With the seemingly never-ending popularity of Mazda’s 90’s classic, the RX7, it’s not uncommon for it’s successor, the RX-8, to get overlooked. At the time, the newly introduced Renesis engine, while a great performer at high RPM, lacked torque and overall power; mainly due to the extreme efficiency of the engine to meet strictly enforced emissions laws. Because of this, the naturally aspirated 1.3 liter rotary seemed to always get passed on for it’s older, turbocharged counterpart. Wanting to prove the RX-8’s worth, and to help stoke parts development of the chassis, Aoki-san at Revolution took on the task of building the ultimate RX-8. The first step? Ditching the Renesis motor for a naturally aspirated 20B.
I really have to give credit to the formation of NORUSH, alongside NDF of course, for opening up the doors to relationships I may or may not have had otherwise. In the scheme of things, not much time has passed since Allan, myself, and the rest of the guys were really involved in the street driving. So much has happened since then though, that it seems like it’s been decades.
I usually like to entertain myself at car shows by scrutinizing each car that I pass by. Obviously, you’ve seen from my past coverage of any car show, that I’m fairly particular in the cars I post. This makes for a less comprehensive view of the event, but I’ve always done my best to keep the site to a specific niche, and not posting just for the sake of posting. That being said, I like to pick a car at each show that I like the best, and give it the imaginary NDF award. At last weekend’s Autocon show, it was this S2000 here which received such a pretentiously made-up honor of the NDF Choice.
As I sit in front of my gate at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, with the hopes (although very little) of catching an earlier flight back to California, my mind can’t help but wander back towards days that I enjoy more than those of which I spend inside the depths of US airports; which I relate now more or less to that of a colony of bees. Filled to the brim with people going about their every which way, connecting to cities across the expanse of the Earth, each with a unique task to complete (varying in importance). The days on my mind? Those of which are spent in Japan, at the circuits which I’ve grown all too comfortable being at…
I know my recent posts haven’t been very lengthy by any means, and this one is going to be no different (that’s not to say I don’t want to type more, I’m just pressed for time). If you’ve followed the blog for that past year at least, you’ll know this car. Kazuya-san, a.k.a. Kotora, a.k.a Baby Tiger, a.k.a. Fastest NA Civic around TC2000 on radial tires, a.k.a….just kidding I have no more names.
Over the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting, and becoming friends with, many tuning shops in Japan – and that’s not something I take for granted at all. However, there […]
The last time I talked to Steve in person was at Autocon back in…April, I believe? Anyway, for the 30 or so minutes we chatted, he had mentioned wanting to put his 15″ Watanabes that […]
Aficionado; probably the most appropriate term when trying to describe Ikegaya-san. Referring to of course his passion of the DR30 and Landcruiser; two extremely different automobiles that, somehow or another, are perfectly match […]
上杉 治憲 (Uesugi Harunori), a Japanese Daimyo of the Azizuki clan, king of samurai, was quoted as once saying, “なせばなる”; in English, “If you take action, it will become.” It’s an excerpt taken from a […]
Ichihara is located in the western part of the Bōsō Peninsula, and geographically is the largest of Chiba Prefecture’s cities and towns. The highly industrialized northern part of the city sits on Tokyo […]
This article has been a long time coming, and I don’t have any excuse for putting it off any longer so here we go… I’ve been traveling a lot this month, and […]
Hayashi-san, owner of Garage Saurus, has built his product with roots firmly in the drag racing circuit. It may surprise some then, if I were to tell you that for the past decade they […]
There is a feeling that some have experienced that is as nerve racking as it is exhilarating. Some may crumble under it, feed off of it; becoming stronger, faster. A sort of pressure that brings […]
Last Summer (Spring?) I flew up to Vancouver to visit friends, get some Buenos, eat at some strange Chinese/Canadian breakfast place (twice), and photograph Vincent’s beautiful Voltex equipped S2000 for Import Tuner. Now that that […]
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 […]
Recently I had the chance to photograph a very beautiful work in progress – I’ll have a feature of this FEED equipped RX-7 hopefully later in the week. Stay tuned!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Mao; the owner of the GS300 you see here. Adam, a very easy going and very talented young guy, was nice enough to meet […]
“People can’t be just tied together. They have to connect. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves bound hand and foot.” A quote (from the Japanese movie NANA) that holds true in most cases; especially when referring to […]
As I’m sitting here, looking through the January 2013 issue of Option, page 44 specifically, I can’t help but reminisce on a specific attendee of my Dog Fighter Cafe in February (2 if you count […]
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 […]
Saturday the 22nd, 2012, 6am; the first daybreak of Fall. As the sun casts its new rays upon the horizon, we can say goodbye to Summer, and welcome in the new season. A season filled […]
If you were to imagine a specific car that, in your own mind, possessed the qualities of protector, or a guardian; what car would you choose? For me, it would always be the Mitsubishi EVO. Something about it just gives off a ‘sentry’ feel. Perhaps it’s the bold, boxy lines, it’s potential for great power or even it’s masculine stature. There is quite obviously a good amount of guardian like character in any EVO, but this one in particular, has more than most. I’ve never seen where Algier lives, but I bet I would feel pretty safe with his EVO standing watch over the neighborhood. Right, I’ll admit that the theme to this feature is a little far-fetched; but it’s still a bit amusing if you think about it. Modified cars coming to life to protect…the…people…oh my god I’m describing Transformers…damn. I knew I had heard of that concept somewhere. Anyway, all that aside, Algier has put together an extremely quality build that I’ve really taken a liking too. This past weekend I flew up to the bay area and made the short trip over to San Jose the next morning to meet up with Algier. He had just spent the entire previous day at HIN so I was thankful that he was able to make it out for a few hours the next morning. Click past the break to see more of this insanely clean 8.
