. I’ve been so busy attending events here in the US, as well as being in track events myself, that I still have quite a bit of material to post up from my previous time […]
I’m going to try and roll everything else I have left into a third and final, massive leftovers post of AutoCon 2012. I can only imagine how cool it will be – especially since I’m kicking it off with this fantastic coupe on Panasport G7s. As far as the timeline goes, it’s still pretty early in the day, and definitely still in the morning. The show opened to the public at about 12 o’clock, and that’s just around the time I said that I’ve had enough. I was fortunate to have a good jump on the show without too much foot traffic, so I really got a good look at the lot in it’s entirety before the gates opened. The lot was so big though, that I think even if I hadn’t I’d still be able to get some good shots. Recapping the show, I must say the entire roll-in process and media handling was a gigantic improvement over last year. Thanks to the AutoCon staff for another good show and I look forward to seeing this event gain in popularity over the next few years. Take a look past the break for a grip of pics that wrap up my coverage.
Man, I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I think I’ve flown about 3,000 miles in the past 3 days. Not normal, but I’ve been really busy at work recently. That’s probably the main reason that my coverage is so slow to come out – which I apologize for. I think just about all the other blogs have all but finished posting pics, but I’m lagging. I suppose that’s one of the side effects of doing this all on my own; I don’t have as much time as most people (running an airline is quite time consuming -_-;). With that said, let me quit wasting your time and let’s power through the rest of these photos. I’ll be making one more post after this and I’ll try to get the all edited and ready for upload in the morning. After 3 back to back 4am mornings, I have a feeling I’m going to be sleeping in tomorrow. I’ll start off round 2 with a few shots of this familiar Kouki S14 on Mag Blue Nismo LMGT-4’s – super clean build. Click past the break for more AutoCon 2012.
I’m sure by now between the roll in post, and other blogs, you’ve all gotten a taste of what AutoCon 2012 has to offer – so let’s just jump right into this. I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of car shows in general, but the thing I like the most about these annual shows is the chance to see various cars transform from the previous year, as well as getting the opportunity to see totally new and fresh builds for the first time. It’s also a great opportunity to meet people within the industry. I always make it a point to introduce myself to a few new people during each show. Not only to make new friends, but to get insight into new feature cars and stories; I can thank a lot of good material just from random introductions. I can honestly say that it is easy to see the growth of NDF simply by the reaction of others when I drop the blog’s name. I went from virtually no one knowing what Narita Dog Fight was and getting blank stares, to a good percentage of people who support it – and that’s cool to me. Alright, enough reminiscing – click past the break to see part 1 of Auto Connection 2012 coverage. It’s worth noting that I’ve been out of town all day, and will continue to be for the remainder of the week. So if the coverage is slow to post, I apologize.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “Some of the best things in life are free”. A saying most likely referring to memories or moments in time. For the most part I’d agree, as it’s happened to me several times. The things in life that are the most special often happen unexpectedly and in the most obscure places – take this encounter for example. If you want to get technical with it, this moment wasn’t technically free, but I can say that it was both unexpected and obscure; crazy any way you want to look at it. On our way back to Tokyo from Motegi, my friend and I had decided to pull over at a rest stop for a bite to eat and a little refill of caffeine (in the form of some Emerald Mountain Blend). The long drive back on the expressway had started taking it’s toll on us and after spending an entire day shooting an endurance race, the last thing you want to do is drive for 2 hours back home. As we pulled into the parking area, and drove towards the back to park, we noticed a trailer with a pair of Nissan’s resting atop. As we got closer we realized it was the two Okabe Jidosha Taikyu team’s cars. I suppose they had the same idea as us and stopped for a little break. Not one to miss a photo-op, I grabbed my camera and tripod and snapped a few shots before we went into the restaurant (You can see one of the shots here – I’ll post more later). As we were eating our curry and whatever the hell else I had ordered, we kept trying to pick out who was involved in the racing team. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to tell just by looking at someone, but we tried anyway. We finished up, grabbed some coffee from vending, and made our way back to the car when we saw this. Click past the break for more – I promise you won’t see stuff like this anywhere else.
