Posts Tagged ‘Cipher Garage’

COVERAGE> Speed&Stance Swarms SpeedVentures

This weekend's inaugural Speed&Stance meet was crazy!!! I can't believe so many people turned up to the event, because we organized and promoted the entire thing in only five days. FIVE DAYS! Thanks to our friends at Speed Ventures, we were able to throw this gigantic car event in the parking lot of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana!

We advertised the meet to run between 12 noon and 5pm, but every single one of the infield parking lots at the speedway were FULL by 2:45pm! There was a crazy line of cars backed up from the infield parking, through the tunnel, wrapping all the way around to the Cherry Avenue entrance! I was told that once the parking lots allocated to the event hit capacity, the people at the gates had to turn away well over 100 cars! Insane.

Since traffic and road congestion became an issue, the good folks from Auto Club Speedway quickly opened up a couple more parking lots so that cars could pre-stage before rolling in to the actual show area, which saw both autocross and high speed road racing with Speed Ventures on the ROVAL course, and a beginner level car control clinic for Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners called the 86 Dynamic Driving Academy.   Read more...

CAR&CULTURE> Le Rendez-Vous Toyota in Paris

People from all over the world flock to Paris because it is well known as a city of love; a city of passion; a city of style and history.

Everyone who knows me personally knows that I have an enduring love and passion for the style and history of fine Japanese automobiles, especially those from a particular automaker - Toyota. As a driver, restorer, and collector of vintage Toyotas, I've owned something like 40 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in my lifetime, with tons and tons of rare parts and Toyota motorsports memorabilia in my private Cipher Garage Collection.

For those who also share the passion for Toyota automobiles, Toyota Motor Europe has graciously created a place for all of us to rendezvous.   Read more...

COVERAGE> FR-S, BRZ & AE86 Passion at 86FEST

On October 7th, over 2500 Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota AE86 enthusiasts from all over the Western United States converged at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana CA for the very first 86FEST, and the energy was just incredible! The newly introduced Toyota/Subaru "86" platform (sold as Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in the USA) has received international acclaim as the second coming of the legendary AE86, which has a huge cult following worldwide.

With help from sponsors like Falken Tire, OEM Audio Plus, Turn 14 Distribution, Whiteline Suspension, Motul, Spec Clutch, Mann Engineering, Flossy Shift Knobs, and M7 Japan, it's pretty crazy how quickly our inaugural 86FEST came together! Just a few weeks ago, I was driving at a Volkswagen event at Big Willow, and got to talking with the Speed Ventures organizers about how cool it would be if we could get a bunch of FR-S, BRZ, and AE86 owners together at a track day. They both expressed a lot of interest in the idea - especially since we have been thinking about ways to work together for nearly two years!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Longo Scion FRS Tour of LA Drive

With all the attention the new Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 have been receiving, people have been scouring the internet for photos and information on the exciting new front engine, rear wheel drive sports car platform that has been taking the world by storm. Scion dealers around the nation have been participating in Scion "First 86" unveilings, but the good folks at Longo Toyota/Scion have decided to be proactive in connecting with the newly developing Scion FRS owners community.

While other dealers concentrate on trying to move units, Scion salesman Jeffrey Chang and Longo Scion decided to sponsor the very first Scion FR-S Tour of LA driving event! Lots of great looking cars were in attendance, but I just couldn't take my eyes off the newly built Cusco Scion FRS, which was already outfitted with Toyota emblems, and the full line of Cusco suspension and accessories.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Bay Area AE86 Meet Redux In Oakland

As you witnessed in the first part of coverage from the Bay Area AE86 meet at One Toyota of Oakland, the gathering was a great mix of both hachi rokus and other machines. While more and more cars rolled in, it became harder to pay attention to each car individually. And, although it seemed as if there was almost an equal ratio of AE86s to dope non-AE86s, everyone remembered what car the day was commemorating.   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula D Seattle Experience

Formula Drift in Seattle is definitely one of my favorite stops on the Formula D tour. It always happens in the middle of the summer, and summertime is the best time to visit Seattle anyway! The event planners at Formula Drift always seem to pick the FD Seattle weekend perfectly, when the rainy state of Washington is blessed with a little break from the gloomy rain, and the sun comes out to put everybody in a good mood!

Since most drift fans outside of Seattle were able to watch the event play-by-play on Justin.TV's Formula D Driftstream, Seattle-based MotorMavens sharpshooter Yoshi Shindo and I decided we'd post up photographic highlights from the event, based on our own experiences there!   Read more...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Review in Pictures

Formula Drift at Long Beach is just around the corner. Yes, it is already April again. As the MotorMavens Crew gets ready for another season of tire smoking excitement, we wanted to take a look back on the 2010 season and recap the big moments as well as showcase some of the shots that didn't make it into some of the posts.   Read more...

FORUM> Happy Hachiroku Day! 8/6/2010

Happy Hachiroku Day, everyone! Right now I'm off on a family trip, so I've been away from the site pretty much all week, while Avon Bellamy and our other contributors run the site in my absence. I just wanted to point out though... that today is our favorite holiday of the year... HACHIROKU DAY, August 6th!

The very first time I heard the term "Hachiroku Day" coined was when my good friend, HerbrockOne from Cipher Garage called me up one morning and greeted me, "Hey man. Happy 8/6!" I just had to bust out laughing. I think this happened sometime in the late 1990s (damn, we're old)... but we are really crazy about our AE86s, and for some reason the number 86 just seems to jump out at us wherever we're at.

When we're ordering food or something, Herb and I always seem to get receipts that say "Order # 86" and once when I was at the airport, I've even had to board an airplane at Gate 86... hahahaha!!! I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only one who's stolen the number 86 "plastic table number" from Carl's Jr restaurants (at least, if you live in the United States).

I just wanted to alert everyone else that we've been starting up a thread in our MotorMavens Forum that includes pictures of everyone's favorite AE86s! Please add your own favorites to the thread, if you haven't done so already!   Read more...

PAPERCUTS> Project Car Magazine w/ AE86

Project Car Magazine AE86 Special with Taka Aono Corolla Drifter

I just realized that I haven’t posted up a “Papercuts” story in quite some time. To tell you the truth, it’s because I haven’t even bought any car magazines in quite some time. There was a time in my life when I would go to bookstores and hang out, just to check out all the car magazines that were out. My friend Kenta and I would meet up at Barnes & Noble or Borders (or better yet, the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo or Torrance) to check out the latest car magazines every single month. I miss going to bookstores just to chill and check out magazines… I’m not sure if I haven’t been going because I’ve just been busy, or if the magazines these days don’t intrigue me…

Whatever the case may be, I stumbled upon this copy of Project Car Magazine at the CVS Drugstore in Studio City. This issue caught my eye because I saw my friend Taka Aono on the cover; after all, he is the USA’s undisputed top AE86 driver. I thumbed through it really quickly, and decided within 20 seconds, “that’s it. I’m actually gonna buy this issue.” While my 10+ years of Living the 86 Life have led me to own just about every AE86 book or manual that has ever been produced in Japan, it’s honestly pretty rare to see magazines that actually produce good stories about AE86s stateside. I definitely think this magazine was worth the $6 or 7 (ouch!) that I paid at the cash register.

Even though he’s probably the one Source Interlink magazine editor I don’t really know, I really gotta give props to Project Car editor Gary Narusawa and his crew over there. (more…)


COLLECTION> Cipher Garage Keiichi Collection

You requested it so we rewind... Following up on our posts on the Drift King's birthday, some of our readers mentioned that they would be interested in seeing a sneak peek at some of the Keiichi Tsuchiya-related fanboy memorabilia that has been archived as part of the Cipher Garage Collection.

As some of our readers may or may not know, I've spent the past eleven years of my life chronicling as much as I could about the history of drifting in Japan, and its progress as it grew in the United States and spread to all the other countries of the world. As you might imagine, this has been an incredibly difficult and arduous process, and I've only been able to do as much as a single person without corporate/financial backing could possibly afford to.

However, because of personal qualities that include my relentless passion for Japanese car culture, my ridiculously resourceful/persistent/determined nature, and the fact that I often find myself (most of the time, accidentally) in the right place at the right time... I've been able to amass quite a collection of Japanese car memorabilia that some might consider historic. (I know I do.) Whether my personal collection of Japanese automobilia may be considered by some to be overrated or not... it is very personal to me. For every rare item in my collection, I have great stories to tell about how I found it and how it came to be in my collection. To me, THAT is the real treasure... even more so than the individual items in the collection.

Those who don't know as much about the subject matter may think it's just a bunch of magazines, stickers, toys, steering wheels, horn buttons, patches, and misc car junk stuffed into boxes, shelves, and cabinets... but over the years, I've come to realize that I've never in my life seen a collection like it - items related to Japanese drifting history... with much of it revolving around AE86s, TE27s, and vintage Toyota memorabilia. Please don't think I'm bragging - that isn't my intent at all. For the most part, I've kept all the items I own very, very private. I don't really advertise what I have or invite people to look through my things, as I never intended to collect stuff to "show off" to others. Instead, this is all just a bunch of things that I personally consider important or cool.   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...

CENTER STAGE> AE86 Inspiration: Running Free

This past week, all the key members of the Motor Mavens Crew have been extremely busy, working on developing some cool new website features that our readers will enjoy. I recently had the opportunity to hang out with some of my AE86 friends from out of town also. MotorMavens contributor and AE86er Pedro Velado came all the way from El Salvador to hang out at my garage and talk about AE86s; and on the same day, my close friend, Osaka-based AE86er Taku Machida came to visit on his last day in the United States before he and his family moved back to Japan this past weekend.

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...

NAME DROPPING> Scenes From Our Xmas Party

As many of you know, those of us in the Los Angeles area had a Christmas get together this past Saturday night at The Corner Bar in Burbank CA. On behalf of our entire group of friends who threw the party (Schikane Clothing, Driftwell Footwork Essentials, Tokyo Drive Productions and The Motor Mavens Crew), we'd like to express our deepest thanks to all of those who came out to chill with us, and those who couldn't make it, but were there with us in spirit.

Big thanks also to those who showed support of the party by donating gifts for the raffle (in no particular order) - Mishimoto, Eneos Oil, DSPORT Magazine, Buddy Club USA, HKS, Hankook Tires, Jack Daniels, and Jagermeister.

I'm just going to post some of the pics from our party on the site. To view more photos, Add the Motor Mavens Crew as a friend on Facebook, and you can see more photos and view the tags and whatnot in case you want to be a stalker and randomly add girls that you don't know. (Go for it, haha)   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Attend Our Christmas Party Tonight!

***** THIS JUST IN!!!

Apparently, some aftermarket car parts companies have decided to participate in the Schikane Clothing x Tokyo Drive Productions x Driftwell x Motor Mavens Christmas Party tonight! COME TO THE PARTY and win a radiator from Mishimoto, some goods from Buddy Club USA, and a bunch of oil from Eneos!

—–>Our friends at JACK DANIELS and JAGERMEISTER have just confirmed that they will come out to the party and give away a bunch of gifts too! Hell yeahhhhh! I want a bottle of Gentleman Jack and a Jagermeister Porsche! =)

To all friends and family of Motor Mavens in the Los Angeles area! We’re having a party tonight, and we’d like you to come! This was originally planned as a small, close knit Christmas party between my personal close friends (it’s an annual thing)… but earlier today, we talked about it, and said hell… we consider anyone and everyone who has supported us this year as our friends… so let’s just invite everyone!

If you’re local to Southern Cali, come down to the Schikane Clothing x Tokyo Drive Productions x Driftwell x Motor Mavens Christmas Party tonight!

This is not going to be one of those pretentious “dress shoes and VIP wristband required” events. Everyone is invited! Act like Nirvana, and come as you are… this will be a cool opportunity to “meet and greet” many of our industry friends and many of the people behind this blog!

Here’s the info!

CORNER BAR
924 S. San Fernando Rd
Burbank CA 91502

TIME: From 9pm until the bar closes!

Dress code strictly enforced. No dress shoes allowed. Hats, sneakers and other fashionable attire are encouraged. (A message to the Ladies only: No shirt, No shoes, No problem!)

Comment this post to let us know if you’re coming!

:: Motor Mavens


COVERAGE> Megan Racing Drift Competition Pt.2

Continuing our photographic coverage of the Megan Racing Drift Competition in San Bernardino on 4th of July weekend...   Read more...

COVERAGE> Motorsport Auto Z-Car Nationals 2009

Yesterday, we attended the annual Motorsport Auto Z-Car Nationals in Orange County! Admittedly, we were out late with some out-of-town friends on Saturday night, so we got to the show a bit later than expected. On our drive to the show, we saw lots and lots of 240Zs, 280Zs, 300Zs, and a few 350Zs cruising all over Orange County, some heading towards the show, and some apparently heading in the opposite direction. (Maybe they were leaving already, because we were late? Oops!)

We took tons of photos at the event yesterday, so we'll have to spread out the Z photos into more than one posting. We admired Japanese Classic Car Show organizer Koji Yamaguchi's gorgeous orange 240Z as it basked in the sunlight, with it's straight up Japan-style look, fender mirrors and all.

Click here to check out more of our Z-Car Nationals photos after the jump!   Read more...