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Dawn Drivers: Waking up to the smell of octane

Waking up early is something I envision doing when I am well into my fifties and intent on going for a walk to stave off the belly fat. Currently I may have the same issue however I am not waking up early because of laziness. That stops when a private event comes around with the boys and girls from Zen Garage, I kind of skip laziness and go straight to stress… about whether my car is going to be enough to hang with these dudes and their highly modified and very defectable rides.

Strong mocha in belly and I am on the M4 motorway hurtling towards the darkness beyond my windshield, music playing at a medium level with the windows up to stave off the chilly early morning air, it’s 4:55am and I can’t remember the last time I was awake around this time… on a Saturday. Listening intently to my GPS guide and before long I have turned up to a nondescript street in what I think is Leichhardt though I wouldn’t know because this place is alien to me and I don’t know what the fastest way to the cop shop is. I turn into a dark driveway and notice the headlights shining on a far wall at the end of the drive “Zen Garage” it says and instantly I feel relieved, I found the place!

People and their shiny, low and fast tonne and a bit chunks of metal, carbon fibre and polycarbonate turn up. I really felt for the residents of Leichhardt that morning.

After what seemed like 30 minutes the rest of the crew arrived and I got to walk around the garage plus say “hai” to Sergio and his team. I noted a sign that urged respect for neighbours by not playing loud music or revving the engine or doing burnouts… seriously. Around 6am we all headed to the cars and started on the convoy through Leichhardt to Glebe and to the Harbour Bridge revving hard in confined spaces and generally keeping only the most basic semblance of control in high octane guzzling fun-time machines.

As for what happened next you don’t need me your humble narrator, rather pictures that illustrate the moments much better than witty banter:

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Waiting at the servo almost immediately after leaving HQ. Time to admire the cars coming for this epic journey

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Sergio’s Skyline, dropped lower than a worms winkie

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This Odyssey belongs to the Klumps

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E30 bimmers are a personal favourite, lovely wheels too

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Getting going. 6am and degenerates like us make quick moves

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Spit bridge for a quick gather up of the rest of the crew, nice cars abound

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Fiat with great stance and a tin opener taken to it. It’s Turbo charged.. you know.

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Ok Ok the Focus isn’t exactly low but it is fast and looks like a rally car.. right!?

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In good company

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That E30 again. My grandpa had a similar vintage 735i in the same colour

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This Maloo was loud as in apocalyptically loud.

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Great scene

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Cool S2000, seems to be the business

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Running to Kuringai

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A common sight, you overtake and then a Skyline comes raging past

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Great car

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Not sure if that is legal… aww heck who cares when it looks that good. Full roll cage and everything.

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Feels like a touge run in Japan, really just a 2-way in Northern Sydney

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Much fuel was burned for the cause that day

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Lake side and loving it.

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At the end of the run, cars ticking cool. The Focus did admirably

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Seems right at home with this lot… I think

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A beautiful view to end a great run

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Serenity… I will be back for sure

Thanks to the guys at All Stars and Zen Garage for a great morning, I crashed hard after this and slept for ages after getting home safe. See you next time.

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BMW Drivers Club NSW: SuperSprint (Round 3) – “I get to be a flag marshal!”

It was a great weekend… this weekend. The sun was out, the weather was cool and bearable so I was outside almost all day which is kind of uncharacteristic for me with my brother and fellow Kokstar, Justin (who for him it is completely uncharacteristic to be outside). I was invited to be a Flag Marshal at Eastern Creek (sod calling it Sydney Motorsport Park) for this round of the BMW Drivers Club NSW Super Sprint and I accepted.

Other than It was kinda fun to hangout and play with walkie-talkies and coloured flags, tell Keith that a faster car was passing him and generally watch loud cars go racing by, it was something different to do to the average weekend. I started early, as in 2 days before by planning with Justin, what to bring: sausages, mini-BBQ, snacks, drinks, bread loaf, laptop, cookies, chairs, DSLR camera, tripod, cutlery, cups etc. Everything was in place and ready for the day. When the day started it did it at 8am witha safety briefing followed by getting driven out to the turn I would be at for the whole day, Turn 14 (South Circuit).

Enough words, how about some pictures:

Intro

The South Circuit’s pit garage and tower – The magic starts here.

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E46 M3’s all neat in a line – These cars are waiting for scrutineering

Lineup 3

E92 M3 belonging to Keith Austin, my colleague

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More suspects arriving for check-in – First Class thank you

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The Pit Garage – This MINI is completely race-spec and reasonably fast too, loved the whine of the supercharger

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Brings new meaning to MINI-cab

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CAMS Logbook – Essential for the drivers today

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M3s of each generation so far were represented, yes even an E30 Evo!

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They look quite shiny at the start of the day… that will change

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That’s a fire extinguisher – Words of wisdom here, check the certified date to make sure it isn’t some job from the last century, I think it needs to be within 6 months!

