Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Project Z33: Central20 Dry Carbon Rear Strut Bar Cover

This arrived yesterday. With many of the larger aspects of my build still to be addressed, I probably should have held back on the purchase of this piece, but I could not let it go. Besides, whether addressed early or later, the details make the difference. Right?

Thank you to JDM Auto Link.

Central20 Dry Carbon Rear Strut Bar Cover

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, August 26, 2016

Project Z33: Amuse Exhaust Update

I have not shared too much about the exhaust system that Amuse has been working on for me. If you have followed JDMphasis for any period of time, you are probably aware that I am basically enraptured by all things Amuse. As far as I am concerned, Amuse is next level. Of course, I had the custom quad-tip system made for the G (post here: Project G37S: Exhausted). When I purchased the Z, I did not plan on doing anything crazy with the exhaust. I wanted Amuse, of course, but I was just going to go with an "off the shelf" system. (Anyone who knows anything about Amuse, knows that there really is no such thing as "off the shelf," but you know what I mean…)

Well, things change. My plan for the Z all along has been to go with the INGS+1 Type E aero. I love that aggressive Super GT look. If you are at all familiar with the rear bumper of this aero, you know it extends out a bit more than the OEM rear bumper. (Stock photos below.)

Since I have done the regular R1-Titan system from Amuse and the custom system for the G in the past, I decided to go a different route this time.

"Off the Shelf" R1-Titan System

'Bill P' Edition Custom Quad-Tipped System

I have always liked the clean yet mean and aggressive look of the R1-Titan 'Black Edition' offered by Amuse. 

R1-Titan 'Black Edition'

So… I spoke with my friends at Bulletproof Automotive about doing something unique for me. I told them that I like when the tips of the exhaust extend past the edge of the rear bumper; not obnoxiously long, but longer than the bumper. Bearing in mind that I would be using the more aggressive Type E aero, I asked if we could have the tips lengthened. My friend Bo took my idea and ran it by Amuse. They agreed that it should not be a problem. In short, I basically asked for the R1-Titan 'Black Edition' exhaust with longer tips. It turned out that Amuse had other plans. This is a portion of a correspondence I had with Bo in the early stages of the planning of this exhaust system.

You're not getting the standard 350Z Amuse R1 Titan exhaust. I thought you were at first but after discussing with Amuse, it makes the most sense to use the base exhaust for the NISMO spec Superleggera R1 Titan system and modify that for the standard Z33 platform. Then they are going to further customize the exhaust tips and then add the Black Titan coating. All in all, they're not just adding longer tips to a standard Amuse R1 Titan. It'll be a total custom system for you which is why they dubbed the name "Super Custom Leggera R1 Titan Extra."

Nismo Amuse 380RS Superleggera

That sounded pretty appealing to me. So, after discussing and planning for months, I finally placed the order in either late March or early April. I knew there would be a long lead time, but that did not really bother me as 1) I am not in a huge rush with this project and 2) the car is still in stock form anyway. I am embarrassed to admit that I have logged less than ten miles on the Z since I have owned it - well over a year. It has not even been inspected in my home state.

Anyway, I just recently received another email from my buddy Bo at Bulletproof with an update on my parts that are resting peacefully at their warehouse, as well as an update on the exhaust.

As for the exhaust, that is actually the final piece we're waiting on for your order. We DID actually get that order into Matsui-San who personally built your exhaust by hand. Matsui-San usually does all of the special projects and custom exhausts himself which is really cool. Again, he dubbed it the Powerhouse Amuse R1 Black Titan Super Custom Leggera Exhaust. It's an unofficial name being that this is a custom one-off system but I thought it sounded pretty cool.

Wow. To have the man Matsui-San himself working on my exhaust system -the part that will eventually end up on my car, is pretty humbling. That is something, as someone who respects Amuse and their artistry and attention to detail the way I do, on which you cannot put a price tag. There are no words. It is truly amazing. 

That said, one final aspect of the system that I had a say in was the placement of the logo. I chose to have the logos placed on the tops of the tails, as opposed to the sides. So it should look something like this:

Needless to say, I am beyond excited to see the final product. More, I am excited to get going on this build.

Stay tuned

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

So. Much. Win.

Advan, Project Mu, & Amuse… Yup.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Liberty Walk and SSR - Jon's Evil V36 Coupe

I am quite sure I have shared similar sentiments in the past, but it bears repeating - I think, when one owns a certain vehicle, he becomes a bit more critical and/or discerning when it comes to the modification choices of others who own the same vehicle. I believe, to a certain extent, that is human nature. There are few current Z33 and V36 builds that I would be willing to designate as quality builds. I do not believe that is necessarily because I am a "mod snob" or because I promptly discredit a car that features a replica or knock-off part (however true that may be). Owning the same vehicle or having a history with that vehicle and knowledge of that vehicle and its aftermarket cache allows one to be just a bit more particular.

I have blogged previously that I am not all that crazy about the bolt-on fender craze of the past few years. There are few vehicles, in my humble opinion, that can pull it off. Often the cars end up looking like a hacked-up shadow of themselves with no flow and little harmony, if I can use that word to describe the appearance of an automobile. I am all set with the bulky transformer-esque similarities when it comes to aero. It goes without saying, but the modifications of this G do not have me face-palming. 

This V36 coupe makes me miss my own. I do not know Jon personally, but if I had to guess, I would say he is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the appearance of his vehicle. Working in the automotive paint business probably does that to you. Some readers may remember a few shots I shared of Jon's beautiful Zele carbon fiber front bumper back in January of 2015 - Done Right. Attention to detail and precision were clearly a point of focus for Jon when he resprayed the car and widened it with Liberty Walk fender flares. I would imagine there is an added amount of pride that goes into a project build when you, as owner, are the one doing the work. Jon has done all the work on this G himself. From the Tricoat Black Crystal custom paint job to the Liberty Walk, Zele, and Burnout aero and gorgeous SSR Professor SP3 rollers, the exterior of this V36 coupe is on point. Additionally, the engine bay of this sleek coupe is riddled with titanium ARC bits and appears to be meticulously maintained. As an auto enthusiast, there is little better than seeing a personal project executed with care, clarity, and vision. I wonder what is next... Keep doing your thing, Jon.

That carbon lip on the Zele front bumper...

Squatting on KW V3 coilovers...

That bay!
 Oh, and of course… Support for JDMphasis. (Thanks, Jon.)

   JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, August 17, 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.

86 art

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, August 12, 2016

Rest in Peace, Linus.

I have written very few blog posts in which I have disclosed personal information, but for some reason I am inclined to relay the personal events of today because I think, if nothing else, it will allow some of my followers to realize that I am a person and not just a pro-authenticity robot.

This morning I was forced to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the world. This guy, at times, put fear into people due mainly to his size. He was a big boy. He weighed over 250 pounds. However, after a few seconds in his presence, it became apparent to all that he was the very definition of a gentle giant, and, quite literally lived up to the all-too-common cliche of one afraid of his own shadow.

Often a tedious, sauntering Eeyore-esque personality of a humdrum, dreary, and forlorn old man, Linus liked to keep to himself, though he was rarely averse to any affection one might be willing to show him. Whether it be a gentle rubbing of the area between his eyes or a rigorous scratching of the loose fur of his "chest" area, Linus was always amenable to love. And that was enough. Showing him love allowed us to witness just how much he loved us.

I have lost two English Mastiffs in the past 9 years. It is difficult to tender an answer to the question as to why humans are so open and willing to expose themselves to the overwhelmingly brutal pain of losing a pet, but I think I can surmise a relatively simple yet valid and authentic response. They are worth it. 

As I sat there in that eerily familiar and devastatingly heart-breaking position of holding my dog's big head in my arms moments before he was injected with a permanent sedative, I knew that his purpose in this world was served. He made my life better. He made the life of my family better. He brought joy and happiness into our lives every single day he was alive and, for that, we are forever indebted to that big, lovable oaf.

There are many old adages, comfort phrases, and short narratives and anecdotes we have all heard about pets upon their death, I believe, in an effort to make the pain just a little easier to bear. There is a lot of pain. I am dealing with it right now - an almost unbearable pain, as I have lost a big part of my life. I have lost a rock. A sure thing. A constant and an unconditional. I have lost a great friend. But I know that the pain is not a bad thing. The pain means he did his job. He served his purpose. He showed us what unconditional love is all about. He lived the life in his short time on this earth that we, as humans, should all aspire to lead in however many years we have here.

It has only been a couple hours, but I miss him already… Rest in Peace, Big Fella.

An excerpt from 'A Celebration of Dogs' by Roger Caras

We give them the love we can spare, the time we can spare.
In return, dogs have given us their absolute all.
It is, without a doubt, the best deal man has ever made.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Top Secret R32 GT-R

I saw this beauty on eBay last week. Absolutely stunning. I would love a Smoky Nagata Top Secret GT-R. If money were no object, I would have done my best to be in the running to take delivery on this masterpiece…

Signature Top Secret Gold Volk Racing GT-Cs

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Outgoing mail...

JDMphasis stickers going out this morning…

Thank you for the support.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation