Saturday, December 30, 2017

I was burned recently on the interwebz...

"Hit me up when your website stops ending with"

Boom. Roasted!

I rarely visit forums anymore. I'm not really sure why, to be honest. Aside from the fact that the opinions I maintain are rarely shared, they do not seem to be even remotely as active as they once were. However, that means I am on Facebook and other forms of social media to see what is going on in the aftermarket automotive community more often than I care to be. It is a sad state of affairs, to put it lightly. Pro-authenticity supporters are in the minority, to say the least. The "good enough" mentality seems to have become the acceptable standard. The "have to have it now and do not want to save for it" internet acclaim-seeking mindset seems to have become the pervasive disposition. There is a lack of shame in sporting replica and knock-off parts. In fact, it is as though people justify their corner-cutting by falsely equating it to being a wise or economical consumer. In turn, these corner-cutters would have it believed that the enthusiast who chooses to support originality and buy the legitimate parts from the real talent of the industry is just a "sucker" who is being duped. This modifying mentality is backwards.

The witty and deep-cutting quote above is from the owner of a fly-by-night replica company. This self-important braggart and purveyor of stolen designs has a following. There are people buying parts for their projects these days who do not even know they are buying unoriginal designs from companies such as the one this guy, who touts himself as the "Poly God," manages. I chimed in on a thread in support of someone advocating support of original designs and this gentleman must have checked my personal profile to see the JDMphasis website. This astute "entrepreneur" is correct - this website (and the blog format) has not been updated in years. The reason for this is quite simply that I do not know anything about website design, coding, programming, or whatever it is called. And, frankly, this website still serves the purpose for which it was created.

This blog's web address is not important. It is the reality that replica and knock-off companies are everywhere. They are the vultures of the aftermarket industry, circling social media searching for their next meal. That next meal often comes in the form of an ill-informed consumer who knows no better. It also comes in the form of consumers who DO know better, but still choose to support those parasitic replica companies and then, since people are not often inclined to denounce their own purchase, post the over-the-top positive reviews all over the social media platforms that are already inundated with replica love and support. The rare nay-sayer and advocate of authenticity is quickly dubbed an "elitist" or "hater," but the reality is that those are the enthusiasts who are fighting the good fight. The excuses and justifications for buying replica parts are abundant. The sad truth is that people are not willing to save for a little bit longer. Pride in one's project is outweighed by a desire to have it done now. It is a shame that the aftermarket community is less about quality today and more about quantity. LIKEs, shares, and compliments from strangers who may know nothing about the platform have become more important than a complete, judicious, and well-built project vehicle.

As I have said from the day I created this sorry, outdated blog, I cannot tell people how to spend their money, but I can encourage support for the true pioneers and innovators of the Japanese tuning industry. Reward the risk-takers. Reward ingenuity. Reward originality. Refuse to reward the undermining, pilfering, and thievery of replica companies. Take pride in your ride. The end result will be worth it.

(Oh, and if you are looking for a group on Facebook where support of originality and authenticity is encouraged, send a join request to the Authentic Parts Syndicate.)

Be Real. Buy Real. 

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Still. Want. Amuse S2000.

I have always had a thing for the S2000. Years later, I would still love to own one and outfit it with Amuse's aggressive aero…

Those tips!

I love this shot of these two Amuse projects...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thank you...

Though the blog has been snail slow as of late, I want to thank you all for the continued support and readership. As always, message me a mailing address for some decals free of charge. 

Happy Thanksgiving from JDMphasis

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from your friends at JDMphasis

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, October 28, 2017

My apologies for the lack of blog activity as of late...

Anyway, enjoy a random collection of GT-R group shots…

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tommy Kaira 'Z' Emblem

The little things…

Years ago when I owned my first Z33, I remember searching high and low for the Tommy Kaira Z emblem. I was never able to track one down. It is certainly nothing spectacular, but it is an item that I like because of its rarity and, well, because it is just cool.


With the help of the guys from Japan Auction Parts, I was finally able to track one down. Again, this is not a one-off Amuse exhaust system, Endless brakes, a set of Bride seats, or any part even remotely on that level, but I was still pretty stoked. 

A few weeks later and it arrived along with a few other goodies…

I have purchased a few items from the guys at Japan Auction Parts now. I have received great service and communication each time and they seem to have a genuine passion and interest in the Japanese tuning culture. Thank you again, Japan Auction Parts.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I struggle with adulting...

I walked out of my office the other day and a woman approached me. I recognized this woman as someone who works in the same building. Her name? I do not know. Working in which department? I do not know. She is, in age, I presume, in her mid-sixties. I believe it safe to assume she is not a "car person." As I reached the Jeep, she held her hand up to me as if to say, "Wait!" She signaled for me to put the window down. As I did, she approached and remarked, "Can I just tell you that I love driving behind you as we drive through the city because I love watching everyone's head turn. EVERYONE looks as you drive by."

Not exactly a hasty decision, as this is something that I have contemplated off-and-on for a few months now, I took the last ride in my SRT8 Jeep today. Fitting that, during my cruise to my neighboring state of New Hampshire where I traded it, I encountered multiple people seeking to entice me into a highway run, as that is what this truck does. It is unquestionably an attention-getter. In the short time I owned it, I thoroughly enjoyed this truck. It is a blast to drive, to say the least. However, it is hardly a practical daily driver. On top of that, I am never satisfied. I thought I would be content lowering it 1" with springs and installing an exhaust system. That kept me content for a couple months. Then I bought brakes and wheels with wider tires. Then I began researching coilovers, stereo components, suspension bracing, and superchargers… All of this while dropping roughly $4,000 a week on fuel for this pig. This would all be okay if this truck was my project or "toy," and not the vehicle I purchased to, in large part, get me to and from work and to complete every other menial task that requires driving, including in what can be very harsh New England winters.

So, yes, I decided to part ways with the beast.

Of course I cannot be satisfied with a beater that can get me from Point A to Point B and endure the occasional snowstorm. Though my new daily driver is certainly more practical and less expensive than the SRT8 Jeep, I acknowledge I could have checked the boxes of what is necessary with a lesser vehicle, but, in my defense, well… I did not.

2012 Volvo S60 R-Design

I finally got an R. Not the R I really want, but an R nonetheless.

I was told this is 1 of 3 in New England currently. I cannot verify the accuracy of that statement, but that is what I was told by the dealer. It is an admirable balance of practicality and sportiness. A nice compromise. There are some aesthetics I would not mind changing ( Ahem! Wheels...), but I know I will not go overboard with the modifications on this one. With 41,000 miles, a fairly luxurious interior, and sharp style, I think this car can satisfy me (as well as save me a few dollars on gas). I am doubtful that it will be as fun as the Jeep, but I am happy. At least for now…

Perhaps now I will focus more attention on Project Z33.

A parting shot of the Jeep in its natural habitat:

One of the very last shots I took of the Jeep (with the OEM wheels back on it):

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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.

Absolutely Beautiful.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I love this...

I recently found this picture in my 'GT-R' folder… So much [Top Secret] awesome in this random, old shot!

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Monday, August 28, 2017

This Facebook post...

Chances are you have seen this abomination at some point over the past few days as it has gone viral on social media. If, by chance, you have not seen it, it initially surfaced on a VQ or Z/G page on Facebook with the popular "YOHB?" caption. It looks like sheet metal fastened to the fenders of a G35 with a nail gun. After being shared numerous times, a comical troll wrote a post with the picture attached thanking a replica aero company. Screenshots below.

Kind of funny, no? I am reposting this atrocity not for its comedic value, however. I am reposting this because the replica company's (that does not actually make this "aero") response caught my attention.

Over the years I have been cautious about posting links to websites or names of companies or vendors on this blog for this very reason. I do not wish to be the impetus behind a replica company expanding their grasp on the market or putting more money into their uncreative, greedy pockets; money they otherwise may have never seen. 

I do not know if this poorly translated post by this replica company is actually true or not, but I do know that I dislike their arrogance, ignorance, and insolence. Take some pride in your ride. Do not support these companies.

Be the Funk. Don't Fake it.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, August 25, 2017

Big things coming from Varis...

Admittedly, I am not very knowledgeable in most things Evo. I do know that I like the Evo VIII and, maybe more so, the Evo X. Especially when it has received the Varis treatment.

Remember this beauty?
(Capture Credit: Rob Shaw, Back from Leave Spark)

And a render of the new widebody set to debut at SEMA this year. This is going to be epic!
(Artwork: Naohiro Yahagi)

I implore you to point me in the direction of a company selling replica parts that is doing the R&D and bringing designs like this to the market. You cannot.

Be Real. Buy Real.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Replica wheels are just as good as 'Real' wheels!"

Oh, yeah?

Appears pretty satisfied with the replica purchase...

The pictures below are authentic wheels that have "failed." I suppose I would rather have my wheel bend or warp upon heavy impact, as opposed to shattering or practically disintegrating. But, then again, I am just an elitist...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation