Author Archive

The great facelift face-off

January 11, 2009

what’s better than one DR30 Skyline? Why, two DR30 Skylines of course!

after four years of logistical nightmares, various states of disrepair, and a distance of over 150km separating each vehicle, I finally got the chance to photograph ‘em together in running condition with a suitable backdrop.

As they say, a picture tells a thousand words – so I’ll stop greasing now. Click on the photo below to view the entire set :D

facelift face-off

Getting all darth vader up in yo' grille.

The eternal idol(s)

January 7, 2009

if there’s one endearing thing about Japanese car culture, it’s that they never seem to forget the classics.

'80s Hero

Hachimaru Hero, vol. 1: Eternal Idol AE86

Hachimaru Hero by Geibunsha Publishing is one of the few Japanese automotive magazines to focus entirely on the cars of the ’80s. From beloved highway stompers such as the Fairlady 200ZR to the humble family wagon Civic Shuttle, a bewildering array of cult to cooking cars are covered in ten incredibly well-produced volumes.


during the 1980s turbocharging craze, it seemed that every Japanese manufacturer ended up developing at least one forced-induction engine. A few of these were of the “gun” variety – boasting healthy power and big torque figures – and were ultimately slotted into highly-sought-after flagship models and top-shelf sportscars.

However for every legendary FJ20ET, G63B, 7M-GTE and 13B-Turbo pushed out to market, there existed an equal or greater number of lesser-known, lesser adored, more mundane cooking-spec engines which also happened to benefit from TEH POWAR OF BOOST. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the end result, the fruits of such labour were harnessed to power various Japanese iterations of the ’80s “hot hatch”, a market unto its own at the time.

one such example is Toyota’s 3E-TE engine.


Happy 2009

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year to all our regular readers (yes, all three of you). Here’s a brief list of what entries are in store for the coming weeks:

.: ’80s turbo talk: Toyota 3E-TE
.: Import from Japan, part 1: the art of searching
.: Skyline history: part 6 (C10 series)

Finally, some Youtube bosozoku madness for your amusement, ranging in quality from mildly tame to outrageously horrid. Whatever you might think of boso, you should at least give these folks top marks for trying; check out the white and red chop-top Crown at about 2 minutes in… o_O


So let’s just say that you happen to be sitting on a bit of cash (maybe the house market happens to be extremely unappealing at this point in time?) and you feel like buying a “new” car for yourself that isn’t just another bland modern mass of metal.


1974 Mitsubishi Debonair - your new fambily sedan?

fortunately for those of us that live in New Zealand, the current vehicle importation laws allow for right hand drive cars 20 years and older to be imported and registered for road use with very little red tape. This technically means (as of writing) any RHD vehicle registered in its country of origin on or before 22 December 1988, opening up a limitless amount of options as far as classic or “nostalgic” Japanese cars are concerned.