On the Thursday before the WTAC, The team from 7Tune and Zen hosted the invite only party, 7ZEN @ Zen Garage in the suburb of Leichhardt, Sydney, Australia. It exceeded our expectations with over 100 people attending from all over the country and other parts of the world. Scott Mitchell was on hand to film the nights proceedings and festivities… Read more
I’ve been following Pulse Performance’s build on their mental engine for months now and we’ve been anxiously wondering if it was ever going to happen but no sooner had the video dropped that I eagerly clicked to find what I thought no one could find a practical application for… a 6 rotor engine, angrily brapping away like it was going to shake the ceiling from its mountings… Read more
It’s around noon on a cold day in January, I’m standing in the lobby of my hotel at the pay phone punching in the number that my girlfriend is reading to me from the computer. The phone rings and I wonder if I’ll even get an answer as it’s only a been a few days since New Years and in Japan, most shops are usually closed. The phone keeps ringning but as I was about to give up hope, someone picks up. I reply awkwardly as I didn’t expect an answer. Read more
2012 is kicking off and for me it is kicking off in a great way. This year I will finally get to build my own race car. After years of shooting the coolest cars behind the armco, I now have the opportunity to go racing myself. They say building the car already is half the fun and, as I was looking for parts to prepare my Miata, it showed. The fun has only just began!!!
While shooting for another upcoming report for 7TUNE and in need for some race parts, I went to visit The Autosport Company Read more
It seems as if everyone in the foreign media in Japan is jumping on the RWB bandwagon of late and we are unashamedly too happy to take the drivers seat in bringing you these awesome creations; the two latest cars to grace the 7Tune site coming courtesy of Yuji Pogi and Takashi Ishii. When I visited Nakai san at RWB a few weeks ago, Ishii san was there with the brilliant red 964. After a spirited chat that afternoon, we decided to meet up in Yokohama at a later date to give the car the appropriate 7Tune treatment… Read more
Before I said farewell to the RWB workshop in Chiba earlier this month, Nakai san handed me a little yellow ticket that had some special writing on it: “Credential Pass”. The 12 hour endurance race turned out to be an unforgettable experience. The weather was mercilessly hot but that didn’t stop nearly 100 cars and hundreds of spectators, competitors and supporters alike from heading out to the Motegi Twin Ring circuit for the 9th annual round of the Idlers Games 12 hour Endurance race. Let’s take a look around the grid before getting stuck into the action on the track later that morning… Read more
In the last post we were looking at Nakai sans rare E60 daily. I’m sure his kids LOVE getting taken to school in RWB monsters but wives aren’t usually so accommodating so a compromise was obviously needed! For Part 2, we’re going to have another look around the outside of the workshop simply because it was bursting at the seams with Porsche goodness and then we’ll venture inside the Man Cave, have a good look around and take a long look at a few RWB creations that are either ready to go or on their way… Read more
Rauh WELT Begriff. RWB. Any of you vaguely familiar with the German language could easily make sense of Akira Nakai’s catchphrase for what has undoubtedly become one of the hottest Japanese workshop names circulating the net at the moment. 7Tune decided to pay Nakai san a visit a few days ago for what was definitely an eye opening experience… Read more
We’re back for a last look at RWB’s latest creation, Rough Rhythm and I’m sure you guys wouldn’t mind another dose of this awesomeness… Read more
7Tune was on location in the upmarket Hollywood-esque surroundings of Ashiya, Kansai last weekend to shoot a feature for RAUH Welt Begriff’s latest creation, “Rough Rhythm”. Owner, Toshi “Tom” Ichiraku was kind enough to work out a schedule for the day with us and praise be to God, the weekend held more than a few pleasant surprises… Read more
I recently read in the Knoweledge@Wharton blog that the best retail experience was summed up by 5 things.
Engagement: being polite, genuinely caring and interested in helping, acknowledging and listening.
Executional excellence: patiently explaining and advising, checking stock, helping to find products, having product knowledge and providing unexpected product quality.
Brand Experience: exciting store design and atmosphere, consistently great product quality, making customers feel they’re special and that they always get a deal.
Expediting: being sensitive to customers’ time on long check-out lines, being proactive in helping speed the shopping process.
Problem Recovery: helping resolve and compensate for problems, upgrading quality and ensuring complete satisfaction.
Now you may wonder what this has to do with a 7Tune post?
Recently i was brought by a friend to visit Garage R, he didn’t tell me where we were going nor give me any details as to what the place was about. Instead i was stunned as we walked through the glass doors of the 2 leveled industrial building. Unlike many Japanese workshops with tight confines and layers upon layers of equipment, Garage R was a sprawling compound of a workshop with a retail section. The retail section is what really astounded me. Never have i seen anything like this outside of Japan and certainly not in an industrial area in the middle of nowhere. It’s like an oasis in the middle of a desert. The only thing that prepares you for the surreality of it all are the words; “HKS Technical Factory (Singapore)”.
