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Location: Indonesia
Occupation: Following Those Damn Trains
V$: Broke
#157787   2019-08-30 20:43          
Sweet Home Oklahoma
(plus my guest feature from Side to Side thread)

I didn't expect this to happen but I'M BACK TO THE LAND OF THE FREE! :D
Yep, I'll be spending the remainder of the summer together with my trusty boys from Side to Side crew.
This time we'll have a look and fun with their new, shiny toys, as well as looking for a whip of my own.
Let's see what's in the Side by Side toybox by checking out the update below! :D

[18 Aug 2019, later that day]
Later that day, I safely landed at DFW Airport at noon. As I walked off the arrival gate and approaching the terminal, I spotted Soju(well, Soju) arriving as well, so I went to get him. It's a bit painful for me to see his annual Japan trip got cut short due to this, but Soju didn't seem to mind. After all the Side to Side crew lent their S14 to him to use at Ebisu Drift Matsuri, so this can be taken as a way to say thanks to them.

"Hey Soju! How's the flight man?"
"Yoooo you've arrived as well! Nothing much, my back hurts a bit though"
"Let's fix that with a cup of coffee shall we? I'll call Ziga as well, he must we waiting"
"Good idea, my flight meal wasn't much good so I neeed for a tongue fix as well"
"Ouch, I feel for you man. Mine was....well....just a standard flight meal. Bread was good though"

As we have a cup of hot caribbean coffee, I called Ziga(Lagano).

"Hey Ziga, your friendly neighbours is here"
"Ah finally! I'm glad you've arrived safely? Still in airport?"
"Yup, I and Soju are having a bit of coffee here"
"Oh great! I was rather worried about you two, y'know. Okay I'll get there, wait for me"
"Okay man take your time, we haven't finished our coffee yet"
*chuckles* "Must be a good one eh? Anyways see ya later, I got a surprise for you"
"Later man"

Hmmmmmmm, what could it be? The last time Ziga and Benny(well, Benny) picked us from DFW, they used Benny's trusty R33 and their Silverado, which is now in my possession. Don't worry, they've got themsleves a much better workhorse recently, in the form of a Ford F150 Raptor. That thing is HUGE! Now since they planted an LS7 inside the SIlverado before they handed the keys to me, I can only expect them to either purchasing the Henessey VelociRaptor performance pack or doing it by themselves again......probably by fitting another Ford V8, possibly a Shelby V8.

Coffee and quick recovery done, we headed off to the airport's exit, where we saw......a Porsche! And a modern one at that! I was wondering why it looked a bit unfinisehd but that was the hint that Ziga's already here to pick us up. If you're wondering, that's a 997 S, and they got it in the 2+2 configuration, so it's enough to pick me and Soju up. For some reason it sits on Cayenne stockies......though I suspect Porsche actually offered this as an optional wheel for Carreras. As you can see, Ziga has fitted carbon bonnet and front fenders, as well as RUF RT12 bodykit and my personal favourite part, boot and a huge wing from the 997 GT3 Cup/CupR racer!

Ziga got this Porsche for quite cheap, slightly cheaper than my Silver Queen I reckon, for a rather good reason: It was crashed, so it turned up as a salvage titled car. Thankfully only the front exterior parts are wrecked, and both front end and electronics are still intact. Challenged with restoing it to it's former glory and the crew's standards, Ziga bought it and the restoration process is pretty much done, though could use some more perfromance parts. Oh yah, that's what the Side to Side crew do these days: Since they've tuned a hell lot of tuners and muscle cars, they've stepped up their game by modding exotic sports and supercars. Of course Benny got his own exotica automobilia as well, but we'll get to that later.

Being someone that rarely see Porsches up close in pretty much a whole lifetime, I was absolutely thrilled to see a Porsche like this, and quickly fanboys all over it. I mean how did Ziga keep this thing streetlegal with that towering racecar wing? As I, Soju and Ziga shared fistbumps and brohugs, Ziga prepped the Porsche to load our luggage. But hilariously Ziga went to the back of the car, i.e. where the engine is. As we shared some laughter, Ziga noticed that the wing almost touched the rear window. Thankfully, the boot, which is on the front, is enough to contain Soju's luggage, as well as mine. Then we finally got in the car......though there was a bit of a problem: Due to my thiccness, I didn't fit in the backseat. Thankfully, Soju does, so I was on the passenger seat beside Ziga.

Z:"Well that's a sign to reduce chicken consumption intake wasn't it?" *massive laughter*
E:"Oh come on I love chickens! Ii'm just naturally a thicc boi"
Z:"Well they don't call you BigSmoke for nothing after all"
S:"Hey the legroom back here isn't so bad after all, it's comfy enough for me"
E:"Is it? I got a better idea though"
S:"What is it?"
*car starts and we roll off the airport*
E:"Sit sideways man. You sit transversally, with your back leaning to the bodywork, your feet on the seat as well"
S:"That sounds nice but ain't that a bit.......disrespectful?"
E:"Well obviously remove your shoes first man. But yeah, it's Ziga's car after all"
Z:"I don't really mind actually, that sounds like a nice sitting position"
E:"That's how I sometimes do backseat rides on my homeland man"
S:"Eh, sitting normally is already comfy for me anyways"

Before we blast ourselves back to Ardmore,OK, we made a short trip a bit further to Dallas,TX, for some fuel. As you'd expect, owning a Porsche means adding some more bucks to your fuel bills since it has a not-so-huge fuel tank and worse, it's rather thirsty. Could be worse though: Tuning this Porsche is quite expensive, almost every part can be used for either a decent used performance car in Japan or probably a dump truck full of number nines :)) Traffic was rather friendly for us, the interstates wasn't as crowded as I expected. Still, since we're in Texas, it's scorching hot, so AC was on full position all day long, killing fuel consumption even further.

Ziga noticed the fuel is enough to do a bit of sightseeing around downtown Dallas though, so he headed there and we did exactly that. A sight of a huge city isn't exactly new to us, but it's always exciting to see the life and activites running inside it, like those we always see inside western movies. The 997 turns a lot of people's attention in the city, either because it's a Porsche, or because it's a loud one. Or probably because it's an unfinished one running around with bare carbon on the front and unpainted rear bumper :)) Not that I'm complaining though, since as I've explained before, modding a Porsche is a pricey business.

That sight continued at the petrol station we come into before leaving Dallas, the 997's flat six engine was quite loud even in idle, turning everyone's attention and possibly became a social media star in mere seconds :)) Ziga didn't seem to mind this, I guess he's one of the people that believes there's no such thing as bad publicity. With the Porsche receiving it's meal full to the brim, we head back to Ardmore and talked a lot of things, particularly Soju's Japan trip and our weekend at the Ebisu Drift Matsuri. It turns out Ziga's S14 is formerly Soju's, hence Ziga didn't need to think twice to lent the car to him: He basically returned it for a while :)) Of course we also talked about my Meme Machine X110 project, and what the Drift Matsuri had impacted to the car.

But our run for the day hasn't over. As we still experience jet lag, Benny put us on another and crazier shenanigans as the sun goes down. I've talked about this in my guest feature at Side to Side thread, but if you haven't read it, read it over here! :D

[19 Aug 2019]
You know what it is, it's paycheck time! Another V$940 dives into my wallet cheerfully. This time, we get to see some of the latest Side to Side rides, and I'm sure you've been waiting for this. We came to the garage in a calm, peaceful morning and ready to work all day long. Ziga came with his Golf, one of his alternative daily rides. Now as you probably already know, the Side to Side crew has a hell lot of cars, both here in their main HQ at Ardmore and their business base (for their shop, Art of Wheels and Opposite Style. Visit them here!) at Los Angeles. Their collection includes a drift Chevelle, drag Soarer and Supra A80, a Mark II X90 imported straight from Japan, an AE86 with 3S-GE.....and many more. But for now, these are the cars that are going to be run and/or worked on for the day.

You might already notice something very, very peculiar yet interesting. "Is that a Lambo?" Yup, it actually is! This is Benny's new daily driver, a pre-facelift Lamborghini Aventador. Just like Ziga's, this bull was a salvage car. Apparently, Benny told me, this Lambo was driven at speed by a certain young man before he went out of control, and this ended up with him and the Lambo rushing down into a river and was getting close from turning itself into an italian luxury submarine :))

Luckily though almost everything in the back was still dry, and the electric installment were still able to be saved. So all he had to do was fixing and cleaning it up. And do you know how much does this costed Benny when he bought it? An absolutely whopping V$31,000! "Hey, how come he got a Lambo for so cheap?! This is unreal and not fair!" Did you read the part when I mentioned this car plunged into a river? If you do, then you can summarize that this was originally a broken, non-running Lambo. And Benny spent some time restoring and improving it to this condition. All he changed on it was the wheels, which are a set of Brixton Forged Circuit HS1+ (hot damn what a name). This wheel, being a luxury wheel despite it's model name, costed him around another V$5000-6000. It's not everyday you can see a Lambo as handsome as this.....must be a joy to ride on as well! :D

On the rightside of the Lambo, it's Benny's trusty R33 yu've seen earlier, sitting and resting after an unxepected night of racing on the highway, On the left, it's Ziga's 997 which as you've read earlier was tasked to pick me and Soju from the airport and had some time running around Downtown Dallas.

Of course, these aren't the only cars inside the garage. So what else are present on that day? Also uuuhhhh......obligatory Lambo rear end picture because it looks so sharp and sleek. The Aventador is arguably the one that started Lambo's new trend of hexagonal designs(the Murcielago doesn't have lots of edges around it though indeed looks similar, and the Gallardo is at best.....boxy) that still runs to this day. I don't know why really, but I love it though it does end up with split opinions. Some like myself loves it as a refreshment from the designs of yesteryears and as a symbol of Lambo's future ventures. But of course detractors(no pun intended) dislikes it for being too edgy and containing traces of Lambo's parent company, Volkswagen AG. Yep, same desgin traits can be found on the likes of Audi, Seat, Skoda etc......but eh, that's not a huge deal for me. You gotta join forces to survive these days, and after all humans are social beings who depends on each other to survive. Once the idealism of individuality poisons your mind......omae wa mou shinde iru I should say.

On the other side of the garage, there's Ziga's Golf I've shown earlier and, up there in the working bay, one of Benny's new projects, a Honda S2000. The other one is an Infiniti G35, which Benny said would be prepared for SEMA appearance later this year. As for the S2K......Bbenny hasn't told me anything about it yet, but I suspect it'll be either a spare track car or another show and stance car. It's fit for both purpose I should say, though I prefer it to be a track car. It's another salvage as well, with damages to the front end and rear axle. It was driven reckelssly just like the Lambo, but unlike the Lambo it wasn't so lucky as it ended up slamming a high roadside curb. The bitter part is it wasn't the owner who crashed it, but rather someone that is going to repair it. Quite ironic, innit? The owner himself, a middle-to-higher age man was obviously devastated over the sight of his pride and joy destroyed. Benny has promised him a ride-along when this thing has restored to it's former glory.

As for the Golf, this one is a MkII Golf, not sure which trim but certainly not a GTI. This Golf has been one of the longest car that has ever stayed on the Side to Side garage, and eventually it has been finished recently. The Golf in the standard GTI model is already a benchmark and big daddy of hot hatch bois that'll pump your heart and testosterones to the max, but this being a Side to Side vehicle of course has received some enhancements. Most notably is the custom front grille, 16in Desmond Regamaster Evos wrapped in Advan AD08(similar tyres as my Silver Queen, with mine being AD08R variant) and that edgy and muscular Rallye Golf replica kit. Speaking of which, there are lots of European exclusive special Golfs, such as the Rally Golf, Golf Country (basically 4x4 offroad Golf) and the Golf CityStromer (an electric powered Golf). None made it outside Europe due to lack of demand and interest, though the Rallye Golf was considered to be imported from Europe to US market. Sadly though, the one who proposed the idea later died in a plane bombing explosion. And thus, the Rallye Golf never came stateside.

Oh I almost forgot to tell what's inside this particular Golf, so let me tell you to lift all the sorrow state I brought earlier. This Golf isn't powered by anything from VW AG, not even anything German or European. You might not believe it but this Golf is now powered SR20DE! Yup, the same engine you can find in JDM Silvias and 180SXs. An FWD SR20DE isn't exactly a rare sight to be honest, in fact you can find it more often than the RWD ones. Tthe SR20 powers cars like the Nissan Sentra, Nissan Primera/Infiniti G20(with a BTCC overall title on its belt), Nissan NX-series (an oddball FWD little sports car, designed to go against the likes of Honda Del Sol. Look it up) and of course Nissan's pocket rocket that is the Nissan Pulsar. The SR20DE is present in Australia and New Zealand's highest trim, the Pulsar SSS. The Japanese market got something to top that, which is the Pulsar GTI-R that has SR20DET linked to an AWD drivetrain. Justified though, as it's a Group A homologation special. You can also find an SR20DE inside, of all things, Nissan Serena family van, which can be specced with FWD or AWD drivetrain. The Serena was heavy as hell though, so don't expect this as a sleeper :)) The one in this Golf has been lightly tuned, and produces circa 200 BHP just like the Pulsar SSS did.

Later that day I browsed various sites to see how much an Evo 6 would cost in Japan-ah yes I haven't tell you that the Side to Side crew has the holy grail of all classic Evos, the Evo 6 TME! This one is a rather unique one as it doesn't have that side stripe and painted in purplish blue, which actually was an option. But these days, red paint and the side stripe is pretty much the diktat for JDM collectors. Back to Ziga's TME, he got this one from a federal auction that I tipped to him a long time ago. The TME and the drag Supra was owned by a drug cartel somewhere around Oklahoma, and all of his collection was seized as proofs and then auctioned by the cops. At the moment Ziga would drive the Supra at times, but for the Evo.....he hasn't done anything to it, even probably going to get rid of it.

Back to my browsing activities, Evo 6 prices are pretty much ranged from quite competitive for a regularly used example to basically off-the-scale for a pristine example, including obviously TMEs. But then I saw multiple listings for Evo 5. They, along with the Evo 4 are actually cheaper than my Evo 3 and came with manual as well. Then I checked the Evo 5 specs to compare with Evo 3. So basically the Evo 3 is smaller and lighter, but the 5 has more rigid and wider(though heavier and tax-impacting) body, stronger engine and the one that really piqued my interest, adjustable stock wing! That alone was enough to make myself considering to purchase an Evo 5 to replace my Evo 3......but then again I need to finish the rest this year's time attack events and the Silver Queen has a very special place in my heart. After all, it's my first car and it has seen all the shenanigans and memories that I've made here. But then again, probably the only way to keep myself being competitive in time attack events is switching to a newer car.

