Friday, February 27, 2009

Cool Blue Continues To Look Hot

"Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude." ~Marston

John Pangilinan and his 2009 Scion tC just completed a photo shoot for Toyo Tires. AMSOIL has been a sponsor of this talented builder for the previous couple of years, and has been keeping up with this rising star in the tuner industry. With plenty of achievements already under his belt, his most recent was a 1st place win at the annual Scion Tuner Challenge that won him a trophy and $10,000. Not bad for fueling your passion.

From the first project car, a 2000 BMW 3-Series, John has tasted success. That first project car won him over 40 awards, was featured in the film Herbie: Fully Loaded and also featured in a national advertising campaign for Meguiars Car Care. As a result of the national and international coverage of the BMW, John emerged with both respect and experience in the tuner world.

AMSOIL teamed up with John two years ago when he was exhibiting at the SEMA show. We caught up with him a few months ago and asked some questions about his passion for the tuner market.

AMSOIL: How long have you been involved in building cars?
JP: I’ve been building cars since I was 16, but back then it was mostly to impress the girls in high school. During my college and after college years I really became involved in entering car shows such as Hot Import Nights and Import Showoff. Eventually this lead to winning awards and receiving magazine coverage along the way. After I retired my last show car I started consulting on various project cars for different clients and companies. This SEMA I was asked to participate in the Scion Tuner Challenge, where I will compete against 3 other builders with a Scion tC.

AMSOIL: How many vehicles have you built to date?
JP: I’ve built a few vehicles including my 2000 BMW Widebody E46, the Motegi Racing G35, BN Sports Nissan S14 drift car, and my current project a 2009 Scion tC.

AMSOIL: What is your favorite part of being a builder, and why?
JP: My favorite part of being a builder is incorporating personal style and creativity into the project. I really enjoy being able to design the look and feel of vehicles and seeing the end result.

AMSOIL: Do you have a philosophy on the goals you want to achieve in this industry?
JP: I would like to leave a lasting impression in this industry and enjoy my time in it. I have made some really great friends along way and nothing beats doing what you enjoy.

AMSOIL: What is your proudest achievement in this arena?
JP: There are a few proud moments for me including my first cover of a magazine, winning Best BMW overall in 2004 by the NCCA, and being chosen as a builder in 2008 for the Scion Tuner Challenge.

My ideal car to build on would be an Audi R8 because I think it would be a challenge to make an already amazingly designed car even better.

AMSOIL: Do you do this Full-time? Part-time? As a hobby?
JP: I build vehicles part-time and as a hobby. I consult on various builds for clients throughout the year, but never really have 100% control over it. That is why I was very excited to be part of the Scion Tuner Challenge for SEMA this year.

AMSOIL: Do you have a favorite AMSOIL product in addition to the oil?
JP: I really like the P.I. as it improves the fuel mileage and reduces exhaust emissions. I like to be green whenever possible.

Look for John’s 2009 Scion tC in upcoming Toyo Tires advertisements and promotions.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cupp Wins Awards With Panster & TT Deluxe

On Monday we received a nice email from Jeremy Cupp whose very special bike has been featured in several AMSOIL ads this past year. Writes Cupp, "I thought I'd let you know that the Panster has won the Editor's Pick for best in show at the Easyriders Invitational this past weekend." In addition, his new TT Deluxe, wearing an Amsoil decal, won a VQ award at the same show, which is considered the Emmy of motorcycling. Cupp was delighted to see his workmanship get this kind of industry recognition.

A native of Virginia, Jeremy Cupp has a wife named Lindsay, three kids and a dog named Zeke. He grew up on dirt bikes, 4-wheelers with a little mountain bike racing for good measure. He’s currently a machinist at Cupp Manufacturing and in his spare time president of LC Fabrications, when he’s not fishing or camping with his family.

When we caught up with him, Cupp was still on a high from his weekend.

