Bradley - Vauxhall Astra
My love for cars started at a very young age all i ever played with was toy cars like hotwheels & matchbox to the little tikes cars in the garden. I'm sure I got my passion for cars from my dad,
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My name is Bradley,
I'm 24 and live in West Lancashire. I work as a vehicle technician at a Vauxhall dealership working towards my master tech & EV qualifications. We don't tend to say mechanics these days as the old boys get angry ;)
My love for cars started at a very young age. All I ever played with was toy cars like hotwheels & matchbox to little tikes cars in the garden. I'm sure I got my passion for cars from my dad, every time he got a new car i was always the first he took out in it the ones I remember the most was his mk3 escort and his 1998 mondeo st I remember them so well because of the games I played and I thought they was genuine race cars. From there I knew I wanted to work with cars when I grew up.
After school and going through my apprenticeship I started to get into the local car scene with a few friends from college. I could never afford a car at the time but being out with mates and seeing the diversity of car modifications gave me more passion to work towards getting my own car and modifying it the way I wanted to. I have always had a passion for all things Japanese mostly manga and anime. Through those I learned more about the cars we know as 'JDM legends'. The anime Initial D was my first real view of what the car scene was like in another country and I knew from there what scene I wanted to be a part of the most, drifting. Being a first time driver I knew I couldn't get a drift missile or some decent RWD car for the time being so I looked for another direction to get some experience on the road in something more suitable for both my experience and not make my wallet cry.
I bought my Astra 4 years ago and still have it, It's both my first and only car I own but I wasn't planning on keeping it this long! I bought it thinking i'd move onto something else after a year or two and get into that drift scene I was hungry for but something just kept bugging me about letting it go so here it still is :)
I have done a few modifications as listed:-
- Itasha graphics
- LED h7 headlamps
- dodgy LED side lights
- custom gunmetal grey variant painted wheels
- Nexen Nfera tyres
- Custom scraped, cracked and broken XP bumpers :')
- & other misc items such as insignia washer jets.
The interior is standard only upgrade is the radio to a Pioneer DA230DAB - (A great upgrade for those who use apple play!!)
Stock 1.8vvt (Z18XER) there isn't much you can do with this engine. It has had the usual fixes such as the oil cooler and the regular maintenance.
I use a Pipers performance 2.5" stainless steel cat back exhaust system. A nice solid system that sounds good, But not too yobbish...
I've used a few different set ups from Eibach springs to JOM blueline coilovers. I've now settled on Vogtland coilovers & shocks paired with whiteline anti roll bars both front & rear using their adjustable front drop links. I love how they feel on the road, they're stable and I have the confidence to throw the car around on the country roads with the current suspension set up. Besides pot holes & speed bumps or anything that will grind the underside it's alright!
Currently using the standard calipers but uprated disks & pads. I use EBC yellow stuff pads and their USR slotted disks all round. These are a great upgrade from stock and work well with the uprated suspension. I do plan on updating the brakes all around in the future!
I plan to take the car off the road next year to get it set up for track use so that means new seats with harnesses, roll cage and the part I'm most looking forward to is the engine swap. I plan to swap in a forged 2.6L v6 turbo from a vectra vxr/saab 9-3 running on a stand alone aftermarket ecu setup. I've always loved a challenge and to be different so the engine swap alone will be a great experience to learn new things along with the rest of the build.
I have some parts that I've yet to fit like a new steering wheel, front & rear vxr bumpers.
I've modified my car on my own but did meet a new friend who inspired me to chase the Itasha decal I had always wanted but felt cheated since I wasn't in a japanese car. Through him I got in contact with a designer and someone to fit the wrap for me. We both run a page on Facebook & instagram trying to inspire others who like the style to go for it and get a community going mostly here in the UK, this scene is already huge in Japan but has really taken off in the past few years in the states. If you're interested check out our pages or follow to be updated ^-^ Our group is called Bakasenpai and our insta tag is @baka.itasha
We had hoped to take Bakasenpai to a few different shows by now but the whole covid situation pretty much threw those chances back at us, hoping for another chance in the new year to share both itasha car styling and going ahead with modifying your car the way you want to!
My dream car is a Nissan R32 GTR, dream for the moment but hopefully a reality in the future. For the time being when the Astra is off the road I'd like to get my hands on some jdm nuggets to play and learn with. Possibly learn some drifting too! If you have any advice or tips on drift cars for noobs contact me though instagram dms please!
Again thanks for this opportunity and reading my story into the car scene, hope to hear from some of you!
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