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Thursday, October 29, 2009

SPEED Touring Car 2 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - Scion tC In-Car

In-car video of Scott Webb piloting the Jackson-Dawson Scion tC in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car 2 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Webb agreed to let by any of the faster Touring Cars he passed at the start, but after that, it was game on. Video includes footage from the start and the restart after a full-course caution - featuring dicing with the faster Touring Cars and contact with one of them that sent the car into a spin. Fortunately, damage was minimal (although the LF wheel was cracked) and the team recovered to win the race.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BMW Makes (Fill in the Blank) Decision at Infineon Enduro: 10/25/09

BMW trying to get by Dan in the Scion tC at the Infineon 3 hour enduro. 10/25/09

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Series III Nissan GT-R Specifications Released

2010nissangtr-tokyo000 Nissan is on a path of continual minor upgrades to the Nissan GT-R since it was released in 2007 in Japan, and in 2008 (as a 2009 model in the US) Nothing is ever perfect, and there are always minor and major tweaks to make the car better, stronger, faster, and more comfortable. 2010 Japanese model, 2011 US model car. We will have to see what upgrades make it here to the US.

YOKOHAMA (Oct. 21, 2009) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the release of the latest version of the Nissan GT-R, which goes on sale on December 7th at Nissan dealers nationwide in Japan. The updated GT-R receives a number of enhancements, including a revised navigation system, recalibrated suspension settings and an improved-flow catalyst system. It is scheduled to go on sale in other global markets beginning next spring. Nissan GT-R Since its introduction in the Japanese market in December 2007, the Nissan GT-R has gone through continuous evolution, remaining on the cutting-edge of multi-dimensional performance. The GT-R has also been acclaimed globally, winning more than 50 top awards in various categories since launch. Nissan also supports GT-R owners with exceptional after-sales service. The latest revisions to GT-R include a new HDD-based CARWINGS navigation system with enhanced entertainment functions. A USB port with iPod®*1 connectivity allows the driver and passengers to enjoy their favorite music in the car, creating an even more pleasant interior environment. *2 In addition, the GT-R’s suspension has been retuned to offer enhanced, premium quality ride comfort, while still providing the driver with a feeling of direct contact with the road surface. The accuracy of the front shock absorbers and springs has been increased and the stiffness of rear suspension radius rod bushings has been strengthened. Rear diffusers with cooling ducts, previously available only on the GT-R SpecV, have been expanded to non-SpecV models, improving cooling performance around the rear floor area. The exclusive Nissan GT-R SpecV models receive revised rear shock absorber settings, enhancing the characteristic combination of supple ride comfort and flat, predictable handling. In conjunction with this change, SpecV now comes standard with Dunlop tires. The previously standard Bridgestone tires are available as a factory-installed option. Finally, both the Nissan GT-R and GT-R SpecV achieve improved low- and mid-range engine response, thanks to newly adopted hexagonal meshed catalyst cells that reduce ventilation/airflow resistance.

Source : NAGTROC

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

20th Annual Belmont Shore Car Show Video - 1

Just a quick video of a couple cars at the Belmont Shore car show. I have to work on the video of the Ford truck/Pantera combination. That was interesting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pictures from Laguna Seca : October 9-11 ,2009

A few pictures from prep though the after effects of the race on Sunday morning. The Scion ran in a new class , Touring car 2.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scion Wins First Professional Road Race at World Challenge Season Finale

This may look like a Scion blog rather than a GT-R blog recently, but it is all part of what I am involved with currently. I help crew for Dan and Scott at some NASA events, and a few of the Enduros this year.  We have another one coming up near the end of October at Infineon.  



Scott Webb, Driving for Team JD, Wins Touring Car 2 Class at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. — This past weekend, at one of the best road racing venues in the world, Jackson-Dawson and Scion came away with the win in the newly-established Touring Car 2 (TC2) class.  The pro win makes for another world-first for Scion.  Even more impressive is the fact that this is just the third pro event the team has entered, after dabbling in Grand-Am’s KONI Challenge series.

Veteran racer Scott Webb, one of two drivers for the JD team, took the win during the 50-minute Touring Car race.  His TRD supercharged and intercooled Scion tC put on a great show for tens of thousands of fans, as he not only won the class, but actually mixed it up with the TC cars.

