Revisiting Some Of Our Favorite Features Of 2021

From a Speedhunting perspective, 2021, like 2020, threw some real curveballs our way. With event cancellations and travel restrictions still the norm, like everyone we just had to adapt, while each doing the best we could to keep ourselves and those around us safe. But despite the challenges, the wheels kept turning and the stories kept coming.

We all have our favorites, and today a few of the Speedhunters will be sharing theirs. Here’s your chance to check them out if you missed them the first time around, or to revisit them again. As always, it’s great to hear from you guys too, so feel free to share your favorite Speedhunters stories of 2021 in the comments section.


Not All For Show: Liberty Walk Builds A 1,200hp 4-Rotor S15 by Dino Dalle Carbonare

Boundaries hold two relevances in my life, one to put structure and order on the crazy world we live in, but more importantly to act as something that requires pushing from time to time. Now don’t shoot, but to me the world of JDM car builds has gone a bit stale in recent years. Every new enthusiast model launched seemed to serve merely as a launchpad for a feast of cookie-cutter over-fendered creations. But what Kato-san and Liberty Walk have done with their Formula Drift Japan S15 Silvia build is move the goalposts, and in doing so they have gone back to that somewhat lost JDM tradition of pushing the creative envelope when it comes to car builds. To take a 20-year-old chassis in an S15 and build something so unique and fresh in a world of endless renders and cross-discipline imaginative thinking is refreshing, and it shows that there is life yet in truly unique builds. Topping this off is the car’s purpose. It was not built for the halls of TAS or the Instagram fame, but as a legitimate competition drift car intended to be pushed to the limit on track. The style is insane and the TCP-Magic four-rotor is nuts. All in, this for me is the true automotive highlight of not only 2021, but quite a few years. Cian Donnellan


Project Z31 432R: The Long Road To Completion by Brandon Miller

Of all the cars that we’ve featured this year, Brandon’s own Z31 reflects my ethos for building a car down to a tee. Keeping true to a car’s original design is key for me, but to do so whilst upgrading it under the skin with a mixture of OEM+ and the spiciest of aftermarket goodies? Well ,now you’re onto a winner. Brandon’s Z just oozes style whilst keeping it simple, and it definitely serves as inspiration for my own BMW E12 build. Oh, and just look at that engine bay. It’s possibly the most attractive thing I’ve seen in 2021, period. Mario Christou


Life Lessons From A Monk & His Tuned Mini Cooper S by Ron Celestine

Ron’s feature about a Buddhist monk named Masa and his tuned R53 MINI Cooper S really struck a chord with me this year. It’s not a secret that life in 2021 stressed all of us out, so reading and understanding the teachings that Masa and Ron chat about can be life-saving. The feature is unique in content and the tuned MINI is almost used metaphorically to teach us about balance, which helps us to be happy and satisfied in life. Vladimir Ljadov


A Weekend Retreat For Two: Ireland’s 86 Fest by Ryan Stewart & Ben Chandler

While there have been some incredible cars and events featured on Speedhunters over the last year, for me the story of Ryan and Ben embarking on an adventure to Ireland with an AE86 strapped to the back of a Ford Transit was the absolute highlight. It’s perhaps a little bit self-serving, but I really wanted to see if the lads considered Irish car culture to be as special as I do. This is proper, old fashioned Speedhunting at its very best. Paddy McGrath


The Wildest Dodge Dart You’ll See Today by Rick Muda

I loved seeing this Dodge Dart on the site as I’ve always felt this era of muscle cars would look even better with some JDM flair. Many Japanese cars that were produced in the following years shared design cues from these larger and more aggressive American cars, so it always made sense, but I’d rarely seen it done. For the most part, I’m really not a fan of the way American cars are modified in America either, so it was cool to see this Dart built in a region of the world we don’t often see coverage from. And all this before even mentioning the engine, suspension and everything else under the skin of the Dodge – if you can really even call it a Dodge now. Trevor Yale Ryan


Reality Beats Render: The JP Performance Mk2 Golf by Mark Riccioni

I’m quite a Volkswagen fan, currently onto my fifth one. While I do love VWs, I’ve always felt that although they need minimal mods to be good, that’s also often their downfall. They can quickly become bland. What I love about the JP Performance MK2 Golf is that it’s completely bonkers. The fact that with modern technology and a creative genius like Khyzyl Saleem, someone’s ultimate dream build, no matter how crazy, can now be turned into reality is amazing. Stefan Kotze


