JDM Legends Visit

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently picked up a ’72 Hakosuka from JDM Legends out of Murray, Utah.  The car was purchased actually back in April/May of this year, but the entire process started about three years ago. I think it was in late in 2010 I sent an email to shop owner Eric simply inquiring about a ’71 Hako they had for sale. Unfortunately, the car was just sold by the time I contacted Eric. Although JDM Legends isn’t the only place to purchase a Hako; their service, attention to detail, and honesty made them my vendor of choice. Their pricing is comparable to sourcing a Hako yourself from Japan, so it was a no-brainer to work with them.

Around September of 2011,  two Hako’s were en route to JDM Legends which you guys probably have seen on JDM-L’s blog.  I think I was number 6 or 7 on a waiting list, but both cars were snatched up fairly quickly- a fairly modded red Hako that ended up in Socal and a silver Hako destined to Detroit. The Hakosuka community is very small, so I have coincidentally gotten to know both owners and they have been gracious to help me with various questions without any hesitation.

With three failed attempts, I didn’t know if the hakosuka dream would become a reality, but I contacted Eric again soon after the red and silver were sold to see what else they had in the pipeline. This time, I called Eric directly and spoke to him over the phone for the first time. Eric mentioned they actually had a 100% stock ’72 Hako arriving any day now. Regardless where I was on the waiting list, he said if I wanted the car it would be mine. I guess persistence does pay off! Of course I immediately said yes and the rest is history.  So just last month I finally was able to visit JDM Legends and see my car in person. Here is my story…..

As with most trips, I’m usually running late and forced to have airport food.  I have to admit that this chicken burrito I picked up in the Phoenix Airport was pretty decent.

So here is my tripod that I fit into a light stand case. It was pretty interesting carrying this around in the airport and on the plane. I’m pretty sure I freaked out a few people who probably assumed I was carrying a rifle.

I managed to score a pretty sweet hotel room @ the Hilton in Downtown Salt Lake City. I think my rental car and hotel was around $80 total.

Here’s my view from the hotel room. I got to the room around 10 or 11 pm. Instead of checking out the exiting Salt Lake City night life, I got sucked into a “LOCKED UP” marathon on MSNBC. You definitely do not want to end up in Prison in Mexico or Brasil.

The next morning I checked out Yelp for some breakfast spots and found a place called the Park Cafe which had some pretty legit reviews. Here’s a nice S4 which I didn’t expect to see on the road.

It took me a minute to find the Park Cafe because it was literally nestled between regular houses in a residential area.

Nothing too fancy- just some solid breakfast entrees and lunch items.

Now this is what I’m talking about. This place gets 5 stars in my book just based on the bacon quantity and quality.

The “Michigan Hash” had some good reviews and did not disappoint.

So after a hearty breakfast, I took the trip from SLC to Murray, Utah.  I wish we had these kinds of backdrops in Chicago.

I finally arrived and took a deep breath before I walked in….

I saw my Hako and this really cool TA22 Resto project immediately. Pretty stoked that my Hakosuka looked even better in person. Click here for a wallpaper size shot of the above pic (1920 x 1080 pixels).

I thought it would be a cool idea to make a JDM Chicago sticker in homage to the old school skyline heart decal. I contact my buddy Morris who’s done a ton of our design work and he whipped this up fairly quickly. I’ll have these available soon in red and black.  Under the JDMC heart logo is a Japanese vehicle safety inspection sticker.

On the front windshield is a vehicle registration sticker on the car. Pretty cool that the Hako was registered and driven in Japan.

I took a shot of this really clean black Celica TA22 right outside of JDM Legends. They have not yet advertised this car for sale, but look out for more info on this car soon. Ironic that adjacent to JDM Legend appears to be some sort of junkyard that has a bunch of vintage cars on the lot.

Here’s the motor of the TA22. It’s a stock 2tg engines motor with some aftermarket headers.

In addition to importing and restoration work, Eric and Ryan @ JDM-L are not strangers to tuning and mechanical work. Here is an artsy shot of some spark plugs going into one of the shop cars.

The JDM Legends “wall of fame” consists of various vintage posters, nick-nacks, and gifts from friends and fans.

I was happy to see a JDM Chicago keychain which I sent these guys a few months ago on the wall.

Also happy to see my boy Jay from JDM Ego repped here, as well as a sticker from dsalni drawn adjacent to the turbo.

A detail shot of the silver TA22. Wheels are TRD Toscos in 13×8.

The entire restoration job is top notch.  Here is a motor shot of the 2tg  with TRD high compression pistons, vintage HKS cams, Trust header, 1750cc TRD pistons, bigger 44mm Mikunis, and a nice port and polish.

An Exterior shot of the TA22. I’m not sure who the owner is, but he should be happy to know that his car is a legitimate concours type build.

Front shot of the Hako. I decided to keep the GTX grill/emblem on the car. A few notable changes to mention here are the satin black painted fender mirrors from the OEM polished look, as well as the GTR front chin spoiler.

I was pretty stoked to see this factory original 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport (series 1) complete with the original L10A rotary engine in running condition. Eric mentioned the car is already sold to a collector, so don’t get your hopes up in case you are interested.

OG Mazda logo on the Cosmo.

Here is an interior shot of the Cosmo. You have to love the vintage bare bones style. I was tempted to fix the tear on the seat in photoshop, but didn’t want to risk getting JDM Legends in trouble in case the owner thought the seat was mint from our pics. haha

I’m sure this original emblem isn’t easy to find.

JDM Legend’s infamous Mazda SA22C RX7 in “Hot Wheels” livery.

Another 1972 Hako recently arrived and in case you are wondering, the rear has 14″ wats with 15’s in the front. Not really sure why, but who cares! This 2000 GT has had significant motor work done, as opposed to my measly stock L20 engine. Click here for a 1920×1080 wallpaper.

Here is the shot of the motor.  The 3.0L engine is fiitted with a nice set of Weber 48 DCOE carburetors.

JDM Legends had some old JNC mags which I was happy to pick up for the plan ride back. I was really impressed with the level of writing and coverage in this magazine.

The JDM Legends team consist of two employees- Ryan and Eric. Here is a shot of Ryan’s 1966 Honda ca160 or commonly called the dream 160. Oh, and 13″ riken mesh wheels chillin on the corner with what looks like is an RB25.

Shop project car- KP61 Starlet with a 4AGE.

Thanks to my sponsors Mackin and Falken for the wheel/tire setup. Also thanks to Touge Factory for getting those Project Kics r40 lug nuts shipped directly to Utah.

Here is an interior shot of my Hako. I was thrilled how original and mint the interior looked. I have no plans on changing anything with the
interior. Eric and Ryan mentioned that my Hako has probably the best interior that they have ever imported.

Very rare and original GTX steering wheel.

As I mentioned, JDM-L aren’t just importers, but also do quite a bit of custom work. Here is a shot of some metal residue from some bump stop spacers Eric made for the Hako.

Rear shot of the Hako with the Fujitsubo exahust. As you can see, the rear camber needs to be addressed.

Another shot with the garage door opened.

A quick shot of Ryan’s Hako Sedan before  I had to catch my flight back to Chicago. I really want to say thanks to Eric and Ryan for their hospitality and literally dropping everything while I spent about 4 hours at the shop. Thanks for checking this out and Happy New Years to all! Come back in a few days for the final installment of the Japan trip coverage!




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