In this video we visit Skyline tuning masters Racing Factory Autobahn, deep in the countryside of Ibaraki. Kawai-san shows us some of the newer builds and I take a walk around the shop.
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.
It’s been quite some time now since Hara-san of Car Shop Glow has been behind the wheel of his own car, but it looks like the years of not competing have finally begun to take their toll.
It’s been awhile since we’ve come across Nakashima and his red FD. No stranger to Attack and Evome events, Tomo has been competing in the Japan based time attack events in his RX-7 for years now. Stumbled across here in a Saitama parking lot, you can see a couple obvious changes since last year. New GT wing element, and Craft Square mirrors replace the Ganadors that were once affixed to the doors. Carbon side strakes line the skirts and help tie together the front and rear aero of the car. Looks a lot more aggressive!
Although a tough choice, sometimes starting over from scratch is the most effective way to rebuild; I’m sure we’ve all experienced the difficulty of having to undertake an entirely new project from step one and the frustrations that come along with it. In certain circumstances, however, we invite the opportunity to change with open arms. A chance to rebuild something with the knowledge we’ve gathered from our prior attempts. Such is the case with Toshio Tomizawa’s new time attack FD3S. After blowing the motor in his old FD, he decided it was time to begin anew with a fresh chassis.
Dream Workshop FD3S at Tsukuba Circuit. Fastest lap time 59.625
Back in November we took a close look at the Shaft built ER34 Skyline at the Attack event at Tsukuba; you can check that article out here. Being the immense admirer of four-door Skylines that I am, I shot a whole bunch more photos of it at Battle Evome this year. After talking to Suzuki personally about the car, I gained a whole new level of respect for the build.
Hailing from the cold North of Hokkaido, FD specialists Car Shop Dream can claim the rights to one of the most unique looking FD’s in Japanese time attack. As you would imagine, due to the distance, it’s not often that Kurokawa-san and his team get out to Tsukuba. As a result, they don’t get as much seat time at the track as some of the other locals. Despite this, Kurokawa has piloted his 600whp build to a personal best of 57.880. Ultimately, after achieving times more close to the 55 second range at Tsukuba, he’d really like to shoot for competing in WTAC. The car is an ongoing project, so who knows? Check out some pictures past the break.
This week has flown by and I really haven’t gotten a chance to just sit down uninterrupted to edit and write. All last week I was in Tucson for work, and have been using this week to kind of catch up. I took the little free time I did have to spend at the shop working on the new motor and to start fabricating my dashboard. I don’t quite have all the parts collected to finish the head yet, so I should be concentrating on other areas of the car, time permitting. I have some work scheduled for it mid-February, and hoping to have a few open items finished by the end of the month. I’ve also been working to restock the site store by, and wrap up the new shirt design – mostly by way of email correspondence! We should have a few announcements coming within the next week or so. In the meantime, I managed to finish the edits from Tokyo Auto Salon and have one final post for you – check it out below.
Out of the thousands of cars at TAS, it’s always exciting to see, in person, a car you’ve followed online for years. Every once in awhile a build will snowball into something so involved that it makes you wonder if the end result was ever really envisioned. A perfect example of this is Atsushi Shimaya’s FD3S.
As I stepped outside, leaving behind the warm confines of the heated living room, I could quickly feel the chill lifelessness of the Yokohama winter surround my exposed face; an invisible, biting veil of wind that seems to only exist when the sun is below the horizon. It was just before 5am and the morning sky was still dark, nearly void of stars as they dodged their way in and out of view of the low hanging clouds. With my gloved hand, I shut the front door to Sekinei’s house, and waited motionless on the porch for him to get ready. So there I stood, unseen save for the haze of condensation from each exhaling breath. Giving up the fight to keep my eyes open, I slowly closed them and let my mind wander until it decided to focus on the present.
