Archive for ‘Exclusive Content’

A Modern Day Look At The Legendary Top Fuel Japan…

A Modern Day Look At The Legendary Top Fuel Japan…

I should preface this story with a warning that whatever you’re reading is based on my own memories and my own research. They say that “everything on the internet stays forever” but that is certainly not the case for so much of the early 2000s car content. A lot of it is missing now, websites have disappeared, assets from servers are gone, and we are left with whatever we can find, which is scarce. Especially when you consider how much Japanese car content wasn’t on the internet back then so it’s even harder to dig-up information now…

As the title states, this is a look at Top Fuel in Matsuzaka, Mie, Japan in 2022. If anyone has visited them recently and done a story about them, I don’t know about it. It’s actually quite hard to find information on Top Fuel because the term “Top Fuel” is terrible for SEO. Like, you search it and all kinds of shit comes up, just nothing about Top Fuel, the tuning shop in Japan. For the younger viewers, this shop is iconic. Top Fuel shaped so many of my generation’s ideas on what a Honda should look like and how it should be built. It defined an ideal for us. I don’t think anyone has gone there lately to do much of a deep dive on their shop, considering the pandemic and all, but had they, it wouldn’t matter to me. This is my story on Top Fuel, what it looks like now, and how its history was the foundation for my love of Hondas. I don’t think I would be a Honda enthusiast today had it not been for Top Fuel. And had I not been a Honda guy, there would definitely not be “The Chronicles”…

You Won’t Believe What We Found At Top Fuel Japan…

You Won’t Believe What We Found At Top Fuel Japan…

This one might be one of my favorite episodes yet! Just based purely on all the stuff I unexpectedly found while in the Mie prefecture. First we visit one of my all-time favorite shops for the first time ever, Top Fuel in Matsuzaka. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we arrived, thinking that Top Fuel had shifted their focus to other cars and hadn’t placed much focus on Hondas anymore. I thought it would just be a empty shop with a bunch of Suzuki Swifts being worked on but boy was I wrong!! After that we stopped by Voltex in Suzuka for a visit which was also very cool because neither Yasu nor I had ever been. This area is so rich in tuning history that there was so many surprises. Wait until the very end, it’s a wild one! You’re gonna love it!

A New Year Means New Goals & NEW PROJECTS!!…

A New Year Means New Goals & NEW PROJECTS!!…

If the title and the click-baity cover photo didn’t give it away, we’re unveiling a new build! I’ve been hinting at a new project car since the year started and I guess I must have spoken it into existence because here we are! We introduce you to our new Exceed-supported Battlecraft demo car and give you some updates on what Ryan Der has been up to with his Civic. A guest with a pretty unique build passes by the shop and more!…

Spoon Sports and The 25 Hours of Thunderhill… Part 2…

Spoon Sports and The 25 Hours of Thunderhill… Part 2…

Most of the photos that I captured at The 25 Hours of Thunderhill were done before the event even happened. It was important to document everything that led up to the race itself. The actual ’25 hours’ would be spent just watching the car go around and around, and around, the track. There wasn’t much I could capture. Of course there would be the occasional pit-in but those shots are going to look the same after the first few. We weren’t allowed to go into the pit lane area either since the rules of engagement were pretty strict, so I spent most of my time just filming when I couldn’t get photos. I actually loved the way the Vlog episodes came out, though the view counts are down because it isn’t something my audience typically gravitates towards, but it was expected. I have more fun putting the videos together than I do uploading them. It’s always been that way, lol. I could really care less about views or the monetary compensation that comes from an extra revenue stream like YouTube. It’s all about the content creation for me and an event as unique as this is one that I made sure to give 1000% to. The return on investment is the experience itself. I had an amazing time…

Spoon Sports and The 25 Hours of Thunderhill… Part 1…

Spoon Sports and The 25 Hours of Thunderhill… Part 1…

These photos have actually been sitting on my PC desktop for some time now because I’ve been trying to decide on whether or not I should post them up or not. I had this idea that it would be cool to compile some of the best shots and put them into a hard cover book but I’ve been so busy trying to finish Volume 3 that I just haven’t had time. This one wouldn’t be anything intricate, it would just be a small collector’s item type of print and even Aaron from Spoon Sports USA liked the idea. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and don’t want these photos to go unseen so I figured I’d start putting them up here on the site now. Aaron invited me to come out to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill a few months ago when he started building an FK8 Civic Type R for the endurance competition. I’ve never been to an endurance race before and being a part of anything Spoon Sports-related is usually pretty fun so I agreed to go. I think Aaron has always been appreciative of my work and wanted me out there to capture the behind-the-scenes feel of the event. He told me that it was going to be pretty tiring and most of the time we wouldn’t have much time to sleep at all and it was going to be incredibly cold. All those things occur regularly in my normal life anyway so nothing he told me sounded too daunting, lol. My only condition was that I wanted to bring Der along with me so he could experience the event as well. Aaron had no problem with that and  mentioned that we’d be very well taken care of all weekend. There would be a hotel, multiple RVs for us to chill inside of, and a dedicated staff to make sure everyone was fed. There was even a menu all planned-out and all. It didn’t sound like anything I’d really have to ‘endure’ and I already agreed to go long before any of the good stuff was mentioned, but I liked the fact that he was so thoughtful…

