Back at it again with the in-car

Just some crappy driving from Final Bout: Special Stage Central this past July. The car is feeling good, but certainly need some more seat time to feel better pushing it harder.

AE86 Project: Part 1

In summer of 2014 it had been over 4 years since being in Japan, and somehow, I had survived without a car for fun the entire time. Taking part in Final Bout in the late summer of 2014 as a judge really gave me the bug – and I was determined that in 2015 I would not just watch, but jump in and drive. The feeling of standing on the sidelines in 2014 was something I did not want to repeat. In late fall of 2014 I began to realize, I needed some sort of project in my life, not just a turn-key car. After much thought, going between another Roadster or maybe a simple s-chassis, I decided to build a Corolla. Not the cheapest or easiest route by any means, but it was something I had wanted to do for many years. I had been looking for the right chassis for a few months, and finally decided on a SR-5 chassis located a few hours from Chicago. It had been stripped down and painted but with all the parts in boxes, even GT-S parts for the conversion. I originally decided against it for a time, but after finalizing the direction for the drive-train of the car, found it to be the best option. Once thing that I knew from the start; the car would need to remain in Chicago and be built there, while I was stranded in Honolulu some 4,000 miles away.

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One of the things that I am always thankful for, is our amazing community in Chicago and the Midwest. With a few phone calls and texts, long-time friends Proceed agreed to run and pick up the car and as many of the related parts they could fit in the car.

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It was a cold, snowy day in central Illinois – and there were some challenges not planned for in getting it home, but they made it happen and I am so very grateful and thankful. This is why I love drifting; everyone is out to help and keep the spirit alive.

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Prior to the pickup of the car, my longtime friends and go-to shop TF-Works had agreed to take this project on. Without being able to wrench on the car myself, there was no other place I would rather have doing the work on this project. So after a few weeks of storage with the Proceed gents while awaiting a slot to open up at the shop, I was able to have the car moved and the real work began….

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And we are back live…

Thanks to some very good friends this place is back up and running. At this point, I am sure not many read or visit blogs much, however, plan on updating if for nothing else than myself. In the coming days/weeks I’m planing on going through the build of my Corolla over the last year. And yes, my heart is still with Mazda and the Roadster – I still dream of my NB everyday and am delighted with that Mazda has done with the ND chassis. I think the future for the car is bright, and I hope to pick one up myself shortly. But for my recent history, all efforts were focused on the Corolla, something I have always wanted – it was time to make it happen. It was a long but short 8 month process, but very happy with the result:

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Ueo Spec – Doriten Volume 6

Just more notes to myself:

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UeoEngineRoom2 UeoEngineRoom

UeoFrontAshi UeoRearAshi

UeoRear UeoFront UeoCabin

UeoNikko2 UeoNikko UeoExteriorKING

 

Note to self:

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八六の日

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The real 86.

Don’t know if the new 86 could ever make me as happy as these things do…

Masa’s new 70

I will let the pictures do the talking:

ミド兄さん、写真ありがとう~!

More shots from E-course

You can check the full album on my Flickr here, and I have included a few of my favorites for you to enjoy here:

Yes, they are welding using jumper cables and a truck battery!

Again, you can check out the full set on Flickr

The Last Soukoukai

As some of you may have heard, I have decided to leave my current teaching position and in turn will also be leaving Japan. Amid all the craziness that is trying to tie up loose ends here, my friends threw a private event at Meihan’s E-course a few weeks back as a final send off. We had the entire track to ourselves and at only 20 or so cars, we had plenty of seat time. As always I was able to capture a bit of video:

As you can see, it is much like the more famous C-course on straight but overall a bit slower on the entry. I had A LOT of drive time this day and it was a great final send off for the car. No issues and no problems despite me driving it fairly hard at least a few times a month. Sad to see it go but sometimes you just have to move on right? It will be hard leaving all the great friends I have made via the car life here. That being said, I will be back to Japan now and then and you can bet I will be driving something, somewhere, somehow when I do visit. This isn’t the end of the blog either, so keep me on your bookmark list and/or reader and check back from time to time!