Damn, They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore. I Ask ‘Cause I’m Not Sure… Do Anybody Make Real Shit Anymore?

Does this kind of stuff leave a bitter taste in anyone’s mouth anymore?

Maybe I’ve been reading too much on http://jdmphasis.blogspot.ca/ and his strict adherence to quality parts… But I can’t help but nod my head for every post I read of his. It just hits home for me – the first time I was ever in the market for car parts was for wheels for my Civic. I knew nothing about real and fake, I just knew I had a budget. When you’re on a budget for wheels – you’ll eventually come across Rota. Good ol’ Rota. It was when I inquired with a local shop that he kindly (and I truly mean that he was nice about it) talked me out of it and pushed me into my first set of WORK Emotion XT7’s. From that day forward, I saw the light. I saw the difference and I would never go back.

First of all, I’m no veteran to this scene – I am just an independent player in this sea of automotive enthusiasts – and just like many others, I just want to see cool as shit cars and good quality builds. I don’t dip my cup in the haterade punch bowl, and I am far from a keyboard warrior on forums trying to advocate what a real build is. I just think that when you’ve been immersed in the automotive culture for a period of time, you just naturally become somewhat jaded or calloused to what goes on in this pool. What I mean by this is that for some people (like myself), they just don’t care what goes on around them anymore unless it’s something unique or nicely put together. For others, (like the aforementioned keyboard warriors and haterade drinkers) it’s a matter of standing up for authentic parts only and ensuring that everyone who doesn’t have legitimate parts gets reprimanded. Everyone else falls in-between these two groups – legit, fake, they don’t really care.

You must be asking – what is he going on about now? I guess it’s sort of my way of ranting. I browse the forums, I visit blogs, I see a ton of social media content of cars that I know to cars halfway around the world. You see it all these days and there’s just no way of avoiding seeing the latest trend. What really makes me cringe is the stuff that you read on forums. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not posting this because I want to tell people how to spend their money or what to get for their car…


This is a thread on replica body kits. The reasoning at the bottom of the quote is what makes me cringe… Why would I pay $100 for a Snap-On wrench when I can pay $10 for one at Canadian Tire?  There is absolutely no difference in quality. You are just paying for the name (sarcasm).

Do you know what bugs me the most about this phrase? “you are just paying for the name”? The fact that this comment is loaded with the assumption that the person saying it knows how the product was created and is telling you that there is no difference because they literally just slapped a different brand on it.


This is what I read: I wouldn’t want to spend money on a genuine diamond for my girlfriend if a cubic zirconia would would look good if properly made.
Does that make sense to anyone else? Would you buy your girlfriend a cubic zirconia and just tell her it’s a diamond because it looks good enough? If you answered yes, I hope she says no.

Note: Key difference is if you tell her it’s a cubic zirconia and she doesn’t care – then she’s a keeper.


If you have to ask, then it’s not worth it.


This was the last one I captured before I started to lose my faith in humanity. There’s a lot of contradiction going on here and more justification that really doesn’t make sense. Credit is due to the original company that creates the product – whether you believe in “laissez-faire” or not. The bitter truth about laissez-faire is that it endorses greed and the funny thing is that ironically, when talking about supporting companies that produce replica parts – it is essentially implying that creating parts for 1/3rd the cost is the way to go. That the cheap and more efficient way of doing things will produce more money and better results for the larger whole. The only truth about laissez-faire is that instead of creating competition between legitimate, and reputable companies – it forces them to have to compete with second-rate companies that just create copies.

In a world where innovation is king – margin is your next lifeline to surviving. If you are selling and not making margin, the disconnect is between your cost to create and your price to the customer. Companies like Greddy/Rocket Bunny, J’s Racing, Voltex, and the other big name players don’t just come up with designs out of thin air. The cost to think, design, test, and produce is not equal to the cost to copy. The “absolute ridiculous” margins that the original product is carrying is not even close to the absolute ridiculous margins your replica product is likely making. The only slashing that a replica company is doing is of the quality of the part you’re purchasing to help them make their ridiculous margins. I know what you’re thinking… “But the part I want is so expensive, Jason!” Yes, but you’re certainly not going to find a replica Amuse exhaust anywhere because you aren’t going to find a company that can copy it and make margin at the same time. (See how that works?)

At the end of the day, it hurts companies that innovate. The money that you are spending to purchase real parts go towards more innovation. The money that you are spending to purchase replica part go towards the ability to copy more. In a scene where everyone wants to “kill the game” each year, you’ll be less likely to do any “killing” with the same kit every other guy on Instagram has with no innovation. The only killing you’ll end up doing is to your ego and to everyone’s hearts (JDM EGO quote). So, the next time you’re thinking about buying a part but have a little less cash – pinch your pennies, have ramen dinners for a few nights/weeks/months… Buy the part that’s worth it, not the part that’s cheaper. You’ll save yourself from having to justify why you bought a fake part like those good ol’ un-named chaps I quoted above. Instead, you can wear the part proudly on your car and feel like a million bucks (because you can’t feel like a million bucks when you only spent a fraction of it on your replica piece).

Have a good day.

The Day The Swan Was Born

This is an overdue post – but I wanted to get the auto show stuff out of the way before it was older news than it already was by the time I posted it.

I dropped the parts off with Nick Prah two weeks ago so he could prep and paint them, then I dropped the car off to him last week and finally picked it up on Sunday. I had been anxious all week to get it back because this has been in the works for over a year now. I knew what kit I wanted and I knew how I wanted it to all come together but I had to play the waiting game – like most of you know.

I did a lot of brainstorming, playing around in photoshop and scouring the internet for ideas before I came to a decision on how I wanted the car to look. I’ve mentioned it before, but having a popular platform means that it’s quite difficult to be unique. There are a lot parts floating around and there will always be a handful of popular pieces that get done over and over. I have nothing against this – but I really wanted to stay away from the “cookie cutter” look as much as I could. Of course, the only way to truly do so is to do custom work. With that off my list – the next best thing is to try and put pieces together that you didn’t generally see all the time, and that doesn’t happen easily. The key things that I wanted (and still want) my build to have was quality parts. I told myself that I wouldn’t cut corners to save a few bucks and if it took me another year to get something better – I would wait the year.

Anyway, going back and forth between kits like the oh-so-popular Rocket Bunny and the increasingly popular Varis – I didn’t know how else I could create something that I loved enough that didn’t look like the vision of someone else. Again, I stress that it’s not because I’m trying to be the cool kid by going off the road less traveled… I just wanted to build a car that I could love driving and looking at without being reminded that my car “kind of looks like that guys car on the internet”. A lot of my inspiration did in fact come from all these guys from the internet – it helped me decide what I liked, and what I really didn’t like. At the end of the day, this is the result and I am 110% satisfied with the result thus far… And I’m stoked as hell to share pics and drive the hell out of it this year!

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When we rolled up to Nick’s place, it was sitting out front with the sun beaming on it… Right here as you see. The paint shining like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

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I seriously could not have asked Nick to do a better job on this. The paint is wet and matches OEM right down to the last metallic sparkle that Raven Black has. No photoshop on the finish – it’s just straight talent and sick workmanship from Nick.

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Right after the auto show, I met up with Ricky to take some quick pictures because he had been anxious to see it as well. I snapped some behind the scene shots as well as took my own as you saw in a previous post…

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We originally wanted to try rig shots but it was way too bright to attempt it. Instead, we just messed around with the GoPro and took some stills.

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Look at the finish of that paint!!

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This was not meant to be an official photoshoot. I just wanted to take some quick snaps to show off.

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The wingggggggg

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TRD x Craft Square

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It’s now aggressive and clean looking – the exact look I was aiming for. Everything balances out so well.

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A rear shot. The only thing I was not able to acquire this year was a diffuser. I was a little late to the bandwagon before our dollar plummeted and I wasn’t about to pay double for a piece…

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Some shots from Ricky’s camera that I edited quickly for him.

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I love when other people take pictures of my car – not because I’m conceited or anything – but because I love to see my car in a different perspective. There are always angles that I would never think of and it’s refreshing to see. Being the photographer most of the time means no one shoots my car LOL

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Like this angle. Obnoxious as f*** but cool as hell.

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As if the wing wasn’t big enough haha

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Shots of the fin and mirrors

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OEM is best. Just say no to Winjet.

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A shot from the passenger seat…

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Later that night, we met up again at that same spot and decided to try rig shots again. Here Ricky is setting up while Diana sits in the car. Being preggo and standing outside in the cold isn’t the best combination when you always have to pee, I guess…

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Suction cups on… Boom on…

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Diana looking bored as hell. Meanwhile, I’m geeking out cause this is cool as shit hahaha

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Ricky finishing up the set up…

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The set up. So rad! This is the first time I’ve had a rig shot so I’m just standing there amazing the whole time haha

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Here’s a few shots that turned out that night. We were kind of rushed since the sun was leaving quick and it was getting cold.

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Here’s one dubbed “Ghost Rider”. LOL I was pushing from the other side.

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The next day we decided to try one more time LOL… Setting up again…

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This time set up on the roof.

