Posts Tagged ‘Kouki’

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 Bay Area Celebrates the AE86

In the tuner world, the AE86 platform should be considered one of the most important and influential gems that has come from Japanese engineering and research. Even with today's sophisticated technology being used to develop high-performance machines with more than twice the power of a Hachi-Roku, it's hard to forget what this amazing little car did for the general public. Despite the fact that the machine didn't have some of the better features and strengths of some of the other cars its age and younger, it had one great sense of appeal to it: the price.

The common man didn't have to settle with just dreaming about the AE86 and gazing over pictures of its bodywork in magazines. No, instead, the common man could actually get behind the wheel of one since a new, fully-loaded Corolla GT-S would cost on average $12,000 at the time. And though AE86 became the last generation of the affordable front-engine, rear-wheel-drive compact from Toyota (until the FR-S/FT-86, we hope), it is still remembered, still used and still loved by the common man. And that love is why the Bay Area joins together each year to celebrate this iconic vehicle. I give you The Bay Area 8-6 Day meet!   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Chris Gray’s Irish Grip Spec AE86

There is probably no better way to introduce myself to you guys than by sharing with you, on 86 Day, a recent shoot I did of a friend's Toyota AE86 Levin GTV. As Daniel Bridle has shown you with the Team Tekno article, the AE86 is alive and well here in Ireland! Usually the AE86 comes in two different guises: the Japanese drift spec with drift body kits and crazy camber; and the UK spec with Superlites and Cibie spot lamps. However, there is another type that is rarely seen on these shores and that is - the grip spec AE86.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Team Tekno AE86 Crew in Ireland

Late last month my girlfriend and I hopped on a plane and flew to Dublin, in Southern Ireland. However this wasn't your typical romantic getaway, instead, one of the main reasons for the trip was for another kind of love - of the Corolla kind.

When it comes to Japanese cars from the 1980s, I've never quite seen one that evokes as much love, nor as enthusiastic a following, as the AE86 Toyota Corolla. To some people they're just weird old hatchbacks that look more suited to being driven by elderly ladies to the supermarket and back; but to others they are lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars with fun engines that beg you to drive them hard - not to mention a certain character and style that you only get from 1980s Japanese design. It's just crazy to think that, when I was much younger, these cars could be picked up for a few hundred pounds. Nowadays, you can see some examples going for over £10,000!

On that note, if there's one country (excluding Japan) that has the biggest love for the AE86 as far as I've seen, it's got to be Ireland. I'm not sure what it is, but people the Irish are nuts for them and it always impresses me how such a small country can contain so many. There are more in Ireland than in most of the UK combined.

My personal love for the AE86 came about, like many others, through drifting. There's just something so right about seeing an AE86 being thrown sideways, foot to the floor, with the driver giving it everything he has. It's just RAW, and it's always been my dream, since I started shooting cars, to shoot an AE86. Not just any old 86 - it had to be the right one. So, when I came across some new photos of Killian O'Brien and Kevin Reilly's Levin and Trueno, I knew they were the ones I had to shoot. So, after organising things with Killian and Kevin, I and my girl (who happens to be a big fan of Corollas, too - luckily for me!) headed over for a taste of Team Tekno style!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Pacific Grand Prix Open Event

Last Saturday marked another successful event held at Pacific Grand Prix. It was a full event with not a spot left open on the roster for drivers - a roster which included two Formula D drivers who are currently in the top 10 in standings: Justin "JTP" Pawlak and newcomer Walker Wilkerson.

In addition to the great American pros in attendance, it was an international affair as well. The Drift Union drift team from Canada came down again to show us how to have fun with style in their textbook tandem sessions.

Large crowds of spectators arrived, filling the stands and lining the fences en masse to catch a view of the great driving presented that day. NOS Energy Drink and (for the first time) Greg Young from Northwest Riders clothing, set up shop to talk to people and to hand out prizes. If you missed it, don't feel too bad - here's the next best thing to being there!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Retro Toyota Meet at Ace Cafe London!

On the 25th of April, the legendary Ace Cafe in London was home to the first Retro Toyota Gathering. Organised by The Corolla Brotherhood, the meet was held to bring together some of the sweetest Corolla AE86s and other classic Toyotas from around the UK and even Europe!

I'm a big fan of Toyota's little AE86 (and I know a lot of MotorMavens readers are too) so, when I first heard about the plans for this meet earlier in the year, I knew I had to go! Let's take a look at some of the great cars that turned up!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The Formula D Atlanta Experience Pt. 2

Keeping our coverage of Round 2 of Formula Drift at Road Atlanta coming, we bring you more photos of the Pro Am rounds as well as the main event. Road Atlanta is a unique venue in that it is a world class road course that sees everything from the likes of Le Mans prototype cars to your neighbor who enjoys exercising his right foot every now and again. The Formula Drift weekend is no different - you get a mix of high-dollar, corporate-backed monster machines competing door to door with a backyard creation that you saw built from the ground up on your local forum.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> N. Konstantinov’s Kouki Monster

When I was still playing around with my skateboards and dirt bikes, guys like Nikolay Konstantinov and Chris Crisostomo were setting up Nissan 240SXs for drifting - in fact they were the very first guys that I had ever met who built cars for drifting. I had no idea that something called "drifting" even existed. I remember, when I was about 14 or 15, wandering by my neighbor's house (which happened to be Chris') and seeing both of their cars for the first time. They had mostly stock bodies but were low to the ground with aggressive wheels. I was instantly hooked.

