Thursday, June 12, 2014

Off The Beaten Path

Words & Snaps by Ben 

A first car always has a strong impact on a person. To most, it is a symbol of freedom, to go wherever they want, whenever they want. To motorheads, it is more than this. It is like getting brand new prosthetic limbs. It's a new extension to one's self, an expression of one's personality.

While we all wish to get Takumi's AE86, Brian O'Connor's GTR, Dom Toretto's Charger or Emmett Brown's DeLorean DMC12 as our first ride, more often than not, we end up with something much less... Interesting. Nevertheless, nothing stops a passion, and our first ride, our first project, usually chooses us more than we choose it.

While Shawn was dreaming of EK's and EG's and SIR's, his mom had other ideas in mind, and gave him this Hyundai Verna as a present. Needless to say, it was bone stock when he first laid his hands on it. At this point, the car chose him, and he was set upon making this ride an extension of himself, whatever the hurdles the Korean machine might throw his way.

And what hurdles did he get! Take a minute to sit back and think of how many modified Vernas you've seen driving about. Yeah, not many, if any at all. Yet that did not stop Shawn. It's usually in such situations that the most interesting builds happen, because where there is no aftermarket support, one has to get creative to get things done.

Shawn has taken his Verna around different modifications journey, some of the past ones involving a stripped-out setup for heavy race track use.

It was during this phase that he turned his creative eye to get more power out of the 1.6L inline 4 powerplant. As the Verna has limited aftermarket support, Shawn had no choice but to keep things simple, with an Apex'i Open Pod filter feeding air inside the combustion chamber, and a 5zigen exhaust howling out the burnt gasses.

Shawn had to get creative in his quest for power, which led him to have his engine skimmed and bored to fit Subaru TS pistons and rods.

To make sure his setup would avoid overheating he then custom-fitted a twin-fan cooling system, and threw in an HKS Turbo Timer for a safe engine shut down. He also stabilised the electric flow with an EPS power charger, with a D1 Spec Grounding Kit for good measure.

With the local laws on vehicle modifications firming up, tho, he had to tone down his setup to something that will stop getting him pulled over by the authorities, or at least less often. Stance thus became the name of his game.

This change of direction had him retask his R.Logic Coilovers from function to form, by cambering out his Enkei RPF1 wheels to -3° at the front and -5° at the rear.

Shawn's car has a strong personality, to say the least. Starting with a silver canvas, he gradually added to the looks of his Verna to the state it is in now. In his experience, the worst mod he ever did to his car is running bodykits. After repeatedly breaking some elements on unfriendly humps, he decided to do without and has only kept the aftermarket rear bumper, the lone survivor of the abuse given by a lowered ride height.

While his Verna is now mostly kit-free, Shawn enhanced the stock elements with front and side splitters, to add a touch of aggressively to the otherwise tame factory looks.

The matte black two-tone design of his car means more to Shawn than one would think, as he did the sticker wrap job himself, with his father's help.

Inside, Shawn is held snug in place by an Illest X Bride (Vios III) bucket seat, facing a Momo Drifting deep dish steering wheel.

Shawn kept the strong personality of the Verna's exterior seep to the inside, communicated through sticker bombed panels.

Aside from the cosmetic enhancements, Shawn keeps a eye on his engine's vitals through Défi Vacuum and Water Temp gauges, as well as an Apexi RSM.

Starting its journey as a "lost cause" case, with little room for modifications, this Verna has, thanks to Shawn's patience and creative eye, turned into a really unique piece of machinery.

It might not be Keisuke Takahashi's FD nor Mad Max's XB Falcon, but this Verna surely has received its fair amount of love, and has nothing to envy to all those famous cars in Shawn's heart.


’06 Verna
1,493cc inline 4 CVVT
Drive Layout

Power Mods
Apex’i open pod
Custom twin fan setup
HKS Turbo Timer
EPS Power charger
D1 Spec grounding kit

Enkei RPF1 15”
Kumho Ecsta SPT 195/45R15
Camber Setup
-3° front, -5° rear

Aftermarket rear bumper
Front and Side Splitters

Illest X Bride (Vios III)
Steering Wheel
Momo Drifting
Défi Vacuum and Water Temp
Apexi RSM

Shawn would like to thank LHB Exhaust - Aloy, Ah Lai, Ah Fatt and the rest of the LHB Family.
Eldred at 833 Motorsports, Ah Wu from Top 93, and from across the causeway: TT Motorsports, Zero Sports and HV Racing.


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