If I was given a dollar for every car that has been thrown at me to consider featuring on MaydayGarage, I’d have enough money to buy myself a set of decent wheels for the daily. When I get the opportunity to check out local meets, i’m always in scouting mode, scanning the endless sea of imports to find “that” car. Sometimes I’ll strike out, but then sometimes I’ll come across a car that will instantly catch my eye.
This kind of happened when I first saw this 2004 RX-8 at a local meet many moons ago. Sort of. The first time I laid eyes on Dennis’ Mazda, I stared at it, and after checking it out multiple times, I was talking to John about it, and said, “I like this car, but there’s something missing. I can’t put my finger on it”. At the time, the 8 had a different front bumper, wheels and some other stuff that I really can’t remember. Fast forward to about a few weeks ago, and as I was about to leave another local car meet, I saw the silver beauty sitting by itself, with a brand new look. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I had seen it sitting on Work Varianza T1s and a brand new Vertex Lang front bumper among some other work. Like a crack fiend, I was instantly hooked, and I wanted more.
I did one walk around the car and immediately looked for John to talk to him about featuring this RX-8. Actually, the conversation went exactly like this:
Me: John, I want this RX-8. I want to shoot it.
John: Okay. Let me find the owner.
That was pretty much it. As I started to stare at the rest of the Burnout body kit and RE-Amemiya and R-Magic accents, John found Dennis and told him that we wanted to shoot, however there was an issue with having a custom made rear diffuser made. He wanted to wait for it to be installed and would let us know when we could shoot this beauty.
When John got the call from Dennis that the SE3P RX-8 was ready, we wanted to make this particular shoot a little more unique from previous ones. We had an idea. We decided to have a small private meet with some industry leaders and previously featured cars at a small venue that we all love to frequent, Moon Tower Inn. If Moon Tower Inn sounds familiar, it should, because we had our All Japanese Nostalgic Car meet here back in early April with fellow SpeedHunter, Linhbergh. We wanted to show everyone what we do when we shoot cars, and have them become a part of the shoot.
As I stole Dennis away from his exotic game hot dog, it was really awesome to see everyone watch as Khiem shot the Mazda right in the middle of the street with cars passing us by as we attempted to hold wireless flashes to light up various parts of Dennis’ ride. While our car friends from past shoots were munching on their hot dogs and swigging local brews, everyone got a show from watching us do work on the street. We even had one really beautiful girl named Joy that’s building a fully built WRX travel all the way from Maryland just to meet us and see how we worked. That’s pretty hardcore. Hopefully she wasn’t too distracted by Henry Kosasih’s GT-One Widebody NSX or Princeton Wong’s Firebreathing Porsche 993 911! It was definitely an all star cast of our best hits including Jonas’ Drift AE86 and Greg Lilly’s recently wrapped STi all sitting on the same street, rubbing elbows with other trend setters and industry leaders.
As Dennis’ RX-8 made it’s way through the street in front of Moon Tower Inn, it was pretty unanimous from the voices I heard that everyone loved the way the rotary powered four door looked and how it’s stance/presence was felt from just cruising down Canal st.
We even let our fans and friends watch how rig shots are made and I had to explain the process to more than a few people, which I found interesting to see their reactions after showing them khiem’s camera after we got the shot.
Words by Dennis To:
“Through the seven years of modding “Silvie”, I think I have made this into an all-around car. In retrospect, “Silvie” has been through a lot, but currently I am most content at the stage it’s in right now although I still have future plans for her (motor work). I am happy to be able to do what I love most and I enjoy all the good and bad times with my car.
First off, I want give a special shoutout to my girlfriend, Anna Nguyen! Thanks for supporting me throughout our seven years, I love you!
Tam Ngo (Civic SI), Michael Voharndej (MS3), and John Vu (Integra GSR) have been there to help me with all the late-night installs and I appreciate all their words of encouragement/love. Thanks guys!
Shoutouts to my team, Opulence! Our team is full of variety and the best thing about us is that we all started out as friends. Much love to my boys!
And finally to the Mayday crew, Thanks for the feature. You guys are awesome!”
When we finally finished shooting, I got a chance to mix and mingle with everyone and I was pleased to hear everyone had a great time watching us do work while enjoying the company of an older, more mature crowd of enthusiasts. We at MaydayGarage like to keep things on the street, so we may from time to time host these private meets, so keep your ears to the ground, we may just invite you!
Dennis To’s Official Mod List:
-Tuned by Powerfab
-BHR upgraded ignition coils
-Mazdaspeed cold air intake
-Rotary Performance catless midpipe
-HKS Hi-power titanium tip exhaust
-Cusco oil catch can
-Mazdaspeed oil cap
-Mazdaspeed radiator cap
-Race Roots air diverter panel
-Buddy Club Spec condenser
-Painted engine bay covers
-Racing Beat water temperature adapter
-Prosport oil sandwich plate
-Throttle body bypass
-Vertex Lang front bumper
-Burnout sides and aero rears
-Custom made rear diffuser
-RMagic trunk spoiler
-RE Amemiya roof spoiler
-Hella Micro DE Fogs
-Lebren rear fog light
-JDM clear corners
-Weathertech window visors
-Moon roof deflector
-Partial de-badged rear
-Third brake light insert
-Hertz HX 300D subwoofer w/ custom ported box
-Hertz MLK165 components
-ARC Audio Foose edition FD4150 amp
-ARC Audio Foose edition FD600.1 amp
-Nardi Classic 330mm leather steering wheel
-Baller Bolts burnt titanium steering wheel bolts
-NRG short hub
-NRG quick release
-Bride Zeta III seat
-Bride FO rail
-Takata 4pt harness
-Takata harness shoulder pads
-Axial Flow short shifter
-T1R burnt titanium shift knob
-Wrapped door panels in Bride fabric
-Custom made vent gauge pod
-Lotek center gauge pod
-AEM wideband UEGO gauge
-Prosport Halo series oil pressure gauge
-Prosport Halo series oil temperature gauge
-Prosport Halo series water temperature gauge
-Proclip Accessport mount
-Wink 5 Panel rear-view mirror
-Volk TE37 fully polished
-Falken FK452 tires
-Yokohama S. drive tires
-Project Kics R40 Neo Chrome lug nuts
-Hawk HPS front brake pads
-Hawk HPS rear brake pads
-Black painted calipers
-Stance GR+ coilovers
-Autopower roll cage
-Mazdaspeed front strut bar
-Mazdaspeed rear strut bar
-Progress Technology front sway bar
-Progress technology rear sway bar
-AWR front adjustable enlinks
-AWR rear adjustable endlinks
-Carbing rear underbody bar
-Megan Racing adjustable camber arms
-Energy Suspension bushings