Random Nightlight | Change

November 28, 2011

Night Import: Photography by me and other sites | Words by William Lee

After realizing it's been little over a year now since joining the 'scene', I took some time to look at my past, seeing what I've done so far and the changes that occurred around me since the beginning till now. This random thought and idea came up after talking with one of my inspirations, Ben Schaffer from Bulletproof Automotive. We were talking about various things related to the automotive community and one topic we discussed about was how I became involved with you guys. For those who don't know me too well or about this blog, I didn't start off by knowing car owners or even companies. Matter of fact, I didn't know anyone except a few people on forums. It was a network friendship/relationship and like many of us, it's not easy to approach those who we talk with online when it comes to an in-person situation, so most of my time going to meets or events was just... me and my camera! I had no intentions in the beginning to promote who I was or what I did because the reason why I started was nothing more than the passion and love I had toward cars. But constantly going out to meets or events was sort of a way to approach people. If I didn't know who they were, they knew me because of seeing me at least once a week. It's now to the point where people say "why isn't William covering this event," or "where the hell is he?" I'm not trying to put myself in the spotlight, but that's really what I've been noticing. I personally and honestly think I'm not a major part of this community nor created a positive image to Medias and Bloggers, but a natural behavior became a habit, and that's what brought me and my blog to where it is today.

I get plenty of questions from many of my friends and fans, and one question I come across pretty often is their curiosity on how I managed to go to events and meets constantly while not getting tired of it. I think this is what makes people who start blogs decide to quit within a few months because of repetition. You go out there and see the same cars, same people, same vendors, etc. But really, isn't that the enjoyment? This is why I decided to write this post, to show you guys some cars I've seen when I first started and how much it progressed throughout the year.

Minh's IS -15

FD Final-76
I still remember as if it was yesterday when I first saw Minh Nguyen's IS. I'm pretty sure almost everyone in this community knows Minh's ride because of its outstanding fitment on Enkei RPF1s powdercoated by Simple Wheel Werks. Wherever this car went, it was breaking necks 24/7. Not too long ago, he decided to get another IS and do something different. As you can see in the second photo, Minh decided to go VIP style and although I didn't get to look at his car in depth, I can already tell he did an outstanding job.

Random NightLife | Toyota 86..Success?

November 27, 2011

Night Import: Photo from FT86Club | Words by William Lee

Screen Shot 2011-11-27 at 9.25.10 AM

Finally, the long awaited FT-86 debuted few hours ago in Japan and the Medias were going crazy! Every time I checked my Facebook, there were at least 3 people posting some stuff about the car. I didn't keep myself up-to-date with the now called Toyota 86, but because I do have some friends in Japan, such as Adam from 7tune, I did get some accurate information and actual photos of the car. What do I think? Well, good that you dropped by v(^-^)v
First off, this post is not about the specs, photos, videos, etc. of the Toyota 86, but my thoughts and opinions about the car after reading comments throughout the months on many different websites. For all the information regarding Toyota 86, please visit FT86club.
Toyota 86 Announcement
Toyota 86 Spec Sheet
Toyota 86 Facts(?)

Most of my research on this car was found through Speedhunters because those guys always keep the automotive crowd up-to-date with whatever happens in the automotive scene. I remember reading one article they wrote about the FT-86 and I took some time reading through everything. Now when an article about a car we all love goes up on the net, then we obviously expect people to post it up on Facebook..right? So it's been about 4~5 months since I occasionally read through comments. One comment I came across many times was the complaint about the Toyota 86 being badged as a Scion once it debuts in the United States, and that's the comment I want to talk about today.

Being a Scion owner myself and involved with the Scion tC community, I did understand why people were disliking this decision by Toyota. No disrespect to Scion tC owners, but all in honesty, the reason why we (Scion owners, including myself) get disrespected is because of how some, but not all, tC owners drive their cars plus the poorly done modification styles. Scion tCs were, and still is, the leading model in a few automotive sports, but it seemed as if tC owners were taking this as an advantage to 'act' in a certain way. Don't get me wrong, tCs do have a lot of potential and very few take the route of going all out with performance, but still as of today, the Scion community does have a poor reputation. But I see the release of the Toyota 86 and coming here as a Scion is a stepping stone for Scion to become a better brand and have a better crowd. For comparison's sake, look at how much Hyundai brought up their sales after releasing the Genesis Coupe and Equus. Tiburon was such a failure and no one even bothered to buy a Hyundai, but once the brand introduced a Genesis Coupe 2.0L and 3.8L versions easily making over 200HP with great reviews by known Medias, enthusiasts started to look at the brand differently. Who would've imagined a Hyundai owner being proud of what they drove? and now, look at Scion.

Scion was a replacement of the demised Toyota Celica and it was a great hit in the market. No one can't deny the simple and catchy body lines of a tC. On top of that, great mpg, affordable, high resell value, and much more that make it an outstanding car. It's depressing to see such a car not meeting the standards for enthusiasts, but putting those all aside; it's really a new beginning for Scion. I did hear no matter what the Toyota 86 is badged as, the specs and build will be exactly the same, so you can go ahead and take off that Scion badge and put on whatever you want. But do know it will still be a Scion and a fact impossible to avoid. Most of you tuners complain about gas prices, and in return, we have automakers making cars that are now fuel efficient and we still have to complain. Toyota decided to take another route and continued on with a car that some of us tuners asked for.

Without any doubt, Toyota 86 will be a hit. All these aftermarket companies are eager to put their hands on one to modify it in their own style. I can already see TAS with few modified Toyota 86s. The more we wait and see the changes, the more we will start to appreciate the car rather than the concern of its badge. Be more open-minded and start to look at cars with more options. It's the appreciation we should be sharing and accept what comes to us; like a true automotive enthusiast.

Random NightLife | Charles at Daikoku Futo

Night Import: Photography by Charles Zee Zayas | Words by William Lee

Few weeks ago, our photographer Charles in Japan had to make a trip and upon his arrival at Tokyo Haneda Airport, he decided to drop by the infamous car meet spot in Japan, Daikoku Futo. If you are into JDM cars and know how things are ran over there, I'm sure Daikoku Futo is one of the spots you plan on dropping by if you go to Japan. There will always be some nicely modded cars, and Charles did spot a few, which is why he decided to share some photo with us today.

Event Coverage | LA Auto Show 2011 (Pt.II)

November 20, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

LAS 2011-146
It seems like many of you guys enjoyed my Part 1 coverage on LA Auto Show, which is actually still going on till the 27th. I would say this is the longest ongoing show of the year to the public, so you do have plenty of time left to go with your family, girlfriend, boyfriend, pet (I'm kidding), or anyone else bothering you to buy them a new car. But before you go with a companion, please be respectful and keep yourself restricted from touching the car carelessly. I remember last year seeing a few people bashing on the hoods, knocking the body panels as if it was wood, slobbering their hands all over the interior..you get the point. As an automotive enthusiast, it really sucks to see such behaviors going on, so once again, please be respectful!
Today, I'll take you guys around the halls I missed in Part 1, so enjoy rest of the exotics, upcoming and concept cars, and a few other random things. To start it off, here's a masterpiece built by Aston Martin called the Aston Martin One-77. The price is just way over the top, but for being a celebrity in its own class, I would say the price tag matches its name. Only 77 units were made (get it? one-77) and started its sales in October of last year. It's been featured in many magazines and in video games as well, such as Forza 3, Need for Speed, and others. The one at LA Auto Show was the final pre-production car, so what you guys saw or see here is the actual car. As of today, it is one of the most powerful N/A cars, making 750HP from a 7.3L V12 engine.

Event Coverage | LA Auto Show 2011 (Pt.I)

November 18, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

LAS 2011-3
If looking at modified cars isn't your thing, but you're an automotive enthusiast, then I'm pretty sure LA Auto Show was one of those events marked on your calendars. This year's LAAS had a lot of things in store to surprise the world. Now in the era of moving from fuel burning to eco-friendly technology, majority of cars had better mpg and reduced body weight. Also, there were plenty of concept cars to check out. I've been to LA Auto Show for more than 3 years, but what actually counted as a learning experience was my attendance to this year's show. I'm a newbie into the scene, but that one year of being active really did help. You might think I'm only into modified cars, but I do check out websites and read magazines that introduce cars in general, such as Autoguide, Motor Trend, etc.
Let's get on with the actual coverage so that you guys can get an idea of what this show is like and probably choose your next car v(^-^)v

Random Nightlight | Subaru BRZ STi

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

LAS 2011-94
The highly anticipated final versions of FT-86 are being revealed in about two weeks at Tokyo Motor Show. With the help of ft86club, we've been receiving numerous updated information regarding both models; Scion and Subaru. As of today, the Manual for FT-86 Toyota version was leaked to the public; however, the Subaru version was not fully revealed but rumors say the actual car will look almost identical to the concept car, which was shown at LA Auto Show 2 days ago. Many of you guys living out of States wanted to see the car through my blog, so here it is!

Random NightLife | Weds Grand Catalog

November 16, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

It's really a pain driving low and knowing the fact that one day, your car's axle will snap off or CV boot will rip causing grease to spread around your axle area. Yeap...that's what happened to me 3 days ago. If you read my post at the bottom, all this crap happened once I hit the freeway and it wasn't pleasant at all. Recently, whenever I had a problem with the car, I've been taking it to City Tires Online because of their quality work and service, so as usual, I drove my rattling car early in the morning to get things done asap!

Wedz Catalog-1
I like how this place has some name-brand wheels on display, like this Gram Light 57 Pro. These were my first set of wheels when I started modifying my car.

Wedz Catalog-2
Work Emotion Cai and Work VS-XX.

Wedz Catalog-3
After walking around the area like a loner and checking out some magazines, I realized a pile of catalogs on the front desk. The one that caught my attention was this Grand Catalog from Weds Co. LTD.

Random Nightlight | Drive to Greddy with Edgar

Night Import: Video and Words by William Lee

I've driven my car in dangerous situations numerous times, but today was different. On Friday, I dropped by my friend's house to give him something and after, while getting on to a freeway, I heard a cranking noise and all of a sudden, my car started to vibrate like crazy! Later on, I found out the driver's side axle was broken... (ㅜㅜ). I wasn't actually too surprised because the car was stable for a good 50k miles with -3 camber and extremely lowered. Anyways, I dropped by City Tires Online today to get it checked and scheduled an appointment tomorrow to rebuild the axle.
The problem was that I had a meeting with Greddy at 5:30pm and I was in a tough situation; either drive my car in its current condition or just go home. Luckily and thankfully, our editor Edgar Lozoya had some time to help me out, so we drove all the way to Greddy, headed to a meet at La Habra, and now, back to my pad. While going to Greddy, I recorded this short clip for you guys to listen to our small conversation and his supercharged G35. Enjoy~

Random Nightlight | Closer look into RWBs

November 13, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

I don't even clearly remember when I first saw a RAUH Welt-BEGRIFF (RWB) Porsche, but do remember I was in awe and couldn't help myself but to wake up every morning and look at Nakai-san's personal RWB, Stella Artois, through photos and videos. Yea yea..I might sound like a total fan...because....I am! Nakai-san's work is absolutely amazing and knowing the fact that he designs and constructs the necessary parts for the car on spot makes me even more impressed. The stunning lines that define a quality built car equates to his work. As many of you guys know by now, Nakai-san and Fatlace joined together to create a RWB shop next to Fatlace's facility in Northern California. Upon Nakai-san's arrival, he worked on Mark Arcenal's 964, customer's 993, and another 964 for a company called Hoonigan, which I'll explain later on. Two of these cars were at SEMA, each car placed in separate halls. I'm pretty sure many of you guys have already seen so much on these beauties and to be honest, so did I, but I want to write up something small for my own and Night Import fans. Let's get into the two RWBs shown in the cover photo; Matte Green RWB 965 'Pandora One' and Matte White RWB 965 'Hoonigan'.

Random Nightlight | Kyoei-USA LS400

November 10, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

LS400 Kyoei-USA
By now, I'm pretty sure most of you guys saw all the cars that were at SEMA last week through my coverage, but there are still some that I just need to feature. Rewinding the time period when I was present at SEMA, I remember walking around the outdoor area and bumping into my friend from M2-Motoring. We were talking for a bit when I later realized a LS400 on Weds Mavericks lowered with Air Runner, sitting right in front of me. I've seen a lot of VIP cars here in CA, but this one was unique and had an extra touch to it to give it its own VIP flavor. Today, it's this LS400 that deserves a small exposure, built by a well-known VIP shop from AZ called Kyoei-USA.

