I have done well in terms of adhering to my goal of holding off on the purchase of any parts for this car to this point. However, as I have mentioned a few times in my posts, I have an idea of the direction I would like this project to take. Who knows? Things will inevitably arise and plans will likely change, but it is always a good idea to plan. I have done my research in regards to aero options for the FD. In fact, I have actually attempted to find an alternative to RE-Amemiya. In my humble opinion, there is nothing that compares. In fact, I actually want to like something else, as some argue RE-Amemiya is "played out," as abstract a claim as that may be, given that I am quite confident the vast majority of people out there do not encounter an abundance of RE-Amemiya-kitted FD's during their daily conventions. FEED, TCP, and even the controversially insane Fortune kit from VeilSide have all, at one time or another, popped into my head as potential options, but they are shortly thereafter dismissed as inferior to the aero of the legendary rotary tuner. Undoubtedly the most popular front bumper in the RE-Amemiya line-up, the N1 is available in a few different variations. Personally, I prefer a version that can be complemented with the RE-Amemiya under sweep. (For those that do not know, the carbon "lip" that runs along the bottom edge of the bumper is a separate piece from the bumper itself. It extends under the front end of the vehicle and is referred to as the undersweep.) That leaves a couple options. There is the older version with the slightly rounder form, fitted with orange reflectors. Then there is the newer (2002) version of the N1 with the sharper lines, clear winkers, and added intercooler vent.
OLDER - Facer N1
NEWER - Facer N1 (2002)
I go back and forth between these two options what seems like every day. I have altered my 'Build List' at least six times to this point. If I decide to go this route with the car, I have a feeling it will be a coin-flip that decides which version I choose. On the one hand, I like the newer look with the vents and the winkers, but I also like the more "traditional" design and ever-so-slightly rounder look of the older version. In a way, the older version strikes me as a bit more period-correct for this car, as absurd or outlandish as that may seem. As stressed above, who knows? I have plenty of time to wrestle with this prospect.
A few more parasitic replica companies have surfaced in the Z community over the last couple years and they have become fairly popular. We referenced one in a post back in December. Because there are LIKE-seeking "enthusiasts" and e-fame cravers everywhere, these companies are successful. It is believed that there is a correlation between the "I want it now and I do not want to work or wait for it" mentality and the price of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the Z is not as expensive as it once was, and, thus, corner-cutting is rampant. Sadly, replica parts are selling. Some of these replica companies pay to advertise on social media. Occasionally I come across some of these ads. Of course, the dogma/essence/premise behind JDMphasis is to encourage support of authenticity, originality, and innovation. One of our tag lines, so to speak, is "Be Real. Buy Real," so I found it somewhat ironic and humorous when I see one of the advertisements of one of these replica companies pop up and note the tag line they are using. "Be American. Buy American."
As I understand it, to "be American" means to exercise freedom in the marketplace. If I choose to buy a Nissan or a Toyota pick-up truck, am I not "being American" because I did not buy a Ford F-150 or a Dodge Ram? No. Not at all. In fact, I would argue that the competition in the marketplace not only benefits the consumer, but also the businesses themselves. Economics aside, this replica company is full of hypocrisy from the implication that you, as a consumer, would not be American if you chose to buy from a company that made parts elsewhere in the world, such as Japan, but also in the laughable "Built by us, inspired by you" slogan. (No, inspired by the Japanese companies whose designs you ripped off.) A quick search of their website shows us that they have stolen designs from companies such as Nismo, INGS+1, Chargespeed, Rocket Bunny, among many others… Notice anything about these companies? Yes, all Japanese. Anything else? Yes, they are all parts for, you guessed it, Japanese cars. So, does this patriotic company REALLY want you to be American and buy American? Nahhh… If you did, what would happen to them? Just another fly-by-night replica company looking to make a dollar by ripping off the real talent of the Japanese tuning industry. Support originality and innovation. Save your money for a bit longer and buy from the companies who researched, designed, and risked to bring these parts to reality. Plus, if you choose not to buy from these parasites, you will not have to receive a bumper that looks like a Frito.