Tag: Nissan

Garage Life: An Evening In Riverside

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Yesterday evening we decided to make the drive out to Riverside to visit Franklin.  His car’s been down for awhile and he hasn’t been able to come down our way for awhile.  I had been driving a lot this past week, and didn’t really feel like tacking on a drive all the way out to Riverside, so I got a ride with Allan and we both met Yuta over there.  It’s been quite awhile since I did a Garage Life post, so I brought along my camera stuff to get a few shots – nothing fancy though.  Not sure why, but I don’t really take pictures of what I do outside of events and stuff, but these types of post get good attention; so you can expect more day to day lifestyle type posts like this in the future.  Anyway, click past the break for a few more shots.

Event: Wekfest East 2012 – New Jersey V.3

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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.


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Event: Wekfest East 2012 – New Jersey V.2

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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.

Event: Wekfest East 2012, New Jersey V. 1 – Roll In

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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.

Event: Colab Drift Day at Balcony

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So, last weekend I rode up with a couple of friends to Willow Springs Raceway for a drift event at Balcony that was put on by Colab.  Whew, that sentence is way longer than it seemed when I started typing it.  Now I’m wondering if I should even start this post off with it…whatever.  If you don’t know what Balcony is; it’s a spot at the top of WSIR that is used for various things, but it’s probably most known for it’s use as a makeshift drift course.  It’s actually a decent spot to practice and I’m sure organizing events there is much cheaper than HTM.  I had nothing planned for the weekend when the guys told me about the event, so I figured it would be worth going along to get some practice shooting drift events; I really have never shot drifting before.  Also, I’ve been wanting to shoot Kem’s 240 for awhile, and still want to do a decent shoot with it, but it was fun getting some shots of it sideways.  That’s his car with the R33 intercooler – it’s a little crooked, but who cares this car is rad.  Charlie brought out his RB25 240 as well, and there were a couple other cars out that day as well.  This will mostly be random pictures with no story line or commentary because that’s basically what the day was.  Pretty much every car broke anyway.  Click past the break for more.

Event: Wekfest LA 2012 – Long Beach, California V.4

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It’s almost been a week since Wekfest LA, and I’ve just about wrapped up all my coverage.  I’m going to try and squeeze everything I’ve got into this final post – so it’s going to be massive.  I went ballistic on this one so, by far, you’ll see the most diversity in cars throughout this post.  I’ve also included another slideshow gallery at the bottom for the masses.  Hope you see your car!  Also, if you want some special VIP only coverage of the show, check out our friends down under at Street-Cover.  I supplied them with a few shots to help spread the Wek love over in Australia.  You should probably check the site out anyway because it’s pretty rad.  Again, special thanks goes out to all those at Weksos Industries involved in organizing such a massive tour, as well as the city of Long Beach for being cooperative.  Let’s just jump right into the coverage.  You know the drill – click the break for more.

Event: Super Taikyu Round 2 – Twin Ring Motegi v.2

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I think I’ll break up the Wekfest coverage with the second post of Super Taikyu from Twin Ring.  I have a few fans that are awaiting the continuation of this and it just so happens I initially started posting it right before Wekfest hit town; which was not my intention.  Plus, seeing a couple of race cars fight it out on track will be a nice contrast to the show coverage.  We left off on the last post somewhere near the start of the race, after the practice laps.  By now you have a good impression of the diversity of this series; I’m pretty sure I’ve said that a million times now, but it’s part of why this is such a cool race.  Part of the appeal of Group-N racing series’ is that it has the ability to make any regular person feel like they can be a race car driver behind the wheel of there normal, every day car.  That’s not to say that they should…but it’s nice to have that feeling.  A popular car among the Super Taikyu contenders is the Sturm Motul STi.  You can see it here propped up on the air jacks in the team garage; the crew going through a few final tests before it’s unleashed on the track for the 4 hour stint.  Check the continued coverage past the break.

Event: Wekfest LA 2012 – Long Beach, California V.2

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Let’s continue the Wekfest LA 2012 coverage, shall we?  I left off somewhere around early afternoon just before the gates opened to the public.  By this time a line had formed at the entrance that wrapped around quite a ways towards the Queen Mary.  I don’t think it was as profound as the San Francisco show, but it was still pretty large.  The good thing about it being an outdoor venue was the amount of people that could come in wasn’t limited because of fire law restrictions.  Although Fort Mason is a cool location to have a show in the city, it limits the capacity in several different ways.  After I made my first round through the cars, I was getting pretty hungry.  My buddy Jon had ordered a pizza, so I took a break with him and some other guys and ate a little bit.  Sitting in the grass, under the cover of the mornings marine layer was extremely relaxing.  After a good 30 minutes though I decided it would be best to do another walk through before the crowds arrived.  Check the second round of coverage past the break.

Event: Wekfest LA 2012 – Long Beach, California V.1

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This past weekend the Queen Mary park in Long Beach played host to the second stop in the 2012 Wekfest Tour; Wekfest LA.  It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the show stormed the grounds in 2011; and as I was expecting, the show was unreal.  Honestly, if I could choose one show to attend for the entire year, there is no doubt it would be Wekfest – LA specifically.  There really is no better venue than the Queen Mary; great weather, beautiful ocean and downtown views, off-shore breezes, shaded grassy areas to relax, and plenty of room for the 300+ cars and the thousands of attendees.  The Wek get better at organizing these shows with each event’s passing and for like minded people, their efforts don’t go unnoticed.  I’d like to give a big thanks to Kenneth Li, Adam Luong, Geoffrey Nguyen and all the other behind the scenes people at Weksos that make this tour what it is.  I had a blast checking out the builds, catching up with familiar faces, and meeting a handful of new people.  With that said, I need to work on getting more sleep before these shows.  I’ve slipped into the unconscious habit of getting a maximum of 2-3 hours of sleep before any particular Wekfest show I’ve attended.  Somehow I managed to arrive a good two hours before media was allowed in; two hours I spent sleeping in the parking lot.  With about 30 minutes to 11am, I walked towards the entrance where I saw my buddy Jon.  As we were talking Geoffrey came up to say hi.  We talked for a few minutes, got my stamp a little early, and I slipped into the fray of glossy metal that is Wekfest.  Check out the first part of coverage past the break – hope you enjoy!

Event: Super Taikyu Round 2 – Twin Ring Motegi V.1

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耐久 [Taikyu] – Translate the word to English and it becomes ‘Endurance’, or ‘Persistence’.  Both of which are needed in a series like Super Taikyu; where the most average of cars are transformed into octane devouring, tire burning, track monsters for their drivers to tame around the circuit.  A series that pushes both man and machine to the brink of exhaustion; endurance racing at it’s finest.  Now don’t get me wrong – this is no 24 Hours of Nürburgring.  It is, however, grueling in it’s own right – I barely survived photographing it, let alone driving it.  It’s possible that some readers are not familiar with the series, although, they may be familiar with the term ‘Group-N’ racing.  A particular type of motor sport, governed by the FIA, where standard production vehicles are allowed to be slightly modified for competition;  I use the term ‘slightly’ very loosely.  No doubt about it that each and every one of these cars is fully built to be race metal.  The main reason I fell in love with this series is the amount of classes involved and on track at the same time, all racing to be number one in their own right.  In this sense it’s a bit like Le Mans racing, except Super Taikyu has 5 classes.  I’m really excited to share this series with you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Click past the break for more Twin Ring action.

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.2

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We continue the coverage of Super GT Round 2 from about the middle of the race.  By now I had wandered myself around the better half of the track and started making my way back to the paddock area to get something to eat.  While doing so, I managed to miss the massive crash of the Art Taste Porsche driven by Tim Bergmeister that ended up sending him to the hospital.  I’m not sure if he had a puncture in one of his tires that threw him off, or if it was a driver error, but the accident was pretty horrific.  This delayed the race for a good 30 minutes while they cleaned up and got the car off-track.  It didn’t take long though for the GT cars to start up at full throttle again.  Click past the break to check out more racing action from Fuji Speedway.

Event: Super GT Round 2 – Throwdown At Fuji Speedway v.1

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Nothing can short change the excitement of a good road race.  Rapidly changing weather conditions, split second decisions, class differences, mental fatigue, and constant overtaking all combine to create an environment that only motor sport can provide.  Super GT, Japan’s premier racing series, brings this to the table round after round.  Mixing GT300 and GT500 contenders make for a packed grid and the opportunity to see some great driving.  This particular race held many challenges for the teams to overcome; challenges that would leave the unprepared teams either on the back of the grid or, worse yet, off the track and retired.  It’s my pleasure to bring you coverage from Round 2 of Super GT held at Fuji Speedway in the Shizuoka prefecture.  Click past the break for a look at the action.

Close-Up: Auto Gallery Yokohama – GT-R R32 Heart Attack!

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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.

Event: Slammed Society x Fatlace Car Show – Long Beach v.1

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Like I had said in my previous post, I hadn’t planned on going to Formula D, and I really didn’t plan on inquiring about a media pass (although from the looks of it I probably should have!).  So, to say I was lucky I got in would be an understatement.  I didn’t get many great shots of the actual tandem runs because the track was pretty well fenced off and the parts that you could have possibly shot through had huge banners covering it.  That, and my zoom lens is a piece of shit.  Seriously, worst lens ever.  I don’t even know why I bother lugging it around.  It’s OK though because I have another new prime on the way – a must for the Super GT & Taikyu races I’ll be shooting soon.  Anyway, there was some serious down-time in between rounds so I had some good opportunities to snap the show that was going on in the parking lot.  Every year Slammed Society and Fatlace put on a car show concurrent with the Formula D event.  I never really bothered with it all the other times I went to Formula D here, but since there was nothing else to do I decided to check it out.  There was the usual mix of awesome and not so awesome cars.  I did get a chance to meet up with a few people, and make friends with some new faces which was great.  Take a closer look at the show past the break.

Event: Drift Exhibition at Tsukuba Circuit

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I drove back to my hometown this weekend to attend my friend’s wedding.  I was looking forward to relaxing at home for a day or so and getting some work done on the website.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  It seems like whenever I go home, I’m pulled in 100 different directions; and there’s never enough time.  Needless to say, NDF was M.I.A for the past couple days.  Before I turn in for the night I thought I’d throw this post together real quick.  During the Hot Version N2 Race at Tsukuba Circuit, the guys over at Drift Muscle, as well as some D1SL contenders, put together a little drifting exhibition.  Check it out past the break – and catch video at JDM Clips.

Feature: Playing in the rain – Kevin’s Fairlady Z

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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.

Locale: Cobb Tuning Socal – Shop Tour

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After two straight weeks of work, I finally managed to squeeze in a much needed day off.  This past Wednesday I had plans to shoot my friends Z32 but, due to a scheduling conflict, had to cancel.  Not being one to waste a day off, I sat down and thought of some other things to shoot for the website.  I had remembered someone telling me last month that COBB Tuning had opened a new facility in Southern California; I had also remembered reading about an open house for their grand opening.  Well, after I had looked into it, I realized their grand opening had already past on the 22nd.  No big deal, I figured I’d go ahead and stop by because I had plans on going that direction anyway – and I’m glad that I did.  The brand new, 10,000 square foot facility that COBB Tuning inhabits is extremely nice.  Upon my arrival I introduced myself to Ronnie, one of the cool dudes in charge of sales & marketing, and they gladly showed me around the facility.  Check out more past the break.

Encounter: D2 X Pro Shop SCREEN R34GTR

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D2 Japan, all knowing brake and suspension producers, brought out their joint built R34 rocking their massive 8-pot caliper kit up front, and 6-pot rears.  The front calipers barely clear the 19″ TE-37 SL’s!  With engine works handled by Pro Shop SCREEN, this R34GTR is one serious car.  With the R35’s new dominance in the Skyline tuning market, it’s awesome to see tuners still concentrating on older models.  Let’s click the break and check out more of this 34, compliments of the magic from JDM Clips.

 

Encounter: COCKPIT T Four built Nissan S15

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COCKPIT is a huge company known for more than just aftermarket builds.  This particular S15 was built by the COCKPIT shop in Tatebayashi, located in the Gunma prefecture of Japan.  Any Initial D fans out there? Anyway, this shop is split up into a few ‘divisions’ for a lack of better terms.  Each of these divisions concentrate on one particular aspect of vehicle modification.  I had to kick off the TAS 2012 coverage with a little Encounter with this machine; there are so many things about it that I like that I had to highlight it outside of the regular coverage.  Click past the break for more.  Let’s go!

