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2009 Gran Turismo Awards - Four One One

Brian Chin
Oct 9, 2009

Goodbye Nisei Showoff?
It's absolutely true that all good things come to an end. The only question is whether the end is really the end. Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, and New Kids on the Block fans can attest to this, as can anyone who thought subsequent Woodstock festivities would be anything like what went down in '69. Recently, Los Angeles' Little Tokyo district hosted yet another incarnation of its infamous Nisei Showoff: L.A.'s title match among elite Japanese import show cars. This was the tenth consecutive event in as many years as it's been held, and-as Nisei Week organizers broke the news to disheartened enthusiasts day of show-was to be it's last.

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If the rumors prove to be true, then it's safe to say the good times went out with a bang. Registration was up so much over preceding years that only the crème de la crème of modified rides were allowed admittance, while an increased number of spectators meant cruising the lot required battling near shoulder-to-shoulder mobs. Dare we say the show was Honda-dominated? The likes of the Fast Autoworks crew, any car sporting a ChaseBays or RyWire sticker, or any with bolts turned by Sheepy and co. prompt us to say so, despite strong non-Honda offerings from teams High End, ar-kan, M2tuning, Hybrid,, and DD Garage. Old and new schools were well represented, along with a little "junior high" student body, by way of a slew of clean DA Integras and EF Civics, and even an RB-swapped M30, courtesy of sister publication Project Car magazine.

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As the crowd thinned, the plot of the demise of Import Showoff thickened, as word of organizer Ken Miyoshi's planned Mega Matsuri show began to spread. Set to take place the following weekend of the Nisei Festival, Ken promises this to grow into an even bigger hit-in more ways than just a car show-than his Nisei Showoff ever was. Check back next month for more.

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FYI Toda Racing In The U.S.
TODA Racing Co., Ltd. recently announced that it has appointed Misano Motor Sports Inc. as its official North American distributor. Based in Irvine, CA, Misano Motor Sports will offer TODA Racing's entire product line of Power engine components and Fightex suspension systems. Misano Motor Sports will be responsible for the distribution, sale and marketing of TODA Racing products to stateside tuners, as well as providing first-rate customer service and support with strong product knowledge.

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2010 2NR Calendar
With the crap that was the year 2009 finally done and over with, we can all look forward to a clean start, full of fresh promise a new year brings. And what better way to set off 2010 than with an Import Tuner calendar. Brought to you by the carbon-loving folks over at Seibon, make sure to peep the January 2010 newsstand issue of 2NR. Carbon-fiber-themed, it's guaranteed to come packed with 12 of the hottest hotties your thumbtack will ever get its "poke-on" with.

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Import Alliance
What started out as a grassroots, forum-organized import meet in rural Tennessee has, now in its fourth year, grown into the biggest import automotive gathering in the southeastern United States. Different from judged shows or lifestyle events, ImportAlliance holds true to its "meet" roots, and remains all about the cars. For only a $10 admission for each vehicle, over 2,000 of the cleanest imports east of the Rockies converged on Nashville Super Speedway for two days of showing, perusing schwag from top industry vendors, tuners and garages, partaking in free time-attack exhibition and competition, and just plain-old kicking it import style. No B-boy battles, foam parties or pounding electronica here (unless you brought your own), just good vibes with miles of imports and the people who drive them. Click for the outtakes!

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Honda Records Broken
Motorsports has had a few big days lately, most notably in the Honda camp, with all-motor drag racer Bisi Ezerioha breaking the 150mph trap speed mark with his 17:1 compression, F23-powered Honda Insight, and Doug Macmillan and the Hondata crew breaking three of their old records in the SCTA's G/BGALT (2.0-liter, blown/gas/altered) class, in the very same RSX featured in our Sept '09 issue. Bisi's 9.65 @ 150.3 run marks the first time an all-motor FWD four-cylinder has run a trap speed as fast as those traditionally run by 600whp turbo beasts, while the new 218mph record earned by the Hondata crew beats their previous record by 10 mph-no small feat, in the top speed game.

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E-Town Day
Honda Mitsu

In other East Coast news, Englishtown Raceway threw down a strong response to the West Coast's Eibach Honda meet and Mitsubishi Owner's Day (profiled in the Sept and Nov '09 issues) with its own enthusiast-organized Honda Day (presented by V Race Works and Import DPS) and Mitsubishi Day (AKA "The Showdown", presented by Exedy-coverage coming next month). A meet of the East Coast's cleanest this certainly was, along with a judged car show and heads-up drag racing in multiple classes (with bounties paid by Import DPS, V Race Works, The Driveshaft Shop,, Hondata, Speed Theory, Yosolo Racing, and Certified Racing), Ruckus mayhem, models, and-true to East Coast street form-plenty of hustlin' on the side! When the tire smoke had cleared, it was Cory Chaput of Glen Burnie, MD, atop the Sport FWD bracket, and Albert Marty of Stony Point, NY, in All-Motor. Complete coverage available at

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AMS Child Found!
Die-hard fans of cross-country "bull runs" should be familiar with the Fireball Run: The Race to Recover America's Missing Children. Assigning one missing child's information to each competing car, the Fireball Run challenges each team to distribute the most missing-children flyers across the country. When Chicago-based EVO tuning masters AMS (Fireball team #85) were assigned to represent RJ Myers, a six-year-old girl from NY who went missing almost three years ago, they took their responsibilities a step further, affixing her information not only to their Fireball car, but to all of their race cars, posting it on their site, and distributing it in their showroom for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Good news-RJ was recently found in good health, living on the streets, 3,000 miles from home. For the AMS crew, it's on to the next kid: six-year-old Chloe Comb-Rivas (pictured here). Visit below to help.

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2009 Gran Turismo Awards
For the seventh year in a row, the Gran Turismo Awards is returning to SEMA 2009 in search of the hottest car from five different categories. For SEMA-headed cars of the tuning flavor, you'll be gunning for the Best Japanese Import class. If you win, your car will go head-to-head against the four other category winners where Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo, will pick the ultimate Best in Show that will be immortalized in the next GT game. And here you thought you'd have to make a sex tape with Paris Hilton to become famous.

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To enter, submit the make and model of your car, pictures and modification list, and the SEMA booth number to

By The Numbers

The total number of man-hours logged in the three-month build of the Boso S15 cover car, by the Garage Boso crew.

Import Tuner
STI vs. EVO Shootout
Last Call!

If you're flipping through this at the newsstand, you've got about a month until Import Tuner's own STI vs. EVO Shootout, presented by Continental Tire, on November 10th. Two years running, the EVOs have held it down around the Buttonwillow circuit, but not without some very heated competition from the STIs-will we see an upset this year, or the continued reign of the Mitsu champs? To enlist your services, send driver bios, vehicle proposals and build-a-bears to Elliott Moran ( and await a call-back. Bonus: All selected competitors will be given a free set of ExtremeContact DW tires for the event, courtesy of Continental!

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Tricks Of The Trade
Citrus-ize Your Engine

When it's time to clean-up your engine or drivetrain, it's time to bust out a cleaner with a little more kick. Zep's Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser is a citrus-based cleaner that dissolves heavy soiling from many surfaces including engines, machinery and wheels, and rinses easily without leaving unwanted alkaline residues. Available in concentrated bottles, the orange, non-petroleum-based cleaner sells at Home Depot for twelve bucks a bottle. A wire brush might also be another solid investment for the tough chores-like ours pictured here.

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By Brian Chin
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