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.
Back in November I had attended Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow, not to cover the event, but more or less just to hang out with friends and chat about racing. It’s nice to reserve my local events for spectating and socializing rather than work, however there were a few cars in attendance I wanted to grab a couple photos of.
Self-proclaimed amateur time attacker ‘Orange-san’ has made quite the impact in the small world of Tsukuba time attack. Not only because of the bright orange accent color of his DC2, or his youthful, comedic track side manner; who jokes that his main support comes from Yahoo Auction and Super Viva Home Kasukabe (think Japanese Home Depot). While those qualities alone would make people gravitate towards the Integra in the paddock, it’s what people see up close that garners the most attention to the DC2.
Well, it’s about that time to start wrapping up the show coverage. I was planning on posting the third and final round of coverage this weekend, but ended up working, as well as temporarily acquiring a vinyl cutter. The latter occurrence took up the majority of my Monday so I wasn’t able to work on getting the post up. Oh well, I have some time tonight and will do just that. We pick up mid-afternoon when the show was really getting busy. The turnout was really, really good for it being the first East coast show that Weksos has put on. I was very happy for everyone involved at the success of the day. I don’t really have much else to say in this post that hasn’t already been stated. In this post we’ll take a closer look at some of the nice Hondas at the show, as well as a look at the roll-out. Again, you’ll be able to see the insane amount of variety that these Wekfest shows provide. Just click past the break and enjoy the rest of the shots.
It’s 2 am on Saturday morning, I don’t have work tomorrow (edit – I DO have work today), and I’m stacked up on caffeine; I may as well get started on posting the second round of Wekfest East. Yuta’s civic was having some work done at a shop in Upland this past week, and this evening we drove up there to pick it up. While in the area, we decided to meet Kodi Chan at Maxim off the 60 in Rowland Heights. I don’t get to see Kodi that often so it was nice that it worked out that way. I ended up drinking way too much coffee though, and as a result am writing this right now. I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow…err..today, and read this and it probably won’t make any sense to me. I just thought for some reason you should know why this post will be comprehensively poorly written. Right. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the New Jersey convention center to check out more of the cars at Wekfest. In this post, I’ll wrap up what I have left of the roll-in and get started on showing the masses of cars that were in attendance. I gotta say, as I look back on each car as I edit them, I’m finding more and more cool things I didn’t notice initially. I’ll point some of the things out as I go. Also, you can once again see the thought that went into the variety of cars showing. If you’re not familiar with the tour, not just anyone can come show. The Weksos staff hand pick out of hundreds, and sometimes thousands of applicants to ensure a great show. For now, click past the break to see part 2 of the coverage.
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.
Nisei Week in Downtown Los Angeles; a time to celebrate the Japanese-American culture in the best way; good food, great location, lots of celebration, people dressing up in Japanese attire and of course the Nisei Showoff. I wasn’t actually planning on attending this year for a few reasons, but because I sort of volunteered my car to help Yuta out, I ended up attending later in the day. I had work in the morning all the way in Orange County, so I didn’t actually end up getting to Little Tokyo until a little after 3. I had been driving Allan’s Fit because he had to drive my car to LA that morning to set up at the Wheel Flip booth. Actually a really good thing because his Fit has great air conditioning, and it was basically the hottest day of the year. So due to my time constraints, I didn’t get as much coverage as I usually do – which I don’t really mind as I wasn’t planning on going anyway. The cars I did really want to get shots of, the Loi-Spec Integras, all left a bit early so I never got the chance to photograph them. Not too big of a deal though as I’m sure I’ll see them at a Raceline event in the near future. It probably didn’t help that the first thing we did when we go into the show was…leave the show. I couldn’t help it though; I was starving and in Little Tokyo – I needed ramen and a beer. If I were to be completely honest, it seems like the turn out wasn’t anything like the previous years; the lot was not as full, and the crowds just weren’t there. This could be for a few reasons; one being that the Infamous Hellaflush meet was being held on the same day in Long Beach, and the other being that this event seems to always be ‘up in the air’ as to whether or not there will be a next year. Why the Hellaflush meet was planned for the same day is beyond me. It seems almost suicide for the ‘scene’ to plan two huge events on the same day, 20 miles apart from one another and tear people between which to attend. Anyway, most of my shots were from later in the day as people were getting ready to leave, so I apologize if it seems strange. Click past the break for the first part of the coverage.
