Hayden V's Senior Project Blog

Project Title: Kachow: The quest for speed
BASIS Advisor: Tyler Williams
Internship Location: UMS Tuning
Onsite Mentor: Tony Szirka

Project Abstract

Ever since I was young, I enjoyed working on cars. Some of my earliest memories were me watching my dad work on his 1959 Jeep FC150. I loved the sound, look, the way my hands would turn black with grease and oil, every time I was working on a car was time for myself. It transitioned to me getting my own project car when I was 13, a rusty Datsun 280Z, the car that started the American love for Japanese cars. I will be interning at an automotive modification and tuning shop called UMS Tuning. They are known around the world for their fabrication and tuning on race cars designed to compete at the global stage. Tony Szirka, the owner, has been racing for 20 years and has a philosophy to his cars, which is to take the time and create the best possible product. I plan to translate what I learn in the shop to my own personal product, which is my 1975 Datsun 280Z. It is a restomod, having the car stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up. I will be completely repainting the car, adding a 1 of 9 body kit from Dubai, refreshing the engine and transmission, just to name a couple, and will have much much more done to it.

    My Posts:

  • 4/22 The last couple weeks at the shops

      I cannot thank the shops for the opportunity over the last couple months. From the stupid jokes to the busted nuckles from pushing on a wrench too hard. At TurnStyle, they invited me to come hangout after shop hours and work on personal cars. I helped Austin, a tech, get his car driving. Even... Read More

  • 4/22 Wheels make a car.

    I finally got the wheels for my car. While I was in Colorado for the past week, I found a guy on eBay selling Watanabe R Type wheels. The posting stated he was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was on my way home. I messaged him, and he informed me that he lives in Arizona,... Read More

  • 4/1 – Disappointment

    Progress was been slow as of recently, reasonably after learning about part delays. I messaged the company I bought a spacer ring from, and they replied that they would not be getting the spacers in for at least another 3-4 weeks, arriving at the very end of April at best. This put a very big... Read More

  • 4/1 – The racecar lives (UMS Tuning)

    UMS Tuning has added a new person to the workers, his name is Steve, and has the nickname Evo Steevo. His specialty is in Mitsubishi Evolutions (Evos), which is a majority of the big money cars at UMS. He was at UMS for only a week and he had the Evo racecar already running which... Read More

  • 4/1 – The M3 with perfect fitment (TurnStyle JDM & Euro)

    The past week at TurnStyle has been a blast with Austin and Ethan, the technicians. They have lots of experience to share when working on the customer cars. TurnStyle had a 2004 Audi S4 Avant in for a major coolant leak. The Audi has a twin turbo V6 engine which is known to be a... Read More

  • 3/18/2024 – Lap 2, faster laps need better suspension.

    PROGRESS PROGRESS PROGRESS... and waiting on parts. The first task I tackled was putting the car on jack stands and beginning to remove the front suspension. This involved undoing 4 bolts that attach the subframe to the car, 6 top hat bolts holding the shocks, and 4 bolts for the steering column. With my dad's... Read More

  • 3/18/2024 – The Diesel Delica lives.

    The past 2 weeks at Turn Style have been filled with laughter and learning To begin, I assisted Ethan in reinstalling the engine into the Delica van. It was a lengthy process due to the limited space available for fitting the engine. There are only two methods for inserting the engine: through the door or... Read More

  • 3/18/2024 – Orange Racecars and burnouts

    These past two weeks have been filled with excitement at UMS Tuning. Monday the 4th was very casual and simple for me. I replaced a low pressure power steering line on a Toyota truck, and helped Brendan start to put headers on a Dodge truck.         Wednesday the 6th was a day... Read More

  • 3/4/2024 – The skyline blew up and there is diesel in the race.

    Turnstyle has been giving me experience in things I have never done or worked on before. To start my day, I worked with Matt, the owner, and Austin, one of the technicians, in an attempt to get a Purple R33 GTR to start. Matt showed me that there are two levels that usually need adjustment... Read More

  • 3/4/2024 – Are we winning or nah?

    UMS Tuning has been an absolute blast to be at, and is very fulfilling to work at. First thing I did this week, was working on a trike with a Subaru motor installed at the back. Brendan, the technician I was working with, explained to me that since the engine is located behind the axle,... Read More

  • 3/4/2024 – Lap one down, Progress is blissful.

    This week, I have been spending more time on the rear end of the car, slowly buttoning everything up. I started with drilling and finally putting in the taillights and their panels. Datsuns are notorious for having horrible exhaust fumes inside the car, usually because the taillight gaskets do not seal fully. I have installed... Read More

  • 2/26/2024 – The Viper is out of the race, a hole in the engine.

    Week 2 has been very enjoyable at UMS to say the least. Ulrik, Brendan, Eric, Tony, and Cuban have been incredibly welcoming. I did not even know if I was going to work on Monday since it was Presidents Day. So I walk in and learned the shop was open so I continued my day... Read More

  • 2/26.2024 – A Miata has joined the race.

    Week 2 at Turnstyle has been a full of different cars and jobs. I spent most of the time cleaning up, moving stuff around and putting in their new shop air compressor. But the 2nd day this week I got to help work on a Miata. Ethan and I did a timing belt service on... Read More

  • 2/26/2024 – Turn 2, Unforeseen problems

    This week I have completed painting my car! Fully painted top to bottom with all the panels too. I started on Friday morning, prepping the undersides of the hatch and the hood for the white paint. While I was painting the hatch, it started to turn to a very bright green color. After some Googling,... Read More

  • 2/19/2024 – And we are off, onto turn one, progress in the making

    I am back with a lot to share and lots of progress on my car First, my internships have been a blast to be at. Every person, owners and workers alike, have been super helpful in explaining the basics for what I need to get done, whether its just cleaning and putting tools away or... Read More

  • 2/8 – The Starting Line, racing against the clock

    Hello everyone, my name is Hayden Valmonte Macklin and from my senior project title, you can tell that I have an huge passion for cars. Models, toys, memorabilia, pictures, wall decoration--I have it all when it comes to cars. My future plans are to eventually get into designing and fabricating parts for the race divisions... Read More