Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Z34 on Advans

Tasteful execution. 

A nice set of forged RZ-DF's on a 370Z. Clean. Do love these wheels...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Modifying from JDMphasis...

My favorite time of year, I want to wish all the readers of JDMphasis a safe and happy holiday season.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coal in your stocking, BAUS Auto...

One need not be an avid reader of JDMphasis to make the guarded leap that I am passionate and vehemently enthusiastic in supporting authenticity and defending innovation within the JDM parts syndicate.

I have said it before - modifying is a bit more than a hobby to me. It is a passion. As is the ongoing campaign against knock-offs and replicas. A common tactic among those companies that steal and undermine the legitimate Japanese parts innovators is the employment of the false proposition that they have the best interest of the consumer at heart. Supplying knock-off and replica parts at a fraction of the cost of the original, they would have us all believe that they are the automotive parts saviors of every enthusiast out there.

[Enter BAUS Auto.]

I know very little about this company except what I have seen on the Z forums and, most recently, what I have read in the haughty thread created on the G boards advertising their Zele replica body kit for the G37. A post filled with hubris, this company boasts that this body kit will be available for purchase within the next few weeks. Below are the 'test-fit' pictures they originally posted where they claim "perfect" fitment while, at the same time, acknowledging that they have not secured every bolt and screw of the kit (a rather bold claim, if you ask me...). However, the thread was deleted after forum members, such as myself, expressed displeasure with the production of this kit.

If you happen to own a G37 and find yourself interested in outfitting your G with this body kit, I strongly urge you to reconsider. If you can call yourself even a moderate enthusiast of the JDM parts culture, in putting a single dime in the pocket of this company, you, like them, will become a contributing factor to the ravaging destruction of JDM in the United States. Zele is not the first JDM company BAUS Auto has ripped off. Impul, INGS+1, Amuse, Nismo, C-West, Chargespeed, Veilside, Vertex... These are just a few of the legitimate Japanese tuning companies BAUS has undermined before they decided to steal the Zele G37 aero design. An aftermarket parts savior, BAUS Auto is not. Make no mistake, they are not out to serve the consumer. They, like every other company producing and/or selling replica and knock-off parts, are out for themselves. BAUS Auto has blatantly stolen the G37 body kit design of Zele Performance, a proven, in-demand product from a proven leader of the Japanese Domestic Market, to put a dollar in their pocket. Though purchasing this kit at a fraction of the cost of the original may be tempting for those individuals struggling financially to modify their G's, please try to keep in mind that, in the long run, this only hurts the consumer, and the true JDM enthusiasts.

Shame on you, BAUS Auto...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Big Fat Fake

I occasionally check out the musings and ruminations of the guys over on Ivy League East. In visiting the blog today, I came across a product showcase of a shift knob from a company I believe to be called GRFXP FatBoy Knobs. Upon first glance, it looks quite similar to the knob I am currently using on the G.

Tommy Kaira Hebi Bebi


Like Varrstoen to Volk Racing, AIT to Top Secret, Shine Auto Project to just about every JDM aero company out there, and countless others, here is yet another fly-by-night company looking to make a dollar off of a JDM product that is proven and for which there is high demand.

Yes, I guess it applies to shift knobs now.

There is a certain connotation, or undertone, inherent in the acronym "JDM." I feel confident suggesting that quality, rare, and valuable are among the adjectives that come to mind among the more educated enthusiasts upon hearing its utterance. A distinct respect and value placed on that which is JDM, there is a certain have-to-have mentality surrounding these parts. There is a reason they are in demand. These products are worth the months of waiting. Far more often than not, the quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail is second-to-none. It is my contention that the novelty and captivation of these JDM parts slowly fades and diminishes when products such as this look-alike shift knob surface. To one interested in the JDM culture but just a bit less savvy than the diehard JDMophile, upon quick glance, the shift knob in the Z pictured above could easily be mistaken for the rare and elusive Hebi Bebi ("Heavy Baby") knob, not a visibly similar copy of it called a "Fat Boy."

The end of the world? Hardly. However, it is certainly another drop in the proverbial bucket of replicas and knock-offs marauding the Japanese tuning culture. The high cost is often the justification for those "enthusiasts" supporting the knock-off and replica companies. Aero and wheels are expensive parts indeed - often setting us back thousands of dollars. But a shift knob? Come on...

