Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from JDMphasis...

Here is wishing you and your families a happy, healthy, and successful 2014.

The Road Ahead...

Thank you for your continued readership and support. More importantly, thank you for refusing to cut corners with your projects by supporting originality and authenticity. Be the funk. Don't fake it.

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Monday, December 30, 2013

Excuse me?!?

Mean R35 in your face...

(Capture Credit: A.Heber Photography)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank you, JDM Chicago.

Ginash and JDM Chicago put together a sale for some cool Paul Walker tribute decals. One of the few trustworthy and ethical organizations selling anything Paul Walker-related, JDM Chicago donated 100% of all proceeds generated from the sale of the decals to Paul Walker's charity, Reach Out Worldwide. For this reason, I decided to buy a couple. I commend Ginash and JDM Chicago for not only coming up with a unique tribute to Mr. Walker, but also for their transparency in this endeavor. With quite a few people and organizations attempting to cash in on this tragedy, it is a breath of fresh air to see the sale of these decals executed in proper decorum, with class. 

JDM Chicago, you have the respect of JDMphasis.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Amusing Photography...

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.

Another beautiful, custom V35 sedan quad set-up by Access Evolution

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Santa's Workshop...

His big day is almost here.

Checking it twice... Naughty; not nice.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Right vs. Wrong

Doing it RIGHT...

(Photo Credit: RavSpec)

Doing it WRONG...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Paul Walker: Passionately Prominent

I have been sitting in front of a blank computer screen off-and-on for almost three days now trying to think of the right words. I have only recently come to the conclusion that there are no right words. I do not think that anything I write about the tragic deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas will influence, impact, affect, or impel anyone. I have a few acquaintances in this small niche of Japanese car enthusiasts who actually knew these men and likely have more profound things to say about them than I ever could. However, I am not going to let that keep me from sharing some of my thoughts...

I still cannot believe this happened.

Over the course of the past few days, I have seen a number of articles and news stories on this accident. Given that I follow quite a few JDM-related Facebook pages, my Newsfeed has been inundated with posts and stories about this tragedy. I have seen many heartfelt expressions of condolence, sympathy, and sadness, but I have also seen opportunists. I have seen the creation of tee shirts, decals, and stickers with Paul Walker's likeness or tag lines from the Fast & Furious movies, not collecting profits for funds or charities, but for personal gain. I have seen despicable, disrespectful, and downright hateful posts about the death of Mr. Walker and Mr. Rodas. 

If you hate the Fast and Furious movies, great. Announcing it on the day the series' star's life is cut short tragically by way of an ill-conceived status update is utterly tasteless. Your public pining for the series to come to an end is a far cry from humorous. Your denouncement of speed is misplaced. As such, your assessment of poor role modeling is awry. Your failed allusion to highlight an irony in the situation is feeble at best. A teenage girl is left without a father, parents without a son, and brothers and sisters left mourning. Shameful...

This disgusting behavior aside, you are clearly missing the boat on these movies! If you are spending money on these movies because you want to play witness to Oscar-worthy performances, there is not much to be said. You are lost. If noting casts comprised of Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson (AKA "The Rock"), Ludacris, Bow Wow, and Tyrese Gibson is not enough to lead you to the deduction that you will very likely not be embarking on a journey of cinematic excellence, then that is on you. I do not believe these movies were written with the intent to provoke thought or mirror reality. They were meant to entertain. And they do! On top of that, Paul Walker (and the rest of the F&F crew) sparked an excitement in young car enthusiasts that extended the realm beyond expensive exotics and the muscle cars of your father. I can remember learning that Paul Walker actually had a genuine interest in Japanese tuning. He was not just a blond-haired, blue-eyed heartthrob actor that they plopped down in the "granny-shifting, not double-clutching" role of Brian O'Connor. He was legitimate. He was real. That impressed me. Let's face it, it's just plain cool. Regardless of the criticisms of the acting or the hyperrealistic nature of the drama and plots, this franchise is a success because the movies are entertaining. They are fun.

