The little things… Years ago when I owned my first Z33, I remember searching high and low for the Tommy Kaira Z emblem. I was never able to track one down. It is certainly nothing spectacular, but it is an item that I like because of its rarity and, well, because it is just cool.
With the help of the guys from Japan Auction Parts, I was finally able to track one down. Again, this is not a one-off Amuse exhaust system, Endless brakes, a set of Bride seats, or any part even remotely on that level, but I was still pretty stoked. A few weeks later and it arrived along with a few other goodies…
I have purchased a few items from the guys at Japan Auction Parts now. I have received great service and communication each time and they seem to have a genuine passion and interest in the Japanese tuning culture. Thank you again, Japan Auction Parts.
I walked out of my office the other day and a woman approached me. I recognized this woman as someone who works in the same building. Her name? I do not know. Working in which department? I do not know. She is, in age, I presume, in her mid-sixties. I believe it safe to assume she is not a "car person." As I reached the Jeep, she held her hand up to me as if to say, "Wait!" She signaled for me to put the window down. As I did, she approached and remarked, "Can I just tell you that I love driving behind you as we drive through the city because I love watching everyone's head turn. EVERYONE looks as you drive by." Not exactly a hasty decision, as this is something that I have contemplated off-and-on for a few months now, I took the last ride in my SRT8 Jeep today. Fitting that, during my cruise to my neighboring state of New Hampshire where I traded it, I encountered multiple people seeking to entice me into a highway run, as that is what this truck does. It is unquestionably an attention-getter. In the short time I owned it, I thoroughly enjoyed this truck. It is a blast to drive, to say the least. However, it is hardly a practical daily driver. On top of that, I am never satisfied. I thought I would be content lowering it 1" with springs and installing an exhaust system. That kept me content for a couple months. Then I bought brakes and wheels with wider tires. Then I began researching coilovers, stereo components, suspension bracing, and superchargers… All of this while dropping roughly $4,000 a week on fuel for this pig. This would all be okay if this truck was my project or "toy," and not the vehicle I purchased to, in large part, get me to and from work and to complete every other menial task that requires driving, including in what can be very harsh New England winters. So, yes, I decided to part ways with the beast. Of course I cannot be satisfied with a beater that can get me from Point A to Point B and endure the occasional snowstorm. Though my new daily driver is certainly more practical and less expensive than the SRT8 Jeep, I acknowledge I could have checked the boxes of what is necessary with a lesser vehicle, but, in my defense, well… I did not.
2012 Volvo S60 R-Design
I finally got an R. Not the R I really want, but an R nonetheless.
I was told this is 1 of 3 in New England currently. I cannot verify the accuracy of that statement, but that is what I was told by the dealer. It is an admirable balance of practicality and sportiness. A nice compromise. There are some aesthetics I would not mind changing ( Ahem!Wheels...), but I know I will not go overboard with the modifications on this one. With 41,000 miles, a fairly luxurious interior, and sharp style, I think this car can satisfy me (as well as save me a few dollars on gas). I am doubtful that it will be as fun as the Jeep, but I am happy. At least for now… Perhaps now I will focus more attention on Project Z33.
A parting shot of the Jeep in its natural habitat:
One of the very last shots I took of the Jeep (with the OEM wheels back on it):
My affinity for 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.
Chances are you have seen this abomination at some point over the past few days as it has gone viral on social media. If, by chance, you have not seen it, it initially surfaced on a VQ or Z/G page on Facebook with the popular "YOHB?" caption. It looks like sheet metal fastened to the fenders of a G35 with a nail gun. After being shared numerous times, a comical troll wrote a post with the picture attached thanking a replica aero company. Screenshots below.
Kind of funny, no? I am reposting this atrocity not for its comedic value, however. I am reposting this because the replica company's (that does not actually make this "aero") response caught my attention.
Over the years I have been cautious about posting links to websites or names of companies or vendors on this blog for this very reason. I do not wish to be the impetus behind a replica company expanding their grasp on the market or putting more money into their uncreative, greedy pockets; money they otherwise may have never seen. I do not know if this poorly translated post by this replica company is actually true or not, but I do know that I dislike their arrogance, ignorance, and insolence. Take some pride in your ride. Do not support these companies. Be the Funk. Don't Fake it.
Appears pretty satisfied with the replica purchase...
The pictures below are authentic wheels that have "failed." I suppose I would rather have my wheel bend or warp upon heavy impact, as opposed to shattering or practically disintegrating.But, then again, I am just an elitist...