To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang, ABQ-Live the Magazine sat down with Dave Rachau, President and Principal Researcher for Armageddon Turbo Systems and Motiva Performance Engineering to talk about “Hellanor”.
Dave, who are you and why do you matter?
I am the President and Principal Researcher for Armageddon Turbo Systems and Motiva Performance Engineering, LLC. I matter because I’m special. I’m special because my momma said so.
We heard you just did your first burnout, can you explain the how it was?
First burnout was about 18 years ago good sir. I did however do my first standing burnout in this vehicle about a month ago. It was your run of the mill burnout, only 50x more rad because it was at Hoonigan, home of Ken Block, in a 1200 Horsepower Mustang. Far from home. #nobigdeal
So now that that is out of that way, what started your obsession with making things go fast?
You know, for me it comes down just pushing the performance envelope. I’m always into pushing the boundaries in all directions. What are the limitations holding us back from greater performance? Is there a better way to do this?
Is that how the Armageddon brand came to be? What is Armageddon in a nutshell?
Armageddon was definitely born as an answer for the question “Is there a better way to do this?”. Armageddon, as a brand, uses components from leaders in the automotive aftermarket industry. So often consumers buy a product and then have to commit thought to improving what was already sold to them. Our mission at Armageddon is to avoid having to do that altogether.
What was Armageddons role in creating “Hellanor”?
“Hellanor” was provided to us by Hyperstangs @ Rich Ford here in Albuquerque for the purposes of building a SEMA car for Garrett Turbochargers. The widebody kit, wheels and suspension were already installed allowing us to install the complete Armageddon catalog of powertrain components into the vehicle (installed and tuned at Motiva Performance). After SEMA we wanted to prove the reliability and power of the Armageddon product line so we took this car on 2,000 Mile road trip through the Southwestern United States. On the trip we stopped at 5 different dynos and put down more than 1,000 horsepower to the rear wheels at each stop. For SEMA we really cranked on the boost on this car and it laid down its best power yet at 1,439 Horsepower to the REAR WHEELS
Armageddon Components installed on Vehicle:
-Turbo System: Armageddon GTX3582R Turbo System (1500+ Horsepower Capable)
-Engine: 5.0L Ford Coyote Engine with Armageddon MPS 1500 Shortblock, Boss 302 Intake Manifold, High-Boost Valve Springs and Exhaust Camshafts
-Fuel System: Armageddon Triple-Pump Fuel System and Injector Dynamics 1300cc Fuel Injectors
-Drivetrain: Armageddon 4” Driveshaft, McLeod RXT Twin-Disc Clutch
-Methanol Injection, Boost Controller and Boost Failsafe System
Why do you prefer to use turbos instead of superchargers in your kits?
Turbochargers give you a broad range of power options. 1,000+ Horsepower is too much for a car to put down at normal speeds. Turbochargers allow you to turn the power down to a more manageable 600 horsepower and then turn it all the way up when conditions permit. Also, turbochargers produce much more efficient horsepower than Superchargers so it is a natural choice given our company mission.
Do you have any other crazy vehicles in the works?
We have a couple of vehicles currently being built, but you’ll have to wait till SEMA 2015 to see them! Our products are shipping all over the world, however and you will see Armageddon powering some crazy projects from Australia, Sweden, Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai shortly (World’s Fastest Delivery Van, Highest Horsepower Street Legal Mustang in the European Union, etc. etc. etc.)
How can people get a hold of you for info or to buy a kit?
You can contact Motiva Performance directly for Armageddon products at (505)883-8388. We’re also very engaged with social media so don’t miss us on facebook at facebook.com/motivaperformance, facebook.com/goturbo.net or on the web at www.goturbo.net.
Photography by Kori Kobayashi
Models: Kyle Crawford and Michaela Hajkova
Hair and Makeup by GoGo Mel
See Hellanor in action as professional driver, Dan Brockett (AKA ‘Officer Dan’) takes her across country to reach 5k in 5 states below
At 1200 horsepower and a top speed of 169 MPH, ABQ-Live was finally able to catch up with Trent Durham and NM’s fastest street corvette the famous DEATH VETTE
The thousands of cars built by Trent Durham all share one focus: FASTER! And there is no exception with “Death Vette,” the fastest of Durham’s builds to date. Its blazing speed and sinister look have turned heads on social media and drag strips. Durham was gratious enough to give ABQ-Live an in depth look at his monstrous creation.
