When I departed on my return trip to Japan this Summer, I did so with the goal of reconnecting with friends and colleagues after the two years of travel restrictions. For 5 straight weeks I travelled around the country by car, train, and plane, all with the simple objective of ‘catching up’.
One of the reasons I enjoy visiting Hayashi at his shop, Auto House Solid, anytime I’m in Gunma is that there is always a large variety of tuning cars on hand. Hayashi services a wide range of customers so there is guaranteed to be something interesting in the shop.
At the beginning of my road trip to Mie Prefecture, I decided to make a detour down to the Izu Peninsula to visit my good friend Ando. Ando operates Auto Rescue Izu, a wrecker/tow service in Shizuoka. Over the past 2 years he had built a new shop to house and work on his personal cars.
Last week I made my way down to the Kansai Region of Japan for a few photoshoots I had lined up. Our first stop was at Esprit where I met our friend Sugikou-san. I wanted to photograph his Supra again for 80R because a lot of time has passed since our original shoot at Suzuka Circuit.
Last week we held a small get together at Autopolis International Racing Circuit in the Oita Prefecture of Kyushu. I had 3 photoshoots for 80R scheduled for this particular weekend trip down south, however a few could not make it last minute.
About a week after arriving in Japan, I received a message from my good friend Tsubaki. Since I photographed his S15 for Import Tuner back in 2014, we’ve always made sure to stay in touch as the years pass.
In this video we visit Skyline tuning masters Racing Factory Autobahn, deep in the countryside of Ibaraki. Kawai-san shows us some of the newer builds and I take a walk around the shop.
This past weekend I headed to Nagano to photograph my friend Tsubaki’s new S15 delivery. He had the car fixed and fitted with the new Garage Mak Type 6 front end. While I was there, we take a close look at Amemiya’s 1,000+hp S15 at the shop, and I also took some photographs of our friend Masato’s DIY S13.
Based in Japan’s unrivaled hub of neo-anime culture and unwavering creativity, Sector One turns out some of the worlds most detailed Itasha designs. After 2 months of having their flagship location in Akihabara, I was invited to come take a look at their new demo car; the former RE-Amemiya built LW-7 FD3S.
This past Saturday, Joey from The Chronicles held his annual meet at the Eibach Facility in Corona, CA. 2015 marked the 7th year of the website, and hundreds of people came out to show their appreciation for Joey’s work. I was headed up North that weekend, but came to Corona a bit early to say hi to everyone before I left. A lot of friends from Japan attend as they are in town for SEMA which is going on this week. I was able to get some coverage before I left around 1.
It’s always memorable to meet new people (most of the time anyway), especially if you’re a fan of their work or if you share the same interests. It’s even more memorable, however, if there is something attached to that meeting that makes it stand out among the many other encounters we experience. In this case, in my meeting of Damon and Tony, that memorable event came in the form of a Shawano, Wisconsin Sheriff.
As you know by now, Advance builds their shop cars specifically to take on Fuji Circuit. Their FD, which they’ve been developing for some time now, is hands down the shop’s fastest build. It’s able to lap Fuji Speedway in a very respectable 1’56; a lap time most street cars can’t touch.
Last month, when I went to Advance, there was a customer’s NSX parked on the street next to Masahiro’s. After taking chatting and taking some pictures of Yagi’s S15, I snapped a few stills of the NSX duo.
As the afternoon wore on, I kept making my way around the lines of cars with Kristian checking out the variety of cars at Wekfest. The show was coming to an end so we eventually made our way to the exit gates and watched everyone leave.
Whenever I archive photos from events that I attend for the site, I always save them by dates so when I go back to create and edit collections in Lightroom, I’m not scouring the thousands of files I have on my hard drive. That’s probably pretty common amongst most photographers, but in doing so it allows me to see just how many times I’ve attended a particular event. In this case, this was my fifth year attending Wekfest LA (amongst SF and New Jersey as well).
We’ll kick off some of the Mobara drift coverage with a closer look at Kato-san’s Z32; one of the more famous drift Z32’s in Japan. Unfortunately later in the afternoon Kato damaged the front end […]
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 […]
To confirm your suspicions let me just say, yes; this car is made entirely of carbon fiber. A carbon car if you will. This car was built and belongs to Mike from Autokonexion; a shop […]
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.
Well, it’s about that time to start wrapping up the show coverage. I was planning on posting the third and final round of coverage this weekend, but ended up working, as well as temporarily acquiring a vinyl cutter. The latter occurrence took up the majority of my Monday so I wasn’t able to work on getting the post up. Oh well, I have some time tonight and will do just that. We pick up mid-afternoon when the show was really getting busy. The turnout was really, really good for it being the first East coast show that Weksos has put on. I was very happy for everyone involved at the success of the day. I don’t really have much else to say in this post that hasn’t already been stated. In this post we’ll take a closer look at some of the nice Hondas at the show, as well as a look at the roll-out. Again, you’ll be able to see the insane amount of variety that these Wekfest shows provide. Just click past the break and enjoy the rest of the shots.
