Hotlanta lived up to its name this year. Last year when i was down in Braselton for Round 2 it rained and was not as hot as it was this year. Wednesday night i got into my car and started the 12 hour drive to Georgia with a fellow photographer. He did not drive manual, so the 12 hour drive was up to me to conquer. 13 hours later and a 15 minute nap in a BP gas station we arrived at Road Atlanta. We went straight to the track to pick up our media credentials and make the meeting.
Formula Drift Round 2 was filled with excitement, nerves, questionable calls (but when isn’t there), and battles that felt like they would never end. It was hot, and i mean real hot. No matter how much sunscreen you put on, it wasn’t going to help. Renting a golf cart was probably the best idea for the weekend. Road Atlanta is huge, and to get from the Paddock to the track, or from the Paddock to grid was insane. Up and down hills in that heat wasn’t happening. I must say Atlanta fans might be the best fans of the Formula Drift series.
Sikky Racing is made up drivers James Evans and “Rapper” Dan Savage. James and Dan have been driving together from as far back as 2008 when they were competing in US Drift, the premier east coast Formula Drift Pro Am feeder series. It wasn’t until 2011 when James and the crew at Sikky Manufacturing / JE Import Performance would approach Dan to join forces. Dan piloted a Nissan S13 Hatch alongside James in a Nissan 350z. In that inaugural year as team, they traveled up and down the east coast of the United States, competing at XDC events and other various grassroots venus such as Drift Nirvana and East Coast Bash.
When our fellow Mayday Garage member asked to have his Miata bumper lights converted to LEDs by Car Shop GLOW, we thought we’d bring it to market and see if people with NA (90-97) Miatas would like it as much as Fabio did. So here we are!
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)
We are so proud to announce to everyone that through many negotiations with Honda Co. Japan and through streamlining the LED conversion process, Car Shop GLOW is now able to manufacture the now famous S2000 LED tail lights $150 USD cheaper than we originally sold the lights for! This is GREAT news, and we have passed down the savings to all, including our first customers that have already purchased the lights.
Here are a few photos from one of our first customers, Red Lufty, on his beautiful Honda S2K, photos by Jake Owens.
We strive to provide the best customer service around, and we are just a bunch of car guys just like you.