Random Nightlight | 3T Motorsports

November 9, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

3T Motorsports
Charles from 1UP informed all the 1UP members to show up at JDM Sport's HQ for a photoshoot today at 6pm. I'm not a member of 1UP, but always like to support their team and because these guys are like a family to me, I took some time to drop by and see what was going on.
Upon arrival, I spotted the guys from 3T Motorsports! If you never heard about this company, they specialize in selling high-end parts for European cars.
It was pretty awesome to find out 3T Motorsports is an official distributor for Auto Couture and Aimgain, both well-known aftermarket companies in Japan. I talked with the staffs about random stuff and had some kick-back time with my friends as well.

Random Nightlight | True Trueno

November 8, 2011

Night Import: Photography by Charles Zee Zayas | Words by William Lee and Charles Zee Zeyas

What makes a car spectacular and outstanding is its pristine condition despite its age. What you see here today is a 86 Trueno owned by Chad from Japan. Our photographer Charles Zee Zayas decided to write up a quick story for you guys, so check it out.

After having one of the most powerful cars in this area Chad decided to step it down a notch and go back to the roots of it all.

Random Nightlight | Oni-Camber now in California

November 7, 2011

Night Import: Video by 7tune and Kevin Falk

There are some ridiculously cambered cars here in California. Trust me, when I mean by ridiculous, I mean RIDICULOUS! But today, I just saw a video of my friend's car that literally beat all the ones I've seen so far in person. This might be in the level of the infamous VIP car in Japan! Call it Oni-Camber, Demon Camber, Oni, Super Camber...fuk....I don't care..this is just INSANE!!!

P.S. Before you guys start hating on the car, please do know this is a "style" or for most of us that respect it, a "lifestyle". People who modify their cars with insane camber already know about thread life, losing function, etc. As much as this part of the flush scene respects those who focus on function, please try to understand this style rather than focusing on only one part of the tuning world. Thanks!

Christopher Cuban GS Daniel's Aristo in California, Video by Kevin Falk

Video of the "Crazy Insane VIP car in Japan" by 7tune


Event Coverage | SEMA 2011 (Pt. IV)

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

It's been 3 days since I came back from Vegas, but the excitement and fun I had during this past week is still running inside me as if the event was still going on. I'm not trying to over-exaggerate myself because those who did go and had a good time know what I'm talking about. Of course the parties I attended at night were amazing, but SEMA itself was really worth my time and I have to say, the best Vegas trip I've ever been to! Random people I met, cars I've never seen before, and talk about the FOOD! I learned my lesson last year not to go to cheap buffets because not will you only taste the nastiest food ever with horrible choices, but it will haunt you for a year. Even though its a week staying at Vegas where food prices are ridiculously high, you have to go to the right ones and probably go once or twice during SEMA week. Well...if you're rich and have enough money to spend, then this shouldn't be a problem (^_^). Anyways, getting back to the subject, this coverage will be my last (ㅜㅜ) and will cover North Hall and some sections I missed at South and Central Hall. There are a few more random things I want to share at the end, so you'll see them too as you read along. I was debating which photo to use for cover, and realizing how I carelessly decided to ignore models and shoot cars, I posted a photo of Hankook model Kim Ha Eun from Korea I shared with you guys in my Part 3 coverage.

Random Nightlight | 350Z Porsche Panamera

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

350Z Porsche
Walking around every aisle inside and out at SEMA, you would occasionally come across cars you've never seen before or just impressed with one's modifications. Once in a while, you'll also come across a group of people looking at a car and scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I've seen some amazing builds, such as a widebody GT-R R35 and fully converted steel widebody S2000, but what really surprised me and at the same time, made me clueless for a good minute, was this 350Z all the way from Japan. Wait..350Z? You're probably looking at the car and saying to yourself, "No f'ing way..." but truth be told, it really is a 350Z with a Porsche Panamera kit. I was standing here where I took the photo above, trying to find out the actual model like those guys you see doing the same. When we think about it though, it's from Japan and as usual, Japan never ceases to amaze the world.

