Monthly Archives: July 2014

Recent Chicago Rally to Starved Rock

Rolling with the Chicago Rally

Half the fun and reward of the lifestyle we live is sharing the enthusiast experience with the like-minded. Every petrol head should have a car crew and every car crew should come together collectively to enhance each individual’s experience.

Chicago Rally is an organization created on that philosophy and they are taking it to the next level. Whether they are organizing spirited runs across the state, showing up deep and showing out at car events across the Midwest or tearing up tracks…this car crew is making their presence felt.

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458 - Audi R8 - Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage getting ready for take off

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458 – Audi R8 – Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage getting ready for take off

Needless to say, Chicago Rally’s founder Khurrum Dhanji is about that life and was happy to tell us more.

Mid-America Car-Tell:  Khurrum, let’s start with the basics…what made you create Chicago Rally and what was your vision?

Khurrum: Chicago Rally was founded on the principle that people should get out and enjoy their cars. Whatever car it may be. I’ve been to many stance events and seen the amount of money people put into their cars, and only drive them to and from events. With all that money spent you should get out and enjoy driving your car not just showing it. After I did further research I found this area doesn’t have a safe and organized outlet to let people “enjoy the drive” so to speak with other like minded petrol heads.

Recent Chicago Rally in action

Recent Chicago Rally in action

Mid-America Car-Tell: The Chicago Rally has an impressive fleet of member cars. What are some of your favorite cars you run with?

Khurrum: To tell you honestly, I’m a car junkie, all makes and models have something to offer the driver, from a Civic to a Corvette, it’s about how the driver feels in their car. And that’s why we all share that passion because we love the feel of getting behind the wheel and driving! With that said would it be wrong to say my favorite is my own? (laughs)

Chicago Rally Choices

Chicago Rally Choices

Mid-America Car-Tell: Speaking of which, of course we have to ask you about that absolutely stunning Grigio Silverstone Ferrari 458, what’s the story on your prancing horse?

Khurrum: It took me a while to come around to the Ferrari brand. I’ve been an Audi loyalist for quite some time and still am. So when it came time for me to purchase my first super car I decided to go with the 5.2L V10 6 speed Audi R8. I have to say to this day it is still one of the best driving cars in the supercar category. After the R8 I test drove the 458 and a LP670-SV. The raw brute force of the SV is what made me feel the 458 was a little too dainty at the time. So buying the Ferrari was after I found all the flaws in the R8, which weren’t many and the SV, which were plentiful. Don’t get me wrong the SV is a gorgeous car but it made up for drivability in looks.

Chicago Rally doesnt segregate - JDM, Italians and Germans welcome!

Khurrum’s Ferrari 458 photoshoot for HRE Wheels

Khurrum:  Driving the 458 is an amazing experience to say the least. The sound emanating from the engine and exhaust elicit an aural pleasure that cant be measured by any other car. The tight crisp handling and responsiveness is by far one of the best in the industry. And the design is subtle yet breathtaking. After a few months behind the wheel, I knew this car was a keeper. And most junkies like myself have a tendency to personalize their toys to make it their own. I started with a Capristo exhaust and headers, which added a distinct F1 note to the cars audio. Later I installed a lowering kit, firmer sway bars, a front vehicle lift and then rounded that all out with a shit ton of Carbon Fiber in the interior, exterior and engine bay. The icing on the cake was a pair of custom ordered Carbon Fiber race seats from Ferrari, which not only look amazing but are extremely comfortable for long rallys.

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458 HRE

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458 HRE photoshoot

Mid-America Car-Tell: One thing that truly stands out about Chicago Rally is that you will always find them at track days pushing the limit of cars that are normally reserved for garage queen duty. Khurrum, tell us about Chicago Rally track days?

Khurrum:  As we have a passion for driving we want our participants to be able to push the limits of their cars in a safe and controlled environment. What better way than to do that on the track. We offer expert instructors during track days to get you going while on the track and off the track. Having an instructor on my first track day years back was a blessing. Having someone show you the line of the track is priceless. Our instructors are available with every track day you sign up for with Chicago Rally at no extra cost. This is a service CR provides to its participants at no additional cost.  Our remaining track day schedule is listed here.

Chicago Rally Nissan GT-R ADV.1

Chicago Rally Nissan GT-R ADV.1 Track Weapon

Mid-America Car-Tell: What events and shows are you most looking forward to this season? Where will we find Chicago Rally?

