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Mighty Car Mods: Chasing Midnight

Moog and Marty - Mighty Car Mods

The guys at Mighty Car Mods have done it again, releasing another of their beautifully shot films. Finding themselves back in Japan for a third time (check out their other Japan drifting YouTube vids), Marty and Moog immerse themselves in Japanese car culture by visiting their drifting buddies, The 88s.

I absolutely love the Japanese attitude towards building custom cars and helping one another out. Mighty Car Mods’ latest JDM drifting film, Chasing Midnight captures this coming together and willing to help perfectly.

Whilst the guys didn’t entirely understand the Jap way in modding cars when it came to slamming and welding the suspension, Marty and Moog end up with a MAAAAD drift car they end up giving back to the 88s after some serious tyre-smoking action.

If you are into car culture, this film is a must.

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Don’t Wake The Sleeping Wagons

sleeper

Gargling Gas adores the wagon/estate cars and gets all excited and squirmy over sleepers – because these two trends have been red hot for a few years now, you only have to take a short trip from your front door to stumble across a project or two.

I stumbled across an Audi estate today, the reason for this post and also to touch on a prospect wagon/sleeper build I’ve been thinking of taking on since I saw an old twin-turbo Mitsubishi for sale at the side of a road for peanuts. The Audi wasn’t anything special, a late 90s silver estate, sitting slightly low. I wasn’t sure if the suspension was worn or the owner intended the slight drop, but judging by the reconditioned and freshly painted rims, I guess the former. Simply adding dark metallic grey rims to a retro estate suddenly gave it bags of character and instantly erased any preconceptions about “family runs”, “another baby on the way” and practicality.

Over the past few years, Wagons have gained popularity, partly thanks to the Hipster trend and their penchant for 80s euro estates like the Volvos and BMWs, and partly (I think) because the boxy and retro cars are fast becoming the cool ride to customise. Whether it’s a Volvo drift missile, a GM dragster, or even a Japanese sleeper, the need for angles and sharp lines, simplicity and easy tuning means anyone can stamp their mark on a cool car without breaking the bank.

Despite its spike in popularity, compared to the much sought after 80s Jap hot-hatch turbos such as the Honda City Turbo, the Nissan March (turbo and supercharged) and the Toyota GTI-R Pulsar, the wagon is still a cheaper option. Same goes if you were to compare the wagon to the Nissan Silvia, predominately the S13, as it’s the ultimate choice for drift builds and fast becoming hard to find unmolested and in manual.

However, there were a few desirable wagons before the likes of the AMGs and the Ms took over, cars built for the family man refusing to compromise on power. The BMW 325i Touring (below) and the Audi RS2 Avant (above) are great examples of German engineering, cars designed to transport family and furniture comfortably and at speed – solid examples are few and far between.

The great thing about the retro Wagon is you’re bring something different to the table, its versatility shrugging off any of the labels that automatically come with the hot hatch and drift missile. The fact they mostly come as RWD means they can be adapted for drifting; if you require the stealthy sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing mobile, the wagon is the master of deception, especially if it has a roof rack.

Back to the Mitsubishi. If I remember correctly, it was the twin-turbo Galant VR4 Estate with tinted glass, after-market rims and bonnet vents, very much like the picture above. The thing was dusty but looked menacing, as though abandoned. It’s twin-turbo 2.5-L V6  had covered 89,000 miles and it was up for £2750, but I already had a WRX wagon I was having fun in at the time.

The VR4 produces 280-bhp, and with some tuning and light modification, it could pump out 320-bhp, something easily obtainable with a twin-turbo V6. The one I saw for sale wasn’t exactly a sleeper because it suggested power and menace, but imagine sourcing a clean example with original rims and a ventless bonnet. Picture it, having had a full engine service, a slight boost increase and a re-map, up on a dyno, the readout topping 320-bhp. You could get away with stripping out the interior because tinted rear glass isn’t uncommon with estates. You’d be left with a considerably lighter, 320+bhp twin-turbo family wagon, an ostensibly unthreatening car… until you cut it up on the motorway.

For a third of the price of decent Nissan S13 or a rare Jap hot-hatch turbo you can pick up a car with so much tuning potential and areas of weight reduction, it will come an obsession until you finally hit its sweet spot and see your reflection grinning back at you in the rearview as you glide past a 911 turbo.

What Are Your Car Plans For 2014?

Right, that’s Christmas done with and all the family stuff out of the way; now I can get back to writing about cars. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, it’s just I love cars more.

2014 is only a few days away and I know what I want to achieve car-wise (nothing else really concerns me enough to think about a change), so with this in mind, what are my fellow auto-lovers up to? Are you in the middle of a build, considering new modifications, or even buying a new car?

The biggest box I want to tick is the NEW CAR category. As you know from my previous posts, I have a thing for the Skyline R32 GTR, so I want to sell my WRX and find a clean example, preferably black. I want to make it look evil, staying away from the whole ‘murdered-out’ matte effect.

I also want to take drifting to the next level, but as the R32 is AWD like my WRX, and it will be too nice to crash, I’ll have to think about a cheap second car, one I can just repair with rip ties and not worry about it.

Secondly, I hope to post a lot more and even add some DIY photos/videos of any mods I undertake.

Thirdly, keep reminding myself that, whilst I’m trying to boost Gargling Gas’ profile, I have to write articles for auto publications so I can pay for stuff.

So what are you guys up to in 2014?

JDM Dream Concept From Nissan

JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) fans and petrolheads into retro styling will trip over their tongues when they see the latest concept from Nissan and tuner gods NISMO. As soon as I spotted this I felt a pang of dread as I realised this was a concept and, although a similar model may hit the market in the next few years, it wouldn’t be exactly the same as the above… I want that one! I want I want I want!

Nissan are using the proportions and straight stance of a simple three-box shaped car design in their IDx Nismo, aiming to meet the needs of the younger generation. I love the idea and the fact all the latest technology is housed in a body reminiscent of the 70s Nissan Bluebird (Datsun 190B) or an early GT-R.

There is a similar model that wears its sensible trousers, but that isn’t worth talking about. It’s this sporty IDx Nismo that looks like something that’s just crashed out from from a gamer’s TV screen. Just check out those side mufflers! With a direct injection 1.6-L turbocharged engine and a six-speed CVT box, this little car should boast some satisfactory figures. And because Nismo have tinkered with it, it’s going to handle well on those gorgeous 225/40 19-inch rims.

One feature that stands out the most is the reverse-slanted nose seen on some muscle cars – it gives the IDx Nismo an aggressive and fast look. Those ultra cool side mufflers offer a pleasing exhaust note. The car also features modern touches such as front/rear and right/left aerodynamic spoilers and lightweight 225/40 19-inch tyres.

Overall I think this car will more than appeal to the younger generation; I reckon owners of the old school variety will also like a big slice of this car. JDM enthusiasts will revel in the upgrades and the potential for custom mods and body wraps. A turbo-charged 1.6-L engine should produce around 180-200-bhp, and combined with its light weight and compact size, it should attract the likes of the tuners.

I love this concept and really hope we see something like this from other big brands in the future.