Hi, I’m Marty and I’m the founder and owner of Freshfix. It’s not unknown between my friends and family that I change my cars more than my boxers! Writing this post makes me realize that they may be right about that. Let’s go back to 2007 when I had just turned 17 and passed my driving test and it was time to buy my first car. I had spent years dreaming of my first car being a Jap import or something fast. I was lucky enough to have friends who were older than me and would own these very cars – I just wanted my own. Well, lets just say that didn’t really go to plan. To cut a long story short I was roped into buying a 2003 Ford Fiesta 1.4 TDCI….even typing this has sent shivers down my spine.
That car lasted 3 days, yes 3 days! I absolutely hated it and went straight to the bank and took out a €4,000 loan to go get a car I really wanted, or thought I wanted! A close friend was selling his Glanza non-turbo, but for me it was still €2,500 for insurance. You can see the only picture I have above, I loved the car, it was clean, loud and I felt like one of the LADZ, that was until one morning before school I used the remote start to warm it up before getting out of bed. A massive bang followed by the alarm going off which revealed the car was left in gear the night before and had crashed into the front of the house! I had to replace the bonnet and front bumper and got a massive bollocking off my folks!
At a time when the scene was massive and if it wasn’t a SIR or Type R, well people just didn’t think it was cool or good enough. I always liked the Honda Ek Civic but sadly couldn’t afford a SIR or TYPE R and never mind the insurance. The closest I could get was the 1.5 engined EK3 – a fresh import too! This was the first car I spent a crazy about of money on changing it around and trying to get it up to the EK9 standard without actually changing the engine. I had it for about a year and a half and sold it on to a guy who eventually stuck the Type R heart into it. I came across it recently on the Honda Page on facebook before a track day only to be told it was written off on the way to the track day.
Que the sticker bomb era and yes I did go with it. I picked up my first car with VVTI. This was a fun car with the two stages but trying to feed this car the petrol it required was tough so it didn’t hang around too long.
One of my favorite cars to date was my Mk4 TDi which was remapped and produced roughly 300Ft-lbs of torque, it did everything I needed at the time and had the heated leather Recaro’s from the Anniversary model. I used to contact the guy I sold it to from time to time, asking to buy it back but he never would sell it! When I sold my Mk5 golf in 2016 the buyer actually owned this car and he still wouldn’t sell it!!
This is one of my spur of the moment ‘lets buy this’ cars. It was a 1.6D with a k24 turbo strapped onto it. It ran like a pig but was funny and just turned heads. Again I didn’t keep it for too long. Check out this video of it on the dyno! SMOKE AHOY!
My first ever RWD car and the car which caused me to capture that dam track day virus! I bought this while in college for €5750 I think from Darren Mc Namara (Dmac) in Cork. it had no interior whatsoever and a roll cage and was in good need of some TLC in the engine bay and interior. The good thing about the Ae85 at the time was I could get it under classic insurance. We agreed to do the deal based on the fact it would go through the NCT. Months passed and I had finally got the text to say the car was ready for collection. I didn’t spend much on making it look pretty more just drove it and even learned how to do a few skids with the help of the Dealtwidth crew.
I used this car while in college along with the Ae86. This was the sensible car for roughly two years and brought me around Ireland meeting people while doing work for FreshFix. Nothing fancy at all with this car, a set of JOM coilovers and fake BBS wheels. This ended up getting stolen from the new owner only weeks after getting it from me.
At the point, I started working in the motor trade and had some spare cash built up. I would never have dreamed of owning a French car but this grabbed my attention and was extremely fun to drive. It has really short ratios and stuck to the road like glue. It was so much fun I went left out the gate to Mondello one morning instead of work and just called in sick. It was strange showing up to the track day in a suit and tie.
I loved these so much I bought two! Well, one came up in the trade for very cheap so I couldn’t say no. I later sold both of them to recoup some cash as the Motorsport bug had bitten.
Talk about drinking fuel! My Evo 7 was the first proper performance car. It was remapped to 350bhp and was mighty fun to slide around in the wet. I still see this around coming home from work.
