Sunday, April 20, 2014

This is why we can't have nice things.

Adams Motorsports Park is always fun on drift night. Every thursday, from roughly 6-9pm, you can get your skid on for the stupid low price of $20 an hour. The crowd in the pit area is usually pretty mellow, and primarily filled with drivers, and people with a clue. The stands are usually filled with everything else. I've been attending drift night here for more than a few years and always leave with a smile on my face and a car covered in dirt and rubber. On the exit of the main sweeper, they have old discarded tires stacked in case you go too HAM slide off. Or, if you're like me, and dirt drop that corner, you can use the back corner of the car and punt that wall all over the place. No real dents, just plenty of rubber smeared all over the place.

Such is life.
Fortunately, a little wd40 and some elbow grease takes rubber off pretty well. My paint is decent for a 21 year old car, so i don't cry if it gets another nick or scratch. Back for more next week!

HAPPY ZOMBIE JESUS DAY!!!! or Continually playing catch up with Nakagawa Shuichi

If any of you know me personally, you'll know how bad i am about getting round to shit. Mostly i can blame this on a hectic work schedule (40hrs is a SLOW week for me, 50-60 is normal), and the fact that i live in two different places, but even beyond that, its bad. Thankfully (bless you zombie jesus!!!) we had good friday off. That means 3-day weekend!!! Finally enough time for me to catch up on my snoozin, clean up my room(s), and still have enough time and energy to dig in to some projects. I recently acquired another set of panasports g7 c5c2, so now i finally have a complete set!!! Some mixing and matching of lips and barrels needed to take place to optimize sizing, but for now it's ok.

Last night i finally dug in and started the process to mount the Spirit Rei Kamikaze lip and side skirt add-ons that Alex at Wheelflip had ordered for me, through their U.S. distibution partner, Mastermind N.A. (conveniently located literally next door to Wheelflip). They arrived a few months ago and have been collecting dust in my garage, waiting for a weekend like this when i would have enough time to finish the project.
These are the same parts as seen on the Review 180sx owned by Shuichi Nakagawa, in its last version/form prior to going full Rocket Bunny. Personally i think the Review car pulled it off better, but i like my version as well.
While as far as i know, this is the first set introduced to North America, i would not be surprised to see more sets pop up in the years to come, due to the solid quality and universal design of the product. The only disappointment i had is that about a month after i had placed my order, they released carbon fiber versions!!! Oh well, i'll survive.

Essentially, this car is now too low to be streetable. PERFECT FOR STREETING!!!!
I really love how far it extends beyond the existing kouki aero, and while i'm sure it will be annoying as fuck to scrape over every pebble and penny on the road, i wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh and for those of you wondering, this is the same corner, after having all the tire marks cleaned off.

 Since i had a 3 day weekend, i decided it would be wise to ship the car to south america just to take some instagram photos. Hopefully i can make it back in time for work tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hello, i'm a hoarder.

Add this to the list of Shit-that-will-remain-in-my-garage-for-years-with-no-actual-use-or-purpose.
In the early 00s, when the U.S. was first getting its introduction to drifting, aero manufacturer C-west graced us with their presence in the form of D1 driver Akinori "Ucchi" Utsumi, and his s13 "onevia" (silvia with 180sx front end).

Fast forward a full decade, and i come across this gem, sitting on display at a friends shop. They don't know what it is, who made it, or really how it came into their possession, but i instantly knew. Its c-west, and only one car have i ever seen that color on. I can't imagine anyone else would:
A: have the exact same color car
B: also be running authentic c-west/drft aero (which was never widely distributed in the U.S.)

Now it will sit on my shelf and collect dust, right next to the C-west brochure Ucchi signed for me in 2005!

I don't think i would ever put it on a car, its more amusing to me as a novelty/collectible. Too bad this never took off. The PFRP construction that c-west used is by far the most flexible, strongest, and cleanest (best fitting) of any fiberglass piece i've seen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Drift Day at Evergreen Speedway

One of the worst parts about my current job is the tendency to get sent anywhere with little or no notice. This most recent time i've been shipped up to the great white northwest of our country, Bellingham, WA to be specific. Originally expecting to be here for two weeks, my trip quickly got extended to three weeks and may get extended yet again. Always one to make the most of such situations, I got ahold of my buddy Derrik Pompeo, or as the internet knows him, DPOMPS ! This kid has made quite a few waves with not only his excellent car styling, but his skills behind the wheel. I gladly took him up on the offer when he told me that there was going to be a drift event at Evergreen speedway. I was even planning to call in sick to work just to make it down there! Luckily we were given the day off so i didn't have to bust out my pathetic acting skills.

