Thursday, December 24

Live and Learn

Ouch! This was the THIRD time that the aftermarket front suspension broke on Dave Valfer’s ’71 Plymouth ‘Cuda from Richardson, and all he was doing was backing into a parking spot. This could have been much worse, and he was not a happy camper. The rest of the car was top notch with a modern Hemi and a black and red leather interior.

Certain things should never break, especially when related to suspension. Not to mention the same part breaking 3 times. Hopefully Dave learned his lesson for the final time.

JOB Design Hybrid • NEO LS430

JOB Design just released their latest creation of the UCF30/31 platform. JO calls this the Hybrid • NEO generation kit. It features the updated Euro inspired designs throughout the kit. With round sportier fog lights the Celsior sure looks more aggressive than what this car intended to be rolling out of the Toyota plant.

Side skirts hang low to accent the big-bodied stance. I was concerned about the rear bumper since JO has gone pretty extreme with other Hybrid kits, but this particular rear bumper design was a complete homerun. It is clean and subtle with AMG looking tail pipes. The slight use of gunmetal throughout to accent certain areas are spot on. Not too much but yet enough to grab some attention. Notice the rear bumper opening even mirrors the trunk bar shape and size.

JO is a fantastic designer. Since meeting him 3 yrs ago, I have seen JO continue to push this talent and contribute to the automotive scene. He is truly a pioneer in the VIP sport and I look forward to more of his designs to come in the future.

Thanks JO for giving the gen3 Celsior/LS more hope.

JOB Design

Twin Turbo 3UZFE by TTC Motorsport

With the recent trend for V8 swap in Supras, TTC Performance in Florida has stepped up with their bolt on TT kits for the 3UZ motors. We all know the 3UZ motor is proven in the Lexus flagship LS platform, but primary in the Super GT series in Japan. Yes, the Supras in the Super GT series run V8 motors.

The excitement will be for LS owners wanted for a performance route other than the RMM supercharger. Looking at the quality and detail of the TTC twin turbo kit will tell you these guys sure know a thing or two about building high-horsepower motors.

I for one will be very interest in a similar setup possibly for my daily beater-boat.

Check out the custom intake manifold and exhaust manifold. Motor sculpturing at its' best.

TTC Motorsport

* While digging into the TTC website I notice a familiar car used for the IS300 category.

Wednesday, December 23

Godzilla-Stang by Pure Vision Design

Unique and creative builds are rare to find these days. Most projects are corporate backed with endless dollar amounts. The problem is those cars lack direction and are a dime-a-dozen. Enter Pure Vison Design.

Their latest rendering illustrates a '67 Mustang with quite the rare look of a Datsun track prepped car. First you will realize the fender flares not molded into the body complimented by steplip track looking wheels. Stance is incredible with the correct offset. The lower front lip screams SCCA with the x-pattern on the headlights. Other elements that caught my attention were the fender mounted side-mirrors. Their inspiration came from the early days Nissan GT-R. Yes, these diehard domestic hot rod builders went to study the original Japanese cars for this latest concept. Crazy!

If the finished car can look anywhere close to the rendering, these guys would have entered new territories and raised the level of creativity and concept.

Friday, December 4

Kenisis K57 tribute by CCW

When Kenisis Wheels were bought out by a certain DUB brand, many were slightly disappointed to see such a reputable brand go quietly. I have always wanted a set of K57 in 18s just to collect. CCW wheels have built a tribute to this wheel. They are even calling it the K57. But they have made subtle changes to the classic wheel. The center has a new hard-edge circle cut similar to the Spoon racing wheels. The spokes concave back into the center unlike the old design. CCW has done a fantastic job recreating that titanium finish and I think they got it just right.

Good job guys!
CCW is by far one of best custom wheels companies available.

CCW Wheels

Wednesday, December 2

Fender Rolling at its' Best

You guys are Heros. Keep the grassroot scene alive.


Tuesday, December 1

Baracuda X Volk Racing

At the Chicagoland Nationals, we found an odd combo near the track. This is '67 Baracuda with 17" inch Volk Racing GT-C finished in gunmetal centers. Why did this catch my attention? It's super rare to see a Domestic classic car rock Japanese wheels. If you were to build a nostalgic look, period-correct you would probably got Cragers with a rake. But this particular owner opt out for a fresh set of early 2000 Volk Racing wheel made by none-other than RAYS Engineering.

Another reason why you are reading this post, I once had a set of these on my Altezza back in 2002. Nostalgic and frozen in time; both wheel and car.