In fact, the first nice-stanced car I ever saw; the first SR swapped 240SX I ever saw; the first time I rode in a car that was drifting; and the first minor crash I experienced while drifting... all of these experiences came from hanging out with Nikolay. I guess you can say he popped my cherry in the drifting scene. LOL! So, when Nikolay asked if i wanted to do a quick photoshoot with his car while on break from drifting at Pacific Grand Prix, you know I had no choice but to take him up on his offer!   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Wembley Stadium

For the third year in a row JDM Allstars returned once again to the city of London in what can only be described as the landmark event of the series - Wembley Stadium. For reasons I'm not quite sure about, this years round was dubbed "THE BIG SMOKE." But over the weekend it became a very fitting title. In fact as I sit here writing this I'm still coughing and finding the remains of many deceased Federal, Nexen, Kuhmo, Neuton, and whatever other tyre brand you can think of, in my ears and nose.

Wembley is THE event to go to in the JDM Allstars calendar. Drifters from all over Europe and even outside of Europe flock to Wembley to step up to the plate and show their talents in the competition. So bright and early (way too early) Saturday morning, I headed down into London to check out what was going on.

Usually I like to hang around the pits for a while to chat with drivers and friends, but with briefings to attend to and with the large amount of drivers competing, practice had to get underway pretty sharpish and I didn't want to miss out on any of the action. So I made a move out to the track and started shooting. So here are some photos from practice and qualifying!   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars at Nissan Factory Pt.2

Sunday morning came quickly and, even though I hate waking up early, the pre-drift event excitement on my mind was enough to make me drag myself out of bed. I arrived at the track and headed over to the new paddock where everyone was setting up. The weather had taken a turn for the worse compared to the previous day's roasting hot sun. The wind had picked up a lot. So much, in fact, that it was blowing tents into the air and whatever else wasn't nailed to the ground. A quick glance up at the sky confirmed that the weather wouldn't be getting any better...But I wasn't about to go home because of a little bad weather and neither was anyone else! Bad weather is what we do best here in the UK so, either way, we were gonna make this an awesome event!   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Rd.2 – Donington Alpine!

When I first heard that JDM Allstars was coming to Donington Park for Round 2 of the championship, I was a little confused as to where the event would be held. Would it be on the actual race circuit? Since it's currently under reconstruction, any idea of that went out the window. Would it be on the large plot of land off to the side of the track known as the "Launch Pad"? Well, since two other drift series have used that area in the past, it didn't seem to fit JDM's approach which usually involves coming up with fresh and exciting course designs.

I later heard that the plan was to hold it on something called the Donington Alpine Circuit. I had no clue what that was until I came along to the shoot of the promotional video a few weeks back. Then it all became clear. On the outskirts of the main track and the Launch Pad is a fast, wide, almost mountain road-like track that the JDM Crew decided to use. It's made up of four corners and a steep uphill straight where the cars seemingly come out of nowhere and fly over the top. There's a right transition into the second turn, aiming for a clipping point close to the deadly armco, then a transition left into the third turn where you plant the throttle and bring the rear of the car to the armco on the straight, leading to another transition right into the final hairpin turn.

Fast corners, armco barriers on all sides and beautiful scenery all around. This was looking to be one of the most unique and exciting drift events in the JDM Allstars calendar.   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars – More from Manchester!

After an unusual but fun night in the Trafford Centre which involved myself, Dan Chapman and a bunch of friends attempting to do 5 car drift trains on the dodgem karts in the arcade, it was time to wake up, head out of my hotel and get to the track for another day of intense JDM Allstars action!

Saturday had given us just a glimpse of what Sunday had in store, and with even more crowds, the atmosphere building, the Krispy Kremes being handed out (oh yes, I said it, free Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) and a huge live screen, it was looking like Sunday would be a very good day indeed.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> A Well Dunn Passat

From compact commuter cars and SUVs, to GTs and supercars, most in our "scene" have seen just about every imaginable car "upgraded"- with the possible exception (in my case) of Zach Dunn's 2007 Volkswagen Passat. I must admit that I had yet to see one of these cars done right. And, since I seem to be in the mood for confession, I'm not going to lie, I've never been the greatest fan of VWs. However, the more I see of them (especially this one), the more they're starting to grow on me. Zach's 2007 Passat was the first I'd seen that had been slammed and enhanced with superior fitment - and that made all the difference in the world.   Read more...

COVERAGE> AZ Drag & Drift at Firebird Raceway

Arizona drifting - two words that aren't put together very often by people. However, the drifting scene is strong in AZ, and it's about time we MotorMavens shine a little much-deserved light on the grassroots drifters out in the land of desert and cactus. Firebird Raceway is the backdrop for Arizona's monthly AZ DRIFT Drag and Drift event, with all types of drivers from amateur to professional coming out to practice and showoff their skills. With it being summer in Arizona, we're very reluctant to make a trip outside into the 109 degree heat. 109 degrees! However being blessed with beautiful weekend weather it was a perfect day to take photos and it seemed like everyone was out at track either driving or spectating.   Read more...