The R Magic FD3S, and the Dream Works RPS13, both incredible in their own right, however, there is really no comparing the two. Different manufacturer, different chassis, engine, power output, one runs a good […]
Close-Up: シンミ リエのER34 – with きっずはあと ☆
A couple scattered shots of a few of Rie’s sets at Nikko Circuit. The 500ps RB26 has no problems getting her ER34 sideways. Staging for another run.
Close-Up: さわださんの2000GTX – A 70’s Classic
One of the surprise guests at the last NDF Cafe that we held, belonged to a friend of Sekinei’s. サワダさん got quite a bit of attention from everyone when he rolled into Umihotaru in his […]
Close-Up: ATTKD BNR34 – Time オーテック
I first encountered the ATTKD street-spec R34 on our way to Battle Evome last February; we had stopped to grab some coffee at 711 and in the parking lot was the entire ATTKD entourage, including […]
Close-Up: プロショップウェーブ – ゆじさんの86
Sekinei and I made a stop by ProShop Wave one afternoon on the way back from some car auctions. Wave specializes in body work for a range of cars and motorcycles, but is probably […]
Close-Up: Moty’s ☆ T-One’s RX-7
Without a doubt, there were some star performers present at 2013’s final Battle Evome, but among them one shined (literally) the brightest. The Moty’s/t-one’s FD3S was, for me, one of the coolest cars to see […]
Close-Up: ヒカルさんのスカイライン32 – Dogfighter Cafe, Umihotaru
Hikaru-san and his R32 stopped by Umihotaru for my DogFighter Cafe last month. Looking forward to finally getting to go through the photos of the meet. The turn out was pretty good! Hikaru […]
Close-Up: Carshop Glow FD3S – Tsukuba Circuit
One of the cars I was looking forward to seeing the most at Evome was the Carshop Glow FD3s. At the last Battle Evome this February it was running a new canard setup, that must […]
Close-Up: Risky Devil Altezza
This past week AJ from Risky Devil made the drive across country to hang out on the West coast for a little while. Friday night, before the 626 Drift event at Balcony, some of us […]
Close-Up: Top Fuel / Voltex S2000 – HKS Premium Day
Top Fuel; a company made famous by high powered builds. Voltex; a company based on the foundation of aerodynamics. Two companies, that, when married together can create a masterpiece on the circuit. […]
Close-Up: C&Y Sports 2JZ Powered Fairlady
Z32’s are admittedly not the most common choice when it comes to building a time attack car. Actually, Z32’s are pretty much uncommon no matter how you put it; but there is one company […]
Close-Up: NA1 – Sunset At Streets
Over the past weekend a couple of friends and I attended an open event at Streets. Unfortunately, I wasn’t driving, but I still like to come along because you really never know what you’ll find […]
Close-Up: Kazama Auto D1SL 2JZ IS250
It was bad news to hear about the Kazama D1 car getting stolen just prior to this event, but good to see that the team doesn’t give up so easily. Regardless of the bad […]
Close-Up: Magician マークII [JZX110]
Since I won’t be back in Japan for about another month, I figured I’d start posting some more of the D1SL content I have that has been ignored for awhile. My friend セキネイ and I […]
Close-Up: グロスファクトリー Silvia S14 – TAS 2013
This year’s Tokyo Auto Salon has left an impression on us all; how the Japanese tuning and show makings are consistently ahead of every one else never ceases to amaze me. Hundreds of 86’s…err, I […]
Close-Up: Garage Fun MKIII Supra
My good friend Nao, who owns Garage Fun, also organizes a 90’s meet every once in awhile on the skirts of Tokyo. Last time I went, much to my liking, he had charged up the […]
Looking back at the pictures from Nao’s 90’s Cafe Meet at Heiwajima PA, I’m realizing that the turnout was quite good; better than I had anticipated actually. Throughout the night, various cars from the 90’s […]
Close-Up: Kohno-san GP Sports 180SX
One of the cars I enjoyed watching most at this past round of D1SL at Nikko was this GP Sports 180SX. The car is driven by コウノ シオン (Kohno Shion) who you may remember by […]
Close-Up: APR HASEPRO GT300 Toyota Prius
