When we were contacted by the organizers of the Spocom Tour to work with them as a promotional partner, we were definitely excited by the opportunities it would bring! Although the Southern California-based members of our MotorMavens Crew gained a little experience in throwing and promoting a big outdoor automotive event (Mass Appeal at Ken Block's Irwindale Gymkhana event), we had little to no experience in seeing what it's like to run a big indoor car show. We thought it would be extremely interesting to see the inner workings of a big car show series from people who had a track record of doing it, and so began the relationship between MotorMavens and Spocom.
The first thing we noticed about the Spocom Tour - it didn't feel like a normal car show from our standpoint! It felt like a big, fun party - a hype party that just happened to have a bunch of friends and cars crowded in between the vendor exhibits! Read more...
However, a couple weeks ago, we received a call from DSPORT Magazine's Marketing Director, Tobin Honda, asking for MotorMavens help in promoting the event, and we made a commitment. In the automotive aftermarket industry, there are often times when people make a lot of promises, but they don't have much follow through... Motor Mavens tries not to be like that. Since we're always out at events speaking to car owners and such, we made a concerted effort to promote the car show and the drag event, and we were extremely happy to see many of our good friends in attendance, showing their support! Read more...
Since all these AE86 friends have been coming by to hang out and look through my photo albums, filled with old school AE86 photos from over 10 years ago, I felt that it would only be fitting to dig up some old school AE86 photos for our website too. You see, I have to exercise extreme control in order to avoid posting up AE86 photos and stories every day on the MotorMavens site. Hell, if it were solely up to me, I could make it a site that only had AE86 and old school Toyota content... but we wouldn't want to alienate all our readers who own other car marques.
Today though, I'm going to indulge and share images of one of my favorite AE86s from a stash of photos I took FIVE YEARS AGO. Yes, I took these photos way back in 2005. The red Sprinter Trueno in the photos is the famous "Yama red" AE86, owned by hachiroku driver Yamashita Koichi from the legendary Kanagawa-based drift team, Running Free. Running Free has a small handful of original members, but Yamashita is definitely the most famous in the group. Read more...
While some of the other members of the Motor Mavens Crew are busy putting together their photos from this weekend’s Formula D Pro Am event, I thought I’d show post this scan of a car I’ve been admiring.
There are some blogs that I check out frequently, and I came across this scan from a 1999 Battle Magazine that Rob from Roadster:DRIFT posted up. The AE86 Levin has always been one of my favourite cars, so when I saw this, my jaw dropped. To some this might just be another Levin, but for me looks wise this is the PERFECT Levin! Just clean and simple with a Goodline front bumper and bonnet, TRD rear wing, and a few nice subtle touches like the kouki spec rear bumper, foglights minus the grill, and what looks like stock arches rolled and flared. It’s also sitting on a set of gorgeous RS Watanabe Type R wheels in 14x8J -6.
Like I said before, for me personally, this is the perfect Levin. But AE86s are cars that can have so many different styles applied to them and I’m sure any fan of the AE86 has their favourite. We’d love to hear from our readers what your favourite style is or even a particular car e.g., Katsuhiro Ueo’s famous D1GP Trueno.
Let us know!
:: Daniel Bridle
Many of you might roll your eyes after reading that statement... but seriously, if it weren't for BM and my other favorite Japanese mags, the only publications my friends and I would have been able to flip through all these years would be the American "import car" magazines, which always featured bright colored, custom stereo-with-neon, non functional rollcage-having, widebody-without-wide-wheels showcars on their covers. (The US magazines have improved a little bit since then... but just try to dig up an old import magazine from 1997 and you'll know what I'm talking about.)
Anyway, this particular AE86 special issue of BM is one of my favorite magazines in existence because of a feature on the legendary AE86 crew, Rough World. Of course, I couldn't read the text, but what was presented to me in color photographs really messed my head up. I didn't even know what it was at first; I just thought the cars looked so cool. At that point, I hadn't even figured out it was because of the perfect blend of camber, stretched tires, wide wheels, and slam that made the cars look so cool. Read more...
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...
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