POINT&SHOOT> Apex’i Lexus SC430 Debut Party

More videoblog screwing around with the iPhone 4… Saturday night, we were out at J Lounge in Downtown Los Angeles for the Apex’i x Lexus Party, organized by Clark from VIP Autosalon. Again, this is not a professional video in the least bit. Hahaha… this is what you get when you have drinks with the guys from Apex’i, Hankook Tire, VIP Autosalon and City Tire Online at their VIP table… and then you decide it would be a good idea to film a video, and upload it to the MotorMavens Channel on YouTube directly from an iPhone 4 while you’re still out with your friends.

We’ve been doing so many of these little short unedited video segments recently, just because the iPhone 4 makes it real easy… but one thing we realized is the fact that we need to get a better (directional) microphone for the phone when we’re shooting videos like this.

Masaki from Apex’i USA was attempting to give our viewers information about the Apex’i and Lexus drift program, but he kept getting interrupted because the guy behind the camera (who shall remain nameless) kept getting distracted by short skirts and mentions of new car parts being introduced to the Apex’i lineup. Sorry for the apparent lack of focus in this video (haha)… but make sure you go to the Apex’i USA website for actual information on the new Apex’i Power FC Commander that is coming out, and information and photos of their newly introduced Lexus SC430.

:: Antonio Alvendia

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Information on the new Apex’i Power FC Commander II


This obviously isn’t a professional video or anything. I just shot this videoblog last night with my iPhone 4 (because that’s all I had in my pocket) as I was walking up to the Apex’i and Lexus and VIP Autosalon party at J Lounge in Downtown LA.

I don’t know any details about this car at all. I just figured, what the hell. I might as well shoot a super quick carspotting videoblog with my phone before walking into the party, so our readers can see the types of cars we sometimes run into randomly on the street in Southern Cali. If you guys would like to see more of these types of quick and simple videoblogs more often, let us know! Just trying out something new…

:: Antonio Alvendia

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[I received an email yesterday from an Australian guy named Ian Hancock. Ian is crazy about Japanese nostalgic cars, and is currently on vacation in Japan (or as he says it, he's "on holiday") to check out a bunch of his favorite cars. He sent in a photo of this MX32 Toyota MarkII (Toyota Cressida) that he carspotted in Japan, because he knew it would be just the type of thing that Motor Mavens readers are into! Well, he was absolutely right. Here's what Ian had to say about the Mark II...]

The white Cressida belongs to Naoya Yamaguchi, who owns an old school Japanese wheel shop in Moiyra called Bellezza Auto Produce, about 15km from Tsukuba Circuit. I had been at Tsukuba for the day to watch drifting (and get taken for a ride!), and was going for a walk from my hotel to find some dinner when I came across the shop! I thought I was delirious – it was just too good to be true!

When I walked into his store, he was in the corner smoking, wheelchair bound because of a motorbike accident. Naoya “didn’t want to know me” until I started saying the names of the wheels in his shop, and I showed him pictures of my KB110 Sunny from Sydney. He couldn’t believe that an Aussie 20 year old would be interested in old J-tin. He couldn’t speak any English, and I don’t speak Japanese, so we talked for an hour and a half using a translator on the computer.

The Cressida wears huge SSR 15x9Js (-37 offset) on the back and 15x8J SSR Mark IIIs up front. From what I could gather, it is fairly stock mechanically aside from a healthy lowering, carbs and exhaust. A nice little front lip spoiler and rear spoiler finish it off, and although there are some fender gap issues, it has definately been built in the shakotan style! The body is straighter than straight, and some nice fender mirrors really set it off. I’m buying a set of 7.5J SSR Starsharks from him, and he has invited to take me out in his car next time I come over!

:: Ian Hancock

OH SNAP> Boxcar Sessions

Recently, I’ve been doing some research on good commuter cars that can fit A LOT of camera equipment inside, but still get great gas mileage. I’ve looked at the new Scion xB, Nissan Cube, and also the Kia Soul. There are certain things I liked about all of these cars, but for some reason, I’m still more drawn to the old school original boxy style of the first gen Scion xB.

In my opinion, the Nissan Cube looks closer to the first gen xB than the second gen xB does… but it still doesn’t capture the same feeling as the first generation Scion xB. Maybe it’s because the first gen xB has Japanese roots as a Toyota bB, with tons of Japanese aftermarket parts available, from big wheel VIP style to lowdown/shakotan 15 inch wheel style… and a ton of dope aero kits like Kenstyle or Damd. (The Damd Gulf Toyota bB had me jockin like crazy when it first came out!)

