JNCM

Mayday Garage Year in Review 2014: Part 5a

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!!
Three Toyotas, three gigantic wings.

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.

Josh Garcia's Time Attack V8 powered Trueno Hatch- with gigantic wing
Peck's RHD N2 race prepped 4AGE powered Levin Hatch - with gigantic wing
Thaison Nguyen's drift F20C powered Levin Hatch - with gigantic wing

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.

Classic? 1989 model year says YES, yes it is.
These two vintage Cafe Racers from Austin also made the trip to JNCM
A personal favorite of ours, Edward Morfe's surprise Toyota Starlet had so many gems hidden within his car
Including his Toyota 3SGE BEAMS motor with matching Altezza cluster inside!






























































































Click on the next post to see part 5b!
-Team Mayday Garage-

The Last Samurai.

Last post’s Z32 had us thinking about the great 90’s Japanese Super cars and how quickly they disappeared from the U.S. shores. The first on the chopping block was the FD RX-7 as the last few were imported for the 1995 calendar year, quickly followed by the 300zx in 96 and Toyota Supra in 1998. With only the NSX which was made in extremely limited numbers and was out of reach for most “normal” car guys due to the skyrocketing price, there was only one Japanese super car that still embraced the Twin Turbo philosophy, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4.

If only these cars came with lowered suspension... :D

The 3000GT, much like the 300zx and Supra, also came in non-turbo variants, but it was the 320hp, Twin-Turbo V6 version dubbed the VR-4 (GTO in Japanese markets) that hurt feelings on the streets. The VR-4 separated itself from the other Japanese warriors by boasting an AWD platform unlike the other FR and MR cars, four wheel steering, electronic suspension and was more of a freeway Grand Touring car than it’s polar opposite, the FD RX-7 with it’s minimal yet spartan interiors. It was a car you could cruise around town while comfortably enjoying the company of whoever rode shotgun.

Although the 3S went through many changes as the years went by, it was the year 1999 where the car would go through it’s last and final aesthetic refresh with it’s redesigned front bumper, headlights, turn signals, and that one-of-a-kind spoiler. That spoiler was the sign on the exterior that let other drivers know that this 3S was not to be messed with. We recently met a VR-4 owner by the name of Josh that made it out to a few of our Coffee and Rice meets and all of the guys immediately recognized this rare beauty. With the Dodge Stealth version dying in 1996, the last few 3000GT VR-4’s were hard to come by as production dwindled down to match sales numbers. In 1999, around 287 models were made and sold. Of that, we have one pristine example in all of it’s 1999 glory here in front of us, unmolested, and completely intact. If you’d like to see more of this car (and MANY more cars), you know where we are every Sunday.

DAT WANG

Keep Tuning,
Ricer X