Travel: My Visit to J’s Racing, Osaka, Japan

Slowly getting back into the hang of things…..Sorta.  Last month I went to Osaka, Japan.  I was on a family trip with my wife and daughter in Beijing, China and my wife and I decided to take a small vacation to Japan.  I have never visited any other in city in Japan besides Tokyo, or Yokohama like where ASM is….but that’s pretty much next to Tokyo. I’ve probably been to Toyko 8+ times now….. Osaka was an eye opener!  The whole vibe of the city was so different, much slower paced, and more relaxed.

This visit to Japan I rented a car because my wife hates public transportation. Man driving in Japan was terrifying for me.  I’ve driven RHD in a RHD country before in Thailand, but I just treated Thailand like there is no rules (Sorry Thailand)…. But Japan, man Japan has a ton of rules, and sometimes the traffic signs that make no sense to me even though I can read Japanese at a decent level.  Not being confident, driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the car + the super super narrow streets + bunch of oneway city streets…. I must admit I was a shit driver.  Sumimasen Japan!

Being in Osaka, Japan, I knew I had to do at least one car related activity.  In my mind the most famous car shop in Osaka is J’s racing.  When we think of JDM S2k tuning in America, we think of Spoon Sports, Mugen, ASM, Powerhouse Amuse, and of course J’s Racing!  (notable mentions out there to Tracy Sports, C-west, K1 Labs, Toda Racing, Car Garage Amis, Feel’s aka Honda Twincam, m&m Honda).

So after hanging out in the city with my wife, I dropped my wife back at the hotel and I drove to J’s Racing.  From Dotonbori, the most touristy popular place in Osaka and also where our hotel was, J’s racing was around 30-40minutes away.  They are located in Ibrakaki, which is a city in the Osaka prefecture.  It was raining and I only had about 1 hour before they closed!  Luckily my friends made the call to them to let them know I was heading over.

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So after a drive in rainy traffic, my rental Nissan march and I made it to J’s Racing.  J’s racing is located off of a tiny tiny tiny side street, you can totally keep driving and miss it.  Japanese tuning shops are always in the most unassuming places.  In America, car shops in general are typically located in industrial areas, while Japanese tuning shops tend to seamlessly blend into the neighborhood.  I remember seeing a picture of RE-Amemiya, the famous RX7 tuner shop, located smack dab in the middle of a suburban neighborhood…. crazy.  Oh yeah, you can’t park your car like this in the J’s racing lot, but on this particular day, J’s racing garage was closed for business and the President/CEO Murakami san was there taking care of paperwork.  Murakami san said it was cool for me to park in the lot, thank god, it was mad raining that day.

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Super soul-less minimal car, but it does work as an appliance!

Upon arrival, Murakami san greeted me. He knew I was coming, he immediately asked me if I wanted to see their cars. Of course I agreed! Another tangent… I was pretty damn stoked, but I’m the kind of the person that gets excited about shit but in the moment it doesn’t seem like I’m super excited, but always retrospectively I realize how rad a moment it was…. If you ever meet me, don’t be offended when I don’t seem excited about your car, but in fact I think it’s extremely rad. If there is good reason for me to think it’s rad.

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This was the first thing I saw upon entering the garage area, the world famous J’s Racing S2000 Demo Car.  It’s crazy, an object I’ve watch countless times on Youtube in Hot Version Touge battles, being right in front of my eyes.  The car has a crazy presence, and the dragon livery totally makes sense after experience a bit of Osaka.  I used to think it was tacky as hell, but now I understand, it’s a product of it’s environment.


This car attacking the touge in Kyoto, another city I visited on this trip….

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Murakami san proceeded to pop the hood/bonnet, exposing the 2.6 liter stroked F20c. I am curious how they stroked the engine and what crankshaft they are using to gain that displacement. I know some 2.5 and 2.7 liter F20c engines in the USA made by inlinePro….According to the video above the redline of this engine is at 7800RPM. I’m curious if this is on the stock FRM sleeves or not…

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Of course I’m an ITB man, Individual Throttle Bodies for you perverts and I couldn’t help to point out the Toda ITBs on this setup! Utilizing a very special J’s Racing plenum and air box made for this application. Unfortunately the airbox portion of this does not fit on LHD cars as it hits the brake booster and ABS system.

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Everything is wrapped in gold foil to reflect heat! Of course the rest of the J’s Racing Catalogue is here….. Cooling plate, Radiator, radiator cap, radiator hoses, exhaust manifold, and valve cover!  Can’t forget that J’s racing torque mount!

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Another shot of the beast, I love how SEGA is one of their sponsors. The SEGA genesis was my first game console as a child and I can remember that point in my life as a turning point, I spent countless hours with my friends playing SEGA genesis games… In fact I was so loyal to the brand I had a SEGA Saturn and SEGA Dreamcast… RIP guys.

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Craftsquare mirrors and of course you can really see how wideeeee this J’s Racing Body kit is. This is the Type-GT version, which is one step crazier than their type-s kit.  I must admit I didn’t like this kit when it came out, but it’s growing on me.

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The rear end with the super massive GT wing and interesting center exit exhaust. The iconic J’s Racing Waza Kanji and the red accents really make this stand out.

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Next to the world famous J’s Racing S2000 Demo car was this DC5. I asked Murakami san if this DC5 is a demo car, he surprised me by telling me this car is in fact a customer car! He told me, “looks like demo car right”. I completely agree.

