Editorial: Don’t Call It A Comeback

Apologies if I slip up here, but my fingers need a second to figure out how to type again!

Wow, it feels like ages since I actually sat down at my laptop and started to craft a post – and it has been. You may have noticed that I’ve been absent from the site over the best part of the last six months, but there’s been a good reason for that: NFS Heat.

There’s always a lot happening behind the scenes at Speedhunters, but every so often our close relationship with Need for Speed requires some full-time dedication. The latest iteration in the game franchise is less than a month away from launch now, and I hope that everyone who plays NFS Heat will appreciate the cars and real-world Japanese brands that have made it in there, as that’s the aspect I’ve personally been involved in. It’s also cool to see Speedhunters playing a bigger part in the actual game itself this time around.

While working behind the scenes on Need for Speed Heat was a ton of fun, I return to my Speedhunting role full of excitement. With Brad now looking after the day-to-day running of the site, Paddy’s also excited to be back on the Speedhunters front line and joining me as an Editor at Large, so you can expect a whole lot more content from both of us moving forward.


Despite taking a break from posting, I certainly haven’t taken a break from shooting. I’ve just returned from a weekend trip to Indonesia where I got to experience Kustomfest for the very first time, and a couple of weeks back I was at R’s Meeting in Fuji where I ended up taking a silly number of pictures while catching up with some legends of the GT-R community.


The day after R’s Meeting was Speedhunters Live with world-renowned magician Dynamo, a unique collaboration and approach to a car show, but one that ended up being a real fun day out. Being on the mic from start to finish I wasn’t able to shoot, but our new friend John Mu came along for the ride and took care of it nicely. We’ll have our event post coming your way soon.


To say there’s a lot I want to share with you from the Dino Garage corner of the SH Garage is a massive understatement. I owe you guys a heap of updates on Project GT-R and Project Quattro, which both continue to get that little bit better with every upgrade. Project Drop Top is still with me but won’t be hanging around for much longer – I just need to figure out what to replace it with. BMW still has no successor for the 4 Series convertible, and the bucktooth concept they recently showed has left me more perplexed than impressed, so I’m still weighing up my options.

Then there’s project #4. I have yet to introduce this one properly, but it’s already caused me problems with some surprise mishaps. I plan to start doing a few posts a month in vlog format, and I think this project’s the perfect one to kick those off – my despair about the whole purchase will maybe come across better on video…


While I wanted to let you all know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to in recent months, the main reason for this post is to ask you guys a question: What do you want to see more of from Japan? I’ve been covering the Japan scene for a very long time, but there’s still so much to uncover. I’d personally like to do more shop tours, meeting the people behind the brands that we have loved for so long and others that are just becoming established, but I’m also interested to hear what aspects of Japanese car culture you would like me to explore more.

Let’s talk in the comments section below.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Additional Photos by Mu Huan Sheng 
Instagram: john_mu_1991



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I won't lie, if the article doesn't say it was written by you or Ron then I'll normally skip over it (unless it really intrigues me). I love all the Japanese posts. Doesn't matter what the content is, its all great. The shop tours, shows, random finds, abandoned vehicles, updates etc. Call me a full on Japanese fan boy but its about Japan in any shape or form, you've reeled me in.


I totally agree to these comments. So happy and exited that Dino is back!


Gotta agree that posts from Dino and Ron are awesome, but I'd also throw some kudos to Blake for his posts and I also have been enjoying a LOT of what Stefan has brought to the table from South Africa. Both guys are very detailed and find VERY interesting stuff IMO, and of course Matt's NSX build is amazing for someone who isn't built on moneybags and still wants to do it a certain way.
Keep it up, Guys!


Aw crap...we need an edit feature!
I meant Blake's awesome NSX build...sheesh!


Same! I only check this site for posts from Dino, Ron, or Aki's yearly R33 update. Ron has made his way down to Okinawa a few times, but have you thought about going to Hokkaidou? I'm sure there's some great stuff up there that no one knows about because it's covered in snow half the year. Maybe a spring or summer trip?


Hmmmm I've been meaning to make my way up to Hokkaido again


Thanks God you are back..


Awesome! I love things like this from japan, wicked cool!

Good to see you back dino!

Keep it up. <3



I love the culture from Japan especially the cars
Good to see you back Dino!

Brandon Von Ohlen

Shop tours in Japan are always cool, both new shops and the old heads. Maybe hunting some of the famous old shop demo cars that still exist in Japan? To be honest I never really dislike anything you post. One thing I think would be beyond amazing would be a bit of a look into Midnight Club, even if everyone remained anonymous. I know there would be some pretty big challenges there though.


Yoooouuuuu’rrrrreeee bacccckkkk!!!!! Missed reading your content Dino! Some shops I’d like to see are AE86 related. I’ve always wanted to learn more about places like Crystal Body Yokohama, Tec-ART’s, Techno Pro Spirit, and KMS.


ditto. More Corolla stuff please! (Ke70's too)


More Abandoned posts like the MR2, 928, 456GT and Countach. I find those absolutely fascinating because they are a mystery and leave you wondering. No builder, no specs, no gloss, no numbers, just curiosity. Is that MR2 still there? Does that Countach have its wheel back on??? Can you do follow ups on these and new posts on any other ditched rides?


WooHoo great to see you back, Dino!

I love your coverage of events, places around the world that have car culture we knew so little about...especially as you have an affinity towards GTR's. Always love the shop tours. It gives us a glimpse into a world we'd otherwise never see. To see the people that create these cars we love are just like you and me is always fun.

You post it, we'll read it. You also have me intrigued about the game. Will have to check it out when it is released.


Jay Soh Tsu Chung

What I'd like to see, is more shop tours, especially those smaller shops that are more obscure. It'd be nice to know more about them while simultaneously help bring more exposure to them.

And welcome back Dino! It's good to see you around again.


Glad to hear more JDM is coming since it has been sorely missed while you were gone. I'd like to see some content about the van culture, Izanami Wheel, and Japanese USDM- style. It would also be nice to see some content about the cross cultural exchange going on right now between the US and Japan when it comes to grass roots drifting, like the Final Bout event coming up.


Lets see some budget builds and grassroots time attack cars! Also more Speedhunters project cars please!!


Oldschool motorcycles. 'monkey' etc.

Brennan McKissick

Smaller more obscure shops, tracking down some of the big time demo cars and something I'd really like to see more of are the street racing sub-cultures like the Kanjo and Wangan racers and street drifting. Even interviewing people from those sub-cultures to learn about how it was and how it has changed, evolved or disappeared.


Glad to have you active again Dino! I would like to see Super GT coverage. The YouTube coverage has vanished and I'm dying to get some more insight and images from the DTM/Super GT mashup as well as the new Supra gearing up for the 2020 season. Time Attack coverage and the shops behind them.


Just in case you weren't already aware of it, look up The Narita Dogfight for some excellent Japanese time attack coverage; events, car features, and sometimes deeper insight into the owners and shops. I don't mean to take away from Speedhunters, but it's another worthy photo-blog site to follow.


Welcome back and congratulations on the new NFS! I too would like to see more Speedhunter project car updates as well as some grassroots proeject cars that may not have the money of a shop car but still push the limits of performance.


More shop tours please!


Back and bringing the GTR pix with him! Nice work and welcome back Dino. Variety is the spice of life.


I forgot to add can you get some shots of the various GR garages in japan? I follow almost all of them on instagram, they seem to me numerous.


What do I want to see from Japan: Anything. Your posts and Ron's posts are the only 2 I read on Speedhunters any more (and the occasional Aussie post from Matt or Blake). Shop tours, car shows, grass roots drifting, night meets. Anything Japan is good.


