This past weekend Long Beach’s Queen Mary played host to the 9th annual Japanese Classic Car Show. A show that I particularly enjoy, as it’s roots are firmly planted in the nostalgia of the Japanese […]
Event: Wekfest LA 2013 – Long Beach v.1
I can honestly say the last few weeks, for me, have been the busiest I’ve experienced in a long time. Losing a week in Charlotte for work, playing catch up back at the office, and […]
Locale: Type One – Honda Tuning Flagship
I make it a point to visit Spoon and Type One each time I go to Japan; actually, this is about the 4th or 5th post on NDF about visiting the shop! It’s such […]
Locale: Oh, Don’t Mind Me – Another Visit To Type One
Visiting Type One never gets old for me; there is always something new there to see every time I go. So I make it a priority of mine to stop in each time I go to Japan. Granted, without a car, it makes for a bit of a walk; but I had access to a car this time because I was with my friend from JDM Clips. I might add that having makes visit tuning shops so much easier. Obviously, you go to car shops because you own a car, so it’s not a big concern for shop owners to be close to train stations. If you’re just visiting Japan, going places not near train stations can be both difficult and expensive without an auto; especially if you’ve never been there before. I have absolutely no problems walking a few miles to get to clutch shops, but needless to say, having a car was a giant win. Like any typical foreign fan boy should, I like just walking around the shop and looking at all the stuff I’ve seen dozens of times already – it never gets old. Plus, the shop gets a lot of traffic, so chances are you’ll see different rides there every time you visit. I already featured that extremely cool matte black S2000 that I saw last time, which you can see here; but I never got around to posting up some of the other cars that were in the shop on that trip. I know there are many sites that post up stuff from Spoon and Type One once or twice – but who else posts new shots from the shop over and over! hahaha – hopefully the viewers share the same love that I do. Click past the break to take a stroll through the shop and check a few more of them out.
Garage Life: Relaxing at Type-One
. 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 […]
Encounter: Spoon Sports Endurance S2000
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.
Feature: The S2000 With Two Lives To Live
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.
Event: Super Taikyu – A Pit Walk In Japan
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.
Event: Wekfest LA 2012 – Long Beach, California V.4
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
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: Super Taikyu Round 2 – Twin Ring Motegi V.1
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.
Close-Up: Diamond in Ogikubo – Type One Tuned S2000
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.
Close-Up: Type One Toyota FT-86….?
Yeah, that’s right – another FT-86 post. So I posted on the NDF Facebook page a few weeks back picture of a FT-86 wheel with Spoon calipers attached. Needless to say it baffled many people – including me when I saw it. I still don’t have much information on the car, other than whoever owns it is affiliated with Spoon and Type One. I’m pretty sure it’s not too difficult to fit certain brake systems onto other cars, as it can be universal in some regards; requiring little retro-fitting. This may be the case, but it’s still wild to see a Spoon product on anything other than a Honda. Right? I first spotted this at Twin Ring behind the Spoon garage area at the 2nd round of Super Taikyu. Click past the break for a few more encounters!
Encounter: Spoon Sports FN2 at Type One
. I caught this Spoon FN2 parked outside the Type One shop in Ogikubo. It’s a car I’ve seen before around here, but it is rare none-the-less. Japan initially imported just over 2,000 of these […]
One Shot: Spoon Sports Taikyu Fighter
. 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. […]
Close-Up: Spoon Endurance S2000
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.
Close Up: 8th Gen Civic
There’s not too much to say about this F-series at Hontune. I’m really not sure who it belongs to, but I was really into it’s aggressive styling. I snagged a few pictures of it, check um’ out past the break.
Event: Cerritos Honda Toy Drive & Car Show V.1
Tis’ the season for giving, and what better way to kick off the holidays than with a toy drive & car show? December 12th marked Norm Reeves Honda’s 5th annual toy drive and car show and, much like last year, it was a great turnout. I grabbed my toy donations and dropped by pretty early; luckily, most of the entrants were already setup so I was able to get some good coverage. There was a bit of everything on display and more S2000s than I think I’ve ever seen in one place before (definitely not a bad thing). In this first post I’m going to focus on just S2000’s, and I’ll follow up with the rest of the lot. If I missed your car, my apologies, I was in a rush to get back to work. Click past the break for more.
Close Up: Type One Type-R
Next up in my Close-Up series is the bright orange Integra Type-R built by Type-One. Near flawless paint aside, you can recognize this as a possible race car because of the sticky Advans that are wrapped around the track-worn SSR Type-C’s. A closer look reveals most of the interior still in-tact; pretty common in Japan because of the abundance of open track events at places like Suzuka, Fuji, Twin-Ring, and Ebisu. Click past the break for more pics.
Close Up: Spoon AP1
Way before the build of the iconic Grand Prix White AP2 demo car, Spoon had built their AP1 race car. The S2000, hailed as one of the greatest roadsters ever built. It would seem almost sacrilegious for the masters of Honda tuning to not bless one with their precision. A few years ago I got the chance to visit Spoon and see for myself the craftsmanship that went into this build.