I don’t want my last post on TAS to be misconstrued in any way. I started thinking about it after someone had commented on the Facebook page about it. I’m not trying to downplay TAS in anyway, it’s a great event. In fact, many people from all over the world plan their trip to Japan around that show. I am not in Japan as often as I used to be, and that means choosing dates wisely. It’s come to the point where the amount of opportunities I have outweigh the time I have to take advantage of them; and that’s something I am very grateful for. I’ve worked hard over the past years to put myself in that position, and am thankful for the friends that helped along the way. It would be different if I could devote 100% of my time to the site, but I’m just not in a place where I can make that a reality right now. I have a self-defined prerogative to share with you up to date information and coverage of what’s happening in Japanese Time Attack events, so naturally those are the events I align myself with. I’m glad this time I was able to do both, as there was a lot of neat stuff at TAS this year. I was especially excited about the handful of Super GT unveilings. If you have the opportunity to go I would highly encourage you to do so, and not to get discouraged by any of my opinions I throw up on the site. I’d never want to unintentionally discourage anyone from doing what they’ve always wanted to do. With that said, let’s jump into the second round of my selective coverage from the halls of Makuhari Messe.
I certainly didn’t plan to attend TAS this year. In fact, It’s been 5 years since I’ve purposefully started avoiding it. If you asked me why I’d honestly have trouble explaining; it’s a massive undertaking that showcases some of Japan’s best builds…so what’s the deal? Even as I type that out I’m squinting at the screen, eyebrows furrowed, questioning myself. Ahhh…that’s right, it’s literally just a giant car show and frankly, car shows are just not my thing anymore. The first TAS I went to was in 2009 – I went in 2010 too. 2011 was the first year I not only attended, but I covered it for the website as well; and it actually turned out to be my last. In 2014 my good friend Sekinei was well on-board with NDF and helped source some coverage of the show as he was attending anyway, and in 2015 I basically just didn’t post anything despite having coverage. I really just wanted to focus on our niche and at the time felt that anything else just contributed to a deviation of that (despite increasing traffic dramatically). Or maybe I just got jaded that it wasn’t a unique experience anymore; I’m not sure. So, you could say this year was sort of a fluke. I was going to be in Japan anyway to attend Evome on the 16th, and I had media passes for TAS on Friday so I wouldn’t really have to deal with hordes of testosterone crazed Japanese men in search of booth girls, and I literally had no plans on my calendar. Sounds good right? So why not return?
And who’d have guessed it – I had a really good time.
Shaft Auto Service, a small outfit in Hachioji that specializes in four door Skylines. Foremost a car dealership that holds inventory in a wide variety of Skylines, the owner, Shibuya Taro, offers many ancillary services ranging in everything from fiberglass work, to engine tuning. Usually a company that stays off the grid, you’d easily recognize their work with the D1 Blitz R34 that Nomuken drives; as Taro-san has a very good relationship with Blitz. This year they decided to try their hand with a certain take on Time Attack; in steps the Shaft ER34.
The diversity of Idlers events is comparable to few other races. Just one glance at the entry list reveals everything from old Citroen’s and Alfa’s to Honda’s, Toyota’s and of course plenty of Porsche’s. Each entrant is interesting to check out as they compete in all levels of tuning, but none stood out to me more than this Silvia from Garage Infinity.
Yuta came over to my place this evening and we talked about a few things for a new side project we’re kind of working on with the Podcast; kind of a revamp of the old […]
Did ya get that one?
There’s no doubt that when Nissan developed the GTI-R version of the N14 Pulsar, they were in it to fill a performance niche. The three-door hatchback was not only AWD, but sported the ever popular SR20DET engine producing 227 horsepower. Boasting an incredible power-to-weight ratio, Nissan had influence to produce such a car to compete in the WRC. I wonder if they knew other people would have similar ideas though…
Over the past years we’ve spent quite a bit of time at Garage Work; both at the shop in Chiba, and on track at Evome and Attack. It’s a shop that is known for pushing the boundaries of Honda’s FF chassis far beyond what anyone has ever imagined. Tora-san’s rich history and incredible foresight into the sport of time attack has been unmatched by many, and through Garage Work, he is able to channel that gift to not only his personal vehicles, but to his customers as well.
