Friday, November 27, 2009

AMSOIL Lubricates Tuner Scene

In the early years of the tuner movement, the spotlight was mainly on style and the scene. Import tuners began making appearances that had been heavily modified from their factory built starting point. Enthusiasts spent thousands in modifications, tweaking their rides to create their vision with no end result entirely like another.

Today, the tuner scene has evolved and while appearance is as imperative as always, nowadays performance is even more vital. Speed, handling and power modifications are changing the standard for performance driven rides. Car manufacturers are paying attention, and with the engine being the heartbeat of every tuner, so is AMSOIL.

A new form of proving grounds is taking over the scene with Time Attack events, which puts these rides to the test with timed trial runs. Firefighter Matt Dennison found his calling in the tuner scene the first time he got behind the wheel of a friend’s heavily modified VW Jetta. After his very first run Matt made the decision to buy his own ride, a 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX in apex silver, and began making the necessary modifications for ultimate performance. He moved to California and soon climbed the ranks among the best in his class. Southern California is the ultimate destination for any tuner enthusiast, and local tracks are in abundance. It is here that Matt found his niche, and recently took 1st place in his class at the Redline Time Attack West Coast Series. With a well-modified tuner and a need for the best performance from his engine, Matt approached AMSOIL with a request for sponsorship.

The sky is the limit for how far these car builders will go to create the ultimate street car, and more and more are turning to AMSOIL to give them that extra edge. In a world where these rides mean everything, these builders use only the best products and modifications. Steadily growing as the next generation of muscle cars, the tuner revolution doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Fastest Street Car in America Title Goes To…

Back in September AMSOIL announced its sponsorship of the 2009 Hot Rod Drag Week which was kicking off in Muncie, Indiana. As usual, this year’s challenge proved to be full of excitement with a few mishaps along the way. From failed torque converters to blown transmissions, participant had their plates full with trying to keep their cars up to par during the challenge. For those who couldn’t, there was almost always a fellow competitor willing to lend a hand and get them back on the road.

Bragging rights for the Fastest Street Car in America went to Larry Larson in his ’67 Chevy II in the Unlimited class. Despite a lifter breakdown in the middle of a cornfield, Larson and engine builder Mike Moran ran the best time with an average E.T. of 7.25 and a speed of 204 MPH. For the second year in a row, Larry’s Chevy II beat out some of the best in the country.

Below is an overview of the major class winners.

Quickest Four-Cylinder: Jon Huber in his ’79 Ford Mustang is referred to as ‘The little Ford that could…and does.” Jon dealt with a failed torque converter early in the competition, but a group of racers helped him roadside to get him back on his way. His final timeslip turned out an average of 9.37 at 147 MPH for the class win.

Big-Block Naturally Aspirated: Steve and Gary Satterlee’s ’90 Ford Mustang had a 632ci Chevy engine installed, giving it the power it needed to take the title in this class. They built the car in 90 days with only the motor to start with, giving them their final average at 10.15.

Diesel Class: In a ’94 Ford Mustang with Duramax diesel installed, Mike Wood beat out some heavy trucks also competing in this class. With an average E.T. of 10.08 and 147 MPH, this ride also got 38 MPG. Now that is impressive.

Quickest Mopar: Michael Crow is known for exceptional sportsmanship, taking last years’ Spirit of Drag Week award. This year in his’73 Plymouth Cuda, his average E.T. of 10.38 at 131 MPH earned him the title of Quickest Mopar.

Big Block Power-Adder: A favorite among the crew, Mike Thompson and his ’68 Chevy Caprice took an average of 9.64 at 141 MPH in a car that had never made a pass before Drag Week.

Modified Naturally Aspirated: Jay Brown and his ’64 Ford Galaxie fought a good battle with the very close second place winner this year. Jay competed in 2008, and his car has been in feature stories. His average E.T. was 9.52, with second place right behind him at 9.58. A close call, but this modified ride ultimately had what it took.

Modified Power-Adder: Rick “Doc” Fox really is a Doctor, and drives his ’67 Corvette every day in his commute to the office. No stranger to Drag Week, this year Rick took the class win with an average E.T. of 9.02 and 149 MPH.

Pro-Street Naturally Aspirated: With another close call in his class running within a tenth of the second place driver, Curt Johnson and his ’94 Chevy S-10 truck took first place with an average E.T. of 9.13.

Pro-Street Power-Adder: Michael Roy and his ’71 Chevy Monte Carlo is no stranger to Drag Week, this year convincing his friends to join in with their cars. With an average of 8.65, this was Mike’s first class win at Drag Week and his friends were there to witness it.

Daily Driver & Spirit of Drag Week: Geoff Dugopolski in his ’78 Chevy Malibu not only won the Daily Driver bracket race, but the respect of his peers with the Spirit of Drag Week award. This award is given to the person that best exemplifies what it means to help others competing in the event. He helped more than a few of his competitors get back on track, while still ending with an average E.T. of 12.32.

Overall every participant showed a fierce drive and willingness to not only win, but help out their fellow drivers. As the official lubricant of this event, AMSOIL is proud to have played a part in each of their successes. The January issue of Hot Rod has an impressive spread covering this event, so be sure to pick one up and see for yourself why Drag Week is growing and shows no signs of stopping.

Below: David Paschall received recognition by tying for the Mickey Thompson Quickest Reaction Time as well as the Quickest Buick and Quickest E.T., Daily Driver

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pitbull Shows His Stuff At SEMA 2009

Sean Baisden's 2008 Chevy 2500HD Duramax was a featured vehicle for ANSA Exhaust at last week’s SEMA Show. Blaisden, who goes by the nickname Pitbull, described his build this way.

We started with a 2008 Chevy 2500HD Duramax Diesel, crew cab long bed 4X4, sandstone in color. The project got some height by lifting the truck 11 inches using a CST lift kit with Fox Shocks w/ res. and a Performance Accessory 3-inch Body Lift. The suspension kit along with the Gear Alloy 715c 22-inch wheels, custom Pitbull Motor Toyz traction bars and skid plate, and Hellwig front and rear sway bars were powder coated candy red. The rims were fitted with a set of 40X15.5X22 Toyo Open Country MTs.

This was only the beginning.

We then took the truck over to the Upholstery Zone in Simi Vally Ca.where Ramon, the owner, took charge of transforming the interior by removing the seats and covering the centers in wine colored suede. Then the door panels, pillars, headliner and dash were removed and covered in black leather, wine and charcoal gray suede. The interior was finished off with a brushed stainless US Speedo, Pioneer D3 head unit and Rockford Fosgate sound systems with 5 amps and 16 speakers that have all been custom mounted in the door panels, behind and under the rear seats.

Once the inside was done we had to put some splash on the outside. So we sent the truck off to Jerks Design in Thousand Oaks, CA where we removed 40 pieces out of the interior, sanded them smooth and painted them the color for the truck and reinstalled them. Next it was the outside. We painted the new Ansani Design front bumper and installed the three 8-inch KC lights and wired them into the high beams. Next we sanded the mirrors smooth and painted them gloss black. Then we had some custom gun metal gray tribal flames that were highlighted with candy red and silver pinstriping to tie it all together. Finished those off with silver pearl ghost flames over top. To complete the outside we installed a set of Amp Research power steps, GM chrome handles and Precision Billet black grill. After all that, the truck was off to Line-X were the bed, bed rails and toolbox was sprayed.

