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Ben Hsu

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SHOPAHOLIC> Walden Speed Shop

Earlier this week we stopped by Walden Speed Shop to observe what makes these world-class metalcrafters tick. Greeting us at the entrance were a beautiful '27 T-Bucket with a Buick Nailhead 425 and a partially built '36 Ford smuggling an L92 crate motor between its bulging fenders. A gorgeous collection of vintage gas station signs hung like tapestries of automotive art signaled good things in store.   Read more...

COVERAGE> SoCal Roadsters at Datsun Museum

Anyone that worships at the altar of Nissan must, some day, make a pilgrimage to the Datsun Heritage Museum. Located in Murrieta, California, it contains a treasure trove of Datsun and Nissan memorabilia, a library of pre-digital reading material and, of course, cars. For many southern California Datsun enthusiasts, it also serves a community center where meets and events can be held. Last weekend, the SoCal Roadster Owners' Club held their annual charity toy drive and car show there.   Read more...

WEBMINING> We love 1980s Japanese Cars!

We at MotorMavens have a strong affinity for 1980s Japanese cars, and it’s easy to see why – techno-angular design, generous use of turbos, and an excess of electronic gizmos. All of these could be found on light, affordable RWD sports coupes. In a few short years front-drive cars would take over, but this video captures some of the best machines of the heyday: the Mitsubishi Starion, Toyota AE86 twins, R30 Nissan Skyline and Mazda FC RX-7, all captured in their natural environment.

:: Ben Hsu


SHOPAHOLIC> Nostalgic Cars at Simpson Design, Part I

We've had mega coverage of the Pacific Northwest's incredible drift scene lately, so how 'bout a stroll down the path less traveled with some Olde World European classics? You won't see these cars hanging their tails out in a wall-scraping slide, but that doesn't make them any less fascinating. To find these hidden gems, we hopped onto one of Washington's many state ferry boats and hitched a ride to Whidbey Island, about an hour north of Seattle and home of Simpson Design.   Read more...

WEBMINING> President Evil

The Nissan President has long been the top-of-the-line sedan in the company's JDM lineup. In Japan, you normally see stoic black versions lurking curbside in Ginza, waiting to take CEOs home for the night. Or to restaurants where the barkeeps reserve and maintain liquor cabinets worth more than my car tagged with the exec's name. This sinister sedan, however, is clearly no honcho hauler.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> 1966 BMW 2000CS

Remember the sexy silver machine from last week's post about Seattle vintage race car builders Racecraft? The 1966 BMW 2000CS served as the design inspiration for some of the most gorgeous BMWs ever to roam the Autobahn, dazzling enough to warrant closer inspection on MotorMavens.   Read more...

SHOPAHOLIC> The Vintage Racers of Racecraft

I was up in Seattle earlier this year and took the opportunity to stop by Racecraft, one of the northwest's premier vintage race shops. When I arrived, the men behind the operation were wrenching hard on a pair of BMW 2002 track bandits, each worth over six figures. But founder Jim Froula and his partner Terry Forland are not only immensely skilled at making 30-year-old cars go fast, they also don helmet and glove to get behind the wheel of their own old school race cars.   Read more...

PAPERCUTS> 1969 Mazda Carol in Daytona

I was hanging out at the Cipher Garage with Antonio recently and we were flipping through his massive collection of old magazines, most of which he's shot fantastic photos for. One of them was Daytona, a Japanese market magazine that mostly covers imports — in this case that means American cars. But being the nostalgic JDM nut that I am, this wicked 1969 Mazda Carol caught my eye. I had actually seen this a couple of years ago in Japan, and you can see a few photos of it in the Japanese Nostalgic Car gallery of the New Year Meeting classic car show.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Ratsuns x Japanese Nostalgic Car Meet

There's a popular SoCal meeting place that attracts all sorts of car nuts at the Torrance In & Out Burger on Crenshaw just north of the PCH. The parking lot is big enough to hold several little meets and everything from classic V-Dubs to American muscle shows up. Recently some members of Ratsun.net and Japanese Nostalgic Car forums have put the call out to old school Japanese cars to meet here on the first Friday of every month, and owners turned out en masse. This sublime Datsun 1200 is just one example of the kind of cars that rolled up.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Braxton's E30 Bimmer on BBS

While I was in Seattle on business for Japanese Nostalgic Car Magazine, I happened to pass by Moss Alley Motors just as Braxton Santos' 1989 BMW 325i was pulling out of the driveway.



The E30 was only the second generation of the now legendary BMW 3-Series and the chariot of choice during the Yuppie Age. Along with tennis rackets and boat shoes, E30s were frequently used as shorthand for preppiness in 80s movies. But nowadays it's a different story. E30s can be found for less than three grand, making them ripe for the type of customization that Chet down at the country club would never consider.   Read more...