The S2000’s that are backed by Ballade Sports are, no doubt, among some of the best looking in the paddock. The Southern California tuning shop has consistently chosen quality parts to adorn their shop and customer cars with. Carving a niche out for themselves by shadowing a very Japanese style of automotive tuning, they’ve proven time and time again that often times less is more. It should come at no surprise then, that they’re also among the best performing; their flagship S2000 is a perfect example of this.
Encounter: LM Advance FD3S
I wish I had more to say about this FD, but in all honesty this is my first time seeing the car at any event. The owner was registered in the Grooving series, which is a series in itself that, as of last year, runs in tandem with the Evome events. The Grooving events are catered more towards beginning drivers, or those that want to improve their skill on the circuit without having to enter events that host more advanced run groups. You can read more about it on their website.
Encounter: まっくリのメルセデス 190E
A Mercedes 190E is one of the last cars you’d think to see at Tsukuba, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw after arriving for Battle Evome in January. Admittedly, I first thought it was a rare EVO, but after discussing the car a bit with the owner, it’s a regular 190E with a touch of EVO flare.
Encounter: Super Now 997 GT3 RS
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 […]
Sekinei stopped by Daikoku this past weekend for the first time in quite awhile. It just so happens that Idjiri-san and his friend ‘Sardony’ had cruised through as well. I’ve posted a few […]
Encounter: ByKazu-Satou AE86
Fuji’s drift course typically has a wide variety of course at any given event. On this day though, this particular 86 caught my eye. There are a few things about it that appeal to me. […]
Encounter: 一般ER34 Image To Real – an editorial
一般. Pronounced ‘Ippan’; meaning ‘ordinary’, or ‘usual’. A word I would never use to describe the car you’re about to see, but strange enough, one that the owner would. This post may get a […]
Feature: 贅沢ファイター – Adam Mao’s 2JZ Aristo
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Adam Mao; the owner of the GS300 you see here. Adam, a very easy going and very talented young guy, was nice enough to meet […]
Encounter: 牛島慎太郎のｼﾙﾋﾞｱ S15
A couple shots of Shintaro’s S15 Silvia at Tsukuba. Looks like the front splitter makes a nice coffee holder. Unfortunately, Shintaro didn’t get enough time on track to set a hot lap at […]
Preview: Bay Area 贅沢ファイター
Last week, while I was up in the bay, I stopped by San Jose to take a couple snaps of Adam’s 2JZ Aristo. Check for the full set soon. I apologize for the lack of […]
Event: Wekfest LA 2013 – Long Beach v.2
Continuing my walk around of the Queen Mary grounds where Wekfest was being held, we pick up around 1:30 pm when the crowds started to get bigger. The tour of shows that Weksos organizes has […]
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 […]
One Shot: Editorial – Yankee! Heartbreaker Revived
Yesterday afternoon Franklin and I went out to Cypress to shoot his newly finished SR20 swapped Z32 build. Franky is a great guy and a good friend so it’s always fun spending time with him; […]
One Shot: Chiba Cruise – Import Tuner Feature
If you follow this blog, chances are you’ve seen Mr. Harada’s Z32 more than a couple times. He is a good friend, and I always take time to visit when I’m in Japan. Just recently, […]
Close-Up: Moty’s ☆ T-One’s RX-7
Without a doubt, there were some star performers present at 2013’s final Battle Evome, but among them one shined (literally) the brightest. The Moty’s/t-one’s FD3S was, for me, one of the coolest cars to see […]
Close-Up: Carshop Glow FD3S – Tsukuba Circuit
One of the cars I was looking forward to seeing the most at Evome was the Carshop Glow FD3s. At the last Battle Evome this February it was running a new canard setup, that must […]
Encounter: Varis ワイドボディ 86
The Varis 86 dropped by Tsukuba last weekend adorned in the new full widebody kit offered by Varis. This aero kit in it’s entirety is pretty amazing; much more aggressive than their Arising line. – […]
Close-Up: C&Y Sports 2JZ Powered Fairlady
Z32’s are admittedly not the most common choice when it comes to building a time attack car. Actually, Z32’s are pretty much uncommon no matter how you put it; but there is one company […]
Close-Up: Garage Fun MKIII Supra
My good friend Nao, who owns Garage Fun, also organizes a 90’s meet every once in awhile on the skirts of Tokyo. Last time I went, much to my liking, he had charged up the […]
One Shot: アキバ EVO cruise
I had to make a quick run to Akihabara one afternoon (I say ‘had’ because I don’t particularly enjoy going there) to pick up something from ヨドバシカメラ, a.k.a 12 story Mega brain hemorrhage electronic/everything […]
Just this week Option magazine released their January 2013 magazine in Japan. In that magazine they wrote an article relating to custom widebody builds; and one of the cars they featured was my good friend […]
One Shot: Revolfe S.A. Ｓ１５オーテックのエンジン シルビア
レヴォルフェドットコム Revwolfe S.A. tuned S15 Autech Engine powered coupe. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but make no mistake; this car is extremely cool. High Power & Save Energy.
Encounter: Express NSX
I was setting up Mana’s car for a differnt angle during a photoshoot at a PA on the Expressway one afternoon, when I hear this growling off in the distance. I stepped up on […]
One Shot: Nao’s High Power Supra
One of the most keen cars at the 90’s Cafe this past week at Heiwajima PA, actually belongs to the organizer of the event; Yokoyama-san of Garage Fun. Aside from the obviously tasteful aesthetics, […]
One Shot: Fairlady in Tokyo
I apologize for the lack of site updates, but I’ve been pretty busy that last couple days. I spent pretty much all of Thursday with Harada and Kume driving around Tokyo and shooting their […]
Feature: Autokonexion Carbon Miata
To confirm your suspicions let me just say, yes; this car is made entirely of carbon fiber. A carbon car if you will. This car was built and belongs to Mike from Autokonexion; a shop […]
Encounter: Garage Kagotani Time Attack RX-7
I took some time out last night from weeding dog stickers to take a stroll down memory lane. I came across this time attack RX-7 from last year’s Hot Version N2 race that JDM […]
Feature: The Summer’s End – Franklin’s Z32
Saturday the 22nd, 2012, 6am; the first daybreak of Fall. As the sun casts its new rays upon the horizon, we can say goodbye to Summer, and welcome in the new season. A season filled […]
Close-Up: APR HASEPRO GT300 Toyota Prius
Aside from the KERS outfit on a Formula 1 car, it would be a safe bet that the last thing that goes through peoples minds when discussing motor sports is the term ‘hybrid’. So when Toyota, along with APR Racing, and Super GT announced their intentions to develop a Prius GT300 car the buzz was quite large. Japan has always been a leader in hybrid technology and promotion of its use, so to me, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. It was really only a matter of time until hybrids made their way into the racing scene, and Super GT seems like a great place to start. The Super GT series is the flagship of Japanese motor sport, and with the increase of various chassis comes an increase in fan base. Everyone who drives a Prius will now have a reason to come watch the races and cheer on their own team; which in the end is great for the sport and probably Prius sales. Although the consumers might be a little disappointed when they can’t get the car up to 220 km/h dropping their kids off at school. I should point out not to get me wrong when I start throwing the term ‘hybrid’ around so loosely, because this is not your average grocery getter. I think we would all agree that it would be a little naive of us to assume that this is a stock Prius. While it does retain the stock hybrid system, it gets a little extra help from something special mounted in the rear. Click past the break to learn more about the first hybrid in Super GT.
Feature: Neighborhood Watch Program – Algier Built EVO VIII
If you were to imagine a specific car that, in your own mind, possessed the qualities of protector, or a guardian; what car would you choose? For me, it would always be the Mitsubishi EVO. Something about it just gives off a ‘sentry’ feel. Perhaps it’s the bold, boxy lines, it’s potential for great power or even it’s masculine stature. There is quite obviously a good amount of guardian like character in any EVO, but this one in particular, has more than most. I’ve never seen where Algier lives, but I bet I would feel pretty safe with his EVO standing watch over the neighborhood. Right, I’ll admit that the theme to this feature is a little far-fetched; but it’s still a bit amusing if you think about it. Modified cars coming to life to protect…the…people…oh my god I’m describing Transformers…damn. I knew I had heard of that concept somewhere. Anyway, all that aside, Algier has put together an extremely quality build that I’ve really taken a liking too. This past weekend I flew up to the bay area and made the short trip over to San Jose the next morning to meet up with Algier. He had just spent the entire previous day at HIN so I was thankful that he was able to make it out for a few hours the next morning. Click past the break to see more of this insanely clean 8.
Event: Nisei Showoff 2012 V.2
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
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.
Event: AutoCon 2012 – Los Angeles V.3
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.
Event: AutoCon 2012 – Los Angeles V.2
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.
Event: AutoCon 2012 – Los Angeles V.1
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.
Event: Mitsubishi Owner’s Day – MOD 2012
When I think of MOD, I immediately hear “EVO”; and frankly, that’s all I need to hear. I’ve grown to have no particular interest at all in any Mitsubishi other than their Evolution line of cars. Not to discredit the fans and enthusiasts of Mitsubishi’s other great cars, I can definitely respect the work and passion that goes into any chassis (and there were actually some really cool builds with unique swaps), they’re just not my cup of coffee (I’m switching that saying up). So, I’ll tell you ahead of time, the only cars you will see in this post are of EVO’s – I suggest checking out Mitsubishi forums or other blogs for full coverage. With that said, I really enjoy MOD. It’s one show that I have a very laid back attitude towards. and feel no pressure to show up early and stay until everyone leaves. In fact, I rolled up over an hour after it started and had left within an hour. Parking is never an issue because it is in the business district of Cypress and the surrounding businesses are nice enough to let show goers use their lots. As a result of the show being sponsored by Mitsubishi itself, it is very well organized. Let me start my post out with a shot of the Monster Sport equipped LOT USA EVO 9 – one of my favorites. Click past the break to see more EVO’s at EVO..I mean MOD.
Encounter: 7 Meet Under Bayshore Route
One random evening, after a few passes through the infamous C1, my friend from JDM Clips and I decided to cruise through to the Daikoku PA to see if there was anything going on. Unfortunately the entire parking area was closed for a reason that I can’t remember at the moment. We’re not ones to give up so easily though, and made our way to a few other spots. One smaller PA my friend had suggested we check out was located underneath the Bay Bridge – so away we went. Turns out it was a good idea because there was a good handful of RX-7’s that were meeting up there. We parked and took a stroll through the tiny lot, but didn’t really see anybody around. I think most of the owners were inside grabbing a bite to eat or a refreshment. I went back to the car, grabbed my camera and attempted to grab some decent shots in the dark lot with no tripod. I actually wanted to post these up sooner, but considering today is the unofficial day of the RX-7, it seems fitting to post now. Click past the break to see what was hiding under the bridge.
Garage Life: Hammond and the Wind Chariot
. One of those days… So, I’ve been working on the new website for about a week now, and if I’m honest I’d say the progress is slow at best. The general layout is almost […]
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.
Feature: Makin’ Winners Out Of Sinners – Cody Chan’s Attack-Inspired Miata
To say that we’ve come quite a way in pushing the bounds of modification would be an understatement for most. On occasions where influence and creativity converge over time, amazing results can happen; as is the case with the Miata you see here. Cody’s pursuit of building the perfect Roadster has been a long one, and one where Japanese prominence has prevailed in all areas. From the Super Lap styled exterior, to the adequately tuned engine, he’s transformed this NA from a mild mannered sports car into a battle ready track devil. Honestly I can’t even remember how I got to talking with Cody (I think through NDF Facebook), but as soon as I realized that he was the one responsible for this build, I was itching to get my hands on it. We’re both pretty busy guys, but we managed to met up a few weeks later to knock out a quick photoshoot. If you will, please disregard the obscure title reference to the Paul McCartney song for a few minutes and click past the break to see just what this one of a kind Miata is all about.