I saw this online for sale and called the insurance to see what the story was. I was able to get insured and bought it that day. The guy actually selling it worked in the same motor group as me funnily enough. This was a mega car and my first real bite at the V-Tec cherry, it ended up going to Spain in the end.
I caught the Motorsport bug and found myself competing in the Mondello Park Fiesta championship in 2015, I bought this car ready to race and spent little or nothing on it all year. I would go on to learn the in’s and out’s of Motorsport pretty quickly but also take home the rookie championship. It was also the start of a serious Motorsport addiction!
Still working in the motor trade at this point I needed something with power but also not drawing too much attention from the po-po. It was a nice car but too many things rattled and bugged me with it. Still, wouldn’t stop me owning one again. The guy who bought this off me owned my Mk4 still.
It was like going back in time with the Ek3. This time I built it from the ground up myself to compete in the Future Classic Racing Series. I had a good start to the season in 2016 but ended up with only doing 5 out of the 10 rounds. I sold this to the guys at Trackdays.ie and bought ……
Yup, another civic but this time with a bit more bhp. This came up after my good friend David Cassidy was borrowing it to finish off his ITCC season. A lot went on with the car so to save me typing it all out you can visit the VLOG to see what went on. I still own this car.
I traveled to Cork twice for this car, I also had IDC driver Mike Fitz check the car out for me before I made the trip down – goes to show how much people will go out of the way to help you – Thanks, Mike! I first went down and agreed on a price, I was left standing at the petrol station with no response or anything from the seller after he had to go “home” for the logbook. Long story short a friend had to buy the car for me. I got a towbar fitted and this brings me and my race car everywhere, it’s also good to sleep two people, the perfect all-rounder in my eyes. I still own this car and decided that when it breaks down majorly I will change it….its just clocked 178k miles and still no signs of that going to happen.
Believe it or not, I left out a good few cars that were more of a run about than something I truly enjoyed….
See you next week doc for the next session?
There’s an absolute ton of new cars launching in 2017, the majority aren’t ones we’re even remotely interested in unfortunately but amongst the plethora of boring euroboxes and softroaders there are a handful that we can’t wait to see in the metal – or carbon as the case may be.
So let’s cut right to it – In no particular order:
Ford Focus RS500
If the current Focus RS is anything to go by the RS500 is set to be an absolute cracker. It certainly looks the part anyway. Power should be up from the RS’s 345bhp and weight should be down with a more stripped out interior. Production numbers will be extremely limited if past versions are anything to go on
By summer 2017 the Alpine name will be back in Renault showrooms after a 20 year break. The Alpine will apparently feature a mid-mounted 4 pot turbo driving the rear wheels. It will have about 250bhp and weigh in at around 1100kg’s making it extremely light by modern standards. Competitors are likely to be the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa 4c, so it’ll need to be really good if it has any chance of success!
This is a bit of a curveball as the vast majority won’t have a clue what this car is at all as it’s a one-off drift car being built by local man Darren Mcnamara. From what I can gather it’s kind of an homage to one of my favorite cars ever – the Audi S1 Sport Quattro which dominated rallying in the group B era.
The Shell is a long wheel base ur Quattro which has been converted to rear wheel drive. It has a 2.7 litre, 5 cylinder turbo motor, 6 speed sequential box and loads of custom fabrication to make the thing work properly as a drift car. So the car should look and sound more or less like the old school rally cars and I for one can’t wait to see it finished!
Toyota Supra / BMW Z5
Ok so this is possibly going to be the biggest let-down in terms of concept vs reality as the F1 concept Toyota released was simply spectacular.
However, the reality will still be a new front engined, rear drive sports car so whatever it ends up looking like we’re going to be pretty happy to be honest. The platform is being shared with BMW and the Z5 will replace the Z4. The BMW version is rumored to be a drop-top and the Toyota a hard top coupe body style. You’d have to expect a straight 6 to be on the cards as well with the BMW tie up.
Another car you can’t buy but F1 in 2017 has finally taken a step in the right direction, in terms of visual appearance if nothing else. Year after year F1 cars have got uglier and uglier due to regulation changes that only consider function over form. To be honest they still don’t look great but the new fat rear tyres and wide, low rear wings are a huge improvement. Now if they can just make the racing exciting enough so that I can stay awake through a full race we’ll be laughing!
