Japanese

2010 Nissan Skyline GT-R SCCA World Challenge GT Race Car Build

May 16, 2017 in Japanese / Modification Thread / Race Car

This Nissan GT-R was the subject of an SCCA World Challenge GT race car build thread on www.GTR.co.uk, by forum member “[email protected]”. In order to get a baseline before tearing the car apart, AMS Performance in Chicago began by weighing the brand new, 74 mile car. While not exactly a featherweight at a hefty 3,908 pounds, all of it’s luxo grand touring stock interior pieces were chucked out next in favor of gutting it’s interior and installing some serious competition hardware. Every bit of necessary engine, brake and suspension modifications were applied to help it to endure the rigors of fender to fender racing, and give it a fighting chance to win some too, of course. Now, time for us to do what we do by covering the dismantling and build process on the following page. Please join us, and bring a jack to help lift our jaws off the ground, won’t you?
AMS Performance Track Nissan GT-R Build

Tastefully Built 1969 Datsun Roadster Resto-Mod

May 12, 2017 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Restoration Shop

This 1969 Datsun Roadster was built as a resto mod utilizing an assortment of interesting and clever features by the crew at Spriso Motorsports in Corvallis, Oregon. This project wasn’t exactly their first tango at swapping a modern SR20DE engine into one of the iconic Japanese convertibles. In fact, they had completed several before, using “test drivers” to sort out any possible bugs before selling their conversions to customers looking for upgraded power, handling and brakes featuring modern reliability all wrapped up in a vintage package. This particular ’69 S13 SR20DET came about as the result of one man’s new found interest in the vintage convertible after many years of 510 dedication, and the following story is about his build and what changed his perspective forever. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what would make someone simply walk away from a previous devotion and never look back…
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Twiggy’s 1968 Toyota 2000GT Paint and Body Restoration

May 10, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop

This 1968 Toyota 2000GT (VIN# MF10-10130) was the subject of a body restoration and repaint by expert craftsman Shin Yoshikawa of Studio Time Capsule in Lebec, California. The million dollar car, which was previously owned when new by the supermodel known worldwide as “Twiggy”, was entrusted to Shin by the Toyota Museum to repair some engine compartment fire damage and an older botched bodywork job. We love the shape of these iconic Japanese sports cars, which look like a much more intricate and delicate version of Datsun’s later-introduced 240Z. With only 337 total built between 1967 and 1970, we are happy to see that this one was returned to it’s former glory.
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Vintage Automotive Sales Literature and Brochure Photos

March 20, 2017 in American / English / Factory Photos / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Swedish

It’s always entertaining to take a look back at the way things used to be done in the automotive business with a gander at yesteryear’s sales literature and brochure photos. Although we still have magazine advertising and car brochures today, we don’t rely on them any longer for a definitive source of information since the invent of the internet, of course. The question really is, how much longer will these ancient relics continue being printed? Even when they are all finally extinct, we will still have the internet to view them on…

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Concept Cars From 1970

March 6, 2017 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese

We tend not to pay too much attention to concept cars because if/when they make it into production we know that the resemblance to their original show car features will be vague, at best. Wheels end up sitting further inside the wheel wells, paint is not nearly as nice and interiors and trim are made out of cheaper materials once they hit production, if they ever actually do. Nevertheless, we took a few minutes out of our normal schedule to put together as many pictures of concept cars from 1970 as we could find in a reasonable amount of time and have shared them on the following page. Scrolling over the pictures will reveal the manufacturer and model type on the bottom left of your screen, if they are not blatantly obvious from first sight. Enjoy…

1) 1970_Ford_Mustang_Milano

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Random Vintage Photographs

February 22, 2017 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car / Vintage Dealership Photos

We put this collection of random vintage photographs together from a 196 page-and-counting thread on VWVortex.com simply titled “Vintage photos…..Awesome!” by forum member “G60toR32”. Thousands of pictures are included from every era all around the populated world, including some that we particularly found interesting of our native Los Angeles before today’s plague of traffic and congestion. Get lost while looking at over 100 photos attached on the following page, or if you really have some time for a journey you can find the link to the original thread at the bottom of the next page.

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1991 Mazda 787B Restoration

February 16, 2017 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration / Video

This 1991 Mazda 787B was the overall winner of LeMans that year, and was treated to a restoration by Mazda in 2011 to celebrate it’s 20 year anniversary of that victory. Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to have ever won the race, and this vehicle is the only car powered by a rotor engine to have won LeMans, too. Check out it’s short restoration video on the following page, and an on-board demonstration lap at LeMans with Johnny Herbert at the wheel. Great stuff:

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Toyota Mk1 MR-2 Restoration

January 19, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

This Mark 1 Toyota MR-2 is the subject of a nut and bolt restoration thread on detailingworld.co.uk by it’s owner, forum member “Beeste”. Before anybody throws up their arms and starts questioning the sanity of this car’s owner for spending so much money on the rejuvenation of a car of such meager current economic value, it should be pointed out that Japanese cars are among the next crop of future vintage cars which are likely to see an appreciation in worth. Our information source, Hagerty Insurance, recently wrote an on-line article outlining the top 5 Japanese cars that they predict will become future collectibles. We have cut and pasted it at the bottom of this page, as it makes for an interesting and educational read. Although the MR-2 did not make their short list, we anticipate that they would have included one in their top 10, had that list been extended.

