Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 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.

R1000 on R34

Friday, March 22, 2013


Quite possibly my favorite wheel of all-time...

(Source: Kultivate Blog)

(Source: JDMChicago)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Foxwoods Resort Casino Cruise & Meet

If you happen to be located in the Northeast of the United States and are free on Saturday April 13th, please consider joining a few enthusiasts for an open-to-all cruise to the largest casino in North America. A great opportunity to meet and greet, take some pictures, grab a bite, and, perhaps, gamble a bit for some mod money, I hope you consider joining us. Very informal. No brand cliques - all makes and models welcome. This is simply a gathering of like-minded individuals and their projects. The more, the merrier.

WHERE: Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, CT)

DATE: Saturday April 13th, 2013

TIME: 12:30PM (Meet time at casino)

Sunday, March 17, 2013


That is all.


JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Z34 with Sharp Corners

I often wonder if I should have opted for a Z34 over the V36 coupe. While I owned my Z33, I constantly rode the seesaw of debate over whether I would have been happier in a V35. So it seemed only natural for me to choose the Infiniti label this time around. While I do not regret the decision to opt for the G, I think I would prefer a Z. The grass is always greener, right? I miss the tight, sportiness of that car. I miss the shorter wheelbase and the smaller, cockpit-like cabin. Of course, I think I would have a blast modifying a Z, as well. There is a larger enthusiast base and, thus, more aftermarket options.

With more great JDM aftermarket options come many more parasitic replica companies out to make a buck off a stolen design. In browsing the Z boards, it is not often that you find a project that contains no cut corners. There are certainly some authentic parts floating around, but there are far more fake parts being showcased. Occasionally a project with a mixture of both authentic and replica parts surfaces. More often you will see a project riddled with replica parts and, sadly, it is seldom that you will find a project consisting of all authentic parts. Last year JDMphasis showcased one Z34 whose owner not only embraces the Innovation over Imitation ethos in his support of the masterminds and pioneers of the industry, but who also educates others of the damage replicas and knock-offs do to the industry.

I would like to share another Z that is adorned with authentic parts. Mikael's Z is sporting authentic Top Secret parts including exhaust, intakes, carbon fiber front lip, carbon side skirts, and carbon door pillars. The suspension is Tanabe and Advan and Enkei are the JDM wheel brands of choice that have been mounted on this Z. When Mikael drifts this beauty, he uses a Nismo shift knob and plants himself in Bride seats.

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Monday, March 11, 2013

Unoriginal. Unimaginative. Unworthy. Unacceptable.

Yet the evil still increased, and, like the parasite of barnacles on a ship, if it did not destroy the structure, it obstructed its fair, comfortable progress in the path of life. - William Banting

The Advan GT was a hugely popular wheel showcased on many shop vehicles at the TAS this year. Thus...



Just... Represent the real. Don't fake the funk.

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bride Knock-offs

Bride is one of the top aftermarket seat makers in the world. Lightweight, support, comfort, durability, and, of course, safety are among the many reasons enthusiasts, as well as professionals, choose Bride. Everyone knows fake Bride seats are out there. If you are in the market for Bride seats, please make sure you buy them from an authorized Bride dealer.

Some helpful pictures of an authentic Bride versus a fake...


JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Monday, March 4, 2013

T.R.A. Kyoto & Rocket Bunny via Maiham Media

If you have a few minutes (and have not already), I encourage you to check out this great 6+ minute video interview (Props to Luke Huxham & Dino Dalle Carbonare!) with the visionary behind the ever-so-popular Rocket Bunny aero kit for the GT86/FR-S and personality behind Japan's T.R.A. Kyoto, 42 year-old Kei Miura. Always interested in hearing direct from the talented innovators and creators of Japan's greatest designs, I find the minute or so he speaks of the technology and process of developing an aero prototype particularly intriguing, especially the mention of the fact that it takes one month, start to finish, to develop a prototype for one kit, one platform. I encourage you to consider that the next time you are contemplating giving your money to a replica company that purchased one kit from a small shop in Japan, spent minimal money copying the mold, and is charging you a fraction of the cost of that original. Consider the repercussions. Replicas harm the industry...


JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Friday, March 1, 2013


Why does it seem as though the bang-for-the-buck appeal of modifying has become the ultimate determinant in deciding whether to pursue a certain modification? Is it really the be-all/end-all when it comes to modifying decisions?

We modify our cars because we believe the changes we are making improve the vehicle. This is not news. I have stated this before. I must admit, however, I do not exactly find myself surprised when I see a modification done to a vehicle with a quality part and people question it. It is rare these days that I see quality modifications, first of all, but when these modifying solar eclipses occur, it is both a breath of fresh air, but also a righteous reminder of the state of the tuning world.

Why do we criticize the guy who modifies with quality parts? Is it jealousy? Envy? It is just a bit peculiar to me because I see, far more often, threads on forums where people are showing off their cheap parts, or asking opinions about an exhaust system that costs $237 and is produced in Taiwan. When those modifying decisions provoke criticism or someone recommends holding on to the stock system and continue saving for something better, the all-too-common, "It's his car. Let him do what he wants with it," or "Are you going to pay for it?" lines come out. Or, more, those discriminating members earn the tag of haters. And for what? For simply stating facts, or better yet, for giving the original poster exactly what he asked for: opinions. 

At the same time, when someone spends the money for quality, we often see, "My system makes the same gains and I only paid $300 for it," or "You could have done X, Y, and Z with the amount of money it took to buy that..." 

Quality, attention-to-detail, and rarity are but some of the factors that many enthusiasts consider when buying parts. That is not a bad thing. Comparing parts (or even vehicles) on the confined substratum of a horsepower to price ratio is shortsighted and, frankly, rather inane. It seems as though there are some people who consider themselves automotive gurus who cannot seem to grasp the novel reality that there are actually loyal enthusiasts who desire more than just raw, tire-spinning power. The whole phenomenon seems backwards to me. Then again, much that occurs in the aftermarket parts scene seems a bit backwards at times...

Top Secret Super Induction Intakes (installed on a V36 coupe)

Carbon fiber filter shields...

Titanium intake tubes...

Beautiful craftsmanship...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation