Farewell Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance Magazine

I didnt have the benefit of going to a high school where the untapped potential of import cars was valued by its population of students. The hot cars at my school were the Ford Mustang and Chevy IROC Z or Z28. Being the type to cheer for the underdog, I never really liked either car. It was too easy. Running high 14 second (low 15 second) quarter miles out of the box, there was no challenge to making it faster. Install a pully kit or a set of Dynomax mufflers and you’d probably pick up 5/10ths in the quarter mile. Besides, the Mustang and IROC were never really great looking cars.. they just had the traditional muscle car stance and look to them.

So my friend (Ed) and I would read about all the Japanese imports that we could (remember, there was no internet at this time, yeah, I’m that old). I’d buy Car and Driver, Road and Track, and if I could find it, Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance magazine. The latter two provided us with an idea of where to start. For me, that starting point was the FC3S Mazda RX-7 Turbo II. For Ed, it was the Mitsubishi Starion. But that’s where Car and Driver and Road and Track ceased to be useful. Aside from their published “bone stock” quarter miles and 0-60s, they didn’t offer the evolutionary step into the world of import performance. There were no import “speed shops” like there were muscle car speed shops. There were not even that many owners of modified import cars, much less owners in general. Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance magazine offered a glimpse into the technology behind modifying cars with (relatively) advanced fuel injection systems and turbochargers.

Back then, Turbo & Hi-Tech Magazine was quarterly. It was published by Kipp Kington in Huntington Beach, California. I could never find it at any store except for the Crown Books store in the Laguna Hills Mall. I’d anxiously await the day when it would show up on the store shelf. I recall it would cost $4.95 (and this was at a time when Car and Driver was $2.95). It was a steep price to pay, but it was well worth it.

I credit the magazine for many things.. such as introducing me to HKS Performance Products and an article about high-flow air filters that I quoted from for many many years after that (a clean K&N outflowed paper and foam elements.. and if I recall correctly, a dirty K&N still outflowed foam, but not a new paper element.. however, the shocker was a cleaned K&N, one cleaned using their cleaning kit, would never flow as well as a new K&N filter). It introduced me to the fear of pulling up next to a Buick Grand National/GNX at a stop light. And it also opened my eyes to just how fast a nitrous fed Ford Mustang 5.0 liter was. It ultimately inspired me to work on my own car and to seek out the infamous street races in Hacienda Heights, Compton, and Gardena.

In the past few years, Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance became a news stand pamphlet. The last time I picked one up, it was probably about 50 pages (in its prime, it was about 150 pages). The covers were always uninspiring and they never gave me the same sense of excitement that I used to feel when I bought them in high school. Nevertheless, its sad to see it go.

Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14

This week, I had some spare time so I was hanging out at Dynamic Autosports and watched as the guys wrenched on the Peak Performance 240SX S14 in preparation for D1GP at Irwindale on March 4th.. the car started up Tuesday night.. but it wasnt until Wednesday night until they started tuning.. unfortunately, I had to get up to go to work on Thursday, so I couldn’t stay for the show.. but I managed to snap a few pics before I left.. the guys from XS Engineering were there prepping their Nissan Skyline R32 GTR for Modified Magazine’s Time Attack at California Speedway on March 5th so I got a few of them “in action”..

Dynamic Autosports took the Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14 down to Irwindale today for some test laps and tech inspection.. Robbie Nishida of Falken will be driving the car this season, so it was his first time behind the wheel.. I heard he was pleasantly surprised with the car.. I heard he kept repeating, “this car is amazing.. this car is amazing..”.. I guess he really liked the 2.4 liter SR20 with the HKS sequential trannie..

Here are a few pics.. unfortunately bandwidth doesnt grow on trees, so I resized the images and saved them at 30% quality.. most of the pics were shot at ISO1600 or 3200.. cleaned up with Noise Ninja 2, sharpened (USM) with Photoshop CS2..

HKS GT series turbo on Peak's S14

Here’s a shot of the HKS GT turbo used on the 2.4 liter SR20 that was just rebuilt for this season

Peak Performance 240SX S14 drift car

A shot of the Peak Performance Nissan 240SX S14 (minus front bumper) waiting on the dyno to get its HKS VPro tuned..

Fei-Lo of XS Engineering

Fei-Lo of XS Engineering putting the finishing touches on their roll cage.. I heard Fei-Lo is a master welder now.. I guess thats why he can wear a mask like that..

XS Engineering Nissan Skyline R32 GTR

A front shot of the XS Engineering Nissan Skyline GTR R32.. they were corner balancing the car in preparation for the Modified Magazine Time Attack.. you G4TV viewers may recognize the car from the Street Tuner Challenge TV show.. the car is insane in real life.. the Nissan Skyline GTR R32 has still got to be one of the most aggressive looking cars.. ever..