The unofficial VW Golf R appreciation day. 

Im a fan of VW and the cars they put out. From the MKI Gti, B5 and B5.5 Passat wagons, latest gen Scirocco (thanks VW for blocking the US from importing these) to the MK3 Cabrio.  I have drooled over the tuning and customization possibilities of them all.  But there is one car that hits the sweet spot and is a cult favorite…the VW R32/ Golf R.  This is a must have for me one day.  Preferably a MKIV with HPA twin turbo kit fitted to that songbird of an engine…the VR6.

This videos harmonic symphony explains why.   

Turn up ya speakas, Yo!  Listen to all that VR6 and turbo goodness. 

Now if I could only get my car to sound this good.

Below is probably my favorite YouTube video.

Thanks to blechfilm de And HG Motorsports for creating this video and putting such an amazing car together.  Hats off to you both. 

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Cars & Coffee Corona

I finally made it out to another Cars & Coffee with my son and it was a great turn out.  The California rains finally pulled back and let the sun shine thru and Corona car owners were able to bring out their garage queens and some daily drivers for people to admire. 


Not sure what platform this kit car is based off of, but it had an S2000 shift knob, Corvette mirrors, Miata gauge pod and what appears to be sitting on a Lotus wheel base.  The owner was not around when I came back by the car after snapping the other pics.wp-image-676043530jpg.jpgwp-image-1168912560jpg.jpgwp-image-1839451495jpg.jpgwp-image-178775825jpg.jpgwp-image-425738540jpg.jpgwp-image-2022639959jpg.jpgwp-image-1514458444jpg.jpgwp-image-2119499527jpg.jpgwp-image-1462950102jpg.jpgwp-image-762172459jpg.jpg

Now this is worth getting up at 7 am on a Saturday.  I was able to speak to the owner of this very rare and pristine M5 wagon.  He told me that it is 1 of 4 or 6 in the world.  BMW never put the M5 wagon into production, but they did a few prototypes.  It is a E39 wagon with a FULL…I repeat FULL M5 conversion.  Motor, suspension, wheels, exhaust, 6 speed manual as well as the seats.  He told me it is putting out over 400 hp with a 0-60 time in the low 4’s.  A true unicorn!  The owner purchased the car in 2014 and only takes it out on the occasional weekend.  He told me that the car only has a little over 3k miles on it…OMG!wp-image-2044876447jpg.jpgwp-image-407392067jpg.jpgwp-image-1887228565jpg.jpgwp-image-1210081517jpg.jpgwp-image-258613490jpg.jpgwp-image-1999154178jpg.jpgwp-image-440549478jpg.jpgwp-image-1788677618jpg.jpg

As you can see, it’s a 65 Notchback.wp-image-30588287jpg.jpgwp-image-1067411473jpg.jpgwp-image-579322600jpg.jpgwp-image-1125892130jpg.jpg

This is the Maclaren I posted the other day. As you can see it was the star of the show.  It was a little difficult to get some clear shot due to all the people crowding around.  It was a new purchase so the owner had to show it off.   One day…wp-image-1945656619jpg.jpgwp-image-1089778800jpg.jpgwp-image-483542840jpg.jpgwp-image-226176882jpg.jpgwp-image-1851346664jpg.jpgwp-image-994226406jpg.jpg

I’m glad to see that people are still attending this event here at Saleen in Corona.  I need to get out to the Cars & Coffee in Palos Verde one day.  Thats where the big boy toys are. 

Thanks for looking.

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Oh, there Tanner is…Quantum Drift

I  have given Ken Block a lot of props in my blog post over the past year and have almost forgot that he was not the first star of action motorsports to wow me.  Here is one of my all time favorite drifters turned champion rally cross racer, Tanner Foust showing us that he is just as capable and fun to watch as #Block43

Enjoy the retro theme and music…I know I did.

Thanks Rockstar for making this video.

