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)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Project G37S: A Top Secret Venture

Setting this G apart from the rest has been a goal of this project from the outset. Having the only G37 Amuse exhaust in the US, the only retro-fit Forged Slim Project Mu big brake kit, and being among, if not, the first to don a set of Volk Racing TE37SL's on a G37 are among the notable undertakings of this project to this point. With the recent acquisition of the rare Zele Performance body kit, I wanted to, again, distance this car from all others.

I like the Zele rear. However, I believe it needs something else.

Zele Stock Photos

Thus, I did not purchase the rear spats to complement the bumper. Instead, I opted to take a little gamble. I was able to get my hands on a Z33 Top Secret rear diffuser. I am going to attempt to retro-fit this diffuser to the Zele rear bumper.

A bit skeptical of this venture, Brian and I did a rough test-fit with some standing jacks to get an idea of the potential outcome.

Some modification will be necessary. Custom brackets will need to be fabricated and the diffuser will have to be trimmed to clear the exhaust. It is difficult to gauge just how low the diffuser will hang, so, in many ways, this modification is scary. Cutting up a carbon fiber diffuser from Top Secret and drilling into a Zele rear bumper is something that puts a small knot in my stomach. However, the end result could very well be worth the risk.

We will see... Stay tuned.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Picture...

My desktop for a few months, I love the aero on this R34... well as the red CE's. Of course.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Project G37S: Raw Focus Media Shoot, Part II

I received a few more pictures from the warehouse shoot today. Thanks again to John of Raw Focus Media.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thanks, BH...

I enjoy the little things. To that end, a small package containing some cool stuff arrived the other day from my buddy, Brian.

Another sticker for the collection and a Tein coilover keychain

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Project G37S: Raw Focus Media Shoot

For some proper photographs, I gave custody of the G to my buddy, John of Raw Focus Media, for the day. He decided an indoor warehouse shoot would be appropriate...

Some of his work:

* Zele Performance Front Bumper
* Zele Performance Sideskirts
* Zele Performance Rear Bumper
* Custom Headlight Work
* Tanabe Y-Pipe
* MXP Double-Resonated Test Pipes
* HKS Racing Suction Reloaded Intakes
* UpRev Tune

This project is hardly complete, yet I would still like to extend sincere appreciation to all who have played a role in helping to make it come together. I have established some great relationships with some hardcore, JDM car guys. But more, some good people. Thank you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Replica Rage

I recently stumbled upon a Group Buy for a front lip. A Group Buy for a replica Access Evolution front lip for a G35/G37. A Group Buy with more than 40 people on the list to buy.
Access Evolution Front Lip (V36 Sedan)

There were over 60 responses in this thread before someone made a negative remark about replicas. And so, once again, the debate ensued.

One of the justifications for buying a replica over the authentic is price.

If the quality is the same then what would the issue be? Just to say mine came from Japan? If buying more expensive parts (although not always better quality) makes you feel better about your car then go for it. Just a lot of people don't see a point in spending more money for a very similar product that they can get for less.
If you don't like replicas then don't buy them. End of story. 

That is not the end of the story. That is hardly the end of the story.

I do not believe it is necessarily an argument about the quality of the product or the money. Yes, there are some quality replica parts out there. Yes, of course, cost figures largely into the equation. To some people, however, it is about something more. Something bigger. To some, it is about ethics. Principles. It is about refusing to fake the funk. In buying a replica, one is hurting a company; a company that puts forward an effort and resources to create a product. By supporting a separate company that steals the design of that product and cashes in on it, one is hurting the mastermind behind the original. It's that simple.

If someone does not want to spend the money on the real thing, fine. There are alternatives. However, when one chooses to buy a replica, he is supporting a company that has done absolutely nothing by way of conception, design, or R&D. They have done next to nothing to deserve someone's money. That company is taking credit and, subsequently, being rewarded for someone else's ingenuity. That, I think, bothers me more than anything else.

The company AutoKits-X posted in the Group Buy thread. That made me wonder whether they are the company that is producing this fake lip. Or are they just going to cash in by selling it, as they do with the fake Top Secret lip they sell for the V36 coupe?

The response I received from AK-X when I inquired of them as to why they sell knock-off parts: "We are just giving consumers what they ask for. We have had our products copied, too."

A great response. Brilliant justification for ripping off a company in Japan that does all the legwork. I guess since it has happened to them, we are supposed to sympathize? That makes it okay? AutoKits-X is one company that will never see a dollar of my money for the simple reason that they are selling many knock-off parts.

Instead of making the uninspiring effort and meager investment of buying one authentic lip from a Japanese company and copying it, why can they not design and produce their own lip and sell it? Why must they rely on the creativity, originality, and innovation of another company to put money in their pocket?

And, most importantly, why is that okay with people?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bulletproof 11th Anniversary Meet - October 15, 2011

I'm sure some may find it odd that I am posting about a meet taking place in Gardena, California given that, geographically, I am just about as far away from this meet as possible while still being in the same country. However, I think it is safe to say that I would most definitely be in attendance if I lived within a full gas tank of the event.

Over the past couple years I have built a solid relationship not only with Bulletproof Automotive the business, but with the owner of the company, Ben Schaffer. Hardly just a source for buying authentic JDM parts, Ben has been a resource and an inspiration to me personally, as well as to JDMphasis. I do not hesitate in calling Ben a friend.

I believe Ben's mission statement is all that is right with the Japanese tuning industry. Pro-authenticity and anti-corner-cutting, plain and simple. Supporting the visionaries and original designs, a true passion lies at the foundation of his business. For this, I encourage anyone in the area to make an effort to attend the Bulletproof 11th Anniversary Meet.

More details here.

My favorite line of the flyer: "Our apologies, but if you rock knockoffs or fake the funk no need to apply. This event is to celebrate and gather those that represent the real."


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Project G37S: Lights at the End of the Tunnel

I received an e-mail update yesterday regarding the progress being made on the G. I understand the exhaust is now complete, the intakes are on, and the car has been tuned. Other than that, I was not provided with too much information. I believe Scott and the guys at Kaizen Tuning want the unveiling to be a bit of a surprise, so they are reluctant to keep me apprised of too much. Surprisingly, that is okay by me. I trust them... I should have the car back in my possession next week at some point.

Last week, as I was looking at the car from the front, aero complete, I found myself quite content with the new bumper. Aggressive, but tasteful. Not over-the-top at all. However, something was amiss...

I have always been averse to modifying my headlights for a couple reasons. The first being the concern of condensation. I have seen multiple sets of modified headlights resembling that empty water bottle that has been sitting for a few days - lenses hazy, riddled with tiny beads of water. That is not an issue I have ever found myself desiring. Thus, I have been hesitant to open up my lights. The other main concern is, quite simply, appearance. I do not particularly enjoy cars whose headlights are so busy that they steal focus from the rest of the project.

Putting my reservations aside, I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger on modifying the headlights. I believe that is the change the front end of the G needs to set it off nicely. Entrusting them to Scott's 'Light Guy,' Jason, my only instructions were "simple and clean."

Before Smoked Chrome

Carbon Sidemarker

After Smoked Chrome

Modified vs. Stock

Detailed Explanation of Headlight Modifications
  • Satin (semi-gloss) Black Housing
  • Gunmetal Projector Shroud
  • Carbon Amber Sidemarker
  • Smoked Film over Chrome