Japspeed were always one of those companies that I knew of, but didn't really know a whole lot about their operation. After Edition38X, I headed up to Manchester to meet up with Paul McCallum, owner and founder of Japspeed to get an insight into their operation. I remember the Japspeed R33 Skylines from several years back but it was only at the first round of the Prodrift Super Series in 2008 that I bumped into Paul and got talking to him about Japspeed. Quite embarassingly, it's taken me this long to finally drop in to their rather large premises on the outskirts of Manchester.
Most of you may know Japspeed from their exploits in the world of drifting. Running a four car team primarily in the BDC, Japspeed have been a great supporter of UK drifting. At the same Super Series event where I met Paul, I remember them donating parts to Dean 'Karnage' Kearney who had damaged his car during qualifying.
The team consists of Danny Eyles, Shane Lynch and Paul Smith in almost matching S15s (None of which have the same engine RB25, VH45DE and SR20 accordingly) with Steve 'Baggsy' Biagioni in the teams most recent car, a hawkeye Impreza.
It's more than just a promotional excercise for Team Japspeed who use the cars to design and develop new parts before passing them onto the customer. Sitting around talking to guys and girls, it's clear that they're interest in drifting is one of love. They don't see it as work, they love the sport and listening to them talking about recent events and dissecting each Formula D event through the driftstream, it's clear how genuine the crew is.
The team cars share an area with some of the stock that Japspeed ship to it's customers across Europe.
Using their own milling machine, they can drill and groove discs to their customers specifications.
Not only is their warehouse big, but there are three of them side by side.
Carbon bonnet for your S13 sir ?
Even the forklift has been given the team colour treatment.
Unusually, everything Japspeed seem to do is done in-house. Product photography, vehicle designs, advertising et al. is all dealt with by the staff. This gives them full control over everything they do, ensuring they retain a strong brand image.
A sneak peak at an upcoming shirt design featureing their new Subaru …
I was actually surprised at how big the Japspeed team is. I've no idea what this guy does but I think Paul will need to have a word with him over his scented candle
Team Japspeed started out with Shane Lynch and Danny Eyles. There never really was a plan for a team, it just sort of happened. I've a great interview with Paul on the way where he'll fill you guys in on how it all came together.
This is the picking and packing area, where orders are sorted and prepared to be despatched.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this car once it's out of development and fully competitive. Baggsy is a really sound guy along with being a very capable and highly underated driver. It'll be interesting to see how he performs in 2011.
A look through the three warehouses with the Subaru lurking somewhere in the middle.
A new twin pipe exhaust the guys are about to release. They've already fitted them to some of the team cars and they sound very, very good.
Before I met the team, I never really knew what to make of them. To the untrained eye, it could seem as a company just in it to make a quick buck. But when you get up close to their operation, you can really see the love and passion they put into everything. They don't see drifting as a cash cow, they're investing in it to help bring UK drifting to the next level by supporting series' and drivers.
Look out for the interview with Paul over the coming few days …
The digital renderings, the middle S15, anyone else see that as a screenshot of Forza Motorsport?
1st picture as wallpaper please!
just me or is the 2nd and 4th shot the same?
!st Pic wallpeper. That shot is brilliant - nice coverage.
And @Joss, I have to agree. That looks totally FM3.
Maxxis Tires on Rota wheeels says it all about this shop........ Sorry.
I think the shop name is offensive ....
Jap is an English abbreviation of the word "Japanese." Today it is regarded as an ethnic slur, though English-speaking countries differ in the degree they consider the term offensive. In the United States, Japanese Americans have come to find the term controversial or offensive, even when used as an abbreviation. In the past, Jap was not considered primarily offensive; however, during and after the events of World War II, the term became derogatory.
Later popularized during World War II to describe those of Japanese descent, "Jap" was then commonly used in newspaper headlines to refer to the Japanese and Imperial Japan. "Jap" became a derogatory term during the war, more so than "Nip".
Hey man, nice write up. I really like those renderings and was wondering what programs who ever did them used to make em?
1st picture as wallpaper please!
Definitely Forza screenshot haha.
I can hand on heart say, the name is not being used as a racial slur.
In the UK and Ireland, the term Jap is shorthand for Japan / Japanese. An RPS13 would often be refered to as a 'Jap import'. Japan is held as a sort of utopia for petrolheads, so it's strange for me to even think of it as a racial slur.
The name Japspeed is worn with a lot of pride and passion, they're is definitely no malice intended. In fact I'd say it's quite the opposite.
I hope that clarifies things !
The best and nothing better!
@ Joss Duggan I thought the exact same thing!
Love the framed digital renderings
First pic as wallpaper go go go!!!
The first picture really is great
as someone of Japanese descent, and with a grandparent and relatives that have gone through internment camps as well as living in fear of being Japanese in America, i find the term "Jap" offensive. Even if it is not meant as a derogatory manner; it pisses me off that these shop owners didn't look in to the meaning of their name.
I find it sad how a high profile workship with quality workmanship use low-rate parts like D2 and Rota.
the thing is this is in the uk and have a completley different meaning for our words than you do so no offence is taken over here. if you dont like it dont buy it.
check out the cool promo vid they put out about a year ago
Drift - Team Japspeed / Maxxis Tyres Promo
@ luke - the shot is taken in the same place but there is different things in the shot, look harder next time!
3 S15's and 2 STi's *GR in the back
These guys are serious
they look similar but they're taken at a different angle. Look at the lift and you'll see the difference.
Uhh Dace thats a bit insensitive. If you've ever been on the end of racial prejudice you'd realise that. As a resident of the UK, and someone who's been on the receiving end of ethnic slur, the name maybe wasn't the best idea, but the term "Jap" really isn't considered as a slur in this part of the world, so hopefully our international cousins won't hold it against the shop or Paddy's article.
@upstart rota wheels is a big supporter of the UK drift scene. while they are greatly looked down upon in the USA they are a big player in the industry over there. getting "real" wheels in the uk is way more money than it is over here, and with a smaller industry and less financial support than here in the states, its not financially responsible to run "real" wheels in competition over there. the market just isnt there for the uk drivers
Hey Patrick I totally see your point and I am sure it was not used as a racial slur in Europe BUT if you are ever going to have a business specially one that is trying be recognized internationally one has to take things such as this into consideration. I have friend's who family here in America was sent to camps 60 years ago when Pearl Harbor occured. I assure you if you ever came to Cali or Hawaii you'd have a lot of people upset if you were to call them "Japs" but then again some people like to hide behind their blissfull ignorance.
Read all the comments above, still facepalming that those guys didn't think about the name a little bit more.
I'm fairly sure the term 'Jap' is mostly an American slur, that isn't even used that much anymore but I still can't really believe it.
It looks like that shop is doing some really cool stuff though, it's a shame I can't ever converse about it in my country without looking like a prick.
Misled Youth - You are, indeed, misled. The world is "PC" enough these days, it's time to get off your rather high horse...
Great writeup, great shop and team!
@ Patrick McGrath, completely agree with you!
I'm from the UK and I've never heard 'Jap' used as an insult, we literally use it as an abbreviation and nothing more. And in our car (and especially drifting) scenes, we have much admiration for Japan.
1ST PICTURE AS WALLPAPER PLEASEEE!!!!
Things are as offensive as you choose to make them.
You guys are on one being all offended where there is no offence to be taken because you want to get on a high moral horse about something,
Stop being dumb, stop being up your own anus, and get a life and chill out - these guys love cars and are in the great position where what they love is what pays their bills, while they also put something into the sport the love instead of leeching off it.
If you want to be offended, then be offended at the fact I just called you ignorant and bigoted because you are!
FIRST PIC = WALLPAPER!!
"A look through the three warehouses with the Subaru lurking somewhere in the middle."
desktop PLEASE! such a great photo!
well as a uk resident i drive a impreza, of which every one i no would call that a jap car. its a Japanese car. the company is called japspeed.. they just deal with Japanese performace parts, what would people prefer here?? for themselves to be name JapaneseSpeed? doesn't sound the same does it. its not meant to offend anyone and i think people can be too sensitive sometimes or just want to argue for the sake of arguing!
Since my comment was previously erased.
Ill write again my .02:
Whether or not the term "Jap" is derogatory in UK (it certainly is everywhere else in the world).
The name of the shop should reflect its business,
I see Rota (which are made in the Phillipines).
I see Maxxis tires (which are made in China),
I see D2 brakes (which are made in China as well).
I personally don't care how expensive real JDM parts cost in Europe (UK).....if you can't afford it, save some more.
@Smithy: you have much admiration to the Japanese tuning scene? SUPPORT THEM ! Don't buy Chinese crap.
I don't care if Rota is the main Sponsor in UK, boycott it ! And I don't care if D2 brakes are big in Europe, get something geniune.
The "Japspeed" shop better look into another name (maybe Chinspeed?).
Paddy, just a quick note, Paul Smith's car has been running a 1JZ since last year not an SR20, top write up
A great write up for a great UK drift team.
the whole team are really friendly and helpful, made me very welcome on my first visit to a drift event.
As for the name thing, its just a name. if you want to discuss it then make a thread on a forum dont clog up Paddy's report.
@Alex! Lol you've just given away the fact your in the uk drift scene along side Japspeed! What a looser trying to slag them off! A successful business and team like that always seems to bring some jealous people out of the woodwork! Shame really!