If you've never heard of Evergreen speedway, I'm not surprised. It was originally built as a horse racing track, but was eventually paved over. The outer track is 5/8 mile, while the inner bank is 3/8 mile. Evergreen hosts Round 5 of Formula D this season, and has played host for a number of years now. I showed up "bright" and early to find nothing but rain, gloom, and a pit area packed full of eager attendees with all kinds of entries. While i'm always excited to visit drift events in other regions of the country, i still can't help but be disappointed at the trends that are going on today, one of the larger or which is the shitbox style of tuning, in which absolutely no regard is given towards styling or aesthetics. Many of this events entrants had vehicles that quite literally may have been drug out of the junkyard just yesterday in time to show up this morning. It appears that many of the others had found stock cars in decent condition, and then set out to intentionally deface them with spraypaint, poorly fitted body kits, and an altogether low amount of effort and taste.

Derriks car stands out like a fucking Kilimanjaro amongst them.

While Dpomps has proven that his ideas about styling are on par with many of the others that true drift junkies look up to, seeing his car in person at this venue that was primarily populated with extremely "budget" car(casses), it just made his steed stand out that much more.
(prime examples)
As i've repeatedly said, i would rather watch a good looking car do slow drifting, than watch some shitbox do reverse entries and walltaps. Watching the crowd respond to other participants, more than willing to drag rear corner panels across walls and smash in taillights and fenders, my opinion is clearly not that of the masses. Se la vie.

There were a few other entrants with panache, both on and off the track on this day. Rob Primo, Formula D driver sponsored by Achilles Radial and Garage Autohero, was there testing in preparation for the upcoming season opener Formula D event in Long Beach, CA this following weekend. With a fresh dyno tune and a wider power band on his twin-scroll turbo, feeding matching tial wastegates howling like pissed off teakettles, the 2jz engine sounded wicked when the wick was lit.

Ray from Autohero and Yoshi Shindo were both in attendance and I was glad to meet both of them for the first time. Yoshi is a fellow asshole so we immediately got along like kindred spirits. His infiniti G37 sedan was looking mighty snazzy as well, and we kept taunting him to take it out on the track for a few laps! Maybe next time.

Also in attendance was former FD driver Nikolay Konstantinov. He and some buddies were rolling around in a mundane looking beige s13 coupe, but under the hood lay a mean looking tuned RB25 engine! Super sleeper!!! Nikolay is a pretty intense personality, never one to hold back from letting you know just what he thinks, and his style behind the wheels is the same way, with nothing held back!
BN Sports kit on a Lexus IS300 is always an excellent choice.
This heap couldn't make a complete lap due to the terrible ride quality. Later found out that he was on "coilover sleeves". 
AE86 corollas in clean condition are getting more and more uncommon, so its refreshing to see one that has been well respected and well looked after.
This driver was consistent and impressive all day long. His car, while retaining the stock exterior, still looked very nice due to the clean paint, lack of damaged panels, and more importantly, lack of tasteless "mods", reinforcing my theory that "just because you CAN, doesn't always mean you SHOULD"

Overall the event was really fun, and the weather went from grey, cold and rainy in the morning, to relatively nice in the afternoon. Thanks again to Derrik for both the invite, and the ride-alongs!

Full gallery here

Formula D Tech Day 2014

Soooooo every year, just before the season opening Formula D event in Long Beach, CA, a local magazine publisher (primedia) opens their doors (and parking lot) to a car show and event where fans and others can congregate and show off their own rides, as well as be some of the first to witness this years batch of competitor offerings. Some of these skid chariots are carry-overs from last year, some are brand new entries, but i don't think i saw a single one that hadn't been re-vamped and re-molded from its prior form. Some new trends are poking their heads up, one of which is the mexiflush look modeled by Odi Bakchis. Apparently emulating a fwd drag car is now the thing to do in FD. Ryan Teurck and a few others are also following suit.

The car show always has some interesting folks show up, this year appeared to be "year of the puppy", as there was no shortage of canines cruising about, equally eager to check out the lot (or perhaps just excited at all the tires to pee on!). Either way, the event is an interesting one to check out, free to the public (as long as you behave and don't attract the attention of the gestapo Irvine PD!) and there are a number of food trucks to keep us all from starving.

I didn't shoot much this year. I found myself spending most of the time catching up with familiar faces, but I did find a few cars i thought interesting enough to snap at.

Link to full gallery here

Amazing R33 Gtr, with plenty of tasteful mods, including Nismo wheels, lip. carbon rear spoiler, and many others. This car is spotless and a perfect example of top level tuning.
One of the Kenda Tires/Ark Hyundai Genesis. I'm not sure if this one was Mertzanis' or not, Kenda is fielding two Genesis this season, with similar exteriors, but wildly different engine setups. If you attend FDLB you'll see and hear what I mean!
Dave Briggs hauled his S14 all the way from Toronto, Canada, and showed us all his new vinyl graphics scheme. If you don't know, he runs a Mazworx 2.4l Sr20VE-t engine setup that is well into the 800HP range!!! It revs like a 3-rotor and sounds like carnage!!!
While i'm not the biggest honda head, this pristine S2K caught my attention immediately. The cream white color was quite a sight, almost a bit tan, but very very appealing. The quality of this build is clearly top notch!