Khurrum:  We will be Import Tuner Fest in Toronto Canada, and Another Level Car show, which we are sponsoring. This years Another Level is not to be missed as its only getting bigger and better year after year.

Mid-America Car-Tell: You guys don’t appear at all to have an elitist attitude or segregate by auto badge. Can enthusiasts of all styles get down with the Chicago Rally? Where can we learn more?

Khurrum:  That’s what has made me shy away for participating in other Rally’s. I’ve always felt that no matter what you drive you belong ’cause in the end it’s not about what you drive but how you drive. I’ve seen Miata’s put Ferrari’s to shame on the track. So it really isn’t about what you drive, we are all apart of this because of a common passion and that is cars!

Chicago Rally doesnt segregate - JDM, Italians and Germans welcome!

Chicago Rally doesn’t segregate – JDM, Italians and Germans welcome!

Khurrum: We will have one major multi state Rally next year which we will release details on late fall early winter. There will only be 50 spots available for this particular rally and they are sure to fill up fast. But we have a few more free local runs to Galena, Lake Geneva, and Straved Rock still on the calendar and there is no limit to cars on those. So stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.

Thanks Khurrum! Mid-America Car-Tell will have tons more with Chicago Rally this season. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and check out their website.

goldRush Bugatti vs Mclaren P1

JP Logistics: The Gold Standard

Season 6 of the goldRush rally concluded in June and as promised it was the best year yet.  Highlighting the nearly 100 participating vehicles was a Volcano Orange Mclaren P1 that just reached stateside, the 2.5 million dollar Bleugatti, and the Liberty Walk 458 driven by Wataru Kato himself.

goldRush 2014 P1 and bugatti grand sport vitesse blue

Volcano Orange P1 & The Bleugatti – Photo Credit Ronnie Renaldi

The rally scored a collective 10 out of 10 for the creativity and execution of their wildly unique vinyl wraps. There was plenty of time spent on the track and an emphasis placed on urging the fans to come out and take it all in.

goldRush Rally 2014 cars

Some of the goldRush Rally 6 cars

Bringing $20 million dollars worth of highly modified super cars together and then rallying them across the country is no easy logistical task. It takes an auto transport partner to achieve this monumental feat and as you can imagine not just any car trailer is good enough for the goldRush crew.

 JP Logisitcs goldRush Rally 2014

JP Logisitcs goldRush Rally 2014

JP Logistics is the only auto transport company entrusted by goldRush and the rally simply wouldn’t be possible without their dedication. When founded in 1995, George Sukunyan set out to change the auto transport game and he’s done just that.

Audi R8 fleet at JP Logistics

Audi R8 fleet at JP Logistics

Gone are the days of having to work with transport brokers, crossing your fingers that your baby doesn’t arrived damaged and not having anyone take responsibility when it does.  JP Logistics ensures successful transport after successful transport by relying solely on their own state of art fleet.

Mclaren P1 x JP Logistics state of the art trailer

Mclaren P1 x JP Logistics state of the art trailer

JP Logisitcs properly secured

JP Logisitcs properly secured

The quality of their trailers, their use of the latest technology, attention to detail and over the top customer service provides a peace of mind that cannot be matched. This peace of mind has earned JP corporate contracts with Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Bugatti, just to name a few. Their loyal customer base includes the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Steve Wynn, Dale Earnhardt JR and the late Steve Jobs.

Floyd Mayweather Bugatti

Floyd Mayweather Bugatti x JP Logistics

Official Shipper of the Hyper Car

JP Logistics will be picking up the Mid-America Cartell SL65 AMG later this week for a safe trip back o the Midwest, we can’t wait!

JP Logisitcs goldRush Rally  partner

JP Logistics Home Office

Follow the world’s most valuable cars as they journey across country, check out JP Logistics’ Facebook page.

June Fast Fridays at KC Trends

Fast Fridays in Kansas City

You find yourself in Kansas City on a beautiful summer night and there is one thing you must do, follow the smoke stack to the local legendary BBQ spot, right? Wrong! If you find yourself in Kansas City on a Friday night in the summer you need to follow the medley of thunderous exhaust notes to KC Trends for Fast Fridays.

KC Trends Fast Fridays

KC Trends Fast Fridays aerial shot by Ricky Shull

KC Trends opened 19 years ago with a mission to fill a void in the marketplace and become THE custom wheel and tire shop in the Kansas City area. Little did they know that in the process of doing just that, they would also fill a much larger void by bringing the local auto enthusiast community together with the Fast Fridays show they host every other Friday summer through fall.

Fast Fridays Italian take over

Fast Fridays Italian take over

Enjoy some of KC Trends’ projects and images from this seasons’ Fast Fridays. The best is still to come, for more information visit KC Trends on Facebook.

KC Trends shop Ferrari ADV.1 wheels

KC Trends shop Ferrari ADV.1 wheels

1967 Ferrari 330 rebodied P4 replica at Fast Fridays

1967 Ferrari 330 rebodied P4 replica at Fast Fridays

Because Racecar

Because Racecar

Generations of BMW at Fast Fridays

Generations of BMW at Fast Fridays

KC Trends Maserati Gran Turismo with color matched Forgiato wheels

Lamborghini Gallardo Performante at Fast Fridays

Lamborghini Gallardo Performante at Fast Fridays

McLaren MP4-12c on HRE s-104 by KC Trends

Orange Nissan GT-R at Fast Fridays

Orange Nissan GT-R at Fast Fridays

KC Trends displays thier new ADV.1 line-up at Fast Fridays

KC Trends displays thier new ADV.1 line-up at Fast Fridays

Mid-America Cartell will be attending Fast Fridays early full and will have a full report.

Special thanks to Ricky Shull Photography for the visuals!

MotorCity Gumball Rally 2013

MotorCity Gumball Rally

It doesn’t get any better than the recent Gumball3000 and goldRush rallies. You’ve seen all the pictures, an army of heavily modified exotics dressed in outlandish livery rolling through cities and creating mayhem to a soundtrack of demonic exhaust notes.

Unfortunately the majority of auto enthusiasts don’t have half-million dollar hyper cars or the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to participate in Gumball3000 or goldRush. The best they can hope for is to be spectators if one of these rallies happens to blow through a nearby city.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone created in an approachable alternative here in the Midwest? Someone has. Waseem Qureshi and Alex Haggart launched the MotorCity Gumball Rally in 2012. Based out of Detroit, the MotorCity Gumball combines luxury lifestyle, motorsport activities, and extreme sports to create the experience of a lifetime.

MotorCity Gumball Rally cars

MotorCity Gumball Rally cars

This August (23-24) the MotorCity Gumball Rally will head out from Detroit on a mission to take over Chicago. The high speed rally and stops at the track will give participants the opportunity to showcase their livery covered cars. While Waseem will keep them on edge with some top secret adrenaline pumped extreme sports activities. Of course in Gumball fashion, there will be four star accommodations, a rented out night club and limo rides while the rally cars rest.

otorCity Gumball Rally VF Engineering supercharged M3

Waseem’s VF Engineering supercharged M3

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458

Team Chicago Rally getting after it!

Waseem had the goal of 75 cars for this year’s rally but the demand was so high he already has 100 vehicles singed up! Year 1 saw just fewer than 50 cars, there were around 65 vehicles last year and reaching 100 this year is a landmark not even goldRush was able to hit.

MotorCity Gumball Rally Nissan GT-R

Team GT-R

Cars are the stars and the stars come out for the MotorCity Gumball. From Lambos and Ferraris to AMGs, GT-Rs, and Porsches. Of course, you couldn’t dub it MotorCity without some American muscle as well. Some unique standouts have been the Pimp My Ride crew in their 007 themed Aston DB9 and a super semi driven by a local Detroit towing crew. This year there is a lot of excitement over Detroit’s own Rob Dahm’s Lamborghini Diablo.

Rob Dahm Diablo Motorcity Gumball Rally

Rob Dahm’s Diablo headlines Motorcity Gumball Rally 2014

Pimp my Ride Aston Martin 007 DB9 MotorCity Gumball Rally

Pimp my Ride Aston Martin 007 DB9 MotorCity Gumball Rally

MotorCity Gumball Largest Rally car ever

MotorCity Gumball Largest Rally car ever

It isn’t all about the cars, partying with fellow enthusiasts and the adrenaline rush; money will be raised for charity and significant donation will be made to toys for tots.

