Wednesday, July 30

First Nissan GT-R sold

On July 7th at Mid-night Nissan delivered their first GT-R to one lucky bastard. What can I say.. I'm hella jealous.

Jay Leno even grew emotionally attached during an episode on his TV series. He called it a baby Bugatti Veryon. Both are all wheel drive and turbo charged. Both share the same Dual Clutch tranny aswell. Just less horsepower.

At 480 hp stock this new generation of Skyline GT-R have already proved itself a legend in the automotive industry. Now for the first time ever, the GT-R is available in the US legally without the need of smuggled containers.

MSRP comes in at just under $70k. But dealers are already asking $100k for this Porsche Turbo killer. I know one dealership that is only asking $10k more.. maybe I'll try to get my hands on one and do a test drive review.

Hang-on.. more to come.

Tuesday, July 29

HKS & NOB once again in D1 Grand Prix

Many of you know I first entered the Import scene with a Drift IS300 turned VIP Style. Earlier this year, I sold my beloved car of 7 years to a local in San Jose. At the end, I still have a lot of respect and love for the SXE10 platform.

Nob and HKS has once again teamed up to pilot their infamous Drift Altezza. These pictures are from the HKS USA website that show the newly designed graphics that will run for the entire '08 season. Nob is once again the pilot of choice with his many years active with HKS racing.

This Altezza was the second attempt by HKS and is powered by a Yamaha Beams motor mated to gobs of HKS products. At the end, it is another masterpiece created by the minds of HKS Japan.

One day when I hit my late 40's, I will probably go searching for the SXE10 and have another drive in memory-lane.

HKS built Airplane..?

Apparently HKS Japan has given up on turning cars and has focus all operations to airplanes..

No, that will never happen. What we have here is a HKS built and powered aircraft celebrating 35 years of business in the automotive tuning industry. HKS has been the pioneer and founding father for Turbo power in the Import tuning world. The company first started with simple turbo kits and expanded to full blown race cars that have dominated in so many different racing circuits.

Today the HKS name can been seen from Import Tuner to Road & Track. Surely no other Japanese company has the reputation that HKS has earned over the  years.

BMW's new 4-door Hatchback?

Okay, BMW did not release a new 4-door hatchback that shares the same overall shape as the new X6. The image to the left started life as a modified AC Schnitzer X6 demo car showcasing their latest and greatest in Aero and Wheel package. With a few tricks in Photoshop we now have a very different vehicle.

I call this the H6. (hatchback 6-series). To be quite honest, there are a lot of potential here. The front screams 3-series but the rear hatchback is an all new design. The bubble fenders work very well with the standard 22" inches of alloy.

If Carlab would attempt an X6 to this extreme then BMW North America will surely start paying attention to the aftermarket industry.

What do you think? Does it have potential? You be the judge.

Fatlace + Ruckus = HellaFresh

The big craze to hit the Import Scene is not the GT-R or that one Import model who actually were a dude before the sex change.. enter the Honda Ruckus.

Honda has been offering the Ruckus for a mere $2,000 MSRP brand new and bone stock. The hip hop culture or "urban" peeps have taken the 40 mpg scooter and heavily done series modifications to them. Just check out the image on this Fatlace tee.

This Ruckus has full billets a stretched frame and a drop like you wouldn't believe. Stay tuned for more as Solo plans on picking up a Rockus for his daily 4 mile commute.

Monday, July 21

HWY I-5 is pure HELL!

Over the weekend several of the best Nor*cal Lexus owners attended the Redline Time Attack/JDM Theory event at the Buttonwillow race track. I get a disturbing voice message on my cell this morning from Glen. Apparently, Glen, Willie and Anna were all involved in a high-speed accident. While flying at a steady 110 MPG, all 3 cars couldn't avoid what was on the road. It was a tire tread shredded from a semi-truck. Each car suffered significant damage especially Willie's green GS4. From what I heard, his front bumper was hanging on for dear-life thanks to the clear-bra keeping the glass together. Pictured here is Anna's Vertex bumper with a severe crack. Each car had cracked bumpers, damaged side skirts and alignment issues to name a few.

I'm just glad nobody got hurt and everybody made it home safely last night. Cars can be repaired or I see this as an opportunity to rebuild your cars. Willie, maybe it's time for a different look. Anna, same for you, or maybe a new car. Glen, I don't need to say anything. Knowing you, the kit is already purchased and being painted as I write this.

SoCal trips have always yield some sort of accidents. Maybe it is a sign NOT to attend next time.

In the Heart of this Black-Beauty is pure Japanese Bliss

Don Perito of Torrance, California has built a '32 Hot Rod straight out of my dreams. I can barely begin to write with my emotions going in all directions. I have many times brain-stormed on how to build a hybrid and I don't mean electric Prius. A hybrid would consist of Japanese V8 power mated to domestic American heritage all steel '32 High-boy. Don has taken my dreams and made it his reality.

What you see here is an execution that can even make Foose appreciate.
Don is a long time car builder. He knows Hot Rods inside and out. So when the time came to build another typical black '32, he went in a direction not many could even comprehend. Don stuffed a 2002 LS430 engine into the Tyler, Texas, Hot Rod shop glass body. The suspension is all independent Kugel meant for track and Bonneville high speed attempts. The cars tips the scale at 2280 pounds and you can imagine what a 300 hp motor can do to a goKart-like platform. The interior was built around Lexus parts including the steering wheel, shifter and even the seats. You may even notice the Lexus floor mats reshaped to fit the narrow '32 body. Those with a keen eye will also notice the GS inner trunk lid taillights used in the rear. Each element is matched so perfectly well.

