Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How about a change of pace? Some REAL Zele...

I am growing a bit tired of seeing G's popping up everywhere claiming to be sporting Zele front bumpers when they're actually faking the funk. Here's an in-your-face shot of some authentic Zele Performance beauty...

(via Access Evolution)

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Varis Z34 Showcase

Perhaps my favorite aero for the latest Nissan Fairlady, enjoy this small collection of Varis Z34 snaps...

Wednesday, April 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.

Z34 featuring a CRAZY Amuse: RS-Silent w/ 'A' Body Mufflers & Quad Black Edition Tips

(Source: Access Evolution)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Justifying Corner-Cutting

I have been known to be outspoken when it comes to the replica/knock-off debates on automotive forums. I do not often hesitate to make my sentiments on the topic known. As of late, I have been relatively quiet on this front (partly because it has not surfaced too much recently). However, a thread recently surfaced on the forum I frequent most often. A member posted an inquiry about a replica front lip. I should note that this inquiry spawned as a result of another member starting a thread bragging about a certain replica company building him a "custom" diffuser. This publicity sparked the second member to research this company. He visited the company website and found a front lip that he found attractive. (These points are relevant for reasons I will discuss momentarily...)

The lip in question is a replica of an Access Evolution design. The particular company, not to be mentioned as I see no need to give any further publicity, is known for their replications of popular Nissan/Infiniti designs. The creator of the thread, despite numerous pictures to the contrary, refused to acknowledge that it is, actually, a replica of the Japanese company's design.

After multiple members, with pictures of the real deal, assured the member that the lip was, indeed, a replica, he shrugged it off in an indifferent manner.

"As for all the 'replica' talk, that's mostly pointless posturing. There's nothing wrong with a derivative design, and it's not like it means jack here in my suburban neighborhood."

"I realize that there's a whole modding community that spends big $$$ on appearance kits. But that's not why I created the thread, and it's not even remotely a priority with me. My G is just another daily driver that sees very little mileage, the bulk of which is in driving my kids to and from sleepovers."

I have seen and heard many justifications for cutting corners. Many people who sport replica parts on their cars have their distorted absolutions and recreant rationalizations for putting their money into the pockets of the companies that steal proven designs. The above statements are just more of those rickety rationalizations. Sadly, they are also exactly what is wrong with the community of modding enthusiasts. First and foremost, the design is not "derivative." It is an exact copy. Secondly, what does one's physical location have to do with supporting a replica company? The company you are ultimately harming by putting money into the pockets of its underminer does not care whether you pull your car through your white picket fence and park it in a 3-car garage on Spring Street in Suburbia or whether you call the urban jungle your home. You are supporting an intellectual property thief regardless. Furthermore, when you post on the immense social construct that is the internet, whether it be a picture of your car or a comment praising a replica company, one's 'voice' is amplified dramatically. Additionally, if one is going to attempt to downplay the role their car plays in their life by suggesting that it is "just another daily driver," then why look into aftermarket parts at all? Why not keep it 100% stock? Why not just use it to transport children? Why modify it? You cannot play both cards... "I like to modify, BUT, because I use it mainly to do family-type things, it is acceptable for me to rock replica parts..."

No. Sorry.

A couple months ago I posted my thoughts about Nissan posting a picture to their Facebook page of the Formula Drift Z33 sporting a replica bumper with a banner advertising said company (the same replica company that steals Nismo designs) across the front of it. I could not understand it. Why broadcast to over 1,000,000 Facebook followers a car that is tattooed with a replica company that rips off Nissan's own performance company? Is this real life? This is where the massive power of the internet can harm the industry. Just as broadcasting the name of a replica company on the bumper of a highly visible drift car, we bring attention to replica companies when we praise their efforts. We perpetuate the notion that it is okay to fake the funk. And for what are we praising their efforts? For undermining other companies by stealing! Sadly, this occurs when a so-called enthusiast of the modifying culture, whether he hails from a suburban neighborhood or the inner city, offers an excuse for cutting corners and broadcasts his car featuring fake parts on an automotive forum or social media outlet.

The real deal Access Evolution carbon lip on a G37 sedan

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Amuse Z34

Vestito aero, dry carbon bonnet, Bride seats, rolling on Advan GT's...

(Photo Credit: © by Andreas Koertge)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Project G37S: UnAmused

The follow-up to Project G37S: Spring is here!

No less than 25 minutes after departing JT Motoring, en route home, surprisingly remarking to myself that I noticed no unfavorable change in ride quality as a result of the spacer install, I was impressed. Driving the G for the first time in months was nice, to say the least. Nearing my exit, I moved from the left lane to the middle lane when the car in front of me swerved. The bud of that swerve was a discarded blown tire resting contemptuously in the middle lane of the expressway. As swiftly as I was able, I swerved, as well. Needless to say, I was unsuccessful in my attempt to avoid the remains of someone's discarded rubber and, thus, it claimed roughly one third of my Zele Performance front bumper, one of my First Molding underwings, the lining of my wheel well, and a number of other parts...

A few shots of the carnage:

Yes, it could have been worse. Yes, I did not get hurt. I am thankful for that. At the same time, I am quite confident in my suggestion that there may have been a bit of smoke slowly exiting my ears after this incident. I remember an ear-piercing expletive that only I could have yelled, and then, moments later, thinking this could not have actually happened. Mad, sad, frustrated, annoyed, and shocked are but a few of the emotions that came to me all at once. Minutes prior to this I was contemplating what shop to contact for a detail before the weekend meet I have been trying to put together since January. Now I am left combing through receipts and praying that insurance will cover the thousands of dollars in damaged JDM parts. Fingers crossed. I will update JDMphasis as I wade my way through this unfortunate situation.

Project G37S: Spring is here!

Aside from a few short single-digit mile expeditions around town over the winter just to give it some exercise, today was the first time the G has been driven since November. I had an appointment with my friends over at JT Motoring to have a few small things done. This Saturday is the Foxwoods Cruise & Meet that has been in the works since January. I have a couple parts on order that I knew would not be in here in time for this meet, but I have had a few things waiting to be installed for a few months now that I wanted to have done before the weekend. FIC 10MM hub centric spacers for the front wheels, Project Mu B-Force pads, and the swapping of one set of Kics lugs for another made up today's 'To-Do' List. Nothing crazy. No heavy lifting.

I am very happy with the results. The spacers push the wheels out just enough to look flush with no major poke and the new pads are a bit softer than the race pads that have been on there since we installed these brakes. I believe, given my driving tendencies, these pads are perfect.

FIC: Made in Japan

Hub-centric with built-in studs

Spacers and new pads installed.

Advan RZDF mounted with Kics REVO lugs

Part II of the day's events will be included in a follow-up Project G37S post... Stay tuned.

Monday, April 8, 2013

JDMphasis Decal Giveaway

Would you show your support by rocking an Innovation over Imitation decal on your car?

We are going to be giving away five pairs of decals to randomly selected JDMphasis followers over the next few weeks. 

The catch? You have to send us a picture of your authentic parts. Wheels, aero, shift knobs, etc... We are not picky. Then, at the end of the month, five people will be picked at random to receive the decals.

Send all e-mails to JDMphasis@gmail.com. (Be sure to include a mailing address.)

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fake Volk Racing TE37

One of the most copied wheel designs of all-time is the classic style of the Volk Racing TE37. Fakes are everywhere! From spoke design and angles to stickers, valve stems, engraving, and finishes, the imitators go to extreme lengths to make deciphering the authentic wheels from the phonies as challenging as possible.

In 2010, Rays Engineering made efforts to make it a bit easier to differentiate the real deal from that of the fakes by adding some engravings to the inside of their 17/18" wheels, as they have on their 19" models. It is also important to remember that all Volk Racing wheels have the serial number and production lot seal on the inside of the barrel.

Before 2010:

After 2010:

Inside of the barrel (But be wary and discriminating as there are even fake Rays serial # stickers for sale):
In two of the most recent additions to the Volk Racing line-up, Rays has added etchings on the spokes of the TE37 designs. I love this.
Volk Racing Te37 Tokyo Time Attack

Volk Racing TE37RT

Sadly, some copies are better than others. Here is just one example of a not-so-convincing fake TE37:


If you are debating replica wheels, do not only consider the intellectual property theft that occurs when original designs are stolen from the pioneering companies, but also consider your safety. As is the case with "enthusiasts" who buy cheap knock-off and replica parts, hack replica and knock-off companies cut corners, as well. Don't fake the funk. When purchasing Rays Engineering wheels, make sure you buy from a Rays Authorized Dealer (RAD).

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013