Now it was time for some performance so back to the shop where the truck was outfitted with a pair of Optima Batteries, AMSOIL Synthetic Diesel Oil, AMSOIL Synthetic Fuel Efficient Automatic Transmission Fluid and Severe Gear Gear Lube and a new set of billet reusable Pure Power Inc. oil, trans, and fuel filters. Next the Injen Technology intake system (with AMSOIL Ea filter), PPE Hot +4 programmer, FASS fuel filter/air separator system and 4inch ANSA Silverline turbo back exhaust system with their new twin 8-inch black chrome stacks were installed through the bed of the truck.

To finish the truck off we installed a pair of 16-inch Spal fans on a custom Pitbull Motor Toyz fan shroud assembly and a Custom polished aluminum 35 gallon Propane Tank located under the bed to feed the digital propane system, thereby giving the truck another 75hp and 150tq. This truck was cruising, doing 90mph and getting 28mpg.

Baisden admits the project was a lot of work, “but it all paid off. It is a head turner and always gets attention no matter where we are.”

Baisden was eager to thank all his sponsors, including AMSOIL. "We could not have done it without them!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

SEMA: Parting Shots

Here are a few more parting shots from SEMA 2009, pictures unveiling a little more of the story.

Brad Lovell, champion rock crawler.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SEMA: Day 3 Begins

A major event like SEMA attracts media from all over the world. Historically the show has been a rich resource of story ideas for journalists and editors. In more recent years, with the advent of the Internet, we see increasing numbers of camera crews shooting footage for streaming video and other forms of distribution. Radio programs set up shop here as well. In short, it's a car lover's extravaganza and a media feast. Throw a few celebrities into the mix (Jay Leno created some buzz with his Twin-Turbo Camaro) and you have the kind of chemistry that makes this a one of a kind event.

Speaking of Camaros, this year's show has featured more Camaros than ever, a car that brings panache and style back to the once fabled muscle machine. Some of the design schemes for the Camaro today were voted on via Facebook, something that you didn't see forty years ago.

Not to be outdone, Ford unveiled a Cobra Jet Mustang which was.... hot. And you can see no diminishing of passion for cars in the Ford booth.

The old street rod and hot rod lovers will find what they are looking for here, too, but the import performance cars are increasingly dominant and highly visible throughout the show. Many of these cars are being photographed for future magazine and blog exposure, so stay tuned to your favorite sources of enthusiast information.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Showtime: SEMA 2009

All of yesterday's forklifts, empty crates and debris has magically disappeared. The red carpets have been rolled out. And SEMA 2009 is underway.

A few things have changed and some remain the same. One change is the location of the New Product Showcase, which used to be in the area between the North and Central Halls. It is now on the second floor of the South Hall. Registration has also moved to this location, and the lines were long for those who had not taken care of these details in advance.

The show itself fills an enormous space, as you can see here from these shots in but one of the four show halls.

It's too early to say what the big story of the show will be. Here at AMSOIL the story remains constant, new products of outstanding quality for specific applications. We're thrilled to be part of the spectacle that is SEMA.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Excitement Builds On Eve of SEMA 2009

When the opening bell rings for SEMA 2009 Tuesday morning, the chaos of the last days before a major show like SEMA will be utterly forgotten. All the scurrying to get vehicles in place, to make sure all is polished and preened, to get carpets laid, displays identified, will be forgotten as quickly as a tissue of dream. Instead, the vast orderliness of a massive spectacle will be all laid out in jewel bedecked wonderment.

The weather is nothing short of perfection with a brilliant sun illuminating the gleaming spectacle of cars and colors and chrome laid out on the apron in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The New Product Showcase remained concealed while judges selected winners in the numerous categories. A new Powersports section has been ushered in for the first time. And a whole host of new companies have come for the first time to share wares as diverse as composites and motorcycles, web services and global tracking.

The show's dimensions remain immense while advances in technology in every imaginable facet of the industry has made an imprint.

The media, as usual, is out in force, but nowadays automotive journalists are posting their observations online as they happen. In short, the Internet is very much a presence here, a desert space once remote as nowhere.

The images here hardly tell the story, but give a glimpse that something's happening here. Stay tuned.