Pick Six: The BLOX Evolution Spotlights
A V8 & A Family Van

Now that I’ve given you guys a look at what last weekend’s BLOX Evolution event was all about, I wanted to focus in on six of the vehicles that caught my eye as I made my way around Pier 70 on Saturday. These aren’t necessarily the nicest or the most heavily modified cars at the event, but all have unique qualities that helped set them apart from the crowd. From a throwback 1970s street machine to a Korean VIP sedan and a rare JDM import, there’s some cool stuff to share – so let’s get on with it.

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In the first post I mentioned an LS-swapped RX-7 that was part of the massive Inspire USA group, and that blue car was joined by this battleship gray FD3S.

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Along with the striking exterior color, the body’s been treated to some subtle upgrades that add aggression but don’t distract from the FD’s great factory lines.

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As for wheels, the RX-7 is on RAYS Volk Racing TE37RTs, and you can also spot the large Brembo brakes behind the spokes.

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Then there’s the heart of the whole operation – the LS1 V8 swap that almost looks like a factory-fit in the RX-7’s engine bay.

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V8-swapped FDs aren’t terribly unusual these days, but there was something I really liked about this car’s combination of high-end Japanese tuning parts and the all-American V8 under the hood. When it comes to street cars, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Next, we move from a V8-powered RX-7 to a family hauler from the 1990s. This is Ojay Bayang’s Toyota Previa, which made the trip up to San Francisco from its home base in Southern California.

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While there are plenty of modified minivans being built in the States right now, I’m not sure if any of them capture the legit Japanese style as much as Ojay’s Previa.

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Not only that, but the overall quality of this build is extremely high. The paint and bodywork are amazing, as are the refinished barrels of the custom BBS wheels.

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The interior has also been completely overhauled with diamond-stitched seats, Garson curtains and a whole array of high-end audio equipment. It’s a party on wheels.

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We might be in California, but this van looks like something that just pulled up to Daikoku on a Friday night. Aspiring van builders out there would be wise to follow Ojay’s example…

You Gotta Have Seoul
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Next up we have another VIP-influenced machine, but rather than Japan this one comes from Korea. It’s a Hyundai Genesis Sedan built by Vip’dOut – a shop that specializes in handmade VIP-style interior accessories.

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With a 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, this car was heavily inspired by the Genesis Prada – a limited edition model that was released in Korea a couple years ago.

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But that’s not all. This Genesis has also received plenty of modifications usually reserved for Japanese VIP sedans. There’s air suspension, Work Gnosis GS-4 wheels, and a gigantic set of Futura brakes – just to name a few.

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Naturally, the interior is also home to a number of Vip’dOut’s own trays and other VIP accessories.

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After seeing this car, I have to admit that I found myself hunting around to see what used Genesis sedans are going for these days. Given the low prices that I saw on those classified sites, could this be the next big VIP platform?

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Now it’s back to the 1970s to take a closer look at the ’72 Datsun 510 Wagon from the Endless Projects Crew. You don’t see 510 wagons often, especially examples as clean as this one.

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While the car has a lot of its original parts remaining, the engine has been swapped out for a KA24DE from a 240SX. The KA has always been a popular swap choice for 510 owners looking for cheap, reliable power on the street.

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Along with its Hot Chocolate body color sourced from the MINI palette, the 510 is also wearing 15×8-inch Work Meister CR-01s and a set of JDM fender mirrors for the nostalgic look.

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Inside, the stock seats have been replaced with a set of custom upholstered Recaros, but the factory Datsun steering wheel and the original 8-track tape player both remain intact.

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All in all, I thought this car was a perfect example of a restomodded 510 – that is, tastefully upgraded with high quality parts throughout.

Throw It Back
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Now we go for an even deeper time warp with this ’73 Datsun 240Z out of Livermore. It actually took me a little while to realize that I was in fact looking at an S30!

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That’s because this Z is wearing a fiberglass wide body conversion that’s dramatically altered its original lines. Just look at that rear spoiler and those huge fender flares.

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Sitting under those box flares are a set of 15-inch Centerline wheels that help to complete the old school look.

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The car is powered by an original L24 straight six with a high-flow header, upgraded ignition and a set of triple Mikuni side-draft carbs.

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I know not everyone will dig the over-the-top looks, but I personally like the way this thing throws back to the wild street machines of the 1970s and ’80s.

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Last but not least, we have a Japanese market rarity that has somehow made its way to American shores. It’s a an EF chassis Honda Civic Shuttle.

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Actually it’s not just a Civic Shuttle – but a rare 4WD model known as the Beagle. Yes, only in Japan would they name a car ‘Beagle’.

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It’s essentially a crossover SUV from the days before that term even existed. Those external lights up front are actually a factory item.

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Although it’s original for the most part, this example has been lowered and equipped with a set of old school, finned Volk Racing wheels.

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I’ve always had a thing for obscure cars from the ’80s and ’90s and this little puppy is about as unusual as a Civic can get.

There you have it – six of my favorite cars from BLOX Evolution. See you next year!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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Love those RX-7's!


That Z reminds me of the 959 to a certain extend


A 4WD Civic. Shuttle. With bull bars. From the factory. AND epic 80's aero disc wheels, made by VOLK, of all people? I think this might be the the coolest thing I've seen in a while! Awesome!!!


I suppose I'll be the first to publicly drink the haterade here. Firstly, give me rotary, or give me death. Secondly, the Z. That is a mistake. 
I dig the others. What a cool venue.


Big Pooky That poor Z makes me cry, and I don't usually hate on other people's style (or lack there-of).


Big Pooky


KennedyCao I was thinking 944 but can see some 959 in the rear spoiler design. Overall it has a bit of a Group 5/IMSA look going on, I think that if it was painted in a classic livery from that era it would help complete the look.

Slappy Pistons

I'm in awe of that EF Beagle.  Fuuuuuuuuuudge.


The freakin bogged FJ Cruiser again. Maybe he took the 'down to earth' approach too seriously....

Gianluca FairladyZ

Thanks Mike for the detailled article. But even I have to give my commetns to some cars.. As a big Z fan, this old fairlady looks not really "ladylike".  But thubms up to the FD. The estetic overall package is very nice.  I know this FD V8 swaps are very useful for drift cars, where you need torque and power. But how is it to drive such a car on street / track? I know the FD's are very agile and fast cars, thanks to the good wheight distribution. Any expierience with that out there?


dat family van is here called "raumschiff", never expected to see it featured on SH xDDD


Gianluca FairladyZ I know an LS1 weighs less than an SR20. So I'd say it's still pretty good.


Man, I am so sick of V8 swaps in RX7s. If there's one thing I hate in my cars, it's power. And reliability. And torque. And a nice sounding engine. And not having to replace apex seals every time the wind blows crossways.


Would love to know who owns the battleship gray RX7...I'm interested in the car


Would love to know who owns the battleship gray RX7...


What a cracking mix there loving the 4x4 civic....


im a speedhunters regular, and I have to say this post bothered me enough to make a post. first off, the rx-7s are great. The rest of the cars just have no business being on SH in my opinion. the 510 is basically stock, with nice wheels. way better examples out there. the s30 is just bad taste. looks like something out of the original F&F. the civic is basically a stock minivan, and there is the purple minivan featured as well? change the site to Grocery-Hunters?


ovais909 Big Pooky New age? I thought the Z was old school haha.


@chris b Sorry you feel that way, but the 510 is swapped and while you might not like the Civic, it appears other did. Different strokes right?


turbom JDM obscurity at its best!


jdmRob I don't what it means, but I like that word haha.


Gianluca FairladyZ Yeah the Z isn't for everyone - but I personally thought it was more unique than the dozens of S30s with ZG flares and other common modifications.


KamilOsman It seems like it.


Slappy Pistons Maybe Honda should bring back the Beagle?


MartinBrandan Thanks!


What's funny is the RX7 is probably the least interesting of these cars to me. Loved the article and the variety of cars chosen. Interesting to see that S30, it's cool seeing someone rescue one of the 70's street machines rather than condemning it.


Mike Garrett it's the german term for spaceship, because, well, the car sorta speaks for itself :P


great pictures, really nice.but i miss a closer look to the muddy pick up =)


Damn, that widebody Z is crazy. And I live in Livermore. How've I never seen it?! :D

Pete the perfect pilot

What rubbish! Have you owned a rotary?


Mike Garrett  1 car out of six built for performance. speed hunting right?


Where is the rest of it?? Stancenation had like 10 pages of awesome pictures.. This is part 1 right?? You guys have really gone away from your event coverage posts since I started checking this site daily in 2011.  Wekfest, Worthersee etc. now it's spotlight on v8 this and garage build that..  or Mad Mike. In terms or quality and write up there is no equal. just feel a bit robbed.  Different strokes.. yea maybe.  Sorry :(


@chris b Speedhunters is an international collective of photographers, writers & drivers with a shared passion for digging up the most exciting stories surrounding Car Culture happening anywhere in the world.

I'd say this article fits within this description rather well.


Genesis Sedans, the next vip platform?

I hope so, our kdm cars do NOT get enough love in this scene simply because of the make and model.


I'm finding that the Speed hunter site is really diverse. Love that. As a Midwest guy I grew up loving AMERICAN MUSCLE but the scene is soo uptight to me...The idea of intermingled car culture is truly intriguing. ..keep up the good work


Mike Garrett Mike, do you know if the Z's kit was created and added fairly recently, or is it a restored car with an old bodykit? It's quite unusual to see such a fresh looking build in an old style like that.


Pete the perfect pilot Oh, yes, please tell me about those powerful, torque-y, reliable rotary engines that totally exist.


ovais909 Big Pooky Ricer cars? Seriously?

Slappy Pistons

Mike Garrett Slappy Pistons I just can't see it being the same unfortunately.  I wonder if the owner is getting tired of saying, "actually it came out the factory like that."  Funnily enough I after reading this yesterday, I saw a an old Civic Shuttle after not seeing one in yeeeaaars and I just wanted to flag this lady down and buy it.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.


that gray LS1 FD is the gnarly kind of fun I like


My brother-in-law and I had matching RT-AWD 6spd wagons in blue - man I love seeing that factory bull bar.
I hope the new Fit/Jazz gets an AWD variant - it's the new Shuttle! (Beagle)
Thanks for the wonderful post as always Mike


@chris b
Just read about the LS1 swaps and then go back to driving your Dodge Caravan.  Hahahahahha - kidding - I love you Chris.  If this site was all performance it'd suck.  Variety is the spice of life!  Now I'll go back to shuttling the kids with my minivan...


i can't say that i am a fan of the corvette summerish 240


mmmmm that datto is sexual chocolate, mmm


Yes, Hyundai & Kia has some good platforms to work. That VIP Gen is beautiful


That VIP Hyundai Genesis is beautiful. Great platform