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Yoshi Shindo

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COVERAGE> Formula Drift Returns To Seattle

Formula Drift Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway has to be one of my favorite events all year (albeit, I'm biased as a Seattle local)! Not only is it my home town, but this race track has one of the biggest bankings in the series - and just like Irwindale Speedway, there's not much room for error. Everyone in the Northwest drifting community has witnessed a lot of crashes at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe WA throughout the years, and with something like 56 drivers registered for this event, we are sure to get one hell of a show this year!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Walker Wilkerson’s S13 Goes V8

After Walker Wilkerson finished 18th overall in the 2011 Formula D season and barely missed the Rookie of the Year finish, Walker knew he had to step up his game for the 2012 season. Being in the Top 20 wasn't good enough for him! He told me about how much he has learned as a driver and mechanic to keep his car maintained for each event. Which led him into big changes for the 2012 season. While talking to Walker about his future plans, he revealed that he realized he would have to ditch the SR20DET and go V8 to be even more competitive. I was shocked but I knew that this could help him out in the long run. However, I (and many others) will miss the sound of a stroked SR20 coming out of his exhaust.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Garage Autohero Datsun 510 Snowed In

Garage Autohero Datsun 510 turbo turbocharged Ray Stonehocker Watanabe Yoshi Shindo rusty snow Nissan Bluebird

This past week, the Pacific Northwest experienced a snow storm which left thousands without power. I was even stranded at home for a little while! I can’t even remember the last time Washington got so much snow! However, as I pondered the situation more, I realized that this could be one of those “lemons into lemonade” moments (or, is that “ice into ice cream“). (more…)


CENTER STAGE> Tomei Stroker Silvia from Portland

During the 2010 Formula Drift Pro-Am Nationals, up and coming drifter Kyle Pollard from Portland, Oregon earned his Formula D license behind the wheel of a white F20C-powered AE86 Levin - in tandem with guys like Pat Cyr and Walker Wilkerson. Since then, he has opted to build a car that is fully Formula D legal and more easily competitive. Because of all the aftermarket support available, he chose an S13 Silvia... of course!   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> Forza Motorsport 4 Reviewed

I love Forza Motorsport 4! As an avid fan of the Forza Motorsport Series, I was more than excited to have the opportunity to get my hands on the Forza Motorsport 4 video game before it was released to the general public! I must say, I had high expectations for Forza 4, since I’ve always had Forza 3 as the game I could always turn to when I got sick of playing everything else.

The first thing I noticed about Forza Motorsport 4 was the incredible lighting - it’s a bit difficult to describe how incredibly well Turn 10 nailed the lighting in this game! Whether you were looking at your cars inside the garage or outside, they made it look like what you would see if you were actually in your garage looking at your car. I heard that they revamped the tire physics and handling of the cars, and noticed that in the new “simulation” mode, the car steers and reacts more like a real car. This is one of the reasons why I’ve been a fan of Forza, It doesn't feel like a fictional arcade game - it’s closer to a driving simulator.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Instant Gentleman RPS13 With LS2

While some Formula D drivers are trying to get on podium, some are trying to get their cars done before the last few events. Nikolay Konstantinov has been doing just that.

After a pretty bad crash at Irwindale last year, he's been planning and redoing his car to be even more competitive this year. This is the same car that he drove last year with a new scheme. He ended up ditching the Type-X for the Instant Gentlemen kit. He also ditched the RB25DET for an LS2. No hate mail - please.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Power Move Super Slammed S14 Stuntin’

Daniel Ressa has been building his Nissan S14 a bit longer then I've been building mine. He's a lot further and lower then I am. LOL! I just can't deny that his S14 is, without exception, one of my favorites. He's always looking to get rare wheels and little parts that no one really has or wants to pay for. He is all about attention to little details on his car. If you know Danny, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Beyond the super slammed, tucking rear wheels, dragging side skirts, and destroying go-kart plastic barriers - this car actually gets driven hard. Form and function.   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2011 Formula D Seattle, Day One

Once again Formula D makes the stop in my hometown Seattle, Washington! This is always one of my favorite events because, not only is it my home track, it's also where we see the Northwest grassroots drivers come out and show everyone what they're really are made of. Seattle has a way of making people rise to the occasion!

Earlier in the day, I received a phone call from Rob Primo telling me that practice was rained out. It was very disappointing because practice is my favorite time to shoot the cars on track. Seattle strikes again. However, she can be forgiving at times. A couple of hours later I received another call from Rob. The rain had stopped and the track was dry. Practice was on again! I think you already know that I quickly grabbed my camera gear and drove straight there before Seattle had a chance to change her mind. So, I guess you can thank beautiful Lady Seattle for what you're about to see.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Evergreen Drift Pro-Am Round 2

The Evergreen Pro-Am Round Two event was this past Sunday and it did not disappoint. The very best of the Northwest were out in abundance competing for a professional Formula D license. Drivers from Oregon to as far away as Canada made their way to the centrally located Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. The very same place that will be hosting Formula Drift Round 5 in July.

In addition to the head to head drift action of the Pro-Am, the grassroots drift series was intertwined with the event as well. These drivers are not necessarily novices but they don't have the required safety equipment to run the full track which includes the big 5/8th track. With all of this happening in the same place at the same time, there are bound to be interesting stories to tell from all aspects of the day!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Walker Wilkerson’s Autohero S13

If you dont know who Walker Wilkerson is by now - you will soon enough. From seemingly out of nowhere, he showed up to the first event of the 2011 Formula Drift season and had an incredibly strong showing. Walker outscored many Formula D veterans in qualifying, moving forward to wow the crowd with exciting tandem performances, much like fan favorite Fredric Aasbo did with his JZA80 Supra last year.

With limited seat time he wowed the judges in his purple widebody Nissan S13 240SX coupe, equipped with a stroked 480hp monster SR20DET, during qualifying. Eventually landing high at 7th place, deep within veteran territory. And with that explosive entrance in the pro arena - he secured his spot in the big show on Saturday in the Top 32. Not bad for a first timer in, well, pretty much everything for the day.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Supercharged S2000 from Seattle

Sometimes I wonder how big or small this world can be. When you think you've seen it all, something just comes out of nowhere and blows your mind! This is exactly what happened with me and Marc Tham's S2000. I pulled into the local gas station to fill up the "Yoshivan" and get a few packs of smokes when I noticed this super clean 2007 Honda S2000. After a few glances, I went up to the owner and started to chat with him about his car. After a brief conversation I knew I had to share this beautiful machine with everyone!   Read more...

GUEST BLOG> Eurowerkz BMW 330i E90 & Z4M

As soon as Chad from Eurowerkz told us his Eurowerkz R3DBULL BMW 330i E90 was ready for a photo shoot (and that he had found the perfect place for it), Johan from WSTO literally stopped everything he was doing and left for a solo drive to Minneapolis Minnesota. Starting out late in the afternoon from WSTO headquarters with nothing more than a toothbrush and his camera equipment, he braved the hellish seven-hour drive from Chicago IL to Minneapolis MN. Actually, the drive isn't really bad at all - except for, in this case, the tornado alerts and huge thunderstorms. Not good.

Arriving around midnight, Johan met up with the gus from Eurowerkz at Auto MotorPlex - an enthusiast's dream. It's a private garage built to your own specifications. Whether you're there for storage or a little wrench work, the environment is specifically engineered to engender the height of personalization and comfort - the space feels uniquely designed for your car and yourself. There's even a lounge and a club house for residents. Very cool! Of course, this called for a night shoot - even though he was still drained from the drive through Hades to get there.   Read more...

VIDEO> Bigfoot Bash 2010

BIGFOOT BASH FINAL VERSION from Ryan Davis on Vimeo.

The very first Bigfoot Bash was held over this past weekend. A two day event that started with action at the Evergreen Speedway for the first day, followed by an overnight camp at Pacific Grand Prix to wake up for more drifting action the next day! Rob Primozich is the guy to thank for this awesome weekend. Because of him, everyone who attended had a great time! The drivers had tons of runs and Ray Stonehocker even brought out his tire machine to change tires. Ryan Davis made the drive from Oregon to attend this event, as well as our boys Justin Shreeve and Joe Ayala.

Ryan Davis is an up and coming videographer who has been making a big impact on the Northwest scene. After watching this video, I noticed that his style of video is far different from most videos that I see I simply had to ask him “What made you make your video the way you did?” This is what he told me:

I wanted to make this film a representation of the vibe and feel I got from each stage of the event. I have had so much fun at both of these tracks before: Formula D at Evergreen and the crazy tandem events at PGP. I knew that, whatever happened, it was going to interest people, so I edited accordingly. Justin Shreeve was singing the Tom Petty song on the ride back and that fell in so easily with the Evergreen section. The PGP portion was so high-energy and I knew Supernova by Loyale, an up-and-coming artist, was going to not only show the difference in pace, but also stick in peoples’ heads leaving them wanting more.

Honestly, I think this video is one of Ryan’s best yet! It’s great to see different videographic visions of the same event. It’s amazing to me how diverse these videographers’ artistic perspectives can be. Great job Ryan!

::Yoshi Shindo


CARSPOTTING> N. Konstantinov’s Kouki Monster

When I was still playing around with my skateboards and dirt bikes, guys like Nikolay Konstantinov and Chris Crisostomo were setting up Nissan 240SXs for drifting - in fact they were the very first guys that I had ever met who built cars for drifting. I had no idea that something called "drifting" even existed. I remember, when I was about 14 or 15, wandering by my neighbor's house (which happened to be Chris') and seeing both of their cars for the first time. They had mostly stock bodies but were low to the ground with aggressive wheels. I was instantly hooked.

In fact, the first nice-stanced car I ever saw; the first SR swapped 240SX I ever saw; the first time I rode in a car that was drifting; and the first minor crash I experienced while drifting... all of these experiences came from hanging out with Nikolay. I guess you can say he popped my cherry in the drifting scene. LOL! So, when Nikolay asked if i wanted to do a quick photoshoot with his car while on break from drifting at Pacific Grand Prix, you know I had no choice but to take him up on his offer!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> JCCS Award Winning Sakura 510

Building a car from the ground up isn't an easy task to do - physically or mentally. Some might already know exactly what they want to do, while others may have a general idea and focus on one thing at a time. Plans always change (which is the exact reason why my S14 has been sitting for over a year) but one thing that all these owners have in common is...Dedication.

This Datsun 510 project was started 13 years (and three owners) ago. The original owner (Joe Smith - sounds like an alias), had the body and paint done. He also accumulated a lot of NOS (new old stock) parts though the Nissan dealer he worked for but the car was never finished. Eventually the car ended up seeing two other owners before Dom Stokes bought it.   Read more...

OH SNAP> Canadian Drift Union Rocks PGP

Pacific Grand Prix in Washington state has only been holding drift events this year, but they been doing so well that everyone in the Pacific Northwest looks forward to these events now. This past weekend, was the very first Team Tandem event that PGP held. Many of the regular familiar faces showed up, as well as a lot of new drivers that I hadn’t seen before.

Drift Union was one of the crews from out-of-town that showed up for this event. They came all the way from Canada (I don’t know the exact city) and even though they were new to the PGP course, they were killin it out on track. Their super ridiculously early entries and close-following tandem runs wowed the crowd and the judges enough to ensure that they took top honors!

Congratulations, boys! Stay tuned to MotorMavens for more photos from the PGP event very soon… but right now I have an appointment to buy some super wide wheels for my S14! Now I need overfenders! =D

:: Yoshi Shindo


PERSPECTIVE> Formula D Seattle Through My Eyes

Since Formula D Seattle, all the members of the crew have all been super incredibly busy handling all sorts of things related to the website and promotions, so we decided to hold off on our normal "event coverage" stories so that I could write different type of story - something more of a perspective piece. Normally, we always have Antonio write the event stories, because he seems to have the most experience, and he knows all the details of the drivers and everything. However, this time, the guys asked ME to write about my own personal experiences at FD Seattle.

This year's Formula D Seattle marks my first anniversary as a part of the Motor Mavens Crew. At last year's event, I didn't even know Antonio yet. In fact, I only met him at the end of the event, when he was out in the parking lot, chillin with our friends Ian Dillon and Raymond Vazquez.

I gotta say... this year has been one hell of a ride! Just in this past year, I've attended three other Formula D events, done multiple local drift event coverages, car features, cruises, meets, and everything else in between. As a local Seattle-based contributor for MotorMavens, my main goal was to blow up the Pacific Northwest scene since I know it has some of the sickest cars around! We also have some highly skilled drifters up here - such as Formula D drivers Roland Gallagher, Nikolay Konstantinov, Ian Fournier, and Victor Moore. Since this event was local, there was no doubt that all these guys would be attending. I knew this was going to be a great event!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Leavenworth Euro Cruise in WA

All my friends know that I stay up really late every day, so when I wake up early for an event, it's usually because I'm motivated to shoot a drift event or some kind of local Japanese car-based meet. However, waking up just to go to a car cruise is a completely new concept for me. I've heard about the Leavenworth Euro Cruise for few years now, and to be honest.. I never really cared to check it out until now! It's a good thing I stepped out of my shell though, because there were a lot of cool cars at the event that I probably wouldn't have ever seen if I didn't go!