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.
Here’s a post I’ve been waiting to share with you for awhile now. Let me preface this by saying that the pictures won’t really do this experience much justice. In Japan, a pit walk is something you can pay a little extra for to take an actual walk on the pit road to view the cars and team. Well, I thought you could view the cars and team anyway. In reality, it turns out it’s a mad rush for the thousands of spectators that are there solely for the race queens. I literally had to fight my way through the crowd and sneak my way past the stanchions to get a glimpse at the race cars. I was even told a few times that I couldn’t be past a certain point I had snuck by. Seriously though, I paid for a pit walk to see the cars! My friend and I were probably part of the 5% of people there to view the actual vehicles. They should really look in to separating the girls from the garages a little; throw them out on the straight or something. With that said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I find it extremely amusing being the only foreigner in a crowd of crazed motor sport (read ‘race queen’) fans, and getting caught up in the moment. You know the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them”? Well, about halfway through I gave up trying to get car shots and ended up joining everyone else in snapping some girlies. They were all about it too! Perks of having blue eyes I suppose. Click past the break to see the experience of my first pit walk.
This last weekend, Super Street held the annual FF Battle at the Streets of Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway. Where is Willow Springs? It’s in the outskirts of the city of Rosamond in Kern County; basically in the Mojave Desert. I’m not positive, but it may be the hottest location in California. That same day, Raceline also had an open track day for intermediate ‘Level 3’ drivers. The week before my friend hit me up and asked if I wanted to register with him and his boss for the event. I hadn’t tracked my car for quite awhile so I thought it’d be fun, despite my engine setup being complete garbage. My friend Joel was nice enough to make the drive from San Diego to act as our pit crew and support vehicle. It was a good thing too because I ended up having a some brake issues on the drive home as a result of the beat down I gave my car throughout the day. I had a great time and as usual I got to meet some really good people, and see some familiar faces. I apologize for the lack of pictures but I was really concentrating on the drive that day. Not to mention I forgot my zoom lens at home. Click past the break to see the event.
. 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’ […]
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.
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.
I’m running out of ways to start these posts, as usual, so I’ll just start off by saying…here is part 3 of NDF’s Wekfest LB (A) coverage. I even had trouble coming up with that. I think from now on, literally this second, for the rest of the show coverage, I will highlight a handful of shots and then post a slide gallery of some cookie cutter coverage of the show towards the bottom of the post. There are really way too many cars to try and put them into this format. This will allow you guys to see the show in a more timely manner as well. As a side benefit, it will also allow me to concentrate my commentary on just a few memorable shots. After previewing the new layout, I think you’ll like it as it allows you to briefly preview a lower sized picture, as opposed to loading an entire page worth of pictures. Once you click a thumbnail, a slide feature will pop up allowing you to view each shot in the gallery in succession. Typically, towards the end of posts my comments turn from semi-informational to just blatant observations (e.g. here is a civic on Volks). You’re probably reading that type of stuff and saying, “Well, no shit”. I think I left off around early afternoon, just before the gates opened and the flood of show goers rushed the grounds. I think it was right about this time I decided to break off from the guys I was hanging out with and start taking photos again. Click past the break for continued coverage.
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.
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.
. Spotted this little guy sitting by itself in the parking area near Motegi. Doesn’t it look ready to hit the mountain? .
. Not much to say other than I can’t get enough of this car; and I can’t wait to see it in person next Sunday at Twin Ring. Next week is going to be crazy. […]
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.
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.
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.
As I wind down the Wekfest SF 2012 coverage, I was debating throwing everything I had into one final post. As I was going through the shots though, I realized I had a little too many for one post. So, in the sake of saving some time, I decided to split them up in to two posts. I saw though, that the majority of what I had left were photos of Honda’s! Which is actually pretty cool because now I have enough for a Honda specific post. If you’re a fan, then this will be a must to check out. There were so many nice Honda builds at the show and I hope I got to see most of them. Click past the break for a good sample of what was there.
