Category Archives: Featured Cars

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.

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.

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.

625RWTQ
533RWHP

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

641RWTQ
528RWHP

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

756RWTQ
527RWHP

“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.

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.