Greg was flying solo for a while. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to switch it up…and I did. My two plans were A) Move to Japan and teach English; or B) Go on an around the world backpacking adventure. Plan A didn’t work out initially so it was on to Plan B. I backpacked for 45 days. While checking my email in Germany just two days prior to flying to India (five days before KY!10), I got an email saying there was a position for me in Japan. I canceled my ticket to India, booked one to the States, spent the month of August preparing, and now am residing in Okinawa, Japan.
With the opportunity to learn the language and understand the culture from the inside, comes the opportunity to experience the Japanese tuning scene – the one we all dream about. I may be on the small island of Okinawa but don’t get it twisted; I have seen more fully built street style drift cars here in my first two weeks than I have at any drift event I attended in the States. Throw in a subtropical climate, crystal clear blue ocean, and lush green jungle covered mountain roads and you have a little of heaven on Earth.
So, the big question is “what chassis to buy?” My primary criteria is to own something I couldn’t buy in the States. Okay, that narrows the field but still leaves a lot of options. Also, I want a four door (Why? Why not? They’re awesome.) That cuts it down a bit more; but then you have the obvious requirements of manual transmission, rear wheel drive, and turbo engine. Let’s see what’s left:
R32 Skyline GTS-T Four Door **
R33 Skyline GTS-T Four Door *
R34 Skyline GTS-T Four Door ***
JZX90 Cresta Tourer V *
JZX90 Mark II Tourer V ****
JZX90 Chaser Tourer V ***
JZX100 Cresta Tourer V ****
JZX100 Mark II Tourer V **
JZX100 Chaser Tourer V *****
(Mazda and Honda don’t make anything fitting my criteria.)
That’s the list. I have ranked my preferred options on a five star scale (five best). I have always been a fan of Nomuken’s ER34 Skyline (before it got ugly) and Laurels are okay if fully built. However as I’ve done more looking and reading; the prices, looks, and engine in the JZX line-up can’t be beat. Additionally, I would like the opportunity to learn a new engine and chassis. The JZX became the top contender.
In the JZX line-up, the JZX100 Chaser Tourer V reigns supreme in my opinion – classy yet sharp strong features. A close second especially in the looks department is the JZX90 Mark II. It is very aggressively styled; almost Kouki S14-esque in the front. The Cresta has always been the ugly duckling; however, the JZX100 Cresta’s can look cool with some effort.
Under the hood, the Nissan options sport the mild RB20 or slightly beefier RB25. Both are old hat coming from the Nissan community. The Toyota’s are all equipped with one of two versions of the popular 1JZ (2.5L). In stock form, the JZX90’s rock the twin turbo non-VVTi variant, and the JZX100’s are single turbo and VVTi equipped. Both engines can easily make 300hp with some bolt-ons and a boost up.
There you have it – Steve is back in the game…or hopefully soon to be with a purchase in the near future. I look forward to introducing the new member of the Brickhouse project family.
Let the search begin! Here is some inspiration in the meantime: this blog post pretty much sums it up. God, I am excited!!!!!!