Tag: Tokyo

Event: Nisei Showoff 2012 V.2

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Since there’s not too much left, I’ll go ahead and finish the rest of the pictures in this post.  Like I mentioned before, the day just didn’t really unfold like a typical car show day for me, so I got very limited shots.  I think most of these are going to be from around 6-7 pm in the evening, just as the sun was setting behind the hi-rises of downtown LA.  This was also when a lot of the show cars were leaving, which made it nice to get some solitary shots of each.  I’m always a little urked by how close together they park some of the cars; making it almost impossible to get a decent picture of them.  Especially when you have a lot of open lot space, you can give each car another foot of room or so and it would be much better.  I’ve never organized a car show before though so what the hell do I know?  I’m sure there’s reasons for it.  In a way I’m kind of glad I didn’t take many pictures, but rather enjoyed walking around and taking a close look at the cars – which is something I don’t often do.  The lineup of Honda builds, organized by Joey Lee from The Chronicles, was pretty amazing.  So in that sense, I’m glad I got a better look at them, instead of just taking pictures.  I’m sure he’ll have massive coverage, so be sure to check it out.  Click past the break for more.

Locale: Oh, Don’t Mind Me – Another Visit To Type One

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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.

Encounter: Spoon Sports Endurance S2000

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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.

Encounter: Seek and You Shall Find – A FIT

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I can’t even remember what day it was, but last month we swung by Seeker on a whim to see what they had cooking.  If you’re not familiar with Seeker, well, click the link.  They have slowly become one of Japan’s most well known Honda tuning companies, and are creators of all things orange.  The company is headed up by a younger individual and retains much of a grass roots feel to it; especially considering the shop is a little triangle shaped building on what could possibly be the tiniest piece of land in Tokyo.  With that said, you may need to do a little, ahem, ‘seeking’ to find the place somewhere around Suginami.  Once you find it though you’ll be treated to some nicely built cars, and a friendly staff.  Check out a few more shots of the Fit past the break.

Close-Up: Diamond in Ogikubo – Type One Tuned S2000

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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….?

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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!

Close-Up: FEEL’S FD2 Type-R

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It’s no secret that the Japanese tuning philosophy is to achieve the maximum with the minimum.  While we can see this practiced throughout all the major tuners, I wouldn’t be too far off in saying we witness it most in the Honda field.  The majority of Honda tuners in Japan are so specific to not disturb the chassis by overpowering, and work closely with what the manufacturer has already offered.  While, typically, FEEL’S would fall into that category just nicely, their FD2 Type R you see pictured above may be pushing the boundaries of that philosophy just a bit.  Aesthetically, the minimalism has vanished; the use of aftermarket aero abundant.  I would argue though, that although a bit extreme on the exterior, the car is a shining example of perfect balance.  Let’s take a closer look at this build at my first stop on my all Japan mega tuning adventure; Honda Twincam.  Click past the break for more.

Close-Up: R-Magic D1 RX7

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At the beginning of the month, Super Autobacs Chiba held the 12th annual Rotary Meeting at their facility.  JDM Clips was telling me that the Chiba store has always had strong ties with the rotary platform.  So each year, it is host to a gathering of specially built rotary machines.  This car in particular, is built by R-Magic for Takayama to drift in D1.  Don’t confuse it with the R-Magic Super Lap machine, as they are two totally different cars!  Each awesome in their own way though – I particularly like the two different colored wheels on this one.  Check out more past the break!

Close-Up: Tec-Art’s AE86 N2 Project

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If you’re a fan of the Toyota AE86, then I’m sure that you will be extremely familiar with Tec-Art’s and what they do.  The fairly small, family run operation out of Yashio City, has grown into one of the more famous 86 tuners in Japan.  By far their most famous build is their AE86 N2 Project; seen here in it’s 2012 configuration.  The project, now over a decade in it’s life, has evolved greatly, I think even greater than Yoshinori Kamata had intended.  It’s no stranger to the track, and it definitely made it’s mark at Tsukuba Circuit last weekend during the live Hot Version shoot.  Click past the break to see this machine in detail.

Close-Up: Honda NSX Concept

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I’d have to say, I feel Honda cheated us a little bit with the HSV; but it looks like they’re looking to make up for it in the coming years.  Honda has been lacking a flagship sports car in it’s lineup for some time now.  Sure, they had the S2000, but that wasn’t really super car status – plus they don’t even make it anymore.  So what we’ve been left with for the past few years has been…well…the CR-Z.  A mildly sporty, hybrid hatchback.  Not quite what you’d consider ‘flagship’.  All that is set to change, however, we probably will not see production until 2015.  I have a feeling the new NSX will be a game changer in terms of  technology.  While they are staying true to the NSX’s mid-engine roots, they’ve added a bit of a twist.  Click past the break for more shots of the 2012 NSX Concept at the Honda Welcome Plaza, Japan.

Encounter: HKS Alphard Veilfire

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You didn’t think HKS would touch a van would you?  Well, they did, and this is the outcome.  Not too sure about specs on this thing, but it is the newer ‘Veilfire’ model of the Toyota Alphard – marketed towards a younger generation.  Of course, it’s natural to develop for the latter.  HKS’ awesome-van is lowered on their signature HiperMax coilovers, as seen through the hole in the fender.  Click past the break for another pic.

Close-Up: RE-雨宮 NA Super-7

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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.

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!

Locale: Mugen Headquarters, Saitama – M-Tec Co. LTD

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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.

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…

Close Up: Subaru BRZ GT300

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I figured that with all the hype surrounding the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ, that people would get tired of hearing about it pretty quickly.  Turns out I was right.  When Subaru announced its intentions to compete in the GT300 class of Super GT next year with the BRZ chassis, the hype exploded all over again.  For good reason; it’s a work of art.  Not only is it aesthetically pleasing to look at, but every piece of aerodynamics on this car serves a function.  That’s the beauty of Super GT.  I waited for a few weeks to post our coverage to see what kind of response I’d get after the buzz subsided.  Click past the break for JDM Clips take on the BRZ GT300.

Video: Outsiders: Feature Length Drift Film – Trailer One

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Driftworks‘ own Phil Morrison and James Robinson, along with some crazy dudes from Garage Portello, decided they would go video ballistic on the Japanese drift scene.  The result?  Outsiders; a hour and a half long, HD drift extravaganza.  Check out the trailer, be amazed, and then click past the break for more info.  If you enjoy drifting, Japan, or drifting in Japan in the slightest amount, you should buy this movie.

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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…