It’s not often in this day and age that one would get to witness a master craftsman at work first hand. It is a dying art to find someone that has the skill and passion to make their craft really stand out from others, but recently I had the chance to follow exhaust and fabrication expert Nathan Domrow of Fabulous Fabrications for a day. The work that he would be completing just happened to be the exhaust for my soon to be running Sr20det ke70. In the past 8 years of owning my Corolla I have had countless problems with exhausts scraping the ground, hitting the body of the car and regularly falling off the 30 year old hangers. This time I decided I was going to get my exhaust done right!
The morning started off with modification of my gktech front pipe, which was basically sitting on the ground before I let Nathan loose on it.
A quick look into the work being done on my Corolla exhaust today by the one and only Fabulous Fabrications. A photo set covering a day of work for this assiduous gentleman will be coming up very shortly!
The last twelve months has absolutely blown by, but for us Midnight Mechanics it has been a year of unforgettable drift events. Our 2012 saw more track time together than any other year, and as such we have been getting quite the collection of footage from each of our events. I thought it would be suitable to do a compilation of all of our events from this year into one video. I’m looking forward to bringing you guys even more footage for the 2013 season. With both Jasons now running high strung 4agte setups, Cass’s ae86 coupe build and his current 20v Ae86 hatch along with my Sr20 ae71 build, we are really looking forward to ripping up the track even more so this year! E!CM
What do you desire most in a car? Performance? Style? Pedigree? Perhaps, like many automotive enthusiasts, the want for a reliable and comfortable car throws the possibility for these options out the window. For my good friend Cassian Finnerty, and many other passionate AE86 owners like himself, the chance for all of this and more has become a reality with the arrival of the new Toyota 86.
It’s not something that many of us get to experience as car enthusiasts, but there really is nothing like owning a brand new car. The new car smell, the texture of everything new and the feeling that you get from knowing that no one else has driven this car. One of our good friends, Cassian of the Midnight Mechanics, gained this experience this week when his brand new Toyota 86 arrived. We have been spending the afternoon taking photos of this beautiful thing to grace your computer screens, so there will be plenty of photos coming up in the next few days! E!CM
I love Morning Sessions. I’ve said it plenty of times before, and I will happily say it again. Honestly some of the best cars and drifting action can be seen at these laid back events. What started out as overcast and potentially rainy November 28th, quickly turned into a scorcher that would remind us all that summer is here. Normally for an event like this I would be out amongst the action with my own car, however being knee deep in turning my Corolla into the Nissan powered abomination it will soon become I had no choice but to sit back and watch. For something Different I decided it would be interesting to leave the Digital SLR at home and come to the track armed with nothing but my EOS-1 film SLR and a couple of rolls of color slide film.
After two years of building and countless struggles to get the tune right, this Wednesday past Jason Murray finally justified all his hard work with a full day of drifting his beige 4agte Ae86 dubbed ‘Latte Lasis’ at the November Queensland Raceway Morning Session.
Things have been fairly busy for myself lately, so I thought I would share my reasons why.
Still plenty of work to go, but I hope to have this thing kicking over within the next month.
Many of you may be thinking that Matsuri is purely about drifting. Well, you would be wrong.
The Queensland Raceway Matsuri, for many, is an escape from every day reality. It is about the struggle between that boring life you live week in week out and the one thing that rips you away from it all. It is about the culture that we all live in, and most of all it is about spending time with your closest of friends.
For myself, and my close friends and fellow members of the Midnight Mechanics Jason Murray and Cassian Finnerty Matsuri was all of these things and more. Across both the 6th and 7th of October, 2012 there was no one thing that concerned us more than the smooth bitumen that we call Queensland Raceway. E!CM
Matsuri was bright and intense, it was fun and exciting with old friends and new. It was chaotic and still calm with people everywhere doing many different things yet an attitude of cool soaking over the QR paddocks. There was so much going on and despite the 2 day schedule there was so little time. Everywhere you looked there was something happening, mates peeling out of sheds in groups to hit a track in trains, newer drivers easing into things on the skid pan, pro level cars flicking toward short track wall at unfathomable angles and speed. All of this, all the time. We didn’t need 24hrs, we needed 2 weeks to take all this in.
For 200 drifters in South-East Queensland the next two weeks will possibly be the busiest two weeks of their entire year. For the Midnight Mechanics drift team, there is no exception, and the roll will be called for all four of us on Saturday the 6th of October. Each and every one of us have a list of things we need to check, build and ready before this event as there will be no other track day this year that will put as much strain on our cars.
A bit of a Midnight Mechanics video for you guys today. I finally edited my GoPro footage from the March 9th Queensland Raceway Morning Session. I seriously love these events for the people that turn up and the time we get on track. I’m really happy with some of the tandems Jason and I go on the day, I can’t wait for us to get back out there asap!
We had a small rendezvous this week with fellow Midnight Mechanic; Cass. His blacktop 20v ae86 that you see here on the right hasn’t been running for some time now but after finally fixing it he dusted it off and came down to see us. Considering Jason’s Ae86 is nearing completion with its new body work and paint it seemed perfect timing to get some quick photos of the two cars.
Now that I no longer have a daily driver that requires the same amount of attention as a new born child, I have found myself a hell of a lot more time to spend the car I want to work on. The Corolla has been in dire need of attention lately, particularly on the panel damage that I caused early last year.
This week I have been getting quite stuck into it, and as you can see there is still a fair way to go. Panel beating and painting of cars has never been my strong point, but it’s definitely not my first time doing it. I’m slowly going through the process of hammering out as many dents as I can before the large amounts of bog that previous graced this car are replaced.
I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated how it is looking.
Jason has been hard at work panel beating his Ae86 and is almost at the point where the car is ready for paint. A serious amount of effort has gone into the body work and it has been just recently primed up!
Daily drivers are a necessary part of any drifter’s life. There seems to be three ways you can go about it; one way is to go practical and cheap so that maximum funding can go towards the track car. Another option is to purchase a larger car such as a 4wd that can tow the track car. Failing that you can do exactly what my good friend and fellow Midnight Mechanic, Cass has done; buy something that will be fun on the road as well as hopefully get you in less trouble than the track car would… Maybe.
Jason has been very hard at work on his Ae86 in order to bring it back sporting his new 4agte setup. The car has had some very serious modifications since it was last on the track. The motor aside, Jason has been busy sorting out a w55 gearbox conversion as well as an F series rear end with 4.6 crown gears to make the car fourth gear friendly. The car has recently come back from a workshop where a large amount of fabrication work has been completed.
I’d like to introduce you to our long lost Midnight Mechanics; Cassian Finnerty. Cass first started skidding with us around 2005 in his Blacktop 20v Ae86. As you will have seen from our coverage of the Queensland Raceway 24 hour drift Matsuri he’s back on board and up to usual tricks.
It could certainly be said that not much is happening with Jason’s 4agte Ae86 these days, and people who say this would be right. Anyone that has been through the turmoil of owning their own track car would know that there are always the ups and downs. At times you will get a clean streak and be consistently hitting up track days. More often than not though, you will be held back by money, work, and social issues not to mention mechanical problems.
Jason’s Ae86 is currently undergoing some freshening up by our painter; Lee Hunter, who will have the car looking better than ever. For now I thought it would be fitting to show some of the photos we took when the car was painted last time.
Anyone who has any interest in drifting and E model corollas will have heard of MotorFIX.
For the last 6 years of building my Corolla, MotorFIX has been a constant and ever increasing inspiration for myself. I have always been in awe of every car that has had this workshop’s name associated with it. Whether it be a rusty corolla wagon or immaculate sedan that has been built by this crew.
Jason has had this Ae86 for a long time; much longer than I have had my Corolla, and before that it was owned by his dad. So this thing has seen a lot of change over the years. A few years back I got some shots of both of our cars just after they had been painted. Jason’s car has gone back in for a new paint job recently so I will be getting a lot of photos when it is done. After that, the car is for sale, so if you’re interested call Jason on 0411 105 527.