Posts Tagged ‘SSR’

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...

GALLERY> Nisei Showoff Vs Infamous Long Beach

This past weekend, there were tons of automotive events happening, so those of us located in Southern California faced a dilemma - should we go to Nisei Showoff or Infamous?!

The tried and true Import Showoff event thrown by legendary import carshow promoter Ken Miyoshi during Downtown LA's annual Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo is always a good time. Everyone knows that Nisei Showoff symbolizes the best of the best - the highest standard in modified import cars, with attendance by the OG crews that used to run the streets of Los Angeles when the sport compact scene was just beginning to blow up. The whole vibe at Nisei Showoff feels a bit nostalgic, to be honest. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Good cars and good friends in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by good Japanese restaurants and boutique shops in Little Tokyo.

However, some young car enthusiasts don't care about memory lane nostalgia or waxing poetic about the good old days. For this rapidly growing new generation of frame-scraping tire stretchers, the newly conceptualized Infamous show was thrown as a collaboration between the Fatlace and Canibeat Crews at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

It's obvious that MotorMavens connects to both scenes and both types of automotive taste, so those who follow @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram and Twitter already know that we decided to hit both shows. Here's a quick gallery of images from both events!   Read more...

COVERAGE> HIN LA & Wekfest Hawaii Live Blogging

There were so many great automotive events going on this weekend! As usual, the MotorMavens Crew had to split up in order to check out the best cars at each event. In Southern California, Tamer Omran, Antonio Alvendia and I attended the Hot Import Nights event at the LA Convention Center. Meanwhile, Seattle-based MotorMavens Crew member Raymond Vazquez flew out to Hawaii to take photos at Wekfest Hawaii!

We've been live blogging photos from the actual events, using our iPhones and various lens adapters - both our Olloclips and our Owle Bubos. If you have an iPhone, join @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram to see our photo feed in real time! If you're on a Droid or a non-smartphone, you can still follow @MOTORMAVENS on Twitter or Tumblr.   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> 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> 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...

OH SNAP> BN Sports IS300 In The Rainy Northwest

On my way into Xtreme Toys in Portland today, I spotted this BN kitted IS300, which belongs to my friend Nick Rodriguez. I’ve never been a huge fan of Altezzas, but the first time I laid eyes on this car, I couldn’t pull them away. The stance is perfect. The fitment is perfect. The kit, paint, visors, and wings are all perfect. Not to mention, he’s repping MotorMavens. It all comes together to look so right. Cars like his are far from common in the cold and rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest. (more…)


OH SNAP> Shakotan S30 Street Scraper Returns!

shakotan slammed S30 240Z Z Yuta Akaishi low down stance offset camber hippari tire stretch tsuraichi hella flush fitment japanese classic car nostalgic show bosozoku

The past few days have been super hectic! I’ve basically been shooting photos every single day since Friday! I decided not to post up our Formula D and JCCS stories just yet, because I wanted to focus my very limited time on linking up with good friends from out of town and doing some photo shoots with their cars while I was chillin out with them.

I suppose that’s the difference between MotorMavens and other websites. Some of the other sites go to the shows just to grab as many pics as they can and then leave quickly so they can post them before anyone else. MotorMavens has a different way of thinking, and a different agenda altogether. Instead of racing to get photos up before the other websites, MotorMavens values quality when it comes to the things published on the site. Posting photos quickly is important to me, but I also make it a priority to spend my valuable time with my good friends in the car scene – after all, I know that without the support of our loyal friends (this includes YOU, our awesome readers!), MotorMavens would not have come as far as it has today.

So here’s a teaser photo; this will give you a taste of what I’ve been up to over the past few days. This is Yuta Akaishi‘s shakotan S30 240Z from Northern California’s Heartbreaker crew. He just got back from spending summer in Japan a few days before the Japanese Classic Car Show. He refreshed the car really quickly, and then scraped pavement all the way from San Jose to Long Beach for JCCS! (more…)


COVERAGE> NWP4Life’s Honda Meet at Eibach

Yesterday, at NWP4Life's annual Eibach Springs Honda Meet, thousands of enthusiasts gathered to share the love of their favorite automaker. This event gets larger every year and always draws record crowds. The Eibach parking lot may only hold 600 or so cars, but the meet pretty much extends for a mile outside of it, where the cars are almost all exclusively Hondas! This is my fourth year attending this meet, and each year I am surprised by what I see. Many people choose the Eibach meet to "debut" something new on their car. I know people who have repainted their cars and changed up their entire car just for this meet. As with previous years, the cars and modifications range from clean & simple to outrageous and just downright unnecessary. By following the best cars from this meet, it is easy to spot what will be popular and "trendy" for the next couple of years.   Read more...

