Posts Tagged ‘510’

COVERAGE> Japanese Classic Car Show in LBC

Every year, one of my favorite events to attend in Southern California is the annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach. JCCS is like a big reunion of old school friends, surrounded by the finest pre-1990s vehicles made in Japan. The water surrounding the iconic Queen Mary cruise ship and the Downtown Long Beach skyline is a perfect backdrop for Skylines, 510s, Zs, Celicas, Corollas, Starlets, Land Cruisers, RX7s, RX3s, Civics and all sorts of other interesting Japanese old school cars!   Read more...

PAPERCUTS> Road&Track Magazine Closing?!

Road&Track Road and Track Magazine shuts down shutting closing closes doors last issue

I can’t believe it. I just received word from a reliable source that Road&Track Magazine will be shutting down its Southern California offices. Can this be true?! This is insane. Everyone knows that the print media industry has been hurting for a while, but hearing reliable sources say that Road&Track is shutting down… that’s one piece of auto industry news that’s hard to fathom. (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…)


COVERAGE> New Drift Program at Infineon Raceway

"Drifting will continue to grow, but that's only if we continue to support drifters on the amateur level, and most importantly, the people who organize the grassroots drifting events. After all, it is those people who are building new drifters and teaching them how to drive." - Antonio Alvendia in Drifting: Sideways from Japan to America
Despite the obvious plug (forgive me), what Antonio said in 2006 is evident five years later. These grassroots events are where many of the nation's best drifters first made their marks. While Japan was fortunate to have small, frequent drift events, Americans were left to figure out ways to get their tracks open to such a sport. Now, after years of consistent growth and the expansion of our own small drift events, we've come to see plenty of tracks around the nation become accustomed to drifting. These events have been paramount in molding skilled drifters, some of whom have made it in the big leagues. However, for many years now, the San Francisco Bay Area hasn't been able to provide a consistent outlet for its "home grown" talent. Sure, the ThunderDrift events are great, but those are nearly two or three hours away from The Bay. Many drivers simply don't want to make a four-to-six-hour round trip. Now they won't have to.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Grassroots Drifting Action in NorCal

A couple of weeks ago, I shed some light on the Comrades FC3S Truckasaurus RX7 from Fatlace WordUp!, a drift and gymkhana session in held once a month in Santa Clara, CA. The event is only open to 15 drivers and members of the media - no spectators are allowed. It is the closest thing we have to Drift Day in the Bay Area and is centered on providing a safe venue for those who wish to better their skills in a safe environment.   Read more...

COVERAGE> ThunderDrift ProAm at Thunderhill

With the Formula Drift series starting up in only three and a half weeks, this means that the Pro-Am series will be starting up as well. New drivers from around the country will be competing for an opportunity to drive on the next level. One such an event, is Thunder Drift, held just outside Willows California.   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...

COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Returns To Little Tokyo

I'm sure many will agree with me when I say that I'm glad that the City of Los Angeles didn't complete its bulldozing and reconstruction project surrounding Downtown LA's newly built Alameda Street train station... this allowed Ken Miyoshi and his Import Showoff crew to continue their tradition of throwing the Nisei Showoff in the heart of Little Tokyo. According to Ken, this year marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the Nisei Showoff, which always took place in conjunction with the historic Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, celebrating the culture of second generation Japanese living in the United States.

This year, there were a ton of new cars that made their debut at the show, and several regulars that received makeovers. According to Ken Miyoshi, one of the things that has always separated Nisei Showoff from the other carshows is the face that Showoff has a really qualified panel of carshow judges who really have expertise in the automotive aftermarket. Nisei Showoff's judges include people who have a background of working with companies like HKS, Blitz, Toyota, and places like that. This may be a major differentiation factor to some people, but to me, it's completely different.

Nisei Showoff just has a particular vibe to it. It starts early in the morning, in the exciting hustle and bustle of the competitor load-in, as the cars form ridiculously long lines, jamming up the streets of Little Tokyo as they wait for the show staff to let them in the gate and park at their assigned spaces. It continues throughout the day, as the noontime sun heats up the entire place, and you get to bump into old friends and catch up on the things that are going on in everyone's busy lives. For me, the excitement continues on to the late afternoon too, as I complete my rounds through the show and stop by the cars that catch my eye, making new friends and checking out all the subtle things that everyone has done to their cars. Probably the most fun thing about Nisei Showoff (for me at least) is the fact that Ken Miyoshi has asked me to be the official emcee for the awards ceremony. I've been doing this for the past three (or four?) years now... and that part is really fun, because you get to see what the owners of the cars look like, as they come up and receive their trophy at the stage.   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> Bluebird SSS at Flex Auto Yokohama

Ever since we started the Motor Mavens blog, I've been so busy that I haven't really had much time to cruise the web like I used to. However, there are a few sites that I try to check once in a while, because I really like the content. Al's Car Stuff Blog is one of the very few sites that I see that consistently posts up cars that I like! I don't know much about Al or his background, but seeing these photos of this Nissan/Datsun KP510 Bluebird 1600 SSS on Al's blog brought me back to a Japan trip I took several years ago.

Back in 2004, I went to visit D1 driver Takahiro Ueno and his shop, Sui Vax in Yokohama, Japan. I was doing a feature photo shoot on Ueno and his shop for Modified Magazine at the time, so I spent the whole day hanging out in Yokohama. When I told him how crazy I was about Japanese nostalgic cars, he said he knew a shop that I would love, and he wanted to take me there. That shop was Flex Auto Review - they restore and sell Japanese classic cars! Ueno was absolutely right. I flipped out when we got there! AWESOME. (I was kind of embarrassed afterwards, because I was so obviously excited when I was walking around Flex Auto... and I didn't quite show the same level of excitement when I was hanging out at Ueno's shop earlier that day. Oops, my bad.)   Read more...

COVERAGE> Japanese Classic Car Show 2009 Pt.1

I know many have been eagerly awaiting our photographic coverage of this year's Japanese Classic Car Show in Irvine, CA. I would have wanted to post up our photos immediately on Saturday night or on Sunday, but it has been an extremely hectic weekend full of photo shoots with out of town cars!

There were TONS of people at JCCS this year. I really need to give props to Koji and Terry Yamaguchi for creating this show and making it better and better and better every single year. Instead of droning on and on about the history of the JCCS show and talking about how many people traveled from all over the USA to bring their cars to this event, let's just dive into the photos of the cars! After all, that's what you came here for!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Grand Finale Part 2

It has been a very long and busy week for those of us working on the Motor Mavens project! We're an extremely small staff, but we've been keeping ourselves real busy with back to back meetings and photo shoots! We have also spent quite a bit of time this week on planning out the next stages of development for the website. We have a few new contributors coming on board, so the next few months will be very exciting!

So let's get back to our Showoff photos. Although Import Showoff was founded way back in 1994, with the first event held in March of 1995, the first actual Nisei Showoff didn't take place until 2000. As Showoff founder Ken Miyoshi explains it, "the people that organized the Nisei Week festivities in Downtown LA's Little Tokyo wanted to bring enthusiasm from younger people back into the Nisei Week Festival, so I decided to work with them by throwing the first Nisei Showoff."

"Back then, all the JA (Japanese-American) guys with dope cars used to go to OCBC (Orange County Buddhist Church) during their Hanamatsuri (Flower Festival) and cruise with their friends," Ken continues, "This was also happening in Little Tokyo; there always used to be a carnival in the original Nisei Showoff parking lot location (2nd Street and San Pedro) and a parade as well. People from the carnival used to chill out on the curb, and wait for all the fixed up cars to cruise through Little Tokyo. Back in the day, we used to see crews like Black Magic from SGV (all black cars with different types of SSRs; SSR Superfins, Supermesh, Neos, Work Emotion, Gale Racing, Bang Vecs), Shoreline Racing (old school Toyota guys from Gardena/Torrance area), NRG from Cerritos, Split Second from Carson area, Redline Racing from the San Fernando Valley, and a whole lot of others."   Read more...

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...

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...