Tag: Honda

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

Tag: Honda

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.

 

Tag: Honda

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.

Tag: Honda

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

 

Tag: Honda

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!

 

Tag: Honda

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.

Tag: Honda

Tag: Honda

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.

 

Tag: Honda

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.

 

 

Tag: Honda

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.

Tag: Honda

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..

 

Tag: Honda

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.

Tag: Honda

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..