Its that time of year again and we at 7Tune are certainly an excited bunch! Super GT Round 3 returns to Sunny Malaysia after intense battles right in the source of Super GT itself, JAPAN. Read more
Publika at Duta Solaris in Kuala Lumpur played host to one of the most exciting events of the year. The Art of Speed event is billed as Malaysia’s first “Kustom Kulture” and hot rod show that features everything “custom”. How does this fit into the JDM related world? We will soon find out.Subaru Leone pick up truck and the orange “Dragon” Toyota Celica
The Art of Speed event was held at Publika’s The Square and White Box. The Art of Speed event is inspired by the successful Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show in Japan, which had recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. I was happy to be invited by one of my best friends and co-organiser of the event, Mr. Rahmat from Playhouse Garage.
Rahmat, the owner of Playhouse Garage, specialises in rust repairs and restorations for classic and retro cars. He offers custom modifications and repair jobs to old or new cars.
The event was held over a period of two days. Various local celebrities, bands and artists had made their appearance on that day, where they have performed on stage, playing rock and punk music. People were mostly occupied by the diversity of activities that were offered in the event. The crowd was also exposed to airbrushing, pin-striping, tattoo demonstrations and various related activities. Performing artistes include Altimet, The Malayan and LOKA Band, among others that were present that day.
It was very interesting to find that there was a Moon Eyes authorised dealer in Malaysia. Moon Eyes were hardly heard off outside of USA and Japan, unless you follow the retro and classic JDM scene a lot. It was nice to find that finally decided to bring the cool range of products from Japan. There were tons of imported T-shirt and automotive related accessories for sale. Sadly, due to time limitation, I was unable to make any purchases, because there were too much to choose from!
KickAss Choppers from Jakarta, Indonesia and Thor Chops and Kustoms from Bangkok, Thailand were flown in for this special event, along with their awesome customised motorcycles. A lot of modified motorcyles and bicycles were on display. It was nice to see some bikes to be turned into a work of art. The bikes were a mix of either European, American or Japanese bikes.
The Harley Davidson Club of Malaysia were also present to lend their support to the movement. This beautiful Harley Davidson on display in Beautiful Machine’s booth takes cues from both Japanese and American modifications. I definitely like the customised Japanese artwork on the bike helmet.
Asep, the owner of Switchblade lifestyle diner, is the proud owner of this star car, a modified Chevrolet Impala with air suspension lift kit and a muscular V8 engine. He is also the brainchild of this event and he is responsible for bringing this wonderful customs and modification culture to Malaysia for the first time. It was great for me to witness the Impala first hand in Malaysia, as Left hand drive cars or more-so, American cars are pretty scarce in Malaysia, due to the horrific road tax system, that taxes cars on engine cubic-capacity or size. The V8 growl was definitely an awesome engine soundtrack that took my heart away.
Rock and roll music were played until late evening. After the bands had wrapped it up for the night, participants of the Midnight cruise were told to assemble in front of the Square, to be led by the local Royal Malaysian Police bike outriders for a car cruise around the city of Kuala Lumpur.
I brought my passenger along and we went off in style, revving the engines loud in my 1995 Jeep Wrangler and hooning around the city of Kuala Lumpur, along with other cars and bikes. We started our journey from Publika, passing by Jalan Duta, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, and then back towards Jalan Duta again to assemble our cars and bikes in front of the Istana Negara car park for a photography session with the event organisers and participants. (Editor’s Malay language translation note : Jalan = Road ; Istana Negara = National Palace)
About 20-30 cars of Japanese, European and American mix turned up for the Midnight cruise. The event was overall a great success. I wish that in the future, there will be more JDM participation, but this is just the beginning, and being this successful, I have faith that JDM participation will increase.
Words – Kevin Lee
Photos – Kevin Lee
7TUNE. THE ULTIMATE JDM EXPERIENCE SINCE 2005.
Not everyday you come face to face with legends, and we were extremely lucky to be able to feature a pristine 1975 TA23 Celica that belonged to one of my many friends who had a united passion for restoring and maintaining Japanese Legends. 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
17 & 18 of December was another successful milestone for Formula Drift Asia fans, with the likes of many superstar drifters from all over Asia coming together to participate in a heated battle of tire smoking and sideways sliding. Round 3 of the Formula Drift series was set in the tropical country of Kuala Lumpur. Rain clouds were looming above but the event was somehow blessed and that rain never came. With the prominent names of the drifting scene like Manabu Orido, Daigo Saito and Daijiro Yoshihara, Formula Drift USA Champion as a special guest judge and from Thailand Kiki Sak Nana and Tong Nakarin of Team Red Bull, one can only expect some fireworks and the drivers didn’t disappoint… Read more
As Forrest Gump says, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”, this can literally be directly applied to the JDM Scene in Kuala Lumpur. Read more
Hello. My name is Praveent Chelvam and I am 19 this year. Kenapa saya cinta JDM? “Kenapa saya cinta JDM” means “why do I love JDM” in Bahasa Melayu. I am from Malaysia and I come from a small town named Ipoh. I have been in love with JDM for 17 years and counting. And this small red Toyota Corolla KE20 Deluxe named Mona started it all. Read more
The very first thought that ran through my mind when Dan’s Evo 8 drove towards me was “How the hell does this thing have plates?” I’ve stood next to less imposing, quieter race cars on pit lane before. This raw and purpose-built machine clearly looked out of place being driven on the street. That’s not to say I was disappointed to see it on the street – quite the opposite. Read more
From the moment you arrive in Kuala Lumpur, you see nothing but Protons and Peroduas. But in the right place, at the right time and suddenly you are overwhelmed by what you can see. But once in these little oasis areas you feel the joy of seeing hundreds of JDM cars packed together. A little slice of Japanese automotive heaven in hot and humid Kuala Lumpur. From this clean Mitsubishi Evolution VI to an immaculate workshop, which we will be showing more of later, Kuala Lumpur has it all. Check out the wheels on that R34.
Last weekend hundreds of punters converged at the massive car park at the Western Sydney International Dragway… Read more
2011 has been a turbulent, trying but ultimately rewarding year for me as an individual and business entrepreneur. I’ve only been in the industry 18 short months and it has now been just over a year since I took over 7Tune. More has happened during this last year and a half than ever before during 7Tune’s 6 and bit year online history. One of the bigger announcements I have to make this year is my appointment as Japan Regional Editor for respected and revered Singapore JDM magazines, “9tro” and “Black”… Read more
Asia Auto Salon 2011 promised to be a fun-filled event, the second one of it’s kind, parts and cars everywhere. While there was much to take in it couldn’t beat the granddaddy of them all, Tokyo Auto Salon. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, the recent earthquake and global financial crisis has disrupted many a business. My day started with seeing the Sho-Produce guys gathered around a video of the recent Formula Drift Asia, it was a candid moment to start the day. Read more
Akihabara ( or Akiba as everyone calls it ) was like a second home to me for 4 years. I grew to know the place better than where I actually live and have watched it go through some dramatic and irreversible changes over that time. The Akiba of yesterday with its backstreets packed to the brim with odds and ends stores, teeming with colorful characters, is slowly being peeled off, like a snake shedding an old skin; becoming more and more a hub for corporate business. The old world charm is still there in great doses but these days you have to dig a little deeper into the many surrounding sub cultures to get a peek into what Akiba is really like underneath those glaring neon lights illuminating the ever increasing presence of faceless office buildings… 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…