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. Every Amuse system is built to order. 'A' Body paired with the Black Edition tips on V36 sedan...
More often than occasionally we see a
reputable wheel manufacturer post up a warning message for prospective
buyers cautioning them to buy authentic wheels. I embrace those messages. I
agree profoundly with those messages on two levels: one being the
quality/structural integrity/strength/durability front, the other being the
intellectual property front (IE: theft of design). These wheel
companies, rightfully so, take umbrage to companies stealing their designs, and they find it necessary to warn potential
customers of the phonies and counterfeits permeating the marketplace. As stated above, I embrace
these caveat emptor bulletins. They serve a purpose and they help not only to educate those consumers who may not fully conceive the harsh reality that there are actually immoral, parasitic companies stealing designs to make a dollar, but to preserve the tuning
culture, as, yes, knock-offs, counterfeits, and replicas do harm the industry.
The aspect of this I find a bit
ironic and, bluntly, hypocritical, is that some of these legitimate wheel
companies have no problem featuring vehicles that are sporting their wheels,
but are clad in replica aero. We see it all the time. Their brochures are
printed with these cars, their websites are full of them, and their fan pages
broadcast them daily. Frankly, I don’t get it. Is there no kinship between
pioneering companies? Is there no fraternity? No alliance or partnership? No
common support for originality and authenticity? I have written about this before (JDMphasis: Authentic Alliance?) and some surely label me
obtuse or naïve, but is business that cutthroat that companies have the gall to
denounce only the replica companies that steal their designs, and not those other hack companies cashing in on the fruit of other legitimate
companies’ labor? Not only do they not denounce them, they feature them! They
reward them. Where is the defense of authenticity? Where is the love and
loyalty to the culture from which they were born? Is that not from where everything in the aftermarket
scene stems? Would these companies have success if it weren’t for enthusiasts
like you and me? Have they forgotten what this is all about?
I noticed a post on Nissan USA’s (Yes, Nissan) Facebook page yesterday where
they showcased the Formula Drift Z33 you see above. Billboarded across the front
bumper is a decal for a replica company. That front bumper is a design
perfected and made popular by Power House Amuse. The design is one that has
fallen victim to quite a few replica companies. Why? Because it is good. It is proven. It is
desired. Now, not to digress too much, but I understand the argument for this particular car will be, “It’s
a drift car. It is inevitable that the bumper will suffer some damage. Why
spend money on the expensive authentic? In this case, replica parts are okay.”
I take issue with this
defense of replicas for a couple reasons. The first being, with the immense aftermarket
support of the Z33, there are many other options out there. Why choose this
one? Why choose to support a company that did absolutely nothing by way of R&D or
prototyping to come up with this design? Why support (and, thus, reward) a
company that did zero work on their way to hurting the original pioneer?
Secondly, If one can use the "inevitable damage" excuse for rocking a replica, then I might suggest: What difference
does it make what it looks like? Why must you choose something that looks identical to the design of a legitimate Japanese company? In doing so, you are not only perpetuating the
notion that it is okay to fake the funk, you are sending the message that
supporting replica companies is okay and accepted. And, Nissan, by showcasing this car, with
its replica banner across the bumper, on their Facebook page is doing the exact same
thing. Nissan has almost 1.3M followers on Facebook. That particular picture has been shared over 900 times as of this moment. Think about it…
Let me put it another way… Nissan is showcasing a car tattooed with a replica
company’s logo on a fake Amuse front bumper. We are all aware that Nismo is the
performance division of Nissan. Like many other parts from many other JDM
companies, many of the Nismo aero parts designs have been stolen and
replicated. Thus, Nismo has suffered at the hand of replica companies. That
said, do we think Nissan would be willing to showcase a Z33 on their Facebook
page that wears a big decal advertising a replica company on a bumper that
looks identical to the popular Nismo V2 front bumper? Perhaps the same company
whose name is resting comfortably on that fake Amuse front bumper on the Z they
just broadcasted to over 1,000,000 people on Facebook? This same replica company
has profited from the theft of quite a few Nismo aero designs. Just visit their
website and you’ll see for yourself. Is this not an overwhelmingly transparent and ironic conflict of interest?
