RWB Orlando: Reborn in a Rough World 

Last month, thanks to my good friend Joe, I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Orlando documenting the build of his RAUH-Welt Begriff Porsche 911.

Spending three days shooting with Nakai-San, arguably one of the most iconic figures in the automotive world, certainly takes first place on my list of unforgettable experiences as a photographer, blogger, and lifelong automotive enthusiast.

Nakai’s craftsmanship and work ethic are unparalleled, as I quickly learned while documenting his 12-hour days in the Titan Motorsports showroom. Now knowing the true amount of raw passion that goes into these cars, I have a newfound level of respect for all things RAUH-Welt.

Thanks to Joe (@RWB_Orlando), Wes (@TitanMotorsports), Chris (@krispy), Anthony (@halcyonphoto), Victor (@victorscottwang) and everyone else involved, for the awesome weekend.

*Disclaimer* – Most of the photos are unedited iPhone uploads.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to like, share and comment!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to keep up with all of my shoots, adventures and behind-the-scenes fun.
@theapexhunter

Formula Drift Atlanta – At a glance

After a long hiatus, I’m finally back- and ready to deliver my coverage from Formula Drift Atlanta.

To keep it short, it was a fantastic weekend filled with fast cars, plumes of tire smoke and (as always) some very controversial decisions from the judges. I’ll dedicate a future post to a lengthier write up, but for now, enjoy the several shots I’ve managed to edit.

 

 

Make sure to keep up with me on social media!

instagram: theapexhunter
snapchat: seanleroux
twitter: TheApexHunt3r

2015 Tampa Auto Show: People standing in front of cars

 

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As if shooting an auto show (sans press pass) with a 50mm prime lens and a crop sensor isn’t nightmarish enough, I decided to try and get a decent shot of this Jaguar F-Type in the convention center’s main thoroughfare. Needless to say, distractions were abundant.

 

After my Friday morning trip to the heavily-attended Tampa Auto Show, I have an impressive selection of ruined photos (maybe I should call them surprise portrait sessions). Being the resourceful blogger I am, I decided to make the best of a bad situation and share the sub-par images with the world by creating this short photo story.

 

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Why vaping is ruining the car scene

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Image courtesy of vaping360.com

 

You’ve waited all year for this. It’s the day of your favorite annual car event, whether it be V2 Lab’s Mystery Meat, Final Bout, SOWO or that track day you’ve been planning for ages.

You arrive, expecting the smell of burned rubber and catless exhausts to fill the air. Then, suddenly, you’re hit with it.

Strawberry Shortcake.

 

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We get it, Mike. You vape.

 

The offender strolls past with his ironic car scene T-shirt, skinny jeans and a bedazzled rosary around his neck. He deeply inhales from a child-sized box mod and proceeds to unleash a mushroom cloud of vaporized vegetable glycerin directly into the faces of innocent bystanders.

He isn’t alone.

His friends, close behind, take turns adding to the ambient haze. Mango passion fruit, lime-a-rita, maple syrup, peaches ‘n’ cream, cinnabon — the scents are endless.  No one else can stand them.

“Needs more camber,” one laughs, gesturing at a stanced Scion TC.

None of them are using vaping as a step to quit smoking. It’s a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. They go to vape meets, vape lounges and vape conventions. They are devoted members of a counterculture solely devoted to inhaling sweet, fruity vegetable glycerin.

They talk about vape setups rather than suspension setups.

“How’s your build going?”

“Good, man. Just need to get some better batteries and I’ll be putting out ridiculous clouds in no time.”

They complain about how the government is trying to unfairly regulate the vape industry as they walk directly in front of the cars you’re trying to photograph. They argue over whether or not a tank or drip setup is more efficient. They discuss the health benefits of vaping, and their eventual plans to open a vape lounge.

It’s a hobby that takes over lives. A hobby the car scene has no room for.

Smoke a damn cigarette and work on your car for once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This article was purely satire. 

 

 

 

 

 

Reality Check: What you’re doing wrong

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The longer I remain a part of the automotive enthusiast community, the more I realize most of us have no idea what we’re doing. I know this is a bold claim to make, so before you call me out for shouting at you from atop my petroleum powered high horse, allow me to explain.  I don’t claim to be the all-knowing god of the automotive universe, but what I can promise you, is that I’ve learned a good amount about cars in the last five years, and that the knowledge I’m about to share is something you will benefit from. Here’s what you’re doing wrong:

1. Obsessing over horsepower

Understand that your car already has more power you can handle. Yes, I’m serious, your base model V6 Mustang is powerful enough as is. I’m not saying you’ll be slaying your neighbor’s 1,200whp Supra in a highway roll race, but you should at least learn to drive, to really drive, before you slap that Procharger on. Your car has untapped potential that you will never release without a few days of seat time, whether it be on a road course, drift course, or AutoX track. If you’re looking for modifications that will help you grow as a driver and shave precious seconds off those lap times, buy some decent coilovers, sway bars, wheels and tires. Have some extra cash still? Spend it on a helmet and some track time. Don’t forget that alignment, either. The driver mod is the most powerful of all, because without a fast driver, even the most powerful of cars will be slow. The worst thing you can do is buy a well-powered car like the Subaru STi, build the motor, upgrade the turbo and leave the suspension bone stock. Sure, you’ll have great straight line power, but you won’t carry any of that speed through the turns you’re bound to encounter.

2. Buying cheap parts

If you’re anything like the rest of the automotive community, you waste (yes, I said waste) a lot of money on your car. Why buy inferior eBay parts with poor craftsmanship, cheap materials and no customer service backing? It’s all about quality over quantity here. Make the initial investment in quality parts and you won’t be replacing them with something better in a few months. Thinking about buying some Raceland Coilovers and a Spectre intake? Maybe replacing those high quality factory BBS wheels with some bigger XXRs?  Stop right there. Put down your debit card. Back away from the computer. If you buy these, you will be downgrading, not upgrading. If you can’t afford the nice stuff now, just have some patience and save up like the adult you are.

3. Putting form before function

Obviously this post is completely performance oriented, so I won’t even mention the stance crowd. But really, why are you even considering dropping $2,000-4,000 on a set of aftermarket wheels, or $600 on a Cobb Accessport, before you stiffen up that suspension and lower your center of gravity a bit? If you’re buying a sports car, you should be more worried about performance than appearance. After all, you already bought a good looking car, right? Treat yourself to a small visual upgrade and spend the rest of that hard earned cash on parts that will improve your driving experience. No, that doesn’t mean an intake and exhaust.

4. Listening to the wrong people

Stop listening to your 17-year-old neighbor who dives the Del Sol with a straight pipe. Get out to some track events, make some friends and enjoy the ridiculous amount of automotive knowledge they have to share. Have an instructor ride shotgun so he can critique your driving and offer advice. Learn about the best bang-for-your-buck mods from the most skilled drivers. Spend your free time skimming automotive magazines, forums and websites. There is an unfathomable amount of automotive knowledge up for grabs if you look in the right places. In time, you’ll be the person giving advice, rather than seeking it.

Although I’m no automotive guru, I guarantee that by eliminating these bad habits, you will build a far more enjoyable, track-ready car. Whether you’re looking to be a weekend autocross warrior, a Formula Drift professional or the next Ayrton Senna, just keep these points in mind, remember your goals and the rest will come naturally.

Weekend Photo Dump

 

Although I forgot my DSLR at home, I couldn’t resist grabbing a few shots at Reeves Import Cars and Coffee last Saturday. I have been to DuPont’s monthly meet numerous times, but this was my first time attending the event in Tampa. The cars that showed up did not disappoint. A beautiful 2015 Porsche 911 GT3RS was on display in the showroom, and the parking lot was full of photo-worthy sports cars. Most notable were the classic Porsche, a lineup of BMW M4s, a 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, a Shelby Cobra and an FD3S RX7 on some beautiful SSR wheels.

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Review: Need for Speed

 

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The long-awaited return of the tuner car-inspired video game series Need for Speed has led to some serious internet buzz across the globe. Released on November 3, the game caters to young automobile enthusiasts with high-speed gameplay, deep customization options and a ridiculous amount of real life automotive icons. Although the game is a great successor to older Need for Speed releases, how does it stand up to big-name titles like Forza and Project Cars? Read More

Weekend Photo Dump

After last week’s craziness thanks to both Version Two Laboratory’s “Mystery Meat 4” and DeSoto Drift’s “Driftoberfest,” it’s time to share some photos. Most of the weekend was devoted to video, which will be up within a day or two, but I managed to grab a few shots of some of the cars I liked the most. Enjoy!
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