Jay, of JDMEGO, is a good dude; a good dude who is doing everything right with his Evo IX build. One need not be an expert on all things Evo to appreciate the work and commitment inherent in this project. No corners have been cut. An undertaking of more than six years to this point, this IX is truly a work of JDM art. As with the authentic parts installed, the attention to detail of this build, as a whole, is beyond impressive.
If there is a model worth following, this is it. A pioneer; someone to whom we should all point when instructing on the proper modification methods, Jay and his Evo IX receive two big 'Thumbs Up' from JDMphasis...
My compulsion towards the parts of the Japanese Domestic Market is not based on a personal assessment of performance superiority. It is about design, quality, and attention to detail. Likely my biggest obsession of the industry, Power House Amuse is quite possibly the superlative of JDM parts. Hardly boring or run-of-the-mill, the products that come out of their facility in Chiba are not simply functional components to be admired momentarily pre-installation, only to be forsaken shortly after culmination and brusque acknowledgment of any performance benefit or gain. Every Amuse part contains an all-too-real element of genuine automotive artistry.
In an effort to increase my knowledge in regards to the number of JDM innovators falling victim to aero design theft, I recently found myself on the website of a Southern California-based company. There, I stumbled upon this T-shirt. Really?
We have all seen the insolent claims of all the companies producing and selling knock-offs. In an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of those enthusiasts looking to modify their cars, these companies would love us all to believe that they are extricating the tuning industry from all its distress and hardship, when, in fact, they are the responsible parties. In the VQ community alone, we have seen the work of BAUS Auto, VIS, AIT Racing, Shine Auto, and many others in stealing and cashing in on the designs of the real innovators of the JDM tuning world. I found myself considering the irony and hypocrisy in the most recent thread created by a shop in New York, 180 Custom, advertising their Top Secret knock-off front bumper for the G37S coupe. They urge against buying the AIT Racing knock-off. I had to laugh.
The long awaited TS-P front lip for the G37S Coupe is now available for purchase. The lip is made out of thick polyurethane material as oppose to the fiberglass one that Top Secret sells for $1000. It's flexible and super strong. Fitment is a very good 95%. Do not settle for a cheap fiberglass copy!
"Don't buy THAT fake. Buy THIS fake!"
We, as JDM enthusiasts, are incredibly fortunate to have companies out there that have our best interest at heart; looking out for our modding welfare and the well-being of JDM in the states. [/sarcasm]
My compulsion towards the parts of the Japanese Domestic Market is not based on a personal assessment of performance superiority. It is about design, quality, and attention to detail. Likely my biggest obsession of the industry, Power House Amuse is quite possibly the superlative of JDM parts. Hardly boring or run-of-the-mill, the products that come out of their facility in Chiba are not simply functional components to be admired momentarily pre-installation, only to be forsaken shortly after brusque acknowledgment of any performance benefit or gain. Every Amuse part contains an all-too-real element of genuine automotive artistry. Although rarely justified photographically, JDMphasis will feature on a regular basis "random" pictures of Amuse parts.
There is a competitive tendency among enthusiasts to look upon the cars of owners of the same make with a more discerning, critical eye. That said, there is not much about my buddy, Eric's, G that I can criticize.
Eric, knowing I was working with Bulletproof Automotive, came to me a few months ago and asked if I could help him get some JDM aero for his G. I was happy to help. It is safe to say that Eric already had one of the nicest G's in the US, so improving upon it would be a difficult task.
I feel confident saying that it did not take long for his G to reach that proverbial next level.
Stanced nicely on a set of gloss black 20" Advan RS-D's and Hankook V12 rubber, which happen to frame a 4-wheel set of AP Racing stoppers, Eric needs as much traction as he can get with the added power of a GTM Stage 1 supercharger kit. The exterior of the G is where he thought a makeover was necessary. This car looked great with its previous set-up of a JP Vizage front lip, but we all know that the Zele aero for the V36 is difficult to top. Thus, Eric chose the side skirts and front bumper from Zele to complete the aesthetics of this beautiful pearl white G.
After a few days in his body shop receiving custom paint, Eric sent me these pictures of his G, fresh and remade.
The car looks great, Eric! Thanks for reaching out to me/Bulletproof Automotive. I'm glad I could help you out with some quality JDM parts. I hope to work with you more in the future. And, please, continue to Represent the Real...
I don't know that a true enthusiast will ever admit to his car being "done" - they are ongoing, evolving, and unfinished projects. The ever-popular Akira Nakai (Rauh-Welt Begriff) once remarked, "Whatever it is, the car has to look good. If your car doesn't look good, sound good, and feel good, you're not going to drive it like you should." My goal is to drive the G, whether it be a short trip to the store or a spirited cruise through some winding, mountain roads, and to be overtaken with enjoyment and thrill - not a thrill born from high horsepower or jeopardous joyriding, but a thrill obtained from a driving experience unique to my project. To that end, I will lay out a few of the plans/"resolutions" for the G that have me excited about my project again.
Wheels - I will not reveal what model just yet, but I will say that I am going back to a 20" set-up. I have the sizes and offsets ironed out. However, I am only recently up-in-the-air as to the finish. Hmmm...
Tires - I took the advice of a few people and reluctantly gave Hankook a shot when I mounted the Volk TE37SL's. I will not be going back to them. I was less than impressed. I will be going with a different brand this time around. At the moment, Falken and Yokohama are at the top of the list.
Exhaust - Yes. I will be making a change to the Amuse exhaust. I am not changing up this set-up based on a disappointment with the product. Powerhouse Amuse is still top-notch, A+ in my book. I have my reasons for making a change...
Exterior - I have a few minor plans to separate the G from the pack. Also, I plan to complete the rear of the G. I do not think I will be mounting the Z33 Top Secret carbon fiber diffuser to the Zele rear bumper. I am considering a few other options, but, again, nothing is set in stone just yet. More research is necessary. (That said, if you know anyone interested in an authentic Top Secret rear diffuser for a 350Z, shoot me an e-mail.)
Interior - Change is good. One can never have too many JDM shift knobs... Right?
Full of adversity is life. How one reacts to that adversity defines his nature; his ethos. Whether a catastrophic calamity, a slight drawback, or a simple, temporary inconvenience, the response is what helps to shape one's character.
Personally, professionally, and automotive-ly, I have experienced a bit of adversity over the past year. Sadly, it is in my nature to place added weight on the down's and forget the up's far too soon. A level-head is fundamental to maintaining proper perspective. Whether refusing to drive, or even look at, the G for weeks after a terrible experience with a once-trusted tuning shop, losing a loved one, or having my wallet stolen on New Year's Eve, I try to take something positive from each and every negative experience and learn to take life a little less seriously. You cannot predict when you will encounter your next misfortune or the degree to which those mishaps pain you, but, it is important to remember that, from it, there is always something to learn.
My hope for the new year is to enjoy life a little more - in regards to my car, my work, and, simply, everyday life. I wish the same for all of you.