Said Webb, “This was a tremendous experience, and it’s super cool to come away with the win.  The crew did a great job taking care of the car and perfecting the chassis setup for me on the practice day.  As they say, ‘Scion For The Win!’”

For Laguna Seca, team manager and two-time NASA national champion driver, Dan Gardner, had decided that Webb’s experience at the track made him the best fit to pedal the car in the SPEED World Challenge debut for Scion.

“I knew Scott was the better choice due to his experience here, and the win proves it,” said Gardner.  “It was great to see him hustling the Scion out there, mixing it up with the big boys.  I think we surprised a lot of people, and I’m thrilled to bring Scion home their first pro win.”

On Thursday, during promoter test day, Webb got settled in, coming into the pits several times, as the team made setup changes to try to get the car to work even better.  Webb radioed in after each change was made, giving feedback.  By the end of the day he was getting more and more comfortable, but the team still was trying to get some push out of the car.

Gardner and crewmen Sean Morris and Jeff Lew made even more drastic changes that evening, based on driver feedback throughout the day.  The team was determined to figure out a way to get the car to rotate in the slower sections without making the car undrivable in the fast bits.

Friday’s morning practice would prove that the team’s changes had helped make the car turn in better.  In Turn 6 Webb was caught a bit off guard, as the car dove quickly down to the apex.  As it did he managed to drop the inside wheel, hooking it on a deep sharp curb.  The tire instantly flattened, and Webb went into the team’s pit to see if there was time to fix the car and get him back out again.

The crew got to work quickly.  In addition to the tire being flat, the left front wheel was mangled beyond repair.  The car was put up in the air, and the wheel was removed.  The team checked for anything else bent and couldn’t find anything.  There was, however, a bit of fluid on the front control arm.  It didn’t appear to be anything severe, but extra time was taken to make sure.

After the crew was satisfied that the car was safe to drive, another wheel was put on the car, and there still was a decent amount of time left in the session to send Webb back out.  Once back on track, Webb reported that the car felt better than it did the previous day. 

Because of the incident the team had grabbed a different type of wheel, but apparently the hubcentric ring was not a perfect fit.  After the first practice session the wheel was slightly loose.  The crew tracked the issue down, and elected to go back to their Enkei RPF1 wheel.

As the car was being looked over, the team noticed even more fluid on the left front control arm.  Based on the location, they began to believe that it was coming from the shock.  Luckily Lex Carson and Kent McCray from sponsor Moton were on site to lend a hand.

Moton did a quick check of the reservoir before the team took the suspension apart.  Indeed they found that the canister was completely empty.  The crew then hustled to remove the shock, and Carson and McCray got to work refilling the reservoir.  They then pressurized the shock to see if they could locate the leak.

A small leak was seen on the bottom of the shock by one of the welds.  It perhaps had been broken by the curb contact earlier, or was potentially a combination of that and a hit Gardner had taken just weeks ago at NASA’s Nationals.

Again the team was fortunate, as the Bimmerworld guys were ready and able to get a small tack weld in place.  Bimmerworld also was gracious enough to let the Scion team pit in one of their four bays, making everything easier for the JD team during the entire time at Laguna.

With everything now reinstalled, the team thought they had their troubles licked for the afternoon practice session.  And things started off great, with Webb saying that the car felt good.  His 1:41.8 lap time showed improvement as well.

About two-thirds of the way into the session, Webb came on the radio to say that something in the front end of the car had let go.  He wasn’t sure what it was, but he wasn’t confident that he should try to limp the car back into the pits.  Webb found a safe spot and parked it until a wrecker could pull him off.

Upon arriving back in the team’s pit, the crew saw that all but one of the front left studs had completely sheared off.  Fortunately one lug nut remained, holding the wheel in place…barely.

There was significant damage to the corner, and the team didn’t want to take any chances.  The started the hustle to replace the wheel and tire, knuckle, hub, bearing, studs, brake caliper, and front rotor and hat.  It was a grind, but once done the team did a full brake bleed, front-end alignment, and then headed back to the hotel to get a few hours of sleep.

On Saturday, the team had only one task, get through a 20-minute qualifying session.  Webb took to the track and reported that everything felt great.  The team knew that if he didn’t get his fast lap early in the session, it probably wasn’t going to happen later, as the tires had a tendency to go away.

