Author: GoodSportAuto

Long time no speak

 

Been a seriously long while since I did a post on here!

Guess I should bring you all up to speed on life/current plans etc! Covid of course has changed plans up substantially (Hope everyone’s keeping safe and well), life in the UK vs Japan is rather uneventful but it has left me with a lot of time to plan. In general, life is good and I’m doing well, so hopefully I can roll with the positive energy and bring you guys along for the ride.

jytdh

New Years Touring forever ago.

The biggest update I guess has been purchasing an EK9 rolling shell! Finally ticking off another dream car of mine, it’s a long way off but it’s the right base for me to build off and I have the vision totally laid out for how I want to build it. I lucked out and found this car through Facebook back in July and it pretty much ticked all the boxes with it being a genuine Facelift EK9 with a really solid shell plus lots of extra goodies (Including proper manual racebase rack and 4×100 swap, spoon mirrors and a few small bits). Getting it trailered down here from Glasgow was totally worth the faff. It may not look like much now, but it’ll come together over the next year or so I hope. Adult life’s definitely meant progress hasn’t quite been as electric as expected but it has at least meant I’ve scored plenty of special bits through months of hunting Yahoo/Ebay etc. Watch this space come summer!! (Another post on One Make race’s and an intro to the plan for this car is in my drafts right now)

EKlage

For those wondering, the AE86 is doing well, still tucked up away in a garage in Japan, plans haven’t really changed much for it and I have scored a few special parts for it (Namely a full ARC intake setup), I guess progress is sort of paused until travelling to Japan is an option again, which could be soon or a year away for all I know. Good to know the adventures there waiting for me when the timings right, Goodsport meeting will 100% be on the cards when its do able.

fgdas

Another shot I haven’t shared before from inside the 86, staring at Fuji after leaving Fuji Speedway.

Bar the EK and AE I’ve been plucking away at a Jazz Si that I bought to be my daily. I’ve not really shared anything for it on here so here’s a rough overview of bits I’ve sorted for it in the last year or so over ownership. Trust/Greddy goodies a plenty, as many optional extras as I could find, JDM clear tails, Spoon N1 muffler, BC Extra Low coilovers and Buddy Club P1’s in 16×7+38. This car has definitely fully fueled my addiction for Greddy/Trust bits, the EK9’s definitely going to be fully themed like that haha. I absolutely can’t fault the Jazz as a daily. It’s been amazing on fuel, super reliable and damn comfy too, but it just doesn’t excite me visually (definitely alot better now post upgrades, but its not got much character anymore to me).

Jazzlage

It’s been a great year of ownership but I feel like I’ve scratched the itch with the Jazz so the hunt for the next ‘daily’ is on, something I hope to update you guys on soon (Been test driving a few different options recently).

1243

Another Final Bout shot that I haven’t published (the post is still in my drafts, don’t worry I’m working on it)

I apologise for the lack of posting here, adjusting to coming back from Japan/Covid/life in general has definitely taken it’s toll on my mental health and I’ve been slacking. Definitely feeling like I’m on a more positive direction right now though, so just gotta keep hold of it! I also wanted to say a huge thanks to all of the great photographers and people I get to meet through Cars and all of your continued content sure motivates me to do better and be involved as much as possible, can’t wait to meet as many of you in person in the coming months/years wherever you are all based.

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Scans 002 (R Seats)

 

One part of a car build that probably doesn’t get enough attention given to them is seat’s, from a safety stand point and visual too, a seat can make a world of difference. I figured I’d share a set of scans showcasing some seat options from an old Racing On mag (Can’t remember which one, but its from around mid 80’s) plus a few other scans related to Seats/Safety.

R' Seats Feature

Really interesting to see the TRD’s coming in various colours, the grey coloured ones seem to be the only ones you see. Cool to see the range of EVA seats too, the Motul Civic ran a IMSA-R throughout its racing career.

R' Seats Feature Page 3

I really hope I can find some AUTOLOOK catalogs soon, crazy to see how much the prices are jumping on their pedal sets and seats, the seats seem to be regularly listed for over 40k yen and always seem to get bidded on, they do look seriously cool though so it’s understandable.

R' Seats Feature Page 4

Who on earth decided that ASS would be a good name for a automotive tuning company..

R' Seats Feature Page 1

I do love the look of that older blue Sparco and Tom’s seat. Interesting to see what looks like a Quattro Sports seat being sold by Majolca??

R' Seats Feature Page 2

I’ve got a few other sets of images like the ones above that I’ll be sharing soon. Here’s another handful of related Seat/Harness adverts I’ve come across too. I love the simplicity of the TAKATA advert especially.

 

TAKATA Harness’s Advert 

 

TAKATA Harness Advert

 

Recaro Seats Advert

 

RECARO Seats Advert

 

EVA Seats Advert 

 

EVA Seats Advert

 

BRIDE Seats Advert 

 

BRIDE Seats Advert

 

AAR Seats Advert 

 

AAR Seats Advert

 

I’m not sure what the next set will be on, potentially a look at CABIN cigarettes and their racing teams.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Scans 001

 

Ever since I started getting into the history of the car culture I love, I’ve been collating images/scans/videos etc of inspiration and history. The hunt for information is almost the most fun bit about being into cars for me, it’s so satisfying to gain the context of items/eras etc that I’d otherwise miss.

I really want to work to sharing stories and detail’s I find interesting, so here’s the perfect place for that. I’m working on deeper dive posts on Leyton House, Cabin Racing/Cigarette’s and a few other special cars/teams/brands that I’ll release when I think I’ve got enough info/imagery, but in the meantime I’ll upload scan’s in themed posts so their easy to digest.

Here’s a collection of some of the apparel advert’s I’ve spotted that I think people would be wanting to see, I’ve got alot more to trawl through but this feels like a solid start..

