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

Monday, November 9


Since early 2005, Lexus has been teasing the media with a potential supercar concept. Unlike many of the concept cars that end up in storage, Lexus hinted with annual progress as the concept turned into test vehicles at tracks around the world. Even with the economic troubles, Lexus is ready to release their supercar, LF-A. It is powered by a 4.8 liter V10 that produces abit over 550hp and a 6-speed tranny. The car is truly exotic and with a price tag of just over $400k you can expect 2/3 of the car to be fully made from the finest carbon fiber material available. Only 500 units will be sold to mainly car collectors or those that just have half a million laying around.

Congradulations to Toyota and the Lexus brand for their first ever Supercar, the LF-A.
Check out the Lexus Lounge at SEMA 2009:

Friday, November 6

SEMA Day 1 LEXUS coverage

After working a half day in the office, I flew into lovely Vegas to experience 5 days of automotive madness. This year, there were talk that vendors and numbers were down compaired to years pass. Although that was very accurate, nonetheless there were plenty of new products and vendor booths ready to show the latest and greatest. There was a strong presence of trucks throughout the halls. Here it is, Day 1 of lots of walking.

Clark of VIP Auto Salon debuted another corporate project, the ISCoupe. With Rotora bbk front and back, new Work Gnosis wheels in flat black and steplip, flat red paint and lots of carbon. This build was finished in less than a month. If Clark would had have the car a few weeks longer, you would see some killer prototype items.

David Huang was reppin the always fresh gen1 Altezza. This car got yet another dowse of more tricks since it was last featured on numerous magazines. Check out the midnight purple color change from the Vspec II GT-R, more wire-tuck under the engine bay, lots of chrome and custom catch-tanks, huge Veilside intake manifold, 20" inch Work wheels, and redesigned interior with new Recaro buckets.

When the first IS-C came out, I did a quick Photoshop of what a 2-door IS-F may possibly look like. The fine folks at Fox Marketing actually created a very similar version. Check out the fenders and skirts directly off a IS-F. With blacked out wheels, stretched and widened rear fenders, and twin turbo power, this IS-C will surely be one to watch in 2010.

I didn't get a chance to find out info on this one.. but minus the hood, it was hella dope!

I will save a complete post for the LEXUS LF-A.
Stay tuned, more to come.