Also, it has to be noted that Evo 4, 5, and 6 are the generations that yielded Mitsubishi's WRC driver title quattrick on the hands of Tommi Makinen. The 1998 title was also the only time when Mitsubishi secured bith driver and manufacturer titles. The 1998 title was almost never going to happen had if Carlos Sainz Sr.'s Toyota Corolla didn't broke down at the very last stage of the final rally of the year, 300 meter to the finish line. Understandably, Sainz Sr. was extremely pissed off he kicked the car, and Sainz's co-driver, Luis Moya, eventually decided to throw his helmet and broke the Corolla's rear window after they failed to get it going again. Tommi, who failed to complete the rally two days earlier due to breaking his rear wheel axle(and kept on driving until he was caught by police), was already at the hotel and prepared to catch a plane back home, but not before he had some interviews with the medias over the certainity of losing his title. Mid-interview, Tommi's crew who was spotting for Tommi's teammate, Richard Burns(who won the rally) called Tommi on phone that Sainz has stopped and he has sealed another title(the title fight was only between these two). Tommi was obviously shocked and surprised, and rushed back to the rally venue to celebrate his third title with his crew. Here's some of the iconic scene pics, where Tommi broke his axle and Sainz stopped near the finish line.

Anyways, tell me, should I keep my Silver Queen or is it indeed the time to say goodbye to her?

[23 Aug 2019]
It was a dry and quiet day at the Side to Side garage, only filled with banters, random car sleuthing and window shopping as well as lots of coffees and beer kegs. Obviously I was high on caffeine and bored as hell, so to make myself feel a bit better I decided to go for a drive. But then again, I don't have anything to drive for a while here. I don't want to risk myself involved in a high-speed accident, so I decided to grab the VW Golf for a spin. Tthankfully, Ziga allows me to drive it and immediately gave me the keys for it. And so, I went for a drive to downtown Ardmore.

The Golf drives....just like a Golf would normally do: Keen to turn around and runs sprightly, but not to the point you can easily overcook it. And that's why people love hot hatchbacks: You can drive it to the limit without worrying about jumping too far ahead of said limit and thus running out of talent. You can also still carry your friends and a lot of shopping bags inside it, and most importatly you can still push it on, say, broken roads or dirt paths, unleashing your inner rally racer wannabe in the process.

The SR20DE engine is much more powerful and faster than the GTI engine of the MkII generation. It's also even faster than the Rallye Golf and it's derivative, the Golf G60 Limited, which has 161 BHP. Surely the SR20 augments the Golf's characters by pushing the chassis further to it's limits. In the world of 300+ BHP hatchbacks, 200 BHP seemed a bit mundane, as even a Ford Fiesta ST can reach that figure and sips much less fuel, but here in the Golf everything feels more......interactive and spirited within the car. I like how it looks as well, definitely fits to be seen at autocross and track day events turning multiple hot laps. The wheels and paints may be modern but they also look period-correct at the same time.

The SR20, thanks to a lovely tune and maintenance, also sips fuel fairly well. The SR20 isn't exactly an economical engine these days despite being a multipurpose engine, but then again, being a multipurpose engine, it can be tuned in various ways. Safe to say, the SR series engine is kinda like Ford's Modular V8 array of engines. Well the Modular isn't economical either, but eh, that's American engines for you. But boy, does it actually bulletproof, you can run it without any type of maintenance for a century and that thing would still run for million miles.

Eventually I ran quite deep inside the city, I arrived at what looks like a luxury suburban areas for the riches. Everything is at least two-storeys here, and quite wide....wide enough to have a backyard party properly I guess. I know, my crib is also big, but I live alone inside it :)) I remember what they say about the social life in these kind of environtment: The house may be big, but the social life might be lacking as hell depending the people who own them. Some still got some spare time to have a chatter and mingle with their neighbours at some time, some other....doesn't even know or even care who lives next door. I guess being rich doesn't always mean you're going to have many friends and connection, and thus actually leads to less happiness in this world. For some, friends and family worth more than their own possessions, and they're actually right in many senses. Had if I didn't connect with Muza(Niatross) and friends way back then, I won't be here right fact I won't be anywhere I should say.

You see, when you're driving, you're not only thinking about what's ahead of you or on your sides, you also think about the world, what happened around it, and what happened around yours. And that's why I love random drives: Not only you drive your car somewhere, it also drives your mind to think, and thus creating a flow of thoughts and opinions as you go further.

[26 Aug 2019]
Well it's another paycheck time bois! V$940 successfully perform a touchdown into the pockets of my wallet. Aaaanyways, drivig Ziga's Golf as a daily was sure a sheer fun, but in the end, it's not my car at all, and I don't wanna risk it for um, unfortunae events, like it being stolen, broke in the middle of a ride, being a road rage target or having a drunken youth lurching into it. And thus, I'm in a need for a beater daily....something that I won't feel guilty over crashing it or accidentally breaking it.

So thus that day was spent by another session of gazing in front of my laptop, spending time browsing for cars. A lot of candidates were considered, from various gens of Civics, some Mercs, an Audi, a Volvo estate, a Golf, a Jetta, even a Prius. But then I found this Corolla for sale. Man I can't believe the price at all.........

MAN IT'S A FREAKING CLEAN COROLLA FOR JUST 50 BUCKS! Ookay truth be told it's not without it's problem. It has a broken head gasket, since the owner's son was probably being a retard and drove the car without any engine oil inside. The car has been sitting for a month ever since, and it looks like the owner got another replacement after all, explaining the ultra cheap price. Still, I absolutely can't believe this Corolla is actually cheaper than my Daewoo Tico, which I bought for V$90 back then

But even combined with the price for a brand new head gasket it's still much much cheaper, which was proven after I got a head gasket replacement here for V$16. That brings the total price for the car into V$66. See? That's ultra unbelievabe. It's surely being faster than my Tico as well. Oh yah, this one is the 1.6 model, which has 4A-FE engine(no, despite being in the same family, this engine is far different from the mighty 4A-GE) that produces 99 BHP, at least when it was brand new. The Tico meanwhile has half the engine capacity and also producing half the power(800cc engine producing 48 BHP).

The price was soooo unbeliveable I had to show it to Ziga, Benny and Soju, to the sheer disbelief and massive laughter from everyone. It was so unbelievable it took me a while to recover since I can't stop laughing. Evntually, as I took hold of myself again, I called the owner to seal the deal. Fortunately, the car was still available, and all I had to do was indeed fix the car and pay 50 bucks to him. Since the head gasket arrives the next day, I decided to go pick the car the day after the head gasket arrival.

[28 Aug 2019]
With the head gasket and cash in hand, I picked up a Grab car to carry me to the deal location. The Grab car was a Chevy Volt, so uhhh......not really much thing to talk about it. But I'm amazed on it's highway capabilities. You see, being an electric car, charger stations aren't everywhere yet, so running out of electricity at the wrong time is obviously a nightmare. But nah, this one sips electric power with ease. Quite quiet too as you'd expect from an elecric car, so I spent some time during the trip sleeping and reading articles. Yeah, electric cars isn't yet a viable option to do fun rides, but if you're either looking for a caling city ride or a short-event racer(e.g. drag racing and rallycross), electric cars could be a great idea actually.

Some hours later, I arrived at the location and notify my arrival via text. Some time later, the owner came out from his crib and cheerfully greeted me. My guess was proven correct as I immediately spotted his new car, a Ford Edge. Not really a pop people carrier but surely a nice car to carry stuff around. As we have some talks about the Corolla, his son and the Ford, I fixed the Corolla's head gasket. This one, as I've briefly explained, is an AE101 with 4A-FE engine. Some of these things has 4A-GE as well, but only for Japanese market models. The Corolla AE10x and EE10x series are usually nicknamed the Great Corolla by fans, or Greco for short. I'm not sure why, but I suspect that was the way it was marketed back then.

Finally, after an hour of fixing and banters, the Corolla is ready to roll again. With the Greco successfully started and all the papers are in hand, I handed the 50 bucks to the owner and the Greco is now officially mine. Time to bring it back to Ardmore and see what can we do with it! :D

Finally got another time to update again!
Here's how my wallet survives in the meantime in the land of the free:

That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!

This post was edited by BigSmoke (2019-08-30 20:54, 309 days ago)
Still following the damn train since 1992

Visit my RP HERE!