But as you walk in you see immediately in front of you a TV with Keiichi Tsuchiya‘s face talking animatedly. On a table you see stacks of tuning magazines. On a shelf you see rows of trophies. And as you get overwhelmed by the visual explosion, you notice in the corner of your eye a display cabinet with a brand new HKS GT series turbo sitting prettily with warm halogen light bathing it. A Patek Philippe might be able to reside in the same cabinet.
Bearing in mind you’ve only walked 2 steps, you venture further into the store and notice discontinued ARC radiators hanging in a dedicated ARC aisle. Everything from oil coolers to exhausts are displayed in plain sight, showcasing the fine welding that we loved about ARC (sadly they went into receivership recently).
An attentive sales person notices you and casually asks if you need help. You realise you’d much rather continue purveying the store, so as it’s a guy’s world, you gruffly shake your head and verbally decline. You get to the wheel section, mentally calculating the PCD arrangement, offset, width and size. You ponder for a full five minutes wondering if you’d rather have the classic Wedsports SA-70 or the newer SA-55M.
Without deciding on the wheels you move on to the engine parts, brake parts, suspension parts, bracing, wings, seats, etc. Row after row of parts displayed in their full glory. From display cabinets to metal grids with hanging parts. All cleaned, all sparkling and all without a blemish. Your brain rushes into a hundred different directions, your legs carry you to a single direction. Just as you transcend into a flight of pure fantasy, you decide that perhaps you should figure out how much everything costs. A staff member ushers you to a recliner seat and patiently listens to your ideal shopping list, probably well aware that the cost of all these parts hasn’t hit you yet.
Without skipping a beat he gets all the specifics off you and refers you to the endless row of brochures and price lists on the back wall. It’s then you notice an equally long row of HyperRev magazines nestled beside the files. You hear the cost of each part and slowly but surely you wake up from your daydream. As your dream collapses around you, your reality becomes immediately clear and it’s then you realise that the sales person is still being infinitely patient with you.
But this only just stratches the surface of what Garage R is all about. They also run a highly successful workshop that tunes cars from all over South East Asia. With 2 rows of hoists and a large team of mechanics working constantly to build that gearbox or tweak that suspension. Want a built S15 using HKS Technical Factory parts? No problem.
The complete shopping experience from start to finish. From perusing to purchasing to fitting to tuning, Garage R did it all and it did it all professionally, engagingly and with dedication.
It’s THIS experience that stayed with me and it’s only recently after reading the Knowledge@Wharton blog that i remembered this great shopping trip, even if i bought nothing. It definitely fulfilled all the 5 criteria, from Engagement to Problem Recovery. So if you’re stopping by in Singapore and have a few hours to kill, you should definitely visit Garage R. Make sure you bring your credit card, just don’t spend your mortgage on it all.
Now if only i knew the numbers to next week’s lottery…
For as long as I can remember, the Podlewski’s and the Zillin’s have had some history. We’ve all been involved in cars and motor sport in one form or another for decades; Simon’s dad Mark is a long standing friend of the family and a guy who also owns the respected Australian tuner, Morpowa… Read more
This week, the post isn’t going to be light hearted as usual. I just wanted to bring to light the serious situation of counterfeiting.
Before you run off and start watching TV and playing games on Facebook, i just want you to think about something. I want you to think about what counterfeiting is. No, i’m not just talking about knock off handbags or watches. But counterfeiting in every aspect of our lives, from the tablets we prescribe, to the tuning parts we buy.
First off let me bring attention to a few things that have been happening in China. In China there have been many incidents of counterfeits being found in the most unlikely of places. Even eggs and milk were counterfeited, which are daily necessities and as such have a very low profit margin. But somehow someone wanted to make a few extra bucks to even be bothered to counterfeit it. I am honestly worried every time i go to Shanghai, i am never sure if the electronics i buy are the genuine deal, they even have fake warranty certificates.
But more scarily i’ve noticed that counterfeits are being sold on Ebay. You go to see the item to pick it up and you notice a few things wrong with the item. I’ve even heard of cases where the counterfeit item was bought from a reputable outlet (the owner had no idea).
Fakes are no longer easy to spot, they have the right name, the right look and even the packaging is very similar. In a lot of cases it’s even made to high standards, with one small difference. The money won’t be going to your favourite manufacturer for more research and development. Instead it will be going to more factories to make more counterfeits. And eventually they will stop production, when the owner has made enough and the heat is too much. But your favourite manufacturer will shut down and your favourite brand will cease to exist.
I often wonder how so many Trust intercooler kits are still on Ebay, but could they be counterfeits?
Allen at Tomei Powered has sent over some new releases for the EJ series of Subaru engine. These Poncams are “drop in” meaning they are able to be placed inside the engine without anything else needing to be modified. The results speak for themselves. Check them out after the jump… Read more
I was at a very special workshop recently. This particular place is at the upper echelons of motorsport development in Japan and their number one claim to fame centers on the small fact that they are responsible for what the automotive world outside Japan fear; the R35 GT-R’s chassis… Read more