It’s a cold Sunday afternoon in December, I’m three hours from home, incredibly hungover and standing in the middle of an abandoned Industrial Estate. I say estate, but this is nothing more than a road to nowhere – All in all a fairly a fairly depressing scenario! But then I hear a familiar rumble in the distance. The unmistakable sound of an SR20DET which would warm any petrolheads heart – All of a sudden the mood lifts as the Nissan S14 comes towards us!
When the global phenomena that is Drifting hit Ireland in the early noughties, the initial thought was that the ideal weapon of choice would be the E30 BMW or the Ford Sierra, and that’s exactly what ruled Rosegreen. But then, as if through a grand awakening, the Irish discovered Japanese goodies like a caveman finding Fire. With the Celtic Tiger in full swing, JDM metal became ten a penny on our roads. But in hindsight, now that we’ve come through a veritable famine of nice cars, it’s right now that we’re really starting to see the cream of the crop when it comes to Irish builds. In this case, it’s Andy Harkin of Zero7Four who masterminded this build originally before passing it onto its current owner.
Finished in Gloss Black, this Kouki S14 Silvia just screams for attention but in a very stealthy fashion. Quickly walking around the car, there’s soo many touches here and there that require a second or third inspection before you notice them. The widened hips, here a set of 50mm overfenders, seem almost natural, only given away by the recessed petrol cap.
The bodywork is polished to the last and the distinct shimmer comes through the paintwork all over including the aggressive Vertex body kit, encompassing the front and rear bumpers mated with a pair of Bomex skirts to give an incredibly sharp look. Vented wings upfront add to the widened style, while rolled arches help to accommodate the wheels. A DMax roof spoiler and Kouki spoiler really add to the overall look
The wheels are 18 Inch 5Zeigen RS1’s, 10J all round, and they really fill the arches with ease. Hidden behind the bronze alloys lie a set of golden Brembo brakes, the fronts coming from a 350Z, while the rears remain Silvia standard issue.
Step inside and it’s a feast of JDM goodies, although the hydraulic handbrake immediately grabs your attention. Elsewhere, a Blitz turbo timer sits neatly on the side of the centre console, while Apexi dials adorn both the dash and pillar. As a bit of a Jap nerd, I’m utterly fascinated by the wonderful checkerboard mats. The driver is well looked after with a deep dish OMP steering wheel and the pair of Recaro Confetti SR2’s make this quite a nice place for a drive.
Under the bonnet is where the fun and games really start. Although visibly underwhelming, it’s almost used as a distraction to steer you away from the list of mods that runs nearly the length of my arm. Sitting at the heart is the venerable Black-Top SR20. Forced induction is taken care of through a Garrett T28 turbocharger, mated to a menacing front mount Intercooler poking through the front bumper. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an Exedy clutch and lightened ACT flywheel, while a Horeshams Stage 2 Tune keeps everything happy and suitable for day to day driving.
That distinctive rumble, the almost quintessential sound of the emergence in the early 00’s of Drifting and JDM culture, is broadcast for all to hear through a stainless 4 branch manifold running into a stainless HKS HI Power exhaust system.
On the move, the Apexi Coilovers, which help give the Silvia its distinctive aggressive stance, really come into their own. Riding almost flat, the Koukimonster glides effortlessly around our location, although the smooth ride is definitely noted buy its relaxed owner, something generally at odds with the perceived backbreaking nature of something running this low.
All in all, this car just screams ‘Look At Me’, but exudes a sense of ‘I’d take you mate’. Its that threatening beauty that makes this such a special Silvia. As the turbo spools up and it heads for home, all I can do is smile. That was one hell of a cool Nissan S14!
Full Spec List
- Front mount Intercooler
- Alloy rad
- K&N Cone filter
- GTR Fuel Pump
- S15 T28 Ball Bearing Turbo
- 4 branch tubular manifold
- Horshams dev stage 2
- Exedy 3 puk clutch
- Lightweight ACT Flywheel
- Stainless turbo elbow and downpipe & decat
- HKS HI Power silent exhaust
- Kazz 2way Diff
- Front and Rear Strut Braces
- 350z front Brembo brakes
- Adjustable arms
- Apexi Gen 2 coilovers
- Tinted S14a Headlights
- Kouki rear lights
- Full vertex kit
- Bomex side skirts
- Genuine Kouki spoiler with custom lip
- Custom front splitter (not installed for pictures)
- Front Bumper quick release
- 50mm Rear quarters 30mm Vented wings
- Dmax roof spoiler
- Jap pressed plates
- 5Zigen RS1 wheels 18×10 et 25.
- 20mm and 25mm spacers
- Dewipered rear
- Manual Boost Controller
- K-Sport Hydro
- Recaro Confettis SR2
- OMP Suede Wheel
- Trust gearknob
- Blitz turbo timer
- Blitz boost gauge in Greddy mount
- JDM Checkered Mats
By way of an introduction and rather than telling you how I enjoy reading and long walks in the country or whatever else people put in bio’s I though i’d just post up my car history. If you’re a died-in-the-wool car guy you’ll probably get a much better idea of who I am that way anyway!
Like a lot of petrolheads of meager means my car history is interspersed with some gems is but largely made up of cheap, mediocre turds – usually a necessity whilst waiting to buy the next cool thing… or while paying the price of the last cool thing!
998 Austin Mini (field car)
My first ever car, bought from the scrap yard for £50. Bolted on a loud exhaust and blasted round the field behind my house all summer. Despite 10 acres to play with I Still managed to crash it into the wall of the field!
998 Austin Mini
My first road car. It only cost £350 and looked like it only cost £350 too! Still I thought it was the best thing ever. It got some 10” minilite alloys and straight-through exhaust
Ford Escort Diesel estate
1.8 Non turbo – possibly the slowest thing I’ve driven!
1 litre. Second slowest car I’ve driven, but First car that would do over 100mph! Only downhill though
1300 Austin Mini
This thing was my first modified car. It had wide arches, 13” revolutions, adjustable camber arms and rear trailing arms, Full Janspeed exhaust and alloy inlet manifold. I ported & polished the head myself which worked really well except for the fact that it used to chew through head gaskets. Must have changed it at least 10 times – learned loads with this car.
Peugeot 205 gti 1.9
Loved the way this car looked but was disappointed in every other way. It was rattly, flimsy, not that quick and it didn’t even sound that good. Still thought I was the dogs danglies driving it round at 19 or 20 or whatever age I was at the time
Ford Escort Saloon
Blew up on the way home from the dealer – no oil. Got my money back and bought the Rover
Proper old mans car but actually had decent performance
First bike, little 2 stroke screamer. Great fun. Smokey as F**k
One of the best looking bikes out there. Single sided swing arm, proper race replica. Sounded awesome too and was properly quick compared to all the cars I’d owned to date. Sadly the VFR got knicked and that was the end of my biking career.
Audi S2 Quattro Avant
This has to be one of my favourite cars I’ve owned. The S2 is the quick version of the Audi 80. It has 4 wheel drive and the awesome 2.2 litre 5 cylinder Turbo motor out of the original ur Quattro. Mine was remapped to about 280bhp and lowered. It was really quick and sounded incredible! Wish I’d kept it, they’re worth a fortune now!
Mk 4 Golf
Used more oil than petrol.
Deadly car. Bog standard 1.6 diesel, non turbo. Never have I had so many people offer to buy a car off me as this Jetta
Audi A4 Avant
Remapped 1.8 turbo, had this one for quite a while. Quick enough not to be too boring a very practical
Nice, modern, but ultimately Forgettable
Westfield Hayabusa Turbo
Insane. Quickest thing I’ve driven. 350bhp at the wheels and a shade under 500kg’s Started life as my daily driver with a 1.8 Ford Zetec motor which I rebuilt with Dunnell stage 2 head, cams and twin Weber 45’s. Did a few track days and hillclimbs and gradually ended up as a track-only car with the bike engine conversion, 10” slicks and no windscreen, roof or doors
Standard mk1 road car. Should have hung on to this one
Davrian Solo Stiletto
This is a race car from the 70’s/80’s modsports/silhouette era. It was based on the Hilman Imp/Sunbeam Stiletto but had a fibreglass and aluminium honeycomb monocoque built by Davrian cars. Rear engine and super light weight at 450kg’s!
