King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura

Interview: Andy Noggle (NoggsPhotography)

(Andy Noggle with his girlfriend / assistant Taylor at Dyno Day 2011)


The relationships we have with our cars are permeated by photos of all kinds. It all starts with a photo. It might be a glossy, Photoshopped dealer brochure. Or maybe a grainy camera phone pic on Craig's List. Sometimes it's love at first sight. Sometimes we see past the picture and see deeper potential.

At the other end of the relationship, we hope our pics attract a great new suitor who will baby our cars as well as we did. In more tragic endings, we document total losses for Allstate, snapping shots of irreversible damage to a once perfect frame.

Somewhere between these book ends, we take pictures that represent our best moments with our cars. They happen at gas stations, on long interstate trips, under the harsh fluorescent lights of parking structures, at crowded meets, on the track and back home in the garage.

These best moments are the ones Andy Noggle zeroes in on. He has turned his passion for automotive photography into a professional trade, shooting up numerous events and auto meets along the way. We were able to pick his brain about how he got his start, his photos, and a few tips.


How did you get started with photography? Did you immediately gravitate to cars, or did you go through an embarrassing phase where you took hundreds of pictures of your feet?


Every time we took a family trip when I was younger, I always had the camera, I always loved making photographs, I don’t remember taking pictures of feet though. In high school, I learned just enough to be dangerous with a camera, and have excelled since, continuing on to an Associates Degree in Photography. I have always loved cars, and grew up around them, and they say you should do what you love, and I love cars. Cars were also very easy to access for photos, I could be driving along and see a great background and snap a photo of my car in front of it. Or say…”Hey, I want to try some photography things, can I borrow your car?” But I do also shoot other things besides cars. I also love doing product photography as well as architectural shots.




 


Do you have a specific niche?


I have no preference in car, old school muscle, or new school imports, or vice versa, I appreciate all types of cars as long as the owner has a passion for it, and enjoys the automotive culture in some way.



I take a photojournalistic approach to each car, and cover all of the things that make it what it is and what the owner did to it. So it depends on the vehicle. If it has a completely custom interior, I would focus on that, and do detailed shots of the stitching, seats, sub boxes, door panels, and headliner. But if it’s all go-fast parts, and little interior work, there would be more detailed shots of the engine, turbo/supercharger, gauges, exhaust, wheels/tires, etc. If I had to pick shots that I specialize in, it would be rolling/rig shots and detail shots.


 


Are there any current trends in automotive photography that you like? Any photographers you admire?


I’ve always been a fan of QuickWorks Photo, great automotive stuff coming out of there.



Are there any photography trends that you think should die?


HDR, or black/white/selective color. They can be appreciated in some cases, but in most, it’s just something you have seen over and over again!


Are there any myths or misconceptions about what makes for a good photo?


“Things look better with a fisheye”…I hate when I see photos like this. They are ok in certain instances with the proper equipment, but when somebody just adds a vignette to every photo or uses one of those cheap eBay “wide angle” devices on their lens, they just look terrible, but yet, every car show, when the pictures show up online, at least a few people have done that to their images…


Do you have any advice for mere mortals who want to take a good "show off" pic of their car?


Nail your exposure and focus. Countless times when I scroll through websites and forums and see photos by “___________ Photography” -- all I see are images that are poorly focused, and poorly exposed... and still, people think they are well done. I just don’t understand. Shoot Aperture Priority if you have to, don’t use Manual if you don't know how to expose your images.



What's your advice for picking a good location for an outdoor shoot?


Backgrounds with leading lines, or a contrasting color to the car/wheel color usually work well. Use a color wheel to pick backgrounds.



Do you have a "dream shoot"? What car, location, time of day, etc.?

Hmmm, I’m not sure; I wouldn’t like to call it quits with just one car or setup. I would rather shoot lots of cars and experience all sorts of vehicles rather than just one.




What kinds of shoots do you do?

The most popular thing I do are rolling rig shots, people love them, and I love doing them. But I do everything from full magazine shoots, multiple locations, interior, exterior, night, day, rolling, all the way to shots of stickers, or single car parts for promotional purposes with companies.



Is there any car, event or situation you won't shoot?

I’m up for the challenge, but I do not like indoor car shows very much because the lighting is not up to par at most locations for proper photos.


 



Can you share what your typical equipment and setup look like?

I have used a Nikon D80 for a number of years, not really looking to upgrade yet, because I don’t think the camera makes the photographer. Also, I have a full array of lighting equipment, lenses, and grip equipment for any situation. The most important piece of equipment is in the next question: my gear hauler.



What cars have you owned, and what do you drive now?


I’m not quite old enough to have a collection of cars yet, but my first car was a 2000 Mercury Cougar, I4, 5-Speed, I turned it into a stripped interior, race seat/harness, autocross/track car. During that time my winter car was a 1999 Subaru Legacy Sport Utility Sedan 30th Anniversary Edition. I have to say the whole name because it is ridiculously long. But that had a run in with an older driver, and is no longer with us. As of now, I have a 2006 WRX Wagon, which is my camera gear hauler and all around awesome wagon.

 


(Andy's current ride)


What's the favorite shot that you took at King's Dyno Day 2011?


I had a lot of favorites, but I would have to say this one was my favorite:

 



How did you get connected with King Motorsports?

My friend Connor was talking to Scott [King's CEO] about detailing some cars, and somehow the topic came up about my photography, and a few emails later, I was on board to shoot their next event.

(Andy's work is everywhere, including this pic that was printed in the 2011 issue of Honda Tuning magazine)

 

Andy Noggle

NoggsPhotography

www.NoggsPhotography.com



Moser Racing on the Podium at Mid-Ohio

On the weekend of September 16th-18th, The Ohio Valley Region held an IT-Spec Miata Challenge race as a support race to the Grand-Am weekend at Mid-Ohio.  The event was open to all IT classes and Spec Miata with 48 entries.

 

It was a great weekend for long-time road racers and King Motorsports customers Bob and Joe Moser. Both of the Moser’s ITA CRXs chassis were fabricated and set up at King Motorsports – and both cars run King Motorsports built and tuned engines.

 

On Sunday the group ran two qualifying races and one trophy race, all on the pro course.  In the first photo Joe is leading the field to the start through the carrousel for the first qualifying race.  In the second photo Joe has pulled out a substantial lead at the end of the first lap while Bob races for position with two of the ITS cars.  In the third photo Joe is forced out of the first qualifying race with a grill blocked up with debris and starting to overheat.

 

In the second qualifying race Joe had to start at the back of the field.  He passed 44 cars in 12 laps to finish second overall behind Tim Selby in the ITS Miata and Bob Moser in the other King Motorsports ITA CRX.

 

The podium photos are after the feature race.  Tim Selby won first overall in the ITS Miata, Joe Moser second overall and first in ITA and Bob Moser third overall and second in ITA.

 

Joe Moser kept whittling down the ITA pro course lap record through the weekend, ending up dropping it by almost a half second to 1:40.35!

 

Check out Joe’s lead over the entire field on this rear-facing in-car video.

 

Congratulations to Bob and Joe on a great weekend.

 

What is “FRP”, and why does Mugen use it for S2000 Hardtops and other aero enhancements?

FRP is an acronym for Fiber Reinforced Polymer. Some will say that it stands for Fiber Reinforced Plastic, but this is incorrect – Not all plastics are polymers. In the case of Mugen’s manufacturing process, they use a proprietary FRP composite developed in-house after much testing in the lab, wind tunnel and street.

Some of Mugen’s aero pieces are constructed from FRP exclusively; bumper covers, side sills, spoilers. But Mugen manufactures two items from both Carbon Fiber and FRP – Hoods for Fit, and S2000, and S2000 Hardtops. The reasoning is pretty straightforward, Carbon Fiber construction is the strongest, lightest material available for these parts, but it comes at a cost. FRP, on the other hand, offers a lower cost option. While not as strong or light as Carbon Fiber, FRP is still extremely strong and still lighter that most other materials. Most importantly, it can be used in the same molds as the Carbon Fiber pieces, therefore offering the same precise fit that Mugen’s Carbon Fiber parts are known for.

Here are a few common questions regarding Mugen’s FRP parts:

Q: What is the weight difference between the Carbon Fiber and FRP parts?
A: The weight difference is about 25%. For instance, the Carbon Fiber Hood for the S2000 weights 34 lbs – the FRP unit weighs X44 lbs.

Q: How well does the FRP top fit?
A: The fit is perfect, just like Mugen’s Carbon Fiber Top. The same molds are used to produce both.

Q: Does the top come with all of the mounting hardware?
A: All the necessary hardware is included, as is the Polycarbonate rear window.

Q: What is required to get FRP parts ready to paint?
A: All of Mugen’s FRP parts come primed and ready for paint. Your body shop will only need to give them a light scuffing and thorough cleaning.

Q: Should I test-fit my FRP parts first, or can I go ahead and paint them knowing that they will fit?
A: It’ll fit, period. Paint it, install it and enjoy.

Below are some technical data regarding FRP (source: American Composites manufacturers Association):

Not all plastics are composites.  In fact, the majority of plastics today are pure plastic, like toys and soda bottles.  When additional strength is needed, many types of plastics can be reinforced (usually with reinforcing fibers).  This combination of plastic and reinforcement can produce some of the strongest materials for their weight that technology has ever developed...and the most versatile.

Therefore, the definition of a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite is a combination of :
-a polymer (plastic) matrix (either a thermoplastic or thermoset resin, such as polyester, isopolyester, vinyl ester, epoxy, phenolic)
-a reinforcing agent such as glass, carbon, aramid or other reinforcing material such that there is a sufficient aspect ratio (length to thickness) to provide a discernable reinforcing function in one or more directions. 


FRP composite may also contain:


- fillers

- additives

- core materials


... that modify and enhance the final product.  The constituent elements in a composite retain their identities (they do not dissolve or merge completely into each other) while acting in concert to provide a host of benefits ideal for structural applications including:

** High Strength and Stiffness Retention - composites can be designed to provide a wide range of mechanical properties including tensile, flexural, impact and compressive strengths.  And, unlike traditional materials, composites can have their strengths oriented to meet specific design requirements of an application.

** Light Weight/Parts Consolidation - FRP composites deliver more strength per unit of weight than most metals.  In fact, FRP composites are generally 1/5th the weight of steel.  The composite can also be shaped into one complex part, often times replacing assemblies of several parts and fasteners.  The combination of these two benefits makes FRP composites a powerful material system- structures can be partially or completely pre-fabricated at the manufacturer's facility, delivered on-site and installed in hours.

** Creep (Permanent Deflection Under Long Term Loading) - The addition of the reinforcement to the polymer matrix increases the creep resistance of the properly designed FRP part.  Creep will not be a significant issue if the loads on the structure are kept below appropriate working stress levels.

** Resistance to Environmental Factors - Composites display excellent resistance to the corrosive effects of:

** Freeze-thaw: because composites are not attacked by galvanic corrosion and have low water absorption, they resist the destructive expansion of freezing water.

** Weathering and Ultra-Violet Light: FRP composite structures designed for weather exposure are normally fabricated with a surface layer containing a pigmented gel coat or have an ultraviolet (UV) inhibitor included as an additive to the composite matrix.  Both methods provide protection to the underlying material by screening out UV rays and minimizing water absorption along the fiber/resin interface.

** Chemicals and Temperature: Composites do not rust or corrode and can be formulated to provide long-term resistance to nearly every chemical and temperature environment.  Of particular benefit, is composites ability to successfully withstand the normally destructive effects of de-icing salts and/or saltwater spray of the ocean.

** Fire Performance of Composites - FRP composites can burn under certain conditions.  Composites can be designed to meet the most stringent fire regulations by the use of special resins and additives.  Properly designed and formulated composites can offer fire performance approaching that of most metals.


Staff Interview: Ryan Kapustanczek


The sign at Culver's read "TRY OUR FROZEN CUSTARD BUTTER BURGERS". As we drove by I told Ryan that a burger with frozen custard inside it sounded like a terrible idea. He chuckled and said "No they aren't together. They are two separate menu items." Then he proceeded to enlighten me on what the legacy of frozen custard means to Wisconsinites. I was a newbie that still had a lot to learn about Wisconsin.


Ryan Kapustanczek is the newbie member of King's staff. As in most organizations, "new kid" status applies for the mandatory 6 months (or until another newer hire is made, whichever comes first), so it was no accident that Ryan was assigned to the humble but important task of picking up all of the rented furniture and electronics for Dyno Day 2011. We were traveling around town in King's massive green pickup that pulls double duty as a gopher-mobile as well as a snow plow in the winter. We had Jude's trailer in tow. By the time we were done, every square inch of our cargo space had been consumed by folding chairs, tables and that giant screen everyone would gather around to watch dyno results.



I hitched a ride with Ryan that day for the errands. I was like the junior rookie assigned to the senior rookie. As new as Ryan may be to King, he's no slouch when it comes to Hondas, so I rode along as his iPhone navigator and picked his brain.



What do you do at KMS?


I would say my job title would be Mechanic. Right now I am doing a lot of learning from Mike, Tim, and Chad. I am currently doing the basic things on the cars like bolt-ons but I also am like the middle man or prep guy. For example I pull the engine, then Chad rebuilds it then I put it back in and then Tim dynos it. And the more I am there the more I learn and the more I can do.


How did you first get connected with KMS?


Well I heard about King Motorsports through word of mouth basically so when I graduated from school I contacted Scott (King's CEO). That was summer 2007 and at the time they were switching locations. Understandably he told me at the time they didn't need extra help. Then for the next four years I emailed and called and pretty much bugged them for an interview. I then went for the interview in May 2011 and Scott offered me a job shortly after.


What kind of jobs did you have before King?


Well I have worked as a car porter/detailer at two different local dealerships, one being a Honda one. I have also recently worked at two different dealerships as a lube technician as well as doing some minor maintenance work.  In between I have also done some retail, delivery, and some warehouse work too.


Are you getting hazed for being the new guy?


A little, nothing major though. Just some jokes here and there to give me a hard time.



Is there anything in particular you like about working on Hondas instead of other makes?


I would say the simple yet great engineering in them.


They are simple because they are not over-engineered. Things are easy to get to and when you look at them it just makes sense. Having worked at dealerships and around cars quite a bit, I've been able to see a lot of other cars. Sometimes you look at a car and you have think to yourself 'why would they do that?' or 'why would they put that there?' -- it just does not make sense sometimes.


Honda's great engineering is a no brainer. They build things right and reliable.


Did you have any formal or informal training/education regarding automobiles? Did you have any specializations?


I do, first I took all the automotive classes at my high school except the body shop. I would have taken welding too but they cancelled that class before I could. After high school I enrolled into Wyotech, an automotive-only trade school. It was a lot of fun. It was like the whole college experience, without all the regular classes. While I was there I studied basic automotive technology and then specialized in high performance engines, chassis fabrication, and trim & upholstery.


Do you have any racing background?


Unfortunately the only background I have in racing is purely as a spectator. Although I do hope to change that in the near future, I plan to start off in the solo events at Miller Park.


Do you have any personal project cars that you’ve built for yourself?


I do have a project that I have just started this last month. It is a 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS. It's the last body style where they came RWD. I know it isn’t a Honda but I have always liked them and I was not even looking for one, but it kind of fell into my lap and the deal was too good to pass up. It’s the car I plan on doing the solo events with, but I am mainly building it as just a fun street car.


If you could go back in time and meet the founders of Honda, what would you ask them?


I would be curious about the business side of what they did. Mostly about what made them get into the automobile market? They already had a great thing going with the motorcycles. Was it inevitable to move onto cars? Just kind of get a feel for what their thoughts on some of the decisions they made.



Do you regularly attend any car shows or other auto events?


Yes, I regularly go to the Import Wars drag racing events at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Groove. I also attend quite a lot of car shows. All the big local ones and I even travel down to Chicago for a few every once in a while. I love going to these events because I really like to see the work that people put into their cars. To me it doesn’t matter what kind of car it is, if the work put into is done well then I can appreciate it.


If you weren’t working on cars for a living, what would you be doing?


That’s tough because cars is all I have ever being really interested in. But if I had to think of something I am sure it would have to do with computers like a designer or a programmer of some kind.


Do you have a dream car?


To be honest I have tons. It is so hard to choose one, because some of them are not your regular dream car. They are just project cars that I would like to do at some point in my life. At any one time I have probably ten project cars in my mind and they are always changing. To give you an answer on more of a tradition dream car: of course the NSX is on there but I have always loved the Ferrari F40. I mean that thing is a pure production race car.


What is your daily driver? Is it true it’s an automatic?!


You had to bring that up. Yes right now my current daily driver is an automatic. It is a 1997 Integra LS. I have plans to change that by winter though so if anyone is looking for an automatic Integra probably as another daily or a shell let me know.



Xbox or Playstation?


Xbox for sure.




Causing a Scene: Urban Disturbance

 

 

It was just after 8am. The weather was looking good. Big Mike and other staffers were hauling the goodie bags out to the welcome tent. Although we still had about an hour to go before the start of Dyno Day 2011, the first cars were already rolling up. The Urban Disturbance car club had arrived early, and they had big plans for the day. They settled into choice parking spots and set up a portable tent of their own (complete with their website URL). Throughout the day the members would impress the hundreds of attendees with their clean builds and jaw-dropping dyno runs. By day's end, Urban Disturbance proudly picked up the lion's share of awards. Their members took home awards from 3 of the 5 categories: Spirit of JDM, People's Choice, and King of the Dyno. From start to finish, this club stole the show.


Who is Urban Disturbance? We interviewed their members about its influential club, their rides, and their connection to King Motorsports.


How did Urban Disturbance start?


Urban Disturbance (UD) Car Club started in 1998 with mini trucks and low rider styled vehicles.


The club was formed by Chris McCauley (now referred to as ‘The God Father’) along with a group of friends: Jon Jezo, Chuck Glissendorf, Kris Walker, and Matt York. It all started right from the roots of many of today’s enthusiasts: custom built vehicles, built in a driveway garage with no luxuries, special tools, or sugar daddies.


How many members do you have today? What kind of cars do they drive?


Currently we have 25 official members. Most of them have sport compact cars but there are vehicles of all types -- trucks and bikes too. Although we dominate with Hondas, we are receiving applications from all makes and models on a daily basis.


Which members and cars are the most influential in the club?


As a club we are all influential to each other, we push everyone to do bigger and better. Spaz is known as our head mechanic, most people bring their cars to his garage for modifications and repairs. Spaz has an '05 RSX K24 swapped, supercharged and tucked. Chuck (aka “Chucks Tucks”) is influential for many who want that clean tucked engine bay -- they go to him. Ole (2x "Spirit of JDM" & "People’s Choice" award winners) has a shaved & tucked, RHD true JDM ITR DC2 that everyone drools over. And our club President, Jezo, has built a 500+whp 4cyl beast RSX that gets plenty of attention (2x "King of the Dyno" winner).



Were there any runner-ups names for the club?


"Driveway Customs" & "Disturbed Customs."



Are there requirements to join the club, and how does someone join?


Anyone can apply to join by simply filling out our online application and sending three photos of their ride. Our requirements consist of a vehicle that is complete, street ready or a quality build with progress demonstrated.  New members have a probation period in which they must attend 3 events in a season, such as car shows, meets, track days, etc. (at least one event being with your ride). 


What kind of events and outings does the club attend and how often?


Our club enjoys going to local, regional, and national auto events to show or race our rides and to just look at the latest trends and styles. We also love track days at the local autoX spot, drifting spot, or Union Grove Great Lakes Dragaway (Import Wars) and Byron Race Tracks.  This year our club attended a huge event called Import Alliance with over 10,000 other enthusiasts in Nashville, Tennessee. Almost every weekend day you can find our members at an event of some type.



Is there a city that the club calls home base?


Janesville, WI is the home base of UD.  We now have an Illinois chapter and are accepting applications for new members and chapters everywhere!


What makes Urban Disturbance different from other car clubs?


We try to keep a good strong mix of everything. From high horsepower builds, to full engine shave and tucking, to full custom air ride, track, autocross, drifting etc. This way our club can get out, adapt and grow everywhere we can.  We take great pride in our rides and want to support the scene in a classy manner.



How did you come to know and work with King Motorsports?


Anyone truly passionate about Hondas knows the famous King Motorsports. Since we're mostly in the Honda scene, we are all fans of King Motorsports. Several members have bought parts, gotten tuned, and visited the facility. Also King is one of the few tuner shops that you can order quality parts from... including official Mugen parts


You guys really cleaned up the awards at King’s Dyno Day 2011!  Any advice for people who want to create award-winning builds?


Come to us! LOL. Seriously though, just take your time and do things right. The problem with builds we see online is there are too many people buying cheap "eBay knock-off" parts. Everyone buys a Honda and says "yeah I’m gonna boost it…blah blah blah," but talk is cheap. Money is the issue. So take your time, build it right. Better quality parts = better results every time.


Over the years, what type of tuning or work has King done on member rides?


King was the influence for Spaz doing an Electronic Power steering swap in his DC5. According to the forums the 2005+ RSX-S cannot use EPS without a speedo healer converter but with the help of King Motorsports they were able to figure it out and his EPS works great.   Another member, Ahmad, has gone through King Motorsports for a lot if not all his parts.




What makes King different from other shops like it?


Quality. King Motorsports is the high end of dealers, mechanics, and engineers. There are plenty of tuners and shops, but none of them with the reliability and reputation as a place like yours. To most people, when you see a car built by King you knows it’s quality and built right!


Do you have any stories about King Motorsports you'd like to share?


Anyone who hasn’t been to King Motorsports for their annual Dyno Day needs to check it out!

 

Parting thoughts?


No matter what happens in life you can’t let it get you down.  If cars are one of your passions don’t let it get away from you.  Cars come and go but the passion remains, find it and keep the scene alive.


To all the other Honda, import, and auto enthusiasts out there: Please remember to support the scene, give back to the next gen, and skip that last helping of rice.




>> For more information about Urban Disturbance (including membership, show calendar, forum and club store) look them up at urbandisturbance.net.

More Mugen for John Hinrichs' CR-Z!

John Hinrichs really likes his Honda CR-Z. Apparently he also really likes Mugen.


For his fourth major Mugen modification on his CR-Z, John opted for a set of Mugen 17x7 GP wheels in Gunmetal. As with his other mods, John worked directly with King Motorsports President and CEO, Scott Zellner. Scott: "The color of the Gunmetal GP's are a perfect compliment to the Black CR-Z." John is equally happy with his purchase, "I love the way these wheels look!" After each upgrade, John usually sends a picture and a note, or stops by to show us the results, as he did recently with after the GP wheels were installed.


John's other Mugen mods are the Mugen 5-Way Sport Suspension, Mugen Carbon-Fiber Air Intake and Mugen Cat-Back Exhaust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Delimat - 2011 Dyno Day Photo Contest Winner

Congrats to Rob Delimat, our 2011 Dyno Day Photo Contest winner!

 

Rob's picture was chosen because it captured so much about what Dyno Day is all about: Race Cars, Street Cars, People, and Cars on the Dyno. For his efforts Rob's photo will be featured on the front page of our website and he will receive a King Motorsports TShirt. Rob's uncropped photo can be seen here.

 

Rob's pics on Facebook.

 

Thanks to everyone who entered.