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Übercargeek
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
24043As is the case with the subject of <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f42/best-both-worlds-kaizojce-super-street-395831/">our previous story, Nathan Davis (kaizojce)</A>, my.IS member Billy Shea (better known to the my.IS community by his usdm IS300 screen name) returns to our Front Page. Even after his initial appearance in the <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f42/billy-sheas-turbo-300-charges-into-pages-super-street-370472/">September 2008 issue of Super Street magazine</A>, Billy considered his goals and ambitions only partially met. In retrospect, the concluding passage of our article, "'The wheel horsepower this engine can achieve just makes you want more and having a motor that can handle boost—well, the sky's the limit', we suspect we haven't heard the last from them" turned out to be quite prescient. As Billy tells it, "the one thing I wanted was to get on the cover of Import Tuner. "It didn't matter what measures I had to take. A 2NR cover is the highest honor, and I simply had to get on the cover."

The rules and politics of rival tuner magazines, even those that, though sharing ownership and publishers are still editorially quite separate, soon reared their ugly head. As Import Tuner's RC Faderoga informs us, "when the Super Street feature hit the newsstands, it pretty much sealed his fate. There's an unwritten rule between the major publications not to feature the same car, so getting on Import Tuner's cover was close to impossible, with the exception of two options: 1) Billy could purchase a new car, build it to reach the high standards of a cover car, and hope it pleased the editors of the magazine or, 2) Billy could rebuild his IS300 into a completely different car than featured in Super Street, build it to reach the high standards of a cover car, and hope it pleased the editors of the magazine. Both were options that required plenty of patience, hard work, and creative ingenuity--not to mention a whole mess of money." Billy's love of his IS 300 was simply too strong. As he puts it, "I just can't part with my IS. Right when it came out, it was like love at first sight. I remember test driving the Nissan 350Z and I felt cramped inside. The IS300 was pretty much the only car I felt comfortable in." So, option #2 it was.

24044Complete makeover is an understatement for what followed. Usually, when you're younger, your taste tends to be louder and more brash, becoming more understated and tasteful as you age. In Billy Shea's case, he went in the opposite direction. Although the Chargespeed Japan body kit and Japanese letter graphics on the hood of the first iteration of Billy's IS can hardly be described as discreet and subtle, the Graphite Gray Pearl exterior and the interior maintained a modicum of tasteful luxury. For version2, the exterior color became Laguna Seca Blue from the BMW paint palette and, although the body kit remains, it is now supplemented by a carbon fiber vortex generator roof wing inspired by the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII and IX MR. New 19-inch Volk TE37 wheels replaced the previous Work VS KFs, and the suspension features HKS Hipermax II front and rear coilovers that further stiffen the ride with the help of TRD sway bars and bushings.

24045The interior, too, has seen vast changes, with an eight-point roll cage painted in Laguna Seca Blue to match the exterior and accented with polished add-on side bars. The stock chronograph-style gauges have been replaced by custom instrumentation that features an HKS Camp 2 Driving Monitor. Yet, all of this pales when compared to the changes under the hood. The old HKS T04Z turbocharger has been replaced by the company's slimmer T51R KAI turbo that helps produce 748 horses to the wheels when boosted to 30 psi, compared to the old configuration's 492 hp, and added a Veilside intake manifold and some custom-made parts like the oil pan, ADF intercooler and custom chop-welded pipes, radiators hoses, plus a carbon fiber one-piece driveshaft.

Yes, the efforts indeed paid off, and Billy's reborn-again IS 300 was featured on the cover of the September 2009 issue of Import Tuner magazine, and the article, titled Let It Be Known, was written by the aforementioned RC Faderoga and photographed by Steve Demmitt, whose shots also grace this article.

To read more on this thoroughly transformed ride, check out <A HREF="http://www.importtuner.com/features/impp_0909_2003_lexus_is300/index.html">the Import Tuner article as it appears on their website</A> and a thread on our <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f90/import-tuner-cover-usdm-is300-393527/">1st-Gen IS300 Inside & Out</A> forum.
 

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Incredible build and presentation. This is without a doubt one of the cleanest and classiest builds.

Thanks for representing the IS300 in a way that makes us all proud!
 

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Übercargeek
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Discussion Starter #6
Question: Why does it say 900hp on the cover, but 748 in the magazine?
Reading the article reveals that, when it was originally written, Billy's car was producing 748 hp. The last paragraph, however, includes this sentence: "He hopes to have broken 900 horses and his personal best quarter-mile records by the time you read this."

It seems that they preferred to hype up the higher, "unofficial" figure for the cover.
 
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