Saturday, November 28

Celsior and ZG flares

It is long weekend and I'm getting restless again.. so here's a quick-n-dirty chop of ZG Flares off a Datsun 240 on my boat.

I do miss the fender flares on my old Altezza. Maybe this is somewhere I can explore..

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 24

Swagnbang Trio Fairlady

A coworker linked me to these ridiculous Z's. Swagnbang is a crew that understands the word, "STANCE". These guys are all on coilovers and yes, they drive at this height. I have nothing but respect for the cars you see here. Driven hard, parked hard.

The Flush and Stance movement is starting to hit cities all over the country and I cannot wait to see others define and create their own interpretation. Hard-Stance is all attitude. Drive low, scrape all day long, negative camber, 7-point turns.

Swagnbang, you guys are "Solo-Approved".

SSR X Steplip = SEX

Still one of my top 10 wheels of all time: SSR Professor Series.

Forged BBS for BMW M5

BMW has been working with BBS to develop their next generation lightweight wheels for the M5. Check out this super sexy 1-piece forged 20" available in standard silver of satin black soon to be offered direct from BMW. This wheel is one of the best looking 1-piece wheels I've ever seen. The amazing part is, this 20 incher weights only 16 pounds!!


Monday, November 23

The Real DTM

Check out this video.. makes me wanna build a Euro-spec 190e 2.3-2.6 16V:

Monday, November 16

Matte White Celsior

Tom @ Fatlace and I shot the Project43 Celsior last Saturday morning in the cold breeze morning air of San Ramon. Here are a few of my images turned black/white with a hint of red taillight accent. This was a trial-run to test out how the matte white vinyl would react to the camera lens.

Check it out:

Thursday, November 12

JOB DESIGN and GEE Concept SEMA 2009

Half a year ago, I showed JO from JOB Design Japan a picture of a very special '62 Corvette built by the Roadster Shop brothers. JO immediately blogged about the car on his own website and said he wanted to sit in the car when he sees it at SEMA. I made a few phone calls to the owner and the shop and everything was setup and ready for JO.

I first met JO 3 yrs ago also at the annual SEMA convention. JOB Design is a very popular company in Japan that makes Aero kits and complete turn-key cars for customers. They range from Euro to Lexus, to custom Vans. Whatever the customer can imagine, JO and his crew can make it happen. JO is also the editor of VIP Style magazine and he has a huge column every month. So during that time, JOB Design was rarely heard of here in the states, so I did some viral marketing on blogs and forums. Then I found out JO was planning a booth at SEMA with a shop in Socal and I had to come meet him.

Since I work the Goodguys booth at SEMA every year, it is hard to actually get out to walk around and enjoy the show. Everytime I would go to the booth, JO was nowhere to be found. Finally at the Scion Party at the Hard Rock, a friend and I were headed to the bar and out of the corner of my eye was JO BLOOD!!! I literally grabbed him and said WSUP... JO is not a big dude and I'm 200 pounds and over 6 feet tall.. He was so shocked and scare it's still hella funny to think about it. Since JO doesnt speak any English and all I know in Japanese are the bad words, our initial meeting didnt go very far. Friday, the last day of SEMA I took an early lunch to go back to his booth to hunt him down.. from a distance, JO was sitting on a table and he saw me.. the Grizzly Bear coming back for more.. he started to point, with his eyes-wide open and speaking alot of Japanese. We sat, introduced myself, he had a translator and an entire group of ppl and the rest was history. He autographed 4 VIP Style and VIP Car magazines with his feature articles and 3 years later we still meet at SEMA to catch-up.

This year, JO forced a good friend from Japan to come along for the trip. Teru is the owner and operations manager of Gee Concepts. They are a distributor of Klassen, HRE, KW, Brabus, AMG, Alpina, Rotora, and more. TERU caters to the BMW and Mercedes owners in Japan. Did you know a brand new BMW M5 in Japan is nearly $180k.. that's double the price in the US. So the very few owners that actually have these cars are good customers of TERU and his company. TERU first met JO 3 yrs ago through a joint collaboration with Klassen wheels from the US. JO runs Klassen wheels on his personal LS600HL. Today, TERU was hired to be the translator. JO does pay TERU to help.. apparently with oranges and bananas. :)

So when JO saw the Corvette C1RS it was love at first sight.

At SEMA, he was the only person allowed to sit inside the car.

Here is JO meeting the owner, Barry.

Phil of Roadster Shop, JO of JOB DESIGN, SOLO of Goodguys

JO and I catching up after missing each other at SEMA last year.

TERU doing the hand-gesture translation for JO.

Thursday JO, TERU and I had some lunch and discussed the auto industry in Japan. We touched on what's new and cool and the difference between the scenes. We here are definitely way slower than Japan. JO even called our VIP style very old. TERU had pizza and JO had a wezzle-dog. JO is scared of the oil on the US pizza, but he ended-up eating half of TERU's slice. :)

Thursday night we ate at Ichiza in Chinatown and I introduced JO and TERU to the CL family. We had 20 ppl and just took over the restaurant. As we ate the best Japanese food in Vegas, many other Japan companies walked through and greeting JO. It was pretty cool to see. We ate like champs and finished just in time for a local VIP meet.

This year it was especially nice catching up with JO. Meeing TERU and getting to know him was great. What does 2010 bring?.. More aerokit and wheels? Project cars and joint collaborations? Wait and see. We will have something special at SEMA 2010.

Thank you JO and TERU!!!

JOB Design
GEE Concepts
Roadster Shop

Wednesday, November 11

ACC built Toyota Vellfire

ACC, the parent company of Airrunner built a ridiculous JDM Toyota Vellfire for the SEMA show last week. Shin, the US director for Airrunner showed me a sneak picture at "The Pursuit" in Irwindale a few months back and I knew this car van would cause quite a stir at SEMA.

Where do you start?.. It's a true JDM VIP van. Toyota never sold the Vellfire here in the US, so the styling alone should just capture your attention. The Vellfire is Toyota's flagship van in Japan.

Then a closer look or touch, will reveal that the entire van was stitched and wrapped in red leather. Leather?.. Are you serious.. since vinyl wrapping has been gaining more attention, the folks at ACC thought why not bring the interior to the exterior and that is exactly what makes this demo car just over the top. The technique was lots of glue to make the leather stick to the panels. Just how long did it all take?.. The entire exterior wrap took 1 month with a team working 24/7. The entire car was built in Japan in just under 2 months.

The entire hood and roof is cross-stitched. Even the roll call is stitched on. The van rocks a Wald Aerokit and exhaust with Portofinos on one side and Forgiatos on the other, all in 22"inches. Rotora 6/4 BBK system on each corners and of course the Airrunner system for the suspension.

If SEMA had an award for most original, this is clearly the winner. Good job Shin and ACC. Thanks for pushing the boundaries in the automotive industry and creating another killer demo car.

Look for future magazine feature in DUB and several online communities.

AIT Racing carbon GT-R

A good friend worked on a very high profile GT-R that debuted last week at SEMA. Turns out the owner of the car was a local from the Bay Area that told me about his plans 8 months ago. Well, as you all know, there's only one true widebody R35 GT-R right now and that is this creation by AIT Racing.

The project too 6 months to finish with almost the entire car refinished in the highest grade carbon fiber. The fenders were widened 5 inches on all corners to fit the massive tires. To be exact, this car is now running 335 wide tires front and rear. Why? The owner of the car is a series Time Attack driver and the car will be tested on the many tracks of California in the 2010 season.

This exact car was in the iForged booth last SEMA rocking a set of 22" inch wheels. This year the car is back to 20's with HRE step lip 13" wide front and rear. You many notice the non-flush wheel offset.. but this car is meant to be driven hard, therefore the HRE setup is for track dimensions. I'm sure the owner will also have a street setup aswell to please all the HellaFlush fans. Notice the Michelin race tire. All business.

Congrats to Poyet and AIT Racing for pulling off the first states-side widebody carbon GT-R.

AIT Racing

360 Drift

Have you even seen a car drift?.. Have you even seen a car drift and whip a 360 and back into a drift?.. Watch this video. Incredible car control:

Thank MotorMaven for the link


I met a super cool cat in Vegas this year. Introducing NEEK.

He is the store manager of Stussy on Paradise across from the Hard Rock. NEEK was my ride several times last week during SEMA and he rocks a hard-ass xB gen2 with poke you had never seen before. The fender literally sits on top of the stretch rubber. The smell of burnt rubber is very apparent everywhere you drive.

Monday night, Mark of Fatlace, John of id Agency, Ernie of NOS Energy, and DaveGS all kicked it with NEEK outside of the Stussy store. We discussed culture, cars, viral marketing, everything you can imagine.

Follow NEEK here

Stussy Store
4480 Paradise Rd # 350
Las Vegas, NV 89169-6540
(702) 693-5400