It’s 2 am on Saturday morning, I don’t have work tomorrow (edit – I DO have work today), and I’m stacked up on caffeine; I may as well get started on posting the second round of Wekfest East. Yuta’s civic was having some work done at a shop in Upland this past week, and this evening we drove up there to pick it up. While in the area, we decided to meet Kodi Chan at Maxim off the 60 in Rowland Heights. I don’t get to see Kodi that often so it was nice that it worked out that way. I ended up drinking way too much coffee though, and as a result am writing this right now. I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow…err..today, and read this and it probably won’t make any sense to me. I just thought for some reason you should know why this post will be comprehensively poorly written. Right. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the New Jersey convention center to check out more of the cars at Wekfest. In this post, I’ll wrap up what I have left of the roll-in and get started on showing the masses of cars that were in attendance. I gotta say, as I look back on each car as I edit them, I’m finding more and more cool things I didn’t notice initially. I’ll point some of the things out as I go. Also, you can once again see the thought that went into the variety of cars showing. If you’re not familiar with the tour, not just anyone can come show. The Weksos staff hand pick out of hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants to ensure a great show. For now, click past the break to see part 2 of the coverage.
I had first played with the idea of coming to New Jersey for Wekfest East back in June during the LA show. Towards the end of the show at the Queen Mary, I had been talking to Geoffrey and Kenneth a little bit about the turn out in comparison to the rest of the tour. LA had a great turn out, a close second to the Fort Mason show in San Francisco, but the home show is hard to beat. I had asked him about the general turn out and response to the rest of the stops, and they basically responded with an invitation to come see for myself. I’m in a pretty unique position compared to most people as far as traveling goes, so the idea wasn’t too farfetched. I’ve made it to the East coast and back in less than a day, so there was really no reason why I couldn’t make it work with a car show thrown in there somewhere. I’m not really affected by jet lag or time zones anymore as I fly quite often. In fact, I’m sitting in an airplane, writing this, right now on the way to Phoenix; on a non-car related trip unfortunately. As the show date neared, I was able to rearrange some things in my work schedule, so I decided I would make the flight out to Newark. The show was on a Sunday, so I elected to take a red eye on Saturday night to avoid an additional night in a hotel. I would land Sunday morning around 5am and shoot straight over to the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison in time to catch the roll-in and setup of the show. Leaving on Monday would give me a good night’s sleep and an opportunity to cruise into New York for a little bit; and by little bit I mean a good 35 minutes or so – I’ll get to that later though. Click past the break for part 1 of my exploits in the East.
. So, yeah, I’m on the East Coast right now, finally relaxing in my hotel room after an incredibly long day. It’s a one man show here at NDF (well, in the States anyway), so […]
. You can tell this was edited awhile ago because of the old watermark; proof that I have a lot of content that’s waiting to be posted. I’m almost embarrassed to call this another ‘Preview’ […]
One of the cool things about going to a race event in Japan, is all the other things that come along with it. Good food, merchandise and car part vendors, free goodies, concerts, and the paddock and pit areas. Super GT had it all and then some. In the vendor area of Fuji Speedway, Yokohama had a fairly large booth set up with a couple display cars. One of the cars was this red FT-86 sitting on a matte black set of Advan RG-D’s. I thought it was a really clean example of what the FT-86 can look like with the simplest of modifications. Click past the break for a full shot.
For those of you who are regulars of NDF, this Lexus (…is that what this is?) will be a familiar site to you. It belongs to Joe McGuigan and is in the process of quite the transformation. If you’re not familiar with what Joe does, check this out. If you aren’t familiar with what he does it with, check this out. Last year, Joe ran Thunder Drift with the stock 2JZ; underpowered to say the least. Well, as you can see, things have changed. With the 2012 season approaching and new targets in his site, he’s decided to ditch the OEM power in favor of some V8 juice! Check out more of the 1UZ swap progress past the break.
Now that the Scion FR-S has been unveiled in North America and we’ve had a chance to examine her curves, I thought it would be a cool idea to go back to the FR-S Concept to compare how different the production model came out to be. Naturally, car companies can’t produce such extreme looking cars for mass consumption; they have to decide on a delicate balance of cutting edge and acceptable, so as not to shy away potential buyers. I took the following detailed images of the FR-S at the LA Auto Show for us to compare with. Click past the break to start.
Elementary. The basics. Simplicity. Classicality. Yes, that last one is actually a word. All these words can sum up the look of Johnny’s fresh hatchback. It’s almost more about the things he chose not to do, then what he did do that makes this EK so clean. It’s a nice change from the over adorned, gaudy looking masses that make up the majority of modified cars these days. Johnny lives in my hometown, and we met through theJDM awhile ago. This is his second build and I’ve been wanting to shoot it for some time now, so I caught up with him at Eibach. It’s tough to get creative shots at a car show, so consider this a preview to a more worthy future write-up. Enjoy the pics past the break.
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!