The Massive Wekfest Japan Roundup
Pushing The Envelope

Over the course of the week, we’ve spotlighted a diverse bunch of cars from Wekfest Japan. From a Ferrari Testarossa slammed on airbags to a 2JZ-powered Mercedes-Benz 450SLC and a supercharged Honda S2000, the Nagoya show had it all.

Truth be told though, there was so much more at this event worthy of special note, which is why I’m going to wrap things up from the Port Messe exhibition center with one final XL-sized post.

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While Wekfest seems to celebrate a variety of styles, the USDM influence is hard to miss. Call it human nature, always wanting what you can’t have or what’s hard to get. The need to stand out sees owners going to great lengths tracking down rare parts from back in the day, but in most cases they’re being combined with modern JDM touches, resulting in some unique styles and idea.

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I’m sure some of the cars at Wekfest Japan, including those sporting the either love-it-or-hate-it onikyan style, will be judged negatively, but I don’t think I’ve ever attended a Japanese show where 95 percent of the cars on display deserved a proper feature. Yes, this event was that good.

So before we get into the best of the rest, I’d like to give a shout out to the Wekfest crew for putting on such a great event, and for the Japanese guys and gals out there who are pushing the the modifying envelope.

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It’s something I’ve been banging on about lately, but the execution and presentation of Japanese builds really has improved. Having to be diplomatic when sharing cars and scenes with you here in Japan means that I may not focus too much on the negative things, but when I first started shooting and featuring local cars I was pretty appalled with the way most builds were finished.

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And everyone was guilty, even the big-name tuners who were held in such high regard around the world. Messy engine bays, shoddy wiring work, exposed cables, gauges crudely screwed onto dashboards, and don’t get me started on roll-cages… You can categorize all of the above as ‘functional’ or ‘JDM style’ up to a certain point, but enough is enough. Thankfully, much has changed since then, and I now find myself not having to be selective went it comes to what I shoot.

S&A Auto Create is a Japanese shop that really knows what it’s doing when it comes to nailing the details.

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I spotlighted S&A’s new-gen Roadster when it was displayed at the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show in Yokohama late last year, but it’s come a long way since then. I’m due to drop by the shop soon as there are some fresh builds that need to be featured. Stay tuned for those!

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These shows also put my heart at peace, a contrast to drift events like last month’s Black Mark Day where I watched dozens of AE86s being beaten down on track. At Wekfest Japan I saw a number of well cared for and polished Hachirokus. It’s all about balance; for every Levin and Trueno that gets abused, two must be looked after. It guarantees survival of the species.

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For those who get their panties in a twist even thinking about extreme modifications being made to exotic and collectable cars, here’s that slammed 348 from Hokkaido again. This car created so much controversy when Ron featured it last year, and it still managed to split opinion at Wekfest with a stance that isn’t exactly aimed at function.

This W116 Mercedes-Benz, dumped to the ground and embellished with well-selected details like USDM front corner lights and taillights and white-walled rubber, really impressed. It’s clean, simple and to the point.

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I see a lot of people dismissing the Wekfest show scene as being totally skewed towards aesthetics and stance, but that’s not so true in Japan. Getting a car to sit right may make it look nice, but it’s also done to improve handling performance. There were many examples of this in Nagoya too, including this RB26-swapped S30.

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The Datsun was parked next to this C210 Skyline sitting on a set of Barramundi Hystrix wheels…

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And also this Z, which was something else. Yes, a shiny red and beautifully restored S30 Fairlady running RS Watanabe wheels will always get a nod of approval, but there was more to it than that.

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Namely, a serious L-series engine under the hood, with a little help from OS Giken. The TC24B1 is a twin-cam cylinder head replacement that boosts power, torque, response and noise in a way that no other modification could ever do to the base straight-six.

Setting Standards
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As someone rightly pointed out in my Exceed/Raw Heart S2000 spotlight, the car parked next to it was indeed a Honda Accord. This CB series sedan is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, both aesthetically and mechanically.

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Not only has the old school Accord been K-swapped, but it’s turbocharged too. Both the exhaust and wastegate screamer pipe vent through the hood and everything else has been finished off with the high level of execution I was talking about at the beginning of this post.

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Finishing the CB off perfectly is a period-correct set of RAYS Volk Racing Touring Evolutions, wheels that started the TE37 lineage.

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In total contrast, a few cars down was this VIP-style Toyota Century. Once again, the build quality was superb, and it was running the sort of ride height that has become accepted in bippu circles.

Deep dish Work rims, subtle aero additions and lots and lots of black is what VIP should be all about.

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It’s great to see older cars like the FC3S Mazda RX-7 being looked after, tuned and improved with presentation at the top of the list.

The VW scene was also very well represented at Wekfest, with everything from older Golfs through to more modern iterations of the iconic model.

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Here’s a Nissan Silvia S13 that fuses Japanese and American tuning mentalities through JDM looks and USDM power.

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Is it just me or does the angle of that intake and cone filter perfectly express the automotive equivalent of an erection?

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While big-power and V8 reliability may be something you strive for when building a drift car, simplicity never fails when applied to a street-oriented project. Case in point, this USDM 240SX.

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As you can imagine, Rocket Bunny, or Pandem as it’s known these days, had a decent showing at this event. There were a few 86s scattered around Port Messe as well as these three Mazda RX-7s.

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I’m still not sure what to think about the Boss aero conversion for the FD3S. It has attitude, but I can’t quite find a way to digest it. Maybe a more subtle color would help the front end merge in with the existing body.

Love For The Forgotten
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Here’s something you definitely don’t come across every day, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Toyota Sera looking quite so good. In fact, I had totally forgotten the existence of this curious car from the glorious days of Japan’s bubble economy. It’s nothing too exciting in the performance stakes, but design-wise it sported McLaren-like vertical doors and an all-glass roof.

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This particular Sera runs blistered fenders fabricated out of metal to boost its girth, plus QUESTpower (by Lexon) bumpers and a well-matched set of 15-inch SSR Formula Mesh wheels. It retains its 5E-FHE 1.5-liter engine, but it’s now running a close-ratio AE111 gearbox.

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I’ve been hearing about this Celica Supra for years, and finally here it was at Wekfest!

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Built and owned by a Kiwi enthusiast living in Japan, it runs a 1UZ-FE V8 with a supercharger stacked on top.

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It’s got a ton of presence, a Mad Max meets Japanese Kaido Racer sort of look to it, and from what I hear it’s great at burnouts.

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It was once gray, then candy red, but now the Looking FD3S RX-7 has taken on a more sinister appearance with a move to the dark side.

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Changes have been made in the engine bay too, with cleaner piping and a few refinements to the cooling system.

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The owner of the Hamagari Racing AE86 Trueno was next to his car when I walked past, and he was happy to pop the hood and show me that the original 4A-G engine has been replaced with something slightly larger from the Toyota four-cylinder family. The BEAMS 3S-GE and 6-speed gearbox came from an Altezza RS200.

I first came across this Lotus Esprit at the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals last year, so it was good to see it again. It’s not often that you see a classic like this slammed to the ground, and there was much Speedhunters love going on too with our logo stenciled onto the front tires and the sun visor.

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The owner and his girlfriend were also sporting some customized JDM sun-proof umbrellas, a nice way to create darkness for a quick snooze.

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Ishikawa Body and Dope Forest both went a little USDM police patrol car crazy, combining forces – no pun intended – and bringing these two perfectly executed machines to the show.

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The GX70 Mark II wagon was very cool, but the AE86 Trueno drew me in with one of the nicest engine bays I’ve seen in a Hachi. I’m loving the crazy headers and super-long blue anodized velocity stacks.

The Evolution Continues
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The guys from Lexon, who showed up with their freshly-wrapped RC F demo car, provided me with a place to dump all my camera gear while I was walking around the dome. They had made the trek down from Sagamihara the previous night, avoiding some of the Golden Week traffic that cripples Japan’s highways during the first week of May.

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Next to their booth was another shop from Kanagawa-ken, Rising. Their drag-spec S30 simply blew me away.

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I’ll show you a few images of it now, but this thing deserves a detailed feature as it’s unlike any S30 race car we’ve ever seen.

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The sheer amount of dry carbon used throughout had me drooling. Yes, those are shift paddles you are seeing in a ’70s Datsun!

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And on the subject of drooling, how about a Meiji milk chocolate wrapping motif for your Honda’s engine cover? Different to say the least.

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More Z goodness with this dumped USDM Z31. Much dish, much like.

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If there’s one automotive subculture that Nagoya is famous for, it’s hot rods and customs. The local scene is absolutely huge and there was at least once piece of old American iron at the show to represent it all – this 1938 Model A with a not-so-subtle roof chop. I can’t believe cars like these get the OK to be driven on Japanese streets when my GT-R fails for emissions and excessive exhaust noise.

More metal from the US, this time of the German variety and showing off some polished rims from Stuttgart.

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There was also a small but pretty decent kyusha component to the show, and on top of the Zs we’ve already seen I came across this C211 which initially drew me in with its wheel choice and stance.

Then I saw this! The L-series engine was hard to see beneath the intricate solid piping of the multi-shot nitrous oxide system.

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Gas is supplied by two neatly presented tanks fitted in the trunk.

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Daddy Motorworks have pretty much nailed the look on this Hakosuka. The deep mustard orange is an unusual choice, yet it contrasts so well with all the black details.

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I’m a big fan of the new Work Equip 40; the stubby four-spoke design is such a nice match with the multi-piece construction. And just how good do they look on the E.Prime Racing AE86?!

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This car obviously needs a feature. I was pretty much sold when I saw the exhaust exiting out of the front fender!

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Like I said at the very beginning of this rather long post, there were so many feature-worthy cars at Wekfest, but alas, there always comes a time to end things and that time is now. To do so I’ve picked this super-clean FC3S which I kept coming back to throughout the day.

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As I looked on at the rest of the cars, I felt content that Japan’s unique modifying scene is very much heading in the right direction. There seems to be a newfound balance once again, where performance and functionality can live in harmony with looks and quirky touches being given more importance. I’m just happy to be in the middle of it all, observing it as it unfolds.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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68 comments

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1

That black Supra with the gold centered wheels on the very first picture looks GODLY.

2

I completely agree. Mine is far from appealing, so it's cool to see nice examples.

Author3
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I posted it as a guy in another Wekfest post said he needed inspiration with his 70 project. This is probably the nicest I've come across if stance is what you are going for

4

We A70 owners do tend to need lots of inspiration/encouragement

5
researchisyourfriend

you just have to stay dedicated :)

I love mine.

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6

Instagram or anything for that 1UZ celica?

7

My first trip to Japan couldn't be better, and this show is one of the reasons why i loved this country so much.
Even tough i was pretty prepared to what I was going to see trough my 15 years of internet nerding and video option stuff, Japan blew me away so much I'm still in shock for what I've come across in just two weeks.
Man, is going to be hard to get back to normal life now!
Ps It's been really cool to meet you in person Dino, keep up the good work!!

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Was nice meeting you too! Japan remains THE place when it comes to car culture!

9

I have seen that C211 before on a local defunct magazine during their coverage of the 2012 TAS. Its literally a combination of a kyusha with a sleeper.

Author10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's everywhere, I've seen it so many times before. In fact it was at the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals yesterday

11

That K swapped Accord is incredible. The presentation and finish on all these builds is off the charts

12

Just insane work on that Accord, I was seriously impressed so much love was spent on a car that is not nearly as popular with everyone else. To me, that's what makes the car scene awesome- not that someone has a car you like necessarily, but that THEY love it that much and show you how much.

13
ReallyForeverAlone

Reminds me of the sort of stuff you'd see here Stateside.

14
Christian Clark

Agree. Glad to see the Japanese have started going that extra mile with presentation.

Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm so happy about that too, it's always been an aspect they never put time on before

16

Love the Mk III, the Mk II and that W124.

There's something about the clean, elegant lines of the 80s that looks so much better than the Four Wheeled Literbike school of design currently being practiced.

Love the turbo placement in the Miata, the widebody FD (color notwithstanding) and suspension mods aside, those two Baconators.

Author17
Dino Dalle Carbonare

80s rock forever and ever. Amen

18

Glad to see the two cars I'd like featured the most, are also the two cars you want to feature. The E-Prime Hachi looks very good, but that drag S30 just looks unreal. I love it

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The S30 was aaaamazing!

20

do people think the Ferrari or any car lowered like that looks good? I don't mean do they think it's shocking I mean do people actually think that it's attractive or aesthetically pleasing?

I am not against lowering a car by any means. I love a lowered car even if it's done just to look better and the reason in my mind a car looks better lowered is the wheels and tires become more integrated into the overall look of the car rather than big gaps drawing the eye. Also the car becomes more sleek and long and stable looking lower to the road. The Ferrari or any car lowered to that extent with tires barely touching the road and jutting out of the car at odd angles has none of these attributes. It just even more separates the wheel and tire from the car distracting the eye so you cannot appreciate the design of the car body. It ends up looking like some disjointed inoperable squashed hot wheels.

21
John Krzeminski

I agree with the OP. This site is called SPEEDhunters, yet you feature junk like this time after time. Why not go write for some "stance" themed site if you want to feature cars like these. Aside from your site's nice write-ups on PROPERLY modified cars, you guys used to do nice articles on new cars that were coming out. Hardly ever see those anymore, but now we're lucky if we can go a week without seeing this crap. As far as their being an audience for it and people who thing it looks good, yeah, I was a dumb 14 year old with bad taste at one point too. This poor fitting wheel trend is just as pointless as the guys in the early 2000's who would spend a ton of money on go-fast parts and then turn around and negate it with the weight 250 pound stereo system.

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd say yes, many people do, that's why there are countless shows out there to promote the scene and so many tuning shops and parts makers make a living out of it. Also, I still have to prove it, but I think people into stance invented vaping.

23

What is it with stance haters or excessive lowering haters and their insatiable and irrepressible urge to share their negative opinion through massive paragraphs? It's ALWAYS them. If you think about it, we all don't like something, but it's literally ONLY the people against excessive lowering or stance which consistently write up exhaustive rants on what they don't like....why? Can people like you please stop? Nobody else cares nor will they change their opinion; there has to be similarities in personality traits worthy of a case study, for most stance haters to have the common urge of sharing their entitled opinion. Not even devoted Honda haters go it to such degree, and we all know how funded their opinion is...and please, spare is the pseudo-naive fathering intro question next time "Do people actually think they look good?" I'm sure even YOU can work that out, Since you know so much about cars, style and suspension setups I'm absolutely certain about the INSANE amount of work required to get a Ferrari sitting like that. No more sympathy for people like you, it's no longer a debate, it's nagging around a simple concept of disagreement which has been explored beyond reason. Goodbye.

24

News flash: obviously not everyone in the world thinks the same or has the same taste as you do.
I am not the biggest fan of that car either but you just wrote an enormous paragraph which is pretty much only describing what you personally like or think looks good and you seem to be oblivious to the simple fact that everyone is different. Like the owner of that car obviously. It's like you automatically assume everyone should have the same taste for style as you or they are doing it wrong or something lol.

25

And so in response I suppose, three extra-long paragraphs supporting something that as indicated, is a taste thing and not something that people change their minds about.
Funny!

26
hankmoodyirll

The purple S13 listed as being JDM looks with USDM motor has a 1UZ in it, not a LSx.

27
Steve Hayward

You are NOT lying when you say most of the cars could be featured. The content of this post did not disappoint.

Author28
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's crazy right?

29
Matthew Dockery

I want to know all of the things about that drag prepped S30....

30

Me, too! I think Dino said there'd be a spotlight, but then again as he mentioned nearly every car there deserved a spotlight.
Do them all!

Author31
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Feature for the S30 for sure!

32

On the E.Prime Racing AE86, is there a actual purpose to having the rear bumper cut like that? I've seen it on drift cars before but never know what it was for.

33

I've only ever seen it on Hondas, the reduced aero drag is important when you have like seventeen pound-feet of torque.

On drift cars, you get the added bonus of improved tyre-smoke propagation. It sprays!

34

also mad ground clearance if you drop a tire or two LOL

35
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Air gets collected and stuck in the rear bumper, causing drag, so cutting the bumper helps negate the issue. Or an alternative is to put "speed holes" to the bumper.

36

I mean, if that Ferrari is still as shittily executed as it was when Ron posted it, then it's sure to divide the comments section.

37

It's exciting to see such a high level of quality coming out of Japan. These are some seriously cool rides. I think i follow the owner of that chopped rat rod. It's the coolest car ever, mainly because it really does get driven. Oh, and thanks for choosing an A70 for the title shot. It's a nice one.