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It was significantly colder yesterday and we were on top of this big as hill, so it was windy as hell. Tough to stay steady when your hands are shaking and the boom is blowing with the wind.

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A shot of the set up…

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Ending it here because this was the last set up we tried. I don’t have the pictures from this attempt yet, but once I do I’ll post them for sure!

We’re thinking of trying again next weekend provided the weather cooperates with us. Stay tuned!

JDM in Japan: RickLuu’s Snaps – Part 3

I can’t think of a better way to conclude Ricky’s pictures from Japan than to use his pictures from Super Autobacs – the heaven for all ricers. It’s like shopping for anything car related, but everything you see is in stock and you can walk right out with it. No wait time, no shipping fees, no nothing. The best thing about it is that it isn’t just air fresheners, wide view mirrors, and shoulder pads… It’s everything from exhaust systems, wheels, headlights, kits, seats… Anything you can think of.

I think the worst part about going here as a tourist would be asking yourself “how much can I buy?” and “how can I take it all home?”… Either way, lets take a quick stroll through Ricky’s camera… You’re not allowed to take pictures there so Ricky snapped them while the camera was around his neck anyway. Woohoo


One side of the building


Sick Recaro desk chairs


I can’t tell if this is like office furniture or if this is where deals go down lol.




Oh mah god. Wheels galore…



Enkeis, Rays, Weds…


Peep the ZE40’s there


Weds wheels



Work wheels



Recaro baby seat! I need one in my life


Wall of seats… Also some on the floor to try on for size.


Brides and Bride accessories.


A corner of steering wheels, hubs, and VIP D.A.D accessories



tail lights! getcha tail lights!


Mugen wall


Cusco wall


Greddy/Trust and HKS exhaust wall.



Check this section out – 86/BRZ suspension wall. I need to live here.


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gauges, pods, and filters…


More shots of the exhaust wall



Brake section – with a sick Endless BBK on display.



86/BRZ parts – more headlights and tail lights. Looks like the Valenti section.




Light shows


Fender garnishes for the 86/BRZ




Van exhaust and suspension. Looks like stuff for the Vellfire.


All your I.C.E. needs here as well.



We heard you like TV’s, so we got some TV’s for your TV’s.


Interior dress up and seat covers.


Even detailing stuff! One stop shop!

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So which air freshener do you want?


LED’s, valve stem caps, fob ricer things…



HKS detailer?!



Another shot of the corner of wheels.


86/BRZ cluster replacements.


More 86/BRZ parts


Up close of the Mugen goodies.



That ends the Super Autobacs pics. I’m sure Ricky could have spent all day taking pictures, but alas… All good things come to an end…

We’ll just finish with some cool sightings of cars that Ricky was able to snap pictures of.



Altezza wagon



R34 GT V-Spec


Not sure what bumper that is, but it reminds me of the CRZ lol







Sick Nissan Cima








JDM in Japan: RickLuu’s Snaps – Part 2

Continuing the Toyota Museum!


Gran Turismo racing simulators



Signed banners from all the Toyota members that participated in the Nurburgring 24hr race.




Toyota FCV concept – LFA details in the back…



Fucking cool.


Sick LED headlights and more reminiscent details from the LFA up front too.


Aggressive as hell.



The Toyota Mirai chassis and power source



The Toyota Sienta – a compact minivan.


The new Toyota Noah. I wish we had cool shit like this in North America. Instead, we’re stuck with the Matrix that still somehow happens to exist in the Toyota lineup.


The Toyota Noah with a sportier grill.  Japan_329

The creme de la creme of Toyota’s lineup – The Crown Athlete. If I could, I would buy one of these in a heart beat. In my opinion, it is one of the best looking luxury sedans out right now, especially with that new grill.



Candid shot of one of the employees too lazy to walk. But whatevs, if I could use cool shit to stroll around work, I would too.


A shot of the rear of the Crown.


The Crown in another colour. So sick.



The Vellfire fitted with TRD parts. This is probably the one van I would rock so hard I wouldn’t even give a shit what people said. At the end of the day, my van is called a VELLFIRE. Cause that shit is FIYAH.


Check the price tag on that though – $86,000. God damn.


Could use some bigger wheels though. lol







Toyota Landcruiser






Oldschool Toyota Century. Pristine.




Ah, that oldschool fabric…





Another cool fucking Toyota. The Harrier 4×4




Kind of reminiscent of the Lexus NX from the side.



$60,000 price tag.


Toyota Vitz outfitted with GRMN parts.



Bad ass front. I love the emblem-less look.


All of the different models you could want… So jelly.






More shots of the car elevator


The Toyota Auris – AKA the Scion iM.




Japanese people are ricer as hell.