USDM Jam Ver. 10 Coverage…Part 1…

Photos by Shota Mori and processed by StickyDilJoe

It would have been pretty awesome to have been able to go to this event. Originally, I was supposed to go because the USDM Jam series has always been one of those events that I’ve always wanted to attend. After my trip to Japan for Tokyo Auto Salon in January, I told myself that I would try my best to make it back to Japan in time to be at USDM Jam and Ryan and a few others had planned on it as well. Inevitably, things got busy, we all got tied up with certain things and the plans just fell threw. Ryan from Rywire and I had agreed to even have a booth at the event to sell our merchandise and to make some money back from what we spent on rooming and airfare to Japan. It was a good plan. Our friend Takeshi told us that it would totally be worth our while to have a booth there and I’ve seen the guys from Wek’Sos do the same and have a ton of success. That and being able to see some of these cars in person finally was what really sold me on going. I like that the Honda community has seemingly been rejuvenated with the growth of the USDM culture in Japan and it’s been very exciting to see what new builds they come out with every year. The Japanese are pretty reserved people (most of the time) and because of the language barrier, you don’t seem them post up a whole lot of photos online or create build threads on forums. Because of this, it helps to add to the suspense and excitement whenever events like this happen in Japan because you finally get to see what these Japanese enthusiasts have been working on. In a sense, it is almost better that way. I love the idea of having build threads and to be connected to others while you’re building your car but it almost kills that suspense factor that comes with debuting a car at an event. A lot of the times, the final product never lives up to the hype from the build threads themselves and you are left to be disappointed. The culture is still a little different overseas so it always great to catch up with our fellow brethren from Japan and to see their cars at their best…

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Since I didn’t get a chance to get out there for the event, Shota Mori has once again stepped-up to the plate to help provide coverage for me. Judging by the photos that he has sent me, I think that I would still be using his photos even if I had gone to do my own coverage. I would have used mine too but it would be great to also have another eye over there to provide a different perspective. Mori-san is always great about doing coverage for me and is always very timely when it comes to getting me the photos. I never have to wait and he gives me the freedom to do whatever I please to his photos. His work, as I’ve said numerous times, is one of, if not my favorite from Japan. He’s always done an amazing job of getting the cars that I want to see and capturing other cool stuff that I would have captured myself had I been there. He is also one of the more recognized photographers over there and is very well-known throughout Japan. He’s been around for years now and has been to every major automotive event. Sometimes it even surprises me the lengths he will go to attend an event because some of these places are really far. Japan may be an island but it’s actually very vast and it takes a ton of driving to get to all these different events over there. I deeply appreciate what he does and how he has been loyal to The Chronicles. Without him, I don’t think the global perspective would be as good as it is here on the site because he takes care of a bulk of my Japan coverage…

I also have another set of photos from another enthusiast who you should be familiar with. Koji Karimata aka Ka Ry, is also a regular here and he happens to hang out with a particular group of guys who have cars that I always love seeing. He has good company and he too attends a lot of the big events in Japan. I love his work and I will be bringing you his photos once we get through Mori’s set. What’s great about Mori’s trip is that it is not like any other coverage you have see so far from USDM Jam Ver. 10. That is, if you have seen any coverage at all. Like me, he covers his trip from the very start to the very end. Not only does he do coverage of the show itself, but he also documents everything in between. This is possibly one of my favorite photo sets from him ever because he caught a lot of great stuff before and after USDM Jam Ver. 10. You’ll see how it all unfolds as the coverage gets posted but I got a great feel for how his trip went because he was very detailed in covering what he did….

Today we are going to be looking at the start of his trip where he travels from Gunma prefecture to the historical city of Nara with his friend Chujo, which is about a 600km (372 miles or so) drive. While in Nara prefecture, they stop to do a little photoshoot with Chujo’s FD2 Civic Type R. After that they make the drive over to Wakayama prefecture where they meet up with another one of Mori’s friends, Tamiya, who was working on his truck at Kiyo’s Garage, a shop specializing in custom pick-up trucks. Tamiya is also the previous owner of Mori’s 3rd gen. Accord sedan. It all sounds a little confusing since you aren’t familiar with the individuals involved but let’s just sit back and watch it all play out before your eyes. With that said, let’s begin…

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Mori’s journey begins in the historical city of Nara where he meets up with his friend Tomohiro Chujo at a local gas station…

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Chujo drives this FD2 Honda Civic Type R on red Advan RGII wheels…

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While he has retained the stock FD2R front, his rear trunk has been converted to U.S. spec deck lid and taillights. The car still has the FD2R rear bumper though. Also notice the R35 GTR lurking in the background inside the car wash…

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Since Nara City is such a scenic place, Mori decided to stop by to take some photos with Chujo’s R…

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A shot of Chujo’s Civic in front of the Hokiji Temple in Nara…

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I never noticed this myself until Rodrez pointed it out, but when a U.S. trunk is mated to a JDM rear bumper, the rear bumper actually sticks out a couple of millimeters. On U.S. rear ends that have the JDM trunk and taillights, the taillights actually extends past the rear bumper a few millimeters. You can kind of tell in the photo here but most of the time, you’d have to see it in person to really notice…

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Chujo getting a shot of his own car…

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Love how the countryside always provides a great backdrop for photos in Japan…

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One of the more remarkable things I noticed about Shota Mori is that he literally drives his slammed CA Accord all over Japan to attend events. If he goes to a show or meet, he brings his car with him, which means that his Accord has probably logged quite a bit of miles over the years. It really speaks of the quality of older Hondas from the late 80s and 90s. You can drive these things to the ground and bring them everywhere….

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Chujo’s SCUDERIA SFIDA windshield banner…

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Bride Low Max driver’s seat and OEM CTR passenger seat…

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Red Advan Racing RGII and Brembo brakes…

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As much as I like the growth of the USDM scene in Japan, I’m overjoyed that Chujo retained the Japanese CTR front end. It’s just a much better looking front end compared to the U.S. variation…

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Shota also got a photo of his own car in front of the Hokiji Temple…

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More of the FD2, this one in front of the historic Horyuji Temple in Nara…

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Two very different generations of Hondas represented in this shot. Oh how things have changed over the years…

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After spending some time with Tomohiro Chujo, it was time to depart and head to Wakayama prefecture. Here is a parting shot of Chujo next to a Civic Euro-R…

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It took Mori about an hour and a half before he arrived at his friend Kiyo’s shop in Wakayama…

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This is Kiyo’s bagged Toyota Hilux pick-up, which used to be owned by Daiki Tamiya. Tamiya is also the previous owner of Mori’s Accord…

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Inside Kiyo’s garage, Tamiya was working on finishing his Hilux truck in time for USDM Jam Ver. 10…

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Kiyo’s Hilux has all turn signal and corner lights deleted with only the headlights and chrome grill/bumper remaining…

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It’s still a work in progress but it is also really cool to see how raw these trucks are when they are built in this style…

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Also interesting is how Kiyo’s truck is laid-out on Work Schwert wheels…

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The truck bed has been cut-out to make room for the custom rear bed frame which allows for the truck to lay on its frame…

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At this angle, you can also get a better look at his custom air suspension set-up, featuring dual air compressors, large air tank, and bags on each end. The fuel tank door on the bed has also been shaved and the fuel filler neck can be seen by the left rear wheel pictured…

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Inside, Tamiya continued to put his Hilux back together…

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The bed of his truck has also been cut-out, but much more extensively. There is no more bed flooring at all and what remains is the custom frame itself. Even the stock gas tank has been replaced by a custom aluminum fuel cell…

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Tamiya doing routine maintenance to the motor to make sure the drive to USDM Jam Ver. 10 presents no problems…

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Kiyo and Tamiya getting his Hilux back on the ground. You can see that Kiyo’s shop space is not that big. Still , he manages to fit a lift and multiple cars within…

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Kiyo’s office is much like his garage and presents an almost controlled state of chaos. Stuff just kind of floats around everywhere but often the most talented are the ones that are left with little time to deal with menial tasks like organization…

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His glass-top table which features a SSR Type-C base…

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Kiyo’s family hanging out outside and enjoying the sunset…

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Car life, no matter what style of execution, is to be enjoyed. Though many of us may not understand the mini-truck scene, we can appreciate the time it takes in putting a car together in the late hours in preparation for an big event…

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A candid reaction from Kiyo captured by Shota Mori…

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Tamiya working into the early hours of the morning before USDM Jam Ver. 10…

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As the morning came, it was time to start the drive over to Mie prefecture where USDM Jam 10 was set to take place. Wakayama to Mie is about two and a half hours away so hopefully Tamiya had enough time to get all the loose ends tightened-up on his bagged Hilux…

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And off to USDM Jam they go…what I’m wondering here is who took this photo because Mori’s car is in the shot and they are at a stop light. Did he just get out of the car to get this photo with traffic behind him? Haha…

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I liked this shot of Tamiya through the driver’s side mirror… One of the reasons why I enjoy Shota Mori’s stuff so much is the random moments he is able to capture…

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Hilux in motion. Random but for those who don’t know, the Japanese license plate frames with the red slash across it is actually a temporary registration plate…

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Mori’s Accord at a convenience store on one of their rest stops on the way to Mie. Love how it looks on classic SSR MKII wheels..

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Shota had some time to shoot while at the stop because Tamiya actually ran into some problems with his Hilux along the way…

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The alternator on his truck died, preventing the battery from charging properly and presenting a big electrical issue for Tamiya. The next step was to push-start the car and get to a place where they can further assess the problem. Maybe it was just a simple wiring or connection problem, or maybe the alternator is just no good. Either way, we are gonna stop here for today and resume the coverage tomorrow. Thanks for looking and stay tuned for a ton more photos to come throughout this week…

9 thoughts

  1. Thanks for such awesome coverage of events that most of us will never attend in person. The pictures and words make us feel like we are there with them. Keep up the good work. #supportprint. Aloha.

  2. Pingback: USDM Jam Ver. 10 Coverage…Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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  6. I live just on the outskirts of Nara City. And that temple is about another 10km south of town in a different city. If I’d known Shota was coming out I’d have ridden my bike down there to say hello. Damn.

    Nice article and photos as always.

  7. Pingback: USDM Jam Ver. 10 Coverage…Part 5… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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