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LUSTR Auto Detail Amazing Results

LUSTR Auto Detail

Learning to properly detail your car is one of the more time consuming and rewarding journeys you embark upon as an auto enthusiast. The journey usually begins with the realization that the swirl marks plaguing your paint finish are the result of improper car washing. From there you do some research on the forums and adopt the two bucket method, maybe try out some waxes, a clay bar and if you are really ambitious, you even graduate to an orbital buffer.

LUSTR Auto Detail Ferrari 458

CLICK HERE to see how LUSTR made this 458 shine

There is pretty much zero possibility that your journey will lead to AutoWeek naming you one of the top 9 detailers in the United States. However, that is exactly where we find Ivan Rajic of LUSTR Auto Detail in Shamburg, Illinois. Ivan went from hobbyist to AutoWeek’s top 9 detailers list. Ivan spent his college years obsessing over perfecting the finish of his jet black 1998 BMW 328i. He spent countless hours researching and experimenting until he became a Jedi of the detail.

LUSTR Auto Detail Lamborghini

CLICK HERE for the write-up on this glass black Murcie

LUSTR Auto Detail was established in 2007 and has been providing the highest-end auto detail services in the Chicagoland area ever since. The mind blowing results of LUSTR’s work has made them a destination shop. The most meticulous car owners travel from all over the country for the LUSTR touch and Ivan finds himself making cross state house calls on the regular. The demand for LUSTR Auto Detail is so high that you should plan on booking your appointment at least a month in advance.

LUSTR Auto Detail Audi R8

CQuartz Finest for the R8, CLICK HERE

While we drool over the work LUSTR does on some of the most beautiful cars in the country and admire the resulting success of Ivan’s dedication to the art; the reason why he is the first detailer to be featured on Mid-America Cartell is because we are so thankful for the education he provides the enthusiasts community.

LUSTR Auto Detail M5

Ivan doesn’t rest on his laurels or put himself on pedestal. Instead of keeping his knowledge to himself, Ivan spends his free time posting educational material on the LUSTR Blog and Detailed Image. whether you are just learning how to properly detail your car or looking to take your game to next level, Ivan’s Detailed Image series is a must read! Check it out HERE.

LUSTR headlight restoration

Headlight restoration? Check it out HERE

We had the opportunity to ask Ivan some questions while he was inspecting some of his clients’ cars at the Another Level Car Show

LUSTR detail Chicago Rally

Chicago Rally Ferrari 458 with the LUSTR touch

Mid-America Cartell: What is the most important advice you would give to the enthusiast who has just graduated from the gas station car wash to DIY?

Ivan: One of the biggest issues such enthusiasts face is the overwhelming availability of detailing products these days.  Every manufacturer has numerous chemicals for washing, polishing, etc., so it’s an extremely hard and many times expensive choice to make to find what works well for you.  We at LUSTR try to minimize this wasted money by recommending products we have used successfully for many years.  I guess at the end of the day my main piece of advice would be to do plenty of studying online and practicing in person, but don’t focus on overpriced products that are coming out every few weeks from various manufacturers.  Rather, stick with the “tried and true” products and methods, which are bound to provide great results for you and your vehicle.

Mid-America Cartell: For the guy just getting started and on a budget of $200, what should they purchase and why?

Ivan: $200 will get you most of the supplies to properly maintain a car, such as wash materials (buckets, grit guards, mitts, towels, wheel cleaners and brushes, etc.) and some microfiber towels, wax and some dressing for tires, trim and similar parts.  This is where everyone should start instead of spending the $400-500+ on machine polishing supplies because even if you do a great job fixing swirl marks by machine, the bigger challenge is maintaining that finish.

LUSTR detailing wheels

CLICK HERE for LUSTR’s recommended products

Mid-America Cartell: Is there one element of washing a car that must be mastered before proceeding?

Ivan: I believe the main thing is simply knowing that washing a car, regardless of products and technique, means that you will eventually cause some swirl marks.  Some garage queens that are rarely washed may not see any noticeable swirl marks for years, whereas daily driven cars, even when washed very meticulously, will see some swirl marks within weeks or months.  The point is not to fret over it and simply do the best job you can because at the end of the day we’re mechanically removing dirt from paint and something is bound to appear in terms of swirl marks.  The biggest tip for washing a car properly is to wash as small of a section as possible to limit the amount of dirt being dragged across the paint, thus minimizing the possibility of swirl marks.

