Tuesday, August 9, 2016


It's been a minute since I've gotten the chance to go hang around a shop or check out an event.  So what better way than to knock both out in one weekend?!  Each month, local body shop Elite Automotive Finishes, hosts a First Friday open house in which everyone is welcome to come hang out, check out the latest projects, bring their cars and just bullshit over a nice tasty beer.  I had yet to make it to one of these, so I was excited to check out EA and get to see some folks I hadn't had a chance to see in awhile.  We took the roller skate out to Mesa where the shop currently sits, and rolled up to a nice greeting from our friend Scott who was able to swing by before his shift started that night.

After we all said our 'hellos' and checked out the cars that the parking lot had to offer, we all wanted to go see Chris' latest shop project - his FRS.  They've clearly been hard at work, and from what I've seen on their social media, EA has only been working on this chassis for a few weeks so far.  It sounds like the plan is to button the car up for SEMA this year, and then Chris will continue to use it for drift events afterwards.  Just earlier in the week, the chassis came back from being powder coated - the true sign of a serious build.

It was hard not to just spend a few minutes staring at this wild thing.  The more you look, the more you notice the small details that were methodically premeditated.  The cage work is a bit interesting but a beautiful piece of art.  The Wisefab kit adds to the overall stance of the car which is just nutty - the chassis looks so planted, that it's sure to offer some insane handling for its true purpose.

I took my complimentary Summer Shandy and started to wander and poke around the shop a bit more before shortly coming across this 510 which had what looked like the beginning of an SR transplant.  I was pretty curious about it, and gave it a good look over in the engine bay - I'm sure when this little guy is complete, it's gonna rip!

A few steps further back into Elite, and we came across this flip-light, RHD S13 coupe.  Although it's clearly been sitting idle for a minute, I couldn't help but stare and appreciate the goodies it had to offer.  Something about this car had me coming back to it each time I tried to walk away.  Even looking at the pictures of it, there's something mysterious and mesmerizing.

I'm really hoping to see some life come to this car sooner than later, as it already possesses a lot of vibrant character.  That 4-lug needs to go though.

And then we came across this guy.  While I doubt that I'll ever own one, I've always had a soft spot for the Z/G chassis.  1971 is the year to have, and it looks like this thing is well on it's way to becoming something miraculous - I hope.

As we started to walk back towards the front of the shop, this Plasma CNC table caught my eye.  It looked like maybe it hadn't seen some action in a bit, but clearly it's been used and I felt cool explaining to Gayle how these machines work and how wild it is.  It was shortly after that, we decided to go home, get some leftover spaghetti in our bellies, and rest well for Saturday's adventures.

We made it down to Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson just in time for about an hour's worth of daylight left.  I love how simple the drive to that track is, and although it's a bit boring you have to appreciate that it's really only about a 2 hour drive in a state where everything is so spread out.  I quickly started snapping photos as soon as we arrived so I could at least get some usable shots.  There was also a pretty gnarly storm rolling in on us from both the north and south.

This C33 is super cool and almost worth the drive down to the area in itself.  It's insanely photogenic and exudes some heavy nostalgia.


I didn't even think about the fact that it was 8-6-Day when we spotted this silky smooth Corolla.  It wasn't until we were walking back the other direction that I noticed it was RHD!  My favorite little bit was the blue GReddy Oil Cooler sitting up in the front air duct.

Chasen's car makes me miss mine like crazy.  I had a little chat with him about those JDM Kouki tail lights he picked up, and hoping he doesn't follow through with his plans to red tint overlay them.  Meanwhile, that storm was still brewing in the background which kept distracting me from our conversation.  I was trying so hard to get some of the intense lightning that was crackling down in the distance, but I just couldn't seem to get the timing down right.

It's been awhile since I've been able to see Austin drive in person, but I've been seeing him out doing an awesome job keeping up with Southwest Drift.  It seems like his newly installed Wisefab kit is doing him right, since he was looking really good out there Saturday night.  I was also contemplating correcting the white balance in this photo, but figured the sky looked way too cool to take away that awesome pink and orange goodness up in the clouds.

I stood on his trailer for a few minutes trying again to get a shot of the lightning off in the distance, to no avail.  But still churned out a good snap for the vibe over by Dustin's FC and trailer.

Nick in his fresh kouki, headed out to get on track.  It's funny how some people are no stranger to the camera while others are so shy to it.  Good vibes, dude and looking way good out there that night! 

It's always a joy getting to see this R32 when we come down to Tucson.  The more and more I see these RHD, older vehicles popping up, the more I seem to desire one.  Another shot I refused to correct the WB on.

Just hanging out in the desert, waiting for the rain to come for us.

And it did.  For about 5 minutes, then passed and went back to windy air and distant electrical surges.

I give lots of credit to the driver of this Mustang, as well as his buddy that pilots the red one.  As unappealing to the eye these cars are to me, I know they can't be easy to drift and control.  I've seen them both out at Musselman and Wild Horse, and they've consistently progressed over the past year that I've been watching.

Dustin looking devilish coming around Turn 1.

Swinging 4 doors around a track never looked so clean.

It wasn't long before it got rather dark out, and even with the overheads lighting the track for us, I had to bump my ISO to an uncomfortable level, and no one wants to see those grainy photos.  So I'll leave it off here for this time.  Had a great evening with my girl, my pup and new friends, which keeps me looking forward to next time and getting to drive this track in my own car.  Hope you enjoyed the read and photos!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!

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