Behind most cars, there are stories to be told. Some are your ordinary, every day type of stories that happen to the majority of people. I’m sure we all have lot’s of memories that are centered around our vehicles; but I doubt that they are quite as intense as the story that surrounds this particular S2000. Why? Because this one was at one point engulfed in flames. Has your car ever been on fire? Didn’t think so. This beautiful S2000 belongs to Nhan Doan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Wekfest LA, where he was showing his car for the day. I liked his car so much I asked if he wanted to snap a few pictures for NDF after the show. He happily obliged and around 5 or so we headed to Ballade Sports, where he was to drop off the car for a new tune that week. I was hoping to have the new website up by now, here, and have this post as a sort of ‘kick-off’ of the new layout, but as you can see it seems to be taking me longer than I thought. So, good news for all the fans I suppose, you get it early! Click past the break to learn more about this true fighter of a S2000.
. Some of you may be familiar with this car; others will not. Whichever group you fall under, you should know it ruffled a few feathers here in the states. It’s no secret that people […]
. This weekend I took a drive up to Baldwin Park to visit Project G – one of the largest dedicated Miata shops in the Los Angeles area. The owners, Joe and Steve, have built […]
It appears my elusive internet connection has abandoned me once again, and in doing so, has prevented me from sharing with you this beautiful car in a timely manner. So as I sit here in Starbucks, sipping my coffee, looking like Ko-Teng from ‘You Are The Apple of My Eye’ typing on his laptop in Taxi Coffee (obligatory Chinese movie reference – [long story]), it has become my mission to introduce you to the creation you see above. Jon Principe attended the Slammed Society show in Long Beach at the beginning of the month and I just happened to have the good fortune to make his acquaintance. As I was admiring the Amuse wide-body dressed in the reddest of paint, Jon approached me and asked who I was shooting for. When I told him NDF, I received the response I usually get; “Who?” Perks of naming your blog something so strange I suppose. Eager to practice more car photography, I inquired if he’d be interested in a photoshoot. We exchanged info and planned to get together some time in the coming weeks. Turns out Jon ended up winning first place in the Time Attack category at the show, and I ended up winning a couple hours of alone time with his S2000; a true red letter day. Click past the break for the feature.
To say that we’ve come quite a way in pushing the bounds of modification would be an understatement for most. On occasions where influence and creativity converge over time, amazing results can happen; as is the case with the Miata you see here. Cody’s pursuit of building the perfect Roadster has been a long one, and one where Japanese prominence has prevailed in all areas. From the Super Lap styled exterior, to the adequately tuned engine, he’s transformed this NA from a mild mannered sports car into a battle ready track devil. Honestly I can’t even remember how I got to talking with Cody (I think through NDF Facebook), but as soon as I realized that he was the one responsible for this build, I was itching to get my hands on it. We’re both pretty busy guys, but we managed to met up a few weeks later to knock out a quick photoshoot. If you will, please disregard the obscure title reference to the Paul McCartney song for a few minutes and click past the break to see just what this one of a kind Miata is all about.
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.
I’ve always been a fan of the Z32; it’s shape is so iconic to the 90’s sports car. It’s one of those cars that I love to look at, but would never have the patience to build. So, with that said, I’ll leave it up to people like Kevin Hurst to build them for me to look at. I met Kevin when he moved into my old apartment complex a few years ago. I had noticed his Z in the parking area a few times, mainly due to the concave 5-Zigens and it being 1 inch off the ground, but I never saw a driver. We eventually ran into each other when I was washing my car and instantly started talking cars. I mentioned my blog and it was decided that I would eventually get to photograph his car. A few months and mods later, we finally both had a break in our schedules to take some shots and grab some lunch. Check out the results past the break.
The one thing that continues to amaze me in this industry is the amount of great, down to earth people there are. No matter the discipline, whether you’re a driver, a spectator, a mechanic, or involved in media coverage, it just seems hard to come across a person you won’t get along with. Case in point; Joe McGuigan. Joe drifts in the Thunder Drift: Pro Am series here in Northern California. The series basically serves as a gateway for amateur drivers looking to get into national series like Formula D. As this season comes to an end, Joe is already looking to next year where, with an all new engine setup, will be shooting for his Formula D license. Let’s take a closer look at his weapon of choice past the break.
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.
Following up that pink Studie BMW post, I have an awesome feature on this unusual GT300 contender. The Studie built Hatsune Miku Good Smile Racing BMW Z4 (初音ミク グッドスマイル) is unique to say the least. For starters, the team’s theme is based on a character that was originally created to market Crypton Future Media’s new ‘Vocaloid’ software, a synthetic singing application that can be used to add vocals to backing music – sounds like something from a science fiction movie. Anyway, as you would imagine if you’ve been to Japan before, the character soon became overwhelmingly popular (Check this video out). The second unique feature of this team, and probably the coolest, is that it gathers it’s racing funds from individual fan donations. The individual sponsorships range between 3,000yen to 300,000yen, and allows the fans to get a chance to visit the team pit during a race, have their name on the car, get a special team sticker, and other perks. Thanks again to JDM Clips for providing coverage and information. Check out the feature past the break.
Sure, we all know Naoki’s purple/pink S13 coupe, but some aren’t as familiar with the S15 he was to drive in D1. This purpose built drift machine was fully race spec, and just as crazy looking as the older coupe. I wonder if he will be driving it in the new series,‘The Drift Muscle’? Check out the pics.
This past weekend I ventured over to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to attend the Speedventures open track day, and to check out Big Mike’s Hontune event. This was the first Speedventures event I’ve been to, and although I didn’t track my car, I had a ton of fun walking around the facility shooting photos. Despite the bone chilling wind and uncertain forecast, I’m glad I went because I ended up meeting some great people and getting to shoot their awesome cars. Case in point; the two track ready S2000’s you see before you. I saw this pair sitting unattended in the garage, so I ventured in for some pics; click past the break for more.
I know you’re thinking right now, “Two back to back featured car posts?! I don’t believe it.” Well, believe it. That’s just how awesome we are. All jokes aside, I’m not sure why it took me so long to post this car up, as it has massive popularity among drift fans. D1-GP reverse-entry guru Masato Kawabata is the man responsible for piloting this ridiculously hot, 600 horsepower 180sx sideways through all the corners. I spotted the S all alone, basking in the light at the Toyo Tires booth as we were getting ready to take off from the Auto Salon in search of another UP Garage. So I decided to get up close and personal with it. Sit back and enjoy the shots!
JDM Clips comes through again with some great media of the Eneos SC430 Endurance GT Racer. We’ve all driven this car at one point in time…right? Well, in Gran Turismo at least. So you already know how awesome it is. This car is unique in many ways, especially because of the rarity of the platform in racing. You don’t often see SC430’s competing in organized motorsports. I can only think of the other 4 which competed in GT500 also. So, if you haven’t driven it, and don’t know how awesome it is, click past the break and I will tell you.
I like Team Burst. You probably like them too. I’d even venture to say that out of all the organized drift ‘teams’ in Japan, that Team Burst is the most recognized. This is largely due in part to Naoki Nakamura’s drift skill and media attention; whether it’s wanted or not. I’m sure that you’ve heard by now all the recent news that has surrounded Naoki, but if you haven’t click here, and then here. With that in mind, I thought it would be cool to do a little spotlight on the cars he drives in regularly, and for D1SL. I shot these on the last day of TAS, and you can see that the D1 banners have been removed already. Click past the break for the gallery.
When Honda announced the end of the NSX’s participation in the Super GT due to new regulations only allowing front-engine, rear-driven cars, fans around the world winced a little. Little did we know what Honda had cooking in their chemistry lab of motorsport awesomeness. They announced their new GT spec car towards the end of 2009 as a successor to the popular mid-engined NSX, that was to compete in the GT-500 class in 2010. I believe there were four teams that utilized the HSV; Epson, Weider, Autobacs, and Keihin. Of these teams, Keihin managed the best performance of the season. You can watch the race at Sportsland Sugo here; the spectacular ending, and win for the Keihin team, was a highlight of this season. This win helped them to acheive 3rd place in the championship. If that’s not enough HSV-ness, click over to JDM Clips to see the Keihin HSV in action in Motegi. Thanks to JDM Clips for some great shots.
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!