Thursday, January 28, 2016

Amusing Photography...

My affinity for 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.

                    Z33 sporting an Amuse RS-Silent (w/ Gold Ring option)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 New England International Auto Show

Okay, so it is certainly not Tokyo Auto Salon 2016, but I was offered a ticket to this year's New England International Auto Show in Boston this past weekend. There are worse ways to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. I attempted to snap a few pictures with my phone, but that proved rather challenging as there were about a hundred people in, on, and around every vehicle. I went to this event a couple years ago and I quickly remembered why I was not in a rush to go back: the crowds. People everywhere. People in line to sit in every parked car and pump the brakes, jiggle the shifters, adjust the mirrors and seats… People outside of every vehicle caressing, rubbing, touching, and brushing up against the exterior of every vehicle, transferring the greasy oils from their hands onto the shiny paint. Unsupervised screaming children running around playing tag and other non-car-show-friendly games. Anyway, enough complaining. Here are a few shots from the show…

R35… Enough said.

A few Aston Martins...

I'll take the black...



I actually do not love the new Vettes, but I liked the wheel choice on this one… HRE P101.

American muscle… Mean.

These little cars look like a blast to drive...

German automotive artistry… Porsche GT3RS.

2016 Nismo Z34...

Digging the rear...

I liked the color combo on this Lexus GS F. I wonder why...

Same exterior/caliper color combo I am using on the Z33...

And the car I went back to a few different times… Liberty Walk R35 on air.

I LOVE the matte white...

Finished the day with an adult beverage from an ACK brewery I have been known to visit on occasion...

Thanks for looking...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, January 15, 2016

You know you have the right project vehicle when...

…you are not deterred at the fantastic thought of an endless budget.

I was one of the millions of Americans who, over the past couple weeks, found himself enamored at the incredible prospect of becoming a billionaire overnight. I purchased roughly ten Powerball tickets for myself, as well as contributed a few dollars to the office pool. Of course the odds of winning are highly unlikely, but it is fun to imagine. The "What's the first thing you'd buy?" game is entertaining - a momentary respite from the everyday grind. I would argue it is worth the $2 investment to fantasize; worth it for a shot at that miracle.

In creating that list of purchases to make upon winning millions of dollars, of course a few automobiles find their way on that list. I would likely have a stable full of vehicles had I won over $1,000,000,000 this past Wednesday evening. However, I truly believe that I would still maintain a strong desire to build the best Z33 I could build. Yes, of course I would have a Maserati GranTurismo, perhaps a Lamborghini, maybe an LFA, a couple Porsches, obviously a couple GT-Rs among others, but I think I would still need to have the car that stimulated my passion for Japanese cars and the JDM culture. I find myself picturing my car when it is done and constantly scheming, imagining, creating ideas and possibilities in my head. I look forward to the e-mails I receive from my partners in this build. I cannot wait to take a razor blade to the packing tape of those cardboard boxes with Japanese writing and stamps all over them revealing the parts upon which I have been waiting for months...

I think believing that I would still want to complete my Z33 project, upon winning a Powerball jackpot, knowing full well that I could own any car in existence, is how I know that I have the right project.

I know I have posted these images in previous posts, but here are a couple shots of a Z33 that I view as inspiration for my project…

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, January 9, 2016

How safe are your wheels?

"We showed just how unsafe fake wheels are. Genuine is best. There is no way I would be putting my mates in a car with fake wheels. It's just not worth the risk."

Be Real. Buy Real.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, January 1, 2016

Project Goals for 2016

First, Happy New Year to the readers of JDMphasis… I hope 2016 proves to be a happy and prosperous year for all of you.

It has been a while since I have posted any progress posts about either of my two projects. I believe the first day of the new year is an opportune time to share my goals and objectives for these builds for the upcoming year.


As you may know, I have quite a few parts stockpiled for Project Z33. The car is still 100% bone stock at the moment. However, here is a list of the parts that I have waiting to be installed.

  • 18" Volk Racing TE37SL wheels
  • Kics Project Leggdura racing Nuts
  • Tanabe Sustec Pro Comfort-R Coilovers
  •  Blox Shorty Antenna
  • VeilSide VIII Aero Mirrors
  • Tommy Kaira Hebi Bebi Shift Knob
  • Nismo GT Titanium Shift Knob
  • Redline Goods Shift & E-Brake Boots
  • Nardi E-Brake Handle
  • Works Bell Hub
  • Vertex 10 Star Deep Corn (330MM) Steering Wheel
  • TWM Performance Short Shifter

The following parts are en route from Japan:
  • INGS+1 N-Spec Type E Aero (shown below)
    • Longnose Front Bumper
    • Rear Bumper
    • Side Skirts
    • Type II Bonnet
    • Carbon Canards
    • Z-Power Wing

  • Runduce Big Brake kit
    • 8-Piston Front kit (380MM)
    • 6-Piston Rear kit (356MM)
  • Amuse R1-Titan Exhaust
  • Amuse R1-Titan Y-Pipe
So, clearly, there is plenty of work to be done once these parts arrive. I recently received word that my brakes are in California. I am just waiting for some of the other parts to arrive stateside so as to combine shipping and save a couple dollars. I am hopeful that we can get the project well underway by spring. On top of the listed parts above, I have a few other things I would like to address at the time that the build process begins. Namely, some other suspension components and tires - I am still up in the air as to what rubber to use on this build. The car is ten years old, so we are going to assess the condition of some of the suspension components and see what we would like to address in terms of replacing and upgrading. Other than that, we are going to wrap the car. I am thinking a similar color and finish to that of the R's Tuning R35 GT-R:

I am truly looking forward to getting this build underway. I know it will not come together overnight and I am sure there will be some snags, delays, and issues that arise, but I am hopeful that the end result will be well worth all the headaches and hiccups.


Aside from a few small exterior modifications, the daily driving FJC is still in relative stock form, as well. A few of my plans for this build have changed with the acquisition of the Z33. I have decided to tone down the goals a bit. However, I think the end result will be a pretty fierce daily-driven FJ Cruiser.

Parts I have waiting to be installed:

  • 18" Volk Racing TE37 LARGE PCD
  • Pro-Comp USA 3" Lift Kit
  • N-Fab Nerf Bars
  • Trail Teams Edition Black-Out Grille
  • Trail Teams Edition Black-Out Door Handles
Tires are also on the list of things to procure for this build. I have only recently, after months of research and back-and-forth, finally decided on the sizing. I would also like to upgrade the horn. The horn on this truck, in my opinion, is pathetic. Other than that, I would like to do a light bar and install a more aggressive front bumper, perhaps a Demello Offroad Single Hoop:

I think that will be it for this truck for 2016. But, then again, who really knows?

Though these projects have barely begun at this point, I would not even be close to where I am at this point without the assistance and support of my friends at Bulletproof Automotive, namely Ben and Bo, who have hooked me up with great sponsorship pricing on some of the best Japanese parts available for my platform and my good buddy Brian of Pro-Spec Auto who has had my back since Day 1.  

Thank you for following the build log of these projects of mine. Stay tuned

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation