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’.
I’ve always appreciated the varying degree of tuning style in Kyushu prefecture; specifically the cars that frequent Autopolis International Circuit. From fully dedicated track cars, to light tune approaches, there is something about the cars that standout that’s not quite describable.
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.
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.
Late in the month of May, Summer has started to show its true colors in Japan. With temperatures already pushing well into the 30’s, it’s time we say farewell to the cold mornings at the circuit, and face the cold reality that we won’t be racing anytime soon.
Seeing as he lives all the way down in Kyushu, I consider myself lucky to have caught Nozaki and his FD at Fuji during Seven’s Day. I didn’t get the opportunity to see him at Autopolis Super Lap and was excited to see the build up close.
This 1995 Mazda RX-7, owned by someone choosing only to be referred to as ‘The Temple of Buddha’ (or something like that I don’t actually know), is so far off the grid that I normally operate on that when I saw it at Fuji the other week, I had to take a closer look.
I feel that the aftermarket companies that support older chassis don’t get enough credit. To produce new parts for an application that is constantly diminishing in population isn’t something easily committed to. It takes a dedication, and a love for motor sport, to appeal to these cars. As time passes, because we’re so enthralled by the cars of the 80’s and 90’s, we don’t recognize just how old some of these cars are. The FC, for example, made it’s debut in 1985; celebrating it’s 30th birthday just last year. Appreciating the everlasting potential of these cars is something worth noting, and Atsushi-san of Shizuoka does just that with his Tamon Designs clad RX7.
The amount of influence that Amemiya-san has in the field of tuning Mazdas, specifically the RX-7, is arguably untouchable. The popularity of his designs and the overall originality of his creations are known not just throughout Japan, but the entire world. Walking through the showroom of Isami’s flagship shop in Tomisato, Chiba, you’re given proof of how much weight the name carries. Trophies from race events, car shows, and manufactuer recognition are plastered from one wall to the other. Momentos of achievement past and present line the glass cases along the walls of the showroom, surrounding the beautiful blue, Super GReddy clad demo car sitting front and center.
It goes without saying, that 9 times out of 10, wheel choice defines the way a car looks. Coming from a background predominantly in Hondas, I’ve always viewed the Desmond Regamaster as the wheel to end all wheels. It’s a choice that looks good on nearly every car; quite similar to the TE37. Up until I started to frequent Japan some time ago, I didn’t realize just how utilized the wheel was on other platforms as well.
When I had first decided that I would be attending Final Bout, to be honest, it wasn’t the event that I was actually looking forward to; it was seeing this particular car. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for the event, but getting to see in person, and more so getting to meet the builder, of what I perceive to be the most well executed FC in the country would become the highlight of my trip.
Saitama native Nakashima Tomoyoshi, or Tomo for short, is an avid fan of the RX-7. Unique in many ways, the car has stolen his attention for better half of several years. Before he built the FD you see here, Tomo was the proud owner of a white Savanna FC.
No stranger to a variety of cars, S15, Altezza, JZX100, (even the FD, having owned one before this) just to name a few, Muraki Tatsuhiko has more experience than most when it comes to how different […]
July 7th marks a day in Japan that RX7 owners and enthusiasts rejoice almost religiously. It’s a day of celebration of a lineage of car that has had an impact on this world […]
ピットの端まで来るとUnder Suzukiさんの S15 BodykitをUpgradeなさったので、是非とも取材したかったのですが、Except Rear aeroeffectのみ写真OKとの事だから、RearはWTAC Australiaまで 秘密にしてとの事なので、Detailはありません。 Another draw of Motor Games was the World Time Attack Challenge Japan, which was a spin off of the famous WTAC Australia that’s coming up […]
Aoki’s Doraemon themed, RE equipped FD.
Nakajima’s one minute flat, RE Tuned FD3S at circuit.
赤ﾛｰﾙ DEEP GRIP FD3S enroute to Tsukuba on a crisp Sunday morning in Japan.
Just about 6 more months until the next Battle Evome. Looking forward to what 2014 has to offer! Here’s a shot of Aoki-san’s (青木大輔) FD taking on the tight turn 4 of TC2000.
We pick up on circuit late morning in Tsukuba, where, lap by lap, the times are decreasing ever so slightly. By this time, many of the drivers have recorded personal bests or were well on […]
As the morning sun rose over Tsukuba, and the clock closed in on 9am, the lighthearted paddock conversations gave way to a sound that I’m not even clever enough to describe in words. The first […]
Battle Evome; the name itself invokes a sense of elitism and power. The event, held at Tsukuba Circuit just 4 times a year, attracts the fastest of the street and privateer time attack cars across […]
I took some time out last night from weeding dog stickers to take a stroll down memory lane. I came across this time attack RX-7 from last year’s Hot Version N2 race that JDM […]
One random evening, after a few passes through the infamous C1, my friend from JDM Clips and I decided to cruise through to the Daikoku PA to see if there was anything going on. Unfortunately the entire parking area was closed for a reason that I can’t remember at the moment. We’re not ones to give up so easily though, and made our way to a few other spots. One smaller PA my friend had suggested we check out was located underneath the Bay Bridge – so away we went. Turns out it was a good idea because there was a good handful of RX-7’s that were meeting up there. We parked and took a stroll through the tiny lot, but didn’t really see anybody around. I think most of the owners were inside grabbing a bite to eat or a refreshment. I went back to the car, grabbed my camera and attempted to grab some decent shots in the dark lot with no tripod. I actually wanted to post these up sooner, but considering today is the unofficial day of the RX-7, it seems fitting to post now. Click past the break to see what was hiding under the bridge.
A couple more shots of some random 7’s built by RE Amemiya – this one for Super Autobacs. From TAS 2012, courtesy of our friends at JDM Clips. Click past the break for more.
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.
. Going through some old photos and came across this straggler. I’ve always been on the fence about Mr. Isami’s creations, but there is no doubting their popularity in the tuning world. This was at […]
Alright, I honestly thought that this would be the last post from TAS I would put out, but it looks like that’s not the case. I’ll be making it a series of 5 for full coverage; one more to go. Anyway, runner up for best model would be from Gontaya. I really don’t have anything to say about this one…click past the break for more TAS goodness.