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Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

#Japan2015 - Part 3

@Silviachicka back again. The third portion of my trip I'd like to share is Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) because it's so different from shows back home. First thing I noticed was the amount of  big name companies that participated. The convention center was packed!  I think the last time I saw huge "OG" companies flooding events back home was in the mid-late 2000's. TAS was a memorable event because there were so many cars and so many makes and models! There wasn't a time where I walked around and thought "oh another rocket bunny kit" or "oh another liberty walk". Seemed that every car there was unique in its own way. Often times back home it seems like a lot of builds or mods turn into cookie cutter trends, taking the "community" by storm. Then suddenly everyone thinks a primer car is a "drift missile" or that over fenders are mandatory to be "cool". A lot of the cars there may have been considered pretty "extreme" or "ricey" but I thought they were all so dope. Some modifications that may get you made fun of here was highly respected over there. It felt like no matter what the mod was or whomever the owner, pride was taken in having it done properly, there was definitely no sign of cutting corners! Take a look for yourself:

D-Max Booth. Better believe I swooped up some parts.














Monday, March 16, 2015

#Japan2015 Part 2


I'm not a big fan of planes, I nearly wanted to get out and kiss the ground. Japan, I was finally here! One of the first places we visited on our trip was the Nissan Heritage Collection (ZAMA) also known as DNA Garage. They pretty much have one of every car Nissan manufactured, including some of the well known race cars. This was a really rad experience because you can see the technological progression throughout the years. We were lucky enough to be given a tour by Nissans very own Mr. Hioki who is now a retired engineer of the NISMO division. We couldn't have had a better tour guide of course he knew everything and didn't mind all the questions we had for him, a truly nice man!
Mr. Hioki










Next we visited Tomei's Facility. This has got to be my #1 or #2 favorite place/experience from this entire trip for several reasons. Let me start off by saying that unfortunately here in the states I have first hand experience of some really sexist and ignorant stuff. A perfect example would be when I was looking to purchase my SR. I'm not an expert at cars however I do know my fair share of things and I will catch people by surprise (don't let my constant giggling fool you). My boyfriend accompanied me when we went to go look at a few SR swaps this shop had. My boyfriend was greeted with eye contact, a hello, and a hand shake...I (the owner of the car, the one with the money, the one looking for an SR swap) got jack shiz! As if that wasn't insulting and disrespectful enough, when we walked into the facility the man would hand the ladder to my boyfriend so he can hop up and look at the motors that were stacked on industrial racks, however, as I climbed the ladder the owner was constantly rushing me to get off. Please keep in mind that my boyfriend told him on several occasions that he was not buying for himself that I had the money, I'm making the call, I'm the one looking for an SR swap! The man still continued to be a complete jerk. Another example is when I go to car meets or shows, people would often think I was only there because of my boyfriend. Honestly, half the time we even go to a show is because I bugged him to go and because I wanted to go! You'd be surprised how many eye brows are raised when I start asking people "what wheel specs are those?" "Oh you have internal work done, what valve train are you running?" "Is that a real K's bumper?". I think it's pretty wack that we have to automatically be put in the "groupie" category, people shouldn't always assume things. So guys if you're reading this please don't be like that, and ladies if you see another girl at a meet, show, or track don't be catty..toss a smile!
Anyways the reason I'm bringing this up and one of the reason why Tomei and it's staff will forever be one of my favorite experiences is because the entire staff was so friendly. We were all greeted with a smile and eye contact was made, yes even to the ladies. They had several of the employee cars there with their hoods popped so we can take a look. One of the cars was a vert with a S14 Tomei built SR and I loved everything about it! I asked who's car it was and I was introduced to the owner. He told my boyfriend and I that he was a huge SR fan so my boyfriend and I became ecstatic as we both own SR's and are proud owners. He asked me about my car and what was done to it, what my plans were with the car, I mean all three of us got carried away talking I think if we didn't have to leave we would of been there all night chattin it up. The second reason why this was my favorite experience was because of that conversation. I don't know Japanese and the staff member knew english although it wasn't perfect but we managed to understand one another. I feel as though regardless of the language barrier as soon as we began talking cars there was like an immediate connection. Cars is our language, at least for those that are into it. We had big ole kool aid smiles on our faces the entire time. It's pretty awesome how this car hobby can manage to create such bonds...bonds that people who aren't into cars will never understand, only we understand it.  Here's some pics:

Neat displays in the lobby.
Proof that RB's and SR's can be reliable daily drivers. This RB is daily driven by one of the Tomei staff members.
Oh you know just a 800hp Chaser...
Quietest 800hp car i've heard.

Tomei staff car with a U.S. 2.5L swap.
I have a video of this on my Instagram this was so gnarly! ( @silviachicka )
Datsun Sunny
I admire and respect the amount of engineering and quality control that Tomei does on their products. Very hard to find that in a company these days, especially in this industry.
Who would have know I would have found the over fenders I will be using on my car all the way in Japan. 
The SR that started it all. Also daily driven.
Daily driven RB. Let's take notes...they are reliable! Don't believe the fuss.
My kool-aid smile...
After Tomei we dropped by UPGARAGE! For those of you who are unfamiliar UPGARAGE, they have several stores throughout Japan and they sell used tuning parts including super rare parts. The stores are awesome because you can find really rare stuff and you catch some banging deals!


Purchased some tail lights for our GS, only $5.90!
Personally I prefer car parts shopping, over regular grocery shopping...
Remember those "banging deals" I told you about? Nismo LSD for $259.00! Go ahead and search for one after you're done reading so you can see the going rate.
The entire store is like this. You have your exhaust section, wheel section, electronics section, engine sections too! (Real and rare wheels) 
As we were leaving spotted Ms. Thang chillin in the parking lot.
Of course I couldn't leave without spoiling myself. I purchased a brand new Defi Boost Gauge with the control unit, and the GS tail lights. Oh, shout out to Richard from DSPORT who spotted a GP Sports Cooling Fan and gave it to me! He could have kept it for himself but is such a nice guy he let me have it, thanks again Richard! #teamrich #schassisfamily Oh I also got a gnarly Tomei Oil Cap which is shaped like a piston, too sick!

I'll stop here and make a "Part 3" to show you guys pics from Tokyo Auto Salon, D1GP expo, going out drinking with Tarzan Yamada himself and much more. 

Lastly if anyone has any questions about anything, the trip, my car or any of the pictures leave me a comment I'd be more than happy to discuss it more.