LUSTR Auto Detail paint correction

Find out what causes swirl marks HERE

Mid-America Cartell: Midwest winters are brutal, what advice do you have for maintaining your show season finish during snow season?

Ivan: This is always a tough one for those that daily drive their vehicles.  We in the Midwest seem to be on a completely different detail schedule than states such as California. Pre and post winter details are a must. Protect before winter and clean-up after!  Touchless automatic washes can be of great help during the winter as they help remove a lot of buildup, after which you can do a safe rinseless wash at home and wax the car.  Otherwise, it’s tough for DIY enthusiasts to find an indoor place where they can normally wash their vehicle without worrying about drainage and the freezing weather.  Of course, we are open year round and have many regulars who come to the shop during winter for a wash every 1-2 weeks and wax every 6-8 weeks.

ONR waterless rinse in winter

How to remove snow HERE, waterless rinse HERE

Mid-America Cartell: What is the biggest misconception about detailing a car?

Ivan:  Tough question, as I’ve come to learn of many misconceptions over the years.  I guess the biggest one is that it’s easy to do properly.  Some people can wash a car in 20 minutes, others take 60 and some even 2 hours.  The level of the wash is what differs but the general public somehow believes it’s all the same service.  To go with that it seems that in general people think there’s only ONE kind of detailing, whereas the term detailing spans everything from a quick 2 hour wash & wax type of detail, to a 5 day intensive paint correction, coating application, wheel cleaning, etc.  Many times people are asking us “how much is A DETAIL at LUSTR?” to which I can only reply “anywhere between $30 to $3000+.”  At the end of the day, there are not only many different levels of detailing (wash, wax, clay, polish, etc), but also different levels of the quality and attention to detail within those different services, so saying “I just detailed my car” is almost as vague as saying “I just purchased a car.”

Bad detail fixed by LUSTR Auto Detail

Ever paid for a bad detail. HERE is how to avoid it

Mid-America Cartell: The full paint correction services the you transform cars with has put LUSTR on the map but we understand you are rolling out a new Wash & Wax Saturdays. Fill us in on the details?

Ivan: Absolutely correct.  Current and potential clients normally know us for the 1-2 day intensive correction work we perform but we do offer all kinds of other services, from basic washing, waxing, and headlight restorations to wheel detailing.  This is something we are trying to shed light on a bit more, thus the Wash & Wax Saturdays.  These will be Saturdays scheduled throughout the year and we will only book 1-2 hour appointments for basic wash and wax type services.  It will help to publicize our basic services and allow regulars and new clients alike to book a quick service with us as opposed to waiting a long time due to our normally constrained schedule.

Mid-America Cartell: Anything else in the works that we should be on the lookout for?

Ivan: We are always working on new things behind closed doors so to speak.  We are thrilled to be developing, a website that will prove loads of detailing informatrion for enthusiasts. The website will launch in the coming months and along with the digital education we will host regularly scheduled clinics. LUSTR Auto Detail will also be partnering with organization such as Chicago Rally to put together meets, bikini washes and charity events. Lastly, be sure to check out our website for detailing supplies, we will be adding even more products soon and are always happy to answer any questions.

Detailed Ferrari f12

Mid-America Cartell would like to thank Ivan for taking the time to drop detailing knowledge on the enthusiast community. We also thank him for having the cars at the Another Level Car Show looking so damn clean!

We can’t stress it enough, read up on his Detailed Image blog and we’ll be sure to let you know when goes live. In addition, Ivan will be dropping by Mid-America Cartell on occasion to share more tips on keeping your car sparkly


Another Level Car Show 2014

Last week Mid-America Cartell attended the Another Level Car Show in Schaumburg, Illinois. It was evident to us and everyone in attendance that Another Level is without a doubt one of THE best car shows in the Midwest. This was year four of the show (year two at the current venue after outgrowing the original) and team Another Level made it clear to everyone that they have car shows down to a science. Every element critical to car show success was present; large enough venue, 20 person staff who ensured everything ran smoothly, 15 qualified judges who handed out 50 awards, live DJ, a charitable cause, top notch sponsors, beautiful models and over 3,000 spectators.

While all those elements laid the foundation, it was the amazing line-up of cars that made this show a strong contender for best in the region. The collection of over 600 show cars scored high marks in variety, uniqueness, execution and the large number of high-end cars took this show to Another Level.

