JAPANESE ALL STARS // S15 SYLVIA | BNR32 SKYLINE | 2JZ POWERED FR-S
It's been quite some time since I've been able to sit down and write a blog, Which I guess is actually a good thing because I've been up to my face in work for the last couple of months!
A couple of weeks ago I finally got together with my buddy Omar who made the courageous decision to drop a 2JZ engine into his Scion FR-S. Needless to say...the build took quite a bit of time and I've been on him for several months to get it finished so we could get some good shots of it. The car has been done for awhile now, and Omar actually just moved to Spokane, but a couple of days before he took off we got together and did a little shoot with his beauty of a beast.
Omar was the first person I saw that put a 2JZ into an FR-S.
...with the exception of Ryan Tuerck, who drives a 2JZ powered FR-S for his competition car in Formula Drift, but does that really count?
I don't really know shit about this engine, but what I do know is that this particular build sounds like a fucking airplane when it's idling, and sounds like a full on racecar when it rips through the streets with its ~600whp, banging through gears while roasting tires before it even goes anywhere. Oh yeah and another thing. The FR-S weighs roughly 2800lbs from the factory.
600whp in a 2800lb car is pretty fucking ridiculous.
I can definitely appreciate attention to detail especially in a quality car build. Omar has definitely done quite a few changes to this FR-S to make it his own. From the BRZ front bumper and headlight combo to the TRD front aero fins, the hilarious Jay-Z stickers under the hood, color matched valve cover, bash bar, brakes, and camber plates, some Volk ZE40 wheels with a nice bronzed finish, and aerocatch hood pins...I definitely like the way this car turned out.
I can also appreciate the fact that this car never really lost its original form. There's no crazy aero kit, wing, or a crazy amount of carbon fiber. Although I do love a nice aero build...this 2J powered FR-S is very well disguised behind some tasteful additions, but don't let that fool you,
.... this thing is a fucking monster.
We set up a couple of shots and went to work. All in all I think we only spent about an hour shooting while discussing our favorite parts of the FR-S platform and build structure. I've never really been able to hangout with Omar one on one, and it was definitely nice to spend a little time bullshitting about random things and hanging out. Omar and this pretty little lady are now located out in Washington, and I heard there's some big plans for it in the future. I'm hyped as shit to see how Omar proceeds with the build and can't wait to see it again one day!
A couple of days after I shot Omar's beast of a Scion...
I went over to Gateway motorsports park where MDU was holding their final event of the season. Don't get me wrong...I love MDU and the guys that put it on, but because I didn't bring the right lens to shoot drifting I had to come up with another way to make a productive day at the racetrack. I met up with my buddy David who has a pretty dope BNR32 Skyline and we started messing around with shooting some portraits of drivers on a little section of unused track.
After we shot a few drivers we decided to put this section of the track to work. We spent a little time shooting some rolling shots of David's Skyline, and eventually grabbed another BNR32 for some nice twin skyline rolling shots. If you're unfamiliar with the Nissan Skyline...up until this year it was a bitch and a half to get one stateside [thanks to some bullshit rule requiring 25 years in-between the build of the vehicle and importing to the states] I still don't really know the rule..and honestly I don't really care....All I care about is the fact that these dudes did the work to get these Japanese All Stars into the states and fulfilled some of their car enthusiast dreams.
....That alone is pretty fucking awesome to me.
After messing around with the twin Skylines, another buddy of mine came over with this S15 Silvia, another car that is a pain in the ass to bring stateside thanks to that stupid 25 year law. The cool thing about this S15 is that its real....its also still illegal in the states. I'm not sure how Mike managed to get this thing to St. Louis...but I don't really want to ask any rash questions about it either. It's here, and thats all that matters.
If I'm being h o n e s t with you...
Having these cars in front of me doesn't really do a lot for me. Sure, I love a Skyline, Silvia, and 2J powered FR-S as much as the next guy...But what really does it for me is the owners and their passion for these vehicles. David, Mike, and Omar are a few friends who had a passion for specific motorcars that were a bit out of their reach....until they figured out how to get them in their hands and make their dreams a reality. The fact that they put in the work, made the sacrifices and got what they wanted is my favorite part of their stories.
I still haven't had the chance to sit down with these dudes and really talk about what it is that each of these cars does for them, but I'm not really sure if I need to. All three of these guys are pretty humble when it comes to the gross amount of attention they get for owning these unicorns, and it might take a little digging to get their full stories...but with a little persistence I might be able to get them to share a little something :) but that might have to be after they each finish the builds on these beauties.
Shooting these cars has probably been one of the more pivotable moments for me as a photographer, the reason I say that is because to date these are some of my favorite images that I've shot. I've been trying my best to really push myself as a photographer and take advantage of certain opportunities, and with this set I believe I have accomplished a part of that. I've been trying to push myself harder and harder to create images that are reaching a higher standard and finding new ways to bring a vision to life. I'm really looking forward to what the next few months have in store and I'm definitely looking forward to collaborating with more and more minds to come up with some incredible shit.