 

TRD Apparel advert’s from 88, 89, 90 and 94

 

TRD 1994 Winter Collection

 

TRD 1988 Collection

 

TRD 87C Collection

TRD 1994 Collection

TRD 1989 Collection

TRD 1990 Spring Collection

TRD 1988 Collection

 

TOMEI Gira Sports Apparel

 

TOMEI Gira Sports

 

PIAA Apparel advert

 

PIAA Apparel Collection

 

NISMO 1990 Apparel 

 

Nismo 1990 Collection

More to come soon, I think the next scan’s post is likely to be on Seats/Safety equipment.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Been a while

 

It’s been a while since I last posted on here. The last few months have been particularly manic during my Tokyo stint, lots of small events and updates and putting time to just chilling out and enjoying the adventure I’m on. I think I was definitely feeling an amount of burn out and self doubt on whether my content was really worth providing at all, but I think some time out has really helped ground me again.

GS4

Having the break definitely helped me to really enjoy some of the experiences I’ve had recently by just putting the camera down and taking it all in. Definitely worth it for the memories, prime example of being New Years Touring, I really didn’t shoot much during the event, the experience was just so visceral and all encapsulating.

GS3

I’ve got a handful of shots to edit and show from NYT and a few other events including Tom’s Meeting 2019 and UDX/Penguin Hunters meeting, hopefully I’ll get to editing through them all and share them in the coming weeks.

GS6

The 86 has also been steadily progressing during my time here in Tokyo, it’s been great to meet so many people with this car and it’s a perfect conversation starter. I managed to spend some time with Expert OZ and Run Free buying plenty of goodies for the car, it’s edging ever closer to getting painted and looking like a really solid car.

GS5

I’ve got a big post that I’ve rewritten a tonne of times documenting the whole journey from buying it at auction to now, which I can’t wait to show you all, it’s so satisfying to see how this car has developed during the last 4/5 months.

So I guess there’s a brief update on where I’ve been at the last few months. Hopefully once I’m back over Himeji way I can find more time and focus to edit through the backlog of images, I’ve also been currating tonnes of old magazine scans which I need to upload also!

Here’s to getting GoodSport back up and moving again, this time with less pressure on myself.

Author: GoodSportAuto

86 Fest Okayama

 

The pacing for my time in Japan so far has really been a big ebb and flow, August being a prime example! The month started with a few trips to see friends and was fairly relaxed, which was a total opposite to  how the month ended.

In the course of the last week of August, I won an auction for an Ae86 (Huge shout to AutoSport Rival for helping me find and purchase a car) and had to sort transportation and possibly going to 86Fest all over the course of a long weekend (Blog post on the car coming shortly!). Everything ended up being set for me to travel to Tokyo and drive the 86 back, but prior to that I was going to go to 86Fest Okayama with Arato Japan.

Plans for 86Fest really came together at the very last minute, with me joining Jacob (Jacmob) at about midnight the night before and catching a small bit of sleep before getting up at 4 to travel to Okayama.

GS8

We’d arrived really early, which ment we got to see the car park slowly fill up with 80’s classics. It’s an odd experience seeing such a huge collection of these cars when I’ve only seen a handful in Japan and the UK on my travels. It felt crazy to be in a position to say that maybe there was too many panda Ae86’s (Black over grey is the one!)!

GS12

The day started slow and started to pick up around mid morning, all the garage’s were full and cars were getting prepped for track time. Luckily the atmosphere at most Japanese events seems to be really relaxed so I had no problem walking into the garages and meeting the drivers and speaking with them about their cars.

GS11

 

I love that these events feel more like extended family gatherings, everyones so open and positive to meeting anyone who shares the love of the Hachiroku platform.

GS10

As the day went on, cars would head out of the pits and onto the track to get some much needed practice in before the races later in the day. Being able to get up close to the cars as they got prepared and watching from the pit garage’s as they charged onto the track was amazing.

GS9

At the start of the day everyone entered a raffle to win a ride in an N2 Ae86 and I was fortunate enough to be given a winning ticket by Chris (Thanks so much dude!) to go for a lap round the track. The experience was honestly crazy, they have some real power and grip like you wouldn’t believe. Mad to think my first experience in an 86 was an N2 spec race car!

To top off the day, the various classes of 86 had their races, all of which were incredible with plenty of aggressive driving. These racer’s honestly were amazing to watch, battling hard throughout each session, with a handful leaving with some pretty significant battle scars.

GS7

The day definitely went far too quickly and of course I didn’t take half as many photos as I should of (I may post some more at a later date when I’m happy with the edits). Definitely a perfect start to the journey of Ae86 ownership for myself, I really hope to take mine to next years event if I can.

I strongly urge everyone to go to one of the various 86 festival’s, the community and racing displays were honestly second to none. Everyone we met on the day was so kind and open and really helped to get us involved in as much as possible.

A huge shout out to the organiser’s, Arato Japan and Jacob/Chris, you guys rock!

Author: GoodSportAuto

Route 202

 

I’ve definitely been slacking on getting posts up, Japan’s gone from quite chill to manic and exciting all of a sudden!

A few weeks back I went down to Fukouka for a long weekend to hang out with SHOWA RACING and explore the local area/meet some drivers. On my second day in Fukouka we managed to sort catching up with the leader of Route 202, the pretty well known guy know as Star Shooting.

As I arrived we saw his pair of Kaido racers and construction truck sticking out like a sore thumb in this quiet neighbourhood. The amazing hand painted livery really catches you straight away.

I love all the small details on this car, the smoothed rear lights and Porter tails to replace them were especially cool.

Star Shooting aka Yamashita San was a great guy too, super friendly and positive. Definitely looking forward to hanging out with him again.

Next time I definitely need to see this car in some crazy location to match how awesome the car is, another trip is definitely on the cards very soon.

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Starting out in Japan

 

So I’ve been a bit quiet on here for a while, moving over to Japan’s been pretty full on and surprisingly not full of car events (Mostly due to Monsoon season and the crazy crazy heat!).

I’m now fully settled into my flat in Himeji and fully committed to the car hunt for myself out here. Adjusting to life over here is definitely a big learning curve, life definitely runs at a different speed and volume here, I’m not totally sure if thats for better or worse just yet though, I guess time will tell.

The process of finding a car for myself’s proved really difficult so far, Wonder Civic’s are basically unattainable over here right now, there’s barely any for sale and when they are, they are usually really steep (Over 3/4 times what I’d paid for similar in the UK). So I think at this point it’s time to start looking for other cars on my dream attainable list, hopefully I’ll be posting an update with what I end up with in the next few weeks.

 

In general there hasn’t been a tonne of car stuff going on, the heats been brutal and I’m guessing that fits with the lack of events. The last week or so the heats started to die down, so more events are beginning to pop up, I’ve got 86 Fest at Okayama planned and I’ve got plenty of photos to edit from my trip down to Fukouka this past weekend.

Shoutout to Mitch from SHOWA for housing me briefly and showing me around the local area. I’ve got some cool photos to show from meeting Route 202 and K.R.C and just general exploring around Saga/Fukouka. Hopefully I’ll get some posts up in the coming week or so, excited to share more with you all on my time over in Japan.

Author: GoodSportAuto

English Goodbyes

 

As plans for Japan were fast approaching, I made it a priority to catch up with as many people before I went away, so seeing Benny and Alex was an absolute must. Both of these guys are awesome and chilling with them is always a pleasure.

Due to us not seeing each other often its also great to catch up and see how their cars have progressed over the few months (Sorry I didnt get many photos of the Bluebird!)

Benny’s Celica is such a showstopper, snapping necks whereever it goes. I love the amount of character it has with all the  small details and period parts, nice to see a UK build with depth.

We headed out to one of my favourite local photo spots and a few of us all snapped photos.

The whole day was rather bittersweet, great to see them but sort of sad to know I wouldn’t be seeing them in a long time (And also without my 3G). Before they left they sorted taking the remaining items of personal collection of JDM bits and they wished me well for Japan. Felt mad knowing that in 2 days I’d be on a plane to Japan for a year.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Civic Update Part 2

 

The last few weeks have been mad, plans for Japan are finally coming together and the Civic definitely hasn’t been getting the love it deserves. My friend Marcus had mentioned about shooting photos of it along time ago and happened to be free, so I thought now would be a good time to give it some proper TLC and get some proper photos.

She sure does scrub up well! I’m so happy with how this car has progressed over the years.

Gotta add that MOONEYES touch.

So as plans for Japan start to take real shape, my time with my 3G comes towards its end. Luckily it’s legacy will definitely live on with alot of my favourite parts hopefully traveling with me and also with the new owner when I come to hand it over, he’s got some great plans for it, so it certainly will appear on the blog again in the future. I have absolutely loved this car and I most certainly want to continue developing with a similar 3G.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Himeji Pt.2

 

I’ve been revisiting all of my locations albums from my Japan trip It’s surprising how many shots I totally missed when editing initially. I’ll definitely be posting a good handful from a few of the locations over the coming weeks. These shots were all taken during my long weekend in Himeji (Probably the best part of my trip).

I really did love this Beetle. the combo of the unique European silhouette and subtle Japanese parts gave it such awesome styling. Seeing it on Longchamps definitely caught me off guard at first, but it works so well! Same with the Bride Brix and Nardi steering wheel.

This Civic really does hold a special place in my heart.

I’m not totally sure what this was (Dodge wayfarer?), but it definitely stood out among the Japanese cars.

I’m still going through alot of the photos I took from my time in Japan, so I’ll be sure to post more shots that I haven’t shown before. All while I countdown to moving to Japan for a year come July, I’ve got my Visa, so its time for me to sort accommodation and flights!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Civic Update

 

An update on the Civic and future plans has been well well overdue for a while now, so after getting these photos from my friend KJ I thought it was about time I explained everything!

The Civic has been on and off with progress since coming back to Japan, parts have been slowly turning up like the Livesports wing (Only took a year!) and all old my period audio equipment, it’s still in need of alot of love. Plans have changed a bit post Japan trip number 1 so things will be shifting in focus.

If all goes to plan I’m going to be doing a year in Japan from July (Visa application in 2 weeks!). The original plan was to take the car over there after the year and go more long term, but after speaking to various people thats pretty much been ruled out costs wise. So come May or so, I’ll be taking everything I love off my 3G and shipping it over to Japan. They are damn rare and more expensive over there, but owning and tuning one would literally be a dream come true out. Fingers crossed I can find another 3G over there and continue on Lil Red’s legacy. It’ll be going to a good home over here so I’m not worried about its future.

It’ll be sad to let it go, but it’s for good reason. I’m aiming to be out in Himeji for the first few months so hopefully during that time i’ll find one. I will definitely be keeping the blog up to date, theres going to be loads more content to post once I’m out there. If anyone’s read this far and wants to know more about my plans, drop me a message on Instagram.

Goodsport x Japan forever

Author: GoodSportAuto

MOONEYES

 

Visiting the Mooneyes shop in Yokohama was big on my list of priorities during my trip. I’ve been a huge fan of the whole Mooneyes brand for a long time.

I started out the back of the main store where they had a handful of their shop vehicles.

This Celica looked gorgeous in the Mooneyes yellow. They had a matching US spec Toyota Dually parked behind it too, definitely an awesome support vehicle.

Parked in the garages next to the Celica was their Show Beetle and Camaro, the paintwork on these cars was absolutely incredible, the pinstriping work was incredible and the colour looked gorgeous.

When you enter through the back of the shop your surrounded by bikes and assorted memorabilia, the shop really is a full on experience. Half of the shop is also setup as an old american diner so you can chow down on some American staple foods after spending all your money on clothes and car parts.

I ended up bringing home a fair few things from Mooneyes and even managed to make it onto their Instagram which was cool! I would 100% recommend visiting, its easy to get to and the walk from the station is really gorgeous too. Just be careful with how much money you take with you, because you won’t be left with much after your done.

 

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Honda Collection Hall

 

I’ve been wanting to go to the Honda Collection Hall for years, ever since seeing photos of the Motul Civic there I knew I had to visit.