Game gonna be absolute garbage but welcome back dino


Grassroots events are the best thing in this site to me. I loved Ron's article about that drifting event at sports land yamanashi! More of that kind of stuff for me!!


Ayyy! Good to see you back in action. I saw the trailer for Heat a few weeks ago, and I must say I'm excited for it.


But can you modify cars in this one without having to make them look completely retarded, à la Underground 2? The trailer doesn't look promising in that regard.


Excited to hear about a SH vlog. You all have been teasing us with video content for a while now. A for content from Japan, I'll read whatever you give me. More shop tours sounds cool.


what about Nissan Sunny B13 do they still run that in japan ?


The scene over there looks wild.
Show us everything from Kei, bikes and crazy monster builds.... Want to see it all


Seems like many people are itching for more shop tours and car spotlights Dino! you mentioned doing a monthly Vlog update for Dino Garage. How about shop tour and such in Vlog format as well? Just a thought!

Stephen Masters

Launsport please


Let me be obviously not the first to welcome you back but still a very sincere gesture. Like your colleagues, you each posses an unique approach to the culture and I can honestly say that I have been missing Dino's eye. I look forward to your project updates, and as for your question regarding Japanese coverage...definitely more garage/shop tour coverage. Maybe it's the photographer in me, but the garage background provides the best texture any good photo needs. I love everything. The posters, the tools, stickers, trophies, donor cars, the dust, the patina....so much goodness. Please give us more!!!


Can we get a breakdown of cars and what shops and parts are being made or are still available ? Sort of like an SH Option Auto situation. For example any new or existing parts for Skyline / GTR's , 86's new or old, RX7's, Supras, etc... Maybe yall can put the word out to reputable companies and then do a breakdown of each car and the products offered. Doesn't have to be Japanese exclusive either.


Nice to read again and glad to know everything's been going well.
Yes, more shop tours, interviews with the founders/owners of brands, maybe a week long documentary at a tuning shop?
OH and something with a Dynamometer pleaassee. As a tuner is always great to see what other people are doing.


Hey Dino, welcome back! I´m glad to read some words from you and that there was a good reason for your abscence.

I loved the spottings of abandoned cars in Tokyo, but I notice a lack of posts from grassroots drift events. This is still my most favorite thing to read and I hope to see more of this again in the future. :)



welcome back sir... hope to see more shop tours / shop demo car feature, more japanese tuned lotuses and anything the japanese culture has to over!


Nice to see you back Dino !!


Nice to have you back Dino!

I would love to see more of your projects, always like those project posts.
Some touge action would be cool to see, feels like that is quite uncharted territory here on SH


Grassroots drift events, underground mountain nights, highway runs. Just not the big shows because they're a bit shit.


Gotta admit the editorial line of SH was quite poor lastly, very glad you are back, hope SH is up to new things and wish the best for NFS Heat!


Shop tours get my vote. I think its to do with all the old Hot Version's I have watched and the idea of small Tuner Shops going against big names or factory 'hot' cars. I love that sort of thing! Its also nice to see the culture of these small shops, the lifestyles, fashions and nostalgia that happen around them. The stuff that hangs on the walls or is piling up outside and the different perspective that is always prevalent. Japan is soooooo far away for someone like me that I just want to know every tiny detail. The chances of me getting there to see for myself are slim. Bring it to me Dino.

Also, roadster content.


I actually love just about everything from the Japanese car culture. The euro articles usually just get a glance from me, but the Japanese articles get me reading every little bit.
I like weird stuff. I wouldn't mind seeing a van culture article, or even dekotora. I'm going to be PCSed to Okinawa hopefully by the beginning of the new year, so I might try to take a trip or two to mainland to check some things out.


