Author Archives: taylor1

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.


SL65 wide body build

Mid-America Cartell Intro and Project

What it means to be an automotive enthusiast has a lot of different definitions to a lot of different people. No definition is better than the other and what it means to you, is what it means to you.

I’m an enthusiast because my everyday passion for cars has always and will always make my life that much more enjoyable. It’s an incredible experience to obtain a vehicle that speaks to your soul and modifying that vehicle until it is a part of your DNA. Being able to share that experience with fellow enthusiasts who are dedicated to the same lifestyle is half the fun.

We come together collectively to share and advance the automotive enthusiast experience which makes each of our individual enthusiast experience that much better. I can’t imagine trying to execute any build without the contributions of my fellow petrol heads. The shops and vendors that help bring my vision to life, the organizers of events where I get to show off my hard work and the strangers on message boards who don’t hesitate to take the time to help me overcome an obstacle.

Mercedes SL Vossen Wheels

My first round of cosmetic mods: carbon fiber front and rear spoilers, blacked out single slat grille and graphite Vossen CV3.

My SL65 AMG wide body project wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of the automotive enthusiast community. This website will serve as my contribution, my thank you.

Mid-America Cartell will showcase tales of car culture from the automotive enthusiasts who live it, the shops who build it, the companies who supply it, the car shows that celebrate it and the automotive photographers who capture it.

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The Mid-America Cartell x Strasse Sport x BenzWorks x D2 Forged x oCarbon x Speedriven x Prior Design SL65 AMG wide body build will be wrapping up soon and I’ll have complete update.

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Stay tuned, check out our Car-Tales and contact me so I can share your story.

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