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Bout time yall featured a well built Z20 on Speedhunters! When I was in Misawa there were quite a few really nice Leopards and Soarers of 80s vintage tearing around the wharfs in Hachinohe side ways.
There was even a local Hachinohe drifter called "Hachinohe #1" who had a mean ass silver Leopard with glowing green wands sticking up like blades on both sides of the rear fenders. He would speed toward the big curve by the docks, e-brake the car into a complete 360 spin and just as he completed the spin drift through the curve! I still wish I got it on video.
The Z20 Soarer is easily my favorite JDM body style. And I'm not just saying that because I owned one.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Size Does Matter: N-Style’s Z20 Soarer
@joaosamouco Agreed, I LOVE Intial D, but as a guy who actually street races, and eats breathes and lives cars, Wangan Midnight was much more realistic and captured the realities of running a high strung car and the consequences of the dangers and perils of the lifestyle.
5 months ago on Initial D Goes Back To Its Roots
Like he said, he NEVER loses, officially, or in reality. He technically didn't lose to Bunta either. he merely drove past him and showed him how outclassed the AE86 is. Although we all know his dad would wipe the floor with him.
then there was the race with God Foot and God Hand. that old guy killed him, and actually drove away from him. to the point he couldn't even see him. and then we are supposed to believe God Hand lost his nerves had to pull over and throw up? get outta here! lol
Unlike Wangan, Intial D never even tried to be realistic in it's characters abilities, or the day to day realities of hard core car enthusiast.
Still a good show though.
So true, that's one thing that annoys me greatly with most JDM related blogs and media in the US. Alot of what is presented as Japanese car culture is anything but. The best way I can explain true Japanese car culture is an extreme obsession with any and all things automotive, plus an intense pursuit of the experience there of...
Wordy I know, but the Japanese car culture is so nondenominational and varied. And even highly prized and rare cars are driven and driven hard - as well as modified. It's like a cultural embodiment of the most schizophrenic, ADD, anal retentive, obsessive car frantic you've ever known. I was always pleasantly surprised by the knowledge, admiration and respect that many Japanese car enthusiast had for ALL cars not just Japanese ones.
Inversely I am often disappointed here in the states by the almost willful ignorance of many US (JDM and Domestic) car enthusiast about their own car, let alone automobiles in general.
10 months ago on Only in Japan: A Carspotting Story
"The R32 Skyline GT-R is the 5.0 Fox-body Mustang of Japan". Ha! I used to tell people that all the time while in Japan and when I got back. Nice to see I'm not the only one who noticed that. When I think back, I should have bought one while there. But at the time I was obsessed with JZ powered Toyotas.
@Charles Montgomery III
The engine is actually WELL BEHIND the front wheel centerline. This makes the car a Front-mid engined design. Par the course in modern sports car design (370z, c5-c7 Corvette, all of the current front engined Ferarris and etc)
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Btm Continuation Cheetah: Up Close And Personal
these days all the high end sports cars are rear biased in their weight distribution. To include Ferarri, Maserati, and etc.
More like modern engineering catching up to "ahead of his time" genius.
Great article! i have to be honest, try hard as i may, i just can't get that high i get when driving, seeing, or fantasizing about 1970 or older iron. My dream garage would be bursting at the seams with cars from 1970 - many of them not even "performance cars" (like a 1970 455ci Buick Wildcat convertible) to name one. So many awesome cars from all over the world; race, street, custom, and so on. And in the performance realm (in the US at least) POWER and SPEED was king. Heck, every aerodynamic aide on the pictured 1970 Pontiac T/A worked! from the from air splitter to the deflectors in front of the wheels and the spoiler on the rear. Even the engine bay heat/pressure extractors on the front fenders all worked and were wind tunnel and race track proven!
Truly the last era of pure unchecked automotive excess for the sake of excess. Image and performance were key selling points and manufacturers were only too happy to sell it to you!
1 year, 1 month ago on 1970: THE GREATEST YEAR EVER?
never mind. just looked it up. as stated earlier, the pics are much more impressive.
1 year, 1 month ago on VAUGHN GITTIN JR'S FIRE DRIFT BEHIND THE SCENES
so where's the video?
Nice! I was beginning to think SpeedHunters readers were getting a little heavy on the "poseur" side. But the questions asked in this write-up were pretty in depth and I actually learned a few things.
More Question and answer sessions please!
1 year, 1 month ago on Ask The Expert: Kw Answers Your Questions
agreed, BUT THAT'S WHY I LOVE EM!
1 year, 1 month ago on NAKAI GOES TURBO: THE RWB ROTANA
@TylerS13 if you look at the close-up pics it's plain to see that they DO rub. something tells me that Nakai could care less though!
So did Daniel Craig actually learn how to drive stick for the occasion, or did he drive that modified automatic monstrosity the built for the last movie?
1 year, 2 months ago on NO, MR BOND: I EXPECT YOU TO DRIVE…
Say what you want about Toyota being a purveyor of "Wheeled Appliances". One look at this Museum proves there is real passion behind Toyota's products.
1 year, 2 months ago on More Than History: The Toyota Museum Japan
I really wish that 1973 Trans Am wasn't all jacked up in the back. Those cars are not nor ever were intended to be drag cars. They are road race/ GT cars. The Trans Ams of the 70s (not particularly fast at the end of the era) were consistently reviewed and found to be great handling cars. To the point that many car reviewers of the era considered the Trans Am far superior to the Corvette, especially when optioned with the WS6 package.
Also the White Z28 is a 1974-1976 Z28. (more likely a 1974 *chrome bumpers no front air splitter*) Definitely 70s era!
1 year, 2 months ago on Parking Lot Hunting At The Street Car Nats
Even when I was a Kid and hated Gassers for their "nose high" stance (although I love em now); I couldn't deny they had a swagger that was hard to beat. If I ever get ahold of a 1961-62 Fullsize chevy 2dr hard top - I will fulfill a personal dream of having a all black, big block, gasser
B-body to tear around in. To me they embody a "Punk" anti establishment era of drag racing.
These wild cars that came shortly after Superstock fullsizers started dying off and just before factory midsize Muscle started dominating the strip.
1 year, 2 months ago on The Famoso ’57: A Lesson In Stance And Style
I'm on the Fence with this one. I like a real "street fighter/daily driver" as much as the next guy, but except for the flares, there's nothing really remarkable about this car. The paint is full of orange peel and the interior and engine bay reveal what is in fact; just a well used Majesta slammed on some nice rims with stretched tires.
I like it, but not as a feature car...
1 year, 2 months ago on D’custom Freak Vip Style: Bee Dragon Majesta
@guReMcO Its' a common error in perception, like that fact that at the time they were considered "super cars" because honestly; short of a all out race car, NOTHING approached the HP and acceleration they achieved. In fact, the term didn't become associated with Exotics til the late 70s to early 80s). "muscle car" is a much later term as well. Do some research, you'd be surprised how many "Muscle cars" of the era were not 1/4mile focused.
The fact that their handling is regarded as "suspect" by modern, uninitiated enthusiast, is more of a nod to the fact that it took nearly 20 years for anything other than exotics to approach their performance abilities. As well as the fact that people easily forget that EVERYTHING in the 60s-early 70s handles like sh#t compared to whats on the road now. Yes even Ferrari and Porches. Also, a nearly 50yr old "Muscle car" is easily able to keep up with and be driven daily in modern traffic, the Exotic stuff is fragile, unreliable, and far less comfortable. So a Muscle car is more likely to be compared to modern steel, because it's still relevant in the modern street scene. especially in the States.
1 year, 2 months ago on The American Dream: My Mustang Rtr Experience
I so want to hate this, BUT IT MAKES ME SMILE SO HARD!
1 year, 2 months ago on United Nations Of Car Culture: The 1jz Caddy
@FunctionFirst AGREED! One of my best memories is a cross country drive I took in my 1967 Pontiac Catalina 2dr Hardtop (same exact fast back roof as the Impala featured here but with a front and rear end that mimicked Jet intakes) It was in mint condition, gold with a white roof. EVERYWHERE I went people came from no where to look, ask or talk about the car. It got so I started dreading stopping to fill her up. That car drove 2800 miles in two days with nary a complaint except requiring a chassi lube after a severe down pour in Alabama. And I till remember vividly the soothing lope of it's big 400 Cubic Inch motor as I cruised into night at 70mph.