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Audi TT Mother’s Day repair

I would like to use this post¬†to say thank you.¬† Thank you to the internet (Google) and¬†YouTube for all of the helpful information that can be found with a quick search.¬† I belong to a few automotive forums and truly appreciate all of the individuals that have gone before me and fixed or customized something…anything.¬† Whether it is a light switch, garbage disposal and especially a car. ¬†Your help has been tremendous throughout the years.¬† Enough cannot be said about these brave souls that dive in head first, cameras rolling and post up a step-by-step tutorial (with pictures), how-to and even how-not-to videos. ¬†I myself am a do-it-yourselfer and have found myself in need of some technical¬†support at times and last weekend was no exception.¬†
This past Mother‚Äôs Day Weekend, my son and I headed out last minute to buy some cards for his mom and grandma on Saturday.¬† We made a few stops here and there, checked out a¬†CLEAN black Audi A4 S-Line (my next vehicle? Hmmm). ¬†After that we returned home. ¬†My¬†wife was not back yet from running her errands, so my son and I¬†pulled into the garage and went into the house. ¬†We needed¬†to start getting ready for a surprise 70th¬†birthday celebration.¬† Before I headed upstairs to change I hear the garage open up.¬† It was the Mrs.¬† She pulled into the garage and walks in the house and immediately ask “Did you do something to your car?” Fear ran down my spine because on a number of occasions, I have tried to pull a fast one over her and do a modification whenever she left the house.¬† I had a perplexed look about me as my brain scrambled to think. ¬†Did I do something and not tell her…again? ¬†Ok, no mods…whew!¬† Rather unsure sounding, I so No and asked why did ask. ¬†She tells me that all of my brake lights are on and obviously there is no one in the car.¬† Now I am really confused.

I head out to the garage and sure enough red lights are reflecting off of the inside of the garage door.  I played around with the brake pedal, the emergency brake.  Opened up the garage and started the car, shut it off.  Enabled and disabled the alarm and nothing was working.  Crap!  Of all the days for this to happen.  We needed to leave soon for the surprise party and tomorrow was Mothers Day.  It would be hard to have a part ordered and shipped on Sunday.  With quick thinking, I pulled the brake light fuse and let my little TT sit there dormant until I can do some research and figure out what was wrong. 

With my trusty phone, I was able to do a quick search before we left the house and discovered that a faulty brake light switch could be the culprit…if I was lucky. ¬†Older VW’s and Audi’s are notorious for electrical problems and after dealing with my daughters 2001 Beetle, I was really concerned. ¬†Later that night I hit the internet forums, YouTube and read more articles from people who shared the same issue over the years and how expensive it would be for the dealer to replace¬†a $5 part. ¬†Luckily it turns out to be and easy fix, I was just hoping that I could find the part on a Sunday.

The good thing about owning an older Audi is that the local auto parts store may have the part. ¬†The bad is that it’s a German car and may need to order the part. ¬†After some searching, I was able to find a replacement part for $4.95 ¬†at O’Reilly. ¬†Lucky for me they have late weekend business hours. ¬†After spending the day with my mom I headed to the parts store and I was able to buy the LAST one they had in stock. ¬†Here are some pics of the 20-minute repair job.

Had to pull the lower dash off. ¬†Yes the panel under the steering wheel. ¬†Check out the seats side bolsters that hold me in place when taking freeway on ramps¬†ūüôā


This is what it looks like under your dash right above your pedals.  That little purple thing on the lower right is the switch.


You can see here, the old part and the replacement part side by side.  The green one is the new replacement part.


A simple twist and click.  Plug the electrical clip back in, replace the fuse and voila!  

Now the kicker is that when I pulled the original switch out and put it back in to test it, the brake lights functioned perfectly.  SMH.  Replaced it anyway with the new part so I wont have to worry.

Again thank you Google, YouTube and the VWVortex forum.  You have saved me $100 in labor.  Now what to do with that $100? Hehe.

Perks Garage

Audi appreciation day


I saw this and had to show it to my audience.¬† The artwork is fresh, and I love how the photographer took this shot.¬† I am a fan of Audi A3’s in general, and this particular Euro Sportback is worthy of some praise.¬† Its just too bad the US does not have this model…yet.¬† To the builder of this A3 and to Audi, I say job well done.¬† Well done indeed!