COVERAGE> DGRRX: Deals Gap Rotary Rally 2010

For those of you unaware of the North Carolina/Tennessee hidden treasure called Deals Gap (also known as Tail of the Dragon), prepare yourself to be hit with some knowledge. Deals Gap has become an international sensation for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. What you won't find up there is anything. There is literally, and I mean literally, absolutely nothing in the surrounding area. That is unless you like camping/hiking/ or antiquing (where is that roll eyes smiley at? LOL!)) What you will find is miles of curvy mountain roads and plenty of rally rental car roads. Who's feeling me?

That said, the Tail of the Dragon is an 11-mile stretch of two lane road in Tennessee and is said to have 318 curves - and one very large cliff face to launch off! The speed limit is 30mph and there are Tennessee Troopers there to graciously remind you. They are quite nice when they hand you a ticket and, after nine tickets (hand delivered) that Saturday, I am very qualified to testify to their manners.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Wekfest Weekend in J-Town SF, Pt.1

This past weekend, I went up to San Francisco to hang out with some of my old school friends from the Bay Area... but unfortunately a lot of them were out of town! Hawaii, Japan, Philippines... damn! Sometimes I have such bad timing! It was a good thing Calvin Wan was in town - he told me he had two events that he needed to attend that weekend. He needed to bring his FD3S RX7 to a motorsports show in Vallejo, and then bring his S14 Silvia (it really is a RHD Silvia from Japan) to the Wekfest Car Show in Japantown San Francisco. I've been hearing about (and seeing pictures of) the annual carshow in San Francisco's Japantown for quite some time, but this weekend was the very first time I had ever had a chance to attend it myself. I think in the past it used to be called the JDM Theory J's Gathering, but apparently they decided to rename it Wekfest (pronounced like 'weak-fest'). Or it could be that the organizers are different now? Not sure.

Anyway, the Weksos Wekfest event was pretty crazy... TONS of cars, TONS of people in attendance, and a line of impatient people that stretched around the block. Seriously... that was a pretty long line!   Read more...

POINT&SHOOT> Toyota MarkII on SSR MarkIII

[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


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...

WEBMINING> New Shoes on the Shakotan S12!

Guess who got some new kicks? This is Henry Nguyen‘s shakotan S12 200SX sure is breaking hearts with its shiny new shoes. Forget those played out Bapes, kid… it’s all about the classic Japanese styling of Speed Star Wheels.

More specifically, 15x9J (-17) SSR Mk3 up front, and 15x9J (-27) SSR/Longchamps XR4 wheels out back. With the front chin spoiler, and rear wing. Definitely a Heartbreaker, damn son.

:: Antonio Alvendia

Lowdown Heartbreaker S12 200SX

More Heartbreaker stories on MOTORMAVENS


CARSPOTTING> Lowdown Heartbreaker S12 200SX

While I was walking around the sea of nostalgic Japanese goodness at the Japanese Classic Car Show last year, a particular S12 Nissan 200SX caught my eye. To be completely honest here, I've never been the biggest fan of S12s. Most people pretty much disregard the S12 as far as "cool Nissans" go... to most people, the S12 is definitely the red-headed stepchild of the 1980s Nissan family, especially when you compare it in popularity to S13s, Z32s, and Z31s... hell, even Nissan Sentras are more popular for some reason* than the S12 200Sx. (*Well... I think one of the reasons the Sentra was so popular for racing is because of all the R&D that Mike Kojima did with them when he was still working for Nismo as a race engineer) Either way though... I'd way rather have an S12 than a Sentra. There's no question about that... especially after seeing Henry's S12?! This has got to be the dopest looking Nissan S12 I've ever seen in my entire life.

So what was it about this particular 200SX that caught my eye? It just had to be the style in which it was built up. Let's take a closer look...   Read more...

COVERAGE> Garage Zero in Atlanta

The guys at Georgia-based Garage Zero had an open-house to their newly-acquired facility located just outside Atlanta's perimeter. Aren't familiar with Garage Zero? Well, it is time you get acclimated. These guys are all about old school Japanese car lifestyle and culture. To put it in simpler terms, these guys make "keeping it real" seem passé. Their new facility houses an eclectic mix of classics and wild project-cars.   Read more...

GALLERY> SoCal Hondas Swarm Norm Reeves

Two weekends ago, my friend Scott Toshima invited me to come out to a meet he was hosting at Norm Reeves Honda, off the 605 freeway in Cerritos CA. I've never owned a Honda in my life, so I never had a reason to go there previously, but I was definitely down to support whatever function Scott was throwing... plus, he said that several of the best offset Hondas in Southern Cali would be attending.