Great write up paddy, looks like a really cool place!
love that first pic.. thats spot on.. - oh the Jap thing again, yes it might be offensive to some, but its a business name short for the word Japan - i'm sure we all know this. oh yes.. have a good look the 2nd & 4th pics they are slightly different even though they have been taken seconds apart and look 'similar'! thanks for the run down Paddy.. 10/10 - Go JapSpeed!!
Now that is an A1 organization! We don't hear that much about what happens in the UK drifting world over here in the US. Glad to see that the sport is alive and well. I'm with Wayne on wanting that first picture as a wallpaper
Great feature Paddy! Japspeed are top top guys and the build quality of those cars would put most drift cars to shame.
I spot a Speedhunters banner on the workshop wall too, nice!
you've missed pretty much the biggest clue to why they're called Japspeed.
What cars do you see in the above pictures? Also, what cars do these 'non-japanese' products cater for?
Does that mean that a tuner like 'Matchless Crowd Racing' shouldn't be doing parts for cars in the slightest?! As name's go, it's pretty spot on.
Tell me Alex, when you go to the supermarket... do you ALWAYS buy Heinz baked beans, coca cola, free range eggs, or do you ever buy the 'Tesco own brand' because it's a bit cheaper? Replicas and cheaper parts exist. Get over it.
Writing crap on an internet forum isn't exactly showing support to your elitist brands, is it?
You're one of those annoying people who don't have any involvement in any industry, you sit on forums on some silly high horse passing judgment a people who don't bankrupt themselves for a set of JDM TYTE wheels.
If someone wants to buy Volks, let them. If someone wants to buy Rota, let them. Their money, their car, their choice.
I love how people still abuse Rota wheels.People that have no idea what they're talking about. Rota have proven to be just as good as any other wheel on the market. Just as strong ans just and as light. Hell, the Rotas I run have taken a hell of a beating.
Jap is not an offensive term in the UK, and that is where Japspeed is based. Just because it was used and a slur 50/60 years ago in a different contry doesn't mean that Japspeed name is ment maliciously. Japspeed is short for Japanese Speed. Calling and Japanese person a Jap is exaxctly the same as calling a British person a Brit.
People need to stop being snobs and get the f*** over them selves.
A full set of decent set of NEW, good sized Rotas costs under £1k. Try find a set of new Volks/Rays for that. Then add on the months delivery time to the price. You mash a Volk or any other "real" wheel and you then have to wait forever to get a replacement. Mash up a Rota and you can a full set sat on your doorstep the next day.
@ Alex, I don't really see your point. So because drifting originated in Japan and I (we) are fans of it, we should only buy and use Japanese cars, Japanese parts etc, and boycott any other foreign companies? Great idea.
Oh and 'save more', wow, why didn't I think of that?! Yeah, I'll phone everyone I know right now and tell them to SAVE MORE for £3000 wheel / tyre packages for cars that cost half that amount...
Do you think the guys in Japan just pop down the road and buy top-end HKS, Volk etc parts for their drift beaters just to stay true to their roots?
blah blah blah fake wheels, blah blah blah china tires. Man, everyone complains. I guess Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tureck are crap cause they run Maxxis Tires? Or grassroots drivers on a budget are dumb because they buy Rotas cause there cheap and they can get more wheels incase they break one in a crash?
Great article! Looks like serious business As for the name... there are equal examples like the swastika sign which to many western countries is still nothing but the sign of the nazis while it's actually quite common to come across it in other cultural areas due to its multiple meanings with no relation to WW2. So, before you expect other people to know what a name or sign means to you, try to get to know what it means to them and the region they are living in. Cheers! Btw, ever heard of that crazy UK meeting JAPFEST!! OMG
Japspeed & Driftworks, the 2 biggest & best professional outfits of drifting in the UK - bar NONE.
JDM'ers Keep hating...... These guys know their business and are damn good at it. Thanks Paddy for featuring a team who have given so much. Now get you're Paddy Caddy to DW HQ before I racially abuse you.
Team of 4???
At the weekend I was at Knockhill watching all 6 drivers compete, the same 6 drivers they have had the last 2 seasons. What's that all about??
Sil80 Anthony Cahill
S14a RB26 Nathan Chilvers
Personally, I would use Rotas for my drift machine (just putting it out there I dont own a car at all, I'm 15). They're cheaper. If it was for my own personal car that does not constantly shred through tires I would put in the money for something that would stay on the car for what they're worth. It's not like the quality of Rotas are going to break the performance of the car (after all, they're just for drifting anyways :P). And it's their cars, they don't have to be up to par with your expectations
That opening shot is brilliant, Paddy. Fucking brilliant.