Posts Tagged ‘1JZGTE’

PERSPECTIVE> Ten Years Of Formula Drift Atlanta

This past weekend at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, the Formula Drift Championship celebrated its Ten Year Anniversary. It's hard to believe that the sport of professional drifting has already been in existence in the United States for ten whole years! Crazy - it certainly doesn't feel like it's been ten years.

Over the past decade, there have been a ton of new faces in the traveling Formula D circus - new drivers, new photographers, new teams and sponsors, new models, and new fans. When the very first Formula Drift event was held at Road Atlanta back in 2004, drifting was very much new to the United States. Most people didn't even know what it was. Most of the drivers and teams were very grassroots in appearance; we certainly didn't see the big corporate event activations and sponsor logos that you find at Formula Drift events nowadays.

Many of the original drivers, models, and teams from the inaugural Formula Drift event in 2004 have moved on to pursue other things. However, there are still a few OG Formula Drift heads (like me) still around. Man, we're getting old!   Read more...

FORUM> KoyoRad Build Thread Contest Winner

drifting david bellomo s14 1JZGTE vvti koyo radiator contest winner

We have a winner for our January #MOTORMAVENSBUILD Contest presented by KoyoRad Racing! David Bellomo,¬†a 21 year old Toyota Technician from Haymarket, Virginia is the owner and driver of this S14 240SX, which has a Toyota 1JZGTE VVTi engine swapped into it. Check out the Build Thread that David created on the MotorMavens forums! (more…)


CENTER STAGE> Superfine Serial Nine Cressidas

I can't imagine that, back in the mid 80s to early 90s, anyone thought of Toyota Cressidas as performance cars - after all, they were stuffed to the gills with power options and a plush interior. They were pseudo luxury cars that were made for taking trips to the grocery store and picking up the kids from school.

That perception of these four-door beauties changed when engines like the 1JZGTE and 2JZGTE started to become more accessible with the spike in JDM import parts coming into the US within the last decade. With minimal work, and a good knowledge of cars, one could have a powerful car with less investment than, say... a 240SX or AE86. Opting for the straight six turbo 1/2JZ engines was a no-brainer if you had a Cressida.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Drifting at Mineral Wells, Texas

Mineral Wells is a small city nestled deep in the countryside west of Dallas, Texas. It is a calm, rural town surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. The atmosphere is generally peaceful and quiet, but occasionally through the year the silence is broken by the sounds of screeching tires, exhausts, and blow off valves as drifters roll in to participate in one of the most premiere drifting venues in the state!

The drifting is held in a lot located just behind the runway at the Mineral Wells Airport. It was built over sixty years ago as a Cold War helicopter landing pad and decommissioned shortly afterward - sitting empty for years until automotive enthusiasts began renting it out for grassroots events. What makes this venue so incredible is the vast expanse of open area. With enough cones, you can build a course easily capable of triple digit entry speeds. You won't find a faster venue in the state. The large size also allows plenty of room for trucks, trailers, and tents as well.

Aaron Losey of Fabricated Motorsports (the guy in the striped shirt and beanie) is the man behind the majority of the drift events in Texas. His events are always very well organized and safe, with a fun and laid back atmosphere. The attendance level is usually very good, with driver experience ranging from some of the best talent in the nation to absolute rookies with no driving time whatsoever. Luckily, the more experienced drivers are always willing to offer assistance and Aaron usually spends the majority of his time giving hands-on training.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Xtreme Drift Circuit at Irwindale

Most people that are familiar with drifting in the United States have heard of Irwindale, California. After all, Irwindale's most famous attraction, Irwindale Speedway has been home to many major "firsts" in the drifting community. Irwindale Speedway was the venue for numerous early Drift Day events; the Video Option Ikaten on January 17th, 2003; the first Drift Showoff on March 3rd 2003; the RS-R Drift Festival on April 6, 2003; the first D1 Grand Prix event in the USA on August 31, 2003; and the first Formula D homecoming at Irwindale on August 29, 2004.

I mention these particular events because they were all milestone events for the grassroots drifting community. Since then, Irwindale has become a recognized name and a home for grassroots drifting in the West Coast. This past weekend marked the first ever XDC (Xtreme Drift Circuit) event at Irwindale. Whether or not this XDC event (or the series in general) will turn out to be a major milestone in the minds of drifters in the United States remains to be seen. However, I can tell you that I observed some re-invigoration and renewed interest in high level grassroots drifting competition from some of the drivers. Hell, if having high-skill-level grassroots drivers spend the time and effort in making the journey from most major regions of the United States (and Canada too) just to compete in this event doesn't indicate what kind of hype this new series is generating, then I don't know what will. It looks as if XDC is heading towards becoming a major force in the grassroots drifting arena.

I'll be honest - when I first heard about yet another drifting series launching this year, I kind of rolled my eyes, just like everyone else did. "Oh jeez," I thought. "Another drifting series is trying to come up and compete with Formula D again?" Well, if you observed how the whole "Nopi Drift Series" turned out, you might understand where some of the drifting community's skepticism comes from. However, when I found out that this new XDC Series was actually slated as a "feeder series" which would sharpen up the skill levels of grassroots drifters across the country and allow them to graduate into Formula D competition, I thought, "hmmm... I think this might actually work out."

The Motor Mavens Movement is all about supporting grassroots drivers and local street teams and crews from all over the world. Formula D did a good thing by empowering the local drifting organizers in different regions to hold Pro Am "driver search" events (like Vegas Pro Am and Evergreen Pro Am, etc), but what I think really boosts the level of drivers that want to graduate into the Formula D series is having the ability to compete regularly on different tracks, against different drivers from different geographical regions.

This "nationalization" and/or "globalization" of competition between the drifting community's hometown heroes is the only way grassroots drivers can really prove how good they are. However, with the level of drift car builds and big money that's required to actually run an entire Formula D season nowadays, it's nearly impossible for REAL grassroots drivers with REAL grassroots style drift cars to actually compete against the Formula D series' hundred-thousand-dollar engine builds, Nascar V8s and full race cars with silhouettes of their OEM bodies dzus-fastened onto tube frames. It saddens some people to see drifting turning into a major pro motorsport like Nascar, but it's all a natural progression, I suppose.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Supras Swarm SP Engineering

This past weekend, something like 70+ Toyota Supras came out to the Supra Appreciation Event at SP Engineering in Industry, California. I was pleasantly surprised; I couldn't believe how many Supra owners braved the rain and the bad drivers on the freeway with their high horsepower monsters. All the parking lots surrounding SP Engineering were packed to the hilt with Supras and other cars that had variants of M and JZ engines under their hoods. Most of the cars in attendance were JZA80s, but there were also quite a few MA70/JZA70 Supras that caught my eye... I even spotted an MA60 in the lineup!

The JZA80 Supra Turbo is normally regarded as Toyota's "top of the food chain," but at the SP Supra event this weekend, I was honestly jocking the MA70/JZA70s more. Now THAT is a big statement. Let me explain... I've been a big fan of JZA80 Supras since the very first time I laid my eyes on one... and I never really gave the JZA70 much thought (that is, until I started hanging out with the late Mike Urbano [RIP homie] and his always late brother Brian). However, this past weekend, at least in my eyes, the MA70/JZA70 Supras took the win in terms of sheer style.

You might be thinking, "What?! Are you crazy? We're talking about JZA80s here," so I should explain my opinion. I think MA70 owners need to do a lot more in terms of restoration and "clean up" than the JZA80 guys do. The JZA80 Supra is such a good looking car that all you really need to do to accentuate the already gorgeous body is lower it, get proper fitting wheels and tires, a good looking exhaust and a front lip spoiler. That's not much at all. Meanwhile, MA70 owners have to think about getting a clean body (or fixing dents and whatever), painting the car, cleaning up the engine bay, piecing together a clean interior, making sure everything works, making the car run right... and only then can they turn their attention into making the car look good.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Now That's Ameen MX83 Cressida

While many of the best grassroots drifters in the United States (oh, and don't forget Canada, eh!) were out in Southern Cali for the Formula D Pro Am at Irwindale, I had the chance to catch up with Ameen Rizvi from 786 Motoring in Houston, Texas, the driver of everyone's favorite metallic brown MX83 Toyota Cressida.

Since Ameen and his Cressida were busy doing another shoot on the Irwindale banking on the actual day of the Pro Am, I asked Ameen if he'd be down to meet up with me and the other members of the Motor Mavens Crew the following day. Ameen and his brother Amir graciously obliged, and decided meet up with us for a late, late breakfast at Flappy Jack's on Route 66 in Glendora CA, with a whole bunch of other trucks from Texas with drift cars in tow not too far behind.

Those of us who have been following the drifting scene pretty closely have known about Ameen and his Cressida for quite some time now. After all, it's not often you see a four door, non-240SX rise up through the ranks of grassroots drifting competition in the USA. Wait a minute... but Ameen did drive a 240SX. To clarify things, Ameen used to drive an S13, but when he first began drifting in 2001, he was doing it in a Mk3 Toyota Supra (MA70). Since he started out in a Supra, it was only natural that he would become enamored of Toyota's mighty 1JZGTE straight-six engine, which came as stock in the Japan-market JZA70 Supra Turbo. Well, that and he blew up a ton of US-market 7MGE engines when he was trying to use them for drifting. Bad idea. 7MGE engines are notorious like BIG for blowing head gaskets, overheating, and cracking the stupid OEM plastic intake piping. Just like Biggie, they're ready to die.

So if he started out with a Toyota Supra, why move to a four door family car like a Cressida one might ask..? Well, when Ameen was doing research on building his MA70 Supra, he discovered that the chassis of the MA70 Supra and MX83 Cressida were extremely similar, and many of the engine and suspension parts were the same as well. The tipping point was when Ameen saw an internet clip of D1 driver Tsuyoshi Tezuka's JZX81 Chaser. "When I saw Tezuka's 81 on the internet," Ameen explains, "that's when I knew I was gonna build up a Cressida for sure."   Read more...

WEBMINING> The Best JZA70 Supra Ever.

Here’s something real quick. I was just browsing through one of my new favorite blogs, Kyusha Kai (in Japanese, it means something like modified old school car), when I came across this supeerrrrrrrrrr super dope Supra. This has GOT to be the best JZA70 Supra I’ve ever laid eyes on. Ever. EVERRRRRRRR.

Just look at that stance. The wheels. The flares. The front chin spoiler and front bumper. The aftermarket vented pieces that replace the turn signal indicators..??? The crazy looking hood and sideskirts! The wangan wing out back. And does it have a roof wing? Can’t tell from here. And it has an old school sha-ken sticker.

If this doesn’t inspire you to want a JZA70, I don’t know what will. I think if more people made JZA70s look like this, maybe the MA70/JZA70 body style Supras might be as popular as S13s or FCs.

Holy crap. Leigh Roto, Brian Urbano, Jose Valle, and all the other MA70/JZA70 owners I know… this is for you guys. Be inspired!

:: Antonio Alvendia


COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Grand Finale, Part 1

I know that many people have been waiting for our coverage of this weekend's Nisei Showoff carshow, which made its final show in Downtown LA/Little Tokyo. Since I knew I'd run into a ton of old friends at the show, I knew that it would be smart to come to the show early; that was a very good decision. Travis brought his Canon DSLR and his video camera to help capture the event too, since we knew that it would be hard for me to make my way around the whole show, in between saying hello to all our old school friends that come out the woodwork just for the Nisei Showoff. For some reason, some of these guys don't go to Formula D events or Just Drift events, but they always make it to Nisei. So for many of us, Nisei Showoff is a time for us to reconnect and chill with good friends who we don't have the pleasure of seeing all the time, due to the busy work and travel schedules that we all have.

I was happy to see several media outlets at the event covering the show as well; I'm hoping that all the magazines and websites out there run coverage of the show. Super Street Magazine and Project Car Magazine both had a strong showing at Nisei, with booths and a build-off competition of the magazine editors' personally owned cars. I also saw people from Import Tuner, Japanese Nostalgic Car, Urbanracer, Auto Otaku/Speedhunters, DSport, even an ex-Jtuned guy and several other media outlets out there to support and shoot photos of Nisei Showoff. Make sure to check out their coverage of the show as well.

For any other media outlets who weren't able to make it to the show, but still want to run coverage of the event, please contact us at motormavens(at)gmail.com and we will supply you with photos for free, just to help out our friend Ken Miyoshi who runs the show.

While it may seem to some outsiders that we've been hyping this event quite a lot, it's only because Nisei Showoff really is a big deal to those of us who go there with our friends and family every year - it's a tradition that we've all kept up for the past nine years.

In fact, the very first time I ever put my own AE86 in a carshow was at Nisei Showoff in 2000 - the first ever Showoff event in Little Tokyo. That year, I linked up with several of my other AE86 friends and old school Toyota heads, and we lined our cars up all in a row, parallel to 2nd Street in Little Tokyo. We all thought it was so cool to be in a carshow in that area, since we would always hang out in Little Tokyo after work. My friends and I were always there, whether we were buying Japanese drifting magazines at Kinokuniya Bookstore; renting Japanese car videos at J-Wave; getting ramen at Orochon or Daikokuya; buying Japanese market limited sneakers at the shoe store inside Japanese Village Plaza; or of course, getting drinks at Oiwake.   Read more...

COVERAGE> All Star Bash Weekend Pt.3

More All Star Bash!!! We love it, so Motor Mavens keeps it coming! Most of the people in the MotorMavens crew live in different states... but yesterday after everyone got off work, we were able to put our photos together and organize them!

So here you go... enjoy the photos!   Read more...