November 29, 2005

●No more test/shoot updates for a while

Well as much as would love to share with regular readers the stuff I get up to and the cars I test/shoot I'm afraid I'm going to have to hold back for a while.

Seems a few "rivals" of publications I collaborate with, have been regularly checking out my blog and using it to plan ahead to come out with exactly the same features I have done and covered, sometimes before my work has a chance to make it to print.

I'm very disappointed some people choose to do things in such a underhanded way but I guess that's the nature of this business.

But don't worry, I'll keep this blog updated with other stuff I get up to and once in a while pop a nice demo car or supercar in there for you to enjoy. Pretty sad I can't share all the things I cover straight away, but on the other hand I feel quite good knowing that some people out there will now have to work a bit harder to come up with fresh and interesting ideas and not just copy what others have done way before them;-)

Posted by dino at 09:38 PM | Comments [0]

November 28, 2005

●Interesting message...

From Gary Lee:

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Why do you put those stupid signatures on your photos??

For some irrational reason I hate that!!
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Jesus....the stuff I have to put up with! Why do you think Gary? I'm sure the answer will come to you, just use that round thing on top of your neck! ;-)

And while we are on the subject of stupid messages I get. Just want to take this opportunity to thank all those spammers out there that continuously send me trackbacks to porn and gambling sites. You are the lowest form of human beings out there. Go and do something constructive with your time you inbred idiots.

To regular readers, I apologize for that:-)

Posted by dino at 04:36 PM | Comments [0]

November 26, 2005

●RIP Richard Burns

Very sad day today. At only 34, Richard Burns passed away after a long illness. A great loss to say the least. Condolences to his family.

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[pix from BBC website]

Posted by dino at 07:19 PM | Comments [0]

November 22, 2005

●D1-GP Round 7, Tsukuba (FINAL)

Well the D1 is officially over for this year. Kasama took home the (not-so) grand prize of ¥1,000,000 and the rest is history. Looking forward to the 2006 championship, just hope they spice things up a bit as it's getting a tad repetitive and well, boring!

Here are some snaps from a very sunny Tsukuba circuit.

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Posted by dino at 01:12 PM | Comments [0]

November 21, 2005

●Type-ONO MR2

How about this for something different! Totally custom wide-body Toyota MR2 from Team Autobots Japan. Built by the owner, Ono-san [hence the name "Type-0no", nothing to do with Type-One;-)] this MR2 has been treated to some very impressive body modifications. Check out the front section that lifts up at the touch of a button to reveal some mean looking subs and amps. All the body panels have been hand molded and joined to create a "one-piece-look." The interior features equally impressive touches in the form of full alcantara make-over and custom instrument binnacle.

Check out the location....biggest cemetery I have ever seen!
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Deep-dish anyone?
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Ono-san even has his own logo!
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Front section, all one piece
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Chromed up and polished engine bits
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Interior....leather everywhere!
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Custom dash featuring Pivot dials
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Lots of ICE here! Back up camera sits between the twin titanium tail pipes
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Looks nothing like your average MR2. In case you are wondering the front HID lights are from the Nissan Cima
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Ono-san's girlfriend just happens to be a model so it would have been rude not to take some pictures!
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And my favorite of the day....
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Posted by dino at 03:39 PM | Comments [0]

November 15, 2005

●Wallpaper 005

Before I forget, here is Wallpaper 005. Bee-R ER32 D1-GP car

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Posted by dino at 03:29 PM | Comments [0]

●D1-GP Round 6, Fuji Speedway

Major delay in posting this up! With the D1-GP final coming up this Sunday in Tsukuba I thought I'd better post the pictures from Fuji before they get too out of date!

Fuji was just what D1 needed. A bit of variation! The drivers were taking amazing speeds into the corners making for an amazing spectacle.

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Kazama favorite to win. Massive point lead over Sunaga going into Rd.6 but got eliminated earlier on loosing much of his lead.

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Orido smoking those tyres!!

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Gotta love the background. They don't call it Fuji Speedway for nothing;-)

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Tanakas new car for 2006. Tex Modify prepared Team Yukes RWD Impreza

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The two finalists, Ueo and Suenaga. Ueo, in my eyes, was by far the most impressive driver on the day. Despite his massive power deficiency he gave it all he had to keep up with the turbo cars. His full speed, flicks into the hairpin corner will be hard to forget. He never used the brakes!!

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But in the end the judges picked Suenaga.

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Great day of drifting. Stay tuned for more action from the 2005 final at Tsukuba.

Posted by dino at 03:01 PM | Comments [0]

November 12, 2005

●Idle Problem

While coming home from a meet at Daikoku almost a month ago I run into a bit of trouble with the GTR. Following a quick blast where I floored the car in 6th to see what she could do the front diffuser broke off and started flapping about. Hit the brakes hard and in the process shattered a part of it. This happened because I replaced the standard washers with slightly smaller diameter stainless-steel items. But more on this on a future entry.