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Up on the lift/hoist was another J’s Racing car. This one is rocking the Type-S wide body kit with TE37 and craftsquare mirrors.

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Being on the lift/hoist it gave me the perfect up-skirt view.  J’s racing coil-overs, and J’s racing diff mounts.  Although I am curious what that AN line running from the diff to the pump solenoid-looking-like thing up top is?

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here you can see the J’s racing special reinforced rear subframe.

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After looking at the Type-S kitted s2k for a bit I walked to the back of the shop and saw another relatively famous car…. This J’s racing Honda fit! I was slightly bummed their famous K24 GD fit was not at the shop, that is one of my favorite J’s Racing cars.

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Rocking some fender flares and some TE37s.

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I believe this Honda Fit races in Super Taikyu.

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If you look at the sponsor Seidoya. They make all the brake products for J’s racing, including their 6 pot calipers….

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To the right of the car was this interesting lift system. Which they use to transport goods to their 2nd floor.

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and perhaps their 3rd floor too? J’s Racing is definitely one of the larger tuning shops I’ve been to in Japan.

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Near the fit was this particularly sad looking Honda S660 that’s probably seen a circuit wall or two.

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Back to the S2k on the lift. I was checking out the J’s Racing 6pot Calipers underneath these meaty TE37.

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I had to snap more shots of the touge monster.

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Of course it’s rocking the Mugen Dry Carbon Hardtop. I remember being blown away when I saw one of these in person. Now I’m a bit jaded since a bunch of my friends own these tops Authentic of course? One of the best tops in my opinion, even though they are like 3 S2000 tops to really choose from.

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A wider shot showing the rest of the garage.

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The Dc5 Type R again

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Touge. For all you non Chinese Character readers out there (Yes, these characters came from China), this character is made up of mountain on the left, and on the right there is the character for up and the character for down. All this put together is mountain pass since you go up and down the mountain.

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A quick rainy glance outside you can see all the cars they use for development of new parts. Like this FK8 Type-r!

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This customer car was under the demo car on the lift/hoist. It looks like a decent build with an HKS supercharger, Type-S body, and J’s Racing Radiator and hoses….

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Of course they were these massive Endless brake calipers under the TE37. Along with the J’s racing Type-s fenders with fender inserts!

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This shop runs on solar power! It was a rainy rainy evening, so I doubt the shop was harnessing power from the sun while I was there. The inner earth lover likes this, since this in my mind justifies them running straight pipped race cars.

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I checked out the showroom…

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I ended up buying an umbrella because I thought I was gonna use it. I turns out the rain stopped after I left…. and I had to carry a long ass umbrella back to China and then back to the states. I had to check this into both flights because it was so damn long.

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Yep this is what I bought….

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J’s racing spec K20 with some Toda Trumpets on the valve cover.

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A closer look at what was on the counter….

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Pretty cool display made with a bunch of American License plates.

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Wall of hyperrevs

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Interesting product I’ve never seen before. It looks like it was hydro-dipped. S2k valve cover.

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NGK plug prices…. NGK racing plugs are around $30 per 1. Not terrible.

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Some Moty’s oil… the good stuff.

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At this point it was absolutely pouring rain. I haven’t seen rain like this in awhile since I moved to Southern California. It seriously rains in Socal like a handful of times a year.

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Since my car was pointing the wrong direction and I didn’t want to hit one of the many many expensive cars in the lot and reverse is super weird in RHD for me (The lot looks bigger than what it really was) Marukami san helped me move my car so it was pointing the correct direction, talk about Japanese hospitality! Thank god because I would of had to reverse into that one way road in traffic!

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I snapped a few more shots before I left this epic machine.

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Thank you Marukami san for you help! J’s racing, you guys are alright in my book. After visiting, I have a greater respect for the tuning brand as a whole, just a bunch of guys that started from nothing and now have a worldwide following.

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I like how they are repping Mugen here!

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As I as driving back to my hotel, I couldn’t help to look at the dealerships as I was driving by….

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I can’t remember if I’m on the famous Kanjo sen here, but I was on it at one point and wish I had the Egg shell civic with me.

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I’ll finish this post off with this picture I took of some Japanese company/ school? Smoking room. This would never fly in America nowadays, but I thought it was cool and interesting due to the number of people in the room smoking.

Life: Import Showoff Little Tokyo 2019

Sorry for the long pauses between blog posts, I’m crazy busy as life goes on. A few months ago I checked out Import Showoff Little Tokyo…. Import Showoff used to be the premiere car show/meet in SoCal…. but man has times changed, and have changed for the worst! People used to mark this event down on their calendar as THE show to go to, but now it’s only a shadow of its former self. The lot was small, the attendance was low, the car variety was…. minuscule, and the quality of cars itself was to be desired.

Just because you have a car and access to a vinyl machine, putting anime stickers on your car doesn’t make it awesome.  Something about the Itasha execution in Japan is vastly different than what people in the USA are doing, maybe something lost in the interpretation? maybe it’s the USDM style of Itasha? I don’t know.  Kind of like how some people interpret VIP cars here in the states is so far removed from the Japanese style, VIP-ing a Lexus IS, Honda Civics, and other small cars….. IT NEEDS TO BE A FULL SIZE SEDAN PEOPLE….. went off topic, /end rant.

Probably won’t come back next year, not much to see, would rather eat at Marugame Udon down the street.

