Having left the paddock, it was time to get serious and train the Nikon D3 and 70-200mm on the cars and drivers as they battled it out on the track. There was an absolutely packed schedule of action going on throughout the day, right from the opening sessions at 8am and culminating in easily the biggest parade of 86′s that I’ve ever seen at 5pm. Which left me with a lot of work to do… and a lot of shots to post… Read more
Easily one of the best and biggest 86 festivals in the world, the Okayama 86 fest provided an absolute overdose of Hachi goodness in all shapes, colors and configurations. It was quite a hike East to get to the circuit but it was damn well worth it and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started… Read more
There’s just way too much content to go through for one or two overviews of this absolutely EPIC day down south at Okayama international circuit. Up to 400 of the countries best Hachi Roku’s converged on the place and I made the 700km south along with Keiichi Tsuchiya and the team from Hot Version to make sure every angle was covered. Go and check out the preview… Read more
The last two editions of the Wangan Warriors meeting had either a lot of rain or thick amounts of fog to deal with. Now at the beginning of the spring, their meeting got treated with the Return of the Sun. Read more
The AE86, or the Hachi Roku, which literally means 86 in Japanese, is worshipped by many in the motorsports world, and made famous by the anime that took the world by storm, Initial D. The aura and the driving physics of this car is definitely not one of luxury or class, but more along the lines of raw unprecedented fun, and the car’s handling capabilities are quite forgiving which entitles many novice drifters to learn and experience drifting and extremely fun driving all in one readily available package, one of which many modern cars are unable to achieve. The AE86 is truly a legendary piece of engineering, that gives one an adrenaline rush regardless of whether you are behind the wheel or just watching it in action from the sidelines.
The Hachi in question here is known as “Pinky”, and it’s definitely not your normal AE86, judging by the eccentric colour chosen, one can already begin to understand how different this Hachi is. The owner of this Hachi goes by the name of Anep Dorifuto, a local drifter in Kuala Lumpur, who’s just beginning to learn the ropes. His drifting exploits began in 2009, and he bought his very own Hachi in 2010. After beginning to perfect the art of going sideways he has won several events. Events that Anep participated in have all been on the local scale, namely the Cyberjaya Drift challenge and the KBS drift challenge to name a few. In one of the races he earned 6th place in the expert category and 3rd in the novice category.
When one talks about Hachi’s, one usually revels about the 4AGE engine, and the brilliant toyota handling, but there are other cars out there that have parts that fair a little better than the Hachi’s, which leads to another unusual piece of information. A normally aspirated SR20 lifted from an S13. Other parts have also been exchanged and include the front axle and front suspension, all also from the S13. All this is made possible with the help of Under3 Garage, who takes care of all the mechanical details. With these modifications, Anep has successfully negated all of the issues had with the original parts, and now with a car that has more power and more precise handling, this hachi is now a weapon to Anep, ready to tear up the track.
To many this is just another Hachi with an unusual colour scheme, but this is no doubt a tribute to Anep’s passion and hunger for speed. Fueling his burning desire to have created this precision drifting machine, which now has the characteristics of a poison dart frog. Blazing about with it’s brightly coloured skin to show that its a highly potent and worthy adversary regardless of its size. Drifting is a sport which requires immense precision and control on the driver’s part, and as for the car, it has to stand out and appeal to the crowd and judges. It’s safe to say that Anep has managed to achieve that combination with flying colours.
If you are from Malaysia, Catch this car in action in SpeedCity Serdang ( near Astro building ). This car is one of the main attractions, which you could hop on and feel that intense adrenaline rush.
Check out Retro Garage for more awesome pictures and also don’t forget to drop on our 7tune Facebook Page. Have a nice day.
7TUNE. The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words – Eugene Chan
Photos – Praveent Chelvam
The grassroots scene is a different world in Japan and far removed from the corporate grip of big race weekends. It’s relaxed, playful and above all else communal. That’s a good thing because grassroots events like the one I attended at Fuji Speedway recently reminded me just how interconnected people are through the sports they love on all levels… Read more
I’ve had a week (or two) to reflect on the weekend of Formula Drift Asia Singapore 2011 now. Firstly it’s located in a country better known for the endless number of fines, anything from spitting to the chewing of gum. It’s a city known with a never ending wall of humidity. It’s a city known for it’s public transport and being one of the hubs for the worlds shipping giants. It’s also a city that’s known for harsh drug penalties and strong government policies but before 2008 though, if anyone were to think of Singapore as a motor sport city, they would be instantly ridiculed for their beliefs. With the introduction of F1 into Singapore, it seems that the whole landscape of motor sport in Singapore may be shifting towards something much bigger. Singapore is opting for a variety of motor sports, not just F1 or other such exclusive sports, but also the more accessible motor sports like Drifting. Read more
Living between Japan and Ireland can be VERY different at times. But between the Temples, the race tracks and Shinkansen Bullet Trains of Japan, to the Green hills, Twisty back roads and even Leprechauns of Ireland, one thing both countries share is a huge passion for the Car Culture and even more so, the Toyota AE86 ‘Hachi-Roku’… Read more
7TUNE reader Maxime from France recently purchased a copy of the Hachi Roku Drift Tengoku April 2011 through us and very kindly attached a photo of his own steed. I’m glad he did because it’s one of the cleanest AE86′s I have ever laid eyes on! Read more
Drift Matsuri is an event held thrice a year in Japan. Literally translated it means “drift festival”. For 36 straight hours; that’s right, non-stop drifting and social events. It’s commonly held on the Ebisu Circuit (split into many courses) which is in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan over a weekend.
There can be close to 400 over cars at the event and is one of the few events that recognise the large number of foreign drifters living in Japan. It even has a special G1 GP competition for the foreigners!
It’s a rare event to see so many pro drifters (in their own practise cars) and amateurs rubbing shoulders together in the same place. And everyone is there for the same purpose, to perfect the art of drifting, to have fun and to share the love of drifting.
For a visitor to Japan and a JDM car nut, you have to visit this festival once in your lifetime. It usually happens in Spring (May), Summer (Aug) and Autumn (Nov). If you don’t have a car, then don’t worry! Because you can always rent a drift car from Powervehicles.com, who sometimes have ex-GP cars for sale on their website.
If you’re looking for a serious motorsport event with score cards and the like, then this event is NOT for you. The Drift Matsuri was started to appreciate the art of drifting, the inherent beauty of a car going sideways, accompanied by the raucous sound of popping exhausts and the intoxicating smell of burnt rubber. It’s about the spectacle of the event, it’s about the entertainment that it provides. Drift Matsuri isn’t about trophies (although they are given out) or who has the best car. It is ONLY about drifting. You can turn up in a old AE86 with rust everywhere and still enjoy the event. There are minimal egos and instead great appreciation and camaraderie.
If you haven’t been before, please go and check it out.
Justin Fox, a name relatively well known amongst the Sydney import tuner/JDM scene, yet strangely mysterious hidden behind the walls of JDMST. He is an enigmatic and yet charming individual and is the founder of JDMstyletuning.com, a forum for JDM enthusiasts that now has a large following worldwide. The forum established in 2005, prides itself on quality tuning and quality JDM parts. Anyone can join and contribute. The regular End of Month Meets (EOMM) are a great way to socialise with other members of the forum and check out their rides. This busy man also founded Sex in Art, VWGolf.net.au (together with Christina Lock) and Bikes Move Us. We managed to catch up with him recently and asked him a few questions.
Benson Lau: What do you work as now?
Justin Fox: I’m still doing graphic and web design for select clients but I spend most of my time running my own sites: Australian INfront, JDMST, VWGolf.net.au, Bikes Move Us, Sex in Art, my blog and now Modern Pet Shop. (Edit: Since this interview was conducted a new project, www.ordinaryextraordinary.com.au)
BL: When did you first get into cars and why did you get into cars?