Author38
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh a lot of hot rod owners really drive their cars! I'm still shocked they can get them registered!

39

Very new and improved. Lots of new cool ideas. This what I need to see. Thank you Dino-San

Author40
Dino Dalle Carbonare

My pleasure Suave-san ;)

41

Incredible. Insanely high calibre of cars even by Japan standards

42

That Hakosuka is the winner by far. What a car

43

draw jopper I mean jaw dropper for sure. I've seen so many Hako but... damn!

44

SO sweet! I LOVED the mustard-yellow color, never saw that combo before and really liked it plus the super-clean execution- WOW.

45

So Dino, in terms of that Model A rat being allowed to be driven on roads and your 34 failing simple things in the shaken, is that because cars over a certain age are exempt from the shaken rules/inspection? I've considered moving to Japan, and would like to bring my 64 Chevy rat custom with me if possible... but its juiced and ratty as!

Author46
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes and no, I mean older cars don't have to abide to many rules but I'm sure there is plenty of mods that owners and shops do to pass the shaken. All tuners do it, plus some shaken centers are less by the book than others if you know what I mean...

47

We have a similar set up with our "Safety Certificate" inspections down under. Sometimes you need to bring a little 'extra lollies' to the inspector.

48

Would have liked a better shot of that Fairlady Z32

49

Yeah, Dino!
A Z32 in the room and once again, just a distance shot???

Author50
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Damn, sorry guys! I'll find out a cool one to feature and make it up to you guys :)

51

Sounds great!

52
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Someone needs to do a photoshoot of both the slammed 348 and Testarossa together!

On another note, I still wonder how people get in and drive cars with ridiculously chopped roof like that rat rod Ford Model A...

Author53
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha damn, Wekfest would have been the perfect timing as they are located on opposite corners of the countries

54

SERIOUSLY awesome show and with some mental cars for sure- LOVED seeing the steel fender extensions integrated seemlessly on that Sera! Odd little car, but looked SO clean!
And I will give Dino a small break for the Z32 since he DID include something even rarer- a Z31. Maybe do a "Z's on parade" feature with all of the Z's present highlighted in far more detail? Please???

Author55
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Love the passion you Z guys have! High fives all round :D That Sera, right? WTF, couldn't believe how damn cool it looked. And I can't believe I've pretty much spent 20+ years not giving it due attention

56
Robert Shisler

I humbly suggest you either change the name of this website to STANCEHUNTERS, or quit featuring ridiculous non-functional fashion victims with stupid levels of camber and/or dump.

Author57
Dino Dalle Carbonare

We feature a bit of everything, and the cool thing about Japan is that you will always find plenty of functional cars at these events.

58
www.streetstatik.com

it features a lot of forms of car culture. i suggest you change your expectations of the name

59
www.streetstatik.com

W116 Sclass! yes! those stretched white walls are a bit of a strange taste to acquire but the lows are gangster!
do you remember what wheels it had on it?

Author60
Dino Dalle Carbonare

No sorry and the owner didn't even specify in the spec list. But you are right, total gangster ride :D

61

Hello,
I think you made a mistake about the Purple PS13 ...The engine is not really usdm, it looks like a Lexus 3UZFE VVTI.

62

Correct. Came in USDM cars true, but also in JDM.

63

Anymore on the Kanagawa-ken Drag Spec S30?!? Because thats the main one that caught my mind besides the Boosted K swapped Accord.

64

Do you have a paypal account ? in case if you have you can create an additional 450 weekly in your profit just working on the internet a few hours a day, check out

65

That Miata is insane. Not only is a velocity stack on your turbo without a filter a terrible idea (even though it looks cool). This dude has taken it up a notch by adding an Adel Wiggins clamp to it. That's like $500 for an intake modification that is bad for your car. The Adel Wiggins clamp alone is $250, and that doesn't include the weld-ends or o-rings. I bet the velocity stack was 200 as well.

What am I missing guys?

66

Nit-picking, but it should be Hamaguri Racing not Hamagari Racing.

67

The Boss aero conversion for the FD3S is pretty amazing. Looks factory spec and completely changes the focus of the car. Great job!

68

Thanks DINO san.I'm owner of LotusEsprit.
and sorry...I was sleeping...

I love SPEEDHUNTERS forever!!

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