Category Archives: Stanced

Scraped Crusaders at Money Gang: Winter Builds Part 1

The weather is cold. It’s actually fucking freezing here. Across the street from my destination, the armpit of Southern Oshawa (a bar called the Down Omer) is almost vacant; Nothing surprising at 3 O’clock on a Thursday.  Sandwiched between a 24 hour Mac’s Milk gas station and a privately owned drab Office Supplies Depot, you will find GT Custom Exhaust. A shop ran by Michael Catell and one of the main reasons the Money Gang Drift Team actually exists. Every one of the team members’ cars have been here at some point for one reason or another, and the shops casual yet busy environment makes it easy to drop in and say a quick hello. It’s here that I found a spare fifteen minutes of down time near the end of the day and some new film rolls to talk to Mike one on one to see what he’s been up to.

MIKE CATELL:

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Devo: Hey Mike, whats up?
Mike: Just on Tinder right now.
Devo: Whats going on with your car?
Mike: Getting a single turbo setup for Marin’s new LS.

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Devo: Is it hard to do?
Mike: Yes it is very challenging
Devo: How so?
Mike: The motors not made to be there, and now it is. They don’t sell a kit for this car. You have to make everything fit.


Devo: 
How long have you had the shop?
Mike: Two years in February. I’ve been doing this kind of stuff for five.
Devo: Whats going on with the FC?
Mike: The FC is on the back burner right now
Devo: Why’s that?
Mike: Bills to pay my dude
Devo: What are your plans for it?
Mike: Just making the car that I’ve always wanted. Build a car that I’ve always wanted to build; 1jz and a sentimental chassis. I’ve always wanted a JDM influenced slammed and stylish car thats fun. Not necessarily a race car, but a fun car. I want to be able to drive this thing every day; i like to admire my work. Its me. My car is me. Its the most accurate representation of who I am.

KRISTOFF HEMET:

I’m half way through my first roll of film and have no clue how it’s going. It’s Monday evening and the daylight is already almost gone by the time I get to Kristoff and Steve’s place. Steve is at the shop, and Kristoff is working away in the garage on his E36; The car looks like its in a million pieces.

 

Devo: Hey dude whats going on?
Kristoff: I literally just said that I need to go get food
Devo: What are you doing with your car right now?
Kristoff: Sanding, prepping for paint, disassembling subframes… basically getting in over my head with no plan. A friend of mine just outside of Chicago named Chaz Edwards from Nerptech is making me some control arms and tie rods and tie relocation blocks to push the front track width out and get lots of angle.
Devo: What were some issues last year that you’re taking care of?
Kristoff: On the 17s I had clearance issues in the front with bone stock steering lock; no spacers, rack spacers or anything. The original plan was to just go for E46 stuff for the added track width and a little bit of extra steering lock, but then I started talking to Chaz and he offered me a deal I couldn’t resist. I don’t know, the thing with the steering mods; I felt I was already driving past the max potential of the stock BMW. Sure, I could have gone with more casual modifications like rack spacers as opposed to the full angle kit, but Chaz’s kit is super solid and the chance to get my hands on it was definitely an opportunity i wanted to pass up. It’s all stuff I wanted to get in the future anyway.

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photo by: Lucas Stanois

Devo: Why are you painting your car?
Kristoff: Team swag. Hahaha. I just want the car to look good for competitions; I want to do a lot of CSCS (Canadian Sport Compact Series) next season and don’t want to go in with a car that has 20 year old paint and dings. Repping the Money Gang well is important to me, maybe i’ll even attract some sponsors and other supporters. It was a group decision, so yeah. We’re all painting our cars grey so that’s a major factor.
Devo: How do you think your first year went?
Kristoff: i think it went pretty well. Everything I set out to do more or less in terms of personal driving accomplishments I got done and then some. Yeah, I think it was a super successful year to me and I enjoyed it.
Devo: Yeah your cars still here so..
Kristoff: Yeah, that too, the cars still here so yeah. I gave myself different goals each event to work on, and I made sure I got them done. Linking certain sections, trying different setups and learning to tandem are all super cool things I got done this year. I also hit the wall once or twice (the good way) and was still able to drive my car to work the next day. So that’s cool.
Devo: Any advice for beginners wanting to get their feet wet?
Kristoff: Buy an E36.

STEVE VAN SLUEWEN:

Steve’s E30 both inspired and pissed off many enthusiasts last year with its total makeover and transformation into a drift car. It sparked tons of interest and controversy all over the internet. After killing the Canadian Sport Compact Series Drift competition, his sights set on US Drift. I decided to meet Steve at Mitchy’s Speed Shop in the middle of fucking nowhere to check in on his progress in caging his new 2015 chassis: A BMW E46.

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Devo: What made you decide to ditch the E30 and move onto the E46?
Steve: Uh, a ton of reasons but mostly the ability to be able to run more tire in the back, and E46s have a superior suspension design for more rear grip.

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Devo: Whats been going on with the car since we saw it last?
Steve: I’ve bee in the lame process of stripping and caging it.

 

Devo: Where’d you get it caged?
Steve: Mitchyspeedshop. North of Mosport in a super tiny town in the middle of nowhere called Burketon
Devo: That’s pretty out of the way
Steve: Originally I was thinking of doing it myself but it wasn’t feasible with my budget. Mitch offered to Help me out and support my 2015 program and do my cage, and I’ve seen his work before with tubs and tube work so I knew he did good work.
Devo: Are you pleased with how it turned out?
Steve: Yeah above and beyond. The way it turned out, I wouldn’t have done it on my own. Incredible welding, and he was super smart with how he placed the pipe. The cage is so tight to the roof that the halo is welded to the roof, and the main hoop is so tight we had to remove sunroof structure. He listened to everything I wanted and did it super well and with ease.

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Mike, Kristoff and Steve form part one of our look at Money Gang,  Marin, Mitch and myself coming up in part two. 

Money Gang Steve – Early in the Build

Go big or go home.   In somewhat contrast to our last article, Getting lost in the Build, we take our first look at Stephen Van Sleuwen’s extensive E46 drift build.  The difference with Steve, is that we know he’s well within his capabilities, and he’ll have a complete car for this summer.  If not, the E30 still drives.   This 4 door E46 will be the chassis for his foray into the USDrift circuit, having previously campaigned his E30 in CSCS drifting competitions, he’s taking a big dive into semi-pro drifting..  When Steve decides to do something he really gets into it.  We originally thought drifitng the showcar E30 was just a cool weekend warrior venture.  It’s quickly turned into a full fledged deal with a trailer, truck (Yukon xl),  some sponsors and a part time crew of Danny, Kristoff, Mike and Nick.

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The project is only a few weeks old.  It’s just passed the strip down stage.  A LOOOT of metal and glass has been jettisoned for tube front and rear end and lexan.  Doors, hood and rear trunk now consist of just their metal skins.  As its a totally new chassis only a few part were able to swap over from the E30, this include the carbon fiber Megan Racing wing and the eBay special universal flares.   Filling those flares will be Cosmis Racing wheels, who’ve come aboard for the drift season.

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If you’re going semi-pro, you’ve got to look the part.  Therefore proprietary skirts are currently in development.  Note these are v0.1 mockup skirts.  More info on these will be made available in the near future.  As of now I can say plans for E46 skirts for the sedan and coupe are in full swing with E30 and E36 versions in the pipeline.

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It’s not a drift car without the doors shaved and lanyard door pulls.

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Drifitng is all about function over form.  Gone are the BMW gauges in with the VDO replacements.

 

The car sat at Steve’s shop on some jack stands.  Thus we were not able to move it around.  We will we try to get some more pics within the next few weeks to show the development of this ride.  The only things i can reveal so far is that he is currently looking for more sponsors and the BMW lump is out, will it make way for something else? JDM, German, domestic?  Italian?? Or will it go back in with some upgrades?

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Much to the chagrin of this guy, the old E30 risers were ditched for these more sweptback uprights.  They were a hit on instagram, so we know the angle is right.

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To offset the CF wing, you also need CF mirrors of course.   This was our first look at the Money Gang Drift Team’s E46.  We will have a few more updates through the winter to show the cars development.  Also more info on the side skirts and engine choice will be available soon.  If you want to get involved in this team as a sponsor or in some other capacity.  Please feel free to contact Stephen at stephen.vansleuwen@gmail.com or on instagram at @moneygangsteve.

SWANG BANG MONEY GANG.  //

 

 

Getting Lost in the Build

You’ve just done your first drift day. You’ve had a great day and spent a lot of time setting up a mild tune in your early-mid 90s Nissan, Toyota, BMW or whatever. You got yourself some good-ass coilovers, some extra wheels, a track oriented alignment and a bunch of tires with similar compounds–the whatever’s free or cheap compound. Engine mods are minimal because you want to learn how to move the weight of the car; you’re doing everything right. Learning how the track and your modestly setup car fit together. You start to get a hang of the racing line, braking zones, and even ramped up some cool entry speeds in there.  At the end of the day, your car is one piece (mostly), you’re looking at several tires you’ve just murdered, you can’t get the shit-eating grin off your face, and you’re hooked. You’ve just completed your first successful  drift day.

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The next logical step would be to continue to drive this car and replace parts as they break, or as they need to be upgraded. E.g “My car rolls too much around that corner. I am going to do some research and possibly buy sway bars to prevent body roll.” Doing this after every track experience is bound to create a nicely balanced track setup. Unfortunately, here is where a lot of new drivers get confused – Maybe its the product of constantly searching and reading epic builds, telling tales of unheard of engine swaps, and tubes; maybe they just like fabrication and problem solving- nonetheless, said driver will now take his or her car off the road to “build” it.  In theory and with moderation, there is nothing wrong with that; after all, in places like Ontario we get five months of winter to build our daily/track toys. This can be a benefit as it gives us the opportunity to completely rip a car apart and worry about putting it back together later on–we can pick away at it.  During this time, it would be appropriate to tie up some ends that went loose at the end of the season. Things like worn ball joints, brakes, bent inner/outer tie rod ends, replacing multilinks, and bushings are all things that are usually addressed; especially in a beginner’s track toy.

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What I have been noticing more and more, though, are beginners who have driven one or two track days (if that) and then proceeding to take their cars off the road for ‘pro-like builds’. People driving one or two drift days, getting the hang of it, and instantly getting a roll cage, truck and trailer and pulling the car’s plates for tubs and a crazy swap with a huge turbo (or LS v8). They skip the whole process. They will usually document it, showing off to all their peers about their fully customized powder coated and reinforced sub frames, decked out with SPL and PBM parts (or another manufacturers equivalent), stating they only spend money on the best of the best- doing it right.

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I haven’t been around drifting much, but what I noticed even before I got my car was the consumerism of the build has started to take away from the actual driving experience. It has gotten to a point where people who have never even driven at a track are going around buying rolling shell 240s and spending all of their time and money building a complete monster that drivers with more experience would have trouble actually driving to its full potential; this is wrong. This is not how you enjoy a car. This is however, a great way to ruin a lot of hard work.

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Personally, there is no time I resent my car more than when I am working on it. There is no enjoyment in ruining whatever clothes you are wearing, working on the ground of a cold-as-balls garage (if you’re even privileged enough to have access to one) to install a set of rear upper control arms or something like that. I only ever do stuff like that because I need to upgrade or replace it, and as I said earlier that’s the way it should be: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. A car should be upgraded as a driver grows. A driver that is more advanced than a car is always cooler to watch than a car that is more advanced than the driver. There needs to be a seat-time to build-time ratio taken into consideration when taking up these projects. A car owner will never have as much fun building a car than they will beating the hell out of it. Cars are meant to be driven. #drivingnotbuilding

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Written: Devaughn Dunbar @devocat
Edited: Ronnie Fung  @ronniefung
Photo: Lucas Stanois – flickr.com/lucasstanois  @lucasstanois

Stance Factory E36

I’ve lost count how many shoots Matt Berenz has done for magazines with local content.  This is StanceFactory’s S54 swapped E36 that he shot for Performance BMW.  Its amazing how you can take bits from other BMWs and combine them to make an absolute weapon.

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Berlin Klassik 2014

I can attribute the late publication of this article down to Canada’s long winter.  Those in the Canadian car community are forced to endure 5-6 months of drab, bleak, and desolate winters. All of which culminate in little to no original content within those months.  So I’ve saved a few photo sets from summer for these months.  Berlin Klassik is up first. This is my first visit to this show.  It has certainly grown since its inception a few years ago, and has quickly become one of the top 2-3 Euro shows in Ontario.  The number of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs and Porsches is higher here than anything other Ontario venue.

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However, the bread and butter for Berlin Klassik is still VW.  And Mauricio’s MK2 is still amungst my favourites.  I’m not sure how I accomplish this at every show, but I consistantly forget to take photos of VWs.  I just tend to take more photos of other brands.  Luckily, Geoff was able to capture the VAG cars in Septemeber.  LINK.

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This Passat might be rubbing some VW purists the wrong way with its Benz wheels.  As is the CRX below.  The owner didn’t bother bringing it into the show grounds.  It was sitting pretty in the parking lot.

 

Speaking of parking lot, the highlight of the show was there as well.  A pristine 911 with Sparco seats and RSR bits.  As well as a 997 GT3 with what might be the best vanity plate I’ve ever seen. An homage to Porsche’s reknown engine designer Hans Mezger.

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Any show with 356s, 930s, 964s, 911s, 928s AND 914s is good in my books.

 

Stuttgart had a good showing too.  I loved this bagged W210. And Manolo’s  bagged W116.

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And finally, Munich’s showing.   As I am now a BMW owner, I’m able to appreciate these cars from more of a personal and snobbish outlook.


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