Archaeology

ARCHAEOLOGY> John Morton’s 510 & 240Z at RIAM

When a 21-year-old John Morton took a job in Carroll Shelby’s Cobra shop in the mid-1960s, sweeping floors and chasing parts, he had a dream. Much of that dream came true for him, but in what could be called a great and celebrated road racing career, he does have regrets and disappointments.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Team Orange CT9A Lancer Evo 9

Last week, Mitsubishi decided to announce that they were discontinuing sales of their popular Lancer Evolution, as Evo fans across the world shook their heads in disappointment. Out of respect to Evo owners out there, I thought I'd dig into my archives and publish some photos of one of my favorite Mitsibushi Lancer Evos of all time - the Team Orange Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, owned by D1 Grand Prix champion driver Nobushige Kumakubo.

These photos really are old - I shot most of these photos back in 2007, when the car was first built. In fact, I shot these photos with a Canon 40D and my old school 20D - that lets you know how old these pics are - those cameras are archaic now! That being said, I apologize for the crap photos. Old as they may be, these photos depict Kumakubo's then-new Lancer Evo 9 - the world's very first Mitsubishi Lancer ever to be built for professional drifting competition.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Imports at Bonneville Salt Flats

I'm stoked to be writing about the Bonneville Salt Flats for MotorMavens! I've been a HUGE fan of the site since it started last year. A super quick intro might be in order, I guess... I'm Chris Hecht, originally from SoCal, now living in Utah. I'm a husband of ten years, father of four boys, Quality Engineer for a medical device manufacturer by day, and car fanatic by... day and night. I live two hours from Lands End - where paved road meets the other planet known as the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I've been going to Bonneville's "Great White Dyno" for three (going on four) years. I was first invited out by my co-worker and friend Dallas Volk (too bad he's no relation to Volk wheels haha) - but he is a member of the prestigious 200MPH Club. He and his family have been racing a 1929 Ford Roadster his entire life. Dallas, his dad Larry (current President of the 200MPH Club!), brother Patrick and sister Allison (nicknamed "Hollywood") are all in the 200MPH Club. I'm not, but I have contracted a dreaded disease...

I've officially been diagnosed with Salt Fever - and it's uber contagious. Bonneville has its own culture and feel, just like drifting, time attack or drag racing. There are the old timers and veterans who keep the traditions alive with the new blood learning the ropes while adding their own style, flair and background.

I hope to bring to the MotorMavens readers a view of this motorsport and share the cars and culture that make it what it is today. For this first post, we'll have a look at some of the import land speed cars I've spotted. As you'd guess, the majority of cars built to make top speed runs down the long salt, of course, are American. However, the great part about Bonneville (and El Mirage) is that there are A LOT of classes to run in - many of which are perfect for Japanese and European cars because of their engine selections and aerodynamics.

Check the first picture. This Ferrari (#288) runs in the AA/BGMS class (AA = over 500 cubic inches, Blown (super or turbocharger), Gas Modified Sports). According to SCTA's site, it went 235mph and there's a comment on the notes..."Smoke?" Like any motorsport, land speed racing is all about the details. Check the front fenders...aero diffusers (not sure what they call them) to help direct the airflow and add stability. Most of these cars never see a wind tunnel, but the aero tricks are tried and true.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Super Silhouette Pics from Japan

I just love Japanese Super Silhouette cars from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s. I actually saw these photos posted sometime last week on the Team Obscurity website, but didn't get a chance to post them up until just now. These Super Silhouette cars were said to have influenced the Bosozoku/Yanki style of crazy aero kits, fat lip wheels, and humongous front chin spoilers... obviously!

Just check out this famous S110 Nissan Silvia, which was raced by legendary Japanese racer Kazuyoshi Hoshino's team, Impul. Hoshino-san has reached God-like status amongst race fans in Japan because of all his HISTORY. He actually raced in two Formula 1 races*; both of them at Japan's legendary Fuji Speedway - the old school course, with the famous old (and dangerous) banking, which is now closed and sits on the side of Fuji Speedway as a holy relic of the Shizuoka prefecture's glorious racing days of the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, I'm still kicking myself because I had the opportunity to chill out in the Impul/Calsonic Super GT pit area when I attended the Pokka 1000kms Super GT race at Suzuka Circuit, and Hoshino san was standing right freaking THERE... and I didn't even take a photo with him or ask him to autograph something. What an IDIOT I am. I still regret it.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Keiichi Tsuchiya Tanjoubi

I was talking to a new AE86 friend earlier on Facebook, and he told me that today was Keiichi Tsuchiya's birthday. Those that follow the drifting scene in Japan obviously know that Keiichi is highly revered in Japan's automotive media industry; nicknamed Dorikin, or "Drift King," Keiichi basically became the media darling of Sanei Shobo Publishing, which is the media powerhouse that owns and produces Option Magazine (and all its variants), Drift Tengoku Magazine, and Video Option.

Video Option may well be the most powerful media outlet in the group; after all, most of my friends might agree with me when I say that the first time I (we) ever watched an Option Video tape, we were dumbfounded and immediately hooked on drifting and Japanese car culture. (Yes, that's right... I did say video TAPE... I'm showing my age here. I know that many of our readers have never used video tapes, only DVDs.) However, this isn't a story about Video Option... after all, it's Keiichi's birthday, so I thought it might be fitting to share some old school photos of my first (only) encounter with Keiichi's famous white TRD AE86, which inspired the hell out of us at an early age.

I realize that most people might think, "What the hell? A post about Keiichi on his birthday? You JDM fanboy!" Haha, it's okay, I'll admit it. When I first learned about drifting and Video Option and Best Motoring and AE86s and Keiichi Tsuchiya and Initial D in the mid 1990s, I was a fanboy. I don't care if you think that's lame, either... because at some point in our lives, we all idolized someone... whether it be a sports figure or famous celebrity or whatever. The only difference is, I have enough confidence to admit it. As I was growing up, I definitely looked up to guys like Keiichi Tsuchiya (and Nas and Blackthought and Q-Tip and De La, but that's another story...).   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Honda Love at Nisei Showoff

Sorry today's update took so long... the site had some software issues, so thanks for being patient with us as we deal with these growing pains! Before I transfer my Nisei Showoff photos to one of my terabyte hard drives for archival, I thought I'd just put a few more photos up on the site.

Reppin Los Angeles... is the Phaze 2 crew, bringin it hard with some of the sickest Hondas at the show. Phaze 2 is all about slammed cars with aggressive offset and stretched tires, and they all seem to have contrasting color engine bays with super clean wire tucks. They floss it hard too - they all rocked their cars hoodless, so other crews would realize just how much effort they would need to put in to get to the Phaze 2 level.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> JDM Allstars Action

Here are some more photos from the JDM Allstars event at Wembley. The skies over London were bright and clear for a moment... I was feeling a bit burnt and tired from standing out on track for hours the day before, so I took some time to relax around the paddock area catching up with some friends, drivers and setting up my camera before heading over to the drivers briefing tent to see what the day had in store. I soon learned that the morning session was dedicated to qualifying for the Top 32 battles.

The qualifying would be run using the new Super Lap format. With the Super Lap, drivers are given just one single run to lay down their best score, no warm up laps, or anything. The judges were also wanting to see the drivers give it their all and get their cars as close as they could to the wall. A lot of pressure, but it was definitely gonna be exciting!   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> The Good Old Days of D1GP

“Evvvvverybody’s talking bout the good old days, the good old days…” With the next round of the D1 Grand Prix USA series coming up this weekend in New Jersey, I can’t help but think back to “the good old days” of D1 events in the USA. It was just so exciting back then. It was so exciting to watch the D1 drivers from Japan drifting with their high end competition cars; and you got to hear the awesome mixture of turbo sounds and screeching tires. D1 was not plagued with the V8 blaaaaap blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap blap blaaaaaap that is now becoming the norm in American drifting events.

Even though Formula D was still strong even back then, what the D1 events brought to its American fans was a taste of Japanese drifting culture… it was so exciting. I really hope the new people who throw D1 events in the USA can build the series back to its former glory. It just used to be so epic.

Just look at this photo of Atsushi Kuroi from Osaka based drift team Tinker… his car is so bad ass! As is he! I miss the old days.

:: Motor Mavens


ARCHAEOLOGY> Ebisu Drifting Matsuri AE86s

It's about 5:00am and I haven't slept yet. (I'll set this to publish later on during the day though) While the rest of us in the West Coast prepare to make the trek up to Seattle for Formula D, on the other side of the world, another big drifting event is happening...

This weekend, Ebisu Circuit is holding its Summer Drift Festival. In celebration of 8/6 Day, I just thought I'd post up some AE86 photos from my favorite place on Earth... Ebisu Circuit.   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Red AE86 Twins at Ebisu Circuit

Damn, I love red AE86s. Especially red AE86 Truenos. To further celebrate Hachiroku Day today, I just wanted to point out that this (above) is one of my favorite AE86 photos I've ever taken in my whole life. It's not like it was particularly challenging or technical or anything, but it's just that this photo brings me back to a really great time in my life.