Perhaps I am a bit idealistic (or, to some, obtuse), but I truly hope there are enthusiasts out there, young and/or old, who would rather save their money for just a bit longer and endure the arduous wait for its arrival from Japan to buy the rare, authentic Tommy Kaira knob, as opposed to this fake $100 replica.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Sick Z... The Amuse 380RS Superleggera

Yes, this may be old news, but that is certainly no reason not to post up a few shots. Quite simply, this car is beautiful. One of Tanabe-san's last projects before he passed back in September of 2008, the 380RS Superleggera is no ordinary Z33. This car is, like everything else that comes out of Amuse, a work of automotive art; a masterpiece.

The functional, lightweight Amuse aero includes front bumper, front diffuser, front fenders, dry carbon hood, fenders, sideskirts, dry carbon roof, rear fenders, dry carbon rear hatch, dry carbon side flaps, rear underspoiler, and dry carbon rear wing.

Recaro carbon kevlar bucket seats, Takata harnesses, and a Momo steering wheel adorn the interior while a set of 20" BBS LM-R wheels connect the Bridgestone rubber to the road. This car stops using 6-piston front and 2-piston rear Amuse calipers and 2-piece slotted rotors. One would, of course, expect the exhaust of this car to be second-to-none. The Amuse titanium headers, front pipes, Y-pipe, and an R1 Extra exhaust system must sound amazing!

A few shots from the Power House Amuse facility in Japan...

Over the course of the last two years, the Z34's have become a "realistic favorite" of mine. I often kick myself for not choosing one over the V36. However, this Z - 300 pounds lighter, looking and sounding as mean and aggressive as any car on the road, putting down just under 400 naturally aspirated horsepower, and - perhaps most importantly - sharing in the history and heritage of a true visionary and innovator of the Japanese tuning world - is still a car, four years later, I can say, veraciously, that I would enjoy and cherish forever.

A quick walk-around of the Superleggera (wearing its track shoes: 18" Volk CE's):

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

JDMphasis teaming up with Bulletproof Automotive

I am extremely happy to announce that I have recently joined the Bulletproof Automotive team as an Independent Sales Representative, specializing in G and Z parts. (That is not to say that I cannot help with other makes and models.)

While I still maintain full-time 9-5 employment, I am excited about this opportunity. A great chance for me to combine my passion for modifying in association with one of the biggest names in the JDM scene, I am quite proud to be affiliated with Bulletproof Automotive. 

For the few of you who may not know, Bulletproof is well-known and widely respected for their steadfast position in regards to originality, innovation, and unflappable support of authenticity. The mission statement is simple: Represent the Real. If you are looking for replicas, knock-offs, or fake parts, you should look elsewhere. Bulletproof Automotive strives to support the original designs from the best aftermarket parts companies in the world. It is truly an honor to have been asked to join such an esteemed company made up of like-minded individuals and hardcore JDM enthusiasts.

If you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask. I have created a link to the BPA website on the side of the blog. If you do not see what you're looking for there, there is still a very good chance we can get it for you. 

Outside of this blog, I can be reached at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sometimes Less is More...

Paint, Di-Noc, and the popular current trend of covering any and every exposed part in Plasti-Dip... I would suggest that, more often than not, modifying stock parts is, quite simply, a bad idea. Cheap, tacky and gaudy are often the achieved result when attempting to alter OEM parts.

On a rare occasion, however, modifying a factory part is pulled off brilliantly. I have seen quite a few modified factory steering wheels, but there are few that have come out as nice as the one of my friend, Jason.

Jason did not attempt to save a few pennies by using cheap, faux materials. This wheel was done right. He sent it off to Dallas Custom Steering Wheel in Garland, Texas where they went right to work to improve the look and feel of this factory piece. Jason wanted to thicken the wheel, so some additional padding was in order. The wheel was then re-wrapped with perforated leather, alcantara inserts, and red diamond-pattern stitching. To finish it off, the bezel was wrapped by Carbon Fiber Element in a matte finish.

Still clean and classy, this steering wheel is one stock part that was modified properly. Maintaining all the convenient features of the stock steering wheel, this wheel adds a hint of sport and tuning style to a refined Infiniti interior. Well done, Jason!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quality Critics

Confused. Annoyed. Perplexed. Disappointed.