Aside from the KERS outfit on a Formula 1 car, it would be a safe bet that the last thing that goes through peoples minds when discussing motor sports is the term ‘hybrid’. So when Toyota, along with APR Racing, and Super GT announced their intentions to develop a Prius GT300 car the buzz was quite large. Japan has always been a leader in hybrid technology and promotion of its use, so to me, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. It was really only a matter of time until hybrids made their way into the racing scene, and Super GT seems like a great place to start. The Super GT series is the flagship of Japanese motor sport, and with the increase of various chassis comes an increase in fan base. Everyone who drives a Prius will now have a reason to come watch the races and cheer on their own team; which in the end is great for the sport and probably Prius sales. Although the consumers might be a little disappointed when they can’t get the car up to 220 km/h dropping their kids off at school. I should point out not to get me wrong when I start throwing the term ‘hybrid’ around so loosely, because this is not your average grocery getter. I think we would all agree that it would be a little naive of us to assume that this is a stock Prius. While it does retain the stock hybrid system, it gets a little extra help from something special mounted in the rear. Click past the break to learn more about the first hybrid in Super GT.
Close-Up: Mugen GT300 CR-Z
A few weeks ago my friend over at JDM Clips made a visit to the Honda Headquarters where they had on display the new Mugen designed GT300 CR-Z that is currently competing in the Super GT series. If the Toyota Prius GT300 car wasn’t ironic enough for you, Honda is here to fulfill your hybrid race car cliches with the new CR-Z contender. It’s difficult to think that any hybrid car you see on the street would be holding it’s own against the likes of the BRZ, BMW Z4’s, Nismo GTR GT3’s, Porsches, Aston Martin’s, Lambos and Corvettes, but make no mistake; this is one fast hybrid. In fact, in only it’s second outing it managed to capture pole position and continues to impress on the grid. Granted it’s 300hp 2.8 liter twin-turbo V6, with electric motor, isn’t offered as an option from Honda to you and I (unfortunately), but it’s still a CR-Z chassis; a capable one at that. Click past the break to see the CR-Z up close, compliments of JDM Clips.
Close-Up: LS Powered Mazda Time Bomb
You’ll have to admit, despite it’s growing popularity, the act of putting an American V8 engine into a Japanese car is still pretty bad ass. As much as you hear about it, it’s still not that common either. The swap has been gaining acceptance even from the die-hard fans of keeping a platform powered by it’s maker. While these LS engines are filling the bays of many Nissan’s in the drift scene, there is one car in particular that seems to have been a trend setter in this field; and that is the Mazda RX-7. This FD that was at KINOD6 is one shining example of how to turn elegance into brutality by adding 8 pistons. Click past the break for more shots.
Close-Up: Diamond in Ogikubo – Type One Tuned S2000
Spoon Sports: a staple of the Honda tuning community. Any time I travel to Japan I make it a point to try and visit Spoon and Type One because, well, it’s Spoon. Aside from Mugen, no other company works closer to Honda than Spoon and the results are amazing. A few weeks ago my friend and I dropped by Type One to see what they had cooking. The day before the Twin Ring race we didn’t expect much, but fortunately they had left a few employees back at the shop to take care of the weekend customers. I’ll save the full ‘Locale’ feature for another day, but I’ve been itching to share these next few photos with you guys. I posted a teaser on the official NDF Facebook page a few weeks ago and you guys went ballistic over it; this is really a cool car. Anyway, when I was walking upstairs I was so intrigued by this one white S2000 that was for sale that an employee was showing to an interested customer, that I didn’t even notice it sitting to the side of the shop. When I finally saw it I could hardly contain myself. The guys at Type One have always been really cool with visitors, so I wasn’t reserved at all with my picture taking. Although it is a customer car, I was laying on the ground, getting behind lifts, and moving stuff out of the way to get better shots of it. I even caught the guy upstairs smirking a little at me – probably thinking why the hell I cared so much about it. Click past the break to see more of Japanese Darth Vader’s S2000.