Kei Attack: Size Doesn’t Matter At Tsukuba by Dino Dalle Carbonare

My pick this year is this story from Dino’s trip to Attack Tsukuba 2021. Back in 2008, it was the coverage of the grassroots time attack scene that I’d race to the Speedhunters homepage for; Japan’s tuning scene was opening up to me via the internet, in high resolution, for the first time. My love for this microcosm of motorsport hasn’t waned since then. Time attack season in Tsukuba provides arguably the most diverse field of cars and modifications anywhere in the world. Seeing it with my own eyes in 2017 was a highlight, but Dino’s take on the cars and modifications is always a treat – he seems to spot fascinating details that I’d blindly walk straight past, like the mismatched front/rear wheels on the Cara/Decide 226 AZ-1. The fact that this story was purely focused on the kei cars in attendance was icing on the cake. Who doesn’t love seeing a vehicle class that was originally intended to provide cheap and compact transport for the masses taken to the limit on the track? No big budgets or egos, just passionate owners returning year after year to beat their previous bests. For this reason, these relatively simply stories will always be amongst my favourites. Blake Jones


Coast To Coast In An A110: Where’s Your Next Road Trip? by Paddy McGrath

My favourite story this year was Paddy road-tripping Ireland in the new Alpine A110. It wasn’t my favorite car, but it was great photography, both of the vehicle and foreign landscapes, woven together with a great story about escaping the grim reality of early 2021. This is what Speedhunters at its core means to me. My favourite build of 2021? That would be the JP Performance Golf already featured above. That’s testament to what they’ve built, because I’m usually the last person to get excited for a VW. Matthew Everingham

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English Wheel Fabrication: Working Metal The Old Fashioned Way by Stefan Kotze

Metal work, good metal work mind you, is borderline sorcery. Having found the need to hammer and dolly a few panels of my own, I’ve got a huge amount of respect for those who are masters of their craft. Observing Harry Deetlefs’ work through Stefan’s lens was an absolute treat for someone like myself who’s eager to learn more about metal shaping. But this was more than just a gallery, it also detailed Harry’s journey from curious youngster to seasoned veteran. Stefan is great at finding the type of articles needed to beautifully break up event coverage and feature cars, and this story was another that he knocked out of the park. Dave Thomas 

2021 CSF Porsche 911 Speedhunters by Darrien Craven-36
2021 CSF Porsche 911 Speedhunters by Darrien Craven-42

Recognising Greatness With The CSF 911 by Paddy McGrath & Darrien Craven

The CSF 911 is the one for me because, well, I have a 964 that I want to set fire to, yet there are people out there – in this case our good friend Ravi Dolwani – building jaw-dropping restomods like this. Dino Dalle Carbonare


Project GC8: Rebuilding An Engine In My Kitchen by Toby Thyer

Toby taking apart and reassembling his engine in his kitchen sounds like something I’d do if Project Rough’s motor was to ever go pop (knock on wood), so I found this story hugely inspirational to my DIY craze. If Toby can do it in an apartment with no space, then there should be no excuses (especially for me) to get stuff of lesser magnitude done. Ron Celestine


Second Chance: An M3-Powered BMW 2002 by Alen Haseta

With so many fantastic stories this year, It seems cruel to pick just one. But there was one standout moment where I remember thinking, ‘This is brilliant, I need to pick up my game’. Not only did Alen find a car which speaks to me in terms of style and modifications, he shot some really banging photos of it. Toby Thyer

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Another lovely year in stories and photography. That 300zx, especially. Oh my! Keep it up, Speedhunters!


Thank you and Happy New Year!


Man that Quad rotor S15 is beyond sexy!


Honestly, 2021 wasn't so bad and I felt that I did a lot more this year than last year in 2020
Definitely a lot of great moments to reminisce and now I can't wait to see what's in store for 2022! I'm sure it'll be a good one!
Happy New Years to you all!

Matija Tkalcec-Maturanec

Yes all those were nice and I really loved Brandon's Z and the Dodge cause they were both classy builds. But talking about classy builds I always come back to this Supra:

That's my favourite for 2021!


Thank you! I'm honored. I also love that Dodge and ended up re-reading that story.