Here in the continental United States, I gotta give props to guys like the bB Squad and especially Paolo Luna and Kenny Leadsled in Las Vegas, who build cars that are so stylish, they inspire other Scion owners to bite their steez. In my opinion, THESE are the guys that Scion USA corporate needs to give “build project” cars to. (I hope you’re reading this, Kennedy, Craig, M.J. and Steve!) These are the real grassroots, die hard Scion guys that deserve a chance to build a fresh box, because they have so much style! I’ve been to Scion car shows in other parts of the United States, and I was just horrified by the way some people built their Scions… especially the ones with cheesy themes! For real!

Anyway, the whole point in me writing this… is that I wanted to give props where it was due, and shine a much needed light on these guys, who have put together some of the freshest Scions I’ve seen in the USA thus far. I never got around to shooting Kenny’s car (Sorry Kenny!), but if you want to check out Paolo Luna’s xB, then click here to see the feature on Paolo’s car that I shot and wrote back when I was still promoting that other high traffic car blog site. =)

::Antonio Alvendia

Paolo Luna’s xB feature from last year

POINT&SHOOT> Canadian AE86 at Formula D Seattle

Up here in Monroe, Washington… we’re still celebrating August 6th, Hachiroku Day!

I rolled up to Evergreen Speedway to check out Formula D practice with my homie Masaki today… but unfortunately, we got stuck in a ton of 360 area traffic, and missed most of the drifting practice runs. I have a few photos from the Formula D practice day today, but since it IS still August 6th, I thought I’d just post this photo right here.

This AE86 belongs to Trent Stromkins from Vancouver BC. You may recognize his name, as he’s the organizer of the Cellblock D drifting events in the Pacific Northwest area. Good luck to Trent and all the other North West guys competing in the Formula D Pro Am tomorrow!

The cars up here in the Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver area are SICK! Stay tuned to MotorMavens for more pics very soon! We need to head back to the track to meet up with our friends now!

:: Antonio Alvendia

PS: Does anyone know why the Jtuned site is down? I was trying to check out Allen Chu’s ASB photos on Jtuned today, but uhmm… ? Nevermind I guess?

POINT&SHOOT> Artchis AE86s at Sugo Raceway

In celebration of our beloved "Hachiroku Day" today (8/6/2009), I thought I'd post up some photos from my archive of AE86 photos. I have sooooooo many AE86 photos in my hard drives and photo albums it's ridiculous. So many in fact, that I could start an AE86 only blog site if I felt like it! But no time for that right now, as right now we're concentrating on building Motor Mavens and telling the whole world about our site!

I wasn't sure if I should categorize this as "Point&Shoot" or "Archaeology" since these pics seem to fit into both categories. I just decided on "Point&Shoot" since these pics are more that style anyway... they aren't artistic or photographically dope, but it doesn't matter. The subject matter is off the hook!

These pics are three years old - they were taken back in spring of 2006, to be exact. I was in Japan for a "work/vacation," just hanging out with Team Orange, and I decided to roll up to D1 Sugo with them. When we arrived, the lower division D1 qualifying had just ended, and I was so happy to see all these dope AE86s around! I must have looked ridiculous as hell, taking a million photos of these AE86s on their loader trucks... the owners of the cars laughed at me, probably thinking "damn, this guy is going bananas taking all these photos!   Read more...

POINT&SHOOT > Camera Testing at Ink n Iron Festival 2009

Ink and Iron brought out some amazing hot rod crews and tattoo artists. One of the first traditional hot rods that got our attention was this Ford pictured above. The huge rear white walls, and the low and wide stance really set this Ford apart from the other cars. Not to mention that old school lock hanging on the trunk.   Read more...

POINT&SHOOT> What the? Jedi Del Sol?

Umm… this one totally took us by surprise. We just happened to be in a parking structure in Los Angeles, looking for a place to park our car, when we spotted this Jedi Knight getting out of a Honda Del Sol, which was modified to look like a Rebel Speeder – complete with R2D2! WTF?! Seriously! Dude. He even had a light saber (and his license plate says OBISHWN). Maybe his X-wing fighter was in the shop..?

:: MotorMavens