’87 Monte Carlo SS Project Grown

#FullMonte It may have taken Dan 16 years, 2 Montes and 1 accident but the insane build is in full force. Taking it down to the frame – just to build it right back up. Welcome to the full Monte build, A.K.A Project Grown.

The car has been stripped, the motor preped and parts are arriving daily. OneRide will keep you up to date on this build before we present the finished beast. Follow #FullMonte for project updates.

…more to come

Hitting The Touge In Spoon’s Type R Killer

Can a tuned, base model new Civic be as fun – and as fast – as a Type R?

That’s the question Spoon wants us to ask ourselves about the FK7 Civic. Undoubtedly, the new FK8 Civic Type R has been a huge success; since launching in 2017 demand has been strong for the high-power hatch, and only very recently did the new Renault Megane steal the Nürburgring FF crown.

But those of us with a bit of grey in our hair will remember a time when Type R simply meant less weight, more RPM, stiffer everything, no variable suspension or drive modes, and certainly no turbocharger. The good ol’ days, it seems, are dead.

So where does that leave the multitude of tuners who built their business on the back of Honda’s particular performance recipe? It seems to me like the modern day boosted Honda owner might not look as quickly to names like Mugen, J’s Racing or Spoon as they once did.

I decided to visit Spoon to find out.

Although we’re talking modern turbocharged Hondas today, there are still plenty of classic hits from the big H to be enjoyed at the Type One HQ in Suginami-ku .

The simply awesome Spoon S660 I’d driven a year ago has had its development finished, and was resting on the second level storage rack.

I spent what felt like hours poring over this NSX engine, which powered the Spoon NSX-R at the Macau GP back in the day. Dino did a feature on that car in 2011. With 3.5-litre capacity and plenty of trick bits (like the Toda individual throttle bodies you can see here) it made over 400hp – Project NSX was getting serious engine envy.

It’s always a pleasure just spending time at Type One; there’s never a shortage of interesting cars and car parts to check out.

The current model Civic isn’t a car that instantly drew me in with its slightly awkward angles when I first saw it back in 2017. However, seeing this white example hunkered down over a classic Spoon wheel design did get me a bit excited.

Most of the development work for the FK7 has been led by 20-year Spoon veteran Daisuke Jomoto between racetracks in Japan and the US. This very prototype has already lapped Tsukuba faster than the current production Type R, an undoubtedly impressive feat.

Daisuke handed me the keys, apologised for the noisy diff (a prototype LSD), and I was on my way.

To put the Spoon FK7 through its paces I’d be leaving the confines of the Tokyo metropolis and heading north, passing through the city of Nikko and into the mountains that form the natural border around the Kanto region.

The scenery up here is beautiful, and the area is a popular weekend getaway for Tokyoites – in winter for the ski fields, and in spring/fall for the spectacular transitionary colours of the native flora. Summer is a bit of a dead season, which makes it the perfect time to come in search of touge.

The miles of perfect highway stretching north of Tokyo revealed very little about the Spoon FK7. Many of the creature comforts including the stereo have been deleted from this demo car, and the stock driver’s seat binned in favour of a carbon-Kevlar Spoon bucket with about as much padding as a newspaper on a church pew. I suspect some sound deadening had been removed too, as I had only my thoughts and the constant thrum of the Bridgestone Potenza RE71R’s sticky outer carcasses to listen to.

Comfortable it most definitely is not, but that’s not a parameter this car is built with any concern for.

It should rather be judged on how quickly one can get from point A to B, and how much fun the driver has extracting that performance. Thankfully, I found just the roads to make that judgement.

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Old School Imports Hawaii: Everything You Need

Hawaii is not a place I associate with old school JDM cars, or really anything other than lifted 4x4s and dorky dads in convertible rentals that obviously come with any tourist territory. However, after being in Oahu just a few days, it became clear that these islands have everything you need, car culture included.

Trevor and I got a taste of this last year, so we knew that there are a number of really nice modified cars on the island of Oahu. But we didn’t know what to expect when we headed out to a meet in Pearl City last Saturday night, as organized by Tommy Dolormente.

Tommy kindly invited us out to see what the Oahu has to offer, and helped round up an extra strong group of cars for the evening. Trevor and I were pleasantly surprised when we rolled up to the outer edge of a Walmart parking lot in the center of the island and straightway spotted some of our favorite cars.

‘Old School Imports Hawaii’ was inadvertently started by Tommy and his friends when a handful of guys donated gifts to a toy drive and were required to report their ‘club’ name. In reality, Tommy says the group is not a club or a crew, so to speak, but rather a community and family of people who love old, quirky cars.

