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Guest Parking - Greg "Yamz" Yamamoto

What Happened To Those Days?

Greg Yamamoto
Sep 10, 2007
130_0709_22_z_+guest_parking+greg_yamamoto Photo 1/1   |   Guest Parking - Greg "Yamz" Yamamoto

Since this is the "Women of Super Street" issue, we asked Yamz to pull his keyster into our Guest Parking spot because nobody is a bigger bitch than Ms. Yamamoto (JK, Yamz; please don't kill us- SS staff). He's is actually one of our sales guys; think one-part Ricky Roma, one-part Willy Loman. But truth be told, his skill as a wrench is only exceeded by his cantankerous OG attitude. Over the years, we've featured three of Yamzy's cars (including a cover - Jan '06) and this month he couldn't contain his opinion of today's crop of car builders. We give you the gospel according to Old Man Yamz.

What happened to the days of wrenching on your ride? Don't get me wrong, I do like the availability of all the quality parts out there today, but what happened to self-expression, or learning to build something yourself (fabrication)? Last time I looked, we were the new "hot rod" generation. Have we been reduced to just being checkbook tuners and celebri-tuners?

What happened to heading over to your friend's house because his dad was building an engine and you wanted to see how to do that? Or wiring up your first stereo system with all black wire (cheaper than buying multiple rolls in different colors) only to find out that if you had a short, you didn't even know which wire it was. Or even better, you got to see these wires smoke before your very eyes because you wired them up backwards, didn't disconnect the battery, and didn't use a fuse.

What happened to spending an entire day at the local bone-yard, picking over junked cars to find that intercooler/rear end/headlight assembly that you just knew would fit your ride with some minor cutting and bracket fabrication (not to mention some skinned knees and bloody knuckles)? Or that you also dragged your best friend there because you knew carrying that rear end would be a killer.

What happened to those long days in the garage, when you blew off your girlfriend/dinner/cruise night because tomorrow was race day and you had to get your car running, apply that last coat of wax, or make that final tweak that you knew would make your ride better than anyone else's?

Back in the day (or as the guys would say "a fillion-muckin' years ago"), we didn't have all the cool parts available as bolt-ons. Our Celicas/510s/Corollas or RX-3s had plenty of custom (read: hand-fitted) parts from all over, just to make them faster; nothing like suckering a V8 into a race!

Get dirty, break stuff, curse about it, and just enjoy the pleasure of building your own ride!

Greg Yamamoto

By Greg Yamamoto
7 Articles



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