Oct 29, 2013

After reminiscing about the past during a relaxing bath, Muto-san is out of smokes and needs to get some more. What a great chance to go out and clear his head. But when his head wants something completely different from his heart.... what will he do? Will the reappearance of an old friend sway his mind?

In case you aren't familiar with manga, it reads right to left, instead of  left to right like American comics. Just read the panels opposite from what you would read an American (or I presume any other western country) comic book, and you should be fine.

Oct 28, 2013

Just a short clip a friend dropped off in my email of him doing a 100MPH pull in his Levin. Enjoy!

If you have amazing clips to submit, email me at exite.video.magazine(at)gmail.com!

私の友達が、彼の自慢のレビンで道路を160㎞/hで走行している様子をうつしたショートビデオです‼ 是非ご覧ください‼

みなさんも、自慢の車や今まで撮った(短い動画でもいいので)カッコいい車の動画をお持ちであれば、是非 exite.video.magazine@gmail.com まで送信ください‼ お待ちしております‼

Oct 22, 2013

We can now see what Muto-san's real obligations are, and we can catch a glimpse of who he used to be, all while learning a little bit more about the DR30 Skyline.

It'll be hard to buy a car, even if it's only $6,000, while trying to fulfill his wife's dream of owning a home....what would you do?


In case you aren't familiar with manga, it reads right to left, instead of  left to right like American comics. Just read the panels opposite from what you would read an American (or I presume any other western country) comic book, and you should be fine.

Oct 19, 2013

 Continuing on the theme of Pace Cars or Safety Cars, or even in this case, "Marshal Car." Nothing really OMG about this, apart from the fact that is IS an NSX-R.

But as we all know the pace car  is  not about racing it's about speed control, and a factory spec car of this caliber is more than capable of carrying this out. I would have had more pics of the thing, but you see that fence in the second picture? Well that divides the pit area from the "hot" area, even though you can clearly see that an extra 2 feet beyond that fence was clearly not going to put me in any danger whatsoever. Ahhh, gotta love insurance regulations.

Oct 18, 2013

I have a lot of snap shots from cars from Super GT, so you will be seeing me post a lot of these as I attempt to clear out my back log to make room for more content. And this is just day 1 of Super GT Kyushu, still.

The first solo car post is going to be this R35 Nissan GT-R, which Super GT is using as their Safety (Pace) Car. Not much added in addition to the normal GT-R that is sporting NISMO goodies, but.... wait. IT'S A NISSAN GT-R SPORTING NISMO GOODIES! I guess that's enough, right?

In addition to sporting items from NISMO's R35 GT-R catalog, they've added flashing lights, which are obviously for visibility while the GT-R performs it's job as a pace car. Strobing LEDs are in the front and rear, and there is an amber light bar on the roof.

It must suck to be the guy who's job is to lap around the track in this "slow car," to control the race cars pace during caution laps. In fact, this job is so pathetic, that the current person should quit....and I'll take over (since I have no shame and all).

It's always interesting to see cars dressed up in different ways to actually perform work. Especially when you see some of the police cars in this country. If you want me to, I can't start grabbing snaps of those as well!

Continuing the trend, next posts car will be the Autopolis NSX pace car. If you have a keen eye you can spot it in the wide side shot, above. (Second picture from the top.)

Oct 17, 2013

As I have been saying for a long time. I got to see D1GP in Nagasaki, last month. Damn. That's all I can say. The show was phenomenal. I'm not going to say too much else. I'll let the video do the speaking.

That's how we do it!

Drop a comment and let me know what you think?

Oct 15, 2013

So, there are the first five pages of RPM.

RPM is a story about a business man (Salary Man in Japanese) who longs to get back into racing. Seeing the Tekkamen Skyline instantly reminds him of his youth. He will have to balance his rekindling passion for car life with his responsibility to his family. What will happen? Stay tuned to find out.

I will publish 5 pages of scanlation a week. I am working ahead of schedule, so this should be reoccurring at the same time every week, as I am setting these posts to publish automatically on a schedule.


In case you aren't familiar with manga, it reads right to left, instead of  left to right like American comics. Just read the panels opposite from what you would read an American (or I presume any other western country) comic book, and you should be fine.

Let's get some conversation going about this manga, I'm dying to talk about it to some other car nuts on here.

Oct 14, 2013

Sometimes, Japan just has weird subcultures. And to be quite honest, I don't know if I would lump "vanning" into that category or not.

On one hand, at least to Americans, a modified van usually symbolizes pedophilia. You can easily imagine a Dodge Ram Van decked out to help a greasy guy in pedo glasses with 3 slicked over strands of hair lurking about park playgrounds and looking for a young, helpless victim.

On the other hand, there are many less fortunate men that have been relegated to the hell known as fatherhood. Not that it's all bad, unless you're in a situation where the wife makes you sell your sports car and buy something responsible....like a mini-van.

It just seems to me that the Japanese have found a way to make this as little demoralizing as possible. Hell, it's almost cool to own a van. Take these two examples, the Nissan ElGrand (1st) and Toyota Alphard (bottom picture). I mean if I could have one of these vans or a R32 Skyline GT-R, then it's a no brainer. But if I had to become responsible.... I would totally opt to have one of these vans over a Chrysler Town & Country.

 This Nissan Elgrand is pretty basic. It looks like it is either sitting on drop springs, or the owner was de-balled just enough to resist the urge to smash the coilovers. But for what it is, the stance is acceptable. The front lip also adds a nice touch.
The wheels are AME Shallen 19s. Judging from the 245/40/19 tires, I would guess it's an 8 inch wide wheel.

Next up we have a solo shot of a Toyota Vellfire, the brother to the Toyota Alphard. I really love these vans. Simply gorgeous to look at in black.

This one looks like it has a little bit less done. This Autoblog article talks a little bit more about the 2008 model year Vellfire and Alphard if you are interested. They made a comment that the Alphard is designed for your grandfather, and the Vellfire is designed more for men in their 30's. The blog also posted this Vellfire commercial, which I will graciously recycle, below.

There is no version of the Vellfire or Alphard in America, but the 3rd generation Nissan Elgrand, chassis code E52, is available as the Nissan Quest. Nismo does make aftermarket parts for the van, and I can get anything JDM that you need for this van easily, since it is still in production. The model year has ran from 2010 to current. email me at exite.video.magazine[at]gmail.com for more info. If you know anyone that wants to customize their way out of minivan hell, send them my way.

Oct 9, 2013

When I left for Japan, I stopped off at Hawaii for 3 days. It was on the way, everyone had always told me how beautiful it was, and most importantly, I had a friend that I had known for about 12 years, but never actually met.

Masa Takagi is the owner of Tokyo Auto in Hawaii, and one hell of an awesome guy. They say birds of a feather flock together, and in this case, truer words were never spoken. Masa introduced me to Al Ramiscal (whose loving Facebook name is Al "Sitonmyface" Ramiscal), while I was on my very short vacation-before-vacation, and I'm glad he did because Al is a pretty killer guy.

Saying that Al has a passion for the Toyota Hachi Roku is as much of an understatement as saying that a fat kid has a passion for cake.... AL RAMISCAL IS A HACHI ROKU FIEND! He has two of them. One is in very nice shape, carefully put together, and quite pretty.

Don't let his obsession with the AE86 fool you, though. Al is truly a car guy. He says, "Well to be honest, I can see myself in any car, as long as I see potential in the car. Whether It's a Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, VW, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Subaru, Lexus or a Toyota. But, I am by all means a Toyota guy, lol. But, if I had to choose, it would be between two cars: the old Toyota 2000 GT or a 72 Nissan Skyline, lol.... They don't make [them] like they used to; that goes for all brands."

But we all know that I love beautifully abused and well punished automobiles. That is a sports cars calling in life. Much like a pig's true calling is to die graciously to make wonderful, tasty bacon, a sports car's point in life is to gloriously die on the battlefield of speed; whether it be the Wangan, the Touge, or a race track, it makes no difference. Battle damage is expected to be on a sports car. If it isn't, then it's probably owned by a hard parker. Just sayin'.

