Start of an Epic Road Trip Part 1


Just recently I arrived home after an epic road trip touring the west side of the USA. My wife, my dog, and I left Houston on April 26th and headed to Austin, Tx as our first stop. I deiced to spend a night in Austin since my parents still live there and its closer drive to Big Bend National Park.


Lambo getting ready for the road trip.

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After spending a night in Austin, still pretty tired, we headed off to Big Bend National park. We went to some small towns and saw a change of scenery.

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We finally arrived at Terlingua, Tx which is next door to Big Bend National Park.

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Booked this nice little airstream in the west Texas desert. I didn’t rough it out, more like glamping. Still in the middle of no where but with some home comforts.

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It was my first time cooking over the campfire but didn’t seem too terrible.

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Called it a night, and enjoyed the night sky. The next day we explored the back trails of Big Bend National Park. Stay tuned!


Overland Trip Preparation

Been a while since the last post on the blog, I’ve been pretty busy planning my road trip to California for months. This isn’t the two day drive to LA on i10, but instead driving on off road trails and going off grid. It’s my first time doing anything like this, and Im excited and nervous. But living in the city, sometimes you just want to get away for the hustle and bustle.


One of the first things I did was take the Land Cruiser to Hidden Falls Adventure park. I wanted to get comfortable off roading, and see the capabilities of the Land Cruiser. I figured I should practice in a place where I could get help quick, instead of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.


Hidden Falls was pretty foggy when we went out, so we didn’t get to see the spectacular views.



Watching YouTube off road tutorials made me more confident in driving off road and avoiding novice mistakes.



I didn’t air down, but the Land Cruiser didn’t have issues. The trails we took was level 1 to 3 out 5 rating. Im pretty sure those are the types of levels we will encounter off grid.


The ARB bumper gives and Land Cruiser a much better approach angle then the stock bumper.


Off roading is much slower speed then track days, but its very technical and you get to see a part of world most people never see. Getting out there and just exploring your back yard can just be as rewarding as traveling Internationally.


But, before I can plan a route, I have to make sure the Land Cruiser is ready for the 4000 mile adventure. Since January, the Land Cruiser has gotten some mods and maintenance.

After the Hidden Falls off road trip, I knew the factory tires wasn’t going to cut it. I ditched the factory 31″ street tires to Nankang M/T 33″ tires. I chose Nankang because its super cheap, and yet a capable off road tire. I paid $750 for 5 tires, which is considerably cheaper then other tire brands. The 8 ply tire will give me enough protection from the sharp desert rocks, and airing down. While the M/T will give me traction when it gets slippery off road.

Untitled The 33″ size matches better with the 3″ OME lift. No more rolling on small tires! Untitled


Next onthe list was buying self recovery gear. Its one of those things, I might not use but very glad to have if I do have to use it. I bought a used Hi-Lift jack for super cheap. Still works great and I like the old patina look.


I bought a Hi Lift tire lift attachment, and makes it easy to add rocks or anything under the tire for traction. Just to make sure I can be self reliant on recovery I bought Max Trax style boards. Old technology in the modern world.


Also got extra jerry cans, fire extinguisher, and portable jumper box just in case of emergency. I want to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.


Always a good idea to test out the gear make sure it works before heading out. The VIAR 300P air compressor hooks up the battery and it’s powerful enough to air up tires from 20 psi to 45psi. It not super fast like other bigger compressors but its good enough for my use. I really like how it come was a tire bleeder valve, and makes airing down easier.


The mini fuse on the cigarette lighter went out, so I upgraded to a fast charging USD adapter. A more modern touch in a 90s era style.

I went to Duggy’s Garage for a check up on the Land Cruiser and maintenance. Everything check out great and had the Hi-Lift mount installed, updated the radio which has bluetooth and dvd functions, and drivetrain fluids flushed.


That is pretty much it for now. So, far the Land Cruiser is ready for the trip and hopefully everything goes well! All I got to do now is just finalize the route, and places to stay!!

Driven and Blessed upcoming track day!

If you are a track rat wanting more seat time, or just a beginner trying to see what track days are about, this event is something for you to try! Next event is Friday, Feb 16. Prices are reasonably cheaper than most organizations because we all know how tracking can get expensive. Its free for the spectators, so come by and bring your friends and family. Y’all have more than a month to get your cars ready!


Ver 2 Land Cruiser


Last month I got into an accident, and it was my fault. I was on 59 hwy, and I noticed traffic was bunching up and I was already slowing down. Unfortunately, I glanced at my GPS, and half a second later I looked up noticed the car in front was completely stopped. I pressed harder on the brakes and swerved to the shoulder, but it was no good. I hit the car in the front and that caused it to hit a third car. I was careless, and felt terrible for what has happened.