So after I slowed down I noticed the engine was sounding rough so I pulled over. Obviously I started panicking and immediately thought the worst. Blown turbo? Blown engine? It was idling weird with a kind of off-set beat and in the process shaking the hell out of the car. I drove it home slowly as I could not go over 60Km/h as the diffuser would start flapping up and down again. Noticed that the engine smoothed out just over 2,000 rpm so obviously the problem was not as serious as I thought. Due to work commitments I couldn't get this sorted out straight away. Ended up taking the car to Tex Modify where they immediately traced the problem to a blown inlet gasket which was letting in air at cylinder n.5 & 6. This was changed this week and replaced with a Tomei metal gasket kit. Car is running smooth as ever and I'm finally glad to get behind the wheel again. Tex also found out the silicone hoses that join the intercooler piping on the inlet side where badly damaged, so these were also replaced. These Greddy items lasted approx. 2 years since they were fitted new by Mine's when they fit the Trust intercooler.

You can just about see the new Tomei metal gaskets

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And the new I/C hoses

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Came very close to fitting the Nismo GT-plenum since the stock plenum had to be removed. But I was told I would definitely need a re-map or I would end up leaning out in the mid-range. As I run a Mine's VX-Rom (non-remappable by third parties) I'm kind of "stuck" so changed my mind :-(

Posted by dino at 01:07 PM | Comments [0]

November 10, 2005

●Lexus IS 350

Spent some time sampling the superb Lexus IS350. What a car! Really can't fault it in any way except maybe for the lack of rear room and, as ever in Japanese cars, the high driving position. Powered by the creamy-smooth 318PS 3.5 L V6 as used in the GS (the GS has 3PS less) the IS is as much of a performance car as it is a refined entry-level luxury car. And that's without going into how good it looks! I mean if you had the choice would you pick the IS or a BMW 3-series? I know which one I would take home.

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And then there is the interior. Again, nothing to fault. If you really want to be picky, and in cars this good it's the only way you will find some negative aspects to counterbalance your argument with, there are a few things that could be addressed. As mentioned the high driving position. Can't quite figure out why this was allowed to pass as Lexus proved they can do it right in the GS. Other than that the gear lever shifter looks dated and the plastic surrounding of the central console looks and feels cheap. The wood trim is totally out of place in a car like this and I really do wish more trim options were available like flat or brushed aluminium or even carbon fiber to reflect the sporty feel of the IS.

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The IS is an extremely comfortable car on the motorway and it can also be a hooligan's car, but not as much as you would assume. It lets you get away with the odd burn-out but for some reason Lexus has preferred to let the nannying stability control take over at the slightest hint of a slide. With all that shove coming from the V6 this happens all the time on wet roads. Brakes are superb and I was surprised to find some rather big 4-pot monoblock calipers up front. The 6-speed auto is excellent in every way and if you set it on "sport" it will downshift aggressively and even blip the throttle! But I'm sure I'm not the only one who would still appreciate a good old DIY manual. Superb car, a bit pricey here in Japan but an almost obvious choice over a BMW 330i.

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Posted by dino at 02:46 PM | Comments [0]

November 07, 2005

●Autumn

Took a snap of this dragonfly in my garden this evening. There are so many flying around right now, all you have to do is stick your finger in the air and one will land on it in a matter of seconds.

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Posted by dino at 05:39 PM | Comments [0]

November 04, 2005

●Nissan & GT-R Proto press material

Just getting round now to sorting out all the press material that I picked up at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan made this little manga storyline of the GT-R which depicts the history of the badge since the Hakosuka all the way to the 2001 Concept.

Other booklet contains press releases and a picture CD-Rom.

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Posted by dino at 03:29 PM | Comments [0]

●Nissan & GT-R Proto press material

Just getting round now to sorting out all the press material that I picked up at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan made this little manga storyline of the GT-R which depicts the history of the badge since the Hakosuka all the way to the 2001 Concept.

Other booklet contains press releases and a picture CD-Rom.

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Posted by dino at 03:29 PM | Comments [0]

●Wallpaper 004

Got a few e-mails requesting a wallpaper of the Revolfe Supra. So here you go:

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Posted by dino at 02:22 PM | Comments [0]

November 02, 2005

●340 km/h Revolfe Supra

Just had to go and shoot this car built by Revolfe in Yokohama. Love the purposeful exterior and real Wangan racer 700PS engine breathed on by a big fat laggy T88.

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This is actually a customer car, and from the looks of the interior he likes his toys!

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Let's not forget the engine!

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You don't want to mess with this car. It might poke you with that big antenna;-)

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Here is a free ad for Brembo!:-)

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Posted by dino at 10:52 PM | Comments [0]