Getting to the Hall was definitely the hardest place to reach during my time in Japan, getting the Shinkansen, a 1hr 30minute bus and 25 minute taxi really wasn’t ideal (especially when the return bus stops at 3!). I would definitely recommend taking a car!

The hall is split into two sides, with one being focused on bikes and the other with road cars and race cars on the upper floors.

It’s crazy to think that all these cars had only delivery miles on them, such an incredible time capsule showcasing how Honda’s have developed and changed over the years. It’s really cool to see how styling progressed through each era, comparing a new Civic to a 3G is like night and day.

On the top floors the usual race cars had been replaced with a showcase on JTCC, showcasing not just the Honda’s but also Toyota’s and a pair of Nissan’s. Being able to study these and notice the small difference’s between each car was really cool.

All the differences in grilles/garnishes and bumper styling made the US spec Primera really different from the JDM/Uk spec one behind.

After checking through all of the race cars I visited the library on the ground floor and went through tonnes of old race photos and car brochures, I love that all this information is here for the public to explore as they choose, wish I could of taken some of the books home.

I will definitely visit the Hall again when the Motul Civic returns here, I would definitely recommend visiting (As long as you drive).

Author: GoodSportAuto

Tatsumi Pa

 

After spending most of the evening at Daikoku Pa we headed to Tatsumi, which is situated on the on ramp to the Tokyo Loop.

The two parking area’s had totally different vibe’s with the cars reflecting that. Tatsumi seemed to have more performance focused cars/builds and Daikoku was more stance/cruise focused.

This is primarily because Tatsumi’s placed perfectly for the late night racer, the Tokyo loop is the personal playground for all these performance cars. Throughout the night we would watch groups of racers head out onto the loop, charging out the carpark, only to return 15 minutes or so later. Racers would park up again, grab a drink from the vending machines, chat with other drivers and then organise heading out on the loop again. Watching this unfold and the other cars coming in and out was definitely surreal.

We managed to bump into Blake from Speedhunters with his NSX, I would strongly recommend his build articles on this car, it looked amazing in person and Blake was a really sound dude!

Seeing the bay and all of the skyscraper apartments from the parking area looked amazing, such an awesome backdrop to this very tasteful Porsche.

Seeing this Hako 4 door and Porsche parked up together, chatting away sort of encapsulates the Japanese car scene in general, its just about sharing that common interest and nothing else matters.

As a bit of a juxtaposition to the performance cars, this Subaru Legacy wagon was tucked away to the side. Crazy low ride height and mad fitment definitely made it stand out.

Tatsumi concluded an awesome day with Park, I can’t thank him enough for giving me the tour. I can’t wait to catch up with him again when I’m visiting again.

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Kamagawa Wide Wheel

 

Thought I’d post these photos from Kamagawa Wide Wheel between the Daikoku and Tatsumi Pa photos.

I had mentioned to Park after seeing a photo of the shop window on his blog that I’d love to visit if we had time. The garage was tucked away deep in Chiba, with the shop situated in the garden of the owners home.

When we arrived the owner and his son’s were working on one of his personal cars. They greeted us and chatted to Park on how business was going as I explored the garage. The shop specialises in widening classic wheels and turning them into beautiful works of art, with countless wheels of his ending up on many special Kaido racer builds.

I’m probably wrong but I think these are old Celica steel wheels that Kamagawa widened. It’s amazing to see wheels that are otherwise forgotten, being given proper love and turned into something totally unique and special.

The front window of the shop is stacked full of wheels, like a car enthusiasts candy store. Although it was brief, it was really cool to meet the owner and see how a small wheel shop like that runs, definitely running more for passion and love then money.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Daikoku Pa

 

To finish off the day with Park, we headed to the usual Tokyo meet up spots including Daikoku Pa. After coming here in the middle of the week with Team Borderless and it being empty, I was really looking forward to seeing what it would be like on a busy Friday night.

When we arrived at about 7pm the car park was slowly starting to fill up. There were already a handful of really clean cars parked up, including this FC RX7, the bodyshape definitely looks perfect in the white.

After hanging around for about 30 minutes, the Borderless team rolled into the car park, it was great to catch all of the team again and meet even more members.

Park said that the parking area usually fills up later then when we were there, but by the time we came to leaving for Tatsumi at 9:30pm or so, the whole car park was totally packed (Shame I didn’t come away with many great shots of the cars though!).

I did love seeing this Celsior, japanese VIP style cars have such an awesome presence to them. The owner was sat on his phone and smoked a few cigarettes before jetting off onto the highway.

After this we headed off to Tatsumi to experience another group of cars prepping their cars for a long night of driving.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Izanami Wheel Co

 

While we were visiting shops in Chiba, we made a brief stop at Izanami Wheel co. Wheel restoration and improvement is definitely a gorgeous art form, especially when Izanami primary focus on small diameter wheels. I occasionally hunt through their social feeds just to see the ridiculously wide wheels they make, seeing those wheels in person is pretty mind blowing.

Stacked up next to the wall of wheels was one of their recent resto’s, these SSR MK3’s looked gorgeous with some properly deep dishes.

They had their soon to be magazine featured GX41 sat in the garage being worked on when I visited, I would of shot more of it but it was all under wraps till the big magazine reveal, it looked incredible!

I’ve seen tonnes of photos of their wheel wall over the years, seeing it person really was mind blowing. Countless wheels which are near impossible to find anywhere else stacked up on the holy wall. It was awesome to see wheels I’d never even seen before, Park gave me a few history lesson’s as we went through the racks. Hopefully at some point I’ll be giving them some wheels to do their magic with, its a damn shame the Civic can’t really take anything wide!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

RWB

 

During the middle of the day with Park we headed to RWB. Seeing how the business has grown over the last 20 years has been really interesting, seeing the transformation from Japanese to European cars and seeing how Nakai has been putting his own spin on his customer cars, it meant that visiting the shop was a must. Surprisingly the garage was totally tucked away in a back area of Chiba, considering how big RWB is around the world it felt crazy that it would be so minimal and hidden away. The footprint of the shop was rather small too, everything was spewing out of the garage and cars were parked up everywhere.

Plenty of RWB steeds were parked all around the building including this badass looking pair, I love seeing the colour options most of these cars run, making them even more unique. It’s also interesting seeing one rocking the new Works Meister L1’s rather then the usual S1’s.

Unfortunately Nakai wasn’t in when we visited (Although you could hear the radio inside blasting tunes), Nakai’s known for working crazy hours so catching him working on cars seems to be luck of the draw. I’d really hoped to see inside the workshop, I would’ve loved to see all of the awesome memorabilia and random cool things he collects.

The whole surrounding area was laden with parts, countless wheels and bumpers sat gathering dust. It’s mindblowing seeing people just leaving these items out, thinking of how valuable these items are and also in terms of safety, if these were anywhere else in the world they would all be long gone if you left them outside.

As with pretty much everywhere I visited this time in Japan, I will have to come here again!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

ALine

 

During the day with Park, we travelled to a load of garages including ALine. Park had told me they are known for selling cool Japanese barges and kaido style cars. We could only stop at the shop briefly, but it was cool to have a quick glimpse of a really unique car dealership.

As we arrived we were greeted by the owner as he worked on one of the shop cars with his family, it’s amazing to see that everyone shares the passion together as his kids were getting involved and helping where they could.

It’s mad to see something like this on a dealer forecourt.

Tucked out the back of the shop was another handful of old GX’s and various other big body jap cars, I loved how the light caught the edge of this GX on the back of the shops trailer.

I’m not sure my photos really convey the shop as well as I’d want, so I think a revisit to ALine is definitely on the cards, need more than 5 minutes to visit/shoot!

Author: GoodSportAuto

Biko Works

 

During our day visiting a load of shops with Park, we stopped off at Biko Works. Biko Works are a dealership/garage that specialise in older Japanese cars like the Hakosuka Skyline’s and old Nissan Sunny’s.

Situated in a rural part of Chiba, the Biko garages are just tucked off of the main road, looking ever so unassuming. You would have no idea of the classic Japanese car’s these units contain.

Surprisingly the first garage contained this rather interesting Suzuki Mighty Boy, fitted with a Hakosuka style front end. The racking and the walls were also covered in remote control planes, another passion of the owner of Biko Works.

In the next two garages were a pair of mean looking Hakosuka’s. Both of these are track prepped cars that Biko Works maintains for his clients. The pair were getting ready to attend a classic racing event at Fuji the following weekend.

Tucked away in the final garage was this Mitsubishi Galant GTO, these are ludicrously rare in any country so it was amazing to see one in person.

Parked up in front of the Galant was this awesome Sunny truck sporting a classic National Audio delivery truck livery. I assume that this maybe the work truck for the shop. After having a quick peek at the garage’s we said thanks and rushed off to the next shop, fitting in everything we had planned for the day was going to be tight!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

The Bean

 

After exploring Osaka some more I headed back to Tokyo and met up with Park Baker. We had planned to visit a load of awesome locations prior to me arriving in Japan, I knew today was going to be really special. During the middle of the day we headed to Izanami Wheel Co which is where Park’s awesome Honda Life was being stored at the time.

This is another car that needs little to no introduction. This classic Honda is the perfect example of less is more. The handful of small details work together to give the car a presence much larger than the actual car and give it a totally unique personality.

The overfender’s kit perfectly with the car and house the meaty looking 10” SSR MK1’s, small wheels and fat tyres always look awesome.

I absolutely love the interior, the retro bucket seat with the gradient and all the little touches like the cupholder, horn button and kaido style cage give it so much character.

Unfortunately the car didn’t have Shaken when I was visiting so we didn’t get to go out in it, but I grabbed a few shots before it got tucked away. When I see this car next I’ll definitely be doing a full breakdown of the interior/exterior/engine, I’ll never see enough photos of this car!

Check out Park’s blog too – High Top Fade

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Five Mart

 

After spending a few days in Hijemi I headed to central Osaka. Once i’d chucked everything in my hotel my first priority was getting to Five Mart. I’d been wanting to visit these guys for years after seeing their racing 3G in various articles.

Five Mart’s long been a key part in Honda culture in Osaka, both in regards to Kanjo racing/legal competitive racing and Honda styling in general. The shop was pretty lowkey when I arrived, the race cars tucked outside were the only give away that there might be something awesome here.

Their One Make Civic was parked outside the shop looking cool, I loved the throwback Sparco style livery.

The coolest part of the shop was that it felt more like a museum then a store, the walls were covered in rare models/parts/catalogues and just about anything you could think of. It’s awesome to see that the culture and interests of the owner runs so deep, your fully immersed once you enter the store.

Another one of their One Make Civic’s sat out the front too, the pair of them attend most of the rounds and always seem to perform well. Unfortunately none of the older 3g’s or 1G CRX’s were there when I visited, hopefully they’ll be there when I visit again.

It was great to finally visit this shop and meet the owner, definitely a long time coming! I’m sure i’ll be buying some parts for my 3G from here in the near future too, so I’ll be back again soon. Time to explore Osaka!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Garage Blast Off

 

After leaving Nakayama we took a 20 minute mountain road tour to arrive at Garage Blast Off, this shop is run by a good friend of the Beetle driver. The garage seemed to be a focused mostly on European cars which was a refreshing change.

The footprint of the garage was pretty big and had cars spilling out from all corners including this little Honda and the Mini that were tucked over the road from the garage, long awaiting their restorations.

American, European, British and Japanese cars all in one corner of the garages.

The owner told me that this used to be an ex Nationals drag and wheelie car back in the US, said to be running about 1000hp. I loved the gauges on the bonnet.

The mentor and the mentee.

Seeing cars like these in Japan was a real surprise, I certainly didn’t expect to see a speedster up on the ramps. Being surrounded by rare European cars almost ended up feeling more surreal then seeing Japanese cars, I wonder just how rare some of these cars were over here.