Rywire House and CR-X Reveal…

Rywire House and CR-X Reveal…

The video was posted last week but I thought now would be a good time to actually get the photos up of the recent private event I was invited to where we got to see Aaron Espino’s CR-X unveiled. Unlike most build debuts, this was actually planned to coincide with somewhat of a housewarming party at Ryan from Rywire’s freshly remodeled home in Huntington Beach, California. I remember once upon a time Ryan had these grand plans for this house. It sounded crazy at the time to build a partition inside his home where he would be able to display a car but Ryan is an unconventional type of dude so we all had faith he’d pull it off. And of course, he did. I don’t have all the details on what was all involved with the overhaul of his house but I know it wasn’t particularly easy—and definitely NOT cheap. There was a point when he wasn’t even able to live in the house because everything was torn down and being built from the ground-up. When he told me he was doing this event with Espino’s CR-X parked inside his house, I just had to see it for myself…

Ichi’s Farewell At The 25 Hours Of Thunderhill…(Part 2/2) CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #28

Ichi’s Farewell At The 25 Hours Of Thunderhill…(Part 2/2) CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #28

With a majority of the testing taken care of, the team from Spoon Sports makes final preparations for the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race. Ultimate Spoon-fan Dan finally gets his opportunity to not only get his dashboard signed by Ichishima from Spoon, he also ends up being a part of the pit crew! Watch as we take you on a journey from pre-grid, to the race itself, all the drama in-between, and the final lap with Tatsuru Ichishima as he bids farewell as the president of Spoon Sports. Also, if you’ve never seen this event before, you must check-out the aggressive driving style of Tarzan Yamada in the dark, foggy night at Thunderhill, it’s incredible!ddd

Ichi’s Farewell At The 25 Hours Of Thunderhill…(Part 1/2) CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #27

Ichi’s Farewell At The 25 Hours Of Thunderhill…(Part 1/2) CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #27

This was a special one. Normally I wouldn’t even attempt to cover a grueling event like The 25 Hours of Thunderhill but I made an exception when Spoon Sports extended the invitation. Not only was their FK8 Civic Type R competing in this series for the first time, it became a monumental event because Tatsuru Ichishima, founder of Spoon Sports, was retiring. To give him a proper send-off, the entire team decided to compete and hopefully bring home a victory at one of his favorite events! Spoon Sports went all out for this one, bringing over their entire staff from Type ONE to be the pit crew for the race as well as having a full staff on-hand to make sure we had three meals per day! I’ve never experienced anything like it. We were so taken care of that I think this will forever ruin other race events for me, haha. Watch as I document the journey from start to finish before Ichishima says goodbye!

FEEL’S Civic And The Return Of Wekfest Los Angeles… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #22

FEEL’S Civic And The Return Of Wekfest Los Angeles… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #22

Well, this is it!! All the build-up and all the time invested into getting LJ Garcia’s old FEEL’S widebody Civic ‘more together’ for the Wekfest Los Angeles event is here! I couldn’t have picked a better time to do this because this particular Wekfest event is a special one. Not only is it the first big indoor car show to happen in the last year, it also lands on the anniversary date of The Chronicles. I started this journey 13 years ago and what better way to celebrate that special day than by presenting the world with an icon.

Bringing Back The FEEL’S Widebody Civic For One-Time Only… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #21

Bringing Back The FEEL’S Widebody Civic For One-Time Only… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #21

After the great response I got from shooting LJ Garcia’s old FEEL’S Widebody Civic for Meguiar’s, I decided that it would be a really cool idea to try to bring it out for an appearance at Wekfest Los Angeles. I had no idea it would garner such a huge public response from the automotive community so what better way to celebrate that than by giving everyone the opportunity to see the Civic themselves? It’s so crazy that this Civic is still mostly complete on the outside and I was even able to source some more of the original pieces for it. Follow along as I prep the car for it’s one -time only, first-ever appearance in the 2020s. I don’t know what will happen to the car after, but I feel great knowing I contributed to helping it come back together, even for a little bit.