As mentioned, I do not know much about either of these men. I have opinions generated by way of exposure to the Fast and Furious series and, as a result of this dreadful event, I have learned a bit more since Saturday afternoon. I often reference passion in my posts - how it relates to a specific build or to the aftermarket industry as a whole. Some of what I have learned over the past few days is of a man who was passionate. Passionate about life. Passionate about humanity. Passionate about motorsports. Passionate about philanthropy. Passionate about his daughter. Paul Walker seemed to be a down-to-earth guy who used his circumstance to help others. Not only did the tuning world lose a great enthusiast and ambassador on November 30th of 2013, but, I think it is safe to suggest that the world has lost a warm, humble, and compassionate human being. Rest in Peace.

Paul Walker (1973-2013)

And a great video of Mr. Walker's visit to the legendary Mine's tuning shop in Japan...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from JDMphasis...

Today is the one day of the year that we are expected to reflect upon those things in our lives for which we are appreciative. I'm afraid that many take this holiday for granted, so, while watching football, inhaling mashed potatoes by the shovelful, or prepping for an early-morning shopping expedition, I urge you to take a minute or two and acknowledge, if only to yourself, all that you have for which to be thankful.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but of recognizing and appreciating what we do. - Frederick Keonig

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Amusing Photography...

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.

                    Beautiful Titanium Intake Pipe on a Nissan Z33

Monday, November 18, 2013

JM's Evo X in Import Tuner

JDMphasis reader, JM Yang's, stellar 2010 Evo X was recently featured in Import Tuner. These are the types of builds that need to be recognized and praised more often. We would like to say thank you to JM not only for executing such a top-notch build with quality parts from legitimate companies, but for giving us a shout-out in the article. (He even references our Innovation over Imitation adage!)

"There are a lot of people in the industry who I look up to, both locally and abroad. Jay of JDMEGO, Bill of JDMphasis, Ben of Bulletproof Automotive, and countless other builds have served as inspiration for me," JM says. "They have been advocates of innovation over imitation, and that motto I have used as a cornerstone in my build philosophy."

Thank you, JM. This recognition is well-deserved. We cannot wait to see what you do next...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Passion? My $.02...

I have seen this picture posted and reposted on different Facebook pages and blogs over the course of the past few months. I get it. I understand the premise of the quote and I understand why people LIKE it on those pages. I also understand that it is borne from the ever-increasing "internet mentality," where any unfavorable commentary, critique or criticism of a picture posted on the immeasurable technological web of the world is perceived as a personal attack. And, yes, I understand why people subscribe to the spirit of the message, but, being a contrarian, I must take issue with it.

I take issue with throwing the word "passion" around in a way that allows for the loss of the true essence of what it means. Passion is rapture. It is ardor, fascination, and intense affection. It is a word used to describe the most zealous form of love, devotion, and obsession. Passion is an enthusiastic infatuation or dedication to someone or some thing. I am in no way suggesting that one cannot be passionate about cars or modifying cars or driving cars. I do believe, however, that, when this word is used in the realm of the aftermarket culture, if one is to announce a passion for modifying, that the commodity put forth should reflect that passion. 

Of course, we here at JDMphasis believe in supporting original designs and authenticity. The 'Innovation over Imitation' ethos is something about which we are, in fact, passionate. We discourage corner-cutting when modifying and urge enthusiasts to pinch their pennies just a little longer to afford the real deal products, as opposed to buying the cheaper replica or knock-off part. My belief is that the object of one's "passion" should reflect and embrace that passion. It should be something of which one retains great pride. A car riddled with knock-off and replica parts does not illustrate an overwhelming enthusiasm for the culture. It does not illustrate a passion. Is it actually possible to be proud of something knowing that, in its conception, corners were cut? Once again, my opinions are not always popular (and, I'm sure, are the direct reason that I am often labeled a "hater"). However, I would not willingly skimp or cheap out on something about which I declare I am passionate. The very nature of such a declaration contradicts logic. To make an analogy, I cannot envision someone who brands himself a passionate collector of timepieces walking around with a replica Rolex watch on his wrist. It is ludicrous. To me, he is not actually passionate at all. It is a ruse. He is pretending; faking the funk. His "passion" is based on a lie. Therefore, that "passion" is phony.