Indeed, in his second lap, Webb posted a 1:41.3, a nice half second faster than the day before.  Gardner got on the radio to advise him that if the tires went away it might be better to come in early and save the car for the race.  Webb agreed and came off just a few laps in.

The time was enough to secure Scion their first-ever professional pole position.  The car seemed rock-solid again, and the team now had plenty of time to look everything over before leaving the track.  The goal was to give Webb a flawless car for the big race.

On Sunday’s race day, the morning would prove to be quite chilly, perhaps not optimal for track grip, but perfect for the TRD supercharged and intercooled Scion tC to make good power.

“We all know the benefits of forced induction, especially when it gets cold,” said Gary Boler, TRD business operations manager.  “I’m sure our blower was thriving in the cool morning air for the race, making for quite a rocket ship.”

For the first time this season, the team would be performing a standing start, a longtime tradition in World Challenge.  Webb had done a couple practice starts during the days prior, so he had an idea about the launch.  Still, the team is used to flying starts, so the standing start would be yet another x-factor.

As the lights on the light boxes went out, Webb and the Scion propelled forward, but cars were everywhere going into Turn 1, and Webb didn’t want to get in the middle of a battle for the season championship between the faster TC class cars.  In backing off a bit he let a couple of cars by.

A few laps in, he would take positions back, and gain another due to a mistake made by one of the Acuras.  He was running his qualifying pace and was keeping it consistent, turning times only three seconds off the TC cars.  The second place TC2 car was quite a ways back by now, and Webb was starting to mix it up with the TC class cars.

On lap 8, a car went off-track and got stuck deep in a gravel trap.  The full course yellow came out, and the pace car picked up the leader.  The restart would be a flying, single-file type, something the team was well acquainted with.

Gardner went over to the starter’s stand, and got ready to call out the green to Webb.  It would be four laps before the pace car’s lights would go out and racing would resume, but the team was ready.  Webb said the car felt good, and he was getting into a rhythm. 

As the green came out Gardner shouted over the radio, and Webb rocketed the Scion forward, getting very aggressive in Turn 1 as he took two more positions, getting further into the back of the Touring Car field.

On lap 15, Webb was trying to give Touring Car driver Eric Curran some room and so he moved over to the right in Turn 10.  As Curran went by, the number 23 Ford Focus didn’t give the Scion any room.  He slid into Webb and the Scion, forcing him off-track.  The Scion spun to the inside, came across the track, and settled in the dirt. 



Webb quickly got back on track, but not before losing two positions.  Karma came back to bite the Focus though, as he was forced to pit shortly thereafter due to axle troubles.  The Scion kept going, and appeared to be only a bit banged up, with the door and fender pushed in and the driver’s side mirror broken.

Webb kept banging off consistent laps after getting back on track.  No one else would catch him, including the TC2 RX-8.  On lap 26 the white flag came out, as Webb concentrated on turning one last clean lap.  He crossed the checker at the 50-minute mark, bringing Scion home their first professional road race victory.

“A national title followed two weeks later by our first pro win in road racing,” said Steve Hatanaka, Scion auto shows and special events manager.  “The highlights keep coming.  I can’t help but be proud of what this team has accomplished for Scion this season.  I know the fans at Laguna got to see an awesome race, proving yet again what Scion is made of!”

The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race is set to be nationally broadcast on SPEED on Tuesday, November 3 at 2 p.m. EST.  The team now readies for the next round of the WERC endurance series, as Webb and Gardner take on Infineon Racway in Sonoma, Calif. on October 25, for a three-hour enduro.  The talented group at Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center, headed by Chuck Wade, will again be an invaluable technical asset as they help the team prepare the car for the next battle.

The JD Scion tC team uses:

•           Scion-supplied OE parts

•           TRD-supplied supercharger and intercooler, front big brake kit

•           Pilot Automotive HID driving lamps

•           Nitto 235/40R17 NT-01 tires

•           Enkei RPF1 17x8 wheels

•           OS Giken Super Lock Limited Slip Differential (LSD)

•           Dezod-supplied AEM standalone engine management, plug-and-play harness, injectors, end links, and stainless clutch line

•           Church Automotive Testing dyno tuning

•           Moton Suspension remote reservoir coilover shocks

•           Vogtland springs

•           Progress Technology rear swaybar and camber kits

•           Motul brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and super coolant

•           Racepak IQ3 logger dash

•           AEM sensors, EMS, and dry flow air filter

•           Kaminari carbon-fiber roof and composite headlights

•           Royalty Auto Body body work

•           America’s Tire Co. tire mounting and balancing

•           Racetech Viper head-restraint race seat and 6-point harnesses

•           Centerforce clutch and low-inertia steel flywheel

•           AIT carbon-fiber hood and hatch

•           Wild Pony Motorsports-supplied camber/caster plates

•           Goodridge fittings and lines

•           Carbotech XP10 and XP8 brake pads

•           G-Force  racing suit, gloves, helmet, shoes

•           DC Sports header

•           Energy Suspension bushings and motor mounts

•           HoseTechniques silicone hoses

•           Tri-Mountain Racewear team gear

•           NST supercharger pulley, alternator pulley, and shifter bushings

Jackson-Dawson Communications (JD) is a 28-year-old privately held company that provides creative and strategic services to a range of national clients. Core competencies include retail training, event marketing, marketing services, business theater, video and media production services, meeting planning, print graphic and design services, staging service and vehicle management.

With corporate offices in Detroit, MI, Jackson-Dawson also maintains offices in Torrance, CA, Nashville, TN and Manhattan, NY. Jackson-Dawson owns and operates several divisions: Peloton Creative Group, BenMar Communications, Drivers Talk Radio and Drivers Talk Testing.

City of Ventura fined $8,500 for emissions violations

Does this really make any sense ? The ARB fining a city ?

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board fined the city of San Buenaventura, also known as Ventura, this month $8,500 for diesel emissions violations that occurred in 2006 and 2007. An ARB investigator found that the city had not conducted annual inspections on some of its heavy-duty on-road diesel vehicles. Failing to conduct these inspections can lead to an increase of toxic air contaminants and diesel particulate matter in the air. “California has long been stigmatized for its poor air quality,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “When cities do not comply with clean air rules they are only adding to the problem.” The law requires owners of California-registered truck fleets to regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that their engine emissions meet state air quality standards. As part of the settlement, the city is required to: • Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a mandatory California community college class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year; • Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years; • Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations; • Revise all heavy-duty truck engine software with the latest low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming; and, • Ensure that all diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emission control label. The city of San Buenaventura paid $8,500 in penalties: $6,375 went to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, providing funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. The Peralta Community College District received $1,062.50 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $1,062.50 went to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of off-road diesel-powered construction vehicles. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems. The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

7 second Scion tC vs Chevy Nova Drag Race

Scion tC vs Chevy Nova - Rado gets a big holeshot and wins his first PSCA Outlaw 10.5 race

Nice run Chris. Way to cut a light.

Head over to Pauls blog for some pictures from the event.

Scion tC Racecar to Make World Challenge TC2 Debut

Posting this a little late. This last weekend I went up to Laguna Seca and helped to crew on the Scion TC that ran in Touring Car 2 in World Challenge.  We had a couple of things to deal with over the weekend, but overall it was fun. Good to be back at a Pro racing event.

Press Release Pre-event.

JD and Scion will again push the envelope by entering what is perhaps the most visible professional road racing series for production cars in North America. SPEED World Challenge has become synonymous with fierce competition, wicked cars, and some of the best drivers in the world. The team will have the distinction of becoming the first Scion ever to enter the series.

The JD Scion tC road race car will be entered this coming weekend during the season finale at historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.  The team plunges into the newly-created Touring Car 2 (TC2) class, designed for race cars that are extremely similar to any car you can buy off the showroom floor. 
The class was a perfect fit for the team and their car, and in fact very few modifications were required to become compliant with the new rule set.  Indeed, in the future, TC2 looks to grow even bigger, as almost every automotive manufacturer has a car that could potentially run in the series.
In a surprise strategic move, team manager and two-time NASA national champion driver Dan Gardner has elected to put Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) series co-driver Scott Webb in the seat for the debut.  Webb has logged many hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in both racecars and motorcycles, making him the perfect fit.
“We didn’t want to spill the beans too quickly, but putting Scott in the car just makes sense,” said Gardner.  “There’s a great advantage right out of the gate to having lots of seat time at a particular track.  Scott has that covered in droves at Laguna, and I can’t think of anyone better to be driving for the team at this event.”
Gardner and Webb are currently leading the championship points race in the WERC endurance series in the E1 class, and have made a potent combination.
Said Webb, “It’s been great driving the Scion in the enduros.  The car is just so well-developed, and I gelled great with the entire team.  Opportunities like this are rare, and anyone who knows anything about pro road racing knows that World Challenge is the place to be.  Thanks to Dan for making it happen.  We’re proving what Scion’s made of every time we take to the track, and I’m excited to do it again on this all-new playground.”
The World Challenge series joins the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for the season finales for both series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Tens of thousands of fans are expected trackside, but those that can’t make it can watch live timing and scoring at:
TV viewers can later catch the race on SPEED on Tuesday, November 3 at 2 p.m. EST.
Details for the event are as follows:
What:    SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Season Finale
2009 Monterey Sports Car Championships
Where:  Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
When:   Practice- Friday, October 9: 11:35 a.m. and 5:25 p.m. PACIFIC
            Qualifying- Saturday, October 10: 11:05 a.m.
            Race- Sunday, October 11: 9:30 a.m.
The entire schedule can be found here:   
“We’re never resting at Scion,” said Steve Hatanaka, Scion auto shows and special events manager.  “Winning the national championship in one series is certainly a season highlight, but we’re ready to make another mark still yet this season.  World Challenge is a great stage for us to continue to take our game to the next level.  I wish Dan, Scott and the entire team the best of luck.”
The team again will be running decals for Technosquare’s Richey Watanabe, who recently became ill.  Richey and Technosquare have been a vital resource for the team over the last several years, building the cage, the engine, and other various trick fabricated bits and pieces. The team will proudly display decals at the event in honor of Richey and the shop.
The JD Scion tC team uses:
•           Scion-supplied OE parts
•           TRD-supplied supercharger and intercooler, front big brake kit
•           Pilot Automotive HID driving lamps
•           Enkei RPF1 17x8 wheels
•           OS Giken Super Lock Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
•           Dezod-supplied AEM standalone engine management, plug-and-play harness, injectors, end links, and stainless clutch line
•           Church Automotive Testing dyno tuning
•           Moton Suspension remote reservoir coilover shocks
•           Vogtland springs
•           Progress Technology rear swaybar and camber kits
•           Motul brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and super coolant
•           Racepak IQ3 logger dash
•           AEM sensors, EMS, and dry flow air filter
•           Kaminari carbon-fiber roof and composite headlights
•           Royalty Auto Body body work
•           America’s Tire Co. tire mounting and balancing
•           Racetech Viper head-restraint race seat and 6-point harnesses
•           Centerforce clutch and low-inertia steel flywheel
•           AIT carbon-fiber hood and hatch
•           Wild Pony Motorsports-supplied camber/caster plates
•           Goodridge fittings and lines
•           Carbotech XP10 and XP8 brake pads
•           G-Force  racing suit, gloves, helmet, shoes
•           DC Sports header
•           Energy Suspension bushings and motor mounts
•           HoseTechniques silicone hoses
•           Tri-Mountain Racewear team gear
•           NST supercharger pulley, alternator pulley, and shifter bushings
Jackson-Dawson Communications (JD) is a 28-year-old privately held company that provides creative and strategic services to a range of national clients. Core competencies include retail training, event marketing, marketing services, business theater, video and media production services, meeting planning, print graphic and design services, staging service and vehicle management.
With corporate offices in Detroit, MI, Jackson-Dawson also maintains offices in Torrance, CA, Nashville, TN and Manhattan, NY. Jackson-Dawson owns and operates several divisions: Peloton Creative Group, BenMar Communications, Drivers Talk Radio and Drivers Talk Testing.


Source : World

Monday, October 05, 2009

RIP : Shaun Carlson

Shaun-Carlson Some people are just taken too young, it was sad news to read that Shaun Carlson had passed today.

Former NHRA Pro Stock and Sport Compact racer Shaun Carlson died Oct. 4. He was 35.  Carlson previously had been diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, also known as Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS), a genetic disease that is characterized by abnormal electrocardiogram findings and an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, but it is unknown whether that contributed to his death.

I had met Shaun back around 1997 when he was shooting a vehicle for Turbo Magazine. We were at Mile Square Park with our Astrovan, shooting for Sport Truck, and he was there. I had read his articles, and looked at his pictures in Turbo magazine. He had the long blonde hair, and was a few pounds lighter than over the last few years.  Over the years at Import Drag race events, shows, SEMA , and later drifting, we had run into each other.  We weren’t friends, but knew each other.  He was a good guy, always smiling, always cool.  Lots of people have been reacting with shock, and their tributes to Shaun. Its a shame, just taken too early.

Moto IQ

Car Domain


Picture : Merritts Facebook

Some more behind the scenes pictures - Fast and Furious 4

Fast and Furious 4 R34 GT-R and Paul Walker
A buck is a part of a car that the production companies use to film interior car scenes.  In the case of Fast and Furious 4, I was a technical advisor for the insert unit. This mostly entailed doing hands and feet. Pretending to shift. Pretending to mash the throttle, jam on the brakes. Kick the clutch.  Spent about a week doing it.  Was a fun time.  Sorry all shot with an old phone, in the olden days of digital photography. Sorry no iPhone X, more like Treo 650. 

One complete BMW one buck BMW

Feet, and a S14 buck

Sunday, October 04, 2009

GTR 13 Shirt : Public Enemy #1

Check out the JDM Ego - Public Enemy GT-R Shirts. If you know, then you know. And even if you don't you should buy one. JDM Ego said they were going to start selling these soon. If you believe in GT-R's you should buy one.

For more on the story of why the GT-R is public enemy #1…click here.

 GTR13 gtr13-dromo


Source : JDM Ego

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Kaizo Drama Thus Far

Update 12-17-13. Yahoo article on the Hero R34 GT-R selling for over a million dollars

Update 3-10-11. The Wired article has blown this page up a bit.  There are some other seperate cars being seized now, different than Kaizo.  Motorex cars are still here, still ok.  Daryl from Kaizo's sentencing just went though this week. A small fine, community service, and probation.

This is the reason the Nissan Skyline GT-R is illegal in the US. 

This will be a summary of posts so far to bring people up to speed on the Kaizo drama.  No charges have been filed by the DOJ(Department of Justice) against Kaizo or the owners of Kaizo.   The DOJ and ICE(Immigration and Customs Enforcement) have been sending letters out to owners, and seizing vehicles – Guilty before proven innocent – thank you for due process.  We appreciate it, big bad, Kevlar clad, gun toting agents, going after car owners with as dangerous things as a speeding ticket on their record. We appreciate the use of your budget in these times of 17% unemployment in California, and the inability of the California legislature to even keep the Department of Motor Vehicles open on Fridays.

We appreciate it, thanks for running everything so well. Thanks for going after the drugs, the terrorists, and dangerous illegal aliens.  These 50 or so Kaizo cars, most around the $75,000 range, are a danger to everyone everywhere.

Some of the Kaizo owners have got together and retained the services of a customs attorney.  There is strength in numbers, and anyone else that wants to be involved, help out, or has something to contribute, email me.

 June 4,2009
ICE agents raid Kaizos office with guns drawn and Kevlar clad agents, they seize three vehicles, leave one vehicle, and take all computers and records from Kaizo.  The first three cars seized included the blue “hero” car from Fast and Furious 4.
 NOT Seized

A poster  from an RX-7 forum posted up some information that he later asked me to take some specific references down. I altered what I had first posted, and he took his posts down from the forum.  People getting a bit too “talky”.  
... ICE said that pretty much the skylines from kaizo are contra band. They are taking a snippet of the law from one part, and another snippet of law from another part. (regarding chassis and smog/manufacturer liabilities). He did say they are not far off from doing it completely legit though... He asked if i knew anyone with a kaizo car, (dont worry i didnt rat you out :] ) but he said, that as long as you get your cali-smog expempt at the begining of each year, you are fine and there is nothing they can do against you. He also said tht AZ and FL are the only states that dont give a crap about such things and thats why they are so popular to have cars registered there.

July 2nd 2009
The initial government investigation against Kaizo was to check out charges of smuggling and violations of the Clean Air Act. The government always goes after the Clean Air Act. Everything is still in a holding pattern until any actual charges are filed. I also found out besides the "buggy" car that was not impounded(it had a VW engine in it), the black R34 had no driveline in it.
 EPA Information
 This section under "kit car policy".
The production, sale and importation of automotive bodies alone (i.e., no chassis, engine or transmission) are not regulated by EPA since such units are not considered "motor vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. EPA form 3520-1 is not required for imported automotive bodies. A motor vehicle from which the engine has been removed is still a motor vehicle and is not considered a body.
These regulations were written when most cars were body on frame, not “unibody” as most new cars are constructed.  That is why they refer to the body, and the chassis as two separate parts.
DOT requirements.
A disassembled vehicle that is shipped without an engine and transmission is treated for importation purposes not as a motor vehicle, but instead as an assemblage of motor vehicle equipment items. Such an assemblage can lawfully be imported into the U.S., provided any equipment included in the assemblage that is subject to FMVSS, but was not originally manufactured to comply with that FMVSS or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, is removed from the assemblage prior to entry into the U.S. Equipment items that are subject to the FMVSS include tires, rims, brake hoses, brake fluid, seat belt assemblies, glazing materials, and lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.

July 22, 2009
I spoke to a person today that informed me that they had a call from ICE on their vehicle. The ICE agent asked to come out and take photos of the vehicle. The person that received the call asked if the car was going to be seized, and the ICE agent said that it was not going to be seized. I advised him that he should speak to a lawyer before he allows anyone to come and investigate any of his property.
What I think that ICE wants to see is the body and the engine together. They are still investigating Kaizo, and looking to see if they supplied engines and bodies together.
All "public interest" legislation (and any distribution of money taken by force from some men for the unearned benefit of others) comes down ultimately to the grant of an undefined undefinable, non-objective, arbitrary power to some government officials. The worst aspect of it is not that such a power can be used dishonestly, but that it cannot be used honestly. The wisest man in the world, with the purest integrity, cannot find a criterion for the just, equitable, rational application of an unjust, inequitable, irrational principle.
-Ayn Rand
The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.
-Bertolt Brecht

August 2, 2009
Some of Kaizos customers have been contacted by ICE, and agents have come out and photographed cars, and asked questions. Here is an excerpt of one of the agents visits to a Kaizo car.
How did you first hear about Kaizo? Do you have the "blue plate" (the one that the cars from Japan have with the VIN)? Did Daryl Alison discuss the legality of the "installation" (i said, "what installation". he said, "nevermind")? Did the car come with an engine? What is the primary use of this vehicle? Were you able to title it for road use? Were was the car previously titled? Did Daryl Alison provide to you a Japanese owners manual? Did Daryl Alison provide documents on the importation of the vehicle? Did Daryl Alison provide any original Japanese paperwork? He then proceeded to take detailed photos. Items of interest were head and tail light assemblies, side view mirrors, Kaizo serial numbers on firewall and door jam, speedo, odometer, and 3rd brake light. He was interested in the writing scribed on the lenses of all the exterior lights, and in obtaining a photo of the engine serial #.... which he was not able to do,

August 16, 2009

One Kaizo customer recently received a letter from the US Department of Justice about his vehicle.  The letter is a little vague as it says “if my information is correct…” , this sounds like they are second guessing themselves.   They then say that non-compliant vehicles are subject to seizure and forfeiture. 
Then the letter states that the vehicle must be exported within 60 days of receipt of the letter.   Based on the information we have, this vehicle was imported as parts, and reassembled by the owner here in the US.  The US allows for vehicles to be imported into the US as parts, and there fore was not “illegally” imported as the US Department of Justice is implying.


September 3, 2009
Over at Supraforums someone posted this picture of two of Kaizos cars sitting at an impound yard near San Diego. The poster was told "they were going to crush them".
Charges have still not be brought against Kaizo, and in an interesting turn of events, these cars were not actually owned by Kaizo when they were seized. They were scheduled to be exported from the US . We are not going to disclose who the owner of these cars are, but it will probably come out in due time.
The blue R34 is the "hero" car from Fast and Furious 4, and the red car is a GTS with GTR fenders and an RB26. Its now after Labor Day, and still no charges in the Kaizo case. The government seems to be expending a lot of time and resources on these 50 or so cars and owners here in the US.

 September 14, 2009
I had a call recently from someone that said the FBI was also in on this investigation. They had asked some information about some transactions.  So now its FBI , ICE, DOT, EPA, CARB all on the chase of about 50 cars that were sold over the last three years.  In that same amount of time, about 30,000,000 cars were sold new in the US.  Way to use resources to chase after the dangerous car peddlers. The same guys that pay the taxes, and registration fees on the cars they put together here in the US.
Supraforums has an ongoing discussion on Kaizo here .
My latest post :
Originally Posted by mignuts View Post
Actually, from what they said, Kaizo was recognized in over 30 states as a manufacturer. The problem is that they never were an RI or ICI, so for them to even be bringing in these cars/parts was a bit questionable. Not even sure how Silvia's were starting to show up as well.
If you are a manufacturer, then you should not be an RI or an ICI. They are different things completely. They follow different rules and regulations on importing.

So if Kaizo was "recognized as a manufacturer" by a state, and states are the ones that deal with titling a car, then were they in the right ?

Importing auto parts is legal. Titling cars is legal. So is this not a state issue, not a federal issue now ? Up to the individual states, like marijuana laws in California ? Although Federally its not allowed, on a state level it is allowed with certain restrictions.

If Kaizo only sold rolling bodies less engine and transmission like say Rossion or Superperformance, then where are the differences ?

" How complete is a Superformance roller?

Imagine a complete car – take out the engine and transmission (transaxle) and that is our replica. They are completely assembled and painted at our factory by experts that have produced over 2500 MKIII’s plus our other product lines. "

"How do I register my Superformance chassis?

Each state in the USA has different requirements and regulations with regards to the registration of your specially constructed vehicle. We highly recommend that you verify all requirements with your local DMV office.

SEMA has posted a list of state by state registration information : visit this link. SEMA SAN."
September 26,2009
R34-IT- Nov-2009
While checking out my friend Carters Jung's book - Import Tuner , in the letters section was a letter and a few pictures of the Fast and Furious Kaizo R34 on a tow truck.  They mentioned that they first thought it was the “stolen” GTS from North Hollywood from a while back.  This is not that stolen car.
This is one of the cars that was seized at Kaizo.  They mention in the article that the car was at Manheim Auto Auction in Oceanside.  Since then a poster on Supraforums mentioned that they had seen the Kaizo cars being moved on a transporter. I wonder where they were being moved to ?
Still no charges, or other information in the Kaizo case yet.
Source : Import Tuner

September 30,2009

UPDATE . Two R34's and an R32 were seized today. My information says that they are not done seizing cars. If you have a car, I would be on the look out.
I was just informed that a Kaizo R34, an individual owners vehicle was seized this morning by ICE agents. The agents in full Kevlar served a seizure warrant to an owner in the LA area. I know the owner and the car. Again, they came to the owners residence, and seized the car from there. Details are sketchy right now, but as far as we know this is the first "owner" vehicle seized. Still no charges against Kaizo, but it seems like the government is seizing cars. The car in California was an SB100 car, so this could be one of the focuses.
SB100 is a specialty constructed vehicle exemption in California. It allows for up to 500 cars per year to be registered with no smog checks if the car is accepted as a 1960 or does not resemble any other vehicle.
Per California Vehicle Code §4750.1, the first 500 program applicants in each calendar year may choose whether the inspection is based on the model-year of the engine used in the vehicle or the vehicle model-year. If the engine or the vehicle does not sufficiently resemble one previously manufactured, the referee will assign 1960 as the model-year.
Its a good program for specialty vehicles. Cars that are driven very little, and mostly just used to go to shows.
580. A "specially constructed vehicle" is a vehicle which is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. A specially constructed vehicle may be built from (1) a kit; (2) new or used, or a combination of new and used, parts; or (3) a vehicle reported for dismantling, as required by Section 5500 or 11520, which, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make of the vehicle dismantled. A specially constructed vehicle is not a vehicle which has been repaired or restored to its original design by replacing parts.
#1 SPCV can be a kit
#2 SPCV can be new or used parts (aka does not need to be a "kit")
#3 SPCV can be a vehicle reported for dismantling that does not resemble original car.
A SPCV can be any one of these three things. It does not need to meet all 3 requirements.
The last line is ambiguous and open to legal interpretation.
So does everyone that is reading this post feel safer now ?  Do they feel better that a couple of vehicles have been taken off the road ?   Are you going to help out, or stand on the sidelines and watch ?  Are you going to get involved ? 

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fast Lane Daily : Motor Trend WOT Kaizo News

Fast Lane Daily and Motor Trend both picked up the Kaizo Story.


Motor Trend : WOT


Head on over, post up comments to the stories. Let people know what you think about peoples vehicles being seized out of their houses.