Wow - Japan. I didn't expect that. I thought the slow down from '08's Tokyo Auto Salon would carry over to the new year and while it was slightly down, my low expectations came out rewarded. Japanese tuners proved that the spirit of tuning is alive and kicking; just look to Mugen's NSX RR, a rare EF Civic appearance from Rocket Bunny and Roadster Garage's take on a classic, converting a Datsun 240Z into a 2000GT with a RB26. All crazy dope. No shortage of parts either, especially for the Evo X, STI, 370Z and GT-Rs (you need to see Power Enterprises' twincharger kit for the R35!) of the world. Lucky SOBs.
...I'm starting to get used to all the hands-free and iPod-friendly audio systems in the newer platforms. It made me think of all the days when cellphones were non-existent and you had to stop to use a pay phone after someone paged you - now you can do the dialing with your finger tips via Bluetooth(r) connectivity. I love it. Too bad my IS 300 is a generation behind; I still have to use a wired earpiece to use my phone. I'm also lacking aux-in capabilities that seem to come standard on every car now but in every new car I've tested lately, I can plug my iPod and forget about burning CDs for the road. It's a far cry from a tape deck with auto reverse. Never heard of that either? I must be getting old.
...If you haven't seen the announcements on the new Top Car Challenge with our friends at Castrol Syntec, then make sure you check out www.SyntecTopCarChallenge.com for details on how you, the reader, can get involved for a chance to be picked to compete against our other titles and receive a big cash prize for winning. Still not convinced? Maybe we should mention that it's $10K you get to keep. We're looking for that star car NOW so get moving!
...Wheels that cost more than the sum of my EF and the parts on it should not be made. It's kinda like a big tease for us all non-ballers. Someday, RAYS, someday. I am, of course, referring to the bad- ass magnesium, special edition Volk Racing wheel that would look completely at home on a R35 and not my EF.
Yeah, you could say this is a good year so far...what do you think?