Every Saturday, rain or shine, people from Portland / Vancouver will meet at the Cascade Station for Cars & Coffee from 8-11AM..
I first heard about this on the PNW section of VWVortex a few months back and have been wanting to check it out since.. Although I've been pushing it off week after week since I'm not the biggest fan of waking up early and the weather hasn't been all that great..
Yesterday, my friend Brant asked if I wanted to go check it out since he's never been to it either. Sure.. why not.. the weather forecast looked good and I invited a few people to go as well..
I got there at about 9:30 looked to see if there were other fellow VW owners to park next to.. and yes, which happened to be Cristian Kitchens and his MKIV R32..
I talked to Cristian online prior to this so it was nice to finally meet him..
One of the first cars I noticed was this Shelby Cobra 427.. paying tribute to Carrol Shelby who recently passed away.. Rest in peace..
Absolute pristine condition inside and out..
I honestly don't know too much about these.. but when you see a classic in this condition.. you can only appreciate.
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I've been wanting to make something like this for a while.. got a little free time last night.. thanks Starbucks Happy Hour... -__-
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New seat accessory release from BRIDE called "Fashion Protector". Designed to attach onto various areas of your BRIDE bucket seat using Velcro.
The idea is to prevent wear and tear on the seat's fabric when your racing harness is not in use.. though that sounds functional and all.. this is mainly a fashion accessory more than anything..
Available in Black, Red & Blue.
Source: RHD Japan Facebook
ECS Tuning is now offering a wide range of GEOMET coated rotors for Volkswagen, Audi & BMW.
Have you ever looked at your rotors right after you washed your car or after it has been sitting in the rain??
Nasty looking right? Usually you have to go out for a drive and do a few hard stops before the surface rust comes off and sometimes it becomes more than surface rust and just stays on permantely.
Well that's what these GEOMET coated rotors are trying to prevent.
"GEOMET is a special coating containing metal oxides, zinc, and aluminum flakes, sprayed over the entire rotor surface to ensure complete coverage, and baked on at 600 degrees to form a durable and attractive silver-gray finish that fights rust far better than paints or other conventional coatings."
Source: ECS Tuning
The oldest debate in the book... Real vs Fake Wheels.. it NEVER ends..
So.. what am I doing opening this can of worms?? Well I just want to voice my take on this topic once and for all since it seems like this has once again caught on fire on the interwebs and people have been linking me to this article from "Custom Pinoy Rides" talking about the durability of ROTA wheels..
Red Flag!.. the name "Custom Pinoy Rides".. for those who don't know Pinoy = Filipino.. and guess what?? ROTA Wheels is a company conveniently based in the Philippines. Bias much..?? Well it certainly doesn't help that under their site's "Sponsors", Rota happens to be one of them..
I must admit, it's a well written article and does a good job at getting the knockoff wheel supporters rowdy.. but for me, it didn't change my mind one bit.
Also, I'm not just targeting ROTA Wheels only.. I'm talking about fake/replica/knockoff wheel makers in general.. XXR, Drag, Varrstoen are all included.
What is my problem with fake/replica/knockoff wheel companies?
Immorality.. bad business.. To take someone else's idea and design then replicate it for profits. That's just bad businesses in any industry..
Don't even try to bullshit me about them just taking "inspirations" from these well-known legit wheel makers.. you and I both know that these fake wheel companies would be clueless about design if it wasn't for RAYS, SSR, Work, BBS, Mugen, CCW, etc.. because designing is not what they do.. imitating and stealing is their specialty..
Also take this into consideration.. why are legit wheels getting more expensive?? Well you can thank these fake wheel companies again. They hog up a huge chunk of the aftermarket wheel industry because they can produce at a high demand and sell at a low cost.. which makes it that much harder for the authentic wheel companies to lower their prices.
What is my problem with people who buy fake/replica/knockoff wheels?
To be honest, I bought a set of XXR 501 (SportMax at the time) and rocked them on my EG Civic when I was still in high school because that was all that I could afford at the time.. So I understand that not everyone can afford the real deal.. and I'm not trying to be a snob about this whole thing.. If that is all your budget is good for.. by all means, do your thing.. but please save up for something authentic at least once, even if they're used.
My biggest problems with some of these people is that they won't get their head out of their ass.. or try to fake the funk. I've read some of the comments and replies these people be trying to make.. Right after someone mentions anything about supporting legit companies, they will usually follow by a reply along the lines of "ohhh.. he must be mad because I paid a fraction of the price for the same thing.." No you ignorant fool.. that is not what's going through their mind.. you DO NOT have the same thing.. You can add 8 turbos to your grocery getter and out run a Bugatti Veyron for a fraction of the price.. but at the end of the day, you're not the one going home to a mansion in a Bugatti Veyron. It's not the same thing.
As for faking the funk.. please do not be that turd to put authentic stickers or center caps on your fake ass wheels.. you're not fooling anyone but yourself.. Someone with an eye for these things can spot it from a mile away.. so just don't do it.
Finally.. let's talk about durability, since that's what the title suggest on CPR's post..
Don't kid yourself.. do you really think there are any type of research and development put into those wheels?
They're budget probably consist of getting a team together to replicate the aesthetic characteristics of the original wheels.. and use "good enough" material to produce their wheels. End of story.
They can imitate the design all day long.. but they will never replicate the technical attributes that are involved with their authentic counterpart. Why not? Because if they were to do that, they would charge you the same price as these legit wheel makers are charging..
