Its been a while in the making and is now available to the public, our new manga series! Check out our new collaboration with Vicarous Gear aka. Princeton Wong! Follow the evolution of the Mayday Garage team as we battle the streets and evolve to “Total Tune!” Volume one, Highway Gambler features JohnP in his NSX versus Maydaydavid and his Pro Shop Fukoh FD3s and Booja aka Khiem in his 2jz swapped FD3s! The are all encountered by a cameo of our very own Chinese food truck, the Rice Box Truck!
So now you know about our brief adventures with 1013mm, QuickWorks Photo, our Ricer Wednesday and Coffee and Rice meets, and even our history with Japanese Tuner, Car Shop GLOW, so to finish off the Year in Review series, we wanted to end it with our return to specialized meets, specifically, our Japanese Nostalgic Car Meet and the WekFest TX PreMeet but due to the sheer amount of photos, we had to split this one into part 5a and 5b!
CLICK HERE FOR PART 5b!!
So 3 years prior, we had an idea that maybe we could gather all the really cool Japanese vintage cars from the southern region of the US to one location right here in Houston. With our friend Linhbergh Nguyen, we dubbed it, “Japanese Nostalgic Car Meet” or JNCM. We didn’t know what to expect from this open call, but it was one of the most fun meets I had ever attended. Cars from all over Texas showed up in their unique rides to enjoy a beer and a hotdog with other like minded vintage car enthusiasts.
Every year afterwards, we had people ask us when the next one would be. After much procrastination, it was time to make the public call for all owners of these JDM classic machines to gather once more. To prepare and give an idea of what exactly we were looking for, we had asked our good friends Peck and Bruce to let us photograph their very unique classic cars. One would represent the old, old school, and the other would represent the old school with a modern twist.
First was Peck’s ahhhhhhhmazing authentic JDM AE86 Levin hatchback. This thing oozed JDM race car from yesteryear, from the ITB’d 4AGE motor down to the N2 wide body fender flares swallowing the SSR reverse mesh mesh wheels. Peck has been a Mayday Garage supporter from the beginning, and his knowledge of old school Japanese tuning parts and cars is something that should be documented in a book as he is a huge parts collector/hoarder. The car hadn’t seen the streets in many years so it was such a cool thing to see in person as Khiem was taking epic photos of the car.
To show that we are not only into JDM everything, we asked for now-e-famous Bruce Lareto to let us capture his stunningly clean, bagged S130 Datsun 280zx. We’ve watched Bruce’s car evolve from just a bone stock 280 to what you see now. Bruce had big plans from the get-go and was able to realize his goals through hard work, trial and error, and never giving up on that vision. His car is ever evolving, and he currently is breaking in his new motor and will be test fitting a rear diffuser on his car, so that will be exciting to watch.
Now that we established what we were looking for, we anticipated a good showing for this meet where the weather wasn’t scorching hot, and it wasn’t cold outside. Located at the same place as 3 years prior, Moon Tower Inn in East Downtown Houston made much sense as the atmosphere is very relaxed and there was plenty of potential parking.
We also had to establish a few ground rules. 1- Vintage cars were to have priority parking because, you know, it’s a vintage car meet. 2- to be qualified as a vintage car, it had to be made in Japan, and have a model year before 1990.
The turnout was absolutely beautiful. There were so many cars that were vintage, that we ended up cramming a ton of them in the designated areas and the streets were soon filled with all makes and models as everyone had a thing for classic Japanese cars. We saw all kinds of people from all walks of life, aging from 1-92, it was truly a sight to see, and the general consensus tells us that we need to have more of these types of meets in the future.
Click on the next post to see part 5b!
-Team Mayday Garage-
If you’re on any kind of social media (mainly Instagram), then you already know that Mayday Garage has been making it’s rounds throughout Japan with the help from our Japanese brothers (and sister!) at Car Shop GLOW. While we have a billion photos to show you of both Tokyo Auto Salon and Battle EVOME, we wanted to start off our Japan coverage with a small post about our visit today at ADVANCE.
Before we begin, let me give you a little backstory on how we ended up here. We planned a trip to Japan once we were told by Ken Suzuki of CSG that they would be showing off Yukimitsu Hara’s now famous time attack FD RX-7, so the question we were asked by Ken was, “What shops would you like to visit?” For JohnP, it was only one shop; ADVANCE. Luckily, Ken knew of ADVANCE and spoke highly of them. So on JohnP’s last day in Japan, we made the trek to Yokohama prefecture where ADVANCE’s shop was located.
As soon as we made the turn from the main street, it was obvious we were in NSX heaven. Like skittles scattered across a table, we were greeted by a yellow, white and blue NSX parked in the street. ADVANCE, known worldwide for their specialty in tuning Honda’s MR chassis, has some of the sickest NSX’s on the planet, and the moment we rolled up to the shop, our jaws absolutely dropped to the floor. We were greeted by some of the employees including Masahiro Shinbori (IG name @masataro_nsx) who owns the ITB’d yellow NA2 on SSR SP1’s and a cup system.
While Shinbori-San’s NSX would pretty much win any car show here in the states as is, it was the blue ADVANCE NSX (IG name @js_nsx) that we wanted to see. This NSX is what we consider to be an excellent example of Japan’s approach to the idea of “Total Tune”, that is, to make the car complete by working on every aspect of the car. The C30A V6 powerplant was stroked out to 3.1 litres thanks to it’s TODA Racing stroker kit complete with TODA Racing forged high comp pistons and cams and is tuned using a Japanese favorite HKS V-Pro engine management system. Using Fujitsubo exhaust manifolds, the car breathes easier via it’s ADVANCE titanium exhaust tucked neatly above the all carbon fiber rear diffuser.
The NSX is seen on two different sets of wheels, for daily duties, the new RAYS GramLights 57 Extreme STD Spec adorns the NA1 in a standard 17/18 inch double staggered setup, and for Time Attack rounds, it uses the more popular RAYS Volk Racing TE37SL wheels in almost the same configuration, with the only real difference is in the tires. The ADVAN A050’s help in track attack and work great with the ADVANCE Bilstein E12 dampers on Eibach springs that let this Honda propel itself around the Tsukuba Circuit in only 1 minute and 1 second. Not bad for a street car.
But what really gets our blood pumping is the exterior of the ADVANCE NSX. The Marga Hills wide body aero kit combined with the giant carbon fiber GT wing screams, “Look at me. Look how sexy I am, and now I’m going to beat your ass around the track”. The small touches on the car is what separates this NSX from the rest including the custom ADVANCE louvered hood complete with the matching CF hood diffusers, LED tails and other various carbon fiber one off bits. Another nice touch was the inclusion of a Nexus 7 Android tablet customer built into the gauge cluster along with a Defi smart meter.
JohnP had the opportunity to catch a short ride in the blue NSX and was all smiles both before and after getting out of the car. It seems that this visit on his last day in Japan assured him that this would not be his last trip to the land of the rising sun thanks to the beautiful NSXs at ADVANCE.
ADVANCE CO., LTD
3947-1 Ikebe-Cho. Tsuzuki-ku. Yokohama-Shi 224-0053
And now, for part 4…
2014 was, without a doubt, one of Mayday Garage’s best years to date. It started with a business partnership with our comrades at Car Shop GLOW Japan. We worked very closely with our Japanese brothers to deliver a quality handmade bespoke product to help resurrect an old chassis that we hold dear to our hearts, the FD3S RX-7.
What started as an image of a certain root beer colored Time Attack FD3S taken in a parking garage by Narita Dog Fight, caught the attention of both David and Khiem, the two Mayday guys that also owned an FD RX-7 chassis. It was something they had to have. After some researching, it was revealed that Ken Suzuki of Car Shop GLOW had made a custom one off set of LED tails for his CEO/Boss, Yukimitsu Hara, owner and pilot of the now famous rotary wonder. Through the wonderful powers of social media, Ken was contacted about making a couple of sets for us and having the possibility of selling the lights on a more broader scale. Although Hara-san’s tails were one off, different ideas and designs were considered before the unanimous decision of sticking to the original design was made.
So after a couple of months early in 2014, we had the world’s first batch of handmade, Japanese LED tails in our hands. We were taken aback by the quality of the lights and knew that we would have to get these out to the market as soon as we could. The lights bring life back to the aging FD3S, which disappeared from our US shores over 20 years ago.
We debuted the lights the best way we knew how; we hit the streets and took photos. With the help of Hai Le, we were also able to make a short video showing the lights off on our cars. With the new lights, a new website was in much needed order, and the site was shortly thereafter revamped to what you see now. In a very short amount of time, we were backed up on CSG lights as we were trying to fulfill orders as fast as we could while trying to stay in contact with each and every customer.
Meanwhile, Hara San was absolutely tearing up the time attack circuits in his FD, and was able to use his popularity and close relationships to advertise the lights the best way CSG could, by putting them on Time Attack cars in Japan.
Of course, with every business, you should always keep moving ahead, and stay as relevant as you can, so not too long after the FD3S tails were introduced, a new tail light option emerged for another Japanese chassis, the Honda S2000.
The idea was originally brought up by Car Shop GLOW to develop a new design for the S2K because, quite frankly, there’s not really any options out there, much like for the FD3S. So designs were thrown back and forth between us and CSG before we decided on the design you see now. As we’ve stated in a previous post about these tail lights, there were MANY obstacles to overcome. One being cost. The cost of the lights was controversial, but we pushed through with a “Quality First” mentality. We knew that there were a handful of S2000 owners out there that would want the best of the best, and that’s who we were targeting.
Because no one at Mayday Garage owned an S2000, we needed to debut the lights in much the same way as our own FD’s, so we asked Tom Syhachack, a local, to help us sell the lights using his super clean AP2. We had Ken Suzuki of CSG fly from Japan, prototype lights in hand, visit us here in Houston and install them on to Tom’s S2K in time for the StanceNation show in Dallas, TX. Of course, we had to be there in the FD’s also to support both Tom and our Japanese brother, Ken.
The results speak for themselves. The lights are on some of the most prominent S2K builds out there in the world, including the WTACC Voltex/Top Fuel Racing S2000.
And now with less than one week away from Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, we will be showing the world what Car Shop GLOW has been working on in the last few months by showing everyone different lights for different JDM chassis’. Look out for us next week as we will be blowing up your feed on social media!
Up next: The FINAL part 5 (we swear)
Before the blog, before the social media, Mayday Garage’s origins have been that of hosting underground events in the Houston area. For the past 12 years the roots of Mayday have pushed to keep the spirit of the street vibrant, from streets to garages to convention centers, the preservation of tuning culture has always been Mayday’s primary objective. In 2015, we will embark on one of our most exciting and dynamic events to date, The Rice Bowl. Join us as we host a new type of modified vehicle exhibition and partner with Japanese culture convention Anime Matsuri in bringing you a new experience Easter Weekend 2015 at George R. Brown convention center.
As a modified car exhibition that will celebrate Japanese & European street style within Anime Matsuri, The Rice Bowl is not a competition platform. It is an exhibition party with live acts, industry guests and celebration of tuning culture.
Join us April 4 as we make 2015 the year of rice!
Automotive participation details to be unveiled 02/01/15.
– Team Mayday Garage
Our favorite videographer is at it again! Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with Luke next month in Japan! Video courtesy of Maiham Media