Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Meet the Tuner Twins

De Guzmans' 2002 Toyota Celica gets plenty of nods at car shows

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WHILE some may have trouble telling identical twins Chris and Anthony De Guzman apart, Winnipeg's tuner faithful will easily recognize their 2002 Toyota Celica GT.

Their stunning exercise in yellow has been steadily racking up the car-show trophies this year, beginning with the nod for Best Import Tuner Toyota at World of Wheels. Best Import honours were recently bestowed at the Cruz in Downtown show and shine on Aug. 9. The brothers will be showcasing their Celica tomorrow at the BF Goodrich Sport Compact Nights National Tour at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The aspirations were much less extreme when the brothers purchased the car. "At first, we just wanted to get paint and rims." says Anthony. "Then we just got carried away." One of the more unique features of the Celica, he said, is the flip-up "Lamborghini Countach"-style doors. "It's the only one in Canada." says Chris. The kit is produced by Florida-based Car Excess. The door opens conventionally about three inches, then flips forward with a gas strut assist.

The stock 1.8-litre powerplant receives additional thrust benefits from an Injen cold air intake. A Hotshot header couples to a Thermal R&D Cat-Back Exhaust system. The yellow treatment is tastefully continued on the engine plastics, and various engine hoses.

Adjustable coilover suspensions are all the rage in Tuner Town. Using Tien SS coilovers, the Celica hunkers down about two and a half inches from stock. 18-inch ADR Spec R Pro Wheels are shod with Pirelli rubber. A front strut tower bar from APR Performance helps limit flexing in the corners.

To achieve their preferred exterior, the De Guzmans used spoilers and cladding from a variety of suppliers, including WingsWest, Veilside, and Rod Millen. Unique Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) touches include a clear plexi fuel lid and headlight covers.

Much of the yellow interior pieces are custom made, such as the DVD screen centre pod. If you grow tired of movies, you can always sharpen your thumbs with the integrated PlayStation 2 system, where the glovebox used to live. Pop the hatch to reveal a custom fibreglass enclosure (finished in, you guessed it, yellow!) that holds 4 10-inch Alpine Type-R subwoofers. An Alpine MRD-M500 V12 AccuClass-D Mono Amplifier shakes the lambo doors quite nicely. A push-start button was pilfered from a Honda S2000.

The De Guzmans researched much of their modifications through Internet forums before spending a nickel. "We've never paid retail for something," says Anthony. The brothers possess something of an entrepreneurial spirit with obtaining their lowered cost upgrades. Car Excess, (the flip-door guys) agreed to foot the majority of the retrofit bill for sponsorship rights, with the De Guzmans only having to cover labour costs. The Portage Avenue A&B Sound made a similar arrangement for the intensive audio/video upgrades. It's good business sense, especially when the De Guzmans Celica appears in tuner magazines such as Performance Auto and Sound, and Sport Compact National.

The co-owners have played well with each other in the sharing of the Celica. "We co-ordinate our schedules," says Chris. Sometimes, it's as simple as one brother driving to an event, and the other driving it home. If only me and my brother were so enlightened with our dad's Parisienne.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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