You can argue that most people don't even track their cars.. so why spend so much money.. Well you gotta understand.. there are people out there that likes high quality stuff regardless if they were to use it to their full potential or not.. "good enough" is just not good enough.. There are people who appreciate and support companies that continues to push forward in research and development.
You can also argue that they are just paying for the brand name.. well.. yeah, think about what's associated with a brand name and what makes them a brand name?? How about all that behind the scene stuff you don't see? The history, research, analysis, testing, equipment investment, World-Class sponsorships, etc. Unlike fashion, Motorsports products takes a little bit more than "hype" to succeed..
If you have 4 minutes watch this:
If you have 15 minutes watch this:
I would really like to see some of these fake wheel companies make a video about their development process and durability testing of their wheels.. but we all know that's not gonna happen..
I probably didn't even make a dent in this ongoing debate.. but that is my stance on this whole Real vs. Fake deal..
I will probably never buy a set of fake/replica/knockoff wheels again because I support companies that continues to push forward in the automotive industry. Maybe it's just me, but there's also a sense of pride associated with using high quality authentic parts that you just don't get with knockoffs..
Feel free to leave a comment or send me hate mail, I'm all geared up for it
Often imitated, never duplicated. Stay Classy.
This past Sunday, I went to Portland International Raceway to help my friend Juan and Andy take some pictures for their autocross session.. I didn't run with them because my schedule wasn't cooperating.. believe me I wanted to test out the new set up so badly..
Anyways, they were doing the afternoon session, so I got there at about 1:30 when the first run group starts..
Juan really wanted to run his slicks.. so he brought his own pit crew (his brother & a friend) to change the wheels out for him while he worked the cones..
SCCA usually gathers a diverse group of cars at their events.. this day was no exception..
Little Toyota Starlet..
Not so little Camaro..
I ran into Uriel, who I use to work with at an Acura Dealership.. He was out helping his buddy swap wheels and doing other Satan's work..
His friend's EK blew a motor mount..
The thing exploded.. though I think he still made it home that day..
Juan at the grid with his Miata and slicks..
And here's Andy on the grid with his champagne Ford Focus with smoked tail lights.. ain't nothing to play with
A girl was running this RSX.. Winnie the Pooh.. why you no happy??
Juan pulling up to the start..
Andy at the start.. doesn't he look like a police officer tho?? Hahaha
Andy takes his girlfriend for a ride as she prepares to pick her nose..
Of course.. all smiles afterwards
Same goes for Juan's buddy Kelsey..
Overall, it was a nice day even though I didn't run myself. It was just nice to be out with car guys doing car things..
And of course floss my car with the new wheel set up.. got quite a bit of compliments Just anxiously waiting for the next autocross on 5/13 with Porsche Club.
Then I met him in person later that day.. he was taking a picture of my car and I guess I caught him by surprised.
Anyways, it was nice to meet you Jake!!
First off.. just want to say, I did not personally run into Nakai-San.. My good forum buddy and OG supporter Dennis Monello aka jettagt8v80 had the pleasure and shared it with us.. I decided a story like this deserves more attention.
Anyways, the day went like this.. Dennis attended an open house from a local tuning shop somewhere in Massachusetts with some friends just to hang out with car people and have a good time..
As he got there someone texted one of his friends saying that a RWB Porsche will be there.. and sure enough.. the unmistakably low-riding, wide-body RAUH-Welt Porsche rolled up..
At this point.. I'm sure Dennis was in shock just by watching it creep down the road in front of his own eyes.. the road presence has got be crazy!!
But here's the icing on the cake.. take a closer look and who do you see riding shotgun??
That's right, founder of RAUH-Welt Begriff, Mr. Nakai-San himself!!
Here he is exiting the car.. Dennis tells us that many people there didn't even know who he was!! I guess it just depends on the type of crowd.. if Nakai was at a Fatlace or Canibeat show.. he'd have groupies all over him haha
I don't even care if he has woman shades on.. this man is a freaking living legend!!
Nakai taking a picture with a fan..
Here's the part where I think Dennis might beat himself up later down the road...
He got this close to the man and didn't even go for a handshake or a picture with him!!
WTF Dennis!! you're my dude and everything but HOW COULD YOU PASS UP AN OPPORTUNITY LIKE THIS?!?!?!
I understand if you got star struck for a minute and needed a little time before you approached him.. but I'm telling you man.. if I was there, I'd be screaming like a little girl asking for pictures, autographs, phone number, address, facebook, skype, etc!! These opportunities just don't come by everyday!
His creations draw a crowd everywhere, whether people know what they're looking at or not..
I honestly don't know too much about this build in particular.. it's somewhat low key compared to his other builds here in the states, such as Fatlace's "Pandora One" and Hoonigan RWB..
This 993 still features most of the RWB styling cues, such as huge riveted body parts and tall double decker wing..
Matte black / deep lip Rotiform INDs sets the stance.. I feel like the rear fitment could be pushed out a little more..
This is probably my favorite picture.. you can see him laid back, being so humbled about his work and appreciating all the attention.. I'm so glad he's getting recognized and appreciated for his amazing work worldwide nowadays!!
Being a true car guy himself, Nakai shows curiosity and appreciation toward other people's work..
Lastly I'll finish off with this picture.. looks like it came straight out of an anime scene hahaha. STRAIGHT BOSS
Thank you Dennis for sharing this incredible experience with us and taking all the pictures! I am so jealous right now, you don't even know!! Hopefully one day I get the opportunity to meet him in person as well.