Gimmic 300 by John Babbitt

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This time around, I thought I’d feature something a bit different. While many of us are mostly concerned with power, balance, and everything else that aids us in speed, others first thought when it comes to cars is style. Vip style is a genre that’s all about the look. Low and wide, with amazing interiors, loud exhaust, even louder stereos. And let’s not forget the wheels. Wheels can make or break a vip style build, so it’s best to follow a particular saying amongst vip style fans: don’t get wheels that fit the car, make the car fit the wheels.

But a hot debate within vip style circles is proper chassis. Most vip purists say only big nissans and toyotas are allowed, while others argue that point, based on the number of other big luxo cars that are built by vip car producers, like jags, mercedes, and (surprise!) chrysler 300. Case in point: the Gimmic 300.

It ticks all the right vip style boxes. Big wheels (both diameter and width)? Check. Low? Very. Wide? Um, yea. Gimmic is the modififying sector of parent company, GM Corporation that imports american cars. But Gimmic not only does custom work, they actually produce thier own aero for many american cars, including the big Chryslers, Deville/DTS, even the Dodge Intrepid, amongst others. Some of their other platform specific items include air suspension, mufflers, and many exterior accessories. And they all come together in this amazing 300.

It starts life as a Chrysler 300 3.5. Gimmic adds it’s own air suspension, and those love ’em or hate ’em Sporza Zero 3pc wheels, coming in at 24×9 up front and 24×11 out back. Then comes the blister fenders, grille, rear bumper extension, side panels, spoilers, front bumper, and cool headlights. Finishing off the look is the carbon tipped exhaust. It’s a look that will keep this 300 stand out for many years. The interior is a big contrast, by going with a more subtle look than the exterior. New comfy leather adorns the seats, while a custom rear console now resides between the rear passengers, making this a 4 seater. Now if we could only get people here in the states to wear 24’s like this. But with Vip style still growing here, this car will hopefully be an inspiration, instead of an argument. Enjoy!- Jbab

     

Gimmic 300

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R.I.P rotary 1951-2011 by John Babbitt

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For 60 years, the rotary engine captivated the imagination of enthusiasts world wide. It’s use in motorsport included Group B, IMSA, N1, and even a win at Le Mans(which prompted its ban from the event). Of all the manufacturers that experimented with these amazing engines, only Mazda dared use them in actual production cars.
Viewed by many as unreliable, un-economical, and under powered, the wankel and renesis engines caught a lot of hate over the years, mostly due to owners who just didn’t understand the capability of their machines. Rising fuel costs and awareness for lower emissions were the coffin nails. In 2011, only about 1100 RX8’s were sold.
In Japan, Mazda used rotaries in many applications. Some are well known, others not. What’s important though, is that we as enthusiasts remember these vehicles and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
Unfortunately though, this is a harsh reminder that fun Japanese cars are becoming extinct, and fast. No more exciting Hondas, Mitsu gave up the ghost, Toyota decided its only interesting car should cost more than a house, Subaru is injecting salt water in its cars veins, and its only a matter of time before Nissan says Z cars don’t make any sense.
So pour some out for the rotary, because we won’t be seeing it ever again. Your time came way too soon.
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Classics by John Babbitt

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Its summer time, so you know what that means. Car show season. And no matter what kind of enthusiast you claim to be, there isn’t a true car fan on earth that doesn’t wish they owned a classic. Something about no safety aids, carbs and chrome get our gears turnin. Although owning a classic isn’t necessarily a task to be taken lightly, it can be affordable if done right from the start.

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For instance, is it rusty? Do the numbers match? For those that already own that special car, they’ll probably tell you patience is key.  Depending on what you’re looking for, it might take some time and traveling, so keep that in mind. And when that magic moment finally does happen, be prepared to sometimes regret you ever even liked cars to begin with! Owning a piece of motoring history truly is a love/hate type of thing. But the pluses always, always outweigh the minuses.

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Also, tuning isn’t as simple as it is with newer cars. There aren’t as many “bolt on” parts as readily available, so creating something unique is actually a lot easier, limited only by imagination. And possibly the best part: no smog check.

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Driving something that’s 30+ years old is something everyone should try. There really is nothing quite like gripping the wheel of something so outdated yet so fun. In my case, a 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS. Huge engine+drum brake all around=quite an interesting drive. But the sounds, the smells, the sights. they just cannot be recreated in modern vehicles. A little nerve-wracking, sometimes downright scary, but you’ll never go for a drive and not smile.

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So with all this in mind, I hope some of you consider getting behind the wheel of a classic, before non-enthusiasts decide they’re too unsafe and to costly to the environment. So remember, if you want to save the world, don’t buy a Prius, recycle an old car!

– Jbab

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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.

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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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