For August 6th, 86 Day, I thought I’d post up a snapshot of possibly my favourite AE86s of all time – the twin red AE86 Toyota Truenos from drift team Running Free in Japan! (more…)
Our webmaster Brandon Campbell introduced me to this video, and I thought it was too good not to share. HBTV presents another episode of Depth of Speed. Josh Clason revisits Eric Bizek from JDM Legends in Utah. In this short video doc, Eric shares his passion and love of vintage Japanese cars. He takes an in-depth look into the quality and craftsmanship of the vintage cars along with his own personal restoration process. (more…)
Oh Snap! Today is May 13th (5-13), officially referred to as S13 day to all my ichisan friends from Japan. In honor of the S13, I thought I’d post up a photo of a certain Koguchi Power RPS13 180SX built by a man who is revered by many as the King of the S13s – Yoshinori Koguchi. (more…)
Well, once again, I happened to be in the land of the rising Haggis (click here if you're unfamiliar with Haggis), and thought it would be cool to catch up with some of the guys and see how their cars were getting on! I hope you enjoy the dramatic "black and white" theme - it seemed to go so well with the cars and the scenery of Edinburgh. Read more...
Oh no! I’ve been glued to my computer screen, unable to take my eyes off the Al Jazeera/YouTube live stream that has been playing nonstop coverage of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Northeast Japan yesterday (March 10) at 2:42pm, not to mention the resulting tsunami that has been flooding parts of the Fukushima prefecture and other parts of Northeast Japan.
MotorMavens is not CNN or NBC or ABC or NHK. Why post news coverage such as this, then? Simple, really. I have developed many strong friendships in Japan, and I’m praying for all the people in Japan that are enduring this insane natural disaster… especially my close friends and family!
In case you didn’t read the story I posted on the site a couple days ago, featuring the Team Orange CT9A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, Fukushima Japan is the home of The Holy Land of Drifting, Ebisu Circuit. It’s also the home of my very close friends from Team Orange. I’ve been trying to call their mobile phones for hours, but I can’t reach any of them. I can only imagine that phone circuits must be jammed, busy, or non-functioning because of the tsunami… (more…)
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a huge man-crush on Team Burst. Their insane driving inspires me to get crazier on the track and the skills these guys possess is outrageous. I’ve watched this video at least once a day since it’s release last week and I’m just now realizing I should share it with those of you who may not have seen it yet. This video from Stewy Bryant of inertiaMS is similar to, but instantly much better than most Meihan videos, due to the inclusion of MULTIPLE CAMERA ANGLES. I love watching raw footage of Meihan, but it’s great to see content from multiple perspectives.
:: Justin Shreeve
I just posted up a Papercuts story about 0-60 Magazine’s newest issue, which includes a feature on Nakai san and his Rauh Welt Porsches and on one of my favorite cars of all time – the AE86 Corolla GT-S, but I thought I should just go ahead and post this video as well! This video features clips from 0-60′s photo shoot in Japan, and some handheld video footage so that you can hear the Rauh Welt Porsche 911′s AMAZING exhaust note as it cruises through Japanese city streets and freeways!
:: Antonio Alvendia
Just check out this famous S110 Nissan Silvia, which was raced by legendary Japanese racer Kazuyoshi Hoshino's team, Impul. Hoshino-san has reached God-like status amongst race fans in Japan because of all his HISTORY. He actually raced in two Formula 1 races*; both of them at Japan's legendary Fuji Speedway - the old school course, with the famous old (and dangerous) banking, which is now closed and sits on the side of Fuji Speedway as a holy relic of the Shizuoka prefecture's glorious racing days of the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, I'm still kicking myself because I had the opportunity to chill out in the Impul/Calsonic Super GT pit area when I attended the Pokka 1000kms Super GT race at Suzuka Circuit, and Hoshino san was standing right freaking THERE... and I didn't even take a photo with him or ask him to autograph something. What an IDIOT I am. I still regret it. Read more...
I’ve been holding this info back for a couple days, and trust me – it’s pretty hard not to say anything when you have news like this! This is a pretty interesting piece of news here – Samuel Hubinette is currently in Japan, and plans to drive at the D1 Grand Prix event at Odaiba this coming weekend!
I received an email from Samuel, asking my opinion on which car I thought he should borrow for this weekend’s D1GP event – Daigo Saito‘s D1 Championship car, the FNATZ JZX100 Chaser, Takahiro Ueno‘s widebody JZZ30 Vertex Soarer, or Takahiro Ueno’s normal fendered JZZZ30 Vertex Soarer.