Pics or it didn’t happen? We were hoping you would say just that!


Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg was the venue for Another Level.


Our poor attempt at capturing the enormity of the show.


Coalition of exotics? Yes, please!


Twining Aventadors. It was that kind of show.


Which of these equally beautiful cousins would you take home? The R8 won 2nd place exotic.


The Chicago Rally GT-R with a fresh set of HRE’s. Track ready.


This was the line-up next to the JDM Chicago booth.


Adventure Supercars brought some of the cars that they actually let people drive at the track! Learn more.


American muscle was well represented.


1st place BMW.

The Chicago Rally 458 took home firs place exotic. More here.

The Chicago Rally 458 took home firs place exotic. More here.


1st place Mazda goes to Chicago Rally.


This matte red chrome wrap by X-treme Graphics was mind blowing!


Infiniti was well represented. LS swap anyone?


Both versions of the Prior Design SL wide body kits side by side. Gino’s red, Speedriven equipped monster took home 1st place Mercedes.


New body Lexus stanced just right.


What’s a car show without Supra?!?


Group pic.


Very well executed STI.


This twin turbo UGR shut down the show when it showed up.


ABMotoring Rocket Bunny drew a crowd as always.

Another Level Car Show 2nd Place Blue Subaru

The blue one took 2nd place Subaru. Tim Tann Photography.

Teaser shot of the Mid-America Cartell SL65 wide body project. Full shoot coming soon.

Teaser shot of the Mid-America Cartell SL65 wide body project. Full shoot coming soon.


The VapeCity-mobile in a chameleon finish that certainly doesn’t blend in.




1st place Nissan and you can see why.

Another Level Car Show Hayabusa Smart Car

Yes, a Smart Car with a Hayabusa engine. More at

Another Level Car Show 2nd Place Infiniti

2nd place Infiniti. More at Side Street Tuning.

1st place Toyota went to this purple beauty with color matched SSR wheels

1st place Toyota went to this purple beauty with color matched SSR wheels.


Kamil’s soon to be 1/4 mile record holding CL600 took home 2nd place Mercedes.

2nd place BMW.

2nd place BMW.


2nd place Scion. Check out more roll in shots by Chris Chavez Photography.

Another Level Car Show 2nd Place Mitsubishi

2nd Place Mitsubishi.

Another Level Car Show 1st Place Scion

1st place Scion. This was one built box.


ABMotoring with the 2nd place VW.

Another Level Car Show 1st Place Infiniti

1st Place Infiniti. There was tons of competition in the Infiniti class.

Another Level Car Show 2nd place Lexus

2nd place Lexus. More coverage at

Another Level Car Show 1st Place Acura

1st place Acura.

Another Level Car Show 1st Place VW

Engine bay of the 1st place VW.

As you can see, it was quite the show and if you missed it this year you better not miss it next year! There were so many cars that I’m 100% positive we missed some great ones. Be sure to check out Another Level’s Facebook page for more images of more cars.  For a complete list of the winning cars click here.

Next weekend Mid-America Cartell will be at Stance Wisconsin Presents Park After Dark and the weekend after at Minnesota Cars & Coffee and Wheels of Italy. Plenty more Midwest car show coverage to come!

Central Crown Rally 2014

Central Crown Rally: Season Two

On September 20th, fifty enthusiast owned vehicles will depart from downtown Minneapolis for the start of the 2014 Central Crown Rally. This is year two of the Central Crown and the organization promises it will be one of the most extreme lifestyle driving events of 2014. Better yet ALL proceeds go to charity!

Viper SRT 10 wrapped

In authentic rally fashion, the Central Crown will feature highly modified vehicles decked out in livery, first rate accommodations and one hell of party at the finish line. While all of that is certainly exciting, we know the best part is the drive!

Central Crown Rally is taking a very unique and thrilling approach to the rally itself. They shared some of the details with us but not everything because keeping the participants guessing is the name of the game.

Chevy Camaro ZL-1 in Midwest

Mid-America Cartell: Tell us, how does the Central Crown Rally work?

Central Crown: For 2014 the Central Crown rally uses a checkpoint-based route to ensure that all the best roads are hit. We also use the checkpoints to introduce a bit of variety into the 600 miles of driving, offering unique breaks and challenges for our participants that they wouldn’t get if they were out driving on their own. Participants will drive to and from destinations that are slowly revealed throughout the day that will see them consistently having to adjust their perceived routes. The winner will receive the 2014 Central Crown.

Central Crown Minnesota

Mid-America Cartell: So this certainly is a competition? What are the various awards that will be handed out at the award ceremony?

Central Crown: Central Crown involves competition, but we consider it a day of driving and camaraderie above all. It’s about lifestyle. There will be awards at the end and a winner will be crowned, along with several other awards that you may not be expecting. We don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just leave it at that for now—awards will be given, someone will be crowned, and a party will ensue.  

Scion FR-S purple wheels

Mid-America Cartell: The after party sounds like a blast. We hear it is being held at one of the most exclusive night clubs in Chicago, care to share any details?

Central Crown: The after party will be held at The Wit, which is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, famous for the rooftop venue on the 27th floor of the building. Surrounded by skyscrapers on all sides and oblivious to the world below, it’s a party that you won’t find anywhere else in the Midwest. After a long day of driving, it represents the perfect way to unwind; VIP among the social elite.

Car Party at The Wit

Mid-America Cartell: It’s fantastic that ALL proceeds are going to charity, have you guys selected the charity and do you have a specific goal in mind?

Central Crown: The charity we’ve selected is People Serving People. They’re an important organization in Minneapolis dedicated to eradicating child homelessness. We’re impressed by their insistence to take their mission one step further than other organizations—by not only offering short-term help, but taking an approach to rehabilitate through job training, helping people secure education certificates, and setting them on a path to sustain a positive lifestyle.

Cadillac CTS-V Wagon modified

Mid-America Cartell: This is year two of the Central Crown Rally, can you give those just tuning in a recap of year one?

Central Crown: We consider year one to be what you might call a ‘soft opening’ with a relatively small group consisting largely of friends and acquaintances. Learning to throw an event of this magnitude was an important first step in ensuring that we can offer a high-quality experience, so we’re taking what we learned last year and improving on everything—better checkpoints, better cars, more people, and better launch and after parties. Last year we had the time of our lives; this year we’re making it our business to extend that level of enjoyment to everyone.

Infiniti G35 Coupe white wheels

Mid-America Cartell: Are there any cars that you are especially excited to drive alongside?

Central Crown:  Cars are the name of the game in Central Crown—we’re enthusiastic about everything from Detroit to Tokyo to Stuttgart and in between. So while I’d be remiss not to mention the 1600RWHP Ford GT or the W12 Bentley Flying Spur, we don’t play favorites and welcome all kinds of cars and cultures. We love the mindset of cars and all the associative factors—speed, horsepower, handling, but we love the people even more. That’s why we’re throwing the event, and that’s why we’ll keep at it, year after year.

Mid-America Cartell: Why was the Central Crown Rally started?

Central Crown: Central Crown traces its origins back to a childhood love of car culture that has continued to this day. Although there are a lot of car events and clubs in the region, we believe Central Crown is important to the Midwest because it creates a way to connect on a new level with fellow enthusiasts, and offers a unique way to give back to the community in which we live. It’s been important from day one that the rally focus on people, knowing that the love of cars will shine through because it’s something that we’re all passionate about.

Subaru WRX STI new generation

Mid-America Cartell: Is there anything beyond the September rally that you guys have planned? Anything we should be on the lookout for?

Central Crown: We’re currently working with MN Exotics & Supercars as well as MNBMW to put together a lunch cruise that will take place immediately after September’s MN C&C. Beyond that, we make it a point to be a presence at most of the car events throughout the Twin Cities. If you spot us, feel free to come hang out—we love talking shop and meeting new people who share our passion.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 modified

Mid-America Cartell: Is there still time to sign up? What is the deadline, cost and where do we register?

Central Crown: There’s plenty of time to join—check out our website for more details and to sign up. Our Facebook page is also very active, and that’s where you can find the latest team announcements and other interesting updates about the rally and other events. We’re beyond stoked for the event this year, and encourage everyone to check it out—Central Crown is the kind of event that you’ll remember for a very long time.

Big thanks to Casting Call Magazine for providing the amazing photos and beautiful models!

Season two of the Central Crown will be an absolute blast and is much more affordable than similar rallies. Unfortunately the Mid-America Cartell AMG wide body will have to sit this one out. Lucky for us our friend and photographer to the star cars Alex Bellus has us covered. Alex is the official photographer of the 2014 Central Crown and will bring us a full report.