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No loose bits in the engine bay, this example is quite good, albeit stock which is safe.

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The Paddock – No cows here only thoroughbreds of the BMW, MINI, Mazda, Radical and MNR kind

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E30’s – It seemed that the older the car got the more heavily modified it became, these two were loud and very quick in the turns, real track weapons

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Gun to a Knife fight anyone? The Radical SR was sounding like a formula race car, quick shifts and massive speed everywhere on the tight south circuit.

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This thing makes me thing of a Doonkavoort but it was called an MNR and it sounded turbocharged, it probably ran a close third versus the Porsche who was only a little slower than the Radical

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The foreground’s M3 E46 (barely!) is a serious turbo race car. It was setting blistering times and looked good at speed.

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Turn 14 – My home for the next 8 hours, nice day though

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Turn 14 – The right side going to turn 15, peaceful, but only for now

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Justin, settling in by smashing the chair around (ok not really) cyclone fence is all that keeps debris travelling at lord knows how fast from smacking us in the face, helps that this is a gentle outside corner I guess

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Keith’s wife Belinda going fast around the circuit

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Radical SR – Fast as it is furious, anything that followed this class of car seemed slow.

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MNR? If you know what this was then tell me

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E90 3 Series, nothing like the one your doctor drives, this thing is loud and quick on the track

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Probably made mostly of fiberglass and kevlar or carbon fibre, drive quick and had that awesome turbo whoosh!

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Lowered and hunkered down, semi-slick, loud with straight pipe GT3

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MINI R53 S – This thing had fire shooting out the rear and the driver was female, great sticker on the back that said “You have just been passed by a girl”. The sticker was seen many times by loads of drivers that day, this MINI was FAST

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EVO 9 (I think) – Pure race car, arrived on a trailer and tore it up. Showed that AWD could kick hard and dominate

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Very loud race E30

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This E46 was pretty darn quick and that is not considering the beige interior

Mini Cab

I need to get to the Airport… quick!

MX-5

Turbo MX-5 and driven by a young girl. Love that!

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135i – Doing the track thing

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Manual E92 – A bit slow that day, I think he had gearbox issues from what I was told.

Just Chillin please pass

Can’t you see I am waiting for passengers here? Pass me!

Radical Evo

Evo in front but not for long, the Radical munched anything ahead of it.

Lines

Afternoon Delight – Fast cars heading for turn 15

Drift

Are you trying to impress me? The camera came out at Turn 12 and all of a sudden throttle got used more than normal.

135 v E46

Past v Present (Plus a turbo)

M3 v 135

Warranties and perceived value wins over throttle – I know I hammered the bejesus out of the M3 at M Driver Training, my own would be a different story, I can relate.

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Peak Performance had 2 of their race cars out there

GT3 BW

Fast Porsches get me all artsy when they go around corners

Heat

Feel the heat from the GT3

Good day in all.

If you want to know more about the BMW Drivers Club: http://www.bmwclubnsw.asn.au/

Gallery

AllStars: Stance-off

The AllStars crew have put on another gathering of like-minded car aficionados. This time the key was “Stance”.

Not political, it’s about how your car sits. Does it sit like it’s got a stilt up it’s keister or does it sit like it’s taking a dump on the pavement? If you said “hell yeah” to the second option then you belong in the stanced crowd and you should have brought your car down like these people.

Click the images for Hi-Res

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Toyota Aristo, VIP style, I don’t see much of this in Sydney. Makes sense because this dude had Victoria plates.

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Not alone, that’s for sure, much more hotness here

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Something so right about E30 Bimmers, this one was very clean, love the wheels, must take around an hour to wash those… each.

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On another BMW – I am a fan of the marque, please enjoy this wallpaper

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Chunky looking 350z. Work Meisters are my personal favourite

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Nismo wheels on this very sorted looking S15, you know they’re serious when they carry spares… for punctures of course.

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Tasty fitment

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The Zen Garage stand and rides of the Capozzi kind.

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This S15 had something to say…

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…Worked much?
S15: I just met you and this is crazy but here’s my number so call me maybe.

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Panorama of the “B side”. If your car doesn’t officially qualify for “super stance” then you parked here as hard as you could. Having said that some cars here were pretty awesome.

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86 sitting nicely, good fitment.

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Cable ties and steelies, why…

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… because Race Car that’s why and I love this.

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This S13 looks like it comes straight from the Touge runs in Japan. Take a look at the dish on the rims.

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That’s deep

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We know you do honey

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The “A side”

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MPS with SSR Professors, it’s just the right wheel for virtually any application. Love that Thule roof rack.

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This was on the MPS so I made a wallpaper for it. Owner must be picky and sick of the scraping

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No school like the old school Work Meisters. 5 spokes is enough, clean Civic too.

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I like a good E30, this one is a regular and the stickers are great. I dunno about dialling Tracy Grimshaw on a phone though

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My Dad had the 4-Door version of this car. You know 4-doors for more…

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Old Corolla, on the back it had a “ToyoGlide” badge. I love the stance too

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Great day all around, warm enough and very clear, we get pretty good weather around here

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There are alternate views on what car mods mean. Did you know you can get that rust going with pee? mightycarmods told me so.

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BMR crew out with their very vivid E90 3-Series. Orange is kewl

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I like your Enkeis, your cars are pretty cool too. Simple is best. You can make most cars look even better with some really nice wheels, these guys know it

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We don’t speak engrish

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Work Meisters: Flexible application, don’t matter what you drive. I’m just glad either of them aren’t on Dolce’s because I have seen that before and it’s… not good.

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We were leaving around lunch time and some low riders were coming through, caught one in the act. Shadows didn’t help us but now it’s all nostalgic like those instagram photos. So pretty… the picture. The dudes were like tough and balling or something, hopefully not blue-balling.

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Tidy 80’s Corolla, these things are coming back, it’s like Datsun 510 all over again.

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Even the AllStars ez-go got stance so you don’t have any excuse not to. Sergio one of the masters of ceremony showing us how they do it, AllStars style

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Thanks guys, nice showing and keep it up.

Gallery

BMW Lo Rider – 1 bike but different things to different people

The song by War is starting and I’m cast back to the 2nd version of “Gone in 60 Seconds” with Nicolas Cage getting the groove on before setting out to steal nearly every great and good car from the 60’s to the late 90’s. Ok maybe the song should hang around in your mind but let me change the imagery to a bike. Not “pushie” but a motorcycle that was just a design study by BMW in 2008. It looked like this:

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BMW Lo Rider Concept 2008 – Brutal, tough and chiseled, everything I am not.

Want would be too soft a word for this. I don’t know how long I have waited for a bike that fitted the bill of looking as brutal as this one does. Modern motorcycle design is rife with plastic fairings and odd panel gaps, I just want a tank and to heck with the plastic panels because I want to see the engine bits, the beating heart of the machine. Speed and power isn’t necessarily what it’s all about, just by looking at this picture I can tell it’s going to be fun, I can tell that it sounds great with it’s boxer airhead motor. I know it has soul and agression and the brakes scream out that there is plenty of torque and speed to be stopped. It will be absolutely amazing.

But enough about me being all existential, the best thing, the most coolestest thing in the world about this bike is that it’s factory custom. The bike you see in the picture above is but one of a myriad of configurations you could have setup from the factory. If you are a loner and live alone in a shed with a peace lilly for company then you will like the version I posted above. However if you have friends or more specifically a female friend then maybe you want her right behind you (or in front, no discrimination here) then you can order the seat with a pillion. Feel that the exhaust is a little to close to your inner thigh? No problem, get the lower more traditionally mounted exhaust  pointed right down to the rear axle. The possibilites also include: cafe style rear cowl, modern xenon headlights, different engine block colours and 4 different tank colours.

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Many looks, 1 basic bike

This whole factory custom job isn’t new to the industry, Harley Davidson have had at it since forever and Victory’s showroom is a palace of custom. Now it just means people who aren’t attracted to shiny objects can also have their very own unique creation right from the get go. The only problem is it’s just a concept at present. A prototype has been spotted recently with the hallmarks of the concept. Even this doesn’t guarantee the bike’s future.

BMW please, please build this bike.

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A Question about fitment

I am no expert but i always wondered how all those BMW 3 series owners got M car wheels fitted. Well I had first hand experience when I offered my Giovanna Monza’s to my uncle to try out on his 2012 BMW 328i.

Looks pretty good right?:

Oooh good!

That’s 20×10 designed to fit into a 1 series M coupe or M3 or M5. I think it looks wicked then you catch a side profile:

LIKE!

At this point i am sold, it must stay there but alas were Asian and rather conservative so that which works with the euro tuner scene is not really how… we… roll.

So there you have it, you’re going to have to grind something down or in-board your brake discs if you want to get those puppies right in there, looking at the arch space it didn’t seem like there was much more space to go in anymore.

I just realised I didn’t get any further with the question about fitment, how do they do it? I don’t know… I am so sorry… I have wasted your time.

Kokstars… In the beginning

Shaun: Hi and welcome to the first post on our shiny new blog. What we aim to do is bring the ideas and lives of 3 siblings in 2 completely separate parts of the world with 1 vision to the world via our brand “Kokstars”. We’ll be blogging on Travel, Cars and Games as well as all sorts of stuff in between for your reading and viewing pleasure. Expect pictures some videos and the occasional stack of words to compliment them nicely.

Eventually there will be a brand with merchandise and I can’t wait to get my hands filthy in that stuff. Oh yeah I am the car guy so here’s a bit of shameless self whoring… and what a lovely day it was.

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If you are reading this you are witnessing the first step, stay tuned, we have loads more to share with you.