My vote was for Daigo’s super sick Chaser – first of all, it’s a D1GP Championship winning car for crying out loud; second of all, I thought the long wheel base and the big pendulum swinging characteristics of such a long drift car would be perfect for Samuel’s driving style. However, since I heard reports that Samuel was currently in Yokohama at Ueno-san’s car shop, Sui Vax, I’m guessing he opted for one of the Soarers. Either way, S.Hubinette is one hell of a driver, and I’m confident that he can drive anything with four wheels – probably even an Ikea Expedit bookcase or a Malm dresser. LOL
Speaking of Ikea, I can’t believe that Samuel has been drifting professionally this long, and Ikea still hasn’t sponsored him. They’re both Swedish after all; now that Mopar is no longer his title sponsor, I think Ikea needs to step up and sponsor the crazy Swede. Samuel has told me before that he loves going to Ikea in Irvine, because it reminds him of Sweden. He can chill out there and drink all the lingonberry juice he wants!
Could you just imagine Samuel’s pit area if Ikea were to sponsor him? Instead of an EZ-up with folding chairs, he’ll be rocking a bright red Ikea couch that folds into a bed; a furry white carpet on the ground; a difficult to assemble cabinet, and a million cheap tealight candles scattered all over the place.
Oh, umm… but back to the topic at hand, I’m sure Samuel will be putting on quite a show for the Japanese D1 audience. I just hope we don’t see Option Videos of Keiichi Tsuchiya and Manabu Suzuki saying “DRIFT YA RATER!!!”
:: Antonio Alvendia
Last night, D1GP driver Atsushi Kuroi from legendary Osaka drift team Tinker had a deadly accident while he was riding his motorcycle. Although there aren't too many details known about the accident, Kuroi san's kohai (apprentice) Kazuya Bai says that Kuroi's thigh was apparently injured from the accident, and even though the hospital staff worked diligently to stabilize him, Kuroi san's wounds were too severe, and he passed away within four hours of arriving at the hospital. Read more...
[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
Okay… this is a super old video, but since I just posted my story about how I felt the first time I ever saw the legendary Best Motoring Volume 41, I figured I should post the video up on the site. To me, this video is totally the shit… it’s a classic that I must have watched about a thousand times, but I still remember how this video made me feel the first time I ever saw it. It was inspiring, to say the very least. And the very first time I ever drove Ebisu Circuit‘s East Course, it immediately brought me back to the first time I watched this video, and the sound that the naturally aspirated blacktop 20 valve AE111 4AG engine made at full throttle as Keiichi drove his white TRD AE86 at Ebisu.
I’m sure that everyone must have a favorite movie or CD that they’ve listened to countless times… Inputs like this become engrained into your head; they eventually become a part of your permanent memory, and a part of who you are as a person. For me, these types of inputs include things like the Illmatic album from Nas, the Low End Theory album from A Tribe Called Quest, the Do You Want More album from The Roots, the Legend album from Bob Marley, and the Best Motoring Video, Volume 41. If you have a favorite book, video, movie, or CD, please share it…
Enjoy the video!
:: Antonio Alvendia
For those who are fascinated with bosozoku style and other aspects of Japanese underground car culture, I thought I’d post up this video clip. I actually watched part of this movie at my friend’s house in Japan a few years back, but it was only recently (on the Bosozoku Style website) that I discovered that someone had actually uploaded the video to Youtube.
This video doesn’t feature outstanding driving or anything… and ALL the cars inside aren’t necessarily cool, although you will find a few pretty nice gems mixed in with the street rubble. What kinds of bosozoku cars can you point out? I saw some pretty interesting non traditional cars, like the AW11 MR2 at the beginning of the movie, as well as the normal bosozoku fare, like Toyota Crowns and Nissan Skylines.
Just think – this movie was released way back in 1987! Sheesh, I was just a kid listening to Eric B & Rakim and LL Cool J back then… I wasn’t even into cars yet!
Fun video to watch! Just don’t get too offended by what happens to the hakosuka at the end…
:: Antonio Alvendia
For everyone who’s ever wondered why mountain racing in Japan has evolved from an illegal, underground activity into something that accidentally slipped into the “mainstream” via comic books, anime, movies, and more… you need to watch this video, which was sent to me by my friend Chihiro Yoshimura from PEAK, an all AE and KP chassis drift team from Kanagawa Japan.
The driver of this S13 Silvia is drifting through a mountain road with such little space to navigate and maneuver the car… it’s incredible! Now this is car control.
I can’t wait to get back to Japan.
:: Antonio Alvendia
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...
Here’s a video I got from my boy Travis that had me and some of my boys on the East Coast straight trippin. We just don’t see stuff like this over here too often – especially not when we have potholes as big as moon craters that suck up whole caravans of cars without so much as a burp. If this is how they roll in Japan, I’m sold – I’m completely down with citizenship.
I spent way too much time just watching it over and over with my mouth hanging open – it’s so short and when you see the camber and fitment on the Odyssey…INCREDIBLE! It’s the little things that mean so much. I mean, it’s one thing to slam a car and hard park it – but, driving it on the highway like these guys is another thing entirely. Whoever these guys are – they get mad love for KILLIN this Odyssey shakotan-style! And whatever that is running with the Odyssey – DOPE!
Take a second and snatch a peak. It’s like those chips – betcha can’t watch just once!
This video of the 2009 Summer Drift Matsuri at the famed Ebisu Circuit is just plain awesome. It’s got tons of variety in cars and courses and lots of high speed fly-bys. I haven’t been to Ebisu yet personally, but by the looks of this video, it’s no wonder everyone is so crazy about Ebisu. I can’t wait to go!
Check it out!
As the gloomy rainy season begins for many of us, I thought I’d post up a cool rainy drift video, reminding us that the rain isn’t all that bad… it saves tires!
Chasers, Mark IIs, Soarers, Silvias, 180SXs, Skylines, Levins, Truenos and RX7s… I stumbled across this gem on Vimeo recently, featuring lots of awesome Japanese cars at the famous Nikko Circuit. The entire three-part series is viewable on MayDayGarage.com, check it out!
:: Justin Shreeve
I was on a hunt for footage of one of my favorite cars – the JZZ30 Toyota Soarer (aka the Lexus SC300/SC400) and lo and behold, what should I find but Manabu Orido drifting Honjo Circuit in Japan.
Although in this video, Orido’s driving his Project Mu/Autotech JZS161 Toyota Aristo (Lexus GS300) and not a Soarer, I thought it was worth it to post this gem just to show the interior action shots. Look at how little he has to do to control the car – his economy of motion and technique is amazing.
I know that we’re not supposed to be envious…but I just can’t help it! Who wishes, like I do, that they could plug into The Matrix (I’m talking about the movie, not the FF Toyota) and download Orido’s drifting skills like Neo, waking up suddenly, saying… “I know drifting.”
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...
While you were sleeping… I was out doing a late night photo shoot with a particular mighty Crown from Japan. No, I’m not talking about Mighty Crown, the reggae soundclash champions from Japan; I’m talking about this incredible looking MS60 Toyota Crown Super Saloon.
This awesome right hand drive MS60 Crown is owned by an old school Toyota enthusiast named Irik Farnacio. Even though he just started working on building it up bosozoku style, I think it looks awesome already. He already has wide wheels with hippari tires (stretched tires) on it, not to mention a takeyari (exhaust pipes) set up that will get the local fuzz to pull him over in no time flat.
This photo is just an excerpt from a recent photo shoot I did for Max Power Magazine in the UK. This is an extremely busy week and weekend (FD weekend) for the Motor Mavens crew, so I’ll just post this preview on the site for now… but please check back real soon for more photos and our story about Irik and his friends!
PS: In case you other photographers were wondering… this was hand held using a 5D Mark II.
I’ve had to watch this video of Kawabata drifting his Toyo Tires S13 in Japan over and over and OVER again at least 10 times just to see if it was somehow a fluke or even possibly faked! When you watch this video, you’ve GOT to agree that he nailed down an absolutely unbelievable entry!
I’m utterly speechless, just shaking my head in bewilderment… so please help me out here and comment below! Wasn’t his entry into that corner just NUTS?! Also, does anyone know which circuit that was? At first I thought it might be Sugo Sportsland, but after watching it again, I don’t think so…
:: Jover Papag
While I was checking out some videos on Vimeo earlier today, I ran across this Mez Productions video from Club Outrun‘s Japan trip. Very cool! They show footage of some cool looking AE86s at Nihonkai Maze Circuit, some more 86 action at Nikko Circuit, and then some really cool footage from Ebisu Circuit‘s South Course, School Course, and the very famous Touge course!
Let’s all go to Japan already!!!
:: Yoshi Shindo
I was checking out Roaster Drift today, only to be blown away with some of the craziest multi-car madness I think I have ever seen! Rob said he counted 34 cars on the track at one time. Not 3 or 4… 34!!! Words cannot really describe how insane this video is. Take a look!
:: Andy Sapp