I paid another visit to Cars & Coffee this weekend (more on that in a later post) and as usual there was a great mix of eclectic and exotic cars at the meet. However, there was not anything particularly mind blowing, or so I thought… Just as I was preparing to leave I decided to make one more sweep to make sure there wasn’t anything that I had missed. I am so very glad I did…
Just as I made my way towards the back of the lot I spotted a small crowd gathering around something. I couldn’t see what it was completely, just bits of it through cracks in the crowd. The only thing I could tell is that whatever they were looking at was low to the ground, angular, and very white. As I finally made my way to the donut of people I saw something I had never, ever seen before, not even in pictures. Parked before me was a genuine BAC Mono! I had only heard it briefly mentioned on Top Gear UK or in articles but this was my first time laying eyes upon one be it picture or in person.
If you have neither seen nor heard of a BAC Mono before, just imagine a street legal Formula 3 car and there you have it. It has one seat, center positioned (hence the name “Mono), a crate engine from a formula car, hydraulically actuated sequential transmission, and a full push-rod suspension system. Wrap all of that in a tube frame chassis shod with carbon fiber body work and you have a 1400lb ticket to happy-land.
I sought out the owner to find out just how this machine managed to make it all the way to California from the UK and I found Mr. Shinoo Mapleton. Shinoo is the president and CEO of Sector 111. If “Sector 111″ sounds familiar to you that is because they are one of the biggest Lotus tuners in the country. They also sell other small go fast cars such as the Ariel Atom. Mr. Mapleton informed me that Sector 111 was recently chosen by BAC to be the exclusive seller of the Mono in North America and that the car he brought with him is the very first on American soil. Oh, it is also completely street legal and California registered.
I asked him if there were any major differences between the UK version and what he would be selling here and the answer is virtually none. It is still powered by a Cosworth built crate engine based on a Ford Duratec unit with all the Cosworth internal goodies and a dry sump system. It makes 280HP which is equivalent to a bazillion horsepower when you are in a chassis that weighs only 1400lbs. The transmission is an off-the-shelf Hewland unit and if so desired could probably be built with custom gear ratios. There are also genuine AP brake calipers behind each wheel.
After hearing all of that I decided that I really, really need to one of these machines. I asked Shinoo how much it would cost to get a Mono of my own and his response of $175k made my wallet shoot itself. Jokes aside, the price for what you get is than reasonable. The only downside is that buyers will have to wait approximately 9 months before they get to drive their street legal race car. The reason for that is BAC actually sends the car to Sector 111 in pieces to which technicians must build the car by hand which as you might guess, takes a while.
Despite the time and money it takes to get one, Shinoo informed me that his shop is already in the build process for two more cars and he is actively taking deposits for his 2013 allotment. While I wish so very much I could be on the waiting list for one of these wonderful toys I was still pretty happy with just being near one and taking pictures. Although I can’t lay claim to the exclusive as Shinoo says his personal BAC Mono will be seen on Top Gear pretty soon. Until then enjoy the pics I shot by clicking any of the thumbnails! If you are interested in putting in an order for your own BAC Mono just go to Sector111.com for all the details.
Even though Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy has been over for over two weeks now, it left a wake of destruction that caused billions of dollars in damage, and has severely hampered the daily lives of millions of people on the east coast. Our friends from EAT SLEEP RACE just happened to be based in the east and they have not only seen but have had to personally deal with the horrible results left by Sandy. Like all good citizens, Americans, and most importantly, race car drivers the team at EAT SLEEP RACE wants to “REBUILD” the east coast. And they are also calling on all racers and racers at heart to help them do it.
If you want to help check out EAT SLEEP RACE’s new “REBUILD” shirts and stickers. 100% of the proceeds from each shirt sold and sticker sold will go directly to Sandy recovery efforts. If you can’t buy a shirt then you can still help by spreading the word about the REBUILD campaign to your friends by using any of the pictures below (just click on the thumbnails) and sharing them on your social media pages (twitter, facebook, instagram) with the hashtag #RACERSREBUILD.
To order the shirts for yourself just go to EatSleepRace.com/Rebuild. If the shirts are not your thing but you still want to help you can always text REDCROSS to 90999 from your cellphone to donate $10 to the Sandy recovery effort (regular text rates may apply).