Stance Wisconsin: 2014 Car Shows

Having a grill out Labor Day weekend is cool and all but you’ve probably grilled out every Labor Day weekend…ever. Doesn’t a big ass-super well organized car show held after dark at a major league ball park right here in the Midwest sound like a much better plan? Shit yeah it does! If it doesn’t, you should just keep it moving because StanceWisconsin is for enthusiasts by enthusiast and if you choose a barbecue over one of the best car shows in the Midwest…then you aren’t an enthusiast!

Stance Wisconsin Car Show

On August 30th from 5pm-10pm at Miller Park (home of the Brewers) in Milwaukee, StanceWisconsin will be putting on Park After Dark. This must-attend show promises to be one of the most exciting the Midwest has to offer this season.

Stance Wisconsin Park After Dark

Click on image to visit Park After Dark Facebook page

The venue and uniqueness of it being held at dusk are reason enough to make the trip; however, it is the sheer volume and variety of cars that are the real story-line. StanceWisconsin is expecting  roughly 1,000 registered vehicles!

StanceWisconsin was established in 2011 with the goal to create a community that is accepting, welcoming, and understanding. It is an organization that strives to change the segregated nature of the enthusiast community, so it is to no surprise that their shows are an automotive melting pot.

Of course StanceWisconsin was happy to take a few moments to fill us in on their upcoming shows and their history.

Monterey Blue Nissan Z

What gap?

Mid-America Cartell: Why should an auto enthusiast unfamiliar with your shows make it to Park After Dark later this month and what should they expect?

StanceWI: We strive to host events that encompass all types of vehicles and styles. Whether you are looking for a badass muscle car, an on point slammed ride, an exotic beauty, a sleek bike, a well built road machine, or anything in between, we will have plenty of each. We see so many events throughout the country that are very specific to a particular style or vehicle make but as enthusiasts ourselves, we enjoy seeing a vast variety of vehicles to keep ourselves interested. We are consistently blown away by the number of vehicles that attend. Throughout the years we have tried to create not only the biggest car events in Wisconsin that welcomed all enthusiasts, but also the best atmosphere possible for everyone to enjoy. This August we are anticipating our biggest event to date and hoping to break 1000+ registered show vehicles. We pride ourselves on hosting events that are family friendly, welcoming, and laid back. So, what can people expect at our shows? To see a ton of kick ass vehicles, to make a bunch of new friends, to see old friends, to learn things they never thought they would, to enjoy what our fantastic vendors bring and show, and to have an overall great time with fellow enthusiasts in a laid back environment!

Mid-America Cartell: This isn’t your first show at Miller Park, what’s your history with the venue?

StanceWI: No it is not our first event at Miller Park, but sadly it will probably be our last. When we started hosting events back in 2011, we were holding them at the New Berlin Ale House located in New Berlin, Wisconsin. While this venue had everything that we needed to hold a great event, it was lacking in space. We finished off the 2011 season strong and knew that we needed to move to a significantly larger scale venue for 2012. It took a few months of research and a bunch of phone calls but we had our venue and we’ve been hosting shows at Miller Park ever since. It had everything we needed for a venue: plenty of space, food, restrooms, and the layout was perfect. We have hosted three separate events in the same lot at Miller Park and this year, because we outgrew that particular lot last season, we opted for significantly more space (and thank goodness because we will need it!).While we have enjoyed hosting shows there, we have found ourselves to be growing too large for the lots they have.

Car Show at Miller Park

How auto enthusiasts do take me out to a ball game.

Mid-America Cartell: Last year’s show looked amazing; tell us a little about it.

StanceWI: We hosted three events last year. The first one was a small mini-meet at a local park in Whitewater, Wisconsin. There was not a lot of space for parking but despite the snow and bitterly cold weather, we filled the lot and all of the spaces down the nearby roads too! We enjoyed pizza from Toppers inside of the warm shelter and it was an incredible start to the season seeing everyone get together and have a good time. We hosted a show a little over a month later, and a week before our wedding (I know, what were we thinking?!), and it was incredible. The weather was in the mid to upper 80’s and everyone was finishing up the last touches of their builds right beforehand. It was nice to see all the hard work that was put in (and paid off) and the weather boosted the spirits of everyone. It was our biggest event at the time and we were truly blown away by the turnout in terms of numbers, quality, and variety! Our final show in August was, for lack of a better word, incredible. The sun was shining, the heat was up (lower 90’s!!), DJ Marcus J (our official DJ that we cannot brag about enough) was throwing down some serious mashups, and the turnout was on point. We saw such a fantastic array of vehicles, builds, styles, and everyone enjoyed themselves! Our vendors for all three events were constantly busy with people learning about their products and buying them up! We truly could not have been happier with how the events turned out and we are so grateful to have such great attendees! Last year’s events were nothing but a blessing for us and our hard work and yearlong planning paid off.