Event: Nismo Festival 2011 v.2

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Ahhh, Nismo Festival.  A celebration of all things Nissan.  Oh, wait.  I already introduced this coverage with some mediocre commencement.  Let’s dive right in to the second part of the Nismo Festival coverage with these RC cars.  No, not radio controlled.  RC stands for Racing Competition in this case; a series of cars built by the NISMO factory specifically for competition.  When I say specifically for competition I mean just that – you cannot drive these on the street; and yes, they are expensive.  But if the car isn’t enough, and you’re looking to spend even more money, you can also buy NISMO’s technical support upon delivery.  Think of it as a warranty on steroids.   Let’s check out some more past the break.  You guys are in for a treat with this post…

Event: AutoCon 2011 v.2

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A little late, but it’s time for round 2 of AutoCon coverage.  Let’s kick it off with this shot of Big Mike’s Prelude.   The front fascia is now equipped with a molded Chargespeed lip.  It looks a bit more aggressive than his previous setup, especially without the bumper lights; I really like it.  The newly coated black Volks add to the upgraded look.  Click past the break to see more of the show!

 

Event: Nismo Festival 2011 v.1

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OK, I’ve been putting this off for too long.  AutoCon can wait – it’s time for Nismo Festival coverage!  Held at Fuji Speedway annually, Nismo festival is the mecca of all things Nissan and, really, there couldn’t be a better venue!  On clear days, like this, Fuji-san is a visually dominating feature.  However, Nismo did their best to offer a variety of street and race cars to distract you from the great mountain view.  The highlight of this year’s festival had to be the motor sports ‘garage sale’ that Nismo put together.  Offering various wheels, and body parts from Super GT cars at extremely low prices – great for home decoration and collecting!  Imagine taking home a pair of Mag Volk wheels from a Super GT machine for $10 each!  How awesome of a coffee table would that make?  Anyway, click past the break for volume 1 of the coverage!

Event: AutoCon 2011 v.1

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I haven’t really had time to read on forums and other blogs about AutoCon because I’ve been so busy, but if I had to guess at what people are saying about it I would imagine some of the comments would be unjustly negative.  People have a tendency to exaggerate things when they don’t go their way; but that’s just human nature.  Anyway, aside from a few hiccups during roll-in that caused delays, I had a great time at this show.  I didn’t attend last year, and had been really look forward to this one.  I assumed the show would draw quite a crowd, so we showed up pretty early to have some time to shoot before gates opened at 12.  Justin was great at organizing the media list, but unfortunately, due to the somewhat unorganized parking, media didn’t get to go in until general admission time.  Again, not a huge deal, but it defeats the purpose of having a media list.  With that said, I’d like to thank Justin and everyone else involved with Auto Connection and the cause it supports.  I look forward to a bigger and better show next year – and of course, with time, things will get more organized.  OK, if you’ve read this much your probably wondering why I opened with a shot of a M3.  NDF is mainly Japanese, but I couldn’t help snap some shots of the German’s at this show.  There were some awesome BMW builds.  Click past the break for volume 1 of the coverage!

Encounter: Omori Factory Clubman Spec R34

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Nismo; the name itself inspires thoughts of Nissan specific performance builds.  The list of performance related OEM divisions is long, but none are quite as powerful as the relationship between Nismo and Nissan.  With that said, the name Omori often goes unnoticed.  Omori is where Nismo is headquarted…well, was anyway; I believe it is moving to Yokohama.  Regardless, Omori Factory has been the birth-site of many NISMO creations.  Including the elusive Clubman Spec R34 you see here.  Click past the break to see more of the elusiveness…

Event: Motor Sport Japan 2011 – On Track Action

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Before I post the coverage that JDM Clips got of the Motor Sports Japan 2011 Festival, I thought it would be cool to share the ‘on-track’ action from the event.  Race teams, aftermarket companies, and car manufacturers give the fans a sample of the vehicles performance on a make-shift track in part of the lot at the site in Daiba, Tokyo.  Famous drivers take to the machines for a few spirited laps around the course.  Some of the cars include current Super GT cars, rally built cars, prototype and modified street cars.  Click past the break for some more great shots.