Tag: Volkswagen

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.

 

 

Tag: Volkswagen

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: Volkswagen

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: Volkswagen

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: Volkswagen

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.