The OSIxHI crowd definitely has a long-term relationship feel to it; it was almost like we were witnessing an extended family barbeque rather than a car meet. And although there was no slow cooking of meat here, the meet was ultra-mellow and inviting in stereotypical Hawaiian fashion.

There were also no burnouts or cops getting involved, instead just a group of friends doing what they love to do most. There might not have been a row of numerous NSXs or modded RX-7s, but I felt like at least one of everything you needed showed up.

Some of my all-time favorite models made an appearance too, so allow me to take you on a quick tour of my personal picks…

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The Challenge Of Modifying In Japan: Project Rough Goes Through Shaken

How is it possible for Japanese car enthusiasts to get away with that? It’s a phrase I’ve heard countless times on various social media platforms. And for good reason, too – here in Japan there are no shortage of vehicles slammed mere millimeters off the ground, and with exhaust systems so loud that it makes the bosozoku seem tame.

Yes, there are times when the police do take the initiative and crackdown on modified cars, but compared to many other countries around the world, Japan really is a safe haven for tuners.

Every two years though, that safe haven is challenged as all vehicles are required to undergo an extensive shaken inspection.

I’ve just been through this with Project Rough, and brought my camera along for the ride.

Vehicle owners in Japan have three options when it comes to theshaken inspection. The first and cheapest is to simply get rid of your car. Some people would rather not deal with the headaches of returning their cars to shaken-legal status or making any necessary repairs, so simply offload them to someone else.

The second option comes with a lesser headache. As Dino has mentioned previously, a lot of shops in Japan make their living by handling the whole shaken process on behalf of their customers. But this is not cheap, and the set fees plus service starts at around ¥100,000 (US$915 at current exchange rates) depending on the shop, the car, and what’s actually required in order to pass the test.

The third option comes with the biggest headache of them all, but is significantly cheaper than option two, and that’s for an owner to do everything themselves. Just for the inspection, taxes and mandatory car insurance called jibaiseiki, you’re looking at around ¥60,000 (US$550), but if you take matters into your own hands that’s all the shaken will cost.

Given that Project Rough is a bit of a budget build, I’m sure you can guess what option I went with…

Pre Race: Lincoln Electric Rally of the Tall Pines 2019

Need plans for the weekend? You should be in Bancroft to witness The 2019 Lincoln Electric Rally of the Tall Pines. You really don’t need an excuse to hang out in Bancroft, Ontario, do you? Especially when the rally is on. The 7th event in the Canadian Rally Championship is coming up November 22 & 23 and it is far from the same old story line.

What’s the same? Well you can say the excitement, the adventure, the beautiful scenery and the fresh beer from Bancroft Brewing Co. Familiar sponsors like Lincoln Electric, Tim Hortons, M&M Esso, and Vance Motors to name a few. Race wise you can expect 120km of stage racing with 321km of transit. Challenging conditions are typical for this race, which make for some great spectator action!

What’s new this year? Well let’s start from the top, with the new race coordinator, Bruce Leonard. The Golton night stage has been eliminated and two final stages in Hastings Highlands have been added. They run on Cross Country Road and McDonald Mine Road. They are well maintained roads and run fast and could very well determine the winner of the rally.

The event has also been moved from the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend which gives American teams a better chance to attend. This year brings back Conner Martell from Vermont Racing as well as Rob Sanders with his 2018 Subaru WRX. Fan favourite Crazy Leo also makes his return!

This weekend is poised to be top notch! Make sure you post your rally experience here and find event coverage on OneRide.com. For more rally info check out TallPinesRally.com.

Baywatch: SEMA Edition

If there’s anything I’ve learned from SEMA this year, it’s that the best place to enjoy the event is from the comfort of my own home, some 5,000 miles away.

Okay, maybe I’m a little bit jealous of our own Team Brexit enjoying the Nevada sunshine, the neon lights and the general positive vibes of Sin City, but I don’t envy the mammoth effort required just to get around the show while trying to identify the cars which need to be captured and shared.

Factor in a healthy dose of jet lag, and the rain outside my window doesn’t feel so bad after all.

I do think the best way to document SEMA is to cast as large a net as possible. It’s pointless to become fixated on one or two builds at the expense of the rest, as there’s nearly always something just as, or even more exciting around the corner. SEMA rewards graft.

Mark must be of the same opinion, as this gallery of engine bays from the Las Vegas Convention Center covers pretty much every major engine layout you can think of: vees, inlines, flat-fours, turbocharged, supercharged, naturally aspirated and even spinning triangles.