Close-Up: Type One Toyota FT-86….?
Yeah, that’s right – another FT-86 post. So I posted on the NDF Facebook page a few weeks back picture of a FT-86 wheel with Spoon calipers attached. Needless to say it baffled many people – including me when I saw it. I still don’t have much information on the car, other than whoever owns it is affiliated with Spoon and Type One. I’m pretty sure it’s not too difficult to fit certain brake systems onto other cars, as it can be universal in some regards; requiring little retro-fitting. This may be the case, but it’s still wild to see a Spoon product on anything other than a Honda. Right? I first spotted this at Twin Ring behind the Spoon garage area at the 2nd round of Super Taikyu. Click past the break for a few more encounters!
Close-Up: Auto Gallery Yokohama – GT-R R32 Heart Attack!
A few years ago, if you were to have asked someone stateside if they knew what Auto Gallery Yokohama was, you’d probably get a blank stare. Or perhaps someone would say that it’s an automotive museum in Yokohama; which, per se, wouldn’t be a bad guess. Bottom line is that no one would know who they were or what they did. Actually, around 3 years ago, even I wouldn’t have known much about them. My first exposure to their now iconic battle-spec R32 was in an Option magazine a few years back. It was a panning shot of the Skyline blazing down the straight of Fuji Speedway. Since then, the just about every part of the car has gone through a massive amount of changes. The bottom line remains the same though; to be the fastest. And in many ways AG-Y has succeeded in doing so. The car constantly breaks records at Fuji and holds respectable times around Tsukuba. For a private company, there is no doubt it holds it’s own in a fight against the big dogs (see what I did there? – NDF!). I recently stopped by Auto Gallery Yokohama’s garage to see for myself the car that I’ve been dreaming about for years and get an up close and personal look at it’s heart. Click past the break for more.
Close-Up: FEEL’S FD2 Type-R
It’s no secret that the Japanese tuning philosophy is to achieve the maximum with the minimum. While we can see this practiced throughout all the major tuners, I wouldn’t be too far off in saying we witness it most in the Honda field. The majority of Honda tuners in Japan are so specific to not disturb the chassis by overpowering, and work closely with what the manufacturer has already offered. While, typically, FEEL’S would fall into that category just nicely, their FD2 Type R you see pictured above may be pushing the boundaries of that philosophy just a bit. Aesthetically, the minimalism has vanished; the use of aftermarket aero abundant. I would argue though, that although a bit extreme on the exterior, the car is a shining example of perfect balance. Let’s take a closer look at this build at my first stop on my all Japan mega tuning adventure; Honda Twincam. Click past the break for more.
Close-Up: TRD Tuned FT-86
I wrote an initial draft up about 3 weeks ago for this close-up, but for some reason never got around to publishing it. For that, I apologize, because this is one hell of a car. One great day, at Tsukuba Circuit, an amazing event was held. At this event, Toyota decided to show it’s variant of the FT-86. Ever since the FT-86, BRZ, or FR-S has made it’s debut in it’s geographically appropriate location, the tuning world has been abuzz with excitement. Now, with the Super GT BRZ, and the D1 FT-86, we’re all dying to see what’s next. Well, it seems that TRD has our answer. With the FT-86 being officially on sale in Japan for about half a month now, it’s unlikely we’ll see any personally owned ones tuned any time soon. Toyota has done an excellent job in marketing their newest offering, and the TRD tuned FT-86 is the icing on the cake. Click past the break to see more.
