Category: Automotive

Close Up: Honda-Tuning/Evasive CR-Z

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With the CR-Z being fairly new, there isn’t really an extensive catalog of aftermarket parts to choose from; especially in the aero department.  However, the CR-Z that Honda-Tuning put together shows that you don’t need that much to make something that looks great.  The C-West lip kit that adorns the outside of the Honda turns the ordinary CR-Z body, into an overall more aggressive looking car.  Click past the break to see what else is up with this car.

Feature: Anthony’s Downforce NSX

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Of all the cars at the Cerritos Honda car show last weekend, I think I liked this NSX the most.  I spotted it early on and got to snap some shots before the crowds came.  It’s ridiculously clean, and although only has a handful of mods, they all flow together perfectly.  As I was wrapping my visit up, I was lucky enough to run into the owner; Anthony.  He’s a nice, laid back guy, and I’m glad I could talk to him for a short while.  I got some more info on the NSX, and he was kind enough to let me post up a little feature here.  Enjoy the shots!

FEATURE: Power House Amuse S2000 GT1

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The JDM Clips/NDF collaboration delivers the goods once again with this feature on the legendary Amuse S2000 GT1.  This car is one of the greatest tuning achievements of Mr. Hideki Tanabe’s lifetime, and for good reason.  It’s looks are not only unforgettable, but it’s mechanical prowess has been proven on both street and track.  The insanely wide body kit brings order to chaos and gives the car the aerodynamic performance close to that of a full race car.  Click past the break to check out the car in more detail.

Feature: Power House Amuse 370Z Vestito

Japanese mega tuner Power House Amuse was on site at Super Autobacs Yokohama recently to demo their new aero kit for the Z34; the Vestito.  Lucky for us, Taka was there as well to capture it all.  Amuse has long been producing unique and aggressive aero kits for a variety of chassis.  This is their latest offering for the Z platform; preceded by the Superleggera kit for the Z33 chassis.  I believe Amuse took a less domineering approach to this kit, and put more emphasis on flowing lines and function; and flat out on the track the Vestito proves that it does more than just look good.  Click past the break for more display shots.

Locale: Twin Ring Motegi – Beams Endurance Integra


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In this post I’d like to both thank, and welcome Taka to the NDF Blog team.    Taka runs the JDM Clips channel, and is now a contributor to Narita Dog Fight.  He sent these pictures of the Beams Tokachi 24-hour endurance race car from the Twin Ring Motegi Honda collection hall.  In 2003, when Honda became the sole engine provider for the INDY series, Motegi was added to the IRL schedule, and is famous in Japan for being the only oval ring circuit.  When there are no events going on though, the Honda Collection Hall is the place to go.  Many old and current race cars are displayed for the public to view; this Integra being one of them.

Close Up: Type One Type-R

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Next up in my Close-Up series is the bright orange Integra Type-R built by Type-One.  Near flawless paint aside, you can recognize this as a possible race car because of the sticky Advans that are wrapped around the track-worn SSR Type-C’s.  A closer look reveals most of the interior still in-tact; pretty common in Japan because of the abundance of open track events at places like Suzuka, Fuji, Twin-Ring, and Ebisu.  Click past the break for more pics.

Encounter: JGTC Xanavi 350Z

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A long time ago I was visiting Ginza, and happened upon the Nissan Gallery.  You can tell this was awhile back because the JGTC doesn’t exist anymore.  Replaced by Super GT, the series is no longer overseen by JAF, but solely by the FIA.  Upon the arrival of the 350Z, the R34 GT was retired in the class.  This was Nissan’s 2006 (?) entry car.  The gallery was closed, so I couldn’t get a tour inside.  Maybe next time.

Encounter: S30 Kannai


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We were walking back to our hotel after a decent dinner at a place in 伊勢佐木町 when I saw this old Datsun parked on the street.  Of course the lighting and weather conditions were horrible for pictures, but since I didn’t get much material on this trip I decided to snap a few anyway.  It had some pretty classic styling; such as the exposed rivets on the fender flares and rear wing.  The gold Watanabes were a nice touch against the white and black color scheme.  Click past the break to see a few more shots.

Feature: IL4’s Time Attack EK


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Inline Four has been dedicated to Honda and Acura tuning for over a decade now.   I’ve been going to them since I moved to So-Cal in 2005; back when they were in the tiny office off the 22.  They have now moved to a better, larger facility in Garden Grove, but they’ve kept the same attitude about tuning and service.  It’s a great shop that continues to grow in many ways, including a new line of their own performance parts.  This year they have completed the build on their K-powered race car, and it’s already winning events.  I made a trip down to Inline Four last week with a friend to inquire about some cams for his EG, and so I could pick up some wheel spacers for my coupe.  Lucky for me the EK was parked out in front of the shop.  I had only seen the car once at Nisei and since I had my camera with me I asked Brandon if I could snap some pictures.

Video: Zonda R Nurburgring Lap

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I was watching Top Gear the other day and on their news segment they mentioned that the Nurburgring ‘production car’ lap record had been broken.  Apparently this happened way back in June.  I must have been in a coma or something because I never heard of the news (*edit – It was on June 29th, my girlfriends birthday. That explains it).  I don’t understand how Pagani gets away with calling this a production car, although it’s what they market it as, but watch this in-car footage of driver Marc Basseng smashing this work of art around the circuit in an amazing 6 minutes 45 seconds.  Be sure to turn your speakers up real loud.  Click past the break for a cool little documentary about Pagani and their relationship with the Nurburgring.

Close Up: Spoon AP1

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Way before the build of the iconic Grand Prix White AP2 demo car, Spoon had built their AP1 race car.  The S2000, hailed as one of the greatest roadsters ever built.  It would seem almost sacrilegious for the masters of Honda tuning to not bless one with their precision.  A few years ago I got the chance to visit Spoon and see for myself the craftsmanship that went into this build.