Mid-America Cartell will have tons of coverage from the rally so keep it locked.

Be sure to follow MotorCity Gumball on Facebook.

Alex Bellus Lamborghini Aventador Photo Shoot

Minnesota Cars and Coffee with Alex Bellus

If you aren’t paying attention to the Minnesota car scene, it is time you start! Minnesota currently stakes claim to one of the best Cars & Coffee shows in the Midwest, some top-flight performance shops, an impressive list of exotics roaming the streets and whispers of hyper-cars soon to make an appearance.

Saleen S7 Twin Turbo at Minnestoa Cars and Coffee

Nth Moto Saleen S7 Twin Turbo at Minnestoa Cars and Coffee

There is no one better to break it all down for us than photographer to the car stars, Alex Bellus.

Alex, let’s start with Minnesota Cars & Coffee (MN C&C) which takes place the first Saturday of every month at the Automotorplex in Chanhassen, MN.

Mid-America Cartell: About how many cars come out on a given Saturday and how much has this show grown over the past two years?

Alex: MN C&C has pretty much hit capacity for the current venue, the AutoMotorPlex, in Chanhassen and the volunteers that staff the event have had to start turning away cars by 8:30 or 9:00 AM when the weather is nice because we’ve already reached the limit of about 1,000 cars. With those cars usually comes several thousand spectators as well. I’ve been photographing the event since it first started in a coffee shop parking lot with about 25-30 cars so I’ve seen it grow a ton over the past 6 or 7 years. Like clockwork, it runs from about 7:00 AM to 11:00 on the first Saturday of every month, April through October.

Mid-America CarTell: What kind of variety of cars should one expect?

Alex: There’s a huge diversity of cars that come out each month. Pretty much anyone can show their car as long as it’s clean and somewhat unique. You’ll see everything from well-executed JDM cars to rat rods and muscle cars, as well as a strong contingent of German cars, especially, BMWs, Audis and Porsches. Regardless of weather, you’ll usually see a few super cars come out like Ford GTs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, or McLarens, even when there is snow on the ground!

Mclaren MC12 in Minnesota

Mclaren MC12 in front of sponsor IMOLA race trailer

Italian Exotics at Minnesota Cars & Coffee

Italian Exotics at Minnesota Cars & Coffee

Mid-America CarTell: What are some of the most exciting cars that have come out this year?

Alex: It was a rough start to the year. We had a snow storm a day or two before the April event, May was good but kind of chilly, and June had torrential rains that flooded parts of the MotorPlex. That being said, there were three Aventadors (two roadsters and a coupe), as well as a 1,400 HP Ford GT that braved the rain in June. May was a good month for MN C&C. In addition to a really unique and rare 1950s Devin race car as well as a stunning Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, an Underground Racing twin-turbo Gallardo Superleggera and a priceless 1960 Ferrari 250 GTB SWB are perennial fan favorites that also showed up. Another car I always look forward to seeing is this really mean sounding, blue two-tone Pantera with a fully built engine.

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Mid-America CarTell: Are there any cars you’ve seen over the past years that are MIA thus far this season?

Alex: There are a few that I’d love to see again. For instance, about 3 years ago, someone brought a really rare Ruf CTR2 Sport which has since gone to a garage in Malaysia; in addition to a Ruf BTR that made it out to a few events last year. I’ve also seen a Lamborghini Miura or two over the years that I’d love another chance to see. In terms of more modern stuff, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen any Carrera GTs at MN C&C. There’s also a sweet Ultima GTR that usually shows up when the weather is nice.

Ultima GTR

Ultima GTR

Mid-America CarTell: We’ve heard rumors about the legendary and fresh off of goldRush Rally Bleugatti as well as a P1 and 918 making an appearance at MN C&C this year. What have you been hearing?

Alex: That sounds about right. I’m hoping Bleugatti will be at the July event and a P1 might be there to join it as well. I’m guessing we won’t start seeing any 918s until this fall though. I’ve also heard rumors of a local collector having a Porsche 959 as well as a McLaren F1. I’ve never seen either of these in person but if the owner happens to be reading this, call me! Let’s set up a shoot!

Bleugatti Minnesota

*update* The Bleugatti did make it to July MN C&C!

Mid-America CarTell: We can’t talk MN C&C without talking IMOLA Motorsports. You’re their go to photographer so fill us in on their amazing new facility and a few of their recent projects.

Alex: IMOLA’s new shop in Plymouth is about three times bigger than their old shop. They’ve now incorporated a dedicated detailing bay, a race shop, and plenty of storage space. It’s still a work in progress but hopefully there’s room for a dyno and a paint shop as well. They’ve been busy as usual with an assortment of projects including building and maintaining a fleet of shop and customer-owned race cars. Every time I go over there, it seems like they’re servicing something new. Last time I was there, they were working on a really rare Shelby Series 1 and a Ferrari 550 Maranello.

Imola Motorsports 997 Turbo

IMOLA Motorsports 997 Turbo in front of new shop.

Mid-America CarTell: Any IMOLA projects we should be on the lookout for?

Alex: I’ve been looking forward to shooting their Porsche 997 Turbo with authentic RSR motorsports parts and body panels that they’ve been working on for a while. Can’t wait to see it finished. They’ve also been servicing a bunch more exotics like Aventadors, McLarens, and a slew of Ferraris as well.

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Mid-America CarTell: Alex, most Midwest enthusiasts will never see an Aventador in the flesh,let alone have one captive to photograph. So let me get this straight…you were able to shoot THREE of them at the same damn time! How did that come about?

Alex: I’ve been working with IMOLA for a few years now, occasionally shooting the Aventador that gets stored in their shop since the owner is out of room in his garage. Beyond that, it was just a matter of being introduced to the owners of the two Roadsters by Luis Fraguada who is one of the co-creators of MN C&C, and giving up a Friday evening to make the shoot happen. Both of the Aventador Roadster owners were University of Minnesota alumni so shooting on campus was a natural choice. Making those three cars look good was easy, but the hard part was dodging campus security while finding unique spots to get the right shots. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a life-long car guy who works in the automotive industry and that I spend my free time (as a photographer) as well as racing cars.

Minneapolis Lamborghini Aventador Photo Shoot

Aventador shoot by Alex Bellus

Alex Bellus Lamborghini Aventador Photo Shoot

Aventador times 3!

Mid-America CarTell: What an epic shoot!

Alex: Thanks! It’s always a pleasure to spread the word about the MN car scene and to share my work.

Thanks for the time Alex. We’ll have plenty more from Alex in the coming months. Be sure to follow him on Facebook and check out his work.

*UPDATE* Over the 4th of July holiday weekend the Bleugatti did indeed make it to MN C&C. See the complete photoset on Alex’s blog.

Check out Alex's blog from July Minnesota Cars & Coffee

Check out Alex’s blog from July Minnesota Cars & Coffee

RWB at Offset Kings

JDM Chicago x Fatlace Presents OFFSET KINGS

When two organizations that elevate that automotive enthusiast community collaborate, great things happen. This past June that philosophy was put in motion when Fatlace and JDM Chicago presented the Offset Kings car show in the Chicago area.

Offset Kings by Marcin B Photos

Offset Kings by Marcin B Photos

In 2014 the Offset Kings car show presented by Fatlace will make 11 stops (including Hawaii, Japan and Guam). To no surprise the official slammed society and hellaflush showcase has been a hit. Founder of Fatlace, Mark Arcenal is true automotive enthusiast himself and the Fatlace brand has been elevating car culture for over a decade.

Acura NSX Offset Kings Chicago Vortiz Photos

Acura NSX Offset Kings Chicago Vortiz Photos

When it came time for Arcenal to bring his show to the Midwest there was no better partner than JDM Chicago. The Chicago-based online magazine & community started out with a mission to feature rare Japanese cars from the Chicagoland/Midwest area. Their following and community has rapidly grown, they host events and meets throughout the season and their forum continually advances the Midwest enthusiast community. Of course JDM Chicago primarily focuses on Japanese cars but they certainly don’t segregate. All enthusiasts are welcome!

Rocket Bunny at Offset Kings Chicago

TF Works Rocket Bunny at Offset Kings Chicago

The collaboration was a huge success. Midwest car culture thanks JDM Chicago and Fatlace for making such a show possible and we can’t wait until the next edition.

Offset Kings Chicago C.Strarenda Photography

Offset Kings Chicago C.Strarenda Photography

Be sure to add Fatlace to your list of blogs and stop by the JDM Chicago forum for more Offset Kings Coverage.

