Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Lousy Sticker

I was having a conversation with my friend Ben (Bulletproof Automotive) a couple weeks ago. It was the day I received my Top Secret tow hook in the mail. We were discussing the allure that envelopes the procurement of those rare JDM parts; that unique compulsion that quite literally drives our automotive affinity. The aspect of modifying that goes beyond the actual parts...

The little things are an often overlooked and unappreciated element of this passion. Yet those little details aptly remind me why I love this stuff. Acknowledging the origin of the parts, the culture, the tradition, respecting all that is behind every quality part that eventually makes its way onto our vehicles, I shared with Ben that I have often been tempted to save the boxes in which my parts traveled. As with the tow hook - the envelope with the Top Secret address, the handwritten Japanese characters, or the stickers and distinct markings on the Bride, Rays, and Powerhouse Amuse boxes I have received, the packing slips and receipts from Project Mu and Tommy Kaira, and likely the trimmings that will accompany the parts I am expecting in the coming weeks... That is all part of it.

I shared a story of how, a few days after having my Amuse R-Titan exhaust installed, I wanted to truly gain a sense of the new exhaust note, so I took the G out for an aimless ride. No music playing. Windows down. I entered the onramp of the expressway and gradually increased my speed. As I approached the point of straightaway in the far right lane, I increased the pressure of my right foot on the gas pedal. As I began to fully absorb the abundance of auditory pleasure, I approached a speed considerably above the posted speed limit. At this time, I became aware of the plastic packaging and bubble wrap resting on the back seat that had been used to help pack and protect the exhaust on the journey from Japan to the States. The speed at which I was traveling did not leave much in the way of time to either, 1. secure the loud, flapping plastic packaging to the seat without taking my eyes off the road, or 2. get the windows up.

Thus, a brief second later, I was admiring in my rearview mirror the plastic floating serenely along the side of the empty expressway.

Aside from violating littering laws, this incident was not a calamity worthy of much disappointment. That is, until I discovered that, mixed in with the plastic packaging, was the sticker provided to me with the purchase of the only exhaust system in the United States of its kind for my application. Yes. A sticker. Although I may have never affixed this decal to anything, the idea of losing it really irked me. I actually debated circling back around to scour the side of the expressway for it, but my better judgment convinced me to simply chalk it up as a loss.

I do not often attach the decals and stickers I receive with the purchase of parts to anything on my vehicles for fear of "ruining" them. I like to keep them safe. Serving as a small symbol that I was finally part of the limited Amuse owners circle (let alone the only American V36 owner with an Amuse exhaust), this particular sticker was important to me. Yes, it was just a sticker. But, for a true JDMophile, this was a pretty cool sticker; a sticker on which not just anyone can get their hands.

The next day I received an e-mail from Ben with the subject line: Small present coming your way...

About a week after that, I came home from work to this in my mailbox...

I think it is safe to say that only someone who can relate to and appreciate the distress of losing a foolish sticker out the window of a speeding car would have thought to send me a replacement. After all, why would someone who unquestionably has many other more important things to tend to during the course of the day make the effort to send me a lousy sticker?

Because he gets it... 

Thanks again, Ben. 


  1. Thanks for the add on your blogroll!
    Its good to see more and more people suporting the greatest brands who put in the R&D to develop products so good there's some dude trying to cash in making crappy replicas.

    Keep the realness coming..
    Thanks for the add on your blogroll!


  2. I appreciate the kind words, Freddy. I really dig your blog. Thanks for checking in on JDMphasis.