A 1997 Chevrolet C5 Corvette, work on “Death Vette” began four years ago in Iowa with all modifications – except the reaperesque matte black paint job – being completed by Durham in his spare time. The eventual move to Rio Rancho, NM required re-tuning engine dynamics, in order to compensate for the lower air density at over a mile above sea level. “Death Vette’s” trademark, and Durham’s favorite characteristic, is the single custom 88mm turbo kit bulging out from under the hood. The vehicle also sports nitrous oxcide which is currently only used to spool the engine, but Durham says using it to boost top speed will happen, “someday,” as well as other modifications to maximize speed and appeal.
With 1200 horsepower and a top speed of 169 mph, Durham says the car is too fast for the highway and he prefers to cruise his neighborhood if not at the track. However, that hasn’t stopped the law from taking notice. Once, Durham was followed home by an officer, only to be bombarded by questions and enthusiasm for his creation. “Other officers pull me over once in a while just to talk about my car. It really turns heads,” Durham adds with a well earned sense of pride.
Durham doesn’t race professionally, stating, “I do not race, but I do like to see improvement in numbers.”
Well, he must of loved competing in the LSX Monster Shootout, a drag competition in which “Death Vette” hit top speed and set record times. Still, Durham wants more, “I want to add a bigger cubic engine and add another turbo to go faster.”
So far, Durham is enjoying the attention “Death Vette” has garnered across social media and says, “I would love to see the car in one of the films being shot here in New Mexico.” Such aspirations prove promising as the vehicle continues to gain a following around the web. Footage from the LSX Event and other videos of “Death Vette” action can be found via the Death Vette Facebook Page and the official YouTube channel.
Story by Daniel Cruz, ABQ-Live Staff writer
Photography by Kori Kobayashi
The vast automotive industry in Albuquerque reflects the city’s history of professional racing. Visit the Car Crafters off Montaño and you will see an example of high quality workmanship similar to that of a racing garage crew.
Behind the workstations of engineers, technicians and mechanics is business owner Jim Guthrie, a man with a strong passion for racing that led him to compete as a professional racer. Locally, his contributions to the sport and the automotive industry have been tremendous.
Guthrie developed a passion for the sport at an early age. In fact, it is hard for him to remember a time when he was not competing. Guthrie says playing with Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys was his foundation in racing. At age 5 he had a slot car and would carry it around his neighborhood to race on local yard tracks. At the age of 12 Guthrie began racing motorcycles and discovered that he could not stay off of two wheels. Guthrie says, “I remember racing my motorcycle when Tramway and Montgomery were dirt roads!” Later, he ran within the top ten in the New Mexico Trials Association and purchased the first Kawasaki GPZ550 in the state to race professionally.
When the time came for Guthrie to buy a race car, he found a Formula Ford. He left the parking lot of the hotel where he bought it and took it directly to the racetrack. Guthrie admits this was a mistake; but he did it. With U-Haul packing foam as a driver seat and a giant S on his chest that “made him invisible,” Guthrie was officially on the scene. Often, he would be up until 4 in the morning doing engine work, but that was what he had to do. The experience of racing against drivers who carried race cars in 18 wheelers with 3-4 mechanics working on their crew was very intimidating. Guthrie only had one or two buddies working with him; with the race-car on a flatbed trailer attached to his pickup truck.
As the formation of the Indy Racing League approached it was time for Guthrie to purchase a newer, faster car. However, before this was possible Guthrie had to qualify for a spot in the series—a $50,000 investment for a shot at the top. He began selling himself relentlessly as a Cinderella story to friends, family and drivers and was able to raise the money. Then at the Pueblo Motorsports Track, a place familiar to Guthrie, he ran time trials and broke a track record; he was hired on the spot.
After taking out a loan against his house to buy a faster car, Guthrie found himself competing alongside Rick Mears, Tony Stewart and a local racing legend, Al Unser, Jr. When asked about his experience Guthrie says, “Indy was do or die. When I left the pit area my foot would be shaking because after high gear you never lift on the throttle. I would have to put my right foot on top of my left just to keep it down.” Guthrie remembers race day as pure magic as half a million people watched and jets flew over the cars lined up in the pits. “The flashes of memories are hard to process, I remember going into turn one and it would disappear because of the grandstands. It looked like a dead end at 232 MPH,” recalls Guthrie.
Guthrie finally had his shining moment in 1997 when he won at the Phoenix International Speedway, beating Tony Stewart by .854 of a second, with barely enough gas to finish the race. The win arrived at a perfect time as Guthrie was $185,000 in debt, barely making the race due to car expenditures. Guthrie recalls, “I had a car with no stickers on it that was built in my garage. I had to borrow a trailer to get it there. The win was surreal, and when I came home the president of Venture Capital Group called me offering almost a million dollars. I sent him a short contract, and later the amount was transferred into my bank account.” Guthrie credits the win to his pit team, a group with great chemistry just doing what they loved for fun. The team did not earn much money, and such an achievement with a low budget car would not be accomplished in the corporate dollars of professional racing again. As Guthrie says, “Nowadays the business affiliated with Indy is pretty serious.”
The win proved timely, as next the next race was the Indianapolis 500. Before the race, Guthrie remembers being bombarded with media and cameras as he was now known for his big win in Phoenix. Guthrie, now a true ‘Cinderella story’, found himself in racing’s biggest event. Guthrie says, “At the Indy 500 some racers, such as myself, had to use the public restrooms. I changed into my racing gear while signing autographs!” Also, in describing the race Guthrie states, “There have only been about 750 drivers who have raced in the Indy 500 in its one hundred year history. This is an exclusive club I am honored to be a part of.” As the season closed Guthrie was presented with the Indy Racing League’s rookie of the year award, the top honor for young drivers on the circuit.
As time progressed Guthrie turned his focus on the racing scene in Albuquerque. He managed Sandia Speedway and helped build the dirt track and completed many renovations that are present today. Guthrie hardly ever says no to local drivers. Dan Brockett (who was featured in the last issue) is one racer who credits Guthrie for having an impact on his career by building a race car for the team and helping in sponsorships. Brockett even took Guthrie on a ride that inspired him to begin drifting professionally, prompting him to buy a Mazda V8 RX7. When asked about what it means to be a representative to the racing culture in Albuquerque, Guthrie says, “It is a big responsibility, but I dig it. I have always enjoyed teaching and being a coach, so to be able to give back to young racers is really cool.”
When asked about advice for young drivers, Guthrie says passion and perseverance are the most important: “What you lack in knowledge and experience can be made up for with these two traits. You will have a bad day racing, just like bad day fishing, but passion and perseverance will always help you to overcome and achieve.”
See Full Gallery Below
Dan Brockett is a man’s man. He likes whiskey, fast cars, and pretty women. He has also climbed his way up from humble beginnings and now competes at the top level of his sport; Formula Drift.
He still races with the famous Nissan 240SX chassis and refuses to go V8 like many of his competitors. His fame has grown exponentially, credited to the success of the YouTube video “Motorcycle vs. Car Drift 2.” Dan was featured in the short film after local legend and Indy race car driver Jim Guthrie totaled his car and suffered a neck injury in New Jersey. Alongside motorcycle veteran riders Nick “Apex” Brocha and Ernie “E-Dub” Vigil, Brocket takes on the role of Officer Dan. Brockett showcases both phenomenal drift action and great comedic skills.
Recently a wild rollover car crash proved costly, but Dan rebuilt a new car for competition. The new car was featured in the YouTube video “The Drift Apocalypse.”
What followed were more videos and publication fame, and Dan has since earned the title as Albuquerque’s most popular drifter.
Dan began drifting about 6 years ago at a drift event in Colorado with his fellow buddies Travis and CJ. Dan then decided to fully take on the sport and sold his Volkswagen Corrado and he purchased a 1989 Nissan 240SX with only 94 horsepower. Sponsorship from Emphasis Motorsports helped Dan maintain a strong ride and he has since kept this vehicle as his trademark.
As Dan begins the 2014 season he hopes to build a solid crew and a well-developed platform to showcase his skills.
Dan recognizes that it will take time to compete at the highest level of Formula Drift, but for now he hopes to win the Rookie Of The Year Award. Getting more sponsors involved for his team is another goal for Dan as the new season appears promising.
The most difficult thing that Dan deals with as a driver is the money, but Dan always pushes to make his dreams become reality. He cashed out his 401k savings account and as a privateer he seeks to find a title sponsor calling out to any organization willing to help. As the season kicks off Brockett’s fans can be sure that the team is giving 100%.
To keep up with Dan Brocket and the Formula Drift circuit visit his blog at www.danbrockettdrift.com and you can find Dan on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
Interview by Richard Sandoval
Written by Daniel Cruz