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):