Miller Park Car Show

Navigating through a sea of cars.

Mid-America Cartell: Putting you on the spot, what were your 3 favorite cars from last year’s show?

StanceWI: Geez, this is going to be a tough one to answer. There were so many amazing cars at our previous events last year. If we had to pin it down to three cars it would have to be the Onpointmotorsports LS powered RX-7, which as of this year was the first official Rocket Bunny RX-7 in the US and can be seen at our booth at Park After Dark. Our second would be the bagged sandy tan Impala SS with an LS swap that won the Best Classic Car award. Our third pick would be Wes Tank’s Eagle Talon that won the Best DSM Award. It’s really hard to pick three when we truly enjoyed every vehicle that came.

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Mid-America Cartell: Getting back to Park After Dark, is there something you are especially excited about for August 30th?

StanceWI: Other than the fact that it’s our first time hosting a night event, we are really looking forward to seeing everyone again! The turnout looks like it is going to be our biggest yet and judging by the cars we have seen people post that they are bringing, the variety is going to be spectacular! We are also extremely excited to have special guest judges, another first for us: Jeff with JC Kustums and HondaPro Jason! We will also have a couple of things going on during the event that we haven’t made any announcements for but will only add to the laid back atmosphere we are so proud of having at our events. Spending the evening with fellow enthusiasts, the smell of delicious food being cooked on grills (please feel free to bring one and cookout with your friends!), laid back atmosphere, seriously awesome mashups by our favorite DJ, a fantastic variety of vehicles, meeting new people, and learning a thing or two is exactly what we want to do on Labor Day weekend!  

Ferrari at Wisconsin car show

Exotics and Stanced cars together.

Mid-America Cartell: If putting on one jumbo show isn’t enough, you guys are going another round on September 21st by presenting Modified Madness! Give us the details on that show.

StanceWI: This September show is our yearly season closer and on our regular Sunday date in the afternoon. We plan on having low car limbo and some other surprises that we can’t spill the beans on yet. It should be a great time as always and even though we aren’t through August yet we cannot wait for September either!

Stance Wisconsin Modified Madness

Click image to visit Modified Madness Facebook page.

Mid-America Cartell: Three years into this journey and it appears you are accomplishing exactly what you set out to do…what has been the most rewarding aspect of Stance Wisconsin to date?

StanceWI: Honestly? The most rewarding aspect of it all is knowing we have created an environment that everyone feels welcome at. Whether it is on our Facebook page or at the events, we do not tolerate negativity and hate. We wanted to help create a community of automotive enthusiasts that is accepting, welcoming, and understanding. To us, it doesn’t matter how much you know, how “famous” you are within the community, or how much money you have. We believe that we all started somewhere and helping those who are just starting out is part of being in a community. We want people to come to our events and be inspired by others. We want people to enjoy themselves and make friends with others who share the same interests and passions. We encourage learning about fellow enthusiasts and their vehicles and to have fun doing so. We see that our goals are being reached at our events and on our Facebook pages and it is truly an incredible feeling. We also have the best followers and attendees out there who want the same things which makes it that much easier.


GT-R at PASMAG booth.

Mid-America Cartell: Anything in the plans for 2015 and beyond we should be on the lookout for?

StanceWI: We are constantly looking towards our future and throwing around ideas to one another. We are looking at some new venues and planning on doing some things that have not been done in Wisconsin and are going to, hopefully, blow everyone’s minds! We don’t want to give anything away just yet but we are already excited for what’s to come for StanceWisconsin and fellow automotive enthusiasts! So for now, we’ll leave it at this: be on the lookout to have your minds completely blown!

Datsun in Wisconsin

Mid-America Cartell will most certainly be at Park After Dark and will bring you a full report.

For more info about Stance Wisconsin and their events; visit their website and like them on Facebook.

Special thanks to photographers Mike Blaha, Dustin Fulkner, Ray Flores, Jenni Stretsbery and Jonathan Guel for the visuals.

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