The lines on this '32 is so clean, I want to add Don to my hate-list. But I am honored to share this vehicle with you. This car has been a dream of mind when I am ready to build such a hybrid and you can bet I will use Don's Lexus Hot Rod as my inspiration from start to finish.

Lexus-Powered '32 Hot Rod

Several years ago when Lexus for looking to build a project car, they commissioned Rod Millen to build a few head-turners. One particular project that got the attention of many is the project '32 Hot Rod.

I first saw this at the Lexus Gone Wild EOS event the summer of 2003. This Hot Rod was equipped with a big V8. Infact it is the same motor from the LS430. Rod Millen fitted the modern motor to a full metal high-boy. Add some fine one-off wheels, carbon fiber pieces and a killer set of custom headers and you have yourself a Japanese V8 powered Domestic Hot Rod.

To this day, I have not seen a better execution of mixing different cultures into one excellent example of what could be done if more people would think outside the box. 

Lux5 Events San Jose, CA

Lux5 is coming to San Jose this coming Saturday. If you enjoy the luxury life then this event is for you. There will be exotic cars, yachts, helicopters, fine jewery and all the fluff that comes with the high-life.

The event will be at the San Jose Convention Center from 2 - 8pm. Come by and check it out for a day in the lap of luxury.

I once saw a bumper sticker that said it best, "Luxury murders the soul."

Thursday, July 17

Pay BMB penalty of $1500

I found this on Flickr. This image was taken by a very close family member. This basically means, artists get paid $1500 for creating beautiful art around the city. I think the city should contract artists to paint pieces, which in-return creates foot traffic, then leads to media and press. Then ultimately, generates revenue for the city.

Sh*t.. would somebody explain this to Newson!

Art Feature: CHEK

Art Feature: CHEK cont.

Nabiis, the best of taiWan

Nabiss is one of the most well know brand in Taiwan when you mention fixed-gear cycling. This website is hella sick with very strong photography that emphasize on their culture and lifestyle. It is mostly in Chinese if you want to read the articles but for the most part, you get the idea.

One of the Nabiss founders so happened to be my cousin. He moved to Taiwan 4 years ago to become a English teacher. Today after teaching, he kicks-it with his local friends and go riding at the tracks or works on his art. He is famous worldwide.

These fixed gear bikes hit the US hard 5 years ago and still people do not know much about it. In Taiwan, it is has grown to a sub-culture that has gain media attention. Nabiis has been feature in multiple Japanese magazines and also on Yahoo homepage.

Next week, I will take my cousin to FATLACE in Japantown to chop it up!  
For more info:  Nabiis

Klassen & JOB Design

The team at Klassen has teamed-up with one of the Hottest Japanese VIP tuning shops. JOB Design now runs Klassen Wheels exclusively on all their demo cars including this sexy-ass Celsior UCF40.

I want to focus on Klassen for the time being. Klassen wheels are absolutely the highest standard. Their forging technology is second to none in the industry. The owner is a Japanese fellow that speaks great English. Once in awhile I chat with the owner about their new products and wheel designs. Believe me when I tell you, these wheels are so well built that can possibly swap some HRE owners. 

Every wheel is custom CAD design and cut to perfection. Sizes and finish can be custom tailored to each clients need. This is a full service custom wheel shop that produces some very high-end wheels.

Their wheels have been featured on the NITTO website as-well-as European Car online. Look out for more on Klassen as their wheels start to expand onto media cars in the industry.

Wednesday, July 16

VITT produced wide-ASS CL63 AMG

VITT Japan is yet responsible for another crazy Super Wide-Body creation for the Mercedes line-up. This time it is the hot sleek lines of the CL63 AMG.

Nearly 80% of the exterior has been replaced including the front bumper, hood, fenders, skirts, rear quarter panels and even the 3-piece trunk lip wing. Notice the quad tip exhaust that resembles a 997 Porsche.

This kit is 1 of a kind thus it is not for sale. Maybe if you bug the peeps at Jonair long enough they might consider building a North America Demo Car.

For more info:  Jonari

Aimgain UCF30

Aimgain Japan offers a beautiful aero kit for the UCF30/31. Their styling borrows heavily from the Euro market companies like Brabus, Lorinsor, Rinspeed. But strange, Aimgain has not taken-off here in the states. I personally like to see more people try other kits besides the usual whored-out media cars.

Try Aimgain:  Aimgain Japan 

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Edition

Equipped with a twin-turbo 6.0-litter V12 with 670 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque is just crazy. Then you factor in a weigh loss of 570-lb thanks to lightweight carbon fiber materials, now you have an absolute ridiculous road car.

The hood, the trunk, even the roof is made of high-grade carbon fiber. The rear wing even extends upward when hitting 75 mpg. This is a car not to be reckoned with.

The front rotors check in at 390x26mm and the rears at 360x26mm. If you do the conversion, that is 15.3" inches in the front and a 14.1" inches in the rear with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear. 

The wheels are 1-piece forged alloy running 19" & 20" inches. The rears measure a massive 20x11.5 and the fronts are 19x9.5. 

The Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Edition is an incredible machine that may just sway a few of us away from the Japanese car makes.

2008 ALMS @ Lime Rock Park