JF: My Dad was super into cars, so too my cousin from Indonesia who came out to Australia to study in the mid 80′s. My Dad changed cars a lot in his time and every year, without fail, he’d take me to the Motor Show. My cousin, who lived with me at the time, was car obsessed in high school. He often drew cars with huge wheels, Indo style!
BL: What do you remember about your Dad’s passion of cars? What from that got you more keenly interested into cars?
JF: Lots of little things. He had a lot of car magazines which I always looked through. He was always changing cars every couple of years. I got to start them up before school as a little kid. He drove fast and cornered hard. I remembered often sitting in the car, eyes shut with a pen to a pad of paper, at the end of a drive I’d have a pretty dynamic artwork from all the times the pen left the pad when Dad was cornering hard!
He always liked to have the very latest models. He imported his own Honda Accord (flip light version) and got it landed months before Honda Australia started selling them. He also owned a white 4WS Honda Prelude way before anyone else owned one (before it became Wheels Car of the Year). I remember that he had the wheels powder coated white on that car. One afternoon I put a ding in his door when my skateboard went flying into it, he was pretty angry, that made me realise how much he loved his cars (that cars weren’t just cars to him!). Lots of little things.
BL: What was your first car?
JF: I’d ridden motorbikes for a couple of years and my parents offered to buy the car for me so long as I sold my bike. To be honest I’d had enough of bikes at the time. I never quite got confident on them and came close to falling off more than a few times. I remember not knowing what to look for in a car, but I wanted anything but a Honda as my Dad used to always complain about how he wanted more power from his Honda’s. I ended up buying a 2nd hand automatic Toyota Celica (T180).
BL: Why and what did you first modify? What got you started in the tuning scene?
JF: I often visited Hong Kong in those years as my family had business over there. I used to linger in the autmotive section of the Sogo department store. On one trip I ended up buying a gunmetal grey toyota badge for my bonnet, a clamp-on exhaust tip and also some Tom’s Racing Stickers, which I stuck on the doors. Later on I got a loud stero system, painted the rear tail lights and indicators black and bought a 2nd hand set of VW Golf VR6 BBS wheels, which happened to bolt straight on. The guys at Pedders (a chain of car suspension workshops in Australia) cut my springs to lower the car and I got the guys at Midas mufflers (a chain of general car servicing workshops in Australia) to make me a custom exhaust!
BL: Why did your parents want you to sell the bike?
JF: Yeah I regret wanting a bike so bad. I fought with my Dad a lot about the bike and put him and my Mum through a lot of worry. He refused to let me ride one but he taught me from an early age that if it’s food I want he’ll treat me to anything but if I wanted toys I had to go out and make my own money, so I did (Woolworths night packing FTW!). I got my riding license, sold my tricked out mountain bike for $3000 and bought myself my 1st bike despite my parents not wanting me to.
BL: What did you enjoy about the Celica?
JF: It was my first car so I very much enjoyed the freedom of driving more than the car itself. I didn’t have to wear a helmet, or protective clothing, or worry about bad weather. I could blast my heavy metal through the stereo and I could take friends places. I drove it every day, it was more about function than passion (but I secretly did really wish I had a GT4, or at least a hood scoop to make my car look like one!).
BL: What happened to the Celica?
JF: I ran it into the ground. Due to a slow leak from a small hole in the radiator I blew the head and after that it went through the Sydney hail storm which absolutely demolished it. That year of the hail storm I had stopped paying full comprehensive insurance on it too, really bad luck. A few months later I couldn’t stand the mouldy smell inside the car (every time it rained there were puddles of water under the carpet), the electrics were dying too so I traded it in for a new Alfa 147 for $4000 (which I thought was a deal considering the car was so dead).
BL: And how did you move from purely modifying to tuning your car?
JF: When I owned the Alfa, Alfa Romeo Australia invited me out to a track day at Eastern Creek. One of the instructors said I had some potential and I did well out there, that one comment and time behind the wheel on a race track got me pretty excited. A few weeks later I was in the city when a guy in a suit approached me (whilst I was in the car). He liked what I had done to the Alfa and invited me out to a Burrows Drive Day at Eastern Creek. I mustered the courage to attended and I was hooked. I did a lot of track days in the Alfa, when the Alfa wasn’t enough (to overtake the fast guys in their Ferrari’s and Porsche’s) I sold the Alfa and bought the GT-R.
BL: What made you start JDMstyletuning.com?
JF: In 1999 I founded a successfull online design community (Australian INfront) and I was itching to use the skills I had developed in creating that community on my new passion (cars).
I realised from joining various forums that the Nissan guys hated the Honda guys. Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota…I saw a lot of tension out there. Being an outsider at the time I thought it was ridiculous as all these guys hated each other but they were all into the same thing. Japanese cars and modifying them. My mission was to unite them all. To get all these guys to see the bigger picture which suggests that we are a group of like minded individuals who share a passion for Japanese cars be it Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki or Toyota.
Friends at the time were important too.
I was hanging out with Zi (JDMyard, a tuner workshop in Sydney) a lot and I’m sure we talked about JDMST. Amir Parsinejad (RaceBorn) was around, so too Howard Lim, Christina Lock, Andrew Price, Garth Ivers, Alan Li, Lilian Truong and Nico Tjen. I roped all these guys in. It was February 2005, Speed magazine was still around and was an inspiration to me at the time. I approached photographers Easton Chang and Dean Summers to help me with contributing photos for the JDMST front page (I actually used one of Mark Pakula’s photos in the mock-up, long story short but he found it and some people at Auto Salon magazine, a now defunct Australian tuning and modifying magazine, were quite mad with me!). We had our first meet at Krispy Kreme’s Mascot, it was a killer turnout, there was a buzz in the air and for me, that night really solidified JDMST and it’s potential.
BL: Do you feel like the mission has been accomplished with the uniting of the JDM scene? Or is it still some ways off?
JF: I think so. JDMST goes through ups and downs but it’s largely organic and so far in regards to statistics (currently over 8000 unique visitors daily), it’s gone from strength to strength.
BL: What do you think is the JDM tuner’s mindset?
JF: It depends on the tuner, and the project. There’s so many scenes within the scene and so many ways to tune the same car. Personally I’ve always done the same thing with every single car I’ve owned. Instead of focusing on power I like to lighten the car to make it feel better in corners. I spend the most time sorting out the handling and I try my best to use Japanese parts because I love them. When I bought the Golf I had intentions to bag it. I thought of rocking up to meets and letting the car drop until the skirts touch the ground, sure it would look crazy but in the end it just isn’t me. I’m still upset I didn’t do it as now I find myself doing the same thing I do to all my cars on the Golf. Ripping weight out, semi-slicks and track work. It’s been fun, but it’s all getting a little safe and maybe a little boring.
BL: What do you think is the direction of the tuning scene in Australia?
JF: I think JDM Style and Tuning in Australia peaked a few years ago and right now it’s transforming almost into 2 different levels/classes. At some stage a lot of people lost the ability to spend more than they earned on quality JDM parts (in my opinion, trial and error and going for broke was what it was all about!). A lot of opportunistic brands came from nowhere, selling much more affordable performance and styling gear. People started buying this gear and giving it rave reviews (viral) which in turn inspired more people into seeing value in buying cheaper gear (in some cases replica/counterfeit products).
I can’t speak for the entire tuning scene, but in regards to JDMST; I don’t believe that we have our own unique style (nor are we desperately trying to find one). There’s always going to be JDMST members who hate on people for being too literally inspired by overseas movements but hey, trends are addictive (and for those who get caught up in it, fun). Personally I’ve always looked to Japan and the States and admired what they’re doing over there with both Japanese cars and Euro cars, both from a stylisting point as well as performance. For the moment I’m happy for our scene to continue to be inspired by what we’re seeing overseas.
