Entries Tagged as 'Asian Cars'

Japanese Classic Car Show 2014 Was Vintage Fun Minus The Annoying Hipsters (Gallery)

Posted on 09.29.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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There are car shows and then there are events.  The Japanese Classic Car Show (despite its name) is a major event.  So much so that by the time I got there the parking lot was completely full so I had to park down town and take a bus back to the location, along with several hundred others.  Of all the car shows which occur at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach this is the only event in which I’ve seen the lot completely full.  That is how much the vintage Japanese car scene is expanding right now.  The park was jam packed with cars and significant OEM involvement from the likes of Toyota and Mazda.  In fact, Mazda even brought out the new 2016 Mazda MX-5!  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t see that car until the LA Auto Show, but there it was in all its glory!

Anyone who is a vintage wheel freak found themselves in hog heaven as super rare and mint condition vintage wheels were all over the place.  Like fender flares?  They were everywhere!  Resto-mod?  Sure, lets throw a RB26DETT into a 240Z! What about a Honda F20 (S2000 engine) into a classic Toyota Celica complete with digital dash?  Seriously it was all there.  The bad news is there was so much there and it was so crowded that I personally couldn’t shoot everything.  However, I did shoot some of the best stuff there including some incredibly rare cars.  Check it out in the gallery below.  Oh, and if you have never been to the Japanese Classic Car Show before I highly recommend going next year.  I also highly recommend showing up early!

For now, check out our Facebook gallery below.

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Event Hype: This Are Our Favorite Cars From 86 Fest (Gallery)

Posted on 09.22.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Over the weekend I took a short drive from Long Beach up to Irwindale Speedway (AKA “The House of Drift”) to visit the third annual 86Fest.  To be honest, despite it being the third annual event this was my first time attending 86 Fest.  I have to say I was very impressed!  The 86 community is definitely rolling deep!  The line for official 86 Fest gear was long all day and everyone was repping with shirts, decals, whatever to show their love for Toyota’s iconic FR coupe.  There was also enough vendors and partner booths to rival any other major car show.  Granted the weather was pretty “warm” to say the least, it was definitely worth it.  If you haven’t been to 86 Fest yet I would highly recommend coming out next year.  You won’t be disappointed!  For now check out my short gallery below of my favorite cars of 86 Fest!  Thanks to Antonio and the guys at MotorMavens.com for the invite!

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Hype Video: HKS Chronicles Their Quest For World Time Attack Domination With 1300HP Nissan GT-R

Posted on 09.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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If there is one thing that HKS loves to do is set lap times.  For more than a decade HKS has been chasing lap records all over the world and the only thing that has changed from then until now is their chosen weapon.  This year HKS is aiming to take top honors at the WTAC (World Time Attack Challenge) in Sydney, Australia next month in their new 1300HP Nissan GT-R.  HKS’ current GT-R is not only up 100HP over last year’s car but it also features a few trick one-off parts in the engine to help them efficiently use all of those extra horses.

HKS decided to document their journey in developing this car all the way up until its final battle at WATC Australia via video chapters.  Check out chapter one below and keep an eye out for a very familiar face!

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Hype News: Mazda Debuts Re-Designed 2016 MX-5 Roadster….And Duran Duran Was There! (Gallery)

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Just moments ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca the proverbial sheet was pulled off the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Roadster.  Actually, it suddenly accelerated out of the darkness towards a group of people but it stopped just in time!  As you can see from the title picture, the new MX-5 has been completely re-designed and it looks…  Well, I’m not sure how it looks but I know I like it!  Sure, its not perfect (the headlights are a bit…yeah..) but I love the dimensions, the curves, the hip line, it all looks much better than previous iterations.  And let me be the first to say that FINALLY THE MX-5 ISN’T “CUTE” ANYMORE!  Thank the car gods!

We still do not have any hard performance numbers on the new MX-5 yet, but we do know that thanks to its new chassis its 200lbs lighter than the outgoing MX-5.  I am holding out hope that Mazda will bring the 2016 MX-5 to the LA Auto Show later this year and with it, much more info!

For now check out the gallery of official pictures below as well as the press release.

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Press Release:

Mazda Motor Corporation today celebrated the unveiling of the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 (known as Roadster in Japan) together with fans at events held simultaneously in Japan, USA and Spain. The all-new MX-5, which adopts both SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and Mazda’s KODO—Soul of Motion design language, will be rolled out to global markets starting in 2015.

The MX-5 is an iconic model representing Mazda’s vehicle-engineering philosophy—the pursuit of driving pleasure. “Innovate in order to preserve” was the motto for the fourth generation, as the development team searched for innovations that go beyond simple evolution. Environmental and safety demands are much more stringent than they were when the first generation MX-5 was introduced 25 years ago, but the fourth generation stays true to the model’s original aim of offering the pure driving fun that only a lightweight sports car can. It achieves this through the adoption of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and refinement of its appeal to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars.

The design of the all-new MX-5 reveals another layer to Mazda’s KODO design language. The exquisite proportions make the driver and passenger stand out, and both the interior and exterior evoke the exhilaration of open-top driving. It is the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far and is more than 100 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces, promising a dramatic leap in Jinba-ittai driving fun.

As of July 2014, total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 940,000 units and it continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car. This highly-celebrated model has received over 200 awards from around the globe including Japan Car of the Year 2005-2006.

Moving forward, Mazda will continue to develop products which offer all customers driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.

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Hype News: Nissan Presents Deadmau5 With Nyan Cat Edition GT-R To Make Up For Ferrari Kerfuffle (UPDATED)

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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For those who follow world famous musician “Deadmau5″ on twitter you’d know that enjoys things with a bit of flair.  This is probably why he wrapped a brand new Ferrari 458 with a full Nyan Cat livery and custom “Purrari” badges for the 2014 Gumball 3000 rally.  He originally did it just for the rally but the “Purrari” got such a positive response from his fans and followers that he kept the wrap on for a while.  However, Ferrari was none-to-pleased with the DJ’s take on their newest sports car and actually sent him a cease and desist letter to return the Ferrari back to stock.  Don’t believe us?  Here is the tweet from the man himself:

The Purrari is officially no more and is back to a regular ol’ boring six figure Italian sports car.  It sucked for Mr. Mau5 and definitely put him in a bad mood.  Today Nissan decided to cheer him up by “presenting” him with an Nyan Cat liveried GT-R complete with a “Deadmau5 edition” badge!  See Nissan’s tweet below:

Score one for Nissan!  Maybe this will teach Ferrari’s legal department to lighten up a bit? …Nahhh.  UPDATE: It looks like this is actually just a playful photoshop done by Nissan which is kind of a bummer.  I think they should totally print up a wrap and make it official!

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Hype Event: Mainstream Productions x Stance Nation Nisei Showoff 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I have been personally attending “import” AKA “tuner” car shows ever since the very first Hot Import Nights that was held right in my hometown of Long Beach.  A lot of things have changed since then.  Car shows got bigger, more publicized, and well far away from their humble beginnings.  Car shows started to become less “a show of cars” and more of an all out “entertainment event” with concerts, video game tournaments, dance crew battles, DJ battles, bikini contests, “fashion” shows, pretty much anything that was eye and ear candy was thrown into the mix to try and add value to the growing prices of admission to offset the growing venues.

At first it was cool.  Each car show was like going to a rave.  There were thumping beats, crazy lights, and increasingly elaborate displays for cars and vendor booths.  Things just got bigger, brighter, and louder.  However, like most bubbles the scene eventually popped.  Blame the economy, the over commercialization, judging controversies, or maybe a combination of several things but at some point the car show scene fell off dramatically, mostly.

Now “mostly” is an important word because despite what was happening with all other car show series, there was one that stayed consistent through the ups and downs and never really lost the respect of enthusiasts.  I am referring to Import Showoff by Mainstream Productions helmed by Ken Miyoshi.  You may not know his name if you are younger than 25 but he has been an important figure in our culture for the last 20 years.  He pretty much created the concept of the “import car show” as we know it and exposed America to drifting far before D1 came to Irwindale so many years ago.  He is a humble guy but incredibly driven and cares deeply for the car culture and putting together a quality show.  When things got big bright and loud he didn’t really buy into it even though those big shows started to take away from Import Showoff’s attendance.

He stuck to his roots and kept things all about the cars and the culture and never strayed too far beyond that.  It may have hurt his series for a while but eventually things changed.  One day we all kind of figured out that we wanted more substance than flash, more culture than commercial, more sunny days hanging out with our friends than flashing neon lights in a dark convention hall.  Then we remembered that there was a show that had been providing those things all along: Import Showoff.

These days Showoff is mostly condensed to a few shows a year: Chinatown Showoff and Nisei Week showoff and to this day many veterans of the scene will tell you that Nisei Week Showoff is the best show of the year.  Its small, and typically held during one of the hottest times of the year but the quality of cars on deck makes it all worth it.  Also with the recent team up of Mainstream Productions and StanceNation, the quality of cars has only grown exponentially.  That is why I urge you, if you have the chance to come out to the Nisei Week Showoff next year.  Make a trip out of it, trust me when I tell you that if you love import cars it will be worth it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my lecturing about how awesome things used to be.  I went to the Nisei Showoff over the weekend and put together a pretty killer gallery of over 300 pictures!  Check out our Facebook gallery below!  Thanks again to Ken Miyoshi for inviting us to the show and for keeping it real all these years!