Where did you get your ideas about what you wanted to do with the Panster?
The Panster started with a pair of Trock Cylinders that a good friend had in his stash of vintage motorcycle jewels. I’m a hard core Sportster fan, and wanted to do something different, he told me of the Shovsters that Trock was doing years ago, so I decided to try a Panster. The rest of the bike was loosely based on a picture of a 1911 Harley that I have, I wanted a sort of modernized, hot rod version of that bike. And what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in this project? Definitely the engine, to tear down, inspect, replace parts, and rebuild an engine is one thing, but don’t think that makes you a mechanic, a project like this one was a huge learning experience and took a much greater understanding of how things work and how you can alter basically everything and try to make it still all work together.

Your TT Deluxe, wearing an AMSOIL logo, has now won a VQ Award. What is it that makes the bikes you build so special and unique?
I really think my edge is that I don’t pay a professional to do anything at all. I’m not shooting for perfection. I want a completely hand-made custom, one where you can look at each part and imagine the man in his shop late at night working away on it. It’s not about being better than the next guy or spending a fortune on paint, it’s about the need to create, the love for anything mechanical, and having a true passion for what you do.

You’re obviously passionate about bike building. Where does your motivation or drive come from?
I love anything with wheels or an engine, and I have a need to do things my own way, right or wrong. I always want to learn more and develop my skills and the only way for me to learn is to do it. The Bible tells us to do every job as if it were for the Lord himself, and often when I’m feeling tired or burned out I hear those words in my head and that keeps me moving.

EdNote: The photos here are Jeremy Cupp's TT Deluxe. The Panster can be seen in ads which have appeared in magazines like Hot Bike and American Iron, among others. Both bikes features AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oils.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Diesel Owners Get Tapped for Feature Photo Shoot

Don & Erin Brooks of Mesa, Arizona, are living their dream. As proud owners of a tricked out 2005 Ford Excursion 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel 4x4 "Eddie Bauer" Edition, they’re still on a high from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in January where their vehicle was displayed in the Soundstream Audio booth. Evidently the truck caught more than a few eyeballs, and has been slated for a photo shoot by Truckin’ magazine.

As soon as they learned that their AMSOIL-lubricated diesel had been tagged for a shoot, they let us know. We decided to take the opportunity to find out a little more about the Brooks' diesel passions.

AMSOIL: What is it that you like about diesels and diesel power?
DB: Love the torque and power of a diesel. I have always been into making whatever I owned faster, louder and different from the crowd. Once I drove my first diesel I was hooked and have had one ever since.

AMSOIL: When did you first get into turning wrenches and tooling?
DB: I started tinkering on bicycles and dirt bikes at a young age and then it turned towards sand rails and then trucks, performance, audio and customizing.

AMSOIL: Is Erin into it, too? Or does she just enjoy your finished handiwork?
DB: My wife Erin is into what I do almost as much as I am. There have been countless late nights with Erin helping me finish up last minute projects before a show or photo shoot.

She is very understanding about all the time and $$ invested in our ride as long as she comes before the truck. I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world for having "the Perfect Woman."

Favorite color: Orange
Favorite music: Rock/Alternative and some rap music
Favorite season: Dunes season!!! AZ is a great year round place to be.
Favorite place: Imperial Sand Dunes
Biggest lesson learned from parents? Life moves fast, so take every opportunity and enjoy life to the fullest no matter what gets thrown in your way.

Don and Erin have five kids, and what's especially heartwarming is that this truck is not relegated to a garage, just for shows, but is their daily ride. Here are a few more details about the vehicle's modifications.

