KDM: Evolved • Sara Tews's Hyundai Tiburon GS

9:54:00 AM GRIPSET Co. Founder 0 Comments

S/O to our VA OG photographer Roderick Patterson for always staying in the game and providing us with his amazing work and talent. Relentless in efforts to get this feature as well as many others in the past and future just right. This particular feature was a "double take," due to the first photo shesh being shut down by the security guard. Believe it or not they had our photographer delete all his work; but that didn't stop him there. Take 2 for the win! Thank You for the hard work Rod.


"She don't know it yet... But that's 'Wifey' right there!" This is one fine automobile built by the opposite sex. All you boys take out your note pads, women, your extensive memory capacity will be enough; This is how it's done. One of the most underrated cars you'd probably wouldn't expect to see modified and look this dope. On top of that, I think it's safe to say you'd never in a million years guess that a set of legs wrapped in stilettos would be exiting something so fresh ( figuratively speaking )! This is not a car built by your everyday lady, she's a rare gem. I know a few, they are truly rare. Now ladies, nothing wrong with building a car to suit, nothing wrong with "girlie colors," that's just you - take pride in it. That just wasn't the case here, clearly. To properly shock & awe, you must shock and awwwwe! For starters taking a Hyundai Tiburon to new heights such as this, deserves an applause all on it's own. It takes guts, the idea itself would nearly sound whimsical. Since Hyundais re-launch, cars like this that kept the brand a float, and have seen to fall off the map, but not for Sara. While they've been replaced with hyper-mileage turbo sedans and coupes, like the genesis and sonata she's had her mind on giving you a taste of something you can't have, her....

............vision! You perverts get your mind out the gutter! 

 When I was 16 I got a hand-me-down for a first car and my first job. I did everything I could to modify that car, but after a while it ended up in the shop more than I actually had it to drive. Shortly after I turned 17 it was apparent I needed a new car, something reliable, and something of my own. I shopped and shopped for weeks researching Hondas, Toyotas, Mitsubishis and Subarus, but nothing caught my eye quite like the new and refined body-style of the Hyundai Tiburon. I had decided long before picking this car out that I wanted nothing more than to be known for my originality and for building a one-of-a-kind car; something no one else could copy. I had also made up my mind a long time ago that I would never own a “girl’s car.” Anything I did to any car wouldn’t immediately make you think a girl drove it: no pink, no fuzzy dice, no girly personalized plates, and most of all nothing would be done to my car that I didn’t have a hand in whether it was turning a wrench or simply a screwdriver. I ended up purchasing a brand new 2007 Hyundai Tiburon in Carbon Grey. When I went to pick it up from the dealership it didn’t look right so I asked them to take it back and bring me a Black Pearl one. The bond was instant when I laid eyes on her and it’s been love since June 2, 2007 when I took her home.

Five days after owning her someone’s jealousy got the best of them and keyed the entire driver’s side of my car. Amazingly enough, I didn’t get too upset seeing as how just a stock car made someone do something so cruel. After getting it repaired, the shop had left over paint so I asked them to paint my stock wheels to color-match; so began my very first modification. About a year later I started hanging out with some of the local “Volkswagen kids” who introduced me to the low and stance game which led me to my first big purchase, 1.5” lowering springs from Seoulful Racing. Being a female they seemed to think I was too dumb to learn about offsets and wheels so that pushed me to learn on my own. Shocker, I did. The only downside was learning from generic cars like Golfs and Civics, no one was going the stance route when it came to Tiburons and the only ones that did were the older body styles before mine. I was alone on this one and I knew it was going to be a long learning experience.

 In 2010 I bought a set of Rota Grids and had them powder coated Turquoise. Sadly but not surprisingly they cracked only a few weeks after so it was back to the black on black. Right before they cracked I replaced the springs and stock struts for a set of ARK coilovers. I was in love with the amount of drop it gave me as well as the ride, not to mention the respect they had started earning me. Thankfully I was starting to get noticed for what I had hoped- originality. A few trips to North Carolina later and a ton of new friends, some great people hooked me up with a set of bronze Varrstoens. I loved them. I still wasn’t happy though, my car didn’t have that “spark” that I was looking for just yet. Winter of that year I found the most perfect set of wheels that practically fell in my lap. A local guy was selling the AME Shallen WX’s  with the right offsets for my car. They were the missing flare my car needed for me to be happy. A few weeks later I had a NIA Kits front splitter installed that changed the aggressiveness of the car completely and I thought for sure I was done modifying for good. Wrong. Who am I kidding? A car is never done.

Between 2011 and 2012 little things were done here and there such as control arm installs, HID installs, new double-din and numerous tire stretching adventures. Winter of 2012 the gears really started turning when I started to get bored with my car. I was ready for something different to enter the 2013 cars show season. I swore I’d never get air ride for my car, but like so many I think I was only bashing it because I couldn’t afford it before now. A few unfortunate events also led me to seek out an entirely new paint job as well. Crunch time to get my car done doesn’t even halfway describe how quickly my car came together. The air install wasn’t easy but it made it that much more gratifying for a car that isn’t normally on air. While she was sent in for paint the headliner and door panels were wrapped in leopard print fabric, probably the only feminine touch my car has. The beauty that illuminated off The Duchess, as appropriately named, was amazing when she came out of paint and was all put back together. I don’t think you can build a car and say it’s ever really “done,” but when you walk away from it and look back at it every time, you know you’ve built something beautiful.

Custom Black Pearl paint by Auto Elite of Virginia Beach (Debadged)
NIA Kits Front Splitter | 8k HID low beams | 3k HID fogs

AME Shallen WX’s | F18x9+15 with 215/35s
R18x10+24 with 225/40s | Rayz Racing Blue Lugs

Suspension / Engine
D2Racing Bag over Coil Suspension with Ridetech E2 Digital Management
Aftermarket rear control arms | Short Ram Intake

Custom Leopard wrapped interior | Under-dash and seat blue LEDs
Kenwood DDX419 Double-din

 I can’t say I did this all on my own, I’ve had so many helping hands it would be impossible to name everyone, but I truly am thankful to everyone who helped and gave encouraging advice to keep moving forward with this car when I felt like quitting so many times. Blood, sweat and tears is a cliché way to sum it up but that is the basis for a build that I am proud to say I did. I daily this car and one thing that never gets old is how many heads she turns. I take pride in the fact that this isn’t a “girl’s” car, I have rare wheels with impeccable fitment, and I can honestly say I have put the most hours and dedication into my own car than most guys can say. For me, it’s not about being a girl in the car game, it’s about building something that stands out against the generic Volkswagen or Civic that everyone is so used to seeing. I’m sure people think it’s easy for a girl to get help on her car whenever she wants but it isn’t, once you show you know what you’re talking about you become a threat and you’re left to your own devices which is fine by me, I’d rather have the knowledge and my own handy work than having to say someone else did the work. I have so many future plans for this car, it’s just a matter of deciding which way I want to go. I take care of this car like she’s a living breathing child. Oil changes, spark plugs, tire pressures, etc. are always taken care of and I also take pride in how perfectly she still runs today as if I just drove her off the lot like I did 6 years ago.

What motivated me to build this car? All the people who told me I couldn’t, all the people who said “no matter what it’s still a Hyundai or a Tiburon,” all the people who thought I was too dumb to learn the stance and fitment game, all the girls who slap pink accents and awful fitting wheels on their car and call it a day. That’s what. What motivates me to keep going? That feeling I get when I look at my car and go into a daze, snap back to reality and realize she’s mine, I did that. I built my car for me, not for anyone else, and the happiness she brings me is irreplaceable.

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