Offset Kings WRX by Marcin B Photos

Offset Kings WRX by Marcin B Photos

Speedriven Engine Bay

Building a 10 second CL600

Breaking the 10 second mark is feat mostly reserved for drag cars on slicks, light weight turbo imports running ridiculous amounts of boost and super cars with price tags well north of $100k. These local and international legends pull up to the strip like home sweet home and everyone knows that it’s about to go down.

There are always exceptions to the norm and in this case that exception is Chicago native Kamil’s Mercedes CL600. The CL600 is a 4,500 pound Autobahn luxo-cruiser built to get executives from point A to B in superior luxury and pace. There is so much luxury technology stuffed into this heavyweight cruiser that it needs a second consumer battery.

Sterno Photography Mercedes CL600 Spedriven Chicago

Sterno Photography Mercedes CL600 Spedriven Chicago

Pulling up to your local drag strip in a CL600 and you’re sure to be the d-bag outsider that everyone is hoping gets embarrassed. That is unless you’re Kamil and your CL600 looks like it came from the bat cave thanks to paint and vinyl work from Dent Solutions Plus. Still, looking bad ass won’t get all that weight down the line in under 11 seconds. That’s where Speedriven comes into play.

Mercedes CL600 Chicago

CL600 roaming the Chicago streets

Speedriven is a legendary Mercedes v12 twin turbo tuner out of Chicago. Oh, we just assumed you knew the CL600 was equipped with a v12 twin turbo engine.

Automotion Wisconsin Dells Batlle of the Imports Best of Show

Automotion Wisconsin Dells Batlle of the Imports Best of Show

Kamil is serious about speed so he paired his twin turbo v12 with a serious package from Speedriven that includes:

  • Speedriven ECU/TCU
  • Speedriven Intercoolers
  • Speedriven Catless Downpipes
  • Speedriven IC Pump
  • Speedriven Heat Exchanger
  • Speedriven Rear Tank
  • Speedriven Idler Pulleys
  • Speedriven Methanol Kit
  • Speedriven Scorpion Intakes
  • AMG Brake Kit

Kamil is planning on upgrading the turbos later this summer but only after he cracks the 10 second mark. Armed with his knew equipment Kamil strapped the CL600 onto a Mustang Dyno.

Speedriven CL600 on Dyno

Speedriven CL600 on Dyno

He shared the results with us:

1st run was with windshield solvent spraying (in case you did not know the windshield solvent does have methanol) this run was done in 3rd gear.


2nd run was with the meth system turned off this was done also in 3rd gear


3rd run was done in 4th gear with the meth system turned on


“She was getting hot after the runs, I think a little bit more tweaking needs to be done and a dyno tune to come shortly and this car will make some serious power just the way it sits. I’m happy how the numbers are now since they are on the low reading Mustang dyno and TQ in 4th gear pull is amazing, on a dyno jet it would be around 830RWTQ range. “

With the dyno numbers in it was time for Kamil to head to the drag strip. Kamil’s best run on the day was a 11.275 pass. While he didn’t break into the 10’s, he’s on the right path. Before his next track visit Kamil plans on tweaking the car some more to correct what he believes is an issue losing boost and transmission slippage. Next time out he’ll also elect to run with his 16 inch track set up in order to get his 60s down.

CL600 Timeslip

11.275 Timeslip

16 inchers ready for Hoosiers

16 inchers ready for Hoosiers

We’ll continue to monitor Kamil’s quest to break into the 10’s. We’re confident he’ll get there because when Kamil commits to a build he goes all out. Case in point, his last project was to build the most aggressively stanced AMG in the Midwest:

Kamil's Previous SL55

Kamil’s Previous SL55

Kamil's previous ride - SL55 AMG on DPE Wheels

Kamil’s previous ride – SL55 AMG on DPE Wheels

Kamil's SL55 AMG aggressive as it gets on DPE's

Kamil’s SL55 AMG aggressive as it gets on DPE’s

Did that.

Check out his build thread on MBword.

Also visit Sterno Photography’s Facebook page more outstanding automotive photography.

wannaGOFAST Chicago Half Mile

I wanna go fast quote

American Patriot Ricky Bobby

“I Wanna Go Fast!” To some, these words spoken by all-time great American patriot Ricky Bobby is just a quote that will live on in history books forever. To others it is a way of life and a primal hunger that can never be satisfied.  Speed limits are the worst, especially when you have two strikes and only so much can be accomplished at your local ¼ mile drag strip.

Blake Hutchinson was tired of living in a world where speed is restricted and decided to do something about it by creating an event called wannaGOFAST. Blake founded wannaGOFAST to fill a niche in the motorsports market place. “Our goal was to create a safe and controlled environment for fellow car enthusiasts to pursue their need for speed without the restrictions of the standard 1/8 or ¼ mile drag strip.”

458 in line at wannaGOFAST

458 in line at wannaGOFAST

With such an honorable goal it is no surprise that the wannaGOFAST half mile shootout events have become one of the absolute favorites in the enthusiast community. In 2014 wannaGOFAST scheduled four 2-day events; Chicago, IL 6/21-22, Horseshoe Bay, TX 7/12-13, Clayton , GA 9/13-14 then back to Chicago in October. All of these events are held at air strips, giving participants the room they need to finally fully stretch the legs of their speed machines.

Weistec Engineering SLS AMG Black Series

Weistec Engineering SLS AMG Black Series

Our focus is on the June Chicago event. There were many impressive cars from all walks and of course some great passes. Check out the official results here.

Top Speed Motorsports twin turbo Audi R8 on HRE wheels

Top Speed Motorsports twin turbo Audi R8 on HRE wheels

It’s become the norm for twin turbo Gallardo’s and tuned GT-R’s to be the headliners at half mile events. Chicago is AMS Performance’s headquarters and the home team took the overall MVP honors. They had multiple Alpha Godzilla’s run multiple 200 MPH plus passes, including the weekend’s best time, a 213 MPH pass by an Alpha 16 GT-R. Also impressive was the Alpha’s new generation E63 becoming the first new-gen 10 second E63 in the country.

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Nth Moto was able to steal some of team Alpha’s thunder and take home some impressive hardware of their own. Their twin turbo Dodge Viper became the fastest Viper in the world by matching Alpha’s 213 MPH pass.

Nth Moto twin turbo Viper took home the hardware and became the fastest Viper in the world!

Nth Moto twin turbo Viper took home the hardware and became the fastest Viper in the world!

Shortly after the fantastic weekend concluded, we received some disappointing news. Bult Field in Monee, IL where this event took place was sold to the Illinois DOT and of course the DOT will not let this event proceed on their property. The October event has been canceled but Brandon Hutchinson is hard at work to secure a new Midwest venue.

Lamborghini Gallardo half mile take off time

Heffner Twin Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo half mile take off time

Mid-America Cartell will let you know as soon as we hear word from Brandon on the plans for a new Midwest venue. For now enjoy the official video recap:

Follow the wannaGOFAST Facebook page for more on all their events and Auto Mutt for more visuals.

Underground Hero Love to Hate Me

Underground Hero: Love to Hate Me

Mid-America Cartell aims to deliver fresh and original Midwest focused content, however, sometimes exceptions need to be made. Underground Hero: Love to Hate Me is a visually stunning short film by Maiham Media. This masterpiece chronicles Morohoshi-san, an underground hero who earns his living doing business in the gray and celebrates Bosozoku culture. You MUST watch this film and let know us what you think, although Morohoshi-san is too busy hooning around in his Diablo to give a damn what we think.

Sergey's House of Wheels Custom made 3pc Forged Prototype

Sergey’s House of Wheels

The most common and usually the first enthusiast mod is a drop and a set of aftermarket wheels. Perhaps no other touch reflects the owner’s style more than the wheels they choose. Whether you’re minimizing unsprung mass with monoblocks that maximize the handling of your sports car, spending big bucks on your baller 3 piece wheels or pushing the limits of stance on your JDM…the wheels tell your story.

Unfortunately, most of us have felt that pain like no other when we curb or bend one of our beloved wheels. We have also spent countless moments looking at our cars thinking about how much better they would look with a new finish, a more aggressive fitment or even a new set of wheels altogether. If you are going to live by the wheel, then you better have a guy. In the Chicago area that guy is Serge.

Sergey’s House of Wheels takes care of all the wheel enthusiasts’ needs; repair, re-finish, fitment spec, fender rolling…they do it all.


Sergey's House of Wheels

House full of Wheels

Mid-America Cartell: Sergey Serge, how long have you been working on wheels? How did opening your own shop come about?

Serge: Well ever since I had owned cars I would work on my own wheels. As far as professionally it’s been 3 years total, 2 years full time with my shop. My good friend Leo who has a body shop, painted a few sets of wheels for me about 5 years ago. I kept taking more wheels to him to get done since I was a pretty big “wheel whore.” After a while he kept getting busier and busier with his own work and had less time to do wheels for me. That’s when I started to do some of the prep work. After doing a few sets of prep work we decided I might as well try to refinish them myself using his equipment. So I did just that. Did a set and it came out pretty good. Before long people were asking me to do refinishes for them etc. So I would pay Leo some money to use his shop and equipment and handle refinishes out of that shop on the side. After about a year of doing it part time while I had a full time job I decided to open up my shop a few doors down as business was picking up.


Volk lip repair by Sergey's House of Wheels

Volk lip repair by Sergey’s House of Wheels

Mid-America CarTell: About how many wheels come through your shop in a month and what is the most common service you perform?

Serge: I would say it varies, there are busy times like end of winter and spring where the shop is literally flooded with wheels. On average though its maybe 20-25 sets per month.  The most common service is a straight refinish. Someone will get curb rash and want their wheel fixed and refinished.

Mid-America CarTell: Putting you on the spot, what are your 5 favorite wheels you’ve worked on?

Serge: My favorite wheels that I have worked on would be (in no specific order): Work Meisters in woodgrain finish, Chameleon Work rezax build, SSR agle strusse in custom step LIp-anodized red finish, SSR formula mesh into 3pc And most recently the Chameleon work Meisters.

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Mid-America CarTell: Ok, how about three wheels you would love to get your hands on?

Serge: I don’t have many wheels I want to get my hands on. I have owned way too many and probably have owned every wheel I have ever wanted. My all-time favorites that I have owned are Volk Se37k, SSR formula mesh and Step lip work equips.

Volk se37k

Volk se37k at Sergey’s House of Wheels

Sergey’s House of Wheels has a lot of builds to be proud of

Serge: I have done work on lots of people’s show cars/race cars. It’s hard for me to pick out certain ones over others as they are all unique in some way. Every customer I deal with has a story and has something cool about their car. Sometimes with me refinishing their wheels or flaring the fenders or whatever it may be, I don’t get to see the end result as it’s not a one step process. Also there are a couple of projects cars that I have done work for that should be pretty neat once compleated but are still in the stages of getting built.

Serge flared the body on Danny Brostein’s always transforming VIP Mazda RX-8 and provided him multiple wheel set ups.

Rx8 Custom Wheels

Danny Brostein Stanced Mazda RX-8 in White

Royal Flush Crew RX-8

Danny with the change up.

Serge was responsible for fender work and wheels on this 300zx  “I love how clean and simple this car is yet amazing at the same time.” – Serge

300zx Custom Wheels


Serge even has his girlfriend’s s2000 stanced out.

s2000 build with custom wheels by Sergey's House of Wheels

s2000 build

If you follow JDM culture in the Midwest then surely you have drooled over this 280z. Of course the owner came to Serge when it was time to spec wheels.

280z Custom Build

280z Build by Sergey’s House of Wheels

Mid-America CarTell: Tell us about the insane Rocket Bunny 240sx?

Serge: The rocket bunny car is actually a car my buddy Richard built. It was his crazy vision with that car. He did a pretty nice job on it, that car is a ton of fun to drive and gets attention like no other. I simply acquired it as a part of a package deal we had made.

Sergey's Hpuse of Wheels Rocket Bunny s13

Mid-America CarTell: Any big builds in the works we should look out for?

Serge: The big things to look out for I would say would be a lot of my customers have some intense builds going on right now. Lots of my work is on there already and the cars are just waiting to get finished with things like engine builds etc. As far as builds coming from me, keep your eyes peeled for a fully custom set of wheels that I will soon be rolling on. Also, I have an intense Lexus LS400 build going on right now. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the summer but it’s hard to find time to work on my own cars sometimes.

Sergey's House of Wheels Custom made 3pc Forged Prototype

Sergey’s House of Wheels Custom made 3pc Forged Prototype

Don’t hesitate to get at Sergey’s House of Wheels for any of your wheel needs. And be sure to follow him on Facebook.