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This Mercedes caught my eye. I’m a big fan of the burple color of the car, it really pops in the SoCal sun.  Stance is great, wheels look rad, I’m definitely feeling the late 80s-90s vibe coming off of this car.

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I’m not too knowledgable with Mercedes cars if you can forgive me, so I don’t know exactly what model this is, but man this oozes style.  I can totally see Don Johnson with an all white blazer exiting this car after doing lines of coke….

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Not everyday you see one modded with a sport “tuner” steering wheel.  Gives the interior a different vibe.  These cars always had a fat steering wheel making you feeling like you’re driving a cruiser.

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Sick 240z, great cruiser look.

2019 Neisei Showoff A car I know much about, since I own one. Same gen too, a UCF30 Zenki model….Although this is done up, the UCF31 Kouki models look soooo much better.

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The normally matte black engine covers were painted gloss white.

2019 Neisei Showoff Along with the window visors…. Some typical VIP goodies, junction produce curtains, and maybe trays?

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2019 Neisei Showoff The rear looks great, probably my favorite part on this build. Upgraded LED tail lights and burnt exhaust tips look so good. I love how this bumper really squares out the rear of the car.

2019 Neisei ShowoffThis RWB car was present. Pretty cool color theme, the sakura leaves + the more earth tone gundam motif on a white car goes well. Makes the car seem a bit elegant in my eyes….

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The Other half of the show… Yep that’s it.

But forreal I’m an S2k guy and what does an S2k guy wanna see…. They wanna see this beauty.

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Moses’s NFR Ap2.  Side note, I legit thought his name was Nalgas, and when I went to search for nalgas on google, I just saw a bunch of pictures of butts…..  Real reason I wanted to check out this car was to check out the ASM BBS clear ways wheels on this car.  I think the only set in the USA?

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Probably the reason why these might be the only set in the USA is because they’re like ¥120,000- a pop. Yes, per wheel, so 480,000yen total or like $4528 with current exchange rate for the whole set, and of course you have to get it shipped here from Japan…. I mean it’s not terrible if you’re used to German car E88 BBS wheel prices, but a few more grand more expensive than some Volk wheels or even when they re-released, the Mugen MF10s…..

2019 Neisei Showoff I love how OEM the wheel looks. Especially with the NSX S-Zero center caps.

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Engine bay is standard ASM x Mugen stuff.  Mugen Intake, Origin arm, ASM CF cooling plate….

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He also has the ASM Wing/Trunk Combo…. The GT-09 trunk + wing.  It’s a trunk with the bottom of the wing stands molded into the dry carbon trunk… pretty neat.  I remember looking this up on the ASM website awhile back something like 910,000 yen or $8,394.84 with nowadays terrible exchange rate.  Of course you have to find a way to bring it back from Japan.  Pretty cool seeing it in person! I can’t imagine ASM having that many units left for sale….

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A closeup on that WEAVE yo. The ASM race car has a setup similar to this.

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One step closer.

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He’s also rocking the ASM dry CF bonnet. The dry carbon version of the hood I used to have. Side note, this hood is made by the same people that make the Mugen hood in Saitama, a company called CHALLENGE. That’s why the rain duct setup is similar to the Mugen hood.

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A bit closer

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Gabe was there too and won best sports car

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At this point I was chasing my daughter around.

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Chickenjoy anyone?

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Oh yeah, next to the s2k was this 4th gen prelude with a bunch of ARC parts on it. In a past life I was a 5th gen owner, the 4th gen is definitely unique.

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This one was hopped up with a Jackson Racing Supercharger, bunch of shiny ARC bits, including the famous ARC hot air intake.

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Somehow back to Moses’s ASM themed S2k. BBS clearways in full effect. In my opinion, #1 in show, for execution, quality, whatever. I’m biased.

Life: Chronicles Year 10

Hey all,

I am still alive…. Life has been busy, my daughter, new job in a new field, house stuff, etc…. adulting really takes a toll on you.  It’s funny when I tell my friends from highschool/college and mention I still have my s2k(partially) and I’m still into it, going to meets, writing blog posts, etc, they look at me like I’m a 30 year old going on 18.

I can’t shake this car thing, especially Honda S2000s, even though the scene is drastically different than when I first started.  Before I couldn’t fathom why the OG S2ks guys sold their cars and went on to different things, I would think why would you leave the greatest car god has ever created (JK not JK), but now as a fully grown man guy (I think), I finally understand, life changes and sometimes you don’t got time to drink boba and smoke cigarettes till 2am in the morning.  This younger crowd does make me think about the s2k as a platform….but I am in this for the long run…. we’ll see if this turns into 911 and the Ant.

Sorry for the long tangent…. I finally had time and approval from my boss, aka wife, to make it down to the Chronicles year 10 meet. In fact we just got off a cruise from Mexico that morning, I even made my wife, daughter, mother-in-law rush off the boat at 7am with all our luggage instead of having it delivered to the dock for us so I could make this meet. Which means our continuously screaming child was under her care for the day, while I bare the heat of beautiful Corona California…..  It was a hot one for sure, in fact every year is hot as fuck, so this year was no different.

Excuse the sensor dust… I tried my best to remove it.


Upon entering the meet, I had to say what’s up to Joe, lowkey one of the best builds out there.  He’s a super humble guy that doesn’t live for the gram like 75% of these owners nowadays.  His Mugen S2k CR is a thing of beauty and has been featured before.  I definitely look up to him, since he’s a great father and has this sick S2k, #lifegoals.