By now I’m sure there is extensive coverage of this show up on every forum, blog, and auto site across the entire internet – so let me first thank you for sticking with NDF. There are a grip of sites out there to get content from, but I want you to know that, although new, NDF is here to stay. From where we are now, we can only get better. So I’ve gone through hundreds of photos and it looks like I still have two or three posts left for this show. Most car shows I just breeze through because I end up seeing the same stuff over and over; but since I don’t go to shows in the Bay area that often (I don’t go to care shows that often anyway; although I may attend more than I think!), I really got to see a lot of different things not from So-Cal. Enough with the talk, let’s get into some more coverage! I got some interesting stuff in this post, so click past the break for part three of NDF goes to Wekfest SF.
. When I got the bay area yesterday, I saw the guys at Weksos tweeted that Canibeat had posted up a pre-meet near an In-N-Out at Fremont. Thought it might be worth checking out, so […]
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.
. . Check out the ASM Yokohama S2000 tear through this hot lap at Tsukuba Circuit during last years Super Lap Battle. This car sounds unbelievable. They managed a best lap of 1’01’711 – quite […]
Happy New Year everyone! I’m happy to report that NDF has survived its first full year, and that we’re ready to take on 2012 head on. Let’s kick off the New Year with a little peak around M-Tec Co.’s headquarters in Saitama, Japan. JDM Clips went exploring the building and it’s surroundings on a trip to go see the Mugen RR Advanced Concept. It’s been over two years since Mugen has particiapted in Tokyo Auto Salon, and the RR Advanced Concept was their last display vehicle. With word that Mugen is returning to TAS for 2012, there is much hype building around what car they will have present. Here at NDF & JDM Clips all bets are on a RR modeled CR-Z! We’ll have to wait to know for sure. In the meantime, check out the pics past the break.
. I was browsing the internet here at my parents house just now – killing time before the Christmas festivities begin. I stumbled across a really cool blog that I think, judging by the post dates, is […]
Welcome to the most down S2000 ever built; OK, one of them at least. JDM Clips recently attended the J’s Racing Fair at Super Autobacs in Tokyo last week to get a closer glimpse at a couple of their machines. In attendance was their GT-Type wide-bodied S2000 done up in a style only J’s can get away with. Don’t be fooled though, this AP1 has more than just good looks and a tight body – click past the break to find out more.
On my way back from LA tonight my friend Adolfo hit me up and told me to cruise by his house; he was installing his Tomei camshafts and wanted some company. We’re driving down to San Diego tomorrow (errr, today, it’s 3:31AM) to get it tuned, and wanted everything ready before the morning. I know that’s a random introduction to the second part of my Nisei coverage, but it’s also my excuse for it being late. If this post gets pretty boring halfway though, let me apologize ahead of time. It’s late, I should be in bed already, and have a lot of pictures to post. I’ll start off with this gorgeous S2000 that was part of The Chronicles GENERATIONS line-up. Joe has some great coverage of it up already so be sure to check out his site. Click past the break for more.
. . New video up on JDM Clips of the Mugen tuned S2000. Here is a description of the video: Mugen giving everyone a test ride on their completely tuned S2000. The driver was […]
. Found this in an old thread on S2ki; thought it was worthy of a your attention. I love seeing these things being used as Mr. Uehara intended. .
It’s been so long since this event I almost didn’t want to finish posting up the last of my shots. I didn’t want them to go to waste though so, while the epoxy dries on my carbon sunroof delete project, here are the last 40 or so shots of Wekfest in Long Beach. Think of it as a trip back in time; just not that far back in time.
Every once in awhile at these car shows, among the ocean of painted metal, you’ll see something that stands out above the rest. It could be bodywork, a certain set of wheels, or an engine build. In this case, it was the engine bay of Sheepy’s S2K that caught my eye. Ignoring, for a second, all the other meticulously crafted parts, the custom dual wastegate setup alone is hard to miss. Click past the break to check out some closer shots.
