Monday, January 22, 2018

Varis Japan through the lens of Daniel Olivares

Shokunin - The Varis Japan Story by Daniel Olivares

THIS is why I love the Japanese tuning culture. This video is precisely the reason I love this stuff. Ingenuity, masterful craftsmanship, attention to detail, and unparalleled pride are just a few of the qualities that make Varis one of the top aerodynamics companies in the world. Their fresh and innovative designs are not only beautiful but functional. They are truly pioneers of the tuning industry. 

I love these behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into the tuning culture of Japan because we become witnesses to how things are done. We can soak up all that goes into a design or a shop build. I love that short documentary videos such as this one by Daniel Olivares can help to change attitudes. It can inspire. Videos like this have the ability to show people that the true talent of the industry is in companies like Varis. For example, this video allows us to see with our own eyes the molding by hand of aero designs. It allows us to see the workspace and interior of the Varis shop. It allows us to see that Varis has 14 employees. Fourteen! Let that sink in. Fourteen employees. Hand-made components. There are no conveyor belts pumping out bumpers. There are not hundreds of people bubble-wrapping fiberglass and carbon fiber before loading them onto freight trucks for delivery. One of the common points made by pro-replica "enthusiasts" is that knock-offs and replicas are the way of the world and that we all need to get used to it. There are often comparisons to knock-off products like generic drugs or off-brand sodas. This video allows us to see for ourselves just how absurd those arguments really are. Again, Varis has 14 employees. When someone purchases a Wal-Mart brand soda or generic baby powder, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson are not going to feel the effects quite as strongly as Varis does when people purchase replica aero components from the hack companies who copy their designs for the sole purpose of turning a profit. This video allows us to see for ourselves that Varis is not a multi-billion dollar corporation. In that way, it shows us that purchasing replica parts can actually harm the vanguards of the tuning world. It shows us that there is real pride and real passion behind these designs, something that cannot be said about replica and knock-off parts.

This really is why I love the Japanese tuning industry. This stuff is what it is all about. I will stop fanboying now. Daniel Olivares and Varis Japan, keep doing your thing!

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Project Z33: Vertex Ti Bolts

I recently received some titanium bolts from Vertex for my wheel…

Thrilling update, I know… But the small details are important, too. I am hoping to make a bit more progress on this project in 2018 than was made in 2017.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Lady in Red...

I came across these pictures a few weeks ago. The backdrop is Chicago. Car owner and photographer is Richy Contreras.

Sharp Fairlady Z.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, December 30, 2017

I was burned recently on the interwebz...

"Hit me up when your website stops ending with"

Boom. Roasted!

I rarely visit forums anymore. I'm not really sure why, to be honest. Aside from the fact that the opinions I maintain are rarely shared, they do not seem to be even remotely as active as they once were. However, that means I am on Facebook and other forms of social media to see what is going on in the aftermarket automotive community more often than I care to be. It is a sad state of affairs, to put it lightly. Pro-authenticity supporters are in the minority, to say the least. The "good enough" mentality seems to have become the acceptable standard. The "have to have it now and do not want to save for it" internet acclaim-seeking mindset seems to have become the pervasive disposition. There is a lack of shame in sporting replica and knock-off parts. In fact, it is as though people justify their corner-cutting by falsely equating it to being a wise or economical consumer. In turn, these corner-cutters would have it believed that the enthusiast who chooses to support originality and buy the legitimate parts from the real talent of the industry is just a "sucker" who is being duped. This modifying mentality is backwards.

The witty and deep-cutting quote above is from the owner of a fly-by-night replica company. This self-important braggart and purveyor of stolen designs has a following. There are people buying parts for their projects these days who do not even know they are buying unoriginal designs from companies such as the one this guy, who touts himself as the "Poly God," manages. I chimed in on a thread in support of someone advocating support of original designs and this gentleman must have checked my personal profile to see the JDMphasis website. This astute "entrepreneur" is correct - this website (and the blog format) has not been updated in years. The reason for this is quite simply that I do not know anything about website design, coding, programming, or whatever it is called. And, frankly, this website still serves the purpose for which it was created.

This blog's web address is not important. It is the reality that replica and knock-off companies are everywhere. They are the vultures of the aftermarket industry, circling social media searching for their next meal. That next meal often comes in the form of an ill-informed consumer who knows no better. It also comes in the form of consumers who DO know better, but still choose to support those parasitic replica companies and then, since people are not often inclined to denounce their own purchase, post the over-the-top positive reviews all over the social media platforms that are already inundated with replica love and support. The rare nay-sayer and advocate of authenticity is quickly dubbed an "elitist" or "hater," but the reality is that those are the enthusiasts who are fighting the good fight. The excuses and justifications for buying replica parts are abundant. The sad truth is that people are not willing to save for a little bit longer. Pride in one's project is outweighed by a desire to have it done now. It is a shame that the aftermarket community is less about quality today and more about quantity. LIKEs, shares, and compliments from strangers who may know nothing about the platform have become more important than a complete, judicious, and well-built project vehicle.

As I have said from the day I created this sorry, outdated blog, I cannot tell people how to spend their money, but I can encourage support for the true pioneers and innovators of the Japanese tuning industry. Reward the risk-takers. Reward ingenuity. Reward originality. Refuse to reward the undermining, pilfering, and thievery of replica companies. Take pride in your ride. The end result will be worth it.

(Oh, and if you are looking for a group on Facebook where support of originality and authenticity is encouraged, send a join request to the Authentic Parts Syndicate.)

Be Real. Buy Real. 

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Still. Want. Amuse S2000.

I have always had a thing for the S2000. Years later, I would still love to own one and outfit it with Amuse's aggressive aero…

Those tips!

I love this shot of these two Amuse projects...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation