Smile. It’s April.
Feature car fill

This time last year I was at the Nürburgring in Germany, grabbing passenger rides around the legendary circuit before continuing on for the rest of a 3000-mile road trip through Europe. Now here I am sat in my office as the Editor in Chief of Speedhunters. Both these things make me smile. The year in between these two events has passed like they all do – very quickly and packed with incredible action and adventure. That pace keeps us looking forward, because otherwise we’d crash pretty quickly!

Porsche 991 911 50th anniversary NYC-21

Historically, April is always an interesting month for us at Speedhunters. It signals the start of a new year at a business level, and as ever we’re looking forward and formulating new ways of doing things. Live feed story telling at a show? That might be happening this month. In fact, a whole load of new stuff is happening and we’re hoping you’re going to be as excited about it as we are.

Porsche 991 911 50th anniversary NYC-23

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s always good to keep some things simple. So I’m going to start by taking you back to a beautifully sunny Sunday in January, when I had the chance to enjoy a 50th anniversary Porsche 911 on the fascinating streets of NYC. But I’m still in danger of getting ahead of myself here, because it had been a big week leading up to this point in time.

Air Lift Mk1 Golf Fish-9

Just days earlier I was lying on some seriously sub-zero ground outside Air Lift Performance in Michigan. Because to be honest, I wasn’t going to walk away without a feature on this stunning Mk1 Golf – even if the sky decided that snow was a good idea during the shoot. This is the first Mk1 kitted out by Air Lift, and for me it makes that link between killer looks when parked, and the ability to actually drive.

Air Lift Mk1 Golf Fish-26

Because with this under the bonnet you’d want to, right? Show and go, my friends.

Air Lift Performance history Speedhunters-15

Of course, we weren’t there just on the off chance that a delicious Golf was going to be in the workshop. When I first met Corey and Brian from Air Lift on one of their trips to the UK in 2013, conversation turned to the company’s photographic archives which go right the back to its earliest days. Think 1949! Yes, if you’re of the mind that riding on air is a new thing, then you really need to adjust that view. Corey specifically mentioned the picture above, and I’m really glad we were able to track it down for an upcoming article on Air Lift’s amazing history.

Air Lift Performance history Speedhunters-23

I’m not sure what became of Rupert Safety Belts, but I’m glad to report that Air Lift are still very much around and will be for a long time to come. After packing 8GB of historic photos onto a USB stick, a great couple of days spent there had to come to an end.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-3

Because Chicago was calling and this is when things got colder. And, err… hotter. Well, it was always going to be interesting spending some time with the Risky Devils. Richard ‘Fish’ Fisher’s BRZ is quite possibly my favourite ZN6 chassis car to date, and seeing it laid out in Lower Wacker made my frozen eyeballs all worth it. And no, I’m not even joking. That’s what you get doing tracking shots at 1.00am when it’s way below zero outside.


Of course, it’s not just me out and about there, though. A couple of months ago I spoke to the team about the fact we weren’t featuring nearly enough Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions or Subaru Impreza WRXs. Both are hugely popular and tuneable, so where are all the good ones? Here in April, that’s where. You’ve already seen Alok take the white stormtrooper for a drive in Germany, and Brad tracked this one down in New Zealand. As you’ll know by now, we don’t do normal, so I’m going to make you wait for the details on this specific Evo VIII. Do not let its factory looks fool you…


All things being equal, he also shot this GDB STI hawkeye for a feature too. For me, these are massively important cars in our combined history. Here in the UK – and a lot of other countries for that matter – the Evo and WRX are responsible for so many of our personal stories. From their rallying heritage to street racing credentials and all round practicality, I’m glad we’ve got a few to show you.

There is of course, so much more though…

You know what time it is

The start of April also means one thing – drift ‘o’ clock in Long Beach. As I write this there is a whole world of horsepower descending on Los Angeles; ready to destroy truck-loads of tyres in the name of fun – and competition of course. There’s another reason for using this image from Speedhunter and official Formula D photographer Larry Chen too. Because next week we will be releasing a collection of prints based solely around his work in this field. All your favourite Chen drift captures will be in there and available for purchase. You asked, so we made it happen. Look out for them!

#FT Offset Kings 1920

Another exciting aspect of the Long Beach circus will be the #FeatureThis program we have planned. When you want something so bad, why wait? We’ve teamed up with Fatlace again this year and will be getting to as many of the Offset Kings events as possible. Check out the schedule here. They’re not just running alongside Formula D events and there’s rumours of events in Singapore and even Guam! This year is shaping up to become a journey of discovery for us, and we can’t wait. In fact, that’s pretty much our mantra for life, so to that end we’ll be selecting one show car on Saturday to be shot on the spot for a full feature here on Speedhunters. So bust out your builds, make with the details and head down to LB. Come and find the team – we’ll have stickers and it’s just good to say hi! Don’t be shy.


As if that wasn’t enough for the coming weekend, we’re packing in a whole load of other special stories while a large proportion of the team is congregated in the greater Los Angeles area. Keith Charvonia is driving in from his native Arizona with a USA first. You should be familiar with his project FR-S, but if you’re attending Offset Kings you might not recognise it now.


Why so? Well over the last three weeks he’s been putting in some serious hours to get it finished in time for unveiling at the show. It’s the first ZN6 chassis in the Americas to wear our very own KM4SH bodykit. This timing is fitting too, because our mini theme towards the end of the month will be projects, big and small. We’ll look at what keeps us in the garage, and how badly we can get it wrong, and right of course.


Miura-san will be on-site at Long Beach too. I told you it was going to be a full house! We’re kicking this off this season in style. Keith’s amazing attention to detail will be evident in the finish, and we’re also extremely grateful to Vossen wheels for stepping up in the last couple of weeks and making sure the FRS is not only suited, but booted too. It’s going to be a unique take on Japanese styling with an American twist.


Another man who has been very busy recently is Michael Essa. The reigning 2013 Formula Drift champion returns to the series in his gorgeous E46 BMW, so we thought it would be a good idea to have a chat with him about last year’s title win and take a sneaky peek at his M3 rebuild for this year.


There have been a few changes, but Michael has made the wise decision to stick with CSF Race after he used their product to help win the championship.


If I told you the workshop picture above was taken no more than a month ago, and this one was caught last week, you can start to get an idea of the pressure Michael has been under before the season has even kicked off. This and other teasers for the main event will be with you in the next 24 hours, so don’t go anywhere. It’s going to be a wild ride and one you won’t want to miss. Check out our Instagram feed for live updates throughout the FD weekend.


Because there’s a lot to catch up on. Is that a Rocket Bunny-equipped Scion? It might just be!

It’s a big world

From New York via Michigan to the West Coast and LA is all well and good. But what would a month be without our staple diet of Japanese goodness? Almost as if it was planned given that we’ve ramped up the magnitude of what we’re up to, Dino has instinctively done the same. His N-Style adventures continue this month with some exotic flavours mixed in for good measure.


Do you have any idea what this is?


If you do then you’ll be as excited as I am to see the rest of the photo set. Dino has purposefully not sent me an overall picture as I’m sure he doesn’t want to give us everything right away.


Because this Monster Tajima’s twin-engined, tube-framed Pikes Peak Suzuki Escudo. Yup, here on Speedhunters. This absolute legend of a machine will be coming to a screen near you in April.


Dino hasn’t stopped there though. During his travels he spotted this S30 in the back end of the Hello Special workshop and insisted that it was brought out in to the sunlight there and then for a full shoot. You’ll see why when the feature pops up.


As ever, the diversification of Japanese automotive culture will knock you sideways, and this is without showing what Mike has planned for us too. He’ll be digging in to his travel bag and pulling out some more killer stories to tell. Dino is headed to the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals where some of the finest custom and hot rod machinery will show up. New builds? We’ll have them here. Right about the same time I’ll be off to join Rod at the Bilsport Elmia show in Sweden – this is a global game we like to play after all. There’s a special announcement happening then too…


Given that Japan gave birth to the cult of drift and we’re getting all excited about Formula D being back in the calendar, it seemed like a good idea to hunt out some grass roots event in the homeland. It seems you’re really feeling the more accessible cars that Dino finds on his travels, so when he said he’d be going to an amateur event with Nikko from N-Style, it made perfect sense to slot that event in too.


This is just a simple taster of the stories we will be bringing you. Some are already produced, and others are still very much in the planning stages. Here’s Tommy Milner at Sebring the other week. We go through the race with him and see what it takes to compete at this high level whilst enjoying ever-excellent images from Camden Thrasher, who stepped up and created an awesome set to illustrate Tommy’s words.


Dancing around the globe, we’re back with Alok again. As well as enjoying the Stormtrooper Evo, he’s been taking a closer look inside KW Suspension. This means we’ll be able to give you even more information to arm yourself with in the big and often confusing world of shock valving and spring rates. Sound good?

Team Disco AE86 PMcG-43N

I hope so, because April is an important month for all the reasons above and more. We’re saying ‘see you soon’ to Paddy McGrath who is stepping away from his daily duties on the project after being an integral part of it for the last five years. Paddy has brought an incredible sense of Irish guilt to everything he’s done, which has kept him grounded and us amused with his humble humour and diligent work ethic. Suzy is also moving away – but not so far that she won’t be keeping us updated on her trials and tribulations with the ‘cursed’ Evo. If I could give it a piece of advice, I’d say don’t argue. She’ll win. Thank you both. I’m really looking forward to our next adventures – wherever they may be.

Because that’s what this is all about. Adventure, exploration and discovery. There’s a new face joining us as well, and I will make a proper introduction next month. But for now why not sit back and smile? It feels good, huh?

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: speedhunters_Bryn



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Seeking Perfection

I am an avid follower of Formula D that I fully embraced in the beginning of 2009 when I discovered Speedhunters. I would like to kindly request from Larry to implement a full feature of Dai Yoshihara's BRZ and Ken Gushi's FRS. Both of these cars are proper powerhouses following a different route (turbo v8 vs 2jz). More importantly, I am very confident that these are the most advanced drift cars of this kind on a global scale. That's a reason for a full feature. Similarly, I am eagerly expecting the Driftworks AE86 full feature.

P.S. I hope we will see Paddy soon enough. Paddy's and Ben's Wörthersee coverage is still on of my all time favourite posts.


What a horrifying cover image. Awful.


"Because this Monster Tajima’s twin-engined, tube-framed Pikes Peak Suzuki Escudo. Yup, here on Speedhunters."


Here's to a great April, it seems - and congrats again on the job, Bryn.


antonyingram  Thank you, this really is only a taster though :)


ToyotaSupraMan  If I can pull off what I'm trying to line up at the moment for Pikes Peak, I very much think you'll approve!


@ITB  Terrible, I know. I really should have removed the rubbish in the background.


@Seeking Perfection  We'll see what we can do about that, Larry has a great article coming up in the next 24hrs about the horsepower wars in FD. So that's a start. 

We're making plans for Worthersee at the moment and if they come off, it's going to be hilarious and hopefully legendary in equal portions.


No #IAMTHESPEEHUNTER updates? Will Paddy's departure signal an end to the program? BTW Speedhunters_Bryn, check your inbox ;)


Speedhunters_Bryn  But in all seriousness, these preview posts are great appetisers. I hope you don't blue ball us for too long with that Pikes Peak Suzuki.


That is a blob eye impreza, not a hawkeye. but either way im still excited for what speedhunters is going to cover in the future :)


@ITB Speedhunters_Bryn  Trust me, I will be sending Dino hourly emails if he delays it too long!


midgeman Speedhunters_Bryn  they gave an update on it the other day, they want movies/short videos from 1st person perspectives this month.


A feature on the Suzuki Escudo? That's a dream came true!
Thank you!


@R Moreira  Same for me :)


Speedhunters_Bryn  LOL "blue ball us for too long" I just cracked up


Yay, Michigan!! It's done something kinda good.


I honestly did not expect that Rocket Bunny to be Risky Devil. Not at all.


The GCP and E&H motors give the game away...

Charles Montgomery III

When is Gatebil Rudskogen and Worthersee? I enjoyed reading the journey you guys had going to Worthersee :)


Can't wait to see what Evo's come up. I thought with the addition of Suzy to the team, every second car would be an Evo, but they still seam to be overlooked, especially when it comes to Car Meets, they are always in the background. Always the brides maid, never the bride. In saying that, you have brought some really fantastic Evo's lately (the Stormtrooper just now, the TME from March, the Ross Sport from January, the Dryden Evo from December and the Project Nemo from December). But there can never be too many Evo's.

Gianluca FairladyZ

Could this e the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Monster? :) :) :)


Oh snap, that Suzuki Escudo, any car guy that have played Grand Turismo 2 knows the beastiality of the car (in the game off course xD) can't wait to read about it.


Paddy, noooooo! Who's going to provide us with our fix of luscious B&W shots and also handle the IAMTS and photgraphy guides? I loved Paddy's work, his photography was top notch, but more than that it was good to have some closer to home coverage (UK & IRE) and also that famous Irish humour haha.

Seriously though, best of luck to Paddy and Suzie in whatever they move on to; both undoubtedly talented people :).


So with Paddy and Suzy moving on, will there be room a for a new UK member of the Speedhunters team? :)


July and May respectively


2xthefun midgeman Speedhunters_Bryn I am more concerned with the photography side of things and the opportunity that was presented at the beginning of the year.


omg omg omg omg monster's escudo!


EricSeanDelaney  Now you know where I went after Detroit! :)


Nice read as always Brynn and it looks like SH is raising the bar again.  I'm Looking forward to seeing some of these ideas come to fruition!


Oh that AE86 - makes everything better :D


Dino, all you need to do now is a feature on the Cultus ;)


midgeman 2xthefun Speedhunters_Bryn  since it's an #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER assignment it's pretty safe to say it falls under the opportunity mentioned at the beginning of the year. They want someone who's flexible and in the new digital age we live in photographers need to start becoming comfortable with video. I myself would love to see more video's on speedhunters just because of the cars they get access to. You see magnus walkers video or one of luke huxham's creations. Speedhunters meets interesting people like that every month. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what will a video do? This is a test, stand up to it or let it pass you by and wait for the next photo assignment.


2xthefun midgeman Speedhunters_Bryn Thank you for the comments, but I disagree. I am a photographer not a videographer. Just because things are more digital does not mean photography is a dying art. If that were so every photographer for SH would be dabbing into video as well. My original question was meant for Bryn.


I believe that the Subaru is a blob eye and not a hawk eye.. Great post either way!


Not sure I agree that there is a lack of Evo's round here, (I can think of several awesome examples that have been featured recently) but more Subaru's, yes please! Can I also make a(nother) request for more Supra's? There's a car that gets overlooked on here. 

Also, will you be having another European Tour this year? I went to Modified Live at Snetterton last year and had an awesome day. Players Show is at Goodwood again on the same day this year so I'm already planning to go. Would be great if you guys were there again.


Looking forward to April!  

PS. The Impreza is a blobleye, (2003-2005), a hawkeye is the facelict model.


Robo_No1  Cheers mate, thank you very much. You're in safe hands with Bryn & Jonathan though :)


PaddyMcGrath Robo_No1  No problem at all mate. Don't worry I haven't forgotten about Jonathan and Bryn, but I like all three of your coverage for different reasons (and you all seem to cover different ends of the spectrum - which I appreciate). It would be nice to know where you're off to next, but I get if you can't publicise that on the site.


Robo_No1 PaddyMcGrath  I'm working freelance now, so you might see me pop up here now and again in the future. I'll be dividing my time between editorial and commercial work in the coming months. Hopefully it pays off but it's something I feel I need to do to progress as a photographer. The Speedhunters team have been fantastic about it too, so it's great to still be able to show my face around here!

I'll be updating my own personal site regularly with updates if you're interested:


Thanks! :)


I am going to miss Suzy so much...


awwwww...first no more evo, now no more paddy and suzy!
loved your works guys and best of luck!
hopefully bumb into you at some shows!!