Why? Am I missing something? Nothing surprises me
The Facebook page of JDMphasis does not have 1/1,300th of the
followers of Nissan. Our reach does not extend to the lengths of many other bloggers and online publications, let
alone Nissan USA, but that does not mean that we are not going to express our sincere
disappointment with the type of conduct that ultimately
hurts the backbone and true talented innovators of the industry.
Walking through a shopping plaza recently, I spotted a Scion xB garbed in some authentic JDM aero. I am 99% sure I know the previous owner of this funky box on wheels. I snapped a quick shot of the badge over the dual exhaust tips. (A few days after a crazy blizzard, I suppose we can give the owner a pass on the salt and road grime covering the exterior.)
It is always nice to see local enthusiasts supporting authenticity, regardless of the platform. No corners cut here.
We're back... After being nailed with 25" inches of powder at the hands of the Blizzard of 2013, the weekend concluded Sunday evening with a glass of ice water spilling on my Air. Never before having been faced with this style of predicament, I immediately wiped it down and took a blowdryer to it for roughly ten minutes. Still functioning, albeit somewhat haphazardly, I quickly Googled 'What to do if you spill on your laptop' and learned that I should have powered it down immediately. Lesson learned. I then let it sit open and inverted over a gently blowing vent that evening for roughly ten hours, then placed it face down in a modified aluminum tray filled with white rice (for absorption) for the next three days. Those three days were torturous. Not so much concerned with the laptop itself, but more, everything contained on it. Constantly pulling my hair out for the better part of 72 hours, wondering if I would lose my notes, college research, essays, spreadsheets, files, pictures of family, friends, and pets (living and passed), bookmarks, music, and, not to mention, thousands of car pictures... Needless to say, it may be time to back up my hard drive.
And a shot of the filthy G in the winter wonderland...
I'm not a huge advocate of Valentine's Day, but I am an advocate of love and ardor. As hard as it may be, dip into that stash of mod money today and do something for your paramour that shows him/her you care, that you are thinking of him/her just a bit more today than you do every other day, and, above all, that you appreciate his/her patience as it relates to your expensive, time-consuming passion. After you read this blog post, of course, put the computer down - log off Facebook, halt your forum debate, and spend some quality time with your significant other. But first, enjoy this Valentine's Day-themed R34 on Advan rollers from Cruise.
I would like to apologize for the lack of activity as of late. The Blizzard of 2013 has hit the Northeast region of the US with indomitable force. Power outages on top of a spilled beverage on my trusty laptop has rendered updating JDMphasis a challenge. As my laptop rests in a tray of white rice and I long for a constant stream of electricity, I would like to thank our followers for being patient and bearing with us.
Replica Advan RG II wheels being advertised on Facebook. I no longer maintain interest in following the page of the advertiser.
I am not naive. There are almost certainly people on Facebook who LIKE JDMphasis simply based on the pictures we post. I also believe there are people who UNLIKE JDMphasis when they read our views on replica and knock-off parts, chalking us up to "haters" or mod snobs. Que sera, sera...
I have previously posted about shirtstuckedin.com, but it is worth mentioning again... Almost exactly as I have said it before. I thoroughly enjoy checking up on the blog of Casey Dhnaram. I cannot pinpoint exactly why, to be honest. However, I would venture to guess that it has much to do with his invigorating photography. Not only the subject matter or even his skills with the camera, but it is his unique ability to capture the culture that really appeals to me. It is as if each photograph relates a brilliant story. I am fascinated, to say the least. I often find myself going back to his blog multiple times to look at the same pictures over and over again. A couple of his recent shots...
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.
My buddy, Mike Lee's, BMW E92 M3 Ericsson Amuse set-up...