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Hype App: Subaru Motorsports Releases App That Allows 360 Degree HD Video Playback

Posted on 07.01.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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With hyper intelligence of smartphones, the endless integration of social media, and innovative devices like GoPro cameras, media is in a whole new era than where it used to be.  Those who stay on the bleeding edge usually reap the rewards and Subaru seems to be among those trying to stay ahead of the curve.  Today they released a new app for their Motorsports division that allows for its users to not only keep up with the Subaru Motorsports team through out all their events but it allows for 360 degree HD video playback so that fans can watch Travis Pastrana tackle a hairpin corner from literally all angles!  Its definitely a cool way to consume motorsport media but time will tell if it will catch on.  The awesome news is that the app is free and is available for both Android and iOS!  So download it now and let us know how you like it.

[Source: Subaru]

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Hype: Honda Releases Incredibly Weird 1 Minute Civic Type R Trailer With Only 3 Seconds Of Actual Civic In It (Video)

Posted on 06.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Remember back in the 80s and 90s when those incredibly weird and abstract perfume commercials would come on and anyone watching would have no idea what the commercial was for until the last few seconds?  Well it looks like the people behind those spots had kids and now those kids are the ad agency of record for Honda…  There are creepy mannequin ladies, evil wolves, cyborg people, an apocalyptic city and all manner of weird crap going on for almost the entire 60 second run time then right near the end we get a whole three seconds…count ‘em, THREE SECONDS of the Civic Type R concept!  What in the name of Zeus’ butthole were they (Honda’s ad agency) trying to accomplish with this spot besides freaking us all out?

Seriously watch this “R Rated” (not really) video below, then show it to people you know and then time how long it will be before they furl their eyebrows in a classic “WTF” facial expression!

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Random Hype: The 350Z May Be The Marvel Superhero You Didn’t Know About

Posted on 05.28.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Anyone close to me knows I have been a Marvel nerd ever since I saw the first Iron Man movie.  I have seen every Marvel Studios movie since then (most of them several times in the theater before buying the blu rays…yeah..I’m legit) and one of my favorite things about Marvel movies is their intro with the Marvel logo.  Its a short animation of comic pages moving flip book style and then slowly the Marvel logo fades into view.  However, despite the amount of times I have watched this intro, apparently there was something I have missed all this time.  If you look closely (and I mean VERY closely) as the pages flip you will see a very prominent image of what appears to be a Nissan 350Z.  The Z also appears to be saving a guy from what is probably a pretty hairy situation!

So, what does it all mean?  Nothing really, I just thought it was cool that despite my dive into fanboy-dom I was still able to find another connection between my passion for cars and my growing fondness for comic book heros!  Although if there is any meaning here it would probably be in the mysterious nature of this particular comic panel and its placement.  What specific comic is this from? Who is driving the car in the panel?  Was this panel purposely placed into the Marvel Studios intro secretly by some Marvel employee who happens to be a gear head or is it really all just a random coincidence?  It might also be of note that the Marvel Studios logo animation was changed to show a 3D logo rather than a 2D logo and this image can only be seen in the newer intro which I believe they began using when “Thor: The Dark World” was released.

If anyone out there in the interwebs can shed some light on this and trace the origin of this comic panel, we may just have a little reward for you!  Let us know in the comments if you have answers! You can see a larger version of the image by clicking the thumbnail below as well as a video of the Marvel Studios intro.  If you pause the video at exactly 2 seconds in, you’ll see the image in question.

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“New” Marvel Studios Intro:

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Hype: Cosworth To Start Creating “Power Packages” With FA-20 AKA GT86/BRZ/FR-S Platform Coming First

Posted on 05.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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When modding a car for performance careful consideration has to be paid to the type of parts used and how well they will work together on a particular platform.  Depending on the kind of person you are this process can be part of the fun or it can be incredibly stressful.  One way that makes things a bit easier is when tuning shops/outlets offer “packages” that combine a group of commonly related parts together.  However, sometimes these packages are designed more with a “lets get rid of old stock” mindset rather than putting something together that is best for your car.  That’s why when checking out packages its a good idea to check out the reputation of those who are putting them together.

Having said that I think its a safe bet that any package put together by Cosworth is likely a safe bet!  Cosworth have been building race cars for decades and have made a significant mark on the street car market as well and they recently announced that they will be creating “power packages” to make things a little easier for builders.  They have also announced that the first application for their new power packages will be the FA-20 AKA the engine found in the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.  This is a pretty good place to start considering the popularity of the program combined with most owners hungry for a quality performance solution to their mysterious FA20 engines.

Cosworth has not announced when these packages will be available or what they will consist of but they do promise “guaranteed levels of power and reliability.”  I would be at least a little skeptical of any other company making that kind of claim, but from Cosworth I am inclined to believe they will deliver on their promise.

[Source: Cosworth]

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