M. Perkins

May 4th

Well today is a special day. ¬†Not because it is Star Wars May the Forth be with You day, but for another reason. ¬†This date always reminds me of my little racing co-driver, die-hard rider, my road dog, my little ‚Äúegger-on‚ÄĚ. ¬†Every automotive or motorcycle enthusiast, street racer, or even a mechanic that is a father has thought (and hoped) that one day their little gremlins will grow up to be like them. ¬†Along that road of parenting and teaching them right from wrong, you experience the things that shape their future and begin to accumulate memories. Memories that make you smile, make you cry and thinking back on them, they even make you burst out laughing uncontrollably at what may have been the most frustrating time ever in my life. ¬†These memories pop up throughout the years at family gatherings, graduations and in random ‚Äúremember when‚ÄĚ conversations.¬† Now that today is May 4th, I want to share a few of these special memories with you‚Ķenjoy! ¬†

Now as far back as I can recall, she was always excited to know I would be the one picking her up from school. ¬†Every so often, she reminds me of how she loved to hear the obnoxiously loud exhaust of my 94 Honda Civic rumble as I came speeding down the street playing some loud hip hop joint.¬† My car was fairly low and looked as though it was hovering at times and I loved it, and as little as she was, she loved it just as much.¬† As she got older, she would be my racing buddy and sit in the passenger seat of my Honda Accord.¬† She would fantasize that she was driving in her dream car‚Ķthe Lexus IS300. ¬†Now when this car came out, we would both drool when we saw one.¬† I was particularly fond of the IS in that eye-popping Auburn Sky Pearl¬†exterior color, the black Alcantara seats and the 5 speed with that polished round shift knob.¬† Yeah, that was the one for me!¬† This was Lexus‚Äô attempt at stepping up their game and going after the ‚Äúyoung executive‚ÄĚ market, a new territory for them at that time.¬† They were trying to shake that grandpa persona that they were known for.¬† The IS was a small, sporty 4 door.¬† It had a pretty plush interior and a low price point.¬† Nowadays, the streets of SoCal are flooded with the newly redesigned and refined IS 250s and 350s and the aggressively designed F Sport package, but ‚Äúwhere‚Äôs the all-new IS-F Lexus‚ĶI‚Äôm waiting?!‚ÄĚ ¬†

Ok, now back to the story.¬† My young co-pilot wanted this car and at times pretended that she was piloting this vehicle and racing me down the freeway whenever we went for a drive.. You should have seen her little feet working those imaginary gas and clutch pedals. ¬†One hand gripping the invisible steering wheel and the other shifting gears. ¬†On a¬†rare¬†occasion or two or three or four times, where we were actually, kinda, somewhat, partially involved in a freeway Fast and Furious showdown with some other Paul Walker wannabe, this too-short-to-reach-the-pedals instigator would get excited.¬† She would shout out, ‚ÄúThey are flashing their hazards.¬† Doesn‚Äôt that mean they want to race?¬† Let‚Äôs get‚Äôem!‚Ä̬† Whats a father supposed to do?¬† You can‚Äôt let your kids down.¬† LOL.¬† As the years passed and her 16th birthday was upon us, it was the time that all parents dread‚Ķdriving lessons.¬† Now my wife, she has no patience for this and I don‚Äôt blame her.¬† I stepped up to do the teaching and in a stick shift, no doubt.¬† The words ‚ÄúOh Boy!¬† This should be interesting,‚ÄĚ were uttered a few times. ¬†Looking back, I wished we had recorded this, as it was the most frustrating, painstaking, terrorizing time of our lives… and that was just starting the car. ¬†

Now the car to be used for these driving lessons was my car at the time, my customized 2005 Acura TL.  SIKTL 2005 Acura TL 5925356 This car was the most expensive car I had bought and, as usual, I dumped money into it right away: wheels, exhaust, expensive body kit, short shifter, and custom headlights.  This car was a beast, a suit-and-tie kinda beast, with its black factory leather Recaro-like seats and Brembo brakes.  I really miss that car. 