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Cut-A-Way Car Displays

December 6, 2016 in American / Cutaway Pictures / English / French / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

Since we featured Shin Yoshikawa’s awe inspiring cut-a-way car drawings a few weeks ago (http://www.carbuildindex.com/22153/part-3-shin-yoshikawas-cutaway-drawing-and-book/), we thought that it might be interesting to take a look at actual, full scale cut-a-way cars. The use of cut-a-way car displays is a tradition that automobile manufacturers have been practicing for decades since the early days of auto shows. When we see them we always find it interesting to do a walk around and hope that some deeper understanding of automobile’s intricate mechanical workings will somehow be willed upon us while we blankly gaze at them trying to figure them out. Unfortunately that never seems to happen and then the best we can do is resort to imagining a good hand car washing rather than wrenching. In any case, continue on the next page for a look at the attached cut-a-way cars exposed in all of their naked glory for your own personal viewing pleasure, whether it’s for washing or wrenching purposes, or possibly even both if you are so inclined…

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Video Recommendation: Canepa Shop Walk-Through

December 5, 2016 in American / General Discussion / German / Italian / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

We always find it fascinating to see what is currently going on in Bruce Canepa‘s Scott’s Valley, California shop during their weekly video walk throughs. No sound is necessary, the images speak volumes. We have had our eye on the black Interscope 934 in particular, but wonder what the lowered Duesenberg with stock wheels all about, too. In fact, everything in the shop peaks our interest, it’s absolute sensory overload! Enjoy..

1990 Mazda Miata MX-5

November 16, 2016 in Japanese / Survivor

For today’s Survivor feature, we have decided to continue with a white theme for the weekend with this 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5. Now, before anybody goes throwing their arms up in the air questioning how a car of such recent vintage could earn the “survivor” title, all we ask is that you try and recount how many all original early Miatas you can remember seeing lately with only 30,000 miles and in such great condition. Sure, these were mass produced and there are still some out there, but the herd is thinning. Quickly. And we are partial to this first edition, as each consecutive model change got larger and more bloated, and therefore heavier while these are just over 2,000 pounds. Continue with us on the following page for a closer look at this particular cream puff (please excuse the dealer listing influenced terminology), and general Miata-esque chit chat, won’t you?…
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Short Take: Datsun 240Z with Viper V10 Engine Swap

November 7, 2016 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Sleeper

This unsuspecting classic Datsun 240Z was the recipient of an engine swap of all engine swaps, receiving a Viper V10. The low key sleeper looks extremely well built and we have been scouring the internet trying to find any information regarding this car’s build to go along with it’s pictures, but have come up short time and time again. Rather than keep it selfishly to ourselves any longer, we felt that it still had to be shared even without any solid details to go with it. If/when a build thread can be found, we will update it here at that time. Until then, find what pictures we do have on the following page.

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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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1986 Toyota Celica Group B Race Car Restoration

October 26, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1986 Group B Toyota Celica was the subject of a full rotisserie restoration by Rallye-Engine in Germany. While we may just have previously featured an almost identical 1984 Group B Celica restoration by MAT in Finland only a few weeks ago, can you really blame us for wanting to feature another one again so soon after seeing the first one? Since then we have been having delusions of grandeur of sliding it at speed during muddy forest stages in between massive Sequoia’s while our co-driver is feeding us route map notes…”Right. Left. Jump in 100 feet. Then hard brake and 90 degree left!”…
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A Closer Look at Automotive Museums

October 14, 2016 in American / Factory Photos / Factory Tour / General Discussion / German / Japanese / Race Car / Survivor

Last week, Automotive News took a look at the exorbitant costs that manufacturers pay to keep their museums operating. According to the article, General Motors apparently spends approximately $1.8 million per year to keep their Heritage Center operating, while housing 600 production, race and concept cars. At the time of the federal bailout, they had almost double that amount of cars on hand before deciding to cut it down during the desperate times as an appropriate and necessary act of good faith.
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Most Beautiful Race Car Of All Time?

October 12, 2016 in American / English / French / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

David Malsher at http://www.racer.com/ recently asked his readers their own personal opinion of “the most beautiful race cars of all time”. The question is not limited to his own audience, so how about we join in, too? He requested that only 5 are picked at most, and the best replies will appear in an upcoming February follow up story with the chance at some prizes. The trick is that he asks that you try and be objective with your decisions and not choose only cars that have a winning competitive history that may have influenced your own personal reasons for picking them. Normally we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but in this case that is exactly what we are being asked to do here.
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1984 Toyota Celica Turbo Rally Car Restoration

October 4, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1984 Toyota Celica Turbo TC35 Rally Car was the subject of a restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland. It’s shop owner is retired rally driver Kari Mäkelä, who you may remember from our previous feature of their absolutely jaw dropping 1983 Ferrari 308 Michelotto Group B rally car replica build, which can be found in “Related posts” on the following page. Back to the subject at hand, this particular 2 wheel drive, 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo (4T-GTE) Group B rally car’s revival journey began by getting completely gutted before being fully rebuilt from the ground up. The shop’s crew custom fabricated an impressive amount of the vehicle back into it’s original Group B configuration, and knowing MAT, possibly even a few giant leaps beyond…
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