I might as well just dive into part three of Wekfest coverage. This post is going to have a lot of Honda’s, and a lot of S2000’s – as if that were a bad thing. I was pretty surprised at the amount that were in attendance, and all of them were awesome. By this point I pretty much lost all determination to cover this show in an organized fashion, so most of these will appear scattered. Enjoy.
I thought it might be appropriate to end my Eibach coverage with a poster shot of the Eibach built CR-Z. One of only two at the show; the other being the Honda Tuning CR-Z that was parked next to the Chronicles booth. You can see behind the car the giant line that had formed in the afternoon as soon as they started giving away free stuff…scavengers. I’ve been at work everyday since the show, so I haven’t really had a chance to scope out what other people have been covering. I know for a fact I didn’t get as much coverage as I wanted to, especially around back of the building. Hopefully you enjoyed everything up until now. Check out the last gallery past the break, and I’ll see you all again at the JDM Yo! Anniversary meet tomorrow.
OK, on to round two of the Eibach Open House coverage. Hope you’re liking the content so far – the sites traffic always shoots up dramatically when I post event photos. Now that I’ve browsed through the shots I took and can truly say I am floored by some of these builds; like Mike G’s internet famous EG. I’ve known Mike for a few years now on theJDM and NWP but he always seemed to elude me at shows. I’m glad I finally got to meet up with him. Cars aside, these shows are a great chance to meet the people behind the scenes; those who constantly push the industry to new heights. There has been a ton of coverage popping up on forums now that it’s been a few days, and I thank you guys for visiting NDF. Check out The Chronicles for Joe’s coverage of the show from his point of view. He’s got a great knack for free writing, and his posts are always interesting. Enjoy the second gallery past the break!
For 7 years now Eibach Springs, with the help of some dedicated people, have been hosting the largest Honda/Acura meet in the country at the company headquarters in Corona, CA. Each year I attend, and each year I am blown away at the quality of some of the builds, as well as the sheer amount of people in attendance. Despite the rain in the morning, thousands of Hondas stormed the gate and filled the side streets even before the show officially began. If you’ve been before though, it’s to be expected. I tried to get the best coverage possible, but with this many cars it’s pretty tough. Click past the break to enjoy the new gallery feature of NDF.
Due to some unforeseen trouble with my own car (i.e. broken driver side knuckle), it took me a little bit longer than expected to get this second part up; sorry ‘y’all. In the last post, I mentioned a little bit about the breakdown of classes and regulations for the Circuit Challenge. So for this one I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. I really like this shot, with the CR in the background. As I was taking a second look through some of the shots, I noticed a few EK chassis that were worth putting up. Check um’ out past the break.
One thing that continually amazes me about Japan is the sheer density of the place. You can spend a month contained in a one mile radius and still not see everything. I find myself in Yokohama quite often and was surprised that I had never been to ASM before. Under the arm of the Autobacs flagship name, ASM Yokohama offers not only specialized S2000 parts and tuning, but probably the best selection of Recaro seats you’ll ever find; short of catching a flight to Germany. I took a brief tour of the shop last time I was in the area – check out the pics past the break. “To the stage that no one could reach. Yes, we can!”
Anything doing is worth doing right – and Mugen does track events right. Open to anybody with a Honda, enter into the Circuit Challenge and you are graced with four 15 minute runs on Tsukuba 1000 circuit, professional instruction on and off track, ride alongs with current professional racing drivers, the opportunity to drive one of three Mugen built machines, and the option of trying out Mugen products during your track time for free. This year there were 86 drivers in attendance, including JDM Clips own Taka. Check out the action below.
. Alright! Taka just sent over a boat load of photos from the 2011 Mugen Circuit Challenge at Tsukuba Circuit. This open track event is full of awesome grass-roots built track machines. Just my style! […]