In case you have not figured it out from previous posts I live in the Southern California area. There are a few things that stand out about So Cal: it is almost always sunny, you find just about every type of food, the beaches are for hanging out and not for surfing, most families have at least two cars, and depending on what part of town you are in exotic cars are as common as Honda Civics. Also, if you happen to live in LA, like LA you probably live in an apartment and/or condo.
Now, let’s say you are one of those folks living in a Los Angeles high rise and you also happen to own a rare/valuable/expensive car. Your options for keeping said car in good condition are somewhat limited. I mean who would really feel safe leaving their 250k Lamborghini Aventadaor in the parking structure of their condo community? If you do not want to park it there what is your alternative? Parking on the curb out front? Not bloody likely! You could always move out of the condo and find a house with a garage, but then you deal with the fact that all of your neighbors know you are loaded and have an awesome car. That could likely draw some unwanted attention.
So then, what is a high-end car owner to do? This is where Auto Concierge comes in. Auto Concierge provides (for a monthly fee) ”Vehicle Management” services that includes a place for exotic car owners to store their cars, private security, and a slew of other services. Depending on the package you buy they will even detail your car twice a month and provide you with 24/7 webcam access to the facility so you can always check in on your ride. Also, when you go to pick up your car Auto Concierge will treat you to several perks like an executive lounge, tasty horderves, and plenty of other luxuries.
Last night I got to visit the facility for myself as they held a formal grand opening party and let me tell you, this place is freaking awesome! Not only does it look like a spot where Tony Stark might store some of his gadgets, but ID Agency brought in a small fleet of exotic, and in some cases limited edition cars to provide ambiance for party goers. There was even an ICON personal aircraft inside the building! Oh, it also just happened to be flanked by a red Porsche Carrera GT and a McLaren MP4-12C too. No big deal.. For some further entertainment a $50,000 hydraulic driving simulator powered by iRacing from Virtual GT was available for anyone to try their hand at a fast lap time in anything from a Porsche Cup car to an F1 car. I almost had the fastest lap of the night, until a barrel rolled the car going down the corkscrew at a virtual representation of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca! Anyhow, check out some of my shots from the party below and if you are interested in their services hit them up at AutoConcierge.co Yes, that is “.co” not “.com”!
I remember the first time I heard a three-rotor RX-7 engine. I thought it was the greatest sound in the world. Then, I heard a four-rotor engine; first Mad Mike’s then the Legendary BMI Racing four-rotor and I knew that four-rotors was the tip top of the mechanically melodic mountain. However, on the horizon is an even higher plateau! Pulse Performance Race Engineering out of New Zealand (The shop that currently works on Mad Mikes cars) has successfully built a six-rotor Mazda-based engine! Yes, SIX! I am not sure if this has ever been done before, but as far as I know it is the first.
The crew recently released video of the engine coming to life and sure enough it starts and runs. Although you wont hear any redline-bouncing revs in the video, the fact that they could get something like that to start and run is amazing! Performance numbers have not been disclosed, nor has the time it took the team to build it or how they pulled it off. As to why, well if you need to ask why then I am going to have to ask you to leave this website and never come back! One does not need a reason to give birth to six-rotors of pure awesome!
Could we see ths engine under the hood of Mad Mike’s next car? I certainly hope so! For now, scroll down and watch the six-delta beast come to life.
As you may remember I paid a visit to the weekly Cars & Coffee meet out in the Irvine/Newport Beach area last weekend. While I was there I saw an absolutely beautiful McLaren MP4-12C and even though it was parked next to a white Lamborghini Gallardo and a neon green Murcielago convertible the McLaren stood out, especially with it’s doors up! This was my first time seeing a production MP4-12C in person since McLaren brought a prototype and bare chassis to Cars & Coffee a while back for an unofficial North American debut. After drooling over the car for a few minutes I leared that the owner Nick Jones is actually the Sales Manager of the new McLaren Newport Beach dealership. Nick informed me that the dealership was officially opening to the public later that day and invited me to come check it out.
The first thing I noticed when I reached the dealership was how subtle the exterior and interior design was. It was almost sterile but not in a boring way if that makes any sense. Nick informed me that McLaren takes very strict control over the look of their dealer’s showrooms. Dealer’s simply give McLaren the dimensions of the space that they are in and then McLaren takes over from there bringing in their own contractors to transform the space into what you see in the pictures. Very little is left to choice for the dealer as Mclaren chooses everything down to the smallest detail. Nick told me that all Mclaren dealerships no matter where they are in the world will look pretty much the same. Even down to the placement of display cases!
Besides three MP4-12C’s on display there was also a bare rolling chassis similar to the one brought to Cars & Coffee a while back and a vintage McLaren F1 chassis. In fact the chassis on display at McLaren Newport beach is the same chassis that one the Long Beach Grand Prix (my home race) back when it was a part of the Formula 1 schedule. He informed us that he tried repeatedly to get an Ayrton Senna chassis for his showroom when he visited the McLaren factory in England but was shot down (apparently no dealership will get their hands on a Senna chassis!) but I did learn that he got a preview of the upcoming MP4-12C convertible. According to Nick the convertible will be a hard top and with the lid closed will look exactly like a coupe. He also learned that the successor to the McLaren F1 will be a twin-turbo V8 with a massive power boost and the chassis will actually be smaller than the MP4-12C. That is good to know in case I want to buy one… It could happen! Ok maybe not.
Anyhow I had a great time visiting the dealership and if you are ever in the Newport Beach area you should check it out. If you are actually in the market for an MP4-12c then you definitely want to talk to Nick and tell him we sent you! If you can’t make it out then feel free to enjoy the pictures and our short video tour below.
Count down starts .. its official 17 days till dooms day .. but i have some of the best builders on the east coast on my side to build the gtr .. joe, has taken car off all my cars since i was about 21, granted for those that know him think he is just a baller “dub” builder but really what is comes down to is that he can take on any project .. so but the really magic happens with the team at 66MVP.com .. Jimmy and Chris are honestly some of the best on the east coast. With Joe spear-heading the entire build they make me feel really at ease hitting the dead line to SEMA….
In the end its all in good stress to get the car done for sema and wraptivo and our other sponsors .. building a car isn’t all its seems to be .. you have to manage allot and build relationships it really takes over you entire life .. this is my 9th sema build granted some people are a fan and some aren’t but now you can see the amount of time and work that goes into getting this done let alone document the whole experience.
RJ linked me in with George at KW suspension, witch was a blessing … allot of you mentioned that he rendering didn’t do much for you .. but like i said there is much more to the car then just wheels .. when RJ mentioned that he would be able to talk to George and see where we can fit in KW into the project i was ecstatic there really isn’t any suspension systems out there that would be able to let us have a hellaflush stance and astatine our “Grip”performance.
As soon as we got the suspension in i drove up to MVP to shoot and film the entire install .. here was my office for the day on a hand made 2 step stool. It was rather comfy!
Here is the Wraptivo / MVP GTR at stock height.
All the proper tools you need to complete this project.
Time to jump into it!
I have to admit, this is my first set of KW ever .. i have always been eibach, b&g, and tien guy .. but i have to admit, these KW coilovers are no joke the work and amount of R&D put into the product really comes out when its in your hands.
Vast in its glory .. when i deiced that we are going to slam the car hellaflush status. It wasn’t for any other reason but the followers of this site. People that own a Nissan GT-R may or may not love this car when it is done but its just because they aren’t “hellaflush” Long live our stance!
Looks like TODA Racing will be moving into a new Southern California home. We just got word that Misano Motorsports will be the Official North American distributor for TODA Racing Products. They will also carry the FIGHTEX line of suspension products. This is awesome news for anyone who is used to ordering their TODA goodies from Japan! If you want to keep up with any updates on this development then I would suggest following @TODARacing on twitter. Yes even TODA is tweeting…
Okayama, Japan – TODA Racing Co., Ltd. announced today that it has appointed Misano Motor Sports Inc. as it’s Official North American distributor. Based in Irvine, California, Misano Motor Sports will offer TODA Racing’s entire product line of TODA Power engine components and FIGHTEX suspension systems. Misano Motor Sports will be responsible for the distribution, sales, and marketing of TODA Racing products in this territory, as well as providing first-rate customer service and support with strong product knowledge.
About TODA Racing Co., Ltd
TODA Racing Co. Ltd, established in 1971 and based in Okayama, Japan is one of the world’s premier racing car constructors manufacturing racing pistons, camshafts, clutches, and shock absorbers, as well as the complete high power racing engines. http://www.todaracing.com/