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Nissan 370Z LA Autoshow - Four One One

Four One One

Mar 1, 2009

As the summer show and race season gives way to the fall product launch season, we find ourselves at the beginning of another year of auto show tours, with all the top OEs debuting their latest new models, one-off concept cars, and drawing board ideas. And yet another benefit to living in LA-our show is now the first of the year. Check out our freshest picks of the litter, and then click importtuner.com for more.
www.laautoshow.com

Nissan 370Z Launch
Since we've already whetted your appetites for the full review of the 370Z, we're also going to make you a little jealous of the guys who designed it. Randy Rodriguez and Satoru Hasegawa headed the design team, both at the ripe old ages of only 31. Picking up chicks at the hottest launch party of the year, which happens to be for a car that you designed? Priceless. And extremely easy.
www.nissanusa.com

Flipabitch Formulad
Ever wonder what formula D drifters do for fun in between events? While we're sure printing most of it could get 2NR pulled from newsstand shelves within reach of minors, here's something that won't (barely): GT Channel's Flip a Bitch parallel parking contest. Contestants are graded on how well they can parallel park a designated competition car, based on two criteria: precision and showmanship. Three-point-turning your way into a spot a foot away from a wall will get you nowhere; spinning 360 degrees into your spot, with excess speed and lots of tire smoke, will. Now in its second event, the NASA-sanctioned Flip a Bitch invited Ken Gushi, Daijiro Yoshihara and Sam Hubinette to duke it out for the title, and designated Ken Gushi's past 2NR cover Scion tC was chosen as the subject car. But when its e-brake failed just before competition (a strategic move by the RS*R team, we're sure), an unlucky GT Channel staff member's personal tC was drafted to fill in. First up was Sam Hubinette, who overshot his mark and smashed directly into the makeshift wall, and followed up his performance with some tasty AWD donuts, thinking he was done for the day. But once Dai Yoshihara failed to score any points against the 'Gush in the second round, Sam found himself back in it to win it. And win it he did, barely nudging out Ken with some near-flawless parking, in signature Crazy Swede style.
Check out the video at: www.GTChannel.com

Team Falken 2009 Roster
In drifting news, Falken Tire has announced some changes to its team line-up for the '09 season. Most notably, the acquisition of Tyler McQuarrie and Daijiro Yoshihara, who-rumor has it-will be behind the wheels of their all-new S15 Silvia and Lexus IS competition cars, respectively.
www.falkentire.com

Memphis Car Audio Sponsorship
In other Drifting news, Memphis Car Audio announced its continued support of Papadakis Racing, by joining Rockstar Energy Drink and AEM (among others) in sponsoring team drivers Stephan Papadakis and Tanner Foust's '09 drifting ventures. With back-to-back Formula D Championship titles and Rookie of the Year awards over the past few seasons, Papadakis and co. are remaining tight-lipped of their remaining plans for the upcoming season... a sure sign they're up to something!
www.memphiscaraudio.com

Jtuned's Triumphant Return
Import authority and inspiration to millions of aspiring automotive photographers, JTuned.com recently announced plans to begin hitting the tuning scenes hard, again, by recently throwing one of the biggest Super Autobacs-hosted meets we've attended yet. In response to widespread online buzz, hundreds of tuned imports took to the retailer's Stanton, CA grounds early this fall to unveil their latest creations, donate canned goods, and peep the inside scoop of the all-new JTuned. Check out importtuner.com for more pics.
www.jtuned.com

Nos Powershot 24-Hour Endurance Challenge
If you've never ventured into the world of online gaming for fear of being labeled a nerd... you probably haven't heard of Nitto 1320 Legends, the free online drag racing competition that allows users to build their own virtual drag cars, and race them amongst the online community to compete for winnings, sponsorship deals, and the oh-so-important virtual street cred. To this extent, the NOS Energy Drink crew recently held an online 24-hour endurance drag racing competition for users to battle through Top 32 bracket-style ladder competition for the ultimate trophy-the fastest car in Nitto 1320 Legends history: a NOS-customized Scion tC, and unlimited bragging rights. After leveling a playing field of over 430,000 registered users, top honors went out to user "7racer" of Jamaica, who won the bracket out-right, earning the first-ever title of NOS Powershot Champion, and the fastest Nitto 1320 ride ever created.
www.nittolegends.com
www.drinknos.com

