1. Ultimate Dubs - 2014

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    Kick starting the 2014 UK Show Season with a big bang, Ultimate Dubs has raised the bar yet again. Presented by Wheel Whores, this years show had people traveling in from all over the UK and Europe to show off their metal and reveal what they had been up to during the cold winter months. The highlights for us were things like Frederik’s new engine in his iconic candy green Mk1 Sirocco, Dub Fiction’s Julian showing off his new Messer wheels on the Flagship RS4, and those are just to name a few!

    If the show season carries on like it has begun, we are all in for the biggest year yet with a lot more surprises in store!  

    Shots: Rick Wade

    The rest of the Ultimate Dubs 2014 coverage can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157642212887425/

  2. Ultimate Dubs UK has started off Spring 2014 oh so right in our books! Held at the Telford International Centre this past weekend and presented by Wheel Whores, UDUK had no shortage of amazing cars displayed to capacity. With the bar already set high, we can’t wait to see what else the infant Show Season has in store for us all! Stay tuned for our full photo coverage from the event also!

    Video: Matt-Media - mattmedia.me

    Song used: Marsvll - Eight (Ft Sevnty)

  3. James Audi A1 S line 1.4TSI has recently been wrapped in a matte grey by the guys over at Brandz Vehicle Wrapping.

    Video by - mattmedia.me

    Music used is - ZT - Eastern Promises

  4. Bay Area Bavaria: Watercooled Society Visits CAtuned

    Inspiration comes from countless places. This inspiration may lead to dreams, which are born from determination and desire. Where exactly does inspiration turn into dreams? From an automotive standpoint, does it happen one day, while you’re sitting in the garage, looking at that old project you’ve been meaning to finish (or begin)? Or does it hit you when you see that one car—the one you can never look away from—roll past you on the street? Wherever your inspirations, dreams, or passions stem from, after taking a look through the Auto Heaven/CAtuned European Specialist shop, there is absolutely no question that these guys know what dreams are made of. 

    Auto Heaven, dually known as CAtuned to locals and those on Internet build threads and social media, is home to some of California’s most beautiful BMW builds. Located in Sacramento, the shop was started as a hobby in 2002. Igor Polishchuk, the man behind the name, started the project with a small sum of money, but with immense aspirations. While many are content working from their garages at home, Igor wanted more. It was then that he decided to purchase his own space for the CAtuned project. At the time, a mere 1,200 square foot warehouse did the trick, and he went straight to work. 

    CAtuned started out small. “We started out selling body kits to ricer kids,” Igor admitted humorously. It would eventually turn into much more than that. The shop progressed and there was a lot to be learned, but full of determination, he pressed on. As the shop began to see more cars coming and going, and being flipped for profit, the necessity for more space became evident. At the time, the owner of a local auto repair shop, Honda Heaven, was getting ready to retire, and since Igor had previously done work with him, he was presented with the opportunity to replace his original shop space with a larger one. That said, in November of 2004, CAtuned moved to the renamed shop, Auto Heaven, and for lack of better terminology, went on a hiatus. Auto Heaven took off as a complete maintenance and repair shop, while Igor continued to do specialized work with German tuning on the side. 

    While Auto Heaven carried on with its business, many customers who had known Igor’s work previously through CAtuned missed the exceptional performance and unique atmosphere it had always provided. So, finally, in 2012, Igor decided to appease the requests of his customers and reopen CAtuned Motorsports. “Quality work with quality parts” is how he describes the CAtuned business, but if hearing it from him isn’t enough, a look into the shop will inarguably convince you. 

    There is no shortage of things to look at in the Auto Heaven/CAtuned shop space. In nearly every direction, there is something to catch the eye of any European car lover. Whether it’s one of the two gorgeous CAtuned E30s, a fully restored E30 M3, equipped with a beautiful S50b32 Euro swap, or something a little more unorthodox, like the CAtuned “MADMAX S2002”—which is exactly what it sounds like: an F20 swapped 2002, there is always something to admire. There are even traces leading out of the European bloodline, like the product development Datsun 510, or the rusted, queued family pick up project resting beside the waiting room to shop entrance. Whether it’s a work in progress or an immaculate performance build, everything in the shop has character of its own, and that is one of the greatest aspects about CAtuned. 

    Other than the shop itself, there is one recognizable factor which lends to the infamous CAtuned image: the E30s. The first of the two is Igor’s personal build, the Henna E30. “The Henna car was a true labor of love,” he explained. It took about 17 months to complete the build from top to bottom. Inspired by his past E30s, he wanted to pull together what would truly be his nicest BMW yet. The supercharged Henna was built with him in mind: his personality, his interests, and of course, his passion for European automotive power. Looking at the car, it’s very clear that when he set out to build something to in one way or another, spoil himself, he more than succeeded. 

    Next to the Henna E30 is the electrifying blue E30, affectionately known as “MissBlue.” In many ways, MissBlue is entirely opposite of the Henna BMW—not in quality, but in image and purpose. While doing business with a customer in San Diego, the shop was presented with an additional purchase: a rolling E30 shell, complete with patchy primer and a medley of assorted parts, all of which were stored inside. The car was the definition of a skeleton. After some clean up and bodywork, the car was scheduled for a new paint job. It was sent to a shop for further detailing before its new paint. “The idea was first to just rebuild it and paint it alpine white,” Igor said. “But I always wanted to do an Estoril blue E30, and the desire overtook me.” As the paint technician was laboring away with perfecting the body lines, Igor made up his mind and gave him the notice. “Code 335,” he ordered.” The painter differed for a moment, confused, and asked what the change was about. “Are you doing another Henna?” Igor had only one answer for him: “worse.” 

    Once the change was made, Igor found himself in a conversation with Matt and Brad of Fifteen52. In a rather jokingly manner, they said that they planned to have the car present at WaterWerks beside their booth—in 30 days. With the knowledge that Igor’s determination could withstand Hell and high water, it should have come as no surprise that this Mission Impossible-esque project shifted into high gear as soon as the painted E30 rolled back into the anxious hands of the CAtuned crew. Igor recounted, “I told Matt to get the wheels ready—we were doing it. The car would be ready.” And just like that, in 12 short days, the finishing touches were applied and the wheels were mounted. The next day, MissBlue made her appearance at WaterWerks. 

    In these two cars, I see beautiful representations of both approaches to BMW builds—bags versus coilovers, the contrasting colors, and the overall feel of each vehicle. Each is built to outstanding perfection, and each performs to its most impressive capacity. 

    Ultimately, CAtuned was a dream which was made into something tangible and successful through diligence, relentless, hard work, and commitment. Igor and the entire CAtuned team work hard to produce incredible builds which we can all appreciate and admire. Igor opened his shop to us like it was his home, and he made it very clear through his actions that he was sincerely willing to share everything with us. At the end of the day, honest work and genuine community in the automotive hobby are what bring CAtuned to the limelight. I asked Igor what he thinks is the most rewarding aspect of building cars and being a part of the passion. Simply put, he responded, “It’s the satisfaction of bringing a car to life, and seeing the reactions on people’s faces.” When we come together and enjoy the excitement of cars and the fellowship they offer, we are lead to great people and great things. CAtuned, in consequence, is one of those great things. 

    Shots & Words: Courtney Cutchen

  5. Ultimate Dubs UK has started off Spring 2014 oh so right in our books! Held at the Telford International Centre this past weekend and presented by Wheel Whores, UDUK had no shortage of amazing cars displayed to capacity. With the bar already set high, we can’t wait to see what else the infant Show Season has in store for us all! Stay tuned for our full photo coverage from the event also!

    Video: Matt-Media - mattmedia.me

    Song used: Marsvll - Eight (Ft Sevnty)

  6. A Modern Monster: Ken Stevens’ 2001 B5 Audi S4

    What is it about a built car that excites us? Is it the incredible science and mechanical savvy behind its inner workings? Could it be the excitement of a few to several hundred metaphorical horses at rest under the hood, but rearing to go? Is it the shape of the body, or the look of the wheels? Perhaps it’s the freedoms that come along with owning an automobile, and the potential to make it something entirely your own. Whatever it may be, it’s most likely the combination of all of these things and more! Let us tell you what excites us about Ken Stevens’ 01 Audi S4.

    Last time we saw Ken Stevens, we featured his timeless 1972 Audi 100LS, which captured the hearts of classic junkies everywhere. The clean, sloping lines of the 100  make it quite a laid back style of car. However, while Ken certainly knows how to keep his vintage game in tip top shape, he also has a passion for the more modern, ‘performance based’ side of building. Looking for function and form? Look no further.

    Ken’s love for Audis goes way back. Initially, he had built an S4 prior to his current one. His previous S4 had slowly been built up from the stock platform he’d purchased it as. However, in a sad turn of events, the car was totaled, leaving only one logical option: build another! So, in 2007, Ken got ahold of this Nogaro S4, which at the time was already stage three. Other than that, it was a stock slate from which he would create a 530 awhp, 540 awtq speed demon that everyone would soon come to adore. After transferring many of the modifications from the totaled Audi, Ken’s ideas bloomed from there.

    “The S4 was my first big build,” replied Ken in our interview. “The only real problem I had was finding a clutch that would hold the power.” After all, if run on race gas, this brute is capable of pushing 750+ horsepower, which is enough to make any adrenaline junky’s eyes widen. However, this B5 wasn’t necessarily created with the track or drag strip in mind. “I built the car to drive on the street,” he declared. “Beating a Lambo and a GT-R were some of my biggest wins. Both were extremely confused when a stanced Audi passed them.” Having grown up in Santa Cruz, he had become used to the winding, dashing roads of the surrounding mountains. This is partially what inspired such an exciting build. “I love the rush of going fast either in a straight line or in the corners,” he admitted. After all, speed is a characteristic which most of us enjoy in a car; and I believe that through this blue blur on the street, Ken has embodied that thrill. 

    One of the best aspects of automotive photography is getting to meet talented enthusiasts like Ken, and also hearing their stories. Everyone has a different story with their build—some are more unique than others, and Ken’s story is certainly one to talk about. Ken had told me that when he first acquired the car, he already had an image in mind. Admittedly, he never expected to, in his terms, “go so crazy” on the motor. While he may not have planned to build such an incredible speed machine, the results are by all means something that everyone, be it stance lovers or functionality diehards, can respect. 

    Specifications

    Engine:
    Built 2.8L APB Engine

    JE 82.5mm 9.0:1 Pistons

    Integrated Engineering Forged Connecting Rods

    Coated Rod Bearings

    Coated Main Bearings

    2.8L Big Port Cylinder Heads with Cams

    Supertech High-Rate Valve Springs and Titanium Retainers

    Supertech Oversized Stainless Steel Intake Valves and Inconel Exhaust Valves

    ARP Main Stud Kit Raceware Head Stud Kit

    Turbochargers/Exhaust:
    Tial 770R Turbo Kit

    Tial 770R Downpipes with External Dumps

    3.5” Cat Back Exhaust

    Fueling/Tuning:
    ME7 Tuned ECU with Factory O2, EGT, etc.

    Dual Bosch 044 Fuel Pump Surge Tank

    2.7T Billet Fuel Rail Kit

    Silicone RS4 MAF Hose

    85mm “Big Turbo” MAF Housing & Sensor

    Intake:
    Wagner Tuning RS4 Intercoolers

    RS4 Intake Manifold and RS4 75mm Throttle Body

    2.7T Large Port Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacers

    2.7T Stainless Steel Bi-Pipes

    Silicone RS4 Throttle Body Adapter

    Carbon Fiber RS4 Y-Pipe

    X34 Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake

    Chassis/Drivetrain:
    Track Density Motor Mounts

    Track Density Transmission Mounts

    Snub Mount and Bracket

    Southbend Stage 4 Extreme 6-Puck Clutch Kit

    JHMotorsports Rebuilt 01E Transmission

    JHMotorsports Solid Short-Throw Shifter


    Wheels/Brakes/Suspension:
    Rotiform NUE 18x9.5 Wheels

    Wheel Stud and Nut Kit 300mm

    B5 Rear Big Brake Kit

    Density Line Adjustable Front Upper Control Arms

    Adjustable Rear Upper Control Arms

    Stasis Street Sport Coilover Suspension

    The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/with/12778332103/

    Words & Shots: Courtney Cutchen

  7. Fan Feature: Derek Parker’s e36 M3

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    imageDerek Parker’s 1995 M3/2/5 Cosmos Schwarz Metallic

    Exterior:
    - 1997 Facelift
    - 1997 Black Kidney Grills
    - Depo Euro Headlights w/ city lights
    - NDG Honey Comb Bumper Grill
    - E46 Trunk Lip Spoiler
    - Clear Bra
    Interior:
    -Euro M stitching steering wheel
    -Hurricane Gray Alcantara Vaders
    Engine:
    - Dinan Cold Air Ingake
    - Active Autowerks Exhaust 
    Brakes:
    - Brembo blank front rotors
    - Brembo blank rear rotors
    - Motul 600 brake fluid
    Suspension:
    - Broadway Static Coilovers
    - TMS Rear Camber Arms
    - Eibach Front Swaybar
    - Eibach Rear Swaybar
    Footwork:
    - BBS RS 212 
    - 17x9.5 205/40/17
    - 17x10.5 215/40/17
    - San Jose Sharks teal centers 
    - Full polished Rotiform bubble lips - - BBS quarter caps

    The full feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157641228021963/

    Shots: Courney Cutchen

  8. Fan Feature: Beth’s Lupo

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    These are stills from our Feature video shoot of this awesome Lupo!

    Shots: Matt Clifford

    The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157640565622553/

  9. Not Your Average Annie: John Nguyen’s 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

    When I first saw John’s car, affectionately known as “Annie,” my first thought was, “Wow.” That’s a good thing—usually the goal of building a car is to create a unique, lovable image that will get people talking, and John has done exactly that.

    John originally found his passion for automobiles in Hondas. “I’m a car enthusiast,” he says. “That said, I like all cars, from domestic to import.” Throughout the years, alongside his Hondas, he found himself interested in Beetles, which he had owned two of previously. “VW Bugs were always a car of interest,” he explained. The “look and styling of the classic Euro import” was strong in his attraction to these cars. He’s owned Annie for roughly two years, and he’s used that time wisely to mold her into what you see today.

    Looking at this Bug is like looking into the past, not only because of its age, but because of its custom design. Branded with the name “Oak Creek Vintage,” it doubles as a fun ride and a mobile advertisement for John’s antique and vintage shop in the San Jose Bay Area. This car is the perfect example of a vehicle custom to its driver’s style. It screams “retro.” From its roof rack decked out with vintage luggage and an original Coca Cola cooler from way back when, to its groovy interior featuring a beautiful dream catcher, everything about this Volkswagen sets off the vibe from the good old days.

    However, the fact that it kisses the pavement as it cruises adds a slight twist to the classic we all know and love.

    Getting to see this car in person is a treat. Just when you think you’ve seen every detail, something else catches your eye. There’s always something to look at. This made photographing it quite a field day. I asked John what gave him the idea for Annie’s current image, and the answer was quite simple: “I put together things of my interest. My own personal style and way of life is rugged, outdoorsy, and rather simple.” The little things about the car he describes as “native, vintage, and classic, clean styling.” The attention to detail is one of the many things that I think truly brings the car together. It makes it personal, fun, and especially unusual. It is a reflection of John’s style and sense of fashion, as well as his love for cars. A perfect combination!

    As far as future plans for Annie go, several ideas are being tossed around, so nothing is for certain. Mods such as a possible engine swap, new wheels, and even going lower could be a reality in the future.

    Exterior: 

    Euro blade bumpers
    Custom extended rear pop-outs(4.5 inch)
    GE foglight
    Empi Eye lids 
    Empi wood slat roof rack
    Vintage bull horns
    Thermidor swamp-cooler
    Vintage brass Coca-Cola bottle opener 
    1950’s Coca-Cola cooler 
    Vintage luggage
    Vintage folding picnic table
    Brass bumper bolts detail
    Vintage 1950’s police siren/red light 
    German Ski Rack 
    Vent window wind breezies 
    Sign painting by JohnB Signs/SharperThanAny

    Wheels/Suspension:

    BRM wheels 15x5/15x5.5
    165-45-15 fronts 
    195-50-15 rears 
    Front sus:
    KCW(kustom coach works) 6inch narrowed front beam
    CB Performance 2.5 drop spindles 
    No shocks
    Rear sus: 
    Custom notched spring plates
    Adjusted hella splines. Lol. ?
    KYB silver gas shocks(short) 10.5 compressed 

    Interior: 

    TMI seat upholstered seats 
    Original door panels 
    Seat beads 
    Glove box pull lever 
    Momo steering wheel hub 
    Steering wheel Quick release 
    Nardi wood steering wheel
    Scat short shifter/T-handle 
    B pillar cafe hoop 
    Bamboo Parcel Tray
    Basket cup holder
    Vintage native print pillows 
    Dream catcher 
    Fox tail

    Sound system:

    Panasonic Deck
    3 JVC 5.5in speakers 
    2 Panasonic 3way 5x7
    2 Panasonic 3way 6x9
    1 12 Rockford Fosgate sub. 
    Custom reclaimed wood speaker deck

    Engine/drivetrain:

    Stock rebuilt 1600cc
    Custom race tranny 
    Future plans with the engine. 
    Possible 
    Big motor turbo(Aircooled)
    Subaru swap turbo
    Or rotary turbo. 

     Words & Shots: Courtney Cutchen 

    The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157640694049265/

  10. A video of Beth’s Hydro’d Volkswagen Lupo was a must! Some of us grew up on cars running oldschool hydraulics here at Watercooled Society, and this little Lupo is definitely worth a look for that alone. The car has a subtle boot build for shows which is changing soon as well as full interior re-trim.

    Arches have all been tweaked to give that crazy fitment, to snuggly fit in those gorgeous BBS RS wheels finished in a metallic blue which could also be changing. All of the body has smoothed to give that clean finish as well as full LEDs and American indicators. There are loads of other small modifications to the car as well, way to many list. The car was detailed on set using KleenFreaks products only, which gave a great finish for video. Head over and check them out!

    Thanks to Joe Graham for helping out.

    We don’t own the rights to the music in this video, it has only been used to add a more creative edge, the song used is below.

    Sombear - Love you in the dark

    Check them out here soundcloud.com/sombear