Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Coast

In the middle of endless weeks of rain, and with endless more to come, I took some rare sun filled shots of the bike. Think they turned out well all things considered, the point and shoot can work a bit of magic when I let it. As a side note, the guy that was throwing the bike away sent me the original manual from Bridgestone, along with a letter briefly describing when he purchased the bike new in Japan, early in the 1960s. He seems relieved that it found a good home.

I feel so stungoutuneasy with classes starting back tomorrow. Here's to one last semester.

Monday, May 11, 2009

No Alarms and No Surprises

The next two modifications came from my hugely supportive and wonderful family, the first from my loving wife. Ashley picked up a gorgeous Nardi Rally Steering Wheel to add a little beauty and style to the interior. While the stock wheel is at least attractive, I had long been looking for something smaller and a little more graceful to compliment the interior styling. The Nardi provides a simple black spoke design with contrasting black leather and red stitching, tying itself into the gauge cluster as well as another part that is yet to come. Every bit of the wheel seems to infuse function, heritage, and design. Though not a true JDM part, as the crafters of the Subaru 22b wheel, I feel there in plenty of history to hold its own with this piece. The second came from my parents, a set of OEM WRX Side Skirts. One of my longest standing dislikes of the OEM STi styling are the weak side skirts. I feel that not only do better options exist aesthetically, but I also hated that the stock skirts were so small they completely revealed the pinch-welds. Other changes to the car are a set of authentic JDM Front and Rear Plates, a surprise courtesy of my father's generosity, as well as the return to the stock STi Spoiler. Though the SYMS Spoiler was an incredibly nice piece, in order to completely focus on modification on a necessary and practical scale, I felt that the wing needed to be returned to stock or to something else entirely.

As winter came along, I had the opportunity to pick up another jewel of rare Japanese racing heritage, a Bride Zeta II bucket. That alone would have been killer, but this was no ordinary Zeta II, after checking stock list and hunting like crazy for owners, we were able to determine that this was the last new-in-box Bride Zeta II, a seat that had been replaced by the Bride Zeta III some time ago. Thinking of all the cars I had seen this seat in, all the really inspirational builds out of the Japanese track and drift scenes, I couldn't debate picking it up all that long and pulled the trigger on it close to Christmas time.

In late February Ashley and I decided to take a trip up to Atlanta in order to have some time together to relax and shop. Once night rolled around, I would check out the Midnight Cruise, an fairly large-scale event between NASIOC and WRXAtlanta, as well as local chapters of S2000, GT-R, and Exotic forums. Almost immediately after arriving and checking into our room, we went left to shop and saw that I had been involved in a hit and run. By the grace of God a man checking out of the hotel had both seen the Explorer hit me and written his tag number down for me. With his help, as well as around 6 hours in rain and snow between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, the police and I were able to find the man who hit me and eventually I was able to obtain his insurance, which I couldn't believe he had, and repair the car. In the meantime, Ashley and I faced a completely ruined trip, that was crowned with a drive home through an all out blizzard and a few hours being snowed in at Cracker Barrel of all places.