I first saw this car when my friend Teddy posted a few pictures of it in our Facebook group page. I inquired about it pretty quickly and he mentioned it was a friend of his who lived in San Diego; Ronald. I really wanted to see more of it, but I think I may have been busy at the time because a few months went by without talk of it again. A couple weeks ago Teddy had forwarded me Ron’s email and we got in touch about a possible shoot. He was up for it, and I hadn’t shot anything since getting back from Japan so I was really excited.
I drove around all that morning looking for a location, but came up with nothing spectacular. I went all the way down to Newport and stopped and various places along PCH but couldn’t really find anything suitable. It was also a holiday weekend so everything was pretty busy. I eventually gave up, gave Ron a call and told him to meet me in downtown Long Beach. While I was waiting for him, I parked in this one lot I frequent often; it’s easily accessible and pretty cheap. After I parked, I happened to notice that I was pretty much the only one in the lot, and the back of an old building was exposed on the other side.
I figured this was as good as any spot, and I had already driven for a good 50 miles and didn’t really want to search more. The red of the brick actually ended up going well with the deep green of the car. That combined with the gold of the 18×9 +22, 18×10 +15 staggered Advan RG-II’s made for a very nice color palette. Ron had just recently came across these Advans, and even though he’s had trouble fitting them (20mm PBM spacers all around), he doesn’t regret it.
The custom canards and splitter, mated to the Ings+ front bumper throw the car out of the typical drift style, and into a more circuit/gt style drift category. I like the originality and the ability to stray away from what everyone else has been doing. It’s a testament to Ron’s personality, and the way he’s approached this car over the many years he’s owned it. The Z32 front brakes give a nice boost in stopping power. Stopping power needed as a result of a few choice modifications to the rebuilt KA24DE. CP Pistons, Manley Rods, JWT Cams and Sprockets, ARP Studs, Turbo Five-O 750cc injectorsand Clevite Bearings make up the guts of the KA. A recently added Tomei M7960 turbo provides enough boost to break traction when needed, and a PBM Intercooler along with a Koyo Radiator are employed to keep temps to a desirable level.
The Vertex side skirts, and Vertex rear bumper make up the rest of the body lines on the car.
A C-West lip spoiler and Origin Type 2 GT Wing rest atop the trunk and add both downforce and great styling. A good amount of people tried to persuade him to not run this wing, or any wing at all, but again, Ron hasn’t built this for anyone but himself; and that’s the way everyone should approach car building. It is an amalgamation of your personality; not others.
Ron found these Mooneye’s valve stem covers, and antenna ball at a JCCS event a few years ago. These little personal touches are great!
After we finished up in the lot, we chatted for a bit and decided to try and get some night shots around downtown.
It’s always fun messing around with long exposures.
The profile gives a good view of how the car sits overall. Apexi N1 coilovers along with Kazama Tie Rods, PBM Rear Upper Traction and Toe Rods, and Custom Front Tension Rods give the car the ability to perform under any circumstance.
The stripped interior consists of a pair of Bride Low Max seats, an Autopower roll bar, and a handful of necessary gauges to monitor while sideways. Nothing super fancy, just the essentials.
Honestly, I’m not sure why Ron was surprised I wanted to have his car up on the site. This is a great example of what following your own ideas can create; I’m very grateful he drove all the way up from San Diego! For the few hours we talked I developed a good idea of what Ron is all about, and I can easily say he falls into the category of a true enthusiast. A great guy with his heart in the right place. Thanks again Ron, and I hope to see the build evolve over the next few years.
Here’s some Japanese commercials for you: