CG: Joshua Cloud GT5 Exige Rendering

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Josh Cloud just sent me a great rendering he recently completed of a Gran Turismo 5 inspired Lotus Exige GT1. I thought you’d all enjoy his rendering, so here it is!

Josh Cloud CG Rendering Lotus Exige GT1

Source Material:

Josh Cloud CG Rendering Lotus Exige GT1

Thanks Josh!

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News Release Update: Craftsquare R35 GT-R Mirrors Picture Release

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Craftsquare R35 GT-R

As mentioned in last weeks’ press release, GT-R Super GT500 mirror supplier Craftsquare and GT-RR.COM have partnered exclusively to release a street replacement mirror set for the R35 GT-R. Now a picture has surfaced of the final design of the street version mirrors. The TCA-F design is similar to the tried and tested Touring Competition mirrors from Craftsquare, however the GT-R application features a subtlety deeper profile to make them even more slippery with their aerodynamic ability.

The R35 GT-R application features black bases which use the stock mounting locations and blend in nicely. For owners planning to one day sell or trade their car in, these mirrors are great because they are completely bolt on and easily reversible.

These are the most “streetable” race mirrors in existence with a wide profile and a wide angle lense which when combined offer incredible horizontal visibility.

These carbon fiber mirrors weigh in at only 390 grams per mirror! (Less than a pound)

GT-RR.COM has sets on order in limited numbers and are being pre-sold now.

More information can be found directly here:

Craftsquare R35 GT-R Super GT500

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6 Pounds by Stanley Ku

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With Ben’s recent post showcasing the ASM Recaro SP-X CL100, I thought this would be a good time to publish this post.


These Tecnocraft T1 seats are a measly 6 lbs. It can be hard to put 6 lbs into perspective but that’s less than a gallon of water which weighs in at about 8 lbs. These seats retail for $2,699 each, which I thought were crazy until I read the price tag for the ASM Recaro. I guess these are pretty cheap compared to the ASM Recaro, which costs a few times more.

The reason why I am posting this is not to say that these seats are superior, but rather a compare and contrast between 2 products. The ASM Recaro and the Tecnocraft T1 are both constructed out of pre-preg dry carbon and are made to be the best of the best. Enough though the ASM Recaro is more expensive, it is not without justifications. The Tecnocraft T1 is more simple in construction. The overall contour is smooth, and there are not many sharp edges. It is also not relinable. The ASM Recaro is more complex in design with sharp turns and different levels of reliefs. It is also reclinable. A combination of leather and alcantara are used to create not only an incredible seat, but an amazing piece of craftsmanship and artwork.

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Only In Europe…S2000 Widebody Conversion With European Taste

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WTF YO European S2000 Widebody

This was shown to me and suggested for the Hater Fodder category. After careful consideration, I decided it is not quite hater fodder material to me. This was a genuinely well considered attempt at doing something unique, with somewhat good execution (for the goals in which they intended). With that bit of respect being said, I absolutely dislike every ounce of this car. I don’t know who the maker of this widebody kit is, but I’ll affectionately call it the WTF YO AP1 S2000 widebody. I consider that to be an appropriate name for it.

It is interesting, there is a certian European style and taste for tuning Japanese cars that I’ve noticed prominently represented over the years. I cant describe it in words, but it jumps out at me in pictures. It is like Europe’s interpretation of spocom or something along those lines. In other words something bad, turned worse in translation. The rear of this WTF YO kitted S2000 defines exactly what I could use as a stereotypical example of my dislike for European aero tuning and styling.

WTF YO European S2000 Widebody

I dont know how you put that design style  into words, I never could do it adequately…but a lot of the cars I see in French car tuning magazines look just like this style. I respect world tuning culture but I cant ever get into this style. My best attempt at explaining it in words: Predictable, exaggerated, trendy yet dated, and misrepresenting the intentions of the origin they try to emulate.

The front of the WTF YO S2000 I think looks interesting and more original however. I don’t like it, but I do respect the details like the moldings reminicent of Mercedes and the headlights (with washers) which I cant seem to determine the origin of. A side note, the Impul kit for the G35 Coupe uses similar moldings in a very good looking way. It is possible to pull off that look on a Japanese car, although hard.

Impul G35 Coupe

But going back to the S2000…

WTF YO S2000 Widebody

Here you can see just how they transformed the car. I appreciate the originality of the front end but thats as far as I can stretch my compliments on this one. Still, it is rescued from the hater fodder category…just barely.

The link for the WTF YO S2000 is found here:

Thanks goes to Mr. Ku for the link and heads up on this.

