Tag Archive for ‘Honda’

Car Make Across & JJ Cup Rd. 5 At Central Circuit Japan 2022…

Car Make Across & JJ Cup Rd. 5 At Central Circuit Japan 2022…

I typically go into most of my Japan trips without a schedule. It just works out easier that way. Things never go as planned so I’d rather just wing it most of the time and see what happens. Of course, there are specific things that I do want to do and see so I will make time for them. But, I was going to be there for an entire month and there was really no point in planning every single day out. The way Yasu works, my schedule was gonna get screwed-up anyway because he operates a lot like me. We would wake-up, get coffee and then decide what to do. These photos from the JJ Cup circuit event came to fruition randomly out of the blue. Neither I or Yasu knew that there was a track event that week. We were visiting a shop nearby and had some extra time to kill after, so Yasu asked if I wanted to make a stop at ACROSS to say hi to Joe. Typically I don’t think he is there during the day time but Yasu called and he just so happened to be there…

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”…

Wekfest Japan 2022 Coverage… Part 3…

Wekfest Japan 2022 Coverage… Part 3…

As I found myself going over the photos I shot from my visit to Top Fuel late last night, I decided that I would wake-up, eat lunch, and head to the office to get the final portion of this Wekfest Japan coverage up. I know for many of the Japanese, this coverage comes a little later than expected but hey, let’s just say we are saving the best for last, okay? Lol. As if these photos would be the finishing touches on yet another great year of this event. It’s a shame that I missed last year’s show, since it was the only one that I’ve missed since we started doing this back in 2014, but I’m glad a lot of the spectacular car builds returned from the 2021 event so I could see them…

Abandoned Hondas At Real Company And Collecting Rare Parts In Japan…

Abandoned Hondas At Real Company And Collecting Rare Parts In Japan…

As my adventures in the Kansai region of Japan near an end, I find myself in the countryside of the Nara prefecture where I visit Real Company. This Honda modification shop is about as traditional as it gets, playing host to both Civic race cars as well as many more that have been left behind to be reclaimed by nature. It’s always interesting to see what types of gems Yasu and I stumble upon. There are a surprising amount of cars that have been out of service for years, slowly being overtaken by the elements. After that, I take you back to Exceed where I show you some pretty rare parts that both Yasu, myself, and my good friend Cody have been collecting to send back to the good ol’ USA. I came to Japan for many reasons and one of them was to secure products to send home for business as well as personal use.

VTEC Club USA 2022 Round 2 at Buttonwillow Coverage…

VTEC Club USA 2022 Round 2 at Buttonwillow Coverage…

It’s been a while since I’ve been out and about at a car event. Don’t get me wrong, there are no shortage of events here in Southern California. You can literally drive anywhere in the city on a weekend and come across something car-related. I just haven’t been out because I’ve been busy. If you strictly follow my social accounts you’ll notice the lack of activity, but my days are pretty full of tasks. Since I haven’t been able to go back to Japan, I’ve decided to take the time now to start planning for the rest of the year while also completing my third book. The book took me over a year to finally finish but I’m proud to say that it is some of my best work yet—and also currently available for pre-order. Let’s just say that there are a lot of things going on behind-the-scenes and you’ll realize why I haven’t been as active online when the time comes. I’m planning big things. And I’ll leave it at that. A big part of me has been itching to get out and start doing car things again though. Especially now that the grunt work for the book is done. I feel like I can dedicate more of my time now to covering automotive events and shooting cars for fun. I also want to be a supportive friend so when I found out that Round 2 of VTEC Club was happening, I thought I’d make the trek out to Buttonwillow…

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…

Phantom Day 2022 Coverage… Part 2…

Phantom Day 2022 Coverage… Part 2…

Back with the rest of the photos from the recent “Phantom Day” event held in Chiba, Tokyo, Japan. Though this was a smaller event, I can imagine how much fun it would have been to just walk around all day and shoot some of these builds while shooting the shit with my friends over there. Hopefully sooner than later, I’ll be able to do just that when I can head back to Japan. For now, we’ll just have to look at these great photos captured by Yasutaka Shimomukai from Exceed Japan. I’m glad he’s been around me long enough to understand what cars I’d capture and what angles I like to shoot them at. He sends them over to me and I process them the same way I process my own photos. The end result are photos that look just like mine, honestly. Only people that are incredibly familiar with my photography and level of detail will notice the differences.

Phantom Day 2022 Coverage… Part 1…

Phantom Day 2022 Coverage… Part 1…

Admittedly, I’m a bit bummed because I wasn’t able to attend Tokyo Auto Salon this year due to the ongoing global shitstorm. I thought Yasu was going to go, at least, but I couldn’t even convince him to be inside the Makuhari Messe venue and be exposed to the plethora of possibly infected humans. I knew I was going to miss 2021 because they cancelled the event outright but was looking forward to going back in 2022. This actually marks the first time I’ve ever missed a TAS event since I first started attending back in 2013. From what I heard from friends in Japan, the event was much smaller and the crowd was definitely smaller, which was expected. I think my friends were trying to make me feel better because the show wasn’t nearly as big as it has been in the past but the thought of just being able to shoot the cars there with a smaller crowd sounded amazing. It’s usually pretty impossible to get a clean shot while the show is going on but from what I’ve seen of the photos posted online, you could definitely tell that the show was smaller. I’m hoping Japan re-opens by spring time so I can finally return and visit friends there but at this rate, who really knows?…

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…