We only stopped briefly before heading back to Hijemi for more car related plans. I’m sure I’ll swing by here next time I’m at Nakayama.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Author: GoodSportAuto

The Wonder

 

Honestly this car needs little introduction, but I’m going to give one anyway.

This Honda Civic E-AT has been my favourite 3G for years, I had stumbled across photos of it years back and it quickly became the inspiration for what my 3G should look like, even before I owned one.

Over time I ended up learning a lot more on the history of the car, it’s had a pretty colourful life. Both as a kanjo car and a Tokyo Auto Salon car in 07, going through multiple phases and changes before settling on the simple style its rocking now.

Surprisingly I didn’t think to do a focused shoot on it when I saw it in person, I think I was just so lost in the moment when I was visiting that I just enjoyed it, so here are a few photos of the car and some details. (Will post more photos if people want them!)

I managed to get a few details from the owner on the current setup, Engine setup wise it’s running a B16B out of an EK9 with an uprated ECU, a lightweight flywheel and a reinforced clutch made to N1 specification. It’s also running a straight through exhaust with a side pipe exit. Other than that I think the internals maybe stock (If I find out more I’ll amend on here).

In terms of handling the car is running custom coilovers with a pretty high spring rate and Infinite torsion bars. Pairing that with some clean Watanabes in 14x6j +40 (with a 20mm spacer up front I think) and some semi slicks helped to keep it cornering on rails. I can’t quite describe how well this car handles and gives you great feedback, its definitely a benchmark for handling that I’ll be aiming for with mine.

The inside of the car is pretty bare minus Stout bucket seat and factory passenger seat, no creature comforts to be found. I wish I’d taken more shots from inside, everything was kept super simple and focused.

The car also rocks an Osaka JDM wing which is basically a must when it comes to 3G civic’s. The car is super simple and really unassuming which makes it even cooler when it packs that B series punch.

Bit of a bonus shot of the 3G. I shot this as I climbed into the Beetle when we were leaving the car meet earlier in the weekend, love how raw it looks. I’ll definitely be hanging out with these guys much much more when I visit again next year, so this will definitely get a more in detail update!

Garage Blast Off photos coming very soon.

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Nakayama

 

On my third day in Hijemi, the group I was with had planned to take me to Nakayama Circuit.

I met the guys early in the morning and we travelled towards Okayama, stopping along the way to meet up with the Beetle and some other friends.

Nakayama is a small circuit situated just above Okayama. The track is known for its awesome grassroots events which its been running for years and years and its also one of the main stomping grounds for alot of the Kanjo racers.

When we arrived the circuit was basically empty, the whole area was totally desolate which felt really surprising given it was the weekend. We parked up in the pit area and chatted about all things cars with the group and sorted out getting laps in on the track. Given that there was only 3 cars on track all day including us we pretty much had free reign for when we could head out for practice.

With the track being basically empty I could explore a fair bit and walk around pit road which was awesome. Throughout the day I made sure to focus on putting the camera down and just enjoying myself so I didn’t shoot half as much as I’d expected, the memories are worth more than extra shots though I think.

After grabbing some lunch sat on the pit wall, another car turned up in the pit area, a Corvette C1 of all things. It was owned by a good friend of one of our group. He took us around the car and explained that he was in the process of finishing a restoration on it, although it was immaculate already! After chatting for a while he took the Civic out for a few laps, and invited us all to visit his garage when we were finished at the circuit.

Riding passenger in this really was something else, a perfect balance of speed and handling performance in a retro package.

I think I may well do a whole posts on both the Civic and the Beetle, both of them are incredible. Photos really don’t do either justice and there was so many small details to show on them I wouldn’t even know where to start!

After spending most of the day at the track we packed up and headed to Garage Blast Off. I will definitely be driving here again next time, hopefully I’ll get to shoot an event here also, I’d love to see it busy. More photos from Nakayama/Hijemi and Garage Blast Off to come next.

 

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Himeji Pt.1

 

After spending my first full week in Tokyo, I travelled down to Hijemi for a long weekend. I’d been so excited to travel down here to meet a very special 3G Civic owner and hopefully catch a handful of other drivers in the area if I could.

I travelled on the Shinkansen to Osaka and caught local trains to Hijemi which was an awesome way to see how Japan’s landscape and architecture change as you move across the country. I finally rocked up at my hotel in the mid afternoon and dropped my friend a message. He’d said to grab some sleep and get ready in 2 hours as we were going to be out for a long night.

At about 8pm I got a message that they were outside my hotel, I left the reception to the sight of an awesome looking 3G Civic and a Super Beetle waiting under the carpool. We made proper introductions and had a quick look at the cars before cruising to the nearest place for food. We ended up at a cool Ramen bar where I snapped a few shoots before grabbing something to eat.

The Beetle had an awesome mix of JDM styling cues! The Longchamps, Bride Brix seat and matching Honda bike on the back made it so unique, definitely the coolest Beetle I’ve seen.

After grabbing food, we headed out to a parking area about 20 mins outside of Hijemi. We grabbed some drinks and sat by the cars for a bit and after about 15 minutes or so, other cool cars started rocking up. I remember after the fifth or so car, asking the guys if there was an event going on or something and they replied with ‘Yeah! It’s a car meet for you… Tom’s meet.’.

As cars continued to turn up, each driver greated me and wished me well in the best English they could (I tried my best to respond in Japanese), everyone was soo friendly and welcoming. Between meeting people I tried to snap photos of all of the cars attending (I have plenty more photos to share from this meet but I didn’t want to post them all at once).

It’s really cool to see how the cars take from JDM/USDM/EDM culture and play it off well together, the EF sedan was rolling on Cadillac wheels and the 510 on what looked like Porsche wheels, the melding of cultures really makes for awesome character.

Its great to see that the love of cars brings all these people with different car tastes together.

This might be the nicest MK2 I’ve ever seen. The whole car was immaculate including a fully chromed engine and wire tucked bay.

I had countless people give me tours of their cars and all the little details you may miss on first glance. Everyone was so friendly.

After about 11:30pm the meet started to wind down, everyone came and said bye before heading out. Thank you to everyone who turned up! I’ll be posting lots more from this event soon.

Now onto day 2/3 of Hijemi.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Juan

 

Long before I’d headed to Japan I’d been planning to meet up with Juan, I’d been really liking his Instagram photos and progress updates on the Corona and I knew I had to grab some photos of it while I was in Tokyo.

We managed to sort an evening we were both free on and I met him at one of the Yokohama stations. I also managed to meet up with Nathan W who was joining us for the evening too which was dope. We all met up at the station and cruised to Daikoku Pa to grab some photos and chat.

We got to the parking area (Which was totally empty) and found a decent spot to park the Corona and Nathan and I got to shooting. Unfortunately Juan had to head back for something so we had to be quick.

The Corona’s got a load of small details which I really dig, the Mizuno Works wheel and Pioneer speakers really gave it that little bit of extra character. I took tonnes of variations on these angles/shots outside the shop at Daikoku Pa, which I’ll definitely be sharing in another post soon.

After shooting photos for a little while headed back towards Shibuya, it was cool to chat car stuff on the way back. Definitely have to grab more time together next time!

Another sort of bonus shot, on the way back we spotted this poor kei truck that had rolled over on the expressway (Everyone was fine), bit of a surprise!

Looking forward to catching you again Juan!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Team Borderless

 

I’d been really hoping to meet the Team Borderless guys for a really long time, ever since seeing the 3G’s and other cool classics Honda’s come through their dealership a few years back on Facebook. I’d mentioned to them that I was heading down to Yokohama and we managed to grab an evening together.

Takana came and picked me up in his super cool EF2 sedan, it was full of USDM styling touches and had an awesome presence. The whole drive to Borderless was filled with classic 90’s US hip hop too, it was cool to see US culture impacting more than just the car styling.

We rocked up at the dealership and met Tetsu and saw his personal 3G, I’ve seen countless Instagram photos on this car, they really don’t do it justice! The kit and all the small touches and optional extras really are special (I need those window deflectors!). I wonder just how many other kits there are left, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the only remaining full body kit and double wing.

I know the focus is soft, but damn I love the atmosphere in this shot.

After going through all the cars on the lot and chilling out in the office for a while, we rolled out to the local ramen bar. We shared photos of cool cars and tried our best to chat in a mix of Japanese and broken English. It’s really special to see that the love for cars really transcends language and culture.

After finishing up our food we headed off to Daikoku Pa. One of the go to places to visit for car culture in Tokyo, this was about 8pm on a Wednesday evening though so it wasn’t quite as full as it usually is in the various photos/videos you would see online. Even just the parking area and the surrounding motorways wrapping around it was an awesome sight to see.

The Borderless guys managed to act as translators for me a bit and we got to meet a few cool car crews, I wish there was a culture like this over in the UK. Everyone was so excited to talk to each other about cars in general, no preconceptions and problems.

We hung out at Daikoku for about 30 minutes we cruised back to Yokohama, the guys put on a bit of a show when driving back too which was awesome (Clips on my Instagram story). It was a short lived evening but it was awesome to meet the guys. Maybe someday I’ll have a Honda out there to join the team. We shall see..

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

FEELS

 

Situated about 20 minutes walk from Seeker was FEEL’S. Another garage known for making awesome grip racing Honda’s. After visiting the other shops it was really interesting to see just how different they were to each other in both size and also layout.

The garage was open to explore with a handful of their time attack cars dotted round the building. I arrived and headed into the small sales office which was kitted out with plenty of cool magazines and small parts to buy, I managed to snag their last team jumper (and it actually fitted me!) and read a few of the magazines before snapping a few photos and heading on my way.

Their time attack cars were sat up front looking poised and ready to go. Its cool to see the Fit’s getting tuned seriously, its definitely a unique platform to develop from. I wonder if they will be the future base car to build from like the early generation civic’s were/are.

Lurking in the back was this mad looking EG civic, it looked like it definitely had to of been some sort of show car, the paintwork/body/wheel setup was super unique. Surprisingly 16’s suited it rather well and the kit looked mean. I’d of loved to find out more about this Civic.

Bit of a bonus image on my walk back to the station. A lonely looking EG civic. I was really surprised at the sheer lack of Civic’s I saw in Japan, I guess most of them got trashed back in the day or have been exported to other countries now.

Seeing three of the biggest Honda tuners in the same day was pretty surreal, I’m sure i’ll visit all three again in the future. I would strongly recommend people go check these garages out if your in the Tokyo area, well worth the journey.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Seeker

 

After leaving Type One, I headed on to Seeker. Spoon, Seeker and Feels are all rather conveniently within a 30 min walking radius from each other so I knew I had to visit them all in one go. Seeker are primarily known for tuning Honda’s for Super Taikyu and various other grip events.

Its pretty crazy to see how much smaller their operation is in comparison to Spoon, even just the footprint of the garage is tiny in comparison. They’ve got alot of awesome packed into a very small space.

I rolled into the shop and the owner was rather surprised to see me, we chatted briefly in broken english about my Civic and how cool his race cars are. I could of easily spent far too much money in this shop, there were tonnes of products on offer (Mostly for B/K series engines though). This is definitely another shop I’ll visit again.

As I walked around the Workshop one of the staff members was servicing their Super Taikyu Fit. This things seen plenty of action in the 2017 series.

Tucked at the back of the workshop were a handful of their tuned cars, including their famous FD2. Featured on both Hot Version and Best Motoring, racing at Suzuka and on the Touge in a few episodes. The orange paint tells you that this car means business! It’s also cool to see tuners working on the S660’s, these are definitely going to be a great tuning platform in the coming future.

Visiting Seeker was alot more brief than Spoon, I’ll definitely have to grab some parts next time. For now, onto Honda Twin Cam FEELS..

