Machines Gone Wild: Jamaican-run performance shop tuning cars in South Miami

Matthew Ho Lung getting ready to upgrade a customer’s car.

Nestled quietly in South Miami is the small Jamaican-run performance shop Machines Gone Wild. Living up their name, they’ve been responsible for some truly wildly tuned modified cars, including an 1100bhp Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.

“We established the shop in 2006,” said co-owner Gregory Gutzmore.

Gutzmore, a performance mechanic originally from Kingston, left his daily grind and opened his own shop.

“I left the shop I was at and started this business with a friend of mine, and he lost interest, so Don stepped in,” he said.

Machines Gone Wild has built their reputation on creating high horsepower, reliable Subarus and Mitsubishis across the western hemisphere.

Unique passion

That Don is Don Pottinger, another Jamaican originally from St Mary.

“It was myself and Don as friends for a long time. I would build his motors, so we decided to make a life from doing what we love,” Gutzmore explained.

The third member of Machines Gone Wild, Matthew Ho Lung, isn’t Jamaican but has Jamaican roots as both his parents are. Gearheads worldwide will instantly recognise the last name as Matthew is son to famous Jamaican tuner and former import drag racer Lance Ho Lung of Toyomoto fame.

“Matthew, just being around us through his dad, started showing interest and a very unique passion, which just could not be overlooked,” said Gutzmore.

Three friends

The name of the shop came about as a play on the title Girls Gone Wild, a popular direct-to-video series at the time. The three friends then set about building up their status in the South Florida sport compact car modification scene.

“It was supposed to be about cars, and bikes, etc., so we used the name machines instead of cars, based on Girls Gone Wild,” he said.

The shop specialises in a wide variety of tuning services, building engines and transmissions for customers while being able to handle anything from basic maintenance to full vehicle rebuilds.

“We sell performance parts, but we can install them too, whether from us or brought by the customer. We can do brake and suspension upgrades,” Gutzmore said.

From left: Matthew Ho Lung, Don Pottinger and Gregory Gutzmore of South Florida tuning shop Machines Gone Wild.

Well-deserved reputation

Over the years Machines Gone Wild has garnered their well-deserved reputation on ECU tuning and building hyper-fast Subarus and Mitsubishis.

Having their own Dynojet 424x four-wheel dynamometer allows them to be able to dial in the necessary parameters via a vehicle’s engine computer to make impressive power figures. A shortlist of their accomplishments, beyond even the four-digit horsepower Lancer Evolution IX, includes an 811hp Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, a 850hp Subaru STI, and one pushing 50hp more that has survived over 80 quarter-mile passes.

“We do this mostly out of our love and passion for cars. The horsepower mark keeps getting greater, and we keep striving to accomplish the same goals, but in a tasteful and reliable manner,” Gutzmore told BUZZ.

Machines Gone Wild carries a wide range of popular tuning products, but the company hopes to make the leap into producing their own high-performance parts.

Crazy power

It’s this amazing ability to produce not only crazy power figures but reliable cars that keeps Machines Gone Wild at the top of many lists in the South Florida tuning scene and draws clientele beyond their city and state boundaries.

“We get many Subaru and Evolution customers from out of state. We have customers in Cayman, Antigua, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

The small Jamaican crew plans to use their expertise to go on to greater heights within the tuning business.

“We have our eyes on developing, engineering and producing some performance parts of our own for these two cars,” Gutzmore said.