The emotions I feel all too often when I browse the forums. Reading some of the sentiments of my fellow G37 "enthusiasts" (Yes, I use that term loosely...) often leads me to frustration.

I am not suggesting that I want every person who modifies his/her car to share my taste in parts or modding ideology. I do not claim to be an expert or an authority. I have often stated that I enjoy the diversity in modifying tastes. However, why modify at all if the parts with which you are replacing your stock parts are of questionable quality? It is sad when I see G37 owners replace their OEM Enkei wheels with cheap $200 replica wheels. Or when the stock exhaust is replaced with poorly-constructed eBay pipes.

My ideal is that the modifications to a car should, at the very least, be in proportionate range to the quality/cost of the car itself, if not far surpass that standard. Afterall, we modify to improve, right? Whether it be a popular modification or not, nobody should change their car for the worse. When I alter something on my car, rationally, I am doing it because I feel it makes the car better.

That said, I fully acknowledge that there are two sides to every debate. Take, for instance, the ever-popular Replica vs Authentic argument. I could spend hours defending my opinions on that matter. I can also concede that they are just that - my opinions. They will not be shared by everyone, which is precisely the reason that cheap replicas and knock-offs will continue their assault on the industry.

I digress. 

My issue here is not the fact that I will refuse to vote in this month's G of the Month contest on the forums, because, in doing so, I would be fostering and endorsing corner-cutting (as each of this month's three candidates are all sporting knock-off body kits). My issue is based on a thread in which a member, who I have come to learn, via private messages and e-mail, shares my constitution towards quality, supporting authenticity, respect for all that is JDM, and a loathing of replicas and knock-offs, posed a question to forum members about two exhaust systems. Neither system is cheap. They are both quality exhausts and, as far as I can tell, this person is quite serious about purchasing one of these respective systems.

One of the systems this member is considering purchasing is made by Power House Amuse. With Amuse, no introduction is necessary. I do not need to argue in support of the quality, attention to detail, and sheer artistry of every piece of titanium that exits the Amuse facility in Japan. We all know about Amuse.

Maybe I am being overly sensitive and just nit-picking when I say that I become annoyed when I witness a large majority of members commenting on how "ridiculous" and "absurd it is to spend $5,000 on an exhaust system," or that they would "rather spend that money on forced induction," etc... Maybe, to some people, it is ridiculous. Maybe, to some people, boost would be a more worthwhile investment. Everyone has a right to an opinion. Mine is this: The thread was created because someone is going to purchase one of these two exhaust systems. He is not asking people if they would buy an Amuse exhaust. He is not looking for financial criticism or advice. Before creating the thread he had made up his mind to spend his money modifying his car with quality, authentic, JDM parts. Plain and simple. 

Along similar lines, I came across a post by a person who does not believe a particular member to be valid and legitimate in his public inquiries as he leans towards purchasing a set of Endless brakes for his G37. (His post: "Spending $10K on a $40K car? I don't think he was serious.")

It is somewhat staggering to consider the disapproval and denunciation of these enthusiasts simply because they have the nerve to modify using QUALITY parts... 

But, then again, what do I know?

It is comical to then consider the very real possibility that if I commented on the "absurdity" and "ridiculousness" of members creating threads debating modifying their cars with cheap, subpar quality parts, I would very likely be on the forums all day long...

It is what it is. To each his own. 

My position is simple. Support authenticity. Represent the real. Modify with quality parts. JDMphasis...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I apologize...

Simply, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts as of late. Without getting into it too much... Due to a less-than-satisfactory shop experience, I have momentarily lost interest in my project - to the point where it makes me mad to even think about it, let alone drive it. Thus, anything that relates to it (ie: this blog and the forums) has taken a back seat temporarily. For that, I am sorry. The pending resolution of my issues will dictate whether or not I will post the backstory and details of my disappointment... Stand by. -BP

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rooftop Argument

A pair of tastefully done Z34's engaged in a stand-off...

Amuse aero + TE37SL = YES! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thanks, BPA...

Bulletproof Automotive.

The Real JDM. Represent the Real.

Peep Ben's blog. He recently featured the G.

The Real JDM: Bill's G37 Coupe

Very cool. Thank you...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from JDMphasis

The colors orange and black are, of course, synonymous with the October 31st holiday. What better showcase of these colors than with some projects from Zele?

Zele Z34

 Zele R35

(Photo Credit: Zele Performance)