Since our now 16-year old co-pilot was now ready to start terrorizing the streets, we started off with a few lessons.¬† ‚ÄúNow ease off the clutch and listen to the exhaust tone as it changes when you apply the gas. SLOWLY!¬† Feel the car.‚Ä̬† I believe that having a throaty exhaust helps people learn how to drive a stick because you can hear how much throttle you are inputting.¬† A little trick I use on the wife as well.¬† ‚ÄúBabe, I need to put an exhaust on the car so I can teach our kids how to drive a stick shift.ūüėČ‚Ä̬† I guess after she reads this, I will not only be banned from the dealerships, but the muffler shops as well.¬†

So after a few burnouts lessons in the TL, we went back to practicing in an automatic and let the driving instructor do his job.¬† ¬†Later that year I traded in the TL for a 2008 United Gray VW Rabbit. I named it ‚ÄúMr. Jack Rabbit‚ÄĚ.¬† It was a lowered two-door 5-speed, with a Magnaflow exhaust, cold air intake, short-shifter and 18 inch wheels.¬† Why?¬† Because I‚Äôm a tuner and this is what I doūüėä.¬† This was my baby after I traded in the TL and also my intro to German cars.¬†

With a few lessons down, my teenage co-pilot finally driving an automatic comfortably, it was time for a refresher on driving a stick shift.¬† So, as it goes with teenagers and hormones, they have NO PATIENCE!!!¬† It‚Äôs amazing how much we had this little Jack Rabbit bucking like a bronco auditioning for the rodeo.¬† I mean, what happened to what she learned just a few months ago?¬† And what happened to all the fun we had? The smiles? The laughter?¬† How did we get 100 feet from the house just for her to give up, pound the steering wheel, throw a fit, jump out of the car and walk home? ¬†How did I get left alone, strapped in the passenger seat of my own car in the middle of the street with the driver‚Äôs door wide open?¬† WHUUUUUUUUUUT?! ¬†¬†I mean what happened to my little enthusiast? Where was that persistency and that ‚Äúcan-do attitude‚ÄĚ she had through the first few lessons in the TL?¬† Kids!¬†

I sat there perplexed. You have to be kidding me! ¬†We made it this far only to have a temper tantrum in the middle of the street. ¬†Talk about grumpy! ¬†After that unfortunate incident, the garage was now closed.¬† I retired and left the driving lessons to the professionals. ¬†She got her driver‚Äôs license, and as it goes with most kids, you can‚Äôt tell ‚Äėem anything after that. ¬†

Fast forward a few years, I get a random phone call from my daughter. ‚ÄúThank you for teaching me how to drive a stick.¬† There was a co-worker that was very sick today and I had to drive her car to take her home.¬† No one in the office knew how to drive a stick except for the two of us.¬† The guys were all looking around the office confused, so I jumped behind the wheel.¬† All the guys were saying, ‘you‚Äôre going to stall. ¬†You won‚Äôt get out of first gear.’ Hahaha.¬† I showed them.¬† Started it up, threw it in first and eased off the clutch and we were off‚ĶHA!‚Ä̬†

This was probably the proudest dad moment she has given me to date.¬† Of course, we always laugh about the temper tantrum incident, but apparently she did learn something from me.¬† ¬†So on this day, May 4th, I just want to say‚ĶHAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY ASHLEY!¬† I LOVE YOU! ¬†Now if she can just slow down that Mustang!¬† Darn Kids! ūüėČ

Going Topless

Here is where I stand or shall I say sit today. 2002 Audi TT Quattro 225 6-speed 3 pedal…oh yeah!. I was sitting at work looking thru our companies internal car buying service on a Friday when this I came across the ad for this little TT. ¬†It was not the baseball leather edition, but it still caught my eye. That Sunday after church, my wife asked what were my plans for the rest of the day and I thought this was the invite for a honey-do list day. ¬†I told her, “going to check out a car.” I anticipated the usual WTH glare she gives whenever I mentioned the C- word. To my surprise she asked if¬†she could go with me. Whuuuuuuuut? Happy dance, happpy dance! ¬†Wait, what did you do with my wife? ¬†I took this rare opportunity and ran with it. ¬†So we headed down to northern OC, but just to look at it because my mind was already made up about this CLEEEEAN¬†Blue Graphite Pearl¬†B6 Passat – Wolfsburg Edition…euro💓. In my mind I. already had this thing¬†bagged on Accuair,¬†tucking something 3 piece and polished at all four corners with an APR tune and custom 3″ Magnaflow turbo back exhaust. I was trying to negotiate a lower price on the Passat that week when I decided to go take a look at the TT.

The TT was stock, but super clean with low miles for being such an old seasoned car. Garage kept and pretty well taken care of except for the slight rear bumper ding from either a backing incident or someone not respecting the sexy backside of the little Audi. ¬†I always had a thing for roadsters, S2k’s, Miata’s especially, but the TT…who doesn’t want to pull the top down and show off their TTs¬†;). I told myself “just leave it stock and save the mods for Bubba (my NA BRG Miata I was building)”, but Self said…”SCREW THAT!” and you just can’t argue with Self…that’s just crazy talk. ¬†Well I got a big beautiful smile from the Mrs when I put the top down to check it out. ¬†The price was right, so the deal was done and the date night car was bought.

Now here she is, sitting low and fitted with a staggered set of Privat Cup wheels – 18×8.5f and18x9.5r. ¬†Rubber comes in the form of¬†Sumitomo’s measuring 215/40 up¬†front and 225/40 out back, giving just¬†the right amount of stretch. ¬†These german vehicles have crazy factory hub spacing¬†and¬†fitting aftermarket wheels can be a challenge so the addition spacers is very necessary without custom built wheels. ¬†I picked up some 12mm and 15mm spacers help the TT achieve just¬†the right amount of¬†pokage so that I can be “culturally” accepted. ¬†The gravitational pull is courtesy of German built ST coilovers. The saying goes, “if you ain’t rubbin, you ain’t dubbin!” ¬†That too can be said for Audi’s as well.¬†No performance upgrades…yet. ¬†Right now its simple and clean!
Photo by M Perkins

Intro to the Past

Welcome to Perks Garage! This blog will be used to discuss my passion for all things automotive. I will share¬†my views, opinion and perspectives on cars, tuning, specs and events that I attend throughout the year, and yes there¬†will be¬†pics as well.¬†¬†Now I admit that I am not the greatest photog, but in my head I am just as good as a¬†Marcel Bischler or a Jeremy Cliff, look them up if you don’t already know. ¬†I¬†will be¬†interviewing other enthusiast and showcasing builds along the way.
Now that we got that¬†out of the way, let me start by introducing myself. I’m Mike and have been in love with cars since I was about 10, which was a looooong time ago. I am not afraid to work on my own cars, from regular maintenance and stereos to installing custom suspension and body kits. ¬†My first memory of driving was in my sisters Honda Civic when I was about 12 or so. ¬†At that moment I was in love and knew driving would be my sanctuary. ¬†My first automotive love was the 88 Honda CRX SI. ¬†When most boys were drooling over their dads dirty¬†mags, I had the Honda car brochure spread eagle on my bedroom wall with the CRX centerfold enticing my dreams. ¬†I would rush home and thumb thru the brochure everyday, going between the CRX and the Prelude. ¬†It was torture since driving a car was years away…legally that is, and owning¬†one was even further. ¬†In my years, I have owned a number of vehicles and I have modified every last one of them with the exception for my 85¬†CRX (funny story about that one). Needless to say my ¬†hobby drove¬†drives my wife crazy, as I am sure it would most wives. ¬†In the last 2 years, I tried to convince my wife that owning 5 vehs for 2 drivers with a¬†2.5 car garage was a great idea. ¬†With that, I am now banned from buying another car for quite some time now ūüôā ¬†I’ve gone from Tercels with big wheels to slammed Accords. ¬†From RonJon kitted TL’s to stretched and poked Quattro TT’s. ¬†In the words of the great philosopher of this new generation imported direct from Canada “Started from the bottom, now we here!” – Drake 2014 ¬†lol

Now with that brief intro, I give you Perks Garage!

Welcome and enjoy the ride.