Newsizes Fromtoyo
Recently announced from Toyo Tires are new sizing options for the ultra low profile, ultra high performance PROXES 4, now available in 18- to 22-inch diameters, and in widths from 215 all the way to 275. For increased grip, PROXES T1Rs are also now available in widths 265 to 285 for 18, 19 and 21-inch diameter wheels, while super-sticky PROXES R1Rs can now be ordered for you favorite FWD and small-car applications with widths ranging from 215 to 245, for 15 to 17-inch wheels.
www.toyo.com

Roots

1936 Toyota Model AA
The mid-1930s industrialized world was ripe with unrest. Post-WWI Eastern European nations hungry for national pride were moving toward fascism, as Chinese nationalists fought over adopting soviet Russia's communism. Gandhi's passive resistance was gaining traction toward Indian independence, while select African nations were losing theirs to militarized Europe. All the while, we Americans were staying out of it all, then-American president Roosevelt's New Deal pulling our greatly depressed workforce up "by its bootstraps". But that's not to say our private enterprise wasn't feeling international tension; it was, specifically those on the automotive landscape, who felt a Japanese sneak attack coming.

The year prior, Detroit's Chrysler Corporation had unsuspectingly sold one of America's most advanced automobiles to the owner of a machine shop, named Kiichiro Toyoda. But only months later, once his company announced to the global market that it would begin producing automobiles, Detroit knew it had done F'ed up.

By the time Kiichiro Toyoda had officially named his new auto-making enterprise Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. in 1937, the Model AA and AB (a convertible version made for the Japanese military) were officially in full scale production and very closely resembled Chrysler's Airflow produced since 1934-the same car Toyoda has ordered earlier. A dirty trick, maybe... but it was just what the company needed to stand apart from its competitors.

Like the Chrysler Airflow, Toyota's Model AA marked a bold departure from normal automobile design and construction of the time. It offered a full steel body, instead of the more common wood carriage. It brought the engine forward, improving weight bias to provide a more comfortable ride for passengers. It also implemented stamped steel wheels instead of less durable hoop-and-spoke designs. Unlike the Chrysler car, the Model AA was powered by Toyota's first production engine, an OHV pushrod 3.4L straight-six called the "Type A" that many criticized as a copy of Chevrolet's Stovebolt engine. Interestingly enough, the Toyota version upped Chevy's by 2 hp: 62 hp to their 60. Seems the Japanese engine builders saw some room for improvement early on.

Just over 1,700 Toyota Model AAs and ABs were produced until the company halted production in 1943, each selling for the US equivalent of about $2,100, brand new. If you're thinking about picking one up to restore, don't-none are believed to have survived into the modern day. You may be able to find one made by Nissan, however; its Model 70 Phaeton was an exact copy of the Toyota Model AA, permitted under Japan's 1936 Automobile Manufacturing Industry Law... and we hear the Nissan version brings an additional 20 horses to the table!

CONSTRUCTION STEEL AND GLASS OVER A STEEL LADDER FRAME
BODY MEDIUM FAMILY SEDAN, W/REAR SUICIDE DOORS
LAYOUT FRONT ENGINE, REAR WHEEL DRIVE
ENGINE INLINE-SIX, OHV AND PUSHRODS, IRON BLOCK AND HEAD
DISPLACEMENT 3,389 {{{CC}}}; 84.1 MM BORE, 101.6 MM STROKE
FUEL DELIVERY CARBURETED
FUEL TYPE GASOLINE
OUTPUT 62 HP
WHEELS MODERN STAMPED STEEL
BRAKES FOUR-WHEEL DRUM
SUSPENSION SOLID FRONT AND REAR AXLES, LEAF SPRINGS
PERFORMANCE WE'RE DYING TO FIND OUT
MSRP 3,350 YEN

Pioneer Store
Phoenix, Arizona

Building on the success of their first-ever brick-and-mortar retail outlet in Orange County, CA, Pioneer USA recently announced the opening of an even bigger, badder facility in Phoenix's upscale CityCenter of CityNorth shopping center. The 3,200 square-foot facility not only showcases the latest Pioneer schwag (including products made specifically for the JDM, that you'd never find anywhere else), but also some of the industry's most well-known audio-competing autos, like Elite Creations' xD demo car, as of this writing. Technical support is miles more specialized than what you'd expect at an electronics chain store, and best of all: in-house or in-car installation is available for all products.
www.store.pioneerelectronics.com

210
The amount of NASA-sanctioned amateur racing events held at local tracks and autocross courses last year.

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