The other two cars involved was able to drive off and thankfully no major, visible damage seen. But my Land Cruiser had to be towed. The aftermarket bull bar broke on the mounting tab. That made the damage worse since the bar was pushed into the engine, and cracking my radiator, broke my ac line, dented the hood and fender, and ruined my corner light. My friend told me that bull bar will cause more damage than good and he was right.


There is no point sulking now, what done is done. At least on the bright side, its a good time to upgrade the Land Cruiser. I had liability insurance on the Land Cruiser, and yeah I had to pay out of pocket for my repair, but at least I don’t have to worry about the the other cars involved. Since I needed a new bumper, I might as well upgrade and I bought the ARB bumper. It was designed in the Australian outback, so you know it more than capable in the Houston streets.


The current progress…. still needs the driver fender, corner lights, and ac line to be completely done but its getting there.

Special thank you to Fernando at Backyard Auto for getting my Land Cruiser running and body work. Thank you Duc, from Duggy Garage for the ARB Bumper and OME lift kit! Soon this Land Cruiser will be ready to hit some trails and over landing!

The Parking Lot Cars of Wekfest

Photographer: Leonid Furmansky

Words: Vinson Ubalde


Most people tend to focus on the cars that are actually in the show, that sometimes you miss out the gems that are lurking a couple feet from you. Its always interesting to find some cool things laying around in the car show parking lot. For example this bagged Toyota van, Senna I think, could have definitely fit well in the Wekfest car show.



Who says vans have to be boring. Just because you’re a family man doesn’t mean giving up your dreams on cars.


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This 240sx looked drift ready. Looks like it has an Orgin body kit, and S13 Silvia conversion.


Some stanced VIP styled cars….

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Leonid_Furmansky_171202_9272 This car looks like it drove all the way from Virgina to attend Wekfest. That’s fan loyalty.

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The crazy exhaust sticking out is still a thing…. My guess is so the bumper won’t catch on the fire when I spits massive flames.

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Then you have morse subtle OEM plus look.

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That concludes the Weakest Texas coverage of 2017! I just want to thank Leo with these HD shots for the Weakest show. Unfortunately my camera battery was dead and Im nowhere near as pro like Leo. Thanks again homie!

Wekfest Texas 2017

Words: Vinson Ubalde

Photographer: Leonid Furmansky


Kinda long over due since wekfest was Dec 2, and now its almost 3 weeks I’m posting this. Better late then never!

Wekfest is the only car show I attended this year. I’ve been showing for Wekfest since 2012 and I feel like the the more familiar teams and people are moving on and its up to the younger folks to set the trends.


My homies Branden and Thaison rolling up in the 86s. Weakest prep till the opening of the show.


ITB gang…



Bruce’s menacing Z. Last year it had stretched tires and switched it up with a more meaty fitment.


Marc’s Miata which some of my old parts still lives on.

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There where a lot of track inspired builds but I would say a majority never actually tracked. You tell just by looking at the tires, well any track rat can tell. Regardless, they are nice builds.


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Weakest prep, some took it more seriously than others. It did rain hard just before the opening, and it was a mad dash to get inside the stadium.


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It was pouring out there.




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This white EK9 was my favorite Honda. If I was going to build a Honda it would be this, and this was track ready too. Not sure if it is tracked since no battle scars or abuse seen on the tires. I still respect the build and effort put in. K20 swapped, but looked like it came from the factory. The engine bay had a very OEM look to it. Soo good that it won best Honda.



All mugen Civic. I bet that was money to build.


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Leonid_Furmansky_171203_9396 This is my friend Chris’s filipino taxi inspired sedan. He was currently in the Philippines at the time of the show but had a buddy drive to the the show.


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Leonid_Furmansky_171202_9323 The rear fog light is a nice touch on these DeSols.



Stance is still a there but I noticed its not as crazy or popular as it once was.

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In car shows, to stand out you have to be able to have some custom work done. This S2000 fit that requirment. Look at all those pie cuts and full carbon fiber body panels.

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Glory days of JDM cars…. at least in my opinion.

Ill end it there, thanks for reading!


Wekfest Pre-Meet 2017

Words: Vinson Ubalde
Photographer: Leonid Furmansky


Mayday Garage hosted the Wekfest Premeet at Moon Tower Inn and I believe the last time it was hosted here was 2 years ago. Moon Tower Inn hasn’t changed much since then but this years meet was more lit then before. Canal St, was pretty much a traffic jam full of custom cars and people.


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My frineds Thaison, and Branden rolled up to the meet sooner than I did and got prime parking in the front lot, but later back fired since they got blocked in from more cars.

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Nate with was RWB Porsche. He also owns a air-cooled boosted Porsche 911 that I like to call the Blackbird.


The crowds just kept on a getting bigger as the night went on.



Branden’s blood red AE86 looking real good. Then you have Thaison Black Limited slammed SSR Long champs. Both look made my house look like a car meet.


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Then people started doing burnouts. Im okay with rowdy meets but I would have been very nervous if I parked on the main street.

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Happy Holidays!!!

For the full photo list: