I had the opportunity to see what was left of Tokue’s EK shell during my last trip to Garage Work early in 2019. Iwata didn’t want me to photograph it, for various reasons, but for a fan of the Honda Civic, I can only describe the scene as melancholy.
The Sunday after the first Evome event of the year, I commandeered Sekinei’s Nissan Cube and trekked across the Tokyo Bay towards Chiba to visit Iwata and the boys at Garage Work. Jay came along as well as he’s never been to the shop and wanted to meet everyone. The plan was to hang out for a little bit, and talk about some pending business stuff, but the shop is such a laid back place that it’s easy to spend hours there hanging out.
While no doubt popular in it’s day for it’s nimble handling, performance, and excellent gas mileage, I wonder if Honda ever imagined the capability that their CR-X would have on circuit nearly 30 years after it’s inception? This particular example, hailing from the camp of G-Work, is no doubt a testament to the capability of the tiny chassis. Barreling through TC2000 in a mere 1’02.419, the NA B-series powered CR-X can hold definitely hold it’s own. Click past the break for a gallery of shots on track at Tsukuba Circuit.
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.
I know my recent posts haven’t been very lengthy by any means, and this one is going to be no different (that’s not to say I don’t want to type more, I’m just pressed for time). If you’ve followed the blog for that past year at least, you’ll know this car. Kazuya-san, a.k.a. Kotora, a.k.a Baby Tiger, a.k.a. Fastest NA Civic around TC2000 on radial tires, a.k.a….just kidding I have no more names.
The automatic doors opened and a rush of chilled winter air, mixed with the morning’s new sunlight, hit my face as I reluctantly left the warm comfort of the conbini. Surprised, as if for some reason I had forgotten about the cold already, I fumbled to pull my neck warmer up with my hands full of coffee and various pastries. Leaning up against the passenger side of the BMW, my warm breath visibly creating a fog around my head, I waited for Sekinei to exit the 711 to unlock the car and rescue me from the cold. It was 5am on a Monday morning, I had landed in Japan 12 hours ago, and with just 4 hours of sleep to my credit, we were off – headed to the countryside of Tsukuba where we would rendezvous with Japan’s fastest privateers as they prepare to take on the first round of Battle Evome.
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.
Over the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting, and becoming friends with, many tuning shops in Japan – and that’s not something I take for granted at all. However, there […]
For a good sixteen years now, the Miyagawa brothers have been designing body panels for a wide variety of cars under the Garage Mak name. Creative to say the least, they are able to envision […]
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 […]
Ichihara is located in the western part of the Bōsō Peninsula, and geographically is the largest of Chiba Prefecture’s cities and towns. The highly industrialized northern part of the city sits on Tokyo […]
This article has been a long time coming, and I don’t have any excuse for putting it off any longer so here we go… I’ve been traveling a lot this month, and […]
Sekinei, Keito and I were driving to lunch after visiting Unlimited Works last weekend when I spotted this pretty cool R33 parked in a lot on the street we were on. I caught […]
When it comes to R30 Skylines, there is no one crazier than Ikegaya-san of Utilitas Japan; and this fully restored 1984 DR30 is a prime example of just how crazy he can be. Ikegaya is […]
Looks like the owner of this EK is taking some styling ques from the ‘USDM’ style catalog; with it’s OEM body, and good amount of US based decals. The silver Meisters look great against […]
Our first run in with Art Engine was quite awhile back at Tsukuba Circuit during an open track event. Which, after this post, will give you an idea of how versatile Art Engine is. […]
This weekend Sekinei and friends stopped by Fuji Speedway to check out the SSJ show that was being held there. Not typically where you’d find us, but there are plenty of great cars to be […]
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 […]
When Harada & Sekinei went to Fuji Speedway for the Fairlady Festival, they met up with Amisaki-san who was out showing in the main lot. Since Harada’s car is currently down, they took Sekinei’s LHD […]
Hello from Fuji Speedway! Hope you all had a good weekend; here’s a little preview from the フェアレディ祭 at Fuji Speedway this past weekend. Narita Dogfight x NORUSH Japan. Good friends Sekinei and Harada were in […]
High Power & Save Energy. The words that make up the entire mission statement of Revolfe S.A.; a tuning shop most famous for it’s high power, wangan inspired builds. Earlier in the week, Sekinei […]
Rainy Yokohama x スーパーメイド
This past week AJ from Risky Devil made the drive across country to hang out on the West coast for a little while. Friday night, before the 626 Drift event at Balcony, some of us […]
I thought that this shot of Mr. ハマダ キヨフミ and his ECR33 was pretty cool. Garage Dual was tearing it up last time at Nikko – click for a higher res shot.
You’ll have to admit, despite it’s growing popularity, the act of putting an American V8 engine into a Japanese car is still pretty bad ass. As much as you hear about it, it’s still not that common either. The swap has been gaining acceptance even from the die-hard fans of keeping a platform powered by it’s maker. While these LS engines are filling the bays of many Nissan’s in the drift scene, there is one car in particular that seems to have been a trend setter in this field; and that is the Mazda RX-7. This FD that was at KINOD6 is one shining example of how to turn elegance into brutality by adding 8 pistons. Click past the break for more shots.
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.
I’m running out of ways to start these posts, as usual, so I’ll just start off by saying…here is part 3 of NDF’s Wekfest LB (A) coverage. I even had trouble coming up with that. I think from now on, literally this second, for the rest of the show coverage, I will highlight a handful of shots and then post a slide gallery of some cookie cutter coverage of the show towards the bottom of the post. There are really way too many cars to try and put them into this format. This will allow you guys to see the show in a more timely manner as well. As a side benefit, it will also allow me to concentrate my commentary on just a few memorable shots. After previewing the new layout, I think you’ll like it as it allows you to briefly preview a lower sized picture, as opposed to loading an entire page worth of pictures. Once you click a thumbnail, a slide feature will pop up allowing you to view each shot in the gallery in succession. Typically, towards the end of posts my comments turn from semi-informational to just blatant observations (e.g. here is a civic on Volks). You’re probably reading that type of stuff and saying, “Well, no shit”. I think I left off around early afternoon, just before the gates opened and the flood of show goers rushed the grounds. I think it was right about this time I decided to break off from the guys I was hanging out with and start taking photos again. Click past the break for continued coverage.
It appears my elusive internet connection has abandoned me once again, and in doing so, has prevented me from sharing with you this beautiful car in a timely manner. So as I sit here in Starbucks, sipping my coffee, looking like Ko-Teng from ‘You Are The Apple of My Eye’ typing on his laptop in Taxi Coffee (obligatory Chinese movie reference – [long story]), it has become my mission to introduce you to the creation you see above. Jon Principe attended the Slammed Society show in Long Beach at the beginning of the month and I just happened to have the good fortune to make his acquaintance. As I was admiring the Amuse wide-body dressed in the reddest of paint, Jon approached me and asked who I was shooting for. When I told him NDF, I received the response I usually get; “Who?” Perks of naming your blog something so strange I suppose. Eager to practice more car photography, I inquired if he’d be interested in a photoshoot. We exchanged info and planned to get together some time in the coming weeks. Turns out Jon ended up winning first place in the Time Attack category at the show, and I ended up winning a couple hours of alone time with his S2000; a true red letter day. Click past the break for the feature.
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.
I thought it would be a cool idea to make a post from an entirely different perspective for once – or, one perspective only actually. There were so many people at the event, that as I stanced myself down to photograph the wheels of cars, I’d always catch someones shoes in the background. It’s a little funny if you think about it – a car’s wheels are kind of like it’s shoes. I thought it was fitting (ha! fitting – get it?) to throw together a little post of some of the best shots that portrayed this. Plus, I love how these shots come out with the 50mm prime, so I wanted to share anyway. This just makes it a little more fun! Click past the break to view the ‘shoes of the wek, starting with these yummy step-lipped Meisters!’
According to the internet, there are currently around 800,000 or so people living in San Francisco; I think roughly half of them were at Fort Mason this past Sunday to attend Wekfest. Yes, that is a gross exaggeration, but the Weksos crew did manage to more than oversell the show. The massive following the show has garnered over the years resulted in an attendance number much larger than what was expected; so large in fact that the police and fire departments had to refuse entry to some people due to fire code regulations – which was obviously out of the hands of the organizers. Other than that, from the eyes of a photographer, this show was unbelievable. The venue is by far the coolest I’ve been to, the lighting is great, the people are all awesome, and the selection of cars was really well thought out. Before I start the coverage I’d like to say thank you to the guys at Weksos and everyone one else involved in the organization of this show – something as large as this isn’t easy to pull off, and the hard work is appreciated. Click past the break to kick this off.
C-h-e-c-k. Check. OK, my keyboard still works. Holy shit I’m tired. Two nights before Nisei I was stuck at work for 23 hours straight. Yeah that’s right, 23. I never fully recovered, so on the morning of the show I was hating my life. I remember a fairly large line when gates opened last year, so this year I showed up pretty early and to my surprise come 11 o’clock, there was only about 15 people behind me. I guess it must have picked up throughout the day though because people were saying the turnout was good. I had stuff to do in Westwood a little past 1 o’clock so I figured I had around 2 hours to take care of business; Wakayama Ramen lunch included. Click past the break for part one of however many Nisei posts I feel like making out of the 400 pictures I took.
I might as well just dive into part three of Wekfest coverage. This post is going to have a lot of Honda’s, and a lot of S2000’s – as if that were a bad thing. I was pretty surprised at the amount that were in attendance, and all of them were awesome. By this point I pretty much lost all determination to cover this show in an organized fashion, so most of these will appear scattered. Enjoy.
Let’s get on with some more Wekfest LA coverage from Long Beach, CA. I ended up writing this entire post before I even wrote the introduction. I never know how to start off the second part of event coverage. This second part has a huge variety of cars, which is pretty cool, but it made it look kind of sloppy. The grass section was gigantic and hard to cover methodically, so my pictures are a bit scattered. At this point I was also running purely on Red Bull and Skittles, so it’s likely that I got a little sidetracked. Oh well, enjoy.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of UP Garage – if you’re a fan of JDM motoring, how couldn’t you be? I’ve been to several locations, and while you may not always find something that catches your eye, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a nice set of wheels. The new headquarters in Aobodai isn’t a wheel specific location, nevertheless I was surprised to see so many wheels and tires on site. Check out a few past the break.