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News: F1 – Vettel back to back podiums at Suzuka

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After 53 exciting laps at Suzuka, Vettel once again unleashed his true talent, and came out on top.  This makes for Sebastian’s second consecutive podium finish here at Suzuka – a feat that puts him among the types of Senna and Schumacher.  The Red Bull’s RB6 chassis was unstoppable at the Japanese Grand Prix today, and it showed with a one – two finish to claim a now total 426 points for the RBR-Renault constructor.  Rounding up the podium was Webber for RBR and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.  With his second place finish, Webber remains championship points leader for 2010, and Vettel moves to 3rd; 14 points in tow.

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Encounter: Shibuya Vitz

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So I’ve returned!  It seemed like such a short trip, and honestly, I didn’t get as much material as I would have liked.  On a side note though, my friend is on his way over the Pacific as we speak, and has promised to send some Encounter shots.  The first day after we arrived, we took a short trip to Tokyo and as we were walking around Shibuya looking for some good grub, I caught this little RS shooting by.  I’m not too educated in Kei cars, but they are still a very big scene in Japan.  The super-compact Toyota Vitz is popular among Kei Tuners.

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Feature: JCCS Celica GT

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Before I set sails across the Pacific, I thought I’d revisit a car from JCCS.  This 2-door, hardtop Celica GT coupe stole the show for me at JCCS.  This model of Celica was first made in the 1970’s and heavily influenced by the late 60’s, early 70’s Ford Mustang.  A cheaper alternative to Toyota’s sports car, the 2000GT, the Celica became massively popular.  This particular one was in great condition.

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Locale: フライラット, 町田 – Fly Rat, Machida

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Thought I’d break up some coverage of JCCS with a little look at the Fly Rat used car & part shop in Machida, Tokyo.  This is literally right next door to the Up Garage in Machida, so it was  a no-brainer to go check it out.  Fly Rat is part of the やまや山口株式会社, or the Yamayayamaguchi Group in Japan.  The parent company of both Fly Rat, and Jon Flat; both used and new car dealerships and parts dealers.  This location had a few cool looking rides, especially this pristine R32 rocking over-fenders on both the front and rear.

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Event: 6th Annual JCCS, Long Beach V.2

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On to round 2 of the JCCS coverage.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, engine swaps are all to common at this show;  and this coupe is no exception.  This is Steve’s car.  Steve drove 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to show at Long Beach.  This is the way I like to see cars; put to use!  As if that wasn’t special enough, Steve had something out of the ordinary at the disposal of his right foot.  How does 260 ft/lb.’s of torque sound?  Yup, a 4.0 liter, V8 taken from a LS400 sits in place of the stock engine.  I got to talk to Steve for a little bit, and to my surprise, he said that the first generation UZ engine fit rather easily in the bay.

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Event: 6th Annual JCCS, Long Beach V.1


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The warm sun, the cool ocean breeze blowing through the trees;  Downtown Long Beach makes the perfect venue for just about any get together – and the 6th annual holding of the Japanese Classic Car Show is no exception.  Without a doubt JCCS is the show to go to to see the best in classic Japanese cars.  Datsuns, Toyotas, and Mazdas from the 70’s and 80’s are littered throughout the grounds and parking lot.  Some are daily driven, and some have been restored to show quality; there is definitely something for everyone.  Take this Corolla for example; old school parts, executed with modern drift styling.  It took me about 2 hours to walk through the show, and I tried to get a little of everything.  Some photos will have a more retro look (i.e. warm temperatures, desaturated);  I did this as a throw back to the era of the cars.  Hope you enjoy!

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Encounter: Katsuradai R34

. This pristine R34 is always parked out front of a Junior High School in the quiet neighborhood of  かつらだい (Katsuradai); where my friend’s in-laws live.  I’m guessing the owner is a teacher, or administrator […]

Encounter: Tokyo Street Evo

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We were walking around some prefecture near Roppongi Hills in Tokyo one afternoon while my friends wife was getting her haircut.  While crossing a pedestrian bridge I spotted these kids J-walking across this huge street.  I thought it was pretty cool because you could see Mori Tower perfectly in the background, so I snapped a few pics.  Later on I saw this Evo in the shot!  I didn’t even notice it at first…

Event: Nisei Showoff 2010 V.1


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As you can imagine, summer days in Los Angeles can get pretty hot; and the day of the 10th annual Nisei week car show was no exception.  I have to say I was pretty surprised when I heard the announcement that this show would make it to it’s 10th year.  In 2009 it had been slated off due to real estate issues, and development was supposed to start on the old parking lot the show takes place on.  However, the car gods once again blessed us with one more year of show stopping, automotive eye candy.

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Encounter: Lonely MM:21 R32

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I stumbled upon this lonely Skyline during a walk one morning.  The hotel we had been staying out was very close to Sakuragicho Station, which is in the みなとみらい21 (Minato Mirai) area;  a large urban development by the water.  This place is famous for many things, including Japan’s former largest building the Landmark Tower.  This morning we were walking along the Red Brick Warehouse and saw this guy sitting all by itself in a parking lot.

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Locale: UP Garage – Machida

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If you’re a Japanese car enthusiast, there is one thing you know you’ve always dreamed of doing once in Japan; and that is to visit as many tuner shops and stores as possible.  I’m no different.  I’ve wanted to visit an Up Garage for some time now, and a few months ago I finally got my chance.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affliction towards used parts.  Maybe it’s the history that comes along with them; or maybe it’s because I’m fiscally responsible (read: cheap).  There’s no better place to go bargain hunting for JDM car part goodness than at an Up Garage.

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