To this day I still keep an eye out for another car of it's caliber. There is nothing like pulling onto the open road at the helm of such a grand feeling car. You can't help but feel like a king behind the wheel of one. With cars like the 1967 Impala, it's no wonder GM and Chevy had the Top selling cars in the world at the time. Just think, this 1967 Impala Hardtop was a common man's car! Yet look at all the style and presence.
1 year, 3 months ago on Cruising New Zealand In A ’67 Impala
@JDMized @Mike Half the JDM scene displayed here regularly here is born from illegal street racing.
Drifting: ILLEGAL and continues to be so. No matter what anyone says the best drifting I saw in Japan was on the streets, not at the track.
Wangan Racing: ILLEGAL, yet half the top speed and super tuned cars from Japan are built and tuned by guys who cut their teeth and still sharpen their skills illegally speeding on the toll roads.
and lets not forget 1/4mile drag racing...the ORIGINAL illegal gear head activity! And when i was in Japan, a few years ago it was still attracting guys and gals all Friday and Saturday night.
But that's not the point. It's the cars! I'm talking about the CARS people. Bad Ass cars that were built solely to make money on the streets (and just as often on the track). When money is on the line, you put up or shut up. And a car that is is a legend in the streets is a testament to the owner and builder knowing their stuff.
1 year, 4 months ago on Temple Of Speed: Let’s Daikoku!
@RemingtonBox @MikeYee @JDMized @Mike you're missing the point. Its' not about the street racing (which contrary to what you say is not even having the surface scratched by any media.) a few posers messing around in Civics or a old mustang, or a coupla cars crashing into each other is NOT street racing or street racing culture. That's idiots playing grab ass with their friends in their mom's car.
I'm talking about the CARS people. Bad Ass cars that were built solely to make money on the streets (and just as often on the track). When money is on the line, you put up or shut up. And a car that is is a legend in the streets is a testament to the owner and builder knowing their stuff.
hardly. I love the flat head V8, and yes it put the idea of American V8 motoring on the map. but other than being offered in the low priced market, there is nothing "revolutionary" about the Flat head V8. it was merely the same side valve operated design that everyone else had, except it was a V8.
Sure it's Iconic, but the OHV GM V8s ( especially the SBC) were the ground breaking upsets of performance motoring. And continue to be.
1 year, 4 months ago on Poll: Great American V8s
yet again, another "no nothing" getting side tracked by pushrods and failing to understand it's actually a far newer and elegant packaging solution to operating the valves.
My grand father used to street race back in the day, and he and his pals swear a Hemi couldn't hold a candle next to a nonchalantly tuned "Wedge" head Mopar on the street. The Hemi was just to temperamental and finicky for "non pro" use. Besides it didn't make power till it was over 5 grand. By then a Wedge Big block powered car was already long gone. At the track with short gears and slicks whole different story.
like stated earlier the Boss 302 is certifiably BOSS, but the rest, while cool, tended to have more "potential" than performance when it mattered.
Surprised no Buick motors made the mix! No love for the Nail Head V8s of the 60s, or the 500ft lbs making stump pullers like the GS Stage 1 and 2 455s or even the MONSTER GSX Stage 1&2 455s?
There is a reason the American 60s-early 70s cars and engines just won't die when it comes to enthusiast. Every GM mark has it's own V8s. from small displacement aluminum turbocharged oddities (the FIRST production turbo engine [1962 Oldmobile F85/cutlass]), to sliky smooth 500c.i. Cadillac V8s in the Eldorado. Every brand had it's own flair and take on how a proper V8 should be built and run. From Frenzied and high revving (Chevy small block, and on occasion the Big blocks as well) to lazy and effortless power like Mopar 440s or the Oldmosbiles and Buicks.
And many where in another league all together, like the 409,427,396, and 402 Chevy Rat motors, or the King Kong high winding 426 Hemi, which had NO business being run on the street.
But if I was honest; the King of all American V8s is the motor which was passed the torch from it's grand father of yore; LS Engines for the win! NOTHING packs the same amount of power, compactness, light weight, efficiency, reliability, adaptability, and even tech into such an affordable package as the Gen 4 small block! Now I'm curious to see what this new LT has to offer.
