Fuji Speedway

  • Random Snap: We Like Engine-Swapped Minivans

    Random Snap: We Like Engine-Swapped Minivans

    The minivan. Purchasing one could be considered the equivalent of committing automotive suicide; you know when you go down this route that your life as an enthusiast is well and truly over. Or is it?

    I came across this H22-swapped Odyssey at Track & Show and decided to grab a quick Random Snap as a reminder. Regular readers might remember that Mike put together a spotlight on the Honda at Wekfest Japan last year, but I didn’t realise just how cool and unique it was until I saw it for myself.

    On that note, what would be your ideal JDM van? And more importantly, if you had one, how would you modify it?

  • When Overfenders Dictate Function

    Isn’t it funny how overfenders have become associated with form?

    Back in the day, these additions provided a cost-effective way for race teams to fit fatter wheel and tyre combos under the guards of their competition cars. But these days the practice of cutting fenders and covering it all up with flares is often criticised as just a fad, which it may well be.


    So it’s always refreshing to see overfenders actually being used to extract more performance out of a car. And I came across quite a few Exiges with pumped fenders at the recent Japan Lotus Day event.


    When it came time to choose one to spotlight, I ended up going for this particular car – because unpainted carbon fiber is as cool as it gets, right?


    The flares are held in place around each of the four wheel arches with exposed screws; it’s much like Miura does with his own kits and all the other kits he designs and creates for companies like Liberty Walk.


    Here, it’s then all tied in with carbon fiber skirts and a nicely extended front lip spoiler. Doing so has allowed the owner to run a nice and aggressive offset on the black RAYS Volk Racing TE37SLs, which in turn are shod with the obligatory tyre of choice for a Japanese-built track car: Yokohama Advan A050s.


    The Exige had a ton of cool touches, and one I really liked was the front number plate mounted on the tow hook. This is a solution I discovered years back at this very event, and one I’ve been meaning to implement on Project GT-R.


    Inside the stock seats have given way to Bride buckets.


    The aero additions are completed with a carbon fiber rear diffuser and an adjustable rear wing.


    And judging by the upgraded intercooler under the engine cover, all of the exterior refining must be matched to an equal amount of attention where it really matters. This is Japan after all!

  • Enhancing The Mk1’s Original Appeal

    Enhancing The Mk1’s Original Appeal

    There’s a simplicity to older cars that makes them so appealing.

    It’s as if their designs represent the most of basic forms of an automobile; something that spans back to a time when designers had more freedom with their pens, rather than having to adhere to any set rules. The results were so pure.


    The Mk1 Golf is the prime example; this was a simple car built to do a simple job, and it worked in every respect. It’s not hard to see why these cars hold the appeal they do today either. They offer such a simple canvas to build upon with an injection of fresh new or not-so-new parts.


    When I came across this particular VW at Track & Show I knew instantly that I had to share it with you guys. As always, I like to see how the Japanese take a popular modifying platform and put their own twist on it.


    But most of all, the Golf was simple and to the point.


    I like that a lot.


    A static drop took care of lowering the car in a pretty dramatic fashion. It actually needed to sit this low too, or else it just wouldn’t be making a statement.


    The wheels tuck nicely into the gentle blisters that VW worked into these cars back into the day, something you don’t really seen anymore as design has evolved past this style. They’ve obviously been cleaned up and rolled to avoid rubbing issues.


    As is the case with the rear too.


    The reversed BBS RS mesh rims are a great touch. I’m all for fitting Japanese wheels on German cars, but there’s something so right about seeing BBS rims on anything from Deutschland, and why Project Drop Top sits on RI-Ds!


    Simplicity is carried over to the interior, the factory seats and dash being retained and the space finished off with a modern headunit, wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel and some under-dash gauges.