Kansei Kougaku (感性工学) – a design methodology that serves to elucidate the user’s emotional response into the realm, or sphere so to speak, of a product or commodity. Founded by Hiroshima University Professor Mitsuo Nagamachi, the concept of Kansai Engineering, at surface level, allows us to link an individual’s physical and psychological reaction to the properties and essence of a product. This theory has not only become a well-studied notion that can be applied to an almost endless amount of applications, but has also given us, as inherently unique individuals, an opportunity to view nearly everything man-made with a sincere empathy – whether we are conscious of it or not.
There’s something to be said about those who go against the grain. Those who have a need to create the outlandish, to disregard outside opinion, and to construct their true vision. They are the ones who will be remembered long after they’re gone, and the ones whose ideas will eventually be cherished. Go Nakamura is one such person, and he happens to be the owner of G-Corporation – and what you see before you is, in fact, his dream Silvia.
I think, for the sake of variety, that I’m going to switch gears a bit this week. While there is much more time attack coverage to share with you (not sure that I’ll ever have a shortage of that), I do have quite a bit of files in the NDF archive that have been collecting dust. Case in point, earlier this winter I visited Go-san at G-Corporation in Chiba and in his somewhat large driveway sat this beautiful red Silvia.
I mentioned last night on Instagram (@naritadogfight), that I got called out of state to work this weekend. Well, that’s no surprise, but I had planned on using that time to put together the Evome articles so I would be able to post them throughout the week. Unfortunately, I then had to decide whether to process store orders or get content processed, and since I believe customer service is the foundation of any consumable I chose to get the orders processed. Before I head out to the post office I decided to publish this post I had sitting in que for a bit now.
Hope to see this in Direzza Challenge again! Look for a more in depth article on this EK soon.
You may or may not remember me mentioning a little bit about Mitsuyoshi’s super pink Evo in the post I wrote awhile back about his conquest in the CT9A; if not, here is […]
Well, we’ve reached the fifth and final installment of the coverage for this year’s Winter Cafe. I’d like to again thank everyone who came out and I hope you all had a really good time. […]
We’ll pick up installment 4 of the Winter Cafe coverage by taking a stroll on the lower level of the PA. A lot of cars gathered here after the parking spots inside filled up, […]
To be honest I’ve completely lost track of any sort of timeline that existed for this event, so continuing coverage of the NDF Winter Cafe Umihotaru takeover, part 3 will be a bunch […]
Before we left to Umihotaru I gave young Matt this 1600 speed disposable camera I found on the clearance rack at a convenience store in Yokohama. The goal, since Matt is so energetic and […]
Continuing coverage of the 2014 Winter Cafe with more shots of the cars on level 3 of the PA. Again, so many cars were coming and going, that it was hard to catch […]
After I had gotten back home to Yokohama after this year’s Winter Cafe I was nothing short of exhausted. Around 330am, I sat down on the couch with Sekinei and we talked a for a […]
The first time I went to Japan was in 2006, and believe it or not, it had nothing to do with cars. Growing up I became enthralled with the country and it’s […]
When I had initially announced that I’d be making shirts for the site, I was met with a lot of ‘Finally!’s from friends and fans. Needless to say, in the scheme of things, […]
I am very happy (and excited), to announce that we will be returning to Umihotaru PA this November for another gathering of friends and car lovers. Just like last year, we’ve made a Facebook […]
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 […]
Super Now; an eccentric parts company located in Saitama that focuses mainly on the RX7 and rotary components, but dabbles in many other platforms. To the average enthusiast, probably not the most familiar […]
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is […]
To everyone in the U.S. – Happy Independence Day ~ be safe!
You know that saying ‘opposites attract’? Well, there is no better tangible proof than this pair here. Back when I pitched Baki’s S15 to Import Tuner at the beginning of the year, I […]
Photos: Satsuei Seki / Processing: Sean / Words: Sean “Attack Meeting GLOW de Fever And Option 2 KAJI ‘S B-Day x Smily Shot & NDF At Doitsu Mura” Let’s just jump right into […]
Photos: Satsuei Seki / Processing: Sean / Words: Sean / Satsuei Seki “Attack Meeting GLOW de Fever And Option 2 KAJI ‘S B-Day x Smily Shot & NDF At Doitsu Mura” The calm […]