Well, Scott wasn't lying. I was honestly quite impressed with the level of the cars that came out to this gathering, which wasn't even a major carshow or anything; it was just a simple Honda meet in the parking lot of a local dealer! Even though it wasn't some sort of big event like Import Showoff or something like that, the H crowd showed up strong to show off their new wheels!

That's right, I said wheels! It seems that there are more and more Honda owners catching on and joining the low offset/stretched tire movement, and I think that's a good thing. Sure, there are a lot of people who hate on this new trend in the Honda scene, saying that it makes no sense to stretch the tires and camber the rear wheels on a Front Engine, Front Wheel Drive car... but hey, Volkswagen guys have been doing it for years, and their cars are FF too!   Read more...

WEBMINING> 4×114.3 Wheel Boner Jams 09

Usually I’m not a fan of videos just made up of pictures, but this is quite the exception. As a self-proclaimed Japanese wheel geek/nerd/aficionado of 4×114.3 wheels I approve of this PSA. The collection of wheels in this video makes me feel that all my wheels and even Antonio’s wheels are weak. That, and listen to PUNK music kids.

Damn, I wish I had this many obscure and retardedly deep dish wheels in my collection!

Can you point out all the different types of wheels? Let’s start making a list!

:: Jover Papag


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...

VIDEO> Offset is Everything at Nisei


Nisei+Showoff+Grande+Finale

Most Motor Mavens readers have been following Antonio’s photos and stories from Nisei Showoff, so we’ve decided to release a video of the event as well! We really wanted to highlight something that impressed us at the show – the fact that so many of these great cars are stepping up their game with aggressive offset and negative camber!

Forget the trophies – for us, the super slammed cars with the best wheels, stance, engine mods and paint jobs were the stars of the show. Nisei Showoff wasn’t about the models (although there were a few that showed up, haha); it was about the hottest street cars. Events like this are becoming more and more rare. We feel privileged that we were there to support Ken Miyoshi on his last Nisei Showoff, because of the great feeling that this show produced. Props to Ken and the Mainstream Productions crew for bringing us an awesome day of street cars and good friends in the middle of Little Tokyo.

We hop you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to leave comments!

:: Travis Hodges

More 2009 Nisei Showoff on MOTORMAVENS


ARCHAEOLOGY> Honda Love at Nisei Showoff

Sorry today's update took so long... the site had some software issues, so thanks for being patient with us as we deal with these growing pains! Before I transfer my Nisei Showoff photos to one of my terabyte hard drives for archival, I thought I'd just put a few more photos up on the site.

Reppin Los Angeles... is the Phaze 2 crew, bringin it hard with some of the sickest Hondas at the show. Phaze 2 is all about slammed cars with aggressive offset and stretched tires, and they all seem to have contrasting color engine bays with super clean wire tucks. They floss it hard too - they all rocked their cars hoodless, so other crews would realize just how much effort they would need to put in to get to the Phaze 2 level.   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars at Wembley Part 2

I'm not sure about anyone else but I usually find I enjoy watching practice sessions at drift competitions alot more than the main twin battles. Things are always more chilled and less time pressured, also I find it great fun watching the drivers get to grips with the track, improving lines, getting braver... Oh, and the 7 car drift trains are pretty nice too! From a photography point too it gives you a good chance to spend time finding sweet locations to shoot from and hone your techniques.

But the day wasn't just for practice, it was for qualifying and with over 50 drivers it was going to be a long one.   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> AE86 Turbo at Goods

Every time I'm in Seattle, it's usually for a drift event. While traveling around the country/world may seem glamourous to some, to be completely truthful, it isn't really what most people imagine it to be. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love traveling with friends; and when you're traveling to all the different nationwide stops of a big drifting series, it really is fun. Especially because if you have many friends in the drifting community, it's like every single city becomes a party destination. One thing that I hear pretty commonly though, is that many times people who travel for work don't get to spend much time enjoying the cities they go to. All too often, city visits consist of airport-to-hotel, then hotel-to-racetrack, then racetrack-to-hotel for a few days, then back to the airport. I didn't want my Seattle trip to be like that this time. Last year, I visited so many amazing places, but I felt like I was rushed through them by people I was traveling with, so I didn't really get to enjoy my stay like I would have if my coworkers hadn't been there.

So when all the drifting had ended at Evergreen Speedway, I linked up with my friends Raymond and Melanie and headed to Seattle for a day of relaxation and chillin in the city. One of the places we stopped was at Goods, a rather well known streetwear/sneaker shop in Seattle's Capitol Hill area. The funny thing though, is even when I'm not purposefully hunting for cars, sometimes the cars find their way to me anyway. Such is the case with AE86s and vintage Toyotas! No matter where I am in the world, usually if there's an AE86 or old school Toyota around, I'll accidentally find it.   Read more...