His other car, the focus of this article is the beater car, as I call it, his 1987 Toyota Corolla GT-S. When I rolled up to his house, my eyes glowed. I loved this thing. It just looks so raw, like it's ready to march to war against Tantalus, and it's amazingly fun, winding road.

 Al relayed the story of how he came into possession of  the hatch. "In particular, I offered to trade with a friend of mine, for my 2002 Lexus GS300. I just asked him and we came up with a pretty good deal. I traded my GS300 for his GTS hatch and his SR5 hatch, [which came] with a Runfree front bumper,  OS Giken Super Single clutch/flywheel combo, a set of Potenza RE-01R's, Cusco RS 2-way Kouki diff, and a full Zenki Levin front.

Al tells me through an e-mail interview that the car is "basically stock." The suspension has a basic but respectable modification list starting with polyurethane bushings all around, and a Megan Racing Pan-Hard Bar to help stiffen up the aging chassis. Tokico Blue shocks and struts smooth out the ride, and TRD Springs (8k front, 6k rear) bring the car down to earth. All of the body's movement is put to the pavement through 15x7 +0 Enkei 92 mesh wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE-01Rs.

Simplicity is also the order of the day under the hood, with a stock blue-top 4AGE pushing exhaust through a TRD exhaust and out through a HKS WindMaster exhaust. After a quick check on the ole' intra-webs, it appears that the exhaust is a pretty rare item. Definitely a nice find. The power from the engine is shifted out through the transmission via a T-3 short shifter.

Exterior mods consist of a fiberglass hatch and unnamed "whale tail" spoiler, all painted flat black to match the car.

This car, to many, isn't what you would call "pretty." Which is why I like it. It's not a lover, it's a fighter.

Al likes to take it to 13 Corners, Tantalus, and Norfolk. And this part was the best part: He likes "bombing off ramps if given the chance, which is almost every time I drive the car, lol." Yes. YES. Somebody gets it. Drive your cars, people.

I mentioned earlier that Al also has a very clean Hachi. When I asked him if he ever drifted that car, or only the beater, he had this to say: "[The beater is] more of a daily driver. I do slide it though, if and when I feel like it. That goes for... the cherry one, too, lol. I like driving the two as much as possible; both have their pluses and minuses, but I like both... equally. They both put a smile on my face when I drive them."

His future plans for the beater include stripping "it down, and transfering parts from the GTS hatch to the SR5 hatch, 'cause the GTS shell is rusting away, and there's no way I can fix them all. It sucks, but [I] might have to put this one down in the future. But, its had a good life from his previous owner [and] then to me."

I really hate to hear that, and from the sound of it, even Al is a little reluctant to do it. We all know how rare the 80s Japanese sports cars are becoming; particularly cars that are intertwined with the drift scene. A lot of this is simply because "people just buy them, then trash them after they crash it. It's really an unappreciated car. Only a select few understand what its all about.

Lastly, Al sent me this photo of his pristine AE86, sharing the spotlight with the ever lovely Eva Skye.

"HachiRoku life. The HachiRoku is a road. You could have chosen a hybrid, or a luxury sedan, but you didn't; you chose the HachiRoku, and are about to embark on a journey. Not just to drive your life, but to challenge your way through..."

And in case anyone is curious as to what Tantalus is, it is a mountain in Hawaii. Here is a video clip of Masa taking me for a drive down the hill. No speeding, no drifting. Just chilling in his Juke enjoying a relaxing drive. Hawaii really is Heaven on Earth. 

Also, be sure to check out the CANIBEAT article on Al's very nicely built Hachi Roku, here.

Oct 8, 2013

This one of those times where you don't really want to do a quick snap, but you have no other choice. Back in September, I visited my girlfriend's family in Fukuoka, to watch her nephew participate in his school's undokai (sport's festival).

While we were walking to the grocery store one evening, I found this parked in a gym's parking lot. The gym is private membership, and the car was in a fenced in area, with no way to reach it. I was kinda bummed out, but I grabbed this anyway.

I'm going to post the parts that I know for sure, and if anyone has a correction or can clue me in on the unknowns, that would be great.

