Fixed Headlight Conversions by John Babbitt

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Years ago, pop up headlights were the standard for sports cars. The NSX, RX7, Corvette, various Ferraris and many others sported them. The thing is though, in the pursuit of speed and light weight, they serve little purpose.

Fixed headlights not only weigh less and reduce drag, they instantly change a cars image. For many years, high end JDM tuners have produced amazing looking cars using fixed headlights.

RX-7′s, NSX’s, 180sx’s and others are what come to mind when you think of these headlight conversions that originate in Japan.

Phoenixs power mr2tamon fc3s rx-7

But what about others? Like Vettes?

vettevettevette

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WEST5 Vette by John Babbitt

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John is back at you once again with another wild JDM Corvette! I most definitely co-sign this – Ben

Anyone that has played Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 before has seen this car. The carbon fiber bumpers, hood and wing really help it stand out. The standard Lotus developed LT5 engine has been enlarged from 5.7 liters to 6.7, big pistons, big crank, big everything, controlled by a WEST ecu. No idea how much power is available, but it’s enough to push this to a recorded top speed of 196 mph!

Brembo brakes stop it, WEST suspension controls it. It’s interior is mostly missing, with the exception of a Recaro seat made of kevlar, a Momo steering wheel and a big safety cage. The corvette standard TE37′s are present, 18-9.5 front, 18-12 out back. The rest of the specs are a bit of a mystery. Check out the pics!!!

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Team Advance Z06 by John Babbitt

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Team Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDM

In my mind, nothing is better than seeing American cars that are tuned in Japan. There’s something about the way JDM tuning can turn almost any car into something truly special. This time, it’s a Chevrolet Corvette Z06, tuned by Advance Auto.

Advance Auto specializes in American cars, both stock and tuned. Their cars are regularly used on the circuit and have appeared in Option video. But of all the (literally) tons of cars they’ve churned out, this is by far the most striking. It starts in the rear, with the enormous rear wing and huge carbon-Kevlar diffuser. This thing looks truly terrifying from all angles.

Team Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDM

Up front the carbon fiber hood produced by WEST is similar to the one used on the Le Mans winning C6-R. Carbon fiber front diffuser, teeny carbon fiber mirrors and carbon fiber roof scoop round things out. (And single wipers are ALWAYS cool.)

Team Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDM

Im not sure what wheels it’s wearing now, but it normally sports bronze TE-37′s, a very popular choice for vettes in Japan. Tires used are some Hankook Ventus S tires. Other upgrades include OS Giken lsd, Advance/Sachs suspension, Pfadt sway bars, and Exedy clutch. The power is freed by Advance APP-Data ecu tune and exhaust. This car is gaining many 1st places, so the parts are well proven. The interior consists of a seat, wheel and not much else. A RacePak digital cluster keeps tabs on things.

Team Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDMTeam Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDM

Be back soon with some more ‘murican goodies!! – jbab

PS- video!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HK40hsRh4g

Team Advance Auto Z06 Corvette JDM

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Lateral Thinking by Patrick Callahan

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If I’m honest with myself I’d have to say that TAS was a disappointment for me this year. The hybrid cars seemed to be the “hottest” sector of the show and as has been stated previously on this blog, the change in the scene is a little difficult to digest. Even the mighty GT-R which has single-handedly brought so many companies into our segment of the aftermarket didn’t quite have the breakthrough products I was expecting.

What’s an enthusiast to do? Looking to the past for platforms and inspiration as Ben mentioned is certainly one way. While I certainly appreciate the cars of the past I’m starting to think that another approach might be looking outside of Japan for platforms. For the first time in a long while, America is making world-class cars and Japan seems to be falling behind the curve and into disrepute (Toyota recalls anyone?). Even Korea is getting in on building cars with genuine potential for mods.

One car that has long had JDM support is the Corvette. The appeal of a V8 powered sports car wrapped in an attractive fiberglass body has been appreciated around the world. West Corvette has been working with these American machines since 1982 and they offer many nice upgrades including TE-37s in both aluminum and magnesium, awesome brakes and brake hats and of course their own long tube headers and exhaust. With the recent release of the ZR-1, you could produce quite a monster. They even have parts for the C4 which is typically unloved.

Even the C6 platform is admittedly a bit dated so what about the future? Well, I’m looking at the new Ford Fiesta. This car is everything we used to love about the little cars from Japan, it just happens to be made by Ford. Am I the only one imagining this car with a Cosworth motor in white with carbon accents?

There are many other potential gems including the Pontiac G8, Cadillac CTS-V and even the new Mustang. As much as we used to hate on these brands, they sat up and took notice. Their lineups are still a bit spotty but the potential is undeniably still there.

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PCAL – Brakes are Awesome

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Here’s another post by Patrick Callahan For the Weekend!

I love brakes. Brakes are second only to tires in terms of importance when turning fast lap times. No matter what the application, the basic job remains the same; slow the car down. I was once told that the easier something is to do, the harder it is to be the best doing it. Slowing a car is simple enough, but it’s the efforts that have been directed to being the best that have brought the brake caliper to an art. Recently there have been huge advances in terms of materials and design. I feel some of these are worth showing off.
Porsche PCCB- The first major change in braking since moving away from asbestos.
PCCB
AP Racing Radi-Cal- Taking the use of Finite Element Analysis to its full capacity.
Radi-Cal
Endless Mono-6- The traditional forged one-piece caliper at the current pinnacle of optimization.
mono-6
Brembo Corvette ZR-1 brakes- Perhaps the most advanced brakes on a road car ever.
ZR-1 brakes

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Hater Fodder: The CorZonda

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First off, I must give props to Jalopnik for amusing me greatly with their “Doing It Wrong V3″. This picture I took from their gallery, which contains other examples of tragic/comedic greatness.

http://jalopnik.com/photogallery/doingwrongv3/

For my chosen example (due to my love of Pagani and their Zonda), I’ve selected what I dub the CorZonda. Although the owner was creative in achieving what he did with the rear of the car, it is a complete disaster from my eyes. Here’s some food for the haters…I present you with the CorZonda.

The CorZonda

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