Locale: Cobb Tuning Socal – Shop Tour

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After two straight weeks of work, I finally managed to squeeze in a much needed day off.  This past Wednesday I had plans to shoot my friends Z32 but, due to a scheduling conflict, had to cancel.  Not being one to waste a day off, I sat down and thought of some other things to shoot for the website.  I had remembered someone telling me last month that COBB Tuning had opened a new facility in Southern California; I had also remembered reading about an open house for their grand opening.  Well, after I had looked into it, I realized their grand opening had already past on the 22nd.  No big deal, I figured I’d go ahead and stop by because I had plans on going that direction anyway – and I’m glad that I did.  The brand new, 10,000 square foot facility that COBB Tuning inhabits is extremely nice.  Upon my arrival I introduced myself to Ronnie, one of the cool dudes in charge of sales & marketing, and they gladly showed me around the facility.  Check out more past the break.

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When I pulled up, I was pretty shocked to see a S2000 parked out front because COBB is known mostly for tuning AWD applications; no complaints of course.

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The inside showroom area was very large and inviting.  I always get an excited feeling walking into a shop, especially one I haven’t been to before.  Typically, I find that most people in this industry are very friendly.  Perhaps it has to do with the amount of Japanese shops I’ve visited where hospitality was beyond imaginable.  COBB was no exception though as the greeting was very nice.

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This little guy took his time getting used to me though.  ‘Nitto’ turned out to be very friendly, but he was a little scared every time my shutter went off.

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To the left of the entrance is their waiting room/lounge.  While you wait for your car to be tuned you can relax on one of the couches, read a magazine and watch your car’s dyno pulls live on the TV’s on display.

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Almost looks like a night club…I kept looking for the bar.

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There was definitely no shortage of literature available.  I didn’t see an Option though!  Maybe I’ll drop one off next time…

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A nice display of their products, mainly exhaust pieces, were hung on the wall.

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In the opposite corner they had a couple more neat things, including this Cosworth EJ25!  Very cool!

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Prodrive and Volk made up the wheel display for the shop.  I thought this LM from a GT car was pretty sweet.  I couldn’t make out the signature, and Ronnie wasn’t sure either – he said the owner mentioned it coming off of a Porsche.  Maybe at one point in time the Taisan Advan team ran black Volk’s?  *EDIT*   Just got an email from Steve saying that the wheel is from a NISMO Super GT 500 class 350Z from 2004 or 5 – given to him when some NISMO guys were visiting in the states.  Makes more sense!  Thanks for the correction!

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Various parts were scattered around the workers desks.  This Tomioka Racing Sigma Turbo (EVO X) was sitting on Antolin’s desk.  Expensive paperweight…

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After introducing myself, Antolin led me to the shop area where all the magic happens.  Lucky for me they had two of their GTR’s present, and one of them was their race car.

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I guess that the owner, Trey Cobb, got bit by the racing bug one year – so COBB Tuning built this GTR and apparently smashed the competition their first go.  The car and team was retired after the first year.  Quit while you’re ahead I suppose!  Antolin was saying that they might be rebuilding the car soon to compete again.  I’ll have to keep updated on this!

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I didn’t get any info on this matte GTR, although I assumed it was a customer’s car.  I knew people would see it in the background, so I took a shot of it.  Rad.

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A couple EVO’s were on the lifts.  The one furthest away was getting a twin scroll upgrade from the stock turbo.  The enclosed room in the back that looks like a mini hadron collider is actually their dyno ‘clean’ room.  By controlling the environment during dyno sessions, they are able to tune the engine in the most precise way possible.  Accuracy counts when dealing with the tolerances associated with high boost applications.

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The ducts rising from the dyno room are connected to two huge fans.  The speed of the fans is actually controlled by the rollers on the Mustang AWD dyno.  So, as the rollers speed increases, so do the fans.  This enclosure also helps with reducing the insane sound that is the result of dyno tuning 600+ hp EVO’s and STi’s.  In fact, their tuner was tuning an EVO at the time I was shooting these.  I could hear each pull, but if I was outside I doubt I’d be able to hear anything.  Fountain Valley residents thank you for that I’m sure.

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On the other side of the shop floor, that looked like it was used for parts storage, they had another Time Attack vehicle and a Highlander.

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They were doing some engine work on this for another company.  Looks like a SEMA build or something…just has that ‘look’.

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This EVO X was built for the Redline Time Attack series, which, apparently doesn’t exist anymore.  I suppose I should say that it won as well.  Needless to say, COBB knows what they’re doing when it comes to AWD applications.

That’s about it from my end.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!  I’d like to thank Antolin and Ronnie for giving me some good info and allowing me to explore the shop.  If you’re ever in the area, I’d suggest stopping by for a look at the showroom – and even better, if you drive a Mitsubishi, Subaru, Mazda, or Nissan and are looking to tune or modify your car, look no further.  Visiting this shop just makes me want my EVO IX even more!  Stay tuned next week when I go to San Jose and interview the guys behind WekFest SF!  Thanks for visiting!

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