Roof Spoiler: Origin

Trunk Spoiler: D-Max

Side Skirts: Origin (?)

Fenders: No Clue.... I looked for about 30 minutes online. I thought for a minute they were M-Sports, but they are not. The standout feature on these, to me, is that the fender lip is really pronounced.

The rear fenders are definitely rolled and pulled.

Rear Bumper: ? Once again, I thought I was close with BN Sports, but it's not a BN part. The bottom almost looks like a separate lip, but it's not. Gave this one about 30 minutes, too.

Rear Tails: D-Max LED 

The wheels appear to be Gunmetal Advan RS. I would say 17s and probably in a 9" width the way they are filling out those wells..... I can't swear to the size, but it's an educated guess.

Like I said earlier, if you can identify some of the parts, have at it in the comments below.

Oct 7, 2013

So I have had one more automotive dream come true. I got to go to a Super GT race in Japan.

The Kyushu 300 was held Saturday 10/5 and Sunday 10/6 at Autopolis, near the town of Hita. Like most race tracks that I've been to, it's in the middle of nowhere. But navigating in Japan can sometimes be difficult, and honestly, downright confusing. 

Without getting lost it's a 1 hour drive from Hita to Autopolis...but if you get lost..... double that. And if you have to go back to Hita because you forgot your tickets in the car.... quadruple it.

My girlfriend had to work, and I had bought her tickets, so I invited Daniel from Wasabi Cars to tag along. I had never met him, but I had watched his Youtube videos, he lives in Kyushu, and we both have a passion for cars, albeit different types. He is a really great guy, and I encourage you to visit his channel. He is very knowledgeable on classic Japanese cars.

The race was cancelled due to the weather, as you can tell in our photos. The rain alone wouldn't do it, but the fog was VERY thick, and to be honest it was a big safety hazard. WRC is probably the only racing committee that would have soldiered on, but then again... Rally drivers are a little crazy...in a good way.

At any rate we had a great time. The best things about these events are always the parking lots, IMHO. I like real cars... used and abused just the way I think they were intended to be used. I took some snaps, mostly with my iPhone. Sorry about the smokey look. My phone is cracked and the lens was fogging up.  

Ran into a nice black on black Supra. It's on Wed Sports, and I'll throw some research into some of the parts and make a separate post.

Mugen had a stand, since Honda is campaigning it's CR-Z in the Super GT. How many Honda guys would love to have these Mugen seats in their cars?

This was the first time I have ever seen an LFA in person. It's not really my type of car, usually.... but if the opportunity arose, I would definitely drive it. What a gorgeous piece of machinery.
We even had some race queens take time out of their busy schedule of being hot to take a photo op with a race fan's dog. Check out the video below:

I really liked this Miata. I got excited and Daniel stopped the car, so I could get some snaps. I have a few more, and I'll have a more detailed post at a later date. But I can tell you even up close, the fitment of the wheels as well as the body panels was top notch.
It was a shame to see this car bagged up like produce from the grocery store. It was an even bigger shame when I couldn't get people to get out of the way long enough to let me get get some good shots the next day.

All I can say about this BMW is "Dat Azzzzz." I got some more snaps of this as well, and I will post up about it in the future. The real deal version of this did win it's GT300 class division on Sunday.
When it was raining and we heard no racing going on, we knew we were in for it...but this DR30 Silhouette Skyline was the first car that we saw. And to be honest, if it was the only thing we saw all day, it would have made the price of admission and everything completely worth it. Dear God, it was immaculate. I have a short clip of it leaving below, and I am going to be editing more footage of it that I took with my t2i. Stayed tuned for that.
This of one of two pictures that truly describe the weather. It rained...and rained...and rained.

But that didn't stop very dedicated Japanese race fans from sticking around. I was the only idiot without an umbrella.

There were also some Vitz racecars and a ton of FT-86 race cars at the event as well. Here is a short clip below:

That is a broad overview of day 1. I have some more in detail pictures and posts to throw up, as well as an overview of Day 2 coming soon. Right now I'm finalizing the D1 Nagasaki Video, and after it's posted, I'll be throwing up more from the Super GT race at Autopolis.

Take care.

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