I believe in the idea that a project belongs to the owner and he/she is free to do to it what they desire. I believe there is a difference between taking a position on issues of subjectivity and issues of objectivity. For instance, who I am to tell someone that they should not cut their springs to position their car an inch off the ground, while stretching a 225 Nankang tire on a 11" wheel, and running a camber setting that resembles subarctic temperatures? That is a matter of taste. Some like that style; some do not. Like everyone else, I have opinions on these types of issues, but they are just that - my opinions. It is not my car. However, the replica/knock-off issue is based on a reality. The reality is that supporting replica companies harms the real innovators of the tuning world. Copying the design of another is stealing. Plain and simple. That is why, at JDMphasis, we are more apt to write about supporting the true talent of the aftermarket world by encouraging people to buy real, as opposed to preaching that stancing a car or stretching tires is dumb. And, yes, some agree with my viewpoints and others do not.

So, to address the above quote, yes, I, too, urge you to "do it your way" and do not let the opinions of others dismay you (mine included), but at least understand why I may question your "passion" for the tuning culture or for modifying when you are rolling down the street in your project on which you knowingly and willingly chose to cut corners. I do not buy that passion as genuine.

Furthermore, and on a separate note, I would like to post the original photograph from above.

Notice anything about it?

Yes, of course, it was altered to add the script, but the original watermark was also cropped out of the image and a new one was added. Oh, the irony of affixing a quotation apropos the subject of passion while falsely ascribing credit to yourself! Do I even need to point out the obvious fact that photography is a passion to many and, in a growing social media world, a watermark is often the only means of acknowledgment for photographers? Is it not hypocritical to write a quote about rejecting the thoughts and opinions of others all while stealing someone else's work and crediting yourself? Sadly, I cannot say that I am surprised...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nissan Silvia S16 Announcement?

There has been much buzz as of late about an upcoming announcement by Nissan that the Silvia is due to return to the Nissan line-up. I have heard the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show will be the venue. There have been rumors about the new S16 for a couple years now. I do not know what to believe. I remember reading about it back in 2008 or 2009. I have heard 2016 as a possible release date. I do believe Nissan should be considering something to compete with the 86 because, as expected (and evidenced by the SEMA show last week in Las Vegas), the Toyota/Subaru/Scion is taking the tuning world by storm. A marketing expert I am not, but I do believe a light-weight, well-balanced sports car with horsepower numbers in the low 200's (Perhaps powered by a variation of the Nissan Juke's 1.6L Turbo-charged 4-cylinder?) set to fall in the Nissan line-up below the Z could potentially do well (and make some Nissan-heritage-loyalists happy). But who knows?

Here is a recent rendering I have seen of the Nissan Silvia S16 Concept:

Now, I do not know how much stock I would put in the final product looking like this, as I remember the Infiniti Essence Concept from a few years back looking quite similar. No. Pretty much exactly the same...

And an "unofficial" teaser video:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diffused Bruise

Black & Blue S2Ks...

In the hopes that I will stumble upon that captivating JDM styling cue that unites me with my next project, I have recently found myself attracted to a few different platforms. Still undecided, I am toying with a few different possibilities, but among those potential future projects is the S2000. Here are a few shots of some nicely-done S2Ks... (The black S has been a favorite of mine for quite some time.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013


We posted up a unique Amuse exhaust set-up in our Amusing Photography... segment back in July (seen here). The vehicle on which the Amuse titanium exhaust was featured is a V35 sedan with quad tips, but with a rather funky twist. For those who may not know, Access Evolution and Power House Amuse collaborate to make some pretty epic exhaust systems that can be seen mostly on G and Z cars. This set-up is no different, but, since the exhaust build, Access has done some further work on this car. They have added some vent work above the carbon diffuser. Even if the design is not something with which to fall in love, one can certainly appreciate the originality and craftsmanship on display here.

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallows' Eve the JDMphasis way...

Happy Halloween from JDMphasis...

Some black and orange goodness to celebrate the day...

Monday, October 28, 2013