 

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Type One

 

When I was planning to visit Tokyo, I knew I absolutely had to visit Spoon Sports. Type One is presented more like a museum/showhall rather than a usual garage. Everything’s laid out for you to examine and explore and there’s plenty of space for you to just observe the day to day running of the shop. The staff were pretty happy to see I’d come from the UK and that I owned a ‘Wonder’ Civic, It’s so great to see mutual appreciation for cars traverse the language barrier.

Everything was so neatly laid out and incredibly clean. It’s interesting to see all of the cam covers laid out next to each other, theres alot more subtle differences between them than I’d expected.

I sat and watched a worker change the spark plugs and service this Integra for about 15 minutes, he methodically photographed each step in the tear down process and cleaned everything as he went. It was clear that time wasn’t an issue, it was all about the quality of the workmanship.

This 3G was one of the main reasons I’d aimed to visit Spoon. The 3rd generation civic’s really were legends in racing back in the Group A days. If only they could of take it down from the racks so I could of had a full look at it. For another trip I guess!

It feels very surreal to know my name’s now up on that wall next to people like The Chronicles. So many incredible cars & people have come through these doors over the years. Although it was a brief visit to Type One it sure was memorable. I’ll be visiting again that’s for sure.

Now onto Seeker and FEELS!

 

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Okayama Super GT

 

After ending up partying all night in Sendai, I jumped on an hour long ish bus headed for SUGO. Possibly my favourite track of the Super Gt calendar. Arriving at the gates was surreal, the track’s damn near built on top of a mountain.

Seeing Super Gt in person for me has really been a bucket list thing for me ever since I first caught a race stream on Reddit a long long time ago, Gran Turismo also introduced me to the legendary cars far far before I knew quite how special they were too. It really blows my mind that more people outside of Japan don’t know about the race series that is so damn interesting and dynamic.

I jumped into the queue for the paddock access just as it opened and the pits began to fill with hundreds of people. I’d never experienced something quite like this at any UK track. Every single team was giving out gifts (including potted plants of all things!). I jumped between the crowds when I could to snap photos of the cars hanging in and out of their garages.

The sights, smells and sounds were really a whole other level compared to what I’d seen before. The whole place stunk of race fuel and burnt rubber. Seeing these cars in person really was special. The aero setups are far more tame compared to a few years ago, but they still hold such serious presense now.

I’ve always loved the Keihin cars, ever since watching the 2010 footage of them taking their first GT500 win here at SUGO in the HSV.

Unfortunately as I started to get into the flow of shooting the event, my camera’s batteries decided to call it quits. I think it was a bit of a blessing in disguise though as I just focused on enjoying an experience which really ment so much to me. I’m still blown away by these cars and have so much respect for the series. This certainly won’t be the last time I’ll attend a Super Gt race!

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Upgarage and Tuners

 

After making the 2 hour journey back from Pro Shop Screen, I hunted for the closest Upgarage on the map and set off to go find it. I jumped on the underground and headed to Miyagi to experience my first one and explore the local area. Upgarage’s seem to almost have a mystical air to them. I’ve heard wild stories of crazy rare part finds and steals you wouldn’t believe. I’m not sure Miyagi’s really offered quite that, but it was surreal to experience one for the first time.

As I sat outside Upgarage before I went in, various cars started rocking up, including this customised Jimny. The sheer amount of these mini 4×4’s I saw in Japan was crazy. This one was fully kitted out with wide arches, awesome wheels and a tidy looking interior. The owner was super friendly too, wish I could of shot more of this car!

The selection wasn’t quite as strong as I’d expected, but it was crazy to even see parts like this available in a high street store. If only we had these back home!

Stumbled across a dealership with some pretty mad cars on the walk back to the station. The staff at the dealership jumped out of their seats to come and meet me and were over the moon when I said I was from the UK, they walked me round their forecourt and I badly wanted to bring the Celsior home.

After meeting those guys I headed home and prepped for Super GT at Okayama.

 

 

Author: GoodSportAuto

Pro Shop Screen

 

After the first few days in Tokyo, I headed up to Sendai to visit SUGO for Super Gt. Seeing a race in person has been a bucket list thing for me ever since the early Gran Turismo games. Timings ended up working out a bit strange with travel so I had some time to kill, doing some quick googling I found that Pro Shop Screen was close ish so I jumped in a taxi and headed there.

Most of you might know them from their RX7 time attack car’s seen in multiple Hot Version videos, lately they’ve been working heavy with the GTR and GT86 platforms. They had both their demo cars parked up when I got there plus a few others.

The shop staff were really rather surprised I’d made my way out there but were happy enough to let me snap a few photos.

They had alot more cars than I’d expected, all tuned with time attack/grip driving in mind. Interesting to see the two GT86’s prepped for totally different restrictions in terms of aero.

This Evo X was one of their customer cars, build looked mean! The mechanic stopped working on it for a bit to pose and then went back to work.

As I wandered back from Pro Shop Screen I came across this, of all the things I’d expect to find. It wouldn’t be a Mazda 787B kids ride! It was left in a totally empty car park gathering dust, I’d of taken it home with me if I could of! Crazy to think cars and random memorabilia like this could just be sat outside and left to rot away.

Author: GoodSportAuto

Beginnings

 

So here’s where it begins, roaming around Tokyo for the first time. Back at the start of September I set off for Tokyo. I had 3 weeks booked to experience Japan to the full and discover just how amazing the car culture was. The first few days were spent exploring Tokyo, primarily Akihabara and Shibuya. I didn’t expect to see tonnes of cars roaming around Central Tokyo but I was pleasantly surprised.

The first car I ended up spotting moving about in the wild, a Bayside Blue R34 GTR.

I saw a surprisingly large amount of lowriders cruising through Tokyo, all of them were so well executed. It’s crazy to see how the Japanese take a unique tuning scene and emulate it so perfectly.

The lighting in Tokyo was really mind blowing, crazy neon colours everywhere. Roaming back streets was such an adventure, especially when you end up stumbling across special cars just sat parked up with nobody paying them any attention.