Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Know your Vendor: Mike @ Import Shark!

So I think this will be the start of a new series of blog entries- Know your Vendor. I will hopefully be able to visit some of the more up and coming companies in the Hyundai Aftermarket.

This time around I was in Ossining, NY at Dream Toyz Auto Customz. I had set up a meeting with Mike from Import Shark. Import Shark has been around for at least a decade. The original owner and current owner were members of the original Hyundai forum. Fxtreme.org. This late 90's forum was based on the older RC Tiburon first introduce back in 1997.  Boy has Hyundai grown ALOT since then. Import Shark has been there the whole time! They have been supplying Korean based parts for just about every Hyundai we have had here in the North American market. They offer a full range of performance and styling parts. Exhausts and Turbo kits all the way to body kits and spoilers. If it is not on the website, I'm pretty sure that Mike can get it.

Mike's personal car is a fine example of what you car can look and perform like just by perusing through their catalog. He first started out with a 97' Tiburon and then onto a 00'. Mike took over Import Shark back in the late 90's. He has not looked back and has been one of many companies that have made a huge difference in the way we order and receive parts from Korea. Without guys like Mike we would have next to nothing. Unlike their neighbors to the east, the S. Koreans had no way of getting their products to the North American market. It was not until Mike and others setup shop and started funneling in parts that we were able to see what the KDM had in store for us. I know I and many others thank him for his hard work and dedication. I am pretty sure that it has not been an easy road to travel.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah Mikes first generation Genesis Coupe. While there were many different cars to look at while driving through northern NJ and southern Westchester county, nothing looked like that pearly white Genesis Coupe. The Aston Martin "stratus white" paint looked superb on this sunny day. I noticed it instantly on the corner. Mike gladly let me know that he painted the car himself.  I was drawn to the front of the car. The Hana front bumper, VIS Terminator CF hood, and color matched LED headlamps flowed very nicely with the lines of the body. I then checked out the rear of the car. The Vega rear bumper and blacked out Superlux LED tail lights looked really good in person. The VIS CF deck lid with matching Ixion CF lip spoiler was open to reveal a full custom trunk filled with JL goodies. Two 10" JL subs sat in a custom box with the three JL amps out in front. Real leather and suede covered the false floor and sub box. The guys at Dream Toyz did a fantastic job! He had the lambo doors opened wide, so naturally I peered in at the interior. It matched the trunk with Corbeau racing seats and racing harnesses, a custom backseat space with the Import Shark logo and storage pockets, where the back seats used to be, and a suede headliner. It was all very nicely orchestrated. It was then that Mike had mentioned that the doors will be getting some custom midbass enclosures and finished with more suede. Chris the shop owner had come out to introduce himself and show off some side mirrors he had been working on. These mirrors would actually house 170 degree camera's facing backwards and would project the image onto 4' screens that would be fiberglassed into the A-pillars. They are pretty sick and should make the exterior of the car look even smoother without the goofy mirrors poking out. The extra angle of the cameras will also ensure that there are no blind spots.

I then asked about the suspension setup and how he had managed to get it that low, but still manage to drive around town. Turns out that he has custom pneumatic front coilovers. Think Lamborghini. With the push of a button the front of the car was raised and lowered. The rear sits on a set of Neo tech coilovers. The Stern ST-1 wheels sitting on Falken 452 tires housed the custom painted Brembo brake kit. Eibach anti-sway bars and Luxon braces rounded out the suspension mods.

It was time to pop the hood.  Under which sat the very potent Theta II turbo. I instantly noticed the white cover and charge pipes. A Garrett GT2871s was Mike's turbo of choice. The expended exhaust gases were sent through ARK downpipe and test pipe. This all connected up to the Jun B.L. catback exhaust (korean only). The cold side was fed through those wicked white powder coated Injen charge pipes. This then fed into a CX racing intercooler and back to the throttle body. A Super Drift BOV released unused charge pressure. A Ralco 3 piece pulley set and a Jun B.L. catch can finished off the engine modifications. This is all controlled by a Korean tune. I then was like, What? Mike then proceeded to tell me that the Turbo and the ecu were sent to Korea. They were then installed onto a "like" coupe there and tuned. It was then uninstalled and put back onto his car. The car turned the rollers to a modest 305hp and 301 ft/lbs of torque. He decided to go with a conservative tune because of the automatic transmission. I can't say I blame him.

The car is awesome in person. If you ever get the chance to catch it at a show do so. Also get a hold of Mike. He is a cool down to earth guy who loves his Hyundai's as much as I do. It was nice to chat about the old forums and past forum members. Mike is a veteran just like myself. The new guys have some
 catching up to do! haha

Did I mention he also has a white Veloster turbo? Oh yeah...be on the look out! There are some plans for it as well.

And of course, Mike if you ever need a hand with anything...I'll be more then willing to help out.

photos courtesy of my Pops (Bob Baker). Thanks for helping me out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Challenge accepted!

Ok here is the deal...

First off, I know I have not written in awhile and for that I do apologize. Work has been kicking my arse, even though there has been a ton of things in the Hyundai world that have been happening in the last month. The release of four new cars (Azera, Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT) and hopefully I will be able to test drive some of these in the near future. Chrysler is to use a Hyundai automatic transmission in the new Dart and the new Santa Fe is about to be released. I think that is just about everything that matters to me. Back to the challenge. 

The topic on hand at the moment is a 100m challenge. Yes that is right 100m, though you have to run it not drive it. The challenge was simply how fast could you run the 100m? The challenged was issued by none other then our founder and site admin SuperGLS over at ElantraXD.com. Well, I instantly jumped at it and went for a ride. I found a football field that was marked out 100 yards. I know its not 100m so like somebody on ElantraXD pointed out, if you had one of the end zones it will be close enough...roughly 109 yards. So without further adieu I pulled out a stop watch and ran.  

I came to the end hit the button on the stop watch and somewhere between hitting the button and trying to stop...I tumbled down onto the field. I simply laughed at myself, looked around making sure nobody else was looking, and brushed myself off.  I walked back to the starting point and did it again. Success! I'm not sure how my time stacks up against others but I did it in 14.8 secs. I'm pretty sure that the foot long sub I had just an hour or so prior did not help and I am almost certain I pulled my tendon on the bottom of my foot. O'well, till next time! 

Things to come...

Ok, so I have a surprise for those of you that actually read this. I'm thinking of going in a new direction with this blog. I think I'm going to concentrate on the aftermarket for Hyundai and tomorrow I have an interview with somebody who knows a little about it...Stay tuned!!