Dino, thank God you're back! Please make a series of posts about the famous japanese tuning companies! Mugen, HKS, GReddy etc


Hey Dino, love the work you do and looking forward to the new NFS!
Whenever I think of Japan, I think of the underground groups (Kanjo, Mid Night, etc.) There must be some more of these ''hidden'' groups out there! How is car culture in Japan these days? I remember I read here on SH that it was slowing down, is that still the case? When I visited Europe this past summer (Portugal, Spain, France, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Greece) the car culture was really dying down. It's not like back home (Montreal, Canada or even US)


Great to see you back Dino, and happy to hear you have stayed busy. Personally I love your build updates (in the past...) and also the Japanese car meet scene that you generally followed around. So getting back to those things would be a great thing!
As for other content, I've ALWAYS wanted to see/learn more about Escort Racing and especially their race tech they produce. In the past they had a ITB setup for the Z32 (Sano's Z) that they created and raced, and also produced it for sale for a short period before they disappeared from the market (as I searched desperately). Anyway, a tour of this shop and any other custom shops we haven't heard about, or need updating, is great- these guys IMO are one of the biggest reasons Japanese car culture is "what it is" and I LOVE seeing how they do their business!


Dino, great to see you back. Look forward to checking out NFS. When I've been in Japan its always been about the culture, food and the cars. So maybe combining those maybe cool. Ciao


why do I think Project #4 is an Italian or at least a European.


I've missed you so much! SH is not the same without your Japan coverage. Additionally I am enthused to hear that Paddy will be back as a full-time editor. Regarding what I'd prefer the type of coverage for you to provide, I agree with what you have mentioned. Also, more big-body sedans is always a good move, regardless if it's drift, street, or bippu. Also more old-school stuff. Works-style and kaido racer cars.. Also MORE HONDAS. Clean street cars and Kanjo cars too. And round it up with a trip to N-style. I think we are due for another visit. All in all, I'm greatly appreciative of your presence here at SH, I look forward to seeing what the man behind the white glasses has up his sleeve.


Finally!!! SH just isn't the same without you Dino. Been waiting months for your content. What a relief. Quick stat with R's Meeting and Project GTR updates, please, for the love of God!


I'd love to see a feature on Auto Garage TBK and Promodet.


I will be happy to read posts about the beginning of some companies like OS Giken, Bride, any companies. Read interview of the founders, how they arrive in car scene and car business, are they still enthusiast etc.


Features of the classic road circuits (if there were any) would be cool!


"What do you want to see more of from Japan?"

How about nothing. How about less from Japan, and more from all the other places that used to actually have unique and interesting car culture until the JDMroller steamed into town and flattened it?

Same reason I'm not excited for NFS Heat. Still B2D even if it's been made a little less OP, still obsessed with JDM and trick-of-the-month supercars. I saw a little of the character customization, too... are there going to be at least a few lower-end items of clothing or is this just going to be "Unbearable Flexing YouTube Clickbaiter Simulator 2019"? Until B2D is finally, permanently laid to rest and "brands" (my how I hate that word) like Lokar and Cragar start making inroads, I will continue to have zero interest in new NFS games. This is coming from someone who used to obsessively buy every mainline NFS game and still has the collection to prove it.


Please show more racing related posts and just weird stuff like the gunma cycle center. Would love to see the karting and motorcycle events from a speedhunters perspective too.


First off, it's great news to hear that you're back Dino! In terms of what I would like to personally see from Japan is more shop tours like you said but more older shops that us 90s kids know about and look up to in a sense and even the newer up comers. Besides that I'd also like to see more grassroots/street drifting and drag racing, lets not forget more VIP builds/shops and shows. Even more lowrider stuff would be great! And lastly more kanjo/C1 loop/wangan (what ever you want to call it) posts!


I would love to see more shop tours and old shop demo cars. Like the cars that are featured on Hot Version (TPS MR-S, J's Racing s2k, MCR GT-R and Feed FD3S for example) or the ones we know from the internet back in the day (Mine's GT-R or even some Mid Night cars). I'm also very interested to see what the PA and parking lot meets have to offer aswell as maybe some touge racing clubs.