. If you’re truly looking for the absolute best kits out there, no one offers the range of performance oriented options that Endless does. Simply the best.

Advan RS-DF Forged Wheels

18 Aug

Brand new forged goodness from Advan/Yokohama: click the pics for pricing and exact sizes/offsets

Advan RS-DF

Advan RS-DF

Advan RS-DF

Advan RS-DF

This new forged wheel from Advan Japan combines a classic 10 spoke sports wheel shape, with a series of different lips. These are sold in 19 inch sizes only, in widths ranging from 8 inches to 10.5 inches in both 5×100 and 5×114.3 patterns. Available in Hyper Bronze, Black and Hyper Silver.

Contact z1sales@z1auto.com to order!

Koni Sale: 350Z and G35

15 Aug
Koni Yellow Sport Shock Set 350Z/G35 Coupe

Koni Yellow Sport Shock Set 350Z/G35 Coupe

We’ve got a single set of the famed Koni Yellow sport shocks on special right now. Front/Rear set to suit 2003-2008 350Z (all models) and 2003-2007 G35 coupe. These are the best bolt on sport shocks available for these cars, and now at a price even better than before.

To order just drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com. Worldwide shipping also available.

HKS Summer Sale: Begins Monday August 12

9 Aug

HKS

Starting Monday August 12 and continuing through Friday, August 16, all HKS items are on sale! HKS is Japan’s premier manufacturer of performance parts for performance vehicles. Their parts are second to none because they race what they make. There are tons of items on sale, many more than we can just list here. Drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com with your HKS needs.

AIM GT Sport Steering Wheel

30 Jul

AIMGTwheel

The last wheel you’ll ever need!

This new wheel is the ultimate for sports and GT drivers, seeking an all in one solution. It combines critical engine data via the engine ecu, combined with GPS track data, and camera data, in a series of customizable pages. Allowing you instant access to multiple channels of critical data. In addition, it features customizable shift lights at the top of the rim, as well as customizable alarms for various user-programmable warning thresholds. There are also user-customizable multi-function buttons allowing you to enable/disable various functions such as traction control, pit speed limiter, radio communication, etc). Using a sequential transmission? No problem – optional paddle shifters are also offered for a seamless integrated solution. Data derived from lap times, speeds, etc can then be played back by the driver at the end of a session right on the wheel display. It’s thoughtfully produced in either 320mm or 350mm diameters, with carbon, Alcantara, and leather for the ultimate combination of strength, weight and grip. The leather features a special cool system design, which reflects sun rays and keeps the grip surface cool to the touch.

Contact z1sales@z1auto.com for purchasing information

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Proper

21 Jul

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Guten Tag, lasst uns gehen für ein Laufwerk

20 Jul

You’ll notice a lot of German, and specifically Porsche content on the blog lately. As time has gone on, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to these timeless sports cars, and the culture surrounding them. It’s something I wish the “JDM” crowd would more readily adopt. Or rather, perhaps it’s that there’s always been this element to the “JDM” scene too, it’s just not either widely embraced or reported. Instead we end up often seeing the same old same old. Build it with an online signature filled list of sometimes random parts, dyno it, get it in a magazine or plaster pics all over, sell it. No desire to take the time and build it slowly. No real plan in place. Or worse, the ill-advised practice of building it with parts based purely on budget, without any consideration (or understanding) of the actual differences between Brand A and X.

No matter what scene you’re in, there are always dividing lines. Built vs original, real vs replica, genuine vs tribute, show vs race. The Japanese car scene will always be my first love. There are many iconic Japanese sports/performance oriented cars, and they deserve all the love that those who are consumed by their bloodline can bestow upon them. What I find the most intriguing thing about some of the European firms, is there are still firms trying to meld old and new. Classic styling with modern manufacturing techniques. Going forward, I think there is a lot to be learned from this direction of the hobby.

I also readily appreciate how fanatical many in the European scene are about the motorsport history of their favored brands. We all have heard of Alfa-holics, Porsche-philes, Tifosi. Guys that are seemingly walking encyclopedias for all things related to the car or brand that keeps their heart pumping. Let’s not forget, the Japanese similarly have a deep rooted car culture. One that has risen to the top of the motorsport realm in Rally, Sports Car, and Endurance racing. It’s something to be appreciated and preserved. But often is ignored. So to those out there who keep that candle lit; hats off to you.

Anyway, just some random musings on a Saturday morning. I recently saw an article on a DP Motorsport project 911 that really struck a chord with me. DP has an extensive history building, racing, and modifying Porsches, most notably, 911’s. This new project combines parts that span 4 decades. From the ’73 911T shell, to the modern carbon bodywork (carbon, not carbon stickers). It was built to deliver fun and reliable performance. Not built to set a dyno record, not built to win shows (though it easily could). The attention to detail is what I find most impressive. The car is cohesive. Everything in it’s right place. The design and parts classifications on the outside match those on the inside. Sure, it’s a bit raw (and expensive!) for a daily car, but it would easily serve it’s master for fun weekend jaunts and track days. While it certainly plucks at the heartstrings just looking at it – the execution is clean. It’s low, it’s wide, it’s loud – but it’s still subtle, at least till you drive it. It makes a substantial amount of power, particularly for a non turbo motor. But it’s the way that power is installed in an ultra lightweight chassis (ala the famed RSR) that makes the whole more than the sum of its parts. Which I personally think is a box that many “JDM” project cars fail to tick.

Now, I fully understand taste is subjective. Always will be…and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But when you’re building your car, no matter what it is, don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from different scenes. Be willing to look at a different canvas and see how and where you can apply some of the themes to your project. The car is an extension of it’s owner afterall. As such, it pays to be forward thinking. It pays to imagine yourself 10, 20, 30 years down the road and see if you can picture yourself still driving the car, as it sits. Do you view the car as a stepping stone? Do you view the project as a way to embrace a current ‘fashionable’ trend, or do you view the car as a almost an heirloom? Take your time with it, do it for you, and not for the feature, and most importantly, build it to drive it.

Anyway, I’ve drawn some inspiration from this video – I hope you enjoy it too. A detailed article on the car can be found in the current issue of Excellence for those interested.

New HKS Billet Oil Cap

2 Jul

HKS Billet Oil Cap

HKS has recently re-introduced their Billet Oil Filler Cap. This new style is a nice bright red Alumite finish with the signature HKS 30th Anniversary badging. A great match for the HKS High Pressure Radiator cap as a way to add some style to your engine bay.

The oil cap fits:
Subaru engines: EJ series, EZ30, and FA20
Nissan CA18, CG10, CG13, CGA3, CR10, CR12, CR14, GA15, GA16, HR12, HR15, HR16, KA24, MA10, MR16, MR18, MR20, QG15, QG18, QR20, QR25, RB20, RB25, RB26, SR18, SR20, VG20, VG30, VH41, VH45, VK45, VQ25, VQ30, VQ35, VQ37, VR38
Honda: B16, B18, B20, D13, D15, D16, E07, F18, F20, F22, F23, H22, J30, K20, K24, L13, L15, LDA, LEA, P07, R18, R20, S07, ZC
Suzuki: K6, K12, M15, M16

To order, contact z1sales@z1auto.com

New Eye Candy From Volk

28 Jun

volkg27ferrari458italiaVolkG27colors

volkg27

Volk has released a new wheel: the G27. This multispoke wheel comes in 19’s and 20 inch sizes for a range of vehicles. It’s features Volk’s legendary 1 piece forged construction, making it both durable and lightweight. It also features a new spin on center cap design for a nice clean look. Comes in Prism Dark silver (shown). Prism Light Silver or White are optional finishes.

Contact z1sales@z1auto.com for price and availability.

Axis Powers: Internal Conflict

13 Jun

porschevsdatsunJapan vs. Germany

Bad Like Yaz

16 May

islandlife

A cool pic from one of our good friends in the Carribean with a couple of his project cars.

Grab some curried goat, slice up some plantains, pour some rum…and stare at the pic wishing you were there…..

I know it’s small…sorry!