Standing trackside at Ebisu Circuit's South Course (the D1 course) that day, I felt completely happy. I know it may sound pretty weird; this isn't normally the type of thing one writes about on an automotive blog site. Nevertheless, my experiences that day were so incredible... I don't think I'll ever forget the sights and sounds of Ebisu Minami that day... with these two gorgeous red AE86s chasing each other down the track, bumper to bumper... initiating drift close to the intimidating South Course wall, and chasing each other door to door throughout the entire course. It was a hell of a show, but here's the thing. There were no spectators there that day, except for me.

It was as if for some reason, two of my favorite cars in the world (and in my favorite color too!) were chasing each other down at my favorite race track in the world, dogfighting just for my own viewing pleasure. It was amazing to say the least; my words here don't do the experience justice. It was exhilarating and exciting, yet relaxing at the same time. It was as if my whole world was at peace, for just that one moment. I f*cking love red AE86s and I f*cking love Ebisu Circuit!!!   Read more...

ARCHAEOLOGY> Ueo vs Taniguchi Video


Ueo+vs+Taniguchi

For those who weren’t there, in celebration of August 6th “Hachiroku Day” that was made into a worldwide holiday by our friend HerbrockOne on Club4AG several years ago… we just thought we’d dig into the vaults for this one.

Were YOU there? We were. It was August 31, 2003. The legendary Battle for Irwindale… and the first inaugural D1 Grand Prix event on US soil. AE86 vs S15. Katsuhiro Ueo from Kyushu Japan vs Nobuteru Taniguchi from Hiroshima Japan.

The video footage may be old, but the memories from this night are vivid as ever, in our minds. What an epic event. Listen to the crowd in the video. I still get goosebumps on my neck. Being on top of the grand stands watching the cars run so close to each other. The videos we had all seen at our friends house were now real in front of us. This event was the first time the chant “One more time!” was screamed from the fans mouths cause we all were in such disbelief at how awesome each run was we just had to say wait a minute wait a minute “One more time” cause that was just too unbelievable.

Long live the AE86!

:: Steve Starr


ARCHAEOLOGY> Tecart's AE86 at Tsukuba Circuit

Today, I was looking through one of my old USB hard drives that contained some images from one of my Japan trips in like… 2004 I think? Or maybe 2005. Anyway, I stumbled upon this photo I shot with my old Canon 20D camera.

Even though Canon’s current product offering makes me think the 20D is a POS now, I gotta give it props because that’s the camera I had with me the longest… I shot with that thing for like FOUR years. That includes constant travel with at least one event per weekend, meaning I would shoot a minimum of 1000 images per weekend, using a “non-pro” bodied camera with a less durable shutter. In fact, my shutter did eventually fail on me at Road Atlanta last year. Thank God for good homies like Cody Wellons from S3 Magazine and John Choi from Falken, who let me borrow their DSLRs so I could finish shooting the event. Even though I was pissed about the broken camera, some of my other photographer friends thought it was cool – they said, “man, your camera broke because you took too many photos with it? That’s dope as hell… and your 20D has been all over the world with you!” True, I didn’t think about it that way!

So back to the subject matter, check out this purple Tecart’s AE86 Levin 2-door drifting at Japan’s famous Tsukuba Circuit. In the photo, the car is in a mid-drift transition and is about to be flicked to the left to continue through the D1 course… however, this photo was NOT taken at a D1 event!

This photo was actually taken at one of the legendary Battle Magazine “Battle of Drift” Competition events, which Japanese people nicknamed as “BM Cup” or “BM Hi.” For those who aren’t familiar with “BM,” Battle Magazine (now defunct) was very well loved by many Japanese drifting enthusiasts because it was the only magazine out there that really featured the cool grassroots drifting movement as it was happening in Japan.

I think most American and European drift fans nowadays only know about drifting from what they see in a “professional series” like Formula D and D1 Grand Prix. However, for guys like me, who have been following Japanese drifting since the 1990s, it’s all about the privateer efforts… back then, it was all about the super dope Japanese grassroots drivers who drift with their everyday street cars, battling different drift teams from different regions of Japan, etc. That’s what it’s all about.

By the way, did anyone notice the Japanese “team sticker” on the rear quarter window? It comes from one of my favorite AE86 teams… “Go Maru Japan.” More on this subject later – you better stay tuned to Motor Mavens!!!

:: Antonio Alvendia