BMW E39 525
Meh. Nice engine
Peugeot 206 GTI
Big engine, 180bhp, small car, great seats. Shite everything else
2 litre tdi bluemotion with the DSG box – you couldn’t find a more perfect family wagon.
EK Civic Race Car
Current Trackdays.ie Hire car. Loud. loads of grip. Great car to learn in. Good craic!
I know everyone is on Youtube nowadays but I just wanted to let you guys know Freshfix are too! Not everything I do will be uploaded to the site so if you do want to keep updated you can subscribe to the channel here . If you are on youtube or have your own personal channel comment below so we can check it out and subscribe.
The channel is a bit like a homemade soup…there is a bit of everything in it. I used the youtube page as a personal page along with using it while I ran the JustForFun motorsport page .
Here are some of the most popular videos on the channel to date.
1.John Mc Govern ITCC EP3 Civic
2.Motorsport is BullShit
3. Car Blows Up In Mondello
4. Hitting Vtec! ( Forgot to put lock the bonnet pins )
5.Bumps & Bangs
If I had a euro for every time someone asked me about buying a go pro or similar camera I would be a millionaire. The market is flooded with all types ranging from €50-€350 euro. I’ve owned a few at this point over the last few years and at present I find myself with a Go-Pro hero 3+ and Hero Session 5 which I use for every video we do. I also had the contour +2 roam for a few years but found myself going back to the go pro all the time.
The main question is to ask yourself why do I want to buy a camera and what will I use it for. The truth is these cameras are not just for recording your track days but are also very handy for holidays and taken photos, so consider that when looking into them. People would often get caught up in the megapixels and it does this and that. For me, these are some of the main things to look out of when buying an action camera.
1. How wide does the lens shoot? – This is important because I use it in-car a lot. Some cameras cannot shoot as wide as others. An example of this is go pros super wide which is impressive. Again depending on what you are going to be using the camera for this doesn’t matter.
2.Does it have a screen? – Some top end cameras now come with a screen or the adaptor to add one in but the majority of actions cameras don’t have a screen. Chances are that if the lens is very wide your going to catch the shot you need.Having the screen just ensures you are getting exactly what you expect,
3. The shooting quality of the camera? – I could safely say that 8/10 people who have an action camera don’t upload it to Youtube or make a video from it. Most probably don’t even take it off the memory card after an event. Some cameras shoot 4k which is all well and good if you are shooting the next big blockbuster but 720p or 1080p is more than enough for Youtube or online. Remember the higher the quality the longer it takes the edit and process afterward.
4.Frames per second – Fps is what you can normally see in the description of any given action camera. Why does this matter if its video? Well, let’s say you would like to shoot a slo-mo shot. You can get that shot to really slow down if shooting at 120fps compared to 30fps. It’s also good if you are trying to capture an action photo. The go-pro is able to take a burst of photos and you are simply able to delete them until to get the best one.
5.Does it have an app?- Again the majority of new action cameras have an app which allows you to use your phone and a preview screen and adjust settings etc. This is also useful for looking back on images and videos and downloading them to your phone through the Bluetooth or wifi.
6.Ease of use?– I know this may sound silly but make sure the camera is easy to use. A lot of people are afraid to use a go pro because they don’t know how, Sure there are only two fecking buttons on the thing. The contour, for example, has a simple button to slide one way for on and the other for off. It’s pretty straight forward.
7. Can I buy a cheap knock off camera from eBay? – yeah sure fire ahead! The only issue I have with these are they don’t always record.When you come back from an event or race after something amazing has happened to realize DAM! The camera crashed or fudged up! These cameras go for roughly €50 euro on eBay and amazon. Spend that bit more and get a better-known brand like Sony,Garmin,Go-pro or Contour.
8. Memory Cards – At the end of the day this is what records all your video and information. If you slack out on buying a good card the chances are it won’t record the footage correctly. Along with getting a good brand of memory card, think of the size aswell. The bigger the GB of the card the more it can hold for you.
Bear all this in mind next time you want to buy an action camera. If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact us on our facebook page or email us at Hello@freshfix.ie