@JDMized @Mike You know, you are right. It's been bothering me for a coupla years now that there are 500-1000hp cars all over the US (most Domestic) that are putting in work all over the US in the late-nite to early morning for cold hard cash, and virtually NONE of that is covered anywhere on the net except maybe the odd youtube vid, or V8 gearhead mag. You'd think SpeedHunters would be all over that scene. especially with the quality of cars that the top racers run. I'm talking 9-11sec cars running all out on the street...many still being shifted the old fashioned way: your right hand and left foot. And many not running anything stickier than a 10.5 drag radial! O_o
IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT WAS UP WITH TRANS AM RACING, MUST WATCH!
1 year, 4 months ago on Poll: Trans Am Heroes
This is easily my favorite "Classic Japanese" body style. Which is funny; cus when I was a little kid back in the 79-early 80s, I always considered it a Mustang knock off. lol To bad we never got the smooth bumpers on the Fastback in the US like in Japan and Europe.
Definitely on my list of cars I'd buy if one crossed my path.
1 year, 5 months ago on Raiding The Toy Cupboard: Beams-engined Celica
@bigeastbay That's one of the biggest fallacies ever. A lowered 2WD truck looses none of it's towing or hauling capability...unless you plan on hopping curbs and going off road on the regular. And in that case, you should have a 4WD in the first place. Heck until the early 80s, a full size America car was more than capable of doing what you need a Full size truck to do now as far as towing, and in many cases hauling.
1 year, 5 months ago on Photo Attack: Osaka Auto Messe Parking
Wow, i like nearly every car on the list. but i think the voting category needs to be narrowed down quite a bit. Like how about best affordable 80s Icon, or best Japanese 80s Icon, of course you have to have best Exotic 80s Icon, and maybe even the best "still relevant" 80s Icon.
The last one I think will whittle the list down to the true Icon of the 80s. because frankly, many of these cars are irrelevant as hell to next to even average and cars of the 21 century. Icons surpass their class and social standing and stand the test of time. They are cars that everyone young and old appreciates and still lust after, or at the very least have pleasant memories of.
1 year, 5 months ago on Poll: ’80s Performance Icons
@bigmac69 The 80s had alot of cool cars, but even the early 70s had more "true Icons" then the 80s. In the 80s if you were hard up for cash you had hot hatches and used older 60-70 cars. If you had a little scratch you rolled 5.0, Corvettes, Irocs, or TAs, and Grand Nationals. (at least in the US) I remember MR2s, Celica Supras, and MKIII Supras being fairly popular as well, and the 280zx and Z32 300zx were common and respected. Then you had the 911s, and rare "yuppy" M3s, original M5, 190e, Audi 5000s. And of course if you were rich you had the unobtainable exotics. But on the street, in the US at least; all of those cars (except the Exotics, 5.0, Corvette and Grand National) were were still sorely lacking viscerally and generally in hp and overall performance compared to older cars of the early 70-60s. And everyone knew it.
Except the occasional exotic, many cars struggled to break 14 secs in the quarter mile and hardly any did better than high 6 second 0-60mph times. In Europe all of the real performance "Icons" were extremely rare. I mean yeah VW GTIs were cool, but honestly, they hardly stood out compared to a regular Golf. If you tried to brag about one, 'average Joe' on the street could have cared less.
Don't get me wrong. I like many 80s icons, but in the grand scheme of things they are more of a marker for primitive electronic tech and very lack luster performance as Automakers struggled to infuse computer tech and appease greater government regulation. Like the AE86. it's just a Corolla! Sure they had and have a cult following in Japan, but in the rest of the world it was just a Corolla hatchback. Many of the modern fans of that car only even consider it a "performance" car because of Initial D. The thing needs to have nearly the whole suspension upgraded or swapped out to hang with modern FWD economy car, never mind the work that has to be done to the engine, just to have what is still a relatively slow albeit fun, economy car.
Its' was very frustrating to me as a kid back in the 80s to watch all of those awesome Motorsports, yet go out on the street and see such low powered lackluster cars. I know, there were a notable exotics of that era, as well as the affordable stalwarts such as the Mustang, Camaro, Vette and Grand National (in the states) but compared to the cars of early 70s and older; contemporary street cars of the era sucked.
But this article reminds me of how awesome the racing of the time was. I remember watching Group B (or killer B's as we called them) and IMSA racing [I loved the the 962]! I remember how intense NASCAR was at the time, lots of "rubbing" and aggressive contact and position jockeying, and crazy crashes. I also remember drooling over GTP cars with their wide fenders and muscular bodywork. And yes, Indy was a BIG deal on Sundays.
My two favorite race cars? The Audi Quattro and Porsche 956/62. Actually, I'm lying, I like just about everything i saw racing at the time, even Baja and off road racing like the Paris Dakar was pretty awesome to me then.
Great write up! Proof the 80s weren't all bad after all. In fact they were pretty good.
1 year, 5 months ago on Racing’s The Last Golden Era: The 1980s
I should clarify in case anyone misreads my memory of the cars driving characteristics; the car was not "fast" but it was certainly quick - surprisingly so. It also handled pretty well for a FWD car.
1 year, 5 months ago on Acura Legend, The Bolsa Coffee Shop Cruiser
@sean klingelhoefer I do, unfortunately none are digital. I'll have to dig them up and scan them.
@dadecode I stand corrected, and yes I loved riding to the Beach in Hachinohe with the front windows down, the sunroof open, and those rear quarters half down. Man, I'm feeling real nostalgic for that car.
I had one of these in mint condition while I was stationed in Japan (99-02) it only had 25000 miles on it. Mine was a an Anniversary addition with more of a gold tint in the pewter paint along the lower rockers and bumpers. It also had black checker-cut, velour seats with black interior with wood trim and chrome accents (much better looking than the US interiors). I also had these "snazzy" 6x9" rear parcel tray Pioneer speakers with a rear facing casing that had big back-lit Pioneer badges on them. Even with dark tent they would glow though the back window. (looked like Ihad two mini, blue and white juke boxes in the back)
Charles and I appear to have the exact same "vision" with regard to the lowering and "stance" of these cars. I am STILL looking for one now. Too bad they are all beat to hell in the US though. Interesting side note. these cars get a fair amount of respect over in Japan. I bought it to cruise and later passed it off to the wife, but every time I went to the street races or was out with friends, Japanese locals would comment on it being an "Anniversary Legend", and say "good car". Mine was a 2.8L v6 with gold badges on the Intake plenum and red ignition wires. It had no problem spinning the front wheels from a dead stop (auto trans) and had killer acceleration on the top end. more than once I shut down a FWD turbo Trueno, or mildly modded 180sx. (the torque steer was extremely bad as well, it was also terrible in the snow, even with snow tires)
it's cool to see a yet another little known legend such as Old Yeller being featured on SpeedHunters.
as a kid back in the 80s i remember reading and seeing pics of this car in many racing related books. at the time i thought it was a ugly piece of sh#t and had no reverence or respect for it. as i got older i read a few feature articles on the car in Hot rod magazine and such, and began to really appreciate what Max accomplished with the car as well as the fact that it was a fairly successful machine. i wish i could see and experience it in person.
hopefully with it's exposure here, other young car guys won't be as dismissive as i was in my youth and appreciate it for what it is - an ingenious home made race car that was campaigned buy a early SpeedHunter.
1 year, 6 months ago on Car Spotlight>> 1959 Balchowsky Old Yeller Mkii
i like my cars Voluptuous, so i'm biased toward the sensual, sexy, curves of the Viper. but i can't resist legendary icons, especially ones that regularly reinvent themselves. so the Vette gets my vote! besides, the Vette is the only one of the two that i can and hopefully will get my hands on, and there is something to be said for the way the Vette ALWAYS fights and takes down cars well above it's price range. it doesn't hurt that it always performs well above it's class.