Paint: Custom tribal graphics featuring "House of Kolor" paint. Black and pewter separated by a tribal pearl orange with silver pearl floating bubbles.
Interior: Custom, is fully wrapped in black, pewter, silver, and orange suede, to match exterior. 2-tone leather seating, black wool carpet from Mercedes Benz.
Lift kit: 8" Donahoe Racing Soft Ride Kit
Shocks: Fox Racing Chrome 2.0 res. shocks with steel braided lines, custom billet shock clamps;
Steering Stabilizer: Fox Racing
Tires: Toyo Tires Open Country M/T's 37"x13.50" R24 tires
Wheels: Customs from Weld Racing 24"x12" - Weld Racing made only 4 sets of these EVER!Grille: Rolling Big Power blacked out with chrome star
Lighting: Harley Davidson blacked out headlight housings with Xenon 8000k HID bulbs with 8000k bulbs in fogs also, carbon fiber tailights, Recon dancing strobe lights
Exhaust: MBRP - 4" turbo back, strait piped all powder coated black with 6" black tip
Mag: Hytec front and rear differential covers and deep sump transmission cover
Programmer - Bully Dog Performance PMT unit
AMSOIL Synthetic 12 TBN 15W-40 Diesel Motor Oil
AMSOIL Synthetic Universal Automatic Transmission Fluid
AMSOIL Severe Gear SAE 75W-140 Synthetic Extreme Pressure Lubricant
AMSOIL Severe Gear SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Extreme Pressure Lubricant
AMSOIL Diesel Concentrate Cold Flow Improver Performance Diesel Fuel Additive
Ryno Mfg. billet rear view mirror
Ryno Mfg. 14" Rockstar drop hitch receiver
Ryno Mfg. 5" billet Ultimate receiver ball
AMP Research power steps

Add to this an audio/visual sound system to die for, and you have one incredible truck. No wonder they're turning heads wherever they go.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Winner and the Builder

Last week we mentioned a tricked out Honda that was being given away at the 2009 Pennsylvania Auto and Boat Show in Harrisburg, but we had not yet noted the winner. It only seems right that we say "Congratulations" to Amanda Sechrist of Lewisburg, PA, winner of the Xtreme Ride Revamp. More than 140,000 people attended the show, and you can be sure there were plenty of entries to win this sporty little dream car.

Amanda said the way the winner was selected was very exciting and even nerve wracking. A name would be drawn and the person would go up and would select a CD to play that would indicate winner or no. Amanda was the 16th name drawn, and she was quite nervous at this point. "It was amazing," she said when she put the CD into the slot and discovered she had won the car. "I was in shock." The 24 year old Sechrist is a career trainer.

We also tracked down Brian Fox to get more details on this giveaway promotion which was designed to give back to the community and help support the tuner scene.

AMSOIL: What are the key features of the Fit?
Fox: Key features of this 2009 Faulkner Honda Fit are as follows...
Under the Hood: AMSOIL 0w-20 Synthetic Motor Oil, INJEN Intake w/AMSOIL Ea Filter, and INJEN Exhaust.
Exterior: Honda Sport Factory Body Kit, BASF Champainship White Paint, and Impressive Signs Graphics.
Interior: Katzkin Red Leather Interior and door panals and a Wasbasto 900 Dual Vent Sun Roof by Auto Sun Roof.
Stereo: Pioneer D3 DVD/CD/NAV/IPOD Head Unit with ORION Sub, Amp, and components by Creative Car Tunes, Suspension - Lowered on Tanabe Springs.
Wheels/Tires: Konig 17 Inch Wheels with Dunlop 205/40/17's.

AMSOIL: How did Fox Marketing get hooked up with Honda on this project?
Fox: As part of the "Xtreme Ride Revamp", Fox Marketing was brought on to design and coordinate this build. I've always helped Motor Trend Auto Shows with things like this over the past eight years, so this was a great "fit" for both of us. The local Honda Dealer in Harrisburg PA, Faulkner Honda, is the key to this puzzle. They pony up the car and Don Perry and the gang really love giving back. Their motto is "Family First" and this just shows the dealership's character. Honda is lucky to have a dealership like this supporting their brand!

AMSOIL: What’s your role in these kinds of projects and what’s your favorite part?
Fox: My favorite part of this whole promotion is just seeing someone really appreciate all the hard work that goes into building a car. Someone might be in hard times and really need a car, it is all about giving back at the end of the day. No money can be put on changing a person’s life.

AMSOIL: Any additional comments on this project?
Fox: I'm very honored to work with AMSOIL and when we first came to them about this promotion, they welcomed it with open arms. We see value in their synthetic lubricants product line as now a person only needs to change their oil once a year instead over every 3,000 miles.

AMSOIL: Thanks. And have fun on your next project car. We're sure it, too, will run smoother and last longer with AMSOIL.