BL: Do you see parallels between how the Japanese automobile manufacturers broke into the US car market and how the Taiwanese and Chinese brands are breaking into the aftermarket tuning scene? Or is it a completely different scenario?
JF: I’ve never thought of it that way but I think it’s pretty evident that the financial crisis has affected our hobby. People are placing much more value in cheaper goods despite knowing they’re not as good as more expensive quality goods. Where people perceive value, that’s what’s changing everything.
BL: What have you owned?
JF: Toyota T180 Celica, Alfa Romeo 147, Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R, Toyota AE86 Levin GTV, Honda EG Civic VTi, Honda EG Civic Si, Honda Integra DC5R, Honda Integra DC25R, Kia Spectra (! BL: verified), BMW 318i, Toyota MR2 Spyder, Mitsubish Evo 6.5 TME, Mazda MX5 NA Clubman, Honda S2000, Honda Jazz manual, Honda Jazz auto, Honda Jazz K20A, Honda ED Civic, Nissan Skyline V35 350GT, VW Golf MKV GTI.
BL: Out of all the cars you have owned, which let you down the most, taking into account reliability, driving feel and expectations?
JF: Somewhere in the middle I felt the need to stop the addiction. I was spending more money than I was earning and I just had to get out of the hobby. I bought a Kia Mentor for a daily. It was cheap, looked cheap and felt cheap (the car was designed so bad I couldn’t see out of the boot!). I now knew why people with Hyundai Excels drove so aggressively. When you own a car as shit as this you can’t help but drive the wheels off it. A week in the car was ticking loudly, it sounded like it was going to blow up any minute, also, I somehow found my way to a Kia forum, saw that there was a guy modifying his Kia and I even asked him about a few mods he did. I had an epiphany, thinking about modifying a ticking time bomb was not on and I sold the car the week after.
BL: What car do you miss the most?
JF: Hard one to answer. I miss the MX-5 a lot. I learned more about driving in that car than any other. I miss the EVO TME a lot too, dead stock, such an amazing car that I sold way too early. I miss the S2000 a lot, it’s perhaps the only car I’ve ever bothered to put a kit on. I miss the AE86 as it was a special edition and I regret not having the balls to put the $5k into it to make it amazing. The ED Civic was a lot of fun too and it’s another one of the cars I can still clearly see in my mind’s eye, with the new owner driving off up the my hill.
BL: What cars are you looking forward to driving/owning in the future?
JF: From people who have driven it I’ve heard the new GT-R is amazing. I’d love to own one but even selling all 3 cars (GT-R, GTI and Christina’s R32) won’t buy me one. I’m itching to try one though, it’ll be the fastest car I’ve ever driven, no doubt.
BL: Any advice for people just getting started into tuning?
JF: Finding a good mechanic is a great start. Once you find one you like and trust you’ll also pick up a crew of like minded tuners as well as knowledge. I met heaps of friends through hanging out at IS Motor Racing (a tuning workshop in Sydney) and Indy has always looked after me.
It’s been an exhausting day and one that started at the crack of dawn. After a restless sleep, knowing full well what the day would hold, I packed the Arai helmet, picked up Red Bull VJ David Oshima and sped towards Fuji Speedway where a date with the Nurburgring 24hour Toyota LF-A awaited. Read more
I’m a bit eccentric about cars and as you get older I think you will find yourself more and more on the lookout for a particular vintage of item – something you totally identify with on any car that you cared to take note of as you were growing up. You can imagine my surprise then, when I stumbled across this original TRD parts manual from the early 90′s, a manual that catalogs basically every performance part made by TRD for the Hachi-Roku. Read more
We’re back for part two of 7tune’s coverage of the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon and to kick things off, let’s take a closer look at Toyota’s presence at the show.