Next to Joe’s Mugen CR is Carlos’s ASM bumper S2000 CR, another S2k CR that has been “ruined” with Voltex rear over fenders and Mugen rims.


Sara Choi’s Voltex’ed S2000 CR.


EK with J’s Fenders


EG Civic with a rad Pocari Sweat livery, Osaka JDM wing, J’s racing fenders, and super jdm mismatching rims.


Jackie made it all the way from Vancouver Canada to make the meet. I’ve been following this build for years, before instagram when he just had a build thread on S2ki.  In fact I remember his car in this video back in the day. He had an 04 ASM bumper before.  Now he’s rocking a Voltex race front bumper, Voltex rear diffuser, spoon hood, craftsquare mirrors, and Voltex wing…. When he was rocking the ASM front bumper, the Voltex kit wasn’t even out yet, that’s how OG this guy is!


I love the Te37 wheels in this color.


Interior shot that shows the stack cluster.  I love the stack cluster, I actually prefer it over the S2k speedo.  Iconic Cusco blue rollcage and momo wheel with NSX-R horn button.


Another guy from Canada came down in this super clean styled Toyota Century.


I don’t even want to say VIP style, because this is the VIP.  When I think of VIP style, I think VIP cars are trying to make their car look and feel like this.


ITRs were plenty.


Sang ‘s  J’s Racing widebody turbo s2k looking good…. car for is for sale btw!


Gotuning tommy, representing Gotuning with his crazy ASM S2000 CR…. the 4th “ruined” S2000 CR at the meet.


For this event, Spoon USA brought out their Super Taikyu S2000 all the way from Japan.


Yep looks race car.


The Spoon Super Taikyu car rocking some Titan7 wheels with some 6 pot Spoon calipers.


Of course this isn’t s2kandtheant without talking about Areen’s S2k….. This is for sale too… My S2k friends’ s2ks are slowly disappearing.


Great deal if you buy it!


Since I am currently working on an EG civic, I was taking notes of all the EG civics there.


EG civic with Mugen lip, Mugen strut bar, and some green TE37.


What amazes me are these small details, like how clean this hood support is!


It is amazing how some of these cars were at wekfest in the bay area a bit prior to this event, and they all made it down to this meet.


Another shot of Jackie’s S2k.


This del sol was exceptionally done.  Mugen front bumper, Te37, K swap with Kinsler ITBs, and S2000 Spoon mirrors.


What impressed me the most are these recently discontinued crazy $$$ Mugen x Recaro MS-R seats.  You could buy many del sols for these price of these two seats.


Simple Amuse R1 front bumper S2000 with CE28n


Modest AP racing big brake kit on the s2k.


This Spoon civic that pops up at every big meet.  Pretty much everything from the Spoon catalogue except the mishimoto radiator.  I think I last saw it at Eibach in 2018.


My buddy Gabe with his Ap2 with an Ap1 front bumper.


Mugen MF10s up front and TE37 in the rear.


Joe popped his hood revealing the Mugen intake, super rare mugen spark plug cover, and ASM strut bar.


ITR with Mugen kit on some TE37.


This is by far my favorite EG Civic at the meet.  Super super clean JDM EG6 SIR.  Here you can see the super clean and rare EG6 Mugen exhaust.


This civic is perfect sitting on white Mugen MF8.


I love how pristine and stock the engine bay is. I love the OEM resonator and OEM airbox.  I find it funny how I’m coming full circle nowadays, where before I would want the most modded car, but now I want the most original car as these cars age.


Everything about this civic is perfect, sunroof visor, window visors, and yellow interior.


TSX wagon on Mugen MF10s with some more Mugen goodies.


Clean Ap1 rocking the Ap2 Mugen kit sitting on Mugen MF10.


Mugen kit goodness.


Clean r32 skyline in an interesting green color.


Pretty good turnout.


Lotus Elise on an APR kit


Front shot of the Super Taikyu Spoon S2000.


Another shot of Gotuning Tommy’s ASM s2k on Titan 7 wheels.


The Evasive booth had this Ap2 with the new Greddy Gen 2 turbo kit


Love the ASM tow hook peeking out of the Amuse R1 bumper.


shot of the Mugen ITR from earlier, The open hood reveals a K swap.


EG Tank Mike was present


Clean NA1 NSX with TE37.


Quad tipped Spoon exhaust.


Spoon prototype hardtop.  It’s amazing looking at the hardtop in detail, it is CNC’ed out of one piece of metal.


Super clean EF, I’ve been really interested in EFs lately… something about those boxy looks.


Under the hood of the Spoon Super Taikyu S2000….


Sang’s S2k again.


S2000 with wings out in full force.


Super clean ARC theme BB4 prelude.


Engine shot of the ARC theme’ed prelude.


Youtube famous LATOMMYLA TWM ITB EK civic.


shot of the TWM ITBs.


EK is on green TE37.


At the point I changed lenses that had a super scratched polarizer on it….. I didn’t realize this till later.  That’s why all the picture from here on out seem a bit hazy.


Jackie’s S2000 again showing his AP Racing pro 5000 calipers in detail.


Notched authentic Spoon hood for the turbo.


under the hood of Tommy’s car, showing off the ASM intake and Mugen Spark plug cover, and ASM dry CF hood.


Areen’s ASM hood…. looks familiar :p

Closing out this post with Phil Robles crazy Eg civic.  2019 just started, hopefully we’ll see my S2k get one step closer to a car again!

Life: Petersen Museum Japanese Cruise-In & Super Street Meet 2018 Part 1

A month ago I went with some friends to check out the Petersen Japanese Cruise in / Super Street Meet in west LA. The last time I went was 2 years ago and the complex was packed with crazy cars, check my previous post here. This time unfortunately, there was a noticeable decline in attendance compared to 2 years ago, along with the quality of cars. My theory is that the first 2 years they did not charge a fee for showing a car, while this year they did, in addition when I went the first year, they provided free validation of parking, while this year I paid the full price of parking, I think this deterred a lot of people from coming.

I am still trying to figure out if I will go next year, I am currently more inclined not to go, due to what I saw this year.


The day started cool, but man it was getting hot and one hour in I was sweating hard.

Top Rank Importers had a strong showing, there was a large representation of RHD JDM vehicles showcasing what they have to offer.  With the 25+ year rule and all sorts of vehicles are now eligible to be imported to the USA, fly by night importing companies have popped up everywhere.  I’ve heard stories of people essentially exporting a crushed up JDM salvaged title car, only to be repainted and resold in the USA….. make sure you do your research….  tangent over.


Not many S2ks in attendance at this meet.  For whatever reason, I find myself attracted to these oddball cars.  For example, this mid 90s Toyota Camera on Volk Te37 SL.


I’m not a huge wheel guy, but I hope these are authentic.  If they are authentic, then this guy gets points for buying wheels that cost five times the price of the car.  Seriously, you can buy four 1995 Toyota Camrys for the price of one set of Volk Te37 SL.


Panda Toyota Supra on Volk TE37.


Rad to see a time attack Supra, I’m just going off of the banner though.


Another interesting car that caught my eye.  This late 90s early 2000s Toyota Corolla.  If you’re like me and grew up Asian in the 90s/early 2000s, EVERYONE had this car.  Your uncle, your friend, your teacher…. you had to have known someone that drove this car.  The Volk TE37 SL wheels caught my eye with this Corolla.


Inviting me to take a look closer to the engine bay.  I believe this is the XRS version, which offered the 2ZZ engine, the same engine that came in the Celica GTS of the same era.  Pretty cool, because you don’t see many of these around.  Toyota was doing really crazy shit during this period, I remember the first Scion TC had a supercharger option you could of got from the factory.  Nuts right?


I do like that TRD strut bar, something about TRD strut bars always look so beefy and functional, I dream of getting TRD chassis bars for my Lexus LS430 and IS300.  Man Toyota was really doing something during this time period, even my personal cars are Toyotas from this era.


The interior had these TRD Sport seats that I am sure are incredibly rare.  TRD generally have a very limited run when they release parts.  It’s not like Mugen that in comparison have a much longer window, for example the Mugen intake for the S2k is still available brand new and the S2k was discontinued almost 10 years ago!


This Nissan Skyline R32 GTR had it’s hood opened and something immediately caught my attention.


This Nismo RB26DETT NISMO FINE SPEC FINAL EDITION badge certifies this RB26Dett is a Nismo crate engine assembled at their fabled Omori Factory.  A quick google search shows this Long block is over $13k USD for the long block itself and limited to only 200 units.  As a Honda guy, I am jealous of the in house factory support Nismo gives their cars.  I mean how rad would it be to see a Final Spec Mugen F20/f22c…. one can only dream.


The special Nismo engine is paired with a Nismo Intake manifold and typical jdm goodies, a la HKS and Cusco.


For the wheels, this R32 GTR Skyline had huge Endless calipers and Volk ZE40 in bronze.


The Nissan Skyline showing was strong this day.  It was the most common car out there.


Hakosuka GTX.  Another car on my dream car list.


Period car next to some period correct old men.


Once again another Nissan R32 Skyline GTR.  I love the Castrol livery on this car, a throwback to the Group A days.


Frontal of the Castrol livery R32 Skyline.


NSX on Volk TE37

With Recaro SR3 seats.


Of course this is S2kandTheAnt, you need some S2k coverage!  This is the Super Street project Ap1 S2000 they built within a week.  It features the prototype of the new Greddy Turbo Kit Gen 2 with a more modern Garrett GTX turbo, improved exhaust manifold, more power, and still smog legal!  I never really understood the plight of California residents until I became one, having a smog legal upgrade really saves you some headaches.


I previously shot some photos of this kit at Eibach this year.


This project features the new Seibon dry carbon trunk…… which is typically seibon quality.  I mean look at that gap between the tail light and the trunk!  This most definitely is not ASM quality.


The Super Street project ap1 setting on Konig wheels.


Levin with some carbs.


Ending off the post with this DA Integra with Speed Star Racing by SSR EX-C aero covers in super mint condition.  This is a great period correct build! See you guys later for part II.

Spotted: Authentic Parts J’s Racing S2000

Had sometime this week so I hung out at my buddy’s garage. A sweet Authentic parts J’s Racing build stopped by that is heavily tracked! Super refreshing to see a car with authentic parts get tracked here in the USA, something that is much more common place in Japan.

I had a sweet side shot, but I had my friend take the picture for me since I was holding my baby…. unfortunately it was out of focus haha……

J's Racing Themed S2000

What I saw when I rolled up. Those Takata Green CE28n are amazing on a white car. I think only white or yellow cars can pull of these wheels, but they definitely require an aggressive body to match.

J's Racing Themed S2000-7

Classic J’s kit. This is known as the “street version” not the crazy GT version that is even wider. In my mind, J’s Racing has three distinct bumpers, this one, the street version, the Ap1 half lip, and the crazy GT version that looks closer to the Amuse GT wide body. All the right parts here that I would imagine on an early J’s Touge monster clone. Waza sticker Check! J’s Hood Check! Craftsquare mirrors Check! The rock chips really show how this car is tracked and quite heavily.

J's Racing Themed S2000-8
The rear end, love how he put the stickers in the correct places to play homage to the JDM legend. Of course this wouldn’t be complete without the J’s wing! I am curious what type of trunk the car is running. The exhaust to me looks like one very dirty Amuse Exhaust!

J's Racing Themed S2000-4

Body is one thing, but details like this dry CF mugen hardtop really set this build apart in my head. Seriously, what type of person takes a $5k+ USD hardtop and tracks the hell out of it, especially with this SoCal Sun constantly beating down on it. I really think SoCal has the most Authentic Dry CF Mugen Hardtops of any region. I can think of 5 cars off of top of my head right now.

J's Racing Themed S2000-5

What you can’t see is the single Bride Zeta III Seat. Classic combo, the Momo Tuner wheel with an NSX-R horn button.t Interesting stack gauges! No carpet is so right, sometimes people just rip shit out and say ohhh “track car”, but I think it is just an excuse for a crappy build, this guy can legit say it since he has this super rad and authentic exterior to back it up.

J's Racing Themed S2000-6

Endless Calipers peeking out under those Takata Green CE28N! Do I have to say it again, I love authentic parts beaten to death! I know it seems counterintuitive, but it’s my kinda style somehow…. look I bought some super expensive stuff, now I’m gonna treat it like crap and let it wear!

J's Racing Themed S2000-9

At this point my friends were about to start working on the car. My baby was acting up, so I took my exit. Before I left I took a quick shot of the JRZ coilovers on the car, some $$$ stuff that is definitely used to their potential! Hopefully the owner can continue tearing up SoCal race tracks in this awesome car. Builds like this really bring me back to 2007ish when people bought these cars new and spent real $$$ on it and still tracked them. It’s rare to see builds like this nowadays.

Finds: Korean S2ks!

Another sleepless night… it is currently 4:52am….

I remember when I started this whole S2k ownership thing, Facebook was only for college students and instagram wasn’t invented yet. Now instagram is THE destination for insta automotive e-fame. One night I was digging through all the #s2000 content on Instagram and I came across a super rad S2k from Korea of all places, South Korea, not the North of course. There seems to be a small group of S2k enthusiasts in Korea that utilize real authentic parts and take them to the track, not post pictures of their car on instagram and give bullshit inspirational quotes….

I first found tota1ba1ance who has a pretty clean yellow ap2 with some choice mods, Mugen top, Mugen lip, Mugen Wing, and ZE40s.  From him, I saw his boy manminkim who’s car blew my mind running an Amuse GT1 kit with a legit Dry Carbon Mugen hardtop and tracking the hell out of it.

I sent them a DM and they replied saying they have blogs they update frequently with their pictures… here and here

I can’t read Korean, and my google translate doesn’t seem like it wants to translate their page, but they are some awesome shots of their cars on there.  Definitely recommend browsing their blogs.  I’m going to post more pictures of manminkim since his car is crazy!!!! These are not in any chronological order.

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I’m sure this is Korea International Circuit, I don’t think they are many race tracks in Korea.

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He’s repping Bro’s R&D, a popular tuner shop in South Korea.  Side note, I think the one of the guys that runs Bro’s used to work for the late GTMotoring….

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From their instgram, I believe he’s running a Spoon create engine with Toda itbs!  Of course in the best setup running the dry carbon intake box running into a Mugen intake!

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clean

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interesting cluster

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Running spoon calipers! Dunno if it’s just me, but I think it’s funny how small spoon calipers look with stock sized rotors when you have a massive wheel like this…. I’m sure for the track it’s great since you’re just utilizing stock sized pads and rotors, keeps disposable parts cost down!

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RHD.  I wondered if it was imported from Japan mostly in this state or if this is an ex-tuner demo car?

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Under the skin, interesting not V, V mounted radiator with a custom cooling duct.

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At bros, impressive lineup at their shop.

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this is when he got his Toda ITBS! with Dry Carbon trumpets too, which only come in 88mm…. #ITBnerdFact.

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Looks like a custom tow hook!

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Toda Dry Carbon Surge Tank mounted.

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I love how the Amuse GT1 kit looks with a Mugen hardtop and Mugen hood….. I think I like it more than the Amuse Hardtop.

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ITB install going down.

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Toda ITB drycarbon Surge tank! and someone was brave enough to drill a hole into it to mount the IAT sensor.

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Looks like he is running stock injectors.

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I wonder if spoon ported the head, or if this is before he got his spoon engine…..

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Dry carbon Mugen Hardtop

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Before

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After

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You can see the chassis has been gusseted for rigidity on the shock towers.

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The Amuse GT1 kit goes so hard.

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Interesting bracket to hold the Mugen intake since the stock cross member is gone.  Classic Ichishima-San signature on the valve cover

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I would love to pay a visit to this shop next time I’m in Korea.  Looks so small goodies in this picture, like the Spoon S-Tai front bumper to the right.

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Some shots off of Tota1Ba1ance’s S2k off of his blog.  Great clean build.  The Volk Ze40s look so right wight on Rio Yellow.

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Not many people run Mugen front lips nowadays, probably because they are incredibly easy to get destroyed.

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soo good…..

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Nice off the shelf Ohlins kit!

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Spoon axles! Like what my friend Areen is running.

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Interesting J’s front S2k.

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Hopefully I’ll have some more updates on my own car soon!

 

 

 

Parts Review | S2000 Fujitsubo Legalis R

Hey all,

1 Month in to baby ownership, and it’s been tired with many sleepless nights….. Good news, gives me more time to think about S2ks haha.  I saw a killer deal on a used Fujitsubo Legalis R online for my friend who was looking to move away from his Greddy Spectrum Elite.  My friends must be getting old if the Greddy Spectrum Elite sounds loud to him.  Unfortunately the Fujitsubo Exhaust was located in Japan….

So after a ton of money on shipping, a damn mint Fujitsubo Legalis R showed up at my house. Definitely would of been cheaper to find one used locally. The box it came in was massive, dual exhausts are not cheap to ship from Japan.

The JDM version of the Exhaust has a slightly shorter tip than the USDM version. The USDM version is not made anymore.
Fujitsubo Exhaust-2

Super High Quality, exhaust is actually relatively light.
Fujitsubo Exhaust-3

Love the welded reinforcement at this joint.
Fujitsubo Exhaust-4

The exhaust utilizes hollow exhaust hangers to cut down on weight. The exhaust is two piece, one super long section and a bolt on muffler section.
Fujitsubo Exhaust-5

The Greddy Spectrum Elite ready to come off. Interesting fact about the Greddy Spectrum Elite, it is a 3 piece exhaust.

If you were to ask me a honest opinion about the Spectrum Elite, I would say the quality could be better. I have a friend that bought his BRAND NEW and after a year, the resonator is already falling apart. It DOES NOT use the hollow hangers like in the fujitsubo. The sound of the Greddy Exhaust does sound decent.
Fujitsubo Exhaust

Fujitsubo Legalis R is on!
Fujitsubo Exhaust-6

After a slight polish it is looking better. We did a quick polish because Kevin had somewhere to be.
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Looking better, still needs more polish though.
Fujitsubo Exhaust-8

Exhaust is crazy quiet, still has a small bark to let you know that it is not OEM. In my opinion this exhaust is the epitome of OEM+. If you are an S2k owner not looking for a “tuner” sounding exhaust, this is the one for you.

Check out a quick youtube video I made so you can hear the differences between exhausts.

Finds: 2018 TAS Spoon S2k for Auction!

Hi all,

Long time no post… It is 2018 and I’m still unemployed, so things are a bit slow for the s2k on my end! Don’t worry me and the S2k are in this till the end! I still gotta post up a picture of what I have left of the S2k….. In other news, my daughter was born this year, oh yeah! I don’t like to post too much non-original content, but I gotta archive this for the future. Links to stuff like this tend to die out.  If you like this non-original content, I do love posting S2k news….

This year during Tokyo Auto Salon, TAS for short, in parallel with the normal TAS activities, a car auction was held. Many classic JDM cars were presented and sold, such as a Mint Low mileage R34 GTR Nur, or the Spoon NSX, that Ichishima san famously crashed at the Macau street Circuit! But this is S2kandtheAnt! Even though I seem to feature non-S2k material from time to time, my priority is on this 2 door convertible with a 9k redline (sometimes 8200) that we all know and love!

At this years TAS, the Spoon Sports S2000 Racecar was auctioned off. Spoiler Alert, the car did not sell, it did not met the reserved set….. They did however release some juicy images of the spoon racecar. All these people building spoon tribute cars, nothing beats the real deal, nothing! This is a real treat, because it’s damn rare to see up close and super detailed photos of the car. For some reason most JDM tuners tend not to post pictures of their car like this.

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Vin # of the racecar shell.  Looks like it’s an Ap1, 130 model.  This is the 2003 year of the S2k in Japan, which is pretty much like a USDM AP2 minus the f22c engine.   With that being said, the designation of Ap2 vs Ap1 in Japan is only relevant with the later years that have a f22c and dbw, kind of like our 06+.

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This car was raced in the ST4 class of Super Taikyu (Super Endurance).  The rules for the class is basically showroom stock powered cars with minimal mods.  The engine bay of the car looks relatively stock with a few bit of spoon dress up items, brake sock, valve cover, radiator hose, radiator, snorkel duck thing.  The engine in this car is blue printed and built from spoon.  I believe spoon uses OEM parts when they rebuild their engines, but choose parts that are closer in weight to achieve total balance.  All of this is controlled by a Motec ECU.

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Interior is all racing business, spoon bucket, cool suit, and what’s a JDM car without Takata harnesses.

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Aero is allowed in the ST4 class. Version 2 of the Spoon Sports S2000 Rear bumper with an interesting quad Spoon N1 Exhaust looking muffler tips.

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Spoon Wing, with the famous mooncraft Spoon hardtop.  The rear holes in the trunk are the fuel filler, so racecar!

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Under the trunk action.  Really made use of the area where the emergency tools are located for a fuel tank!

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Side profile showing off the Spoon S2000 widebody kit, but not really wide body kit because it is not running spoon fenders or rear over fenders!

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Dunno if it’s just me, but this version 2 kit only works on full liveried out racecars, when it’s on a car with a single color, it looks a bit odd.

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Peaking under the Advan TCIII? rims you can see the signature Spoon Calipers.  These particular calipers might be a special prototype or the 355 version.  The picture is not clear enough to identify.

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Maybe not now, but in the future this will be worth something to a generation of enthusiasts.

Parts Review: ASM Front Tower Bar

I’ve recently been unloading a bunch of my S2000 parts to clear out some garage space…..
I wanted to show off the ASM front strut bar….. it’s currently on the market to be sold, it’s on facebook and under the SoCal section on S2ki right now if you are interested.

For the non-enthusiast this is just an overpriced piece of metal.  All of the cheaper options such as the NRG, Megan Racing, etc are much much cheaper.  But they are all replications of this bar.  Each ASM front tower bar is made from one guy in Japan at Succeed Sports.  Read more about it here

When I got the bar, I was surprised how light the bar is and how solid it feels, it really feels like one piece of pipe.  Unfortunately I think this will get in the way of my Toda ITBs, oooppss did I say that?  My car is still in pieces so yeah….  hopefully s2k parts will still be affordable when I can put my car back together.

ASM front strut Bar
It’s the same concept as some expensive watches that are all made by one man that took years to learn his craft.  If this was a Porsche part it would be triple the price I bet!

ASM front strut Bar-3The welds are perfect, it’s amazing that this is done all by hand. You don’t get this with your Megan Racing knockoff! Those Chinese kids can’t come close.

ASM front strut Bar-2
As quoted from Gotuning, “They’re not simply color treated for show. The entire manufacturing process of each bar takes 4 hours so only 2 can be produced per day. Many ASM GT series bars hold design patents to protect their innovative designs.”

ASM front strut Bar-4
I’m a proud owner of this part, I hope it will go on to a good home in the near future. I wish I could tell you how this feels on a car….

Support Local Businesses Gotuning, the Only ASM distributor on the USA!

Life: JCCS Neo Classics 2016

Super Picture heavy post! I finally had some time to go through the pictures. I’m a big fan of JCCS Neo Classics, it’s the first real show I went to when after I moved to SoCal. Last year was a treat, this year was just as good.  I missed out on the normal JCCS this year because I was invited by my friend to the filming of The Grand Tour, I was in the crowd in the opening scene in the first episode.


I rolled with my buddy Chris with his Speedhunters famous k20R Swapped Lotus Elise/Exige.  Speedhunters story here.


Japanese cars from the 90s are finally eligible for importation, we can expect to see more and more cool jdm cars stateside.  This yellow car has a liter bike engine…. I can’t remember which one…


Looking good on these TE37


They were a few NSX in attendance, they were all mildly modded.


My friend EJ brought out his Type-R themed Ap1 with a SOS Supercharger


Datsun 240z were properly represented.


Particularly from this group, M’s Factory.


Next to this rad Toyota Crown, they were giving out free PRETZ! I may of took a box…. or two…. or three?


SW20


Edited this in a way that looks like it came out of a Haynes Manual.


Interesting upholstered Dash in this MR2


Most of these old Toyotas were rocking a 1JZ or 2JZ.


Shakotan Style Hakosuka.


Hand Crank?


This dog was sitting in the car all day.


Best kids car ever….. Calsonic R34 GTR.


I was really feeling this Cressida.  It had me checking craigslist for a few days for a cheap example.


I love the Nismo Rims and Nissan calipers on it….


The pink one next to it was equally rad


I love how boxy these cars are…..Work CR Kai are a nice touch.


2JZGTE swapped!


Some clean RA1 Honda Odysseys showed up.


looks like an H23 Vtec Swap


checked out a few Hondas…..


the showing of the Hondas were Okay…. I would come here for the non H badge cars……


The Parking lot was another show.  Like the row of Skylines, including this R33.


R32 GTR on dealer tags, only of the few ways to get them CA legal…..


I’ve seen this R33 GTR at a few meets now.


Row of Skylines GTR, it is missing the Nissan Stagea that I saw roll out…… Is this really the parking lot?


R34 Skyline GTR in Midnight Purple, a damn rare color.


Family shot


Clean NSX with ZE40s up front and TE37 in the rear.


Nice seeing this roundie BMW 2002


I always loved the styling of these cars.


Some guy showing off his bosozoku style bike on the bed of his truck…..


some Rotary machines and S chassis action


I’ve seen this Itasha 240sx around Torrance…..


Soarer with interesting automated folding roof.


Patina


G Nose 240z


Super clean engine bay of this white 240z.


Probably the cleanest  Datsun 240z at the show and on Watanabes!


The interior was redone in blue!


Another 240z with an interesting exhaust.


Lancer Turbo with the Tuned by AMG spark plug cover


Mitsubishi Lancer turbo!


Famous Toyota Supra with ITBs


We decided to check out the Toyota Museum


Factory Fresh Lexus ISF


Is430.  A project between Stillen and Chip Foose made for SEMA,  you can check out the youtube video here


a 3UZ-FE stuffed into an IS300 with Tein Coilovers with EDFC.



Two tone black and red paint job….


They had a few concept cars laying around. I think these are concept cars for the Lexus SC300.


TRD supercharger!


Crazy turbo setup on this Toyota Celica


Factory Fresh Is300


They had a few Toyota 2000gt on display.


This is a super rare LHD model.  Crazy how this is not roped off.


They even had an engine on display


Factory Fresh AE86 Corolla GTS


I’ve never seen one so mint up close


Minty stock Supra


AW11 with plates.  this must be an employee car


The FRS prototype from a few years back.