By presenting such a wide variety of applications, it also allows us to gauge what you’re most interested in, so we can chase them up at a later date. I’ve definitely spent longer looking through these photographs than writing the short pieces of copy which accompany this gallery (quelle surprise I hear you say), but there’s definitely more than one in here that I want to know much, much more about.

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Rally Japan: Our Top 5 Moments


1. The first and best
The prospect of victory on Japan’s first WRC round in 2004 was laughable for Petter Solberg a fortnight before the start. Except nobody was laughing. The Norwegian had just emerged from the biggest crash of his career and co-driver Phil Mills was still recovering in hospital. The next rally was Japan and the biggest weekend in Subaru’s history in the sport. Solberg delivered a stunning and unforgettable win with the Impreza WRC (pictured above).

See all five…

The A90 Supras Of SEMA

The new Toyota Supra just came out, right? Wow! Look at this craziness at SEMA. So many “jacked” Supras! Let’s see what the guys from SpeedHunters had to say about their visit to SEMA….

It doesn’t feel like all that long ago we were waiting for the final reveal of the new Supra after an eternity of teasing from Toyota.

It’s hardly surprising then that after such anticipation, SEMA 2019 could easily be mistaken for A90 SupraFest instead. Our team on the ground counted over 30 examples during load-in and the main hall alone, and we’re sure there are more hiding throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This was always going to be the case, as SEMA is the first major international aftermarket show since owners and shops started taking delivery of their own A90s after Tokyo Auto Salon.

You’re all aware at this point of the amount of conversation this car has generated since its official reveal, and it’s not territory which we’re going to cover here again. Everyone has their views on the car already, and it’s probably a waste of time trying to convince anyone to change their mind, either way.

There is, however, one thing which we should all be able to get behind, and that’s the injection of excitement that the A90 Supra has brought to the industry. It’s been a while since we’ve had a new car which has generated this much hype and interest straight from the factory. […]

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Oregon Trail Rally – Media Pass

I Like Long Walks In The Wilderness, Rocks In My Shoes & Dirt On Everything

Trevor Yale Ryan

As I’ve touched on in my previous coverage from the Oregon Trail Rally, I’ve long wanted to shoot an event like this. But at the same time, I knew it would be an incredible amount of work to pull it off properly.

Beyond the 18-hour day that would be required to shoot the event itself, another full day of recce would be necessary if I was going to go about it on my own. As such, I was happy for the opportunity to tag along with my friend Chris Daley for the day, rather than to drive aimlessly through the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest myself.

While I wanted to share a bit of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the various stunning landscapes we encountered on our journey, this didn’t quite fit into my standard coverage of the event. So, here we are…

Hour after hour was spent in the truck on Saturday, and each stage was completely different than (and miles apart from) the others. But before I dive into our adventures from the day it’s best I introduce the cast.

First up is Chris Daley in the #38 vest, who was shooting for the event itself and no less than a couple of dozen regional drivers. As such, there was no wiggle room in his itinerary for the day.

Then, there was another Trevor in the group — Trevor Stevens — in vest #18 and, finally, Curtis Zapar. While Curtis spent much of the day gazing majestically at the horizon, his role as ‘Swahili Translator’ worked wonders with the locals.

There’s plenty of standing around and waiting between stages to catch the cars on course, so having a decent group of guys to hang out with for the day goes a long, long way.

Another important aspect is actually having a vehicle that can travel the courses. Sure, these are public roads so any car can technically make it in good weather, but being able to climb off the trail at any point means you can find your way to a safe spot without having to hike out to it.

This might seem like a small thing, but over the course of the day I logged eight miles of wandering around and, frankly, it didn’t seem that I did all that much exploring by foot. It would have been at least twice this if we had to hike to our initial locations. […]

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2019 Rocky Mountain Rally

The 2019 Rocky Mountain Rally has come and gone with a bang. The rally is the second event in the Canadian Rally Championship. Held in the gorgeous Columbia Valley in Invermere, B.C., the two day event had its challenges with the first day being wet and muddy and the second day totally opposite – dry.

Brandon Semenuk and John Hall raced their Ford Fiesta R5 to victory. This was Semenuk’s second win at the Rocky Mountain Rally. They were the leaders after the first day and continued their dominance on day two. Just over a minute back was the Mini navigated by Joel Levac and Stephanie Lewis. The third step on the podium went to Maxime Labrie and Anik Barette, out of Quebec.

The next stop in the Canadian Rally Championship is June 28-30 in New Richmond, Quebec.

Enjoy these rally photos by photographer Colby Spence, a Lambda Motorsports team member.