Continuous Evolution

Nissan 350z

What happens when you love a car so much you couldn’t possibly part with it, yet modifying cars is such an integral part of your being that you can never stop? What happens when you are driven to create more extreme versions of your car year after year? The 5th complete revision of Larry Kenney’s 2003 Nissan 350Z is what you get.

Nissan 350z

Larry has been an ardent fan of Time Attack series around the world, none more so than the beasts that circle the legendary Japanese Tsukuba Circuit. They have left an unmistakable mark on both owner and car, and neither will ever be the same again.

Nissan 350z

The unique profile of this Z was made possible with some rare and custom made parts. Larry has been a fan of the CWEST E Type long nose bumper since he first got his Z. Picking up this aggressive bumper along with the canards set the tone for the rest of the build.

Nissan 350z

To compliment such a long nose, and to help put the power down at the track Larry ordered up a Kognition wing, well known in racing circles around the world. He made sure to max out their capabilities and ordered the widest possible wing, at 78” wide. With this much downforce, mounting to the hatch was not a possibility. Larry, along with Project X, designed and built custom chassis mounts that would still allow access to the hatch.

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Mechanical grip is handled by a full array of aftermarket upgrades. Highlights include Stance coilovers to keep the car planted in the twisties. Custom rebarreled step lip Work VS-XX wheels in 18×11-21 and 18×11-41 wrapped up in 315/30/18 Falken rubber (front and rear) put all that power to the ground.

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Speaking of power, Larry’s Z still has the venerable VQ motor under the hood, albeit with a host of upgrades. Power is created with a built short block along with a modified GReddy 18G turbo kit, and all breathing through a very rare CJM front exit plenum. This amounts to a very healthy 532 WHP on 93 Octane fuel.

Nissan 350z

To accommodate such massive rubber, a set of SS Worx metal fender flares were added. With such a large rear wing, keeping the aero balanced on the car is a must. To this end a prototype Project X splitter/undertray has been added. The finishing touch was the Provinyl supplied red vinyl wrap to make the car stand out even more than before.

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The silhouette of Larry’s Z is unlike anything that has come before it. There is no mistaking this car as the massive over fenders make it more than 6” wider. The unique chassis mounted uprights put the 2D GT wing above the roofline to capture that clean air and not so subtly proclaim the car’s intentions.

Nissan 350z

Larry’s car has a long and detailed mod list that reads like every Z fanatic’s car parts wish list. No area of the car is untouched and small but important details like his rare Tommy Kiara shift knob abound. Make sure to check out Larry’s 350Z whenever you get the chance, because you never know when the next major change in its evolution will take place…


Lost But Not Forgotten


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Today we are featuring Phuc’s ITR out of Norcal. This set was shot by our good friend Patrick Lauder from Quick Works Photo.  Just a bit of a back story before we go into this build- Several months ago we lost dozens of important automotive publications. Honda Tuning, Modified Magazine, and Import Tuner are just a few that all folded.  This was truly a sad day as the harsh reality of a dying print world hit home. Phuc always had a dream of being published in Honda Tuning, but unfortunately this aspiration never came to fruition.  Instead of wasting the photos, Patrick and I talked about putting these up on JDMC. We may not be as cool as a magazine, but at least we can show Phuc some love in the aftermath of Honda Tuning’s demise.

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Phuc has always been a “honda guy” and started out with a ’91 civic. Although he completed some minor work to the hatch,  the build was cut short when a really good offer came out of the woodwork. On the same day that Phuc sold the car, he found his ITR while surfing online. Within a day, Phuc contacted the previous owner and a deal was struck.


Although the Integra looked fairly clean upon initial inspection, the car was not perfect. The engine of the ITR was originally supercharged. Because of excessive oil burning and other issues, the engine was torn down and rebuilt. The cylinder head received a full race port job with skunk2 internals. Phuc also decided to ditch the supercharger in order to go the NA route. You’ll also notice some minor wire-tucking to get the bay a clean look.


Phuc practically has every Mugen item made for the ITR. In addition to the seats; he has also sourced the intake, headers, exhaust, and aero from Mugen.


Subtle OEM details from Honda include double stitching and Type R badges.


Phuc’s favorite modification to his car are his Mugen Mf10 mirror face wheels which he had polished.

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It doesn’t get any cleaner.

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Phuc is fairly done with his Type R. He built the car with purpose- Something reliable and good looking. Big power wasn’t that important to Phuc. Most ITR owners will probably agree with Phuc’s sentiments. Thanks again Patrick for the photos and glad we could get this car featured!

Modification List:

Exterior: Mugen front bumper ,Mugen GenII spoiler, Polished Mugen Mirror Face MF10 17×7 ,JDM ITR HiD ,Front end conversion, Vis Carbon hood Jdm ITR visors

Suspension & Brakes: JDM TEIN HA, Mugen Front & Rear strut bars ,Mugen Hard bushings, Earls Stainless steel Brake Lines, Skunk2 camber kits, Acura Legend 2 pot brake calipers, PowerSlot F&R rotors

Interior: JDM ITR Rear seats, JDM ITR Steering wheel, JDM ITR Clock and radio ,block off Mugen meter bezel ,Mugen Pedal set, Mugen shift knob, Mugen S1 seats, Mugen seat sliders

Engine: B18C5 fully balanced assembled with JDM ITR Pistons and Acl Bearings CC cyljnder head Race port and polished head ,Skunk2 Stg 2 cams, Skunk2 pro cam gears ,Skunk2 complete valve train, Skunk2 valve cover dress up, Max Bore Ported throttle body, Ported intake manifold, Rc 310cc injectors, B&M fuel regulator & fuel pump, Hondata s200 Mugen header, Mugen cat back, Mugen intake, Mugen fan switch, Mugen thermostat, Mugen radiator cap, Chasebays full wire tuck, Exedy clutch and lightened flywheel, Koyo race radiator, Beatrush cooling panel

Season Closer Meet- Saturday October 18th!

JDM Chicago brings back FNL, the SEASON CLOSER!!! We are also welcoming the Northwest Auto Crew as a co-host of this event. Thanks to BUONA BEEF in Hoffman Estates, IL for providing the venue again. We only have around 500 spots, so get there early! We cannot guarantee you we will have parking for everyone, so warning you now! Everyone is welcome and please be respectful at the event.  If you’re on instagram, tag #jdmchicago for live pics @ the meet!  SIGN UP ON FACEBOOK by Clicking here.




As the primary photographer/writer on this blog, I’m usually shooting various cars or doing something for print. Unfortunately this means that my own cars are neglected. So this past weekend I made a concerted effort with a few friends to take a few snaps of my NSX. Thanks to Jose Torres for the rolling shot and also to Armando Lorenzana for assisting in the overhead shot.

NSX 2014 Shoot

I’ve wanted to do an overhead shot like this for some time now. Originally I was going to use this location for another car, but this idea was scrapped due to a marathon blocking this location a few weeks ago. Since I’m actually in the car driving, you could say I was the “producer” of this pic. I essentially gave Armando instructions on what I was looking for and setup the shutter speed/aperture prior to handing him the reins.

NSX 2014 Shoot

This is a second-hand J’s Racing 3D GT Wing (Type 2) I picked up over the winter. It was a bit rough, but turned out great after a local guy refinished it for me. It was only after the purchase of the wing did I realize that J’s never made a wing for the NSX. The previous owner told me it’s actually an S2K wing with custom NSX mounts.

NSX 2014 Shoot

A rear shot of the car with another angle of the wing. You’ll also notice that I switched out my Model 5’s to Advan RG3’s on Falken Rubber.

Fall NSX Shoot

For those interested in the specs- Advan RG III in 17×8 +38 and 18×10 +35. I have a 3mm spacer up front, so that makes my fronts +35 The finish is “hyper black.” It’s in between a silver and black chrome type look. Tires- Falken Azenis RT-615K 215/40 and 265/35.

NSX 2014 Shoot

Recently I’ve been loving shooting “wide open” using my 85mm 1.2 lens. It’s a great lens for automotive on a full frame camera.

NSX 2014 Shoot

Side profile of the shot. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to an 18/19 look again. I love the balance of a 17/18 setup. Another thing I have to mention is that Advan wheels clear ANYTHING. Stoptechs are great, but unfortunately their caliper width limit your wheel selection. Not an issue though with Advan.

NSX 2014 Shoot

There aren’t too many things on my “list” anymore for the nsx, so this mat purchase was a bit of a stretch for me. Karo has been making hand-made mats for over 30 years in Japan. SCW Performance was able to work with KARO to develop a LHD Specific (US-Model) NSX floor mat set. I think there are only a handful of these in the US (based on how expensive these are), but I’m pretty happy with the quality.

NSX 2014 Shoot

Early morning shot as the sun came up.

NSX 2014 Shoot

Another new item for 2014 was this NSX-R cover by Science of Speed.

NSX 2014 Shoot

Rolling shot by Jose which I edited.   If you’re interested in seeing the 6 year transformation of my nsx, check out my personal car blog/build: That’s it for now… maybe the Hakosuka will be next!

Final Bout Coverage (Part 3 of 3)

Finally, the weekend began to come to a close. The on and off-track party of Saturday night slowly bled into Sunday morning, and it was time for our competition. As much as the competition was seen as the main event of Final Bout, everyone who competed just wanted to watch the other teams throw down and make some great memories. Every team gathered on the hill of the USAIR staging area to watch each other run team by team, and each run was greeted with cheers and screams of excitement. In almost a decade of drifting I’ve never seen so many drivers share so much joy all together. For everyone at Final Bout it was truly a life changing experience.