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My Speedhunters Post on Smoky Nagata and Top Secret

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Rod at Speedhunters asked me to write a guest blog for them recently and he suggested talking about Top Secret. So I put something together about Smoky Nagata specifically, and the post ended up being a bit more in depth than my usual blog posts. The post is designed to give some understandable perspective to the man who is so mysterious to so many. It explains his motivations which have ultimately guided his actions over the years. I’ve had some interesting times with Smoky…having started off as a fan of Top Secret back in the day, it used to always shock me when I’d look in my rear view mirror of my car and see him sleeping in the back seat as we drive to the track, or taking him to In – N – Out for his first time. Those personal experiences I recognized were a rare sight for many who simply dream of getting an autograph and thats it… I hope with my post I can give a bit of a feel for the man that most will never really understand aside from admiring his talents from afar.

Rather than re-post my content up here as well, I’m giving Speedhunters the exclusive on it.

Hopefully you all find it to be a good read.

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HKS Lancer Evolution Widebody Now Being Sold

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CT20MR HKS Technical Factory Aero Kit Lancer Evo CT9A

Today Bulletproof Automotive debuted the ultra elusive HKS CT230R widebody used on their legendary carbon Evo which lapped Tsukuba in under 54 seconds. That record breaking car ran this very same widebody kit which increases the car’s width more than 5 inches!

The kit was recently released in Japan in ultra limited quantities. Bulletproof has stepped up to be a reliable US source for this rare functional aero kit steeped in JDM record setting history.

It should be noted that this kit is not being offered by HKS but rather it is being sold by HKS Technical Factory. HKS Technical Factory is NOT HKS, rather, they are similar to HKS Kansai. I understand this can get confusing but ultimately HKS Technical Factory and HKS Kansai are HKS partner shops who produce their own original parts which are not part of the HKS catalog of parts. What this means is we’re buying these kits from HKS Technical Factory Japan, who we’ve worked with to import all sorts of unusual things over the years including some cool Fuga aero parts for some lucky past clients.

The product link is found here:

The price is not for the faint of heart at $13,545 USD after all shipping expenses and importing fees/duties. For the money you get the complete aero kit produced in FRP to transform your Evo into a complete beast!

CT20MR HKS Technical Factory Aero Kit Lancer Evo CT9ACT20MR HKS Technical Factory Aero Kit Lancer Evo CT9A

PS: Thanks to reader JayHundred for the tip!

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The Kimini by Guest Blogger Alex Butti

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Intro by Ben:

Alex goes by “jdmized” on the blog here. After enjoying a good variety of his comments and then stumbling on to a treasure of photos he has taken, I became quite intrigued by his background and great content . So I sent Alex an email and asked him if he had the desire to contribute something original for us all to read. After all, I’m always on the quest for fresh content regardless of whether its from me or from our friends. I was thinking actually that Alex would like to talk about some crazy pictures he has, including what appears to be Toda experimental dry carbon coilover shock bodies (more later?) or some pretty great detail shots and commentary on some highly tuned time attack cars ranging from Japanese to Ferrari. But I was wrong. Instead Alex came at me with a totally different and unexpected topic. The Kimini. And who am I to turn away something unique as this? So here it is for us all to see! Thanks Alex for contributing! Keep on bringing it whenever you feel inspired!

“I was given the opportunity by Ben to write about something special. Specifically he asked me to write about something “inspiring, something unique, something that I would want to share with the world.” Although I had plenty of ideas, I wanted to bring something particular to The Real JDM. So here I am, a little nervous. The topic I chose to talk about is the “Kimini.” Kimini stands for Kim, the builder’s wife, and well, the Mini.

The Kimini has never seen too much media coverage in my opinion, so I thought it would be a great idea to share this car with you.


The Kimini started life in 1995 as a Mini on steroids, so to speak. Massive fenders, lightweight tube-chassis, a carbon fiber one-off monocoque body, 40/60 weight distribution and an RR H22 Honda engine!

The car took over 10 years to be completed; it was painstakingly refined. The owner went through some (though “some” in this case is an understatement) outside-the-box thinking with this project.


As most of you know, the Honda Prelude engine doesn’t have much grunt by today’s standards, but if you take into consideration the Kimini’s weight (it’s about 1700 lbs.) you have a serious porsche-killer.

Kimini Laguna Seca

Yet the owner wanted to keep the car somewhat conservative, and use it as a daily driver. The stock H22 engine received only an air filter/box upgrade, a Super Trapp exhaust and an Accusump unit. Koni’s double adjustable coilovers find their way in all four corners, along with Eibach springs. Several Auto Meter gauges decorate the one-off carbon fiber dash, while Tilton/ Wilwood brakes bring the car to a stop.

Kimini Undertray

Anyway, my words can’t do justice to how much work went into the Kimini.

Check the full project at and judge for yourself.

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