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.
When I started the drive out to Arcadia for AutoCon yesterday morning, I had been under the strange impression that media will-call was at 9am; where I got that impression and why I thought it was perfectly normal I’m still not sure. When I got to the site and saw about 400 cars waiting to be rolled in I kind of figured I had some misinformation. Well, there was nothing else to do really so I thought I’d make the most of it though and start snapping away. The route into the Santa Anita grounds is through an underground route under an overpass to the Westfield mall that’s across from the park. So I just posted up under the shade of the bridge, and did my best to avoid the already intense inland heat. I talked to Justin from AutoCon when I saw him pass through and he had no problems with me starting early. I’m typically late to car shows, so this was kind of cool for me. The roll-in process was much smoother than last year, and it seems they were much better staffed this year. Grab a cup of coffee and click past the break for the first of many Auto Connection 2012 posts.
. I must have gone to Fuji on a great day for finding nice looking white cars because I kept running into them at every turn. Take this this fresh Honda Civic FD2 for example. […]
. 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 […]
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.
It feels like it’s been so long so my latest post! My apologies, as I’ve been extremely busy this past week; traveling for work as well as trying to buy some property. I am super stoked on NDF though because I’ve been getting some really cool inquiries as of late. I’ve also just got the go to start planning my next trip back to Japan – which is going to be quite awesome. The best news is that I plan to share it all on the blog. While I try to keep the ‘personal’ out of this page, and stick just to features, events, and auto related posts, it is after all a blog about Japan. I figure the followers would be just as excited as I am to see what a week spent in Japan visiting tuner shops, attending a Super GT race and interviewing tuners is actually like. March is a great month for motor sports all over the world. I don’t even have to mention the start of Formula 1; but in Japan specifically it marks the beginning of Super GT, Super Taikyu, and a handful of other series. JDM Clips recently attended the Super Taikyu Official Test Day at Fuji Speedway. Needless to say, the 6 different classes involved in this series makes for a great amount of variety on track. In my opinion, one of the coolest entrants is the DC5 – and it seems to be a popular platform as well. In this post, I focused on only that chassis. Click past the break for more!
Every once in awhile a tuner company will come out with a build that just blows me away. Well, Mugen is more than just a tuning company, and this is more than just a build; but whatever it is, definitely blows me away. The Mugen RR Advanced Concept is an almost 100% carbon bodied Civic RR with an extensive modification list that makes it a formidable track opponent going up against just about anything. Check out more of what makes this beast tick past the break.
. Happy Monday! .
I know I haven’t been updating the site as much as I should; I’ve been busy with real life. All that aside, I received a nice surprise in my email yesterday morning by the way of some new photos from Japan. Taka sent more coverage of the Mugen Circuit Challenge my way, but this time it took place at Fuji Speedway. One of the cars that caught my eye was this Mugen RR. Only 300 of these were produced, and they would run you close to $40,000 if you wanted one. For that though, you get one hell of a weekend track car; compliments to the host of finely tuned Mugen products on board. Click past the break to see it in action.
Thought I’d break up the photos from the 2011 Mugen Circuit Challenge with a closer look at Mugen’s attempt at the Honda FN2; Europe’s offering of the Civic Type-R. I remember when this model was released it garnered mixed opinions among the Honda community. After giving it a few years to soak in however, I think I kinda like it. Not only is it a very unique chassis design, it seems to be quite rare as well. Let’s check out how Mugen modified it.
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.
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.
1280x . 1680x . Click the thumbnail for larger version! .