Before we get into the photos, I’d like to thank everyone that was involved with Final Bout- Starting first with our drivers- without you all believing in this idea, Final Bout weekend would not have been what it was. This was ultimately a collective effort between all of us, and every single driver was a part of making history, together. Our amazing staff, along with the people who came together to organize Final Bout had to work incredibly quickly in a very high pressure environment to put the event together and keep each portion of the project reined in throughout this weekend. Without the help of everyone involved in ClubFR, Final Bout could have never been what it was. Thank you to our amazing judges! We were so lucky to have people who have contributed to drifting history judge Final Bout. Between Toshiki Yoshioka, Benson Hsu, and Rob Riter, I truly felt like we were in the presence of some of the most wise, experienced, and at the same time friendly people in American drifting. Our sponsors, who believed in us from the very beginning when Final Bout was just an idea, and trusted the Final Bout team to build our dream event from the ground up. Without Koyo, Kenda Tire, Touge Factory, Origin Lab, Stance suspension, Dodo Logic, GTR Garage and Earnest Clothing we could not have created this event, or had such amazing prized to give to our drivers. And now, without further ado, here are some great photos from Sunday by Brad Sillars.

-Ilia Smolov (Team Proceed)

In case you missed the previous coverage:
Part 1
Part 2

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Unfortunately some drivers experienced mechanical trouble on Sunday. Roy from Bosstown had a clutch failure and spent Saturday night and most of Sunday working to get the car back together. Although he couldn’t finish the car in time, I know he’ll be back next year.

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Most people who grew up learning about drifting in America have at some point admired Toshiki, Benson, and Reiter. These guys have set examples for thousands of kids who learned to drift in the 2000s, and having them all in one place as judges was a bit surreal. To help them out with commentary we added Teddy from Auto Factory Realize and Brian Kolar, one of the oldest names in Chicago drifting. The judges were ready to see some exciting driving, and each one was talking a fair amount of trash, too. It’s not a drift contest without a bit of mockery from the judges!

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Gold Star’s super low ride height cars didn’t have much power, but this team knew how to put on a show. Their runs were super exciting to watch!

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Although the HotBoyz were short one member, Jack and Eric held it down together with help from Tyler in his silver 180sx. These guys were riding the wall for both of their competition runs, earning them 4th place.

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ShaDynasty’s Celica and Corolla were amazing with their ITB’d 3S engines. With Mark’s 500 horsepower Cressida in the mix, these runs were definitely something to watch. The wail of the 3S engines and Mark getting huge angle right near the wall were sick! ShaDynasty took 2nd place in the competition.

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Risky Devil came correct as always with perfectly coordinated cars and driving of a level that could only come from running together for years. Watching all of their cars drive at once got everyone on the hill psyched and cheering! Risky Devil took 3rd in the competition.

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Team OOPS might have had a silly name, but these dudes have been driving for years. Brian Peter (seen here) has been a Formula D driver for many years, Fuminori Kaneko (in his white FC) has been drifting since the 90s in Japan, and David Lee (in the black 6666 customs S13) owns Touge Factory. Between them, this team had easily the most experienced drivers around. Their runs were rad to see.

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Breaking’s cars have always had perfect color coordination, and although Derek King and Derek Bianski were not able to make Final Bout, the Breaking cars there had exciting runs all weekend.

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BossTown threw in everything they had during the competition. Their S13s were some of the cleanest, best condition cars at Final Bout. That didn’t stop these dudes from driving with absolutely no fear, tapping the wall over and over again. This was the Final Bout spirit captured by Brad here!

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My lead runs during Proceed’s competition runs weren’t my favorite. I slowed down a bit too much on this lead run, which caused Leigh to tap me a bit on the way down into the corkscrew. It did make for a great set of photos, though!

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Tracker’s cars looked on point all weekend. Kam’s Grey S13 was always super stylish with his battleship grey color and white gram lights.

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The D Squad corolla driven by Ryan was riding the wall all weekend, and his 3S engine made some amazing sounds!

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High Fade laid down amazing runs with their gorgeous black team cars during the compeition. These dudes were as consistent as you could get and managed to get all four cars perfectly stacked up during their tandem. They were an easy choice for first place!

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My team Proceed won Touge Factory’s award for best team unity. The guys at Touge Factory felt that our team reprensented as a group as well as we could. We’re so proud of that! For us being a team, being together, and being of the same mind set as brothers is more important than anything else. Thank you Touge Factory!

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Congratulations to High Fade for their great looking cars, amazing driving, and awesome attitude! These guys had a great time all weekend, and everyone at Final Bout was happy to see them take home the Final Bout trophy for this year, at least ;) .

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All of the teams that drove deserve props. Coordinating car colors, team names, livery; making sure that all of the team cars run perfectly and are ready to drift, all of these are incredible feats. We are so grateful that you all came together to make Final Bout what it was. Thank you all, and see you at Final Bout 2!

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As a bonus, here are some shots of the HotBoyz heading up the hill and into the wall, before Jordan crashed his car. He was able to recover after his big crash, and the last photo is an “after” image of his car post repairs, on Sunday. Everyone smiled and cheered when we saw his car run- he came back and dragged the wall first try on Sunday! The crowd support was incredible

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Josh’s 180 made a huge impact at Final Bout also, but his engine failed early on. The few runs that he was able to get in were absolutely amazing. Thanks for checking out the last installment of our Final Bout coverage. If anything, I hope this encourages more people to attend next year!