Event Coverage | SEMA 2011 (Pt. III)

November 6, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

I'm still exhausted! Walking for 4 days straight wasn't fun at all and the workout with lack of sleep is finally getting back to me. I got back home yesterday at around 12pm and knocked out for about 5 hours and slept again at 10pm and was sleeping till 9am today. One part I really regret during my week at SEMA was not staying a bit longer on Saturday because all of my friends who showcased their cars at SEMA were out of the Convention Center, which meant I had an opportunity to do a group photoshoot. Too much partying and lack of sleep was probably the reason why I totally forgot about this (-_-;)ㄱ Anyways, after waking up and clearing my mind, I was editing rest of the photos and now, finished writing my Part 3 coverage on SEMA. Today's part will be covering South Hall where all the Tire/Wheel/Accesory companies were located.
I decided to start it off with one of the cars I was looking forward to see; 911 RAUH Welt-BEGRIFF (RWB). This specific car belongs to Mark Arcenal from Fatlace and was built by the master himself, Nakai san. I was actually standing here for an hour or so because I heard Nakai san was present and I wanted to take a photo with him. Yeap~ I'm a fan of his work and meeting him would've been a great honor. He didn't show up, but looking at his work in person was a thrilling experience.

Event Coverage | SEMA 2011 (Pt. II)

November 5, 2011

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

It seems like a lot of you guys enjoyed my first coverage on this event, so I'm hoping this one will be as good as the first. I'm now finally back from Vegas, so I'll try my best to be more descriptive than just dumping in photos. I usually say "there are tons of photos to share" after I come back from an event, but for SEMA, it's not just photos but cars in general I need to share because every year at SEMA, you'll come across cars you've never seen before. If it was the same car as last year, then it probably went through a makeover with new paint or aftermarket products. There is a reason why so many people working in the automotive industry go to this event because of business purposes or to get new ideas. The overall layout was pretty similar to last year's event, so I didn't have a difficult time navigating myself to certain areas. In my part 2 coverage, I'll be covering the Central Hall where all the Performance related companies displayed their products and cars. Get ready because this one will be long and fun.

Random Nightlight | Scion FR-S

Night Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Five Axis Concept Scion FR-S
We've seen plenty of unofficial photos of the new upcoming car FT-86, keeping us in a clueless and frustrated state. But not too long ago, my good friend from 7tune showed us an actual brochure of the Scion version and finally, what we've been waiting for seemed as if it will soon be coming to our nearest Scion dealership.
My visit to SEMA this week was filled with surprises, especially when I passed by the Scion booth. As expected, Scion Tuner Challenge was going on, which will be showed in one of my coverage, but what I didn't expect was this beauty. Here's Five Axis's concept of the Scion FR-S.

Event Coverage | SEMA 2011 (Pt. I)

November 3, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

I was waiting..waiting..being patient..and...waiting.. You guys know wsup! Yeap~ the long awaited SEMA finally opened on Tuesday at Las Vegas Convention Center. Last year was totally off the hook except that I had to cover everything in two days without attending any parties. Actually, the night time stuff didn't really matter because the cars at SEMA were enough. If you haven't been to SEMA, there are basically 3 halls, each hall presenting/introducing companies from all around the world. It's pretty complicated, so you should check out the official SEMA page to know the details. Let's just skip to the good part~ I don't want to talk about all the rules and stuff about this event because it's long and for enthusiast like us, it's all about the cars!
So this trip can be pretty costly. Staying for 4~5 days at Las Vegas means 15~20 meals in total, which equates to ~$700. Trust me, if you don't plan everything ahead of time, you are literally fuked! That's why always save up for like 2 months, so that you can have a good time at Vegas instead of saving money AT Vegas. I did sort of make a mistake beforehand because what I thought was going to happen didn't, but luckily, my friend Kelvin (owner of the Do-Luck Widebody Evo 9), thankfully invited me to stay with him and his friend which are also my friends, so big thanks to him.

After planning things out, I woke up at 2am on Tuesday and headed out with excitement. To be honest, it's been a long time since I've been this excited. I don't mind looking at cars that I've seen more than once, but checking out ones I've never seen before at an event is an opportunity I don't want to miss, especially at an event like SEMA which is known for being one of the biggest automotive/industrial automotive show in the US. There were so many cars scattered throughout the hallways and outside area, so I'll try to break things down while keeping the content fresh and original. To start it off, I'll take you guys from the inside hallway.