It's true what they say - as we get older, things change, our minds open up, and sometimes... we realize what we been missing. This cruise from Bellevue Community College to the touristy city of Leavenworth, with a stop at Washington's famous Steven's Pass was definitely something I've been missing out on for a long time! I attended the cruise with our writer Lucas Perez and photo newcomer Jeff Santiago, and even though we rolled up with Lucas's R32 Skyline and Jeff's Honda S2000, mostly everyone seemed cool with our non-euro cars attending. Well, at least they didn't throw eggs at us or anything.   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula D Atlanta Part 2

Experience Atlanta | FD Round 2 | Part 2 from Justin Shreeve Films on Vimeo.

Formula D Round 2 Atlanta has been a subject of the past now, but our boy Justin Shreeve had extra footage and decided to make a sequel to his original FD Atlanta video. In my opinion Justin did a great job showing the great experience a Formula D event can have on someone. These events are more than just the cars and drifting to me. It’s about the people, friends, vendors, and of course the girls! I’m not going to lie though, that clip of Daijiro Yoshihara dirt dropping was sick! Great job Justin Michael Shreeve!

::Yoshi Shindo


VIDEO> Scraping Snohomish in a Slammed STi

Abbitt Wilkerson | 2004 STI from Abbitt Wilkerson on Vimeo.

Well apparently, our resident sick stanced sticker cutter got bored today, since he is out of high school and has all this free time on his hands now. I suppose boredom sometimes leads to creativity, because Abbitt broke out his Canon 7D and busted out a short film to try out his newest piece of non-Canon glass (FAIL) on a video of his car… the super slammed Subaru STi that’s been scraping driveways and road reflectors all over Snohomoish Washington.

Enjoy the video! (Buy some Canon glass, next time, Eighteen and famous.)

:: Yoshi Shindo


OH SNAP> The Demon That Makes Trophies of Men

A lot of times when you buy a car, you have a plan. Sometimes it can be just a mild street car build, or full on race car that will never see a day on the streets. In my experience my builds are always unexpected, starting off with just a daily driver that turns into a full blown money eating machine. Either way, planned or not planned we all have the same passion on getting our cars to become what we imagine in our minds. It always amazes me how far we go to do that. (more…)


WEBMINING> Super Fresh with BBS Mesh

Brandon Nero’s ’04 Jetta GLI from wagenwerks on Vimeo.

When I’m bored at work, I constantly listen to MP3s and surf the web. The other day, I decided to look at Volkswagen related videos because I was interested in finding more cars that looked similar to my friend Zach’s Well Dunn Passat.

I stumbled across this older video from Wagenwerks Productions, that featured a Volkswagen Jetta GLI owned by a guy named Brandon Nero. I think this video is sick – the music went well with the feel of the video. The Jetta is so simple and clean, yet it’s so aggressive! I gotta hand it to Brandon Nero, he made one dope looking Jetta! I obviously love the car’s super low stance, and the fitment of the BBS mesh wheels? Perfect.

While replaying the video about 4-5 times, I read the comments on the Wagenwerks Vimeo account and saw that they used roller blades to get all the moving camera shots! No fancy rigs or easy dollies used here! I can go on for days about how good this video is, but I think I’ll just shut up and let you watch. Awesome, right?

:: Yoshi Shindo

Wagenwerks
Well Dunn Passat on MOTORMAVENS


CARSPOTTING> A Well Dunn Passat

From compact commuter cars and SUVs, to GTs and supercars, most in our "scene" have seen just about every imaginable car "upgraded"- with the possible exception (in my case) of Zach Dunn's 2007 Volkswagen Passat. I must admit that I had yet to see one of these cars done right. And, since I seem to be in the mood for confession, I'm not going to lie, I've never been the greatest fan of VWs. However, the more I see of them (especially this one), the more they're starting to grow on me. Zach's 2007 Passat was the first I'd seen that had been slammed and enhanced with superior fitment - and that made all the difference in the world.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> TIP Meets VIP

These days any car I see sporting a paint job from the pastel side of the palette automatically reminds of Team Instant Party (TIP). I'm sure everyone who knows or has seen Team Instant Party cars is nodding right now as they envision a procession of Easter eggs with badass offset shooting shaved rubber into their mind's eye. So you can see why this air bagged GS300 had me completely perplexed since the VIP style is the last option I would expect from a TIP member.   Read more...