1 year, 6 months ago on Poll: Viper Vs. Vette
this is why i keep coming back to Speedhunters! no snarky remarks about the cars, manufacturers, or owners. every feature is always positive, with an eye for appreciating what makes the particular car special. there are many car sites on the web that do little more than encourage a schism between the different branches of the Car Enthusiast community. one of the most popular car blogs/sights on the net (which i won't name here, but i'm sure many who visit SpeedHunters know it) regularly has articles, post, and commentators who do nothing but kick sand.
as an all around car fanatic it's very frustrating, we need more sites like SpeedHunters. keep featuring unique, interesting, stock or highly modified cars. let them and the builders speak for themselves. cut out as much of the bias as possible, and just expose people to all the many facets of the car enthusiast community. with a little knowledge and exposure we are all brought closer together.
1 year, 6 months ago on Editorial – A Difference Of Opinion
@majik16106 agreed. in my experience general ignorance is almost always the reason for the animosity. i find that when someone spouts off knee jerk hate, or an opion of absolute disgust at a particular style, or type of build, it's better to drop some knowledge about the particular style, or reasoning behind a design than to go tit for tat like, "that sh#t is ugly", or that's so stupid, only an idiot would do that" and so on.
educate the naysayer, if they choose to continue with their logic, it's not because they don't know, it's because of personal bias.
@t.Menoncin @greenroadster Ditch the pushrods v8? Are you serious? Ditch THE most dominat performance/ single engine design of ALL time because you think it's "archaic". That smacks of such ignorance about the inherent efficiantcies and advantages of the OHV pushrod design that again, it shows nothing but pure ignorance.
You also completely disregard the Z06,ZR1 and the class dominating C5 and C6 racing programs.
A small block Chevy V8 is anything but old fashioned. It's small, light, compact, and fuel efficient. It's easily and simply maintained and modified. It loves revs yet makes mountains of torque, it is huge in displacement yet small in external dimensions, and is stupidly simple to adapt to just about any situation. And as if to rub it all in "snobs" faces its CHEAP.
Never mind that the basic design is actually newer than the OHC design as well. The valves are operated the way they are because of the inherent compact size of such a design, NOT because of old school engineering.
1 year, 6 months ago on The Stingray Is Back: Chevy’s C7 Corvette
Squating frog on a Lilly pad ( dang iPhone )
@greenroadster Passion? Sure, style? Hardly. A German car is about as stylish as a German tank. Cool, well engineered, great performing, and certianly interesting, but stylish? Please. The 911 looks the same as its looked since the 60s. And even then the equating front on a "Lilly pad" "styling" look is was and is dictated simply by the arangement of its drive train. Nothing more, nothing less. Styling in a German car is merely a strip of chrome here, or plaid seats there. There are exceptions but the 911 is hardly one of them.
@t.Menoncin Spoken with true ignorance. Interesting how even with a elegantly simple, efficient, and compact rear IRS with "archaic" transverse leaf spring, it trumps every car out there in lateral grip and high speed handling.
But no it can't be a good long lived solution to a complicated problem, like how the 911 still has its engine hanging out way over the ass end of the car. Oh wait. That's a terrible idea that had terrible and dire consequences for handling and was only refined compensated for (even though Porsche tried to move away from it) because cutomers refused to buy every 911 replacemnt Porsche put out. So with super fat rear tires electronic nannys and suspension geometry tricks they kind of tamed it so it's at least relatively safe to drive now.
@wrohrl @Larry Chen NICE! Mine would stay in Race Mode.
Surprised at all the hate on here. Especially for a place devoted to all things fast and performance orientated. Luckily on just about every poll out there from the non enthusiast perspective, GM appears to have a winner on thier hands. I'm sure it will sell in far higher numbers than the Euro and JDM competition. Which means that there will be plenty of affordable C7s (and C6s) on the used market in the future with great modability potential for us and future SpeedHunters to enjoy and abuse!
It's funny how some guys can be all about car snobbery Nd show such love to European and Japanese cars that in reality are or we're little more than rare, expensive, and delicate trinkets or bland econoboxes (that just happened to be cheap to modify) yet hate on many awesome USDM performance cars that are both tough and affordable, and have far higher performance envelopes. It would seem if you are about performance such cars would trump modified Volvos or Corollas any day all day; US made or not.
@zackspeed333 @voloeverto787b lol ok, i get it! you're trolling! my bad, i was actually taking you serious for a moment. i'll let you get back to your games...