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Monthly Archives: May 2013

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There are few things more satisfying in life than sharing accomplishments with others. Michael Jordan couldn’t have done it without his supporting cast and, even if he had, it wouldn’t have meant much if he wasn’t able to share that moment with anyone else. We need others to push or to lend helping hands when needed. This is also true when it comes to building cars. Really. Inside a community where individualism often serves as the ultimate goal, sharing the spotlight with others can be difficult. Recognition often leads to “I” or “me” sentiments and a failure to recognize those who helped, whether it was through hands-on labor or simply by inspiration. Such communities thrive off of camaraderie, off of relationships, off of unity; neglect all of this at your own peril.

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Philip Ngo understands this. He had help early on when he first acquired his project. “My Prelude was a graduation gift from my parents,” Philip recalls. “It was an awesome feeling having my own car coming right out of high school. With the encouragement from my cousins and friends, this became my first build. My dad also inspired me because of his past with modifying his old-school van and Cadillac.”

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It didn’t take long for Philip to begin perusing the Internet forums daily to come up with a game plan of his own. But there was a minor setback. The previous owner left the BB6 with a damaged rear quarter panel—lucky for Philip his friend’s dad happens to own Auto Werks Body & Paint in nearby El Monte, California, where Philip was able to get his quarter panel repaired and even managed to get a Wings West lip kit painted during the process.

Philip’s first order of business once leaving the body shop was to lower his ‘Lude. “I gave my cousin, Chris, a ring and he was able to source me a set of springs and shocks as well as my first set of Volks,” Philip says. After a year of working multiple jobs while tending to his engineering studies at Cal Poly, Pomona, Philip found himself fully enthralled with his Honda. “I didn’t have much knowledge in fabrication but I managed to become the first Prelude owner to retrofit Mercedes E55 bi-Xenon projectors into my headlights,” he says proudly. “I also created a custom full audio setup with help from my other cousin, William, and my sister’s fiancé, Luong.” Working those multiple jobs also meant that Philip had the extra money necessary to spoil his BB6. “Again, with help from some of my friends, I was able to acquire a few new parts like a carbon-fiber hood and trunk, as well as Bride Ergo II seats,” he says.

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The Alhambra, California, native soon discovered a new obsession: “I wanted to find all the rare parts for my Prelude,” Philip says. “I wanted to obtain every Mugen Prelude piece ever created and every JDM OEM part available. I ditched my lip kit for a full Mugen aero kit. I found a Mugen header and exhaust also. I installed JDM taillights, window visors, fog lights, even the damn JDM cup holder!” With all of these rare goods, Philip thought the build was complete. He was wrong. “I ran into a deal on a Jackson Racing supercharger that was just too good to pass up,” he says. Philip then commissioned his close friends and even more cousins to help with the install. After days of blood and sweat, possibly tears, the supercharger finally went in, albeit with undesired results. “It ended up running like crap—fuel problems, idle issues, oh, and did I mention that my Prelude was still an automatic?” Philip says. The slushbox was promptly replaced with an H23 Prelude’s manual transmission and beefed-up with an ACT Heavy Duty clutch and 12-lb flywheel. Fuel delivery upgrades followed as well as engine management but things still weren’t running as smoothly as anticipated. “We had so many issues with tuning and going back and forth so I ultimately ended up running a Hondata S300 unit and had Shawn tune it over at Church Automotive,” Philip says. After the tuning headaches were sorted, his supercharged H22A was able to produce roughly 250 whp and 232 lb-ft of torque.

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Philip’s Prelude is a prime example of what happens when great minds unite with a common purpose. It’s often understated exactly how much people help one another when it comes to putting project cars together. Often times, the individuals that help us most are left with just one line or a quick mention on a “shout-out list.” Sometimes they’re even forgotten. As such, outsiders never truly understand just how much these individuals may have actually contributed. Philip is quick to make sure that no one is forgotten. “It took me roughly seven years to get to this point and building this Prelude has been such a huge part of my life,” he says reflecting. “I have to thank everyone that has stood by me through all the headaches and helped me out along the way. Without them, I definitely would not have enjoyed this build as much as I have. I especially have to thank my girlfriend, Mimi, for stepping up to the plate with me and tackling each challenging moment.”

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Bolts & Washers

Jackson Racing supercharger
Endyn 9-lb. pulley
Hondata intake manifold gasket
ARC Super Induction Box
Mugen header, Mugen exhaust
Magnaflow hi-flow catalytic converter
Magnaflow resonator
RC Engineering 440cc fuel injectors
AEM fuel rail
Marshall fuel pressure gauge
H23 M2S4 transmission
ACT Streetlite 12-lb flywheel
ACT Heavy Duty 6-puck clutch
Custom steel-braided clutch line
C&R radiator
Samco Sport radiator hoses
Custom coolant overflow tank
Mocal 19-row oil cooler
Mocal thermostat sandwich plate
Mugen thermostat
Mugen fan switch
Magnecor spark plug wires
MSD 6AL ignition
MSD Blaster II coil
NGK spark plugs
Hondata S300 engine management
Unorthodox Racing power steering pulley
Unorthodox Racing alternator pulley
Prelude Type S valve cover
JDM hood insulator
Spoon Sports reservoir covers

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TEIN Super Street coilovers
Suspension Techniques rear antiroll bar
Ingalls front camber kit
Tanabe Sustec front lower tie bar
Tanabe Sustec rear lower tie bar
Tanabe Sustec shock tower bar
EM-Racing C-pillar bar
EM-Racing trunk tri-bar

AEM rotors
NSX calipers
PBR Metal Master pads
Earlís steel-braided lines

Rims & Rubber
18×7.5 Volk Racing TE37
Time Attack Edition (+48 offset)
225/40-18 Falken FK-451
Volk Racing extended lug nuts

Mugen front bumper
Mugen fog light covers
Mugen side skirts
Mugen rear add-on pieces
JDM fog lights
JDM window visors
JDM taillights
ARC winglets
VIS carbon-fiber hood
Seibon carbon-fiber trunk
Clear S2000 sidemarkers
E55 bi-xenon projector headlight retrofit
Yakima roofrack
Yakima 43” faring
Yakima Raptor bike rack

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Bride Ergo II seats
Bride Super-Low seat brackets
Bride re-wrapped door panels
Custom carbon-fiber armrest
Custom carbon-fiber center console
AEM UEGO wideband gauge
Defi Blue Racer Series boost gauge
Alpine 6.5” head unit
Audiovox DVD player
Infinity Basslink II
Infinity 4-channel amplifier
Pioneer component speakers

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My family (Ngostars)
Team Boneout
Auto Werks Body & Paint

Owner Specs

Alhambra, CA

Daily grind:
Electrical engineer

Favorite website:

Building cars for how long:
7 years

Favorite kicks:

Dream car:
Junction Produce Lexus LS460 on air and 20s

Build inspiration:
My family

Can’t miss TV:

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The Prelude Curse

If you own a Prelude and find that you have trouble meeting or dating someone of the opposite sex, then there are likely two explanations: you’ve either got no game, or you just might need to shower more. But if you do have a personality and you tend to bathe on a regular basis, then it could be due to the urban legend commonly referred to as “The Prelude Curse.” Look online and the number of stories running rampant among the Prelude forums regarding this supposed curse is many. The basic idea has to do with Preludes and the un-diagnosable mechanical/electrical problems that often go hand in hand. The results affect many Prelude owners’ social lives, meaning dates and relationships are often spoiled due to things like mind-boggling Check Engine lights and no-start issues. Of course, much of this is speculation, and there’s no way to prove whether the curse is true or if it’s stuff of fable, but there’s no denying the possibility of its existence. Maybe some Prelude owners are simply bad mechanics or even worse caretakers. Or maybe they’re just plain creepy when it comes to the opposite sex. “My Prelude’s gone through two brake master cylinders,” Philip says. “Every time it happens it breaks a block away from my house in the middle of an intersection. My family has to come out and help me push the car all the way home each time.” It goes without saying that none of this does wonders for the social life.

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Via: Honda Tuning

Throughout the years LTMOTORWERKS AKA LTMW (once known as LTBMW) has consistently amazed us all with innovative and trend-setting modifications to numerous BMW chassis. The shop’s undying desire for aseptically-pleasing BMWs with lines that flow has lead them to the latest rendition of their version of a WTCC E90 and a next generation-inspired F30…






Via: 1013MM

Here is the full video of the meet and greet held by Midnight Society. This is their very first meet that was put together in just a week. Surprisingly a big amount of cars and people came out for this event. As mentioned in the interview video, it will be held weekly on Sundays around the middle TN area so if you’re around, I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Lots of nice cars and amazing people to be with. Cars range from a civic, crv integra, rsx, prelude, s13 and s14 240sx, evo, golf gti, tsx, bmw e36, lexus, practically all types of honda, acura, nissan, volkswagen, and even a scion FRS was there. This meet was held at Precision Motoring in Hermitage, TN but will be moved to different locations on a daily basis.

Overall, the meet was a big success to them and will continue to grow. It’s full of excitement. There’s a DJ and people were getting hyped up and dancing to the music. If not, then they were just goofing off having a great time. That’s all that actually matters. To learn from this meet, it’s not all about the car you drive, but rather being around the people of the same interest. It’s the culture of car scenes. The majority of people are into the stance game so a lot of cars will be influenced by the stance scene. But not all cars are stanced as some are more functional. That’s ok though because they welcome practically any car, but again, they just wanted to have something for people to go rather than staying at home on Sundays and it’s all about the people.

Via: Goonk Vilaivanh


We first featured Tae’s Prelude in a 4MATIONMEDIA video, and then in his full Canibeat feature. This time we stumbled upon a random picture collage of his car online. So many changes to his car, but checkout that camshaft shift knob!

Via: RSB Photography

Remember the Ficus Green Prelude we posted a while back? Well this time we have a short video of it looking just as clean.

Via: Jared Bedrejo


“So Sam, tell me… how would you describe your car?”

“Ummmm… A horribly obnoxious frame-on-the-ground static daily driver”

Over the years of my automotive adventures between writing, photographing, and attending events all over the states, I have met and befriended incredibly talented and skilled enthusiasts; and the occasional crazy cool kids. Sam Sapula is without a doubt one of those oddballs that you just can’t help but buddy up with, and his STI is a car that is as maniacal as it is astounding. Talent, skill and straight up lunacy is what makes both Sam and his car impressively unique and quite truthfully, a reflection of each other.




I wish i can say that Sam and I met years ago, and share stories about the build and the friendship that grew hand in hand… but I can’t. Uninterestingly, the first time I laid eyes on Sam’s STI was at Dubs on Defrost in CT and I was half-asleep and delirious from an all-nighter, freezing from the bone-chilling wind snuggled into my peacoat with tears in my eyes. “How attractive.”, I thought. As I shuddered in the cold dreaming of hot coffee, I turned to where a commotion started to rise and there appeared a purple figure, floating millimeters above the pavement, swallowing the pebbles and grass that were in its way. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. It was the purple pavement eater.




Circling this STI and admiring the work, it would appear as if Sam has been working on Subarus for quite some time. Surprisingly, previous to the sti, Sam was a Euro guy. With an impressive lineup of Volkswagens under his belt, including a MK4 Jetta, GTI, and an R32, it was rather unexpected to find a silver 2007 WRX STI sitting in his driveway. Ready to explore the JDM culture, Sam went to work, starting mildly, with caution to the unfamiliar structure and anatomy of a Japanese vehicle. Having only about a month until the infamous weekend of H20i in Maryland, Sam’s agenda for the car was limited. Despite his time crunch, Sam fit Varrostoen 1.1.1′s on the body, running 18×10.5 et22 all around, pushing the boundaries of what most STI owners run as far as width and offsets. As the show season came to an end for the year, the STI tucked away with the garage doors closed behind it, and the purple project went underway.




Wood, low jack, jack stands, all checked. The Varrostoens were removed from the car and placed along the walls of Sam’s garage, with four Work boxes carefully stacked on top of each other in the corner. Adding up to 20+ hours of fender work and another 15 hours of suspension work, grinding and cutting consumed those long nights that usually last well into dawn. If you’ve ever spent a week straight of all-nighters in the garage, you know the feeling of exhaustion mixed with satisfaction all too well. In the end, the hard work and sleepless nights paid off as Sam placed his new Work Meisters on the car and grinned ear to ear to see the results. Running 18×10.5 et17 all around, with 3.5″ lips in the front and 4.5 in the rear, seeing this fitment is nothing short of miraculous. Something so good doesn’t come easy, as Sam struggled to keep his fitment flawless while being as low as he was. The battle between fitment and stance results with his inner front fender tube being 1mm from his 225/35/18 federal ss595 tires. A credit card can barely fit between his fender and his tire. Yes, we’ve all seen photos of credit card fitment but think of the last time you’ve seen a photo where the card can’t even make it in…yeah. Thought so.



As the dreadful winter was pushed away by warmer weather, the garage doors lifted up to reveal the STI in a whole new light. The silver STI that parked inside months ago sported a fresh Oracle Metallic Violet vinyl that shocked the wavelengths as soon as you laid your eyes on it. The Chargespeed bottomline V1 front lip, V2 side skirts and Voltex rear diffuser placed the body on the ground. No lip lows here. On the way to Dubs on Defrost, one of his side skirts ripped off from a gnarly bump on the highway and was left on the side of the road. Laughably, on his way home after the show, Sam spotted his side skirt on the highway and recovered it back into his possession, just not in the shape it was before. At a recent show, Staggered in Somers, Sam pulled into a spot on the field only to be halted by a crowd warning him not to drive any further. The grassy lane had ripped his front bumper off and the purple pavement eater turned into the purple bumper eater. Sam’s response: “It happens on a daily basis.”



We see tons of young’uns these days with BMWs and MK6 whips, and i sit here aging with my rusty Honda and wonder where I went wrong. But Sam Sapula is not your ordinary kid. At age 12, he started working in a BMX shop and grew his working his way into retail management at 15. By 18, Sam was managing his own store and also pursuing a career in tattooing. Now, at 19 years old, there is no question on how Sam acquired this STI. “There was no cosigner, nothing other than great credit from my previous cars and a hefty ass down payment. This is no mommy-daddy kind of situation.” As bizarre as his STI may be, it is also a daily driver. Commuting over 100 miles on most days between work and the tattoo shop, this purple STI is Sam’s way of his livelihood and for that, we applaud his bravery and acknowledge a hint of insanity in there as well. Yes, Sam has certainly made a name for himself and the same can be said about his STI. We suspect that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it surely is ours. Fatuous and mind-boggling, but yet strangely serene, its uniqueness and overall beauty makes this car an incredible piece of work.

Custom Turbo back straight pipe with isis blast pipe
Stage 2 engine management
Agency Power Short Ram

Chargepseed bottomline v1 front lip Replic
Chargespeed Bottomline V2 sideskirts
Voltex rear diffuser Replica
Oracle Metallic Violet vinyl
VIS Do Luck Demon trunk

Status Racing Ring & Gt black cloth seats
Grip royal dark knight steering wheel with Nrg hub and quick release
Cusco cage painted white
Re wrapped headliner/pillars/door cards black suede
Reupholstered rear sti seat steel grey alcantara
Teal 150mm bubble shift knob
Kenwood single din headunit
Alpine Type R Speakers front & rear with hybrid fiber poly tweeters
Alpine 600 watt amp powering speakers

Stance Gr+ Pro custom coilovers
Shortened dampers front and rear
12k front spring rate 16k rear spring rate
Camber plates front and rear
Slotted rear strut mounts for camber
Cusco front and rear strut mount bars
Whiteline 27mm rear sway bar
Whiteline heavy duty rear end links
Work Meister s1 3pc 18×10.5 et17 3.5″ front lip 4.5″ rear lip
-3.7 front camber -6 rear camber
225/35/18 federal SS595 tires

Via: Canibeat