That is a mean looking R8 you’ve got there, Brian! How did you come across this Audi?
Well, when I found out I was going to leave Hawaii and move to Abu Dhabi I started thinking about what car I would like to have. I narrowed my choices down to the Porsche 911 Turbo (997), Audi R8, and Ferrari F430. I drove to a showroom in Dubai to look at this 911 I had my eye on but it sold just before I got there and the F430 didn’t look like it was treated with love. So, I went to the showroom next door and that’s where I saw this R8.
I was pleased to see that it already had an ABT kit on it since I love modified cars and it was well maintained too and just needed some minor upgrades which I already started visualising in my mind. I bought it and went to work on it.
What was the first upgrade you made?
I added a KW3 suspension which made a world of difference. It now handles like a champ and hugs the road real tight.
Then the next little detail was changing the colour to matte black. The guys at Gulf Foil took care of that and did a fine job too. They also gave me that awesome Resin Skull shift knob that complements the car very well.
Then I put some classy wheels on it. My friend at Avant Grande hooked me up with a set of Neochrome F441 wheels but the Neochrome didn’t play well so the lip was changed to candy apple red.
With the exterior looking mean I started to make it sound the same way; PP-Performance added a Frequency Intelligent Exhaust, Carbonio Air Intake and completed it all with a Stage 1 tune so the V8 makes 500 horses.
Lastly, Braum Racing got me these Elite Series Racing Seats along with the five-point racing harness. The only way to make this work though was if I had a custom-built roll cage which Elite Autosport built for me and they also trimmed the engine bay with carbon fibre panels which came out very nice.
It certainly stands out now — what’s left to do?
I would love to add a supercharger to really improve the performance but I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon.
I must say I am really happy with the way it looks and the way it performs. The best thing about my R8 is its aggressive looks and the fact that it doesn’t mind getting down and dirty!
This is one of the only supercars that you can drive daily — and I do — and not have any real major issues.
I like showing it off more than racing it on the track so cruising around all of the tourist spots and letting everyone have a good look and take some photos of it gets me all excited! They always come up and compliment me on how nice it looks. It’s very satisfying to see the joy it brings to people’s faces.
Your family and friends weren’t surprised by your choice of car were they…
Not one bit! Everyone knows I’m a gearhead so they knew I would build something like this. They love tagging along and showing up to places in style!
I got my passion for cars from my father. He served in the military and we lived all over the world. He would take me to car shows and racing events all the time and when I got older the tuning scene was becoming very popular. I started doing little modifications to my cars (my first car was a 1993 Corvette!) and going to weekly night meets where I’ve met plenty of lifelong friends.
As a side hobby I became an automotive photographer. This was very exciting since I made a lot of connections with several car companies and started shooting events such as Formula Drift, Formula E and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. On their free time the drivers would take me out in their cars and give some racing pointers.
Just being around the culture, doing the experiences, and meeting friends has kept my passion burning strong.
That’s awesome — but tell us more about that C4…
I loved that Chevy and had so many great memories of it. I did so many road trips in that from the sunny beaches of Florida to the Colorado Rockies to the paradise of Hawaii. Plus, I got my first ticket in it — I was doing 187mph in a 75mph zone! That’s probably not one of my best memories of that car but it sure handled well at high speed!
I have also owned a turbocharged Honda S2000 which was ridiculously fast and pushing over 600 horsepower and with the car being so light it was practically a rocket on wheels!
My seventh generation Toyota Celica was probably my favourite car that I ever had; it wasn’t fast, but it looked beautiful, was reliable, and handled amazingly in the Hawaiian mountainous roads. My supercharged GMC Yukon was fab too and perfect for the blizzards in Colorado but the best car I had a ride in has to be the Nissan 370Z that belongs to one of my friends who is a Formula Drift driver. It has 1,500 horses! Being in that car was an amazing experience.
Finally, what is your dream car?
It has to be the Geo Metro... Joking! 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R Hakosuka.
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