Close-Up: Spoon Endurance S2000
Those of you who know Spoon, know that they are no strangers of the endurance. So it comes as no surprise that they compete in the Super Taikyu series in Japan. What may come as a surprise though, is that this is the last time we may ever see a Spoon car in the traditional blue and yellow livery. As of the 2012 race season, Spoon has decided to do away with the iconic paint job that has adorned their cars for 25 years. This S2000 (AP1), seen at the official test day at Fuji Speedway, is their 2012 Super Taikyu entry and will be competing in the ST-4 class. This year’s drivers include Taketoshi Matsui, Yasunori Nakajima, and Tatsuru Ichishima – Mr. Spoon himself. As of last weekend, the first round of Super Taikyu has already concluded, and unfortunately Team Spoon did not fare well. You can see the official results here. Hopefully, within the next couple days here, I can get to posting that coverage. Round 2 of Super Taikyu takes place at the end of April at Twin Ring Motegi. You can expect live coverage of that via NDF’s Facebook page, as I’ll be traveling to Japan to meet up with JDM Clips for a super terrific Japan motor sports tour. For now, click past the break for a closer look at Team Spoon’s S2000.
Close-Up: R-Magic D1 RX7
At the beginning of the month, Super Autobacs Chiba held the 12th annual Rotary Meeting at their facility. JDM Clips was telling me that the Chiba store has always had strong ties with the rotary platform. So each year, it is host to a gathering of specially built rotary machines. This car in particular, is built by R-Magic for Takayama to drift in D1. Don’t confuse it with the R-Magic Super Lap machine, as they are two totally different cars! Each awesome in their own way though – I particularly like the two different colored wheels on this one. Check out more past the break!
Close-Up: Arios X Okuyama F16° Time Attack FD3S
There were many RX-7’s on hand the other week at Tsukuba Circuit; all in a fierce battle to claim the quickest lap around Tsukuba’s 2 mile stretch. The battle of the tuner’s unfolded throughout the day, as various time attack builds shot their way around the 14 corners of the circuit at top speed. Among them was the Arios Okuyama Auto Sports FD3S. This purpose built machine was among those in the dogfight on track, and surprisingly enough, did quite well against the heavy hitters – managing a best time of 58.818. JDM Clips was on hand to get a closer look at this build. Click past the break to see more.
Close-Up: Craft Company Time Attack FD
Craft Company is, among other things, just plain awesome. Based out of Amagasaki, a city in an industrial area in the Hyogo prefecture, Craft Company toils away under the hoods of many cars. Included in that lineup is their CCFD35 seen here – a car heavily partnered with FEED. CC is a regular at these events, but came to Tsukuba last weekend specifically to take part in the ‘Advan Fastest Amateur Tournament’. There were a ton of impressive cars at this event, most of them are regular time attackers we all know and love. Despite the stiff competition though, the CCFD35 managed a 6th place time of 57.658 around the circuit. To give you something to compare it to, Suzuki-san’s Scorch S15 posted a blistering 54.162 second lap time. Click past the break to check out more pics of the CC built RX7.
Close-Up: Tec-Art’s AE86 N2 Project
If you’re a fan of the Toyota AE86, then I’m sure that you will be extremely familiar with Tec-Art’s and what they do. The fairly small, family run operation out of Yashio City, has grown into one of the more famous 86 tuners in Japan. By far their most famous build is their AE86 N2 Project; seen here in it’s 2012 configuration. The project, now over a decade in it’s life, has evolved greatly, I think even greater than Yoshinori Kamata had intended. It’s no stranger to the track, and it definitely made it’s mark at Tsukuba Circuit last weekend during the live Hot Version shoot. Click past the break to see this machine in detail.
Close-Up: The Wheels of the Wek’
I thought it would be a cool idea to make a post from an entirely different perspective for once – or, one perspective only actually. There were so many people at the event, that as I stanced myself down to photograph the wheels of cars, I’d always catch someones shoes in the background. It’s a little funny if you think about it – a car’s wheels are kind of like it’s shoes. I thought it was fitting (ha! fitting – get it?) to throw together a little post of some of the best shots that portrayed this. Plus, I love how these shots come out with the 50mm prime, so I wanted to share anyway. This just makes it a little more fun! Click past the break to view the ‘shoes of the wek, starting with these yummy step-lipped Meisters!’
Close-Up: Rising Suns Motorsports NSX
So I first saw this car at the Canibeat meet in Fremont on Friday night, and although I tried to snap some shots of it, they came out not great because there was absolutely no lighting in the lot. I wasn’t too concerned though because I had a good feeling it was going to be showing at Wekfest. This NSX belongs to Rothsen of Rising Suns Motorsports – and although I didn’t get to meet him, I know this because I’m really good at using the internet (:|) Rising Suns is a car club out of Salinas, CA and has a few nicely built cars. Click past the break to check out more of this one.
Close-Up: Honda NSX Concept
I’d have to say, I feel Honda cheated us a little bit with the HSV; but it looks like they’re looking to make up for it in the coming years. Honda has been lacking a flagship sports car in it’s lineup for some time now. Sure, they had the S2000, but that wasn’t really super car status – plus they don’t even make it anymore. So what we’ve been left with for the past few years has been…well…the CR-Z. A mildly sporty, hybrid hatchback. Not quite what you’d consider ‘flagship’. All that is set to change, however, we probably will not see production until 2015. I have a feeling the new NSX will be a game changer in terms of technology. While they are staying true to the NSX’s mid-engine roots, they’ve added a bit of a twist. Click past the break for more shots of the 2012 NSX Concept at the Honda Welcome Plaza, Japan.
Close-Up: HKS AP350SC-II Concept – a.k.a. Supercharged S2000
One for the Honda fans; HKS, among many other vehicles this year, brought out the same S2000 they had at SEMA 2011 here in the states. Dubbed the AP350SC-II Concept, (derived from the chassis code, the amount of power it produces, and the main power adder) this S2000 is host to a whole lineup of newly developed HKS parts. Namely, the GTS7040 supercharger that’s attached to the F22. Click past the break for a close-up of this beast.
Close-Up: GReddy Nissan 35RX
Bear with me on this post; there’s a possibility that I could still be a little intoxicated. I’ll keep the grammar in check as best as I can. It seems like Nissan has lost the battle in trying to keep the R35 GTR a machine that needs no modification. In the hands of the Japanese elite tuners, nothing is sacred. Take, for example, the GReddy 35RX; a machine so deconstructed, that it retains little to no trace of the original form. I want to show you something pretty amazing – so click past the break.
Close-Up: RE-雨宮 NA Super-7
OK, everyone close your eyes. On the count of three, open them and bestow upon yourself one of the most intense RX-7 builds to date. Ready? OK, 1…2…3…open! You peaked didn’t you? Anyway, pick your jaws up from the floor so I can continue this post. Every time I think this guy has outdone himself, he comes through with yet another build for the books. The RE Amemiya built NA Super-7 is hands down one of the greatest FD builds I’ve seen to date. The beauty, of course, lies in the extensive body work that Isami Amemiya is known for. Click past the break to get up close and personal with the curves – courtesy of JDM Clips.
Close-Up: Mugen RR Advanced Concept
Every once in awhile a tuner company will come out with a build that just blows me away. Well, Mugen is more than just a tuning company, and this is more than just a build; but whatever it is, definitely blows me away. The Mugen RR Advanced Concept is an almost 100% carbon bodied Civic RR with an extensive modification list that makes it a formidable track opponent going up against just about anything. Check out more of what makes this beast tick past the break.
Close-Up: Sky Rocket Racing – CX Racing RX-7
Out of the hundreds of cars at AutoCon, only a handful of them were dedicated track cars. This black RX-7 stood out to me as one that gets hammered on the regular. If the Nitto NT01’s didn’t give it away, maybe the roll cage and front splitter can give you a hint as to where this car spends most of it’s time. I meant to post this up when this coverage was more relevant, but I had other things to tend to. Anyway, click past the break for more photos.
Close Up: Subaru BRZ GT300
I figured that with all the hype surrounding the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ, that people would get tired of hearing about it pretty quickly. Turns out I was right. When Subaru announced its intentions to compete in the GT300 class of Super GT next year with the BRZ chassis, the hype exploded all over again. For good reason; it’s a work of art. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing to look at, but every piece of aerodynamics on this car serves a function. That’s the beauty of Super GT. I waited for a few weeks to post our coverage to see what kind of response I’d get after the buzz subsided. Click past the break for JDM Clips take on the BRZ GT300.