Category Archives: Cars

ZEN PODCAST #015 – Stephen Wassef


SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/ZenGarage

Stephen Wassef is a founding member of Acquired Taste, a tight knit Sydney based car crew who now have plans to create a brand. We discuss VW Golfs, Electric Cars, Bitcoin, Acquired Taste, Tokyo, the morals of being a tobacconist, vape, bodybuilding and old school values.

PS: Audio goes out of synch on this one. I’m making moves to get rid of the webcam as they can only record in variable frame rate and that’s the sync issue right there.

PPS: Chief had NO plans to be on the podcast at all and in the end both of us are glad he decided to change his mind. He’s a shy and quiet guy in real life but I promised I’d do more of the talking. Listening back it’s obvious Chief had more to say but couldn’t as I just kept cutting him off (more so than previous podcasts I think!). I’ve had a few people suggest I let my guests talk more. I 100% agree!

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/zengarage/sets/zen-podcasts
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/zen-podcast-001/id1336686598?mt=2

Posted in Cars, Podcast | 2 Comments

Hangs with the Midnight Garage Crew

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BEFORE (raw unedited).

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AFTER.

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BEFORE.

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AFTER.

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Their logo design is way out of whack as you can see now that I’ve put a grid over it.

I hung out with the young guys from Midnight Garage yesterday. They’re good dudes who have always supported ZEN and EOMM. A little while back they started their own brand “Midnight Garage” and so far the guys have come up with a logo and have started to shoot at automotive events.

We had a good catch up, and ended up talking about all sorts of stuff (I might get these guys on the podcast at some point!), but I thought I’d take the time to show them how I frame in hopes it would rub off on them. Will gave me his memory card of shots from a meet the night before and I picked out both shots above to re-frame.

The top image is pretty straight forward, but just a note that it’s always better to shoot a few steps back at car meets rather than being so close you end up cropping parts of the car you’re shooting (which he had done in a fair few shots).

The second image was one of his worse images on the SD Card but hey my slight rotation and crop shows how you could sometimes even save a bad image with a little dynamic framing.

Now the logo file; I knew it wasn’t tight just looking at it, but I thought I’d explain why to the guys by putting it into photoshop then layering a grid over it. As you can see nothing lines up at all. The CREW is off centre, the left little octagon is too. The crew banner edges have different angles both the left and the right and the 3 lower case g’s look super repetitive and make this hand written style font obviously look like a font (a capital G would have been better for Garage). The way the triangle crops around the letters isn’t working either as it’s almost dynamic on the left side, but cut horizontally straight on the right side.

I made sure the guys realised that I was in no way at all having a go at their designer, he’s a junior/young and I’ve got way more experience, but it was awesome to be able to show the guys exactly why the logo didn’t look right to me. Once they saw all the things I saw they were taken aback (I mean these guys already have printed out stickers and T-Shirts of their logo too and they didn’t see all the faults that I saw).

Whilst I’m damn tempted to refine their existing logo (as it only needs a few tweaks here and there to make it a lot tighter) I’m thinking that I’ve got to stop being so generous in order to avoid those nasty resentment issues of mine!!! The guys are totally onto it in any case. I’m sure they’ll sort the logo out and I’m also sure their shots will be framed nicer going forwards too.

Like: https://www.facebook.com/midnight.garage.aus/

Posted in Cars, Design | Leave a comment

Looking to buy my 4th Honda Jazz…

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I’ve not driven in over a year now. Crazy I know (MDT’s made me rage quit), but I’m starting to want a car again. I’m thinking a $5k beater Honda Jazz (my 4th one!) would be perfect, anyone got any leads or suggestions?

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Nanami takes delivery of her new VW Polo

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Nanami buys her 1st car

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Denlo in Parramatta.

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Peter Zhang was our sales guy and he was AWESOME!

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Sealing the deal.

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Happy Nana. These guys were great!

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SOLD!

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Nana’s first car!

Spent the day helping Nanami buy a VW Polo today. They’re GREAT little cars! Super zippy, planted, fun cars to drive. She opted for the better package with more power (the little turbo rips!) and it’s black interior is a nice place to be in, especially with the alcantara seats.

The first dealer we called (closest to us) sold the car we were after 15 minutes earlier. He let us in on the fact that he didn’t budge on the price though. We mentioned we found one at another dealer for cheaper, the guy then pretty much told us to go grab it as he couldn’t match the price.

We then drove out to Denlo Volkswagen in Parramatta, our sales guy was Peter Zhang, and man, the guy just made the whole experience a great one. I often call dealers stealers, but this guy’s a great guy, and he made buying the car personable and ultimately a super fun and exciting experience for Nanami, which I’m really happy for!

We go back next week to pick her new car up! I’ll try to get more snaps then!

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JDMST – Why we meet

This is an old interview. The guy opposite, interviewing me was Marty from Mighty Car Mods, and man he made me feel at ease during this interview. I fucking HATE being in front of the camera, and I was shitting my pants when he asked me for a few words, but the way he set it all up, I just remembered how chill he was, which made me chill, and I’ve never been as comfy in front of a camera since (much to learn!).

When the guys did this video we ripped it and uploaded it to our channel so we could stream it into the in-store TV. That was a big no no, and created unnecessary bad vibes. Fast forward all these years and I’ve just reached out to Marty to ask if it’s OK for me to cut out this bit of the episode, and re-up it to my new channel. The lovely man said YES!

Thanks to young Phil Boquida, my right hand video man this year I’ve uploaded the clip to the channel. Check Phil’s work out here, it’s awesome.

Posted in Cars, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

China Trip – Day #6 – Hong Kong

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When in HK one must Ho Hung Kee.

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Hanging out with my young cuz Anthony, the super car buster!

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FOLLOW HIM! – https://www.instagram.com/supercar_buster_hk/

Posted in Cars, Food, Travel | Leave a comment

Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend.

mkvr32_goodbye

Posted in Cars | 2 Comments

Never underestimate the power of a phone call

So what’s with all this attitude at 42? Understandable if I was young, but telling the boss of an international brand that you think you love the brand more than he does sounds pretty damn arrogant, and that’s exactly what I said to Jose Angeles, the big man at Toyo Tyres Australia a couple of years ago during our first meeting.

Over the years I’ve developed an interesting relationship with most of my clients. It takes a lot for a client to take risks on me and allow me to work the way I want to work, because if you try to make me work the way everybody else does… well then there’s friction, and well, then basically nothing gets done.

I got a message from Nicholas Green yesterday. Nick has been a middle man of sorts in my relationship with Toyo. He simply asked for a Toyo update and I lost my shit.

It’s funny how much pressure we put on ourselves. It’s funny how much pressure money puts on me and how much pressure I put on money. In a time where I’m hyper aware of how little energy I have for anything but working on personal issues and gaming, I still wake up with ZEN and Toyo on the brain and if I scroll through my feeds, though there are less posts I still see ZEN and Toyo posts in the mix.

It’s this natural connect that is important to me and I love that Toyo and many other of my clients leave me alone to do what I like when I like, but for some reason, a simple question from Nick yesterday made me feel an immense pressure, like what I was doing wasn’t enough, like maybe we should just drop the relationship, like what the hell was I thinking?

It’s taken a few deep breaths, an apology, and a phone call to both Nick and Jose to calm me down. Thanks Nick, and Jose for being pillars and mirrors for me. I didn’t like what I saw in the reflection, but I’m glad I’ve seen it, and I’m massively grateful for the support.

Posted in Cars, Spam, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

The Golf is SOLD!

SHE’S SOLD!

Going to a good guy who’s a mate of a great guy. This car has been the longest daily driver I’ve owned. It’s the car that killed the modifying bug in me (as I was buying and modding a car a year before this car). Where I often wished I was in my GT-R when a nice ride would pull up next to me at the lights when I was in my daily drivers, I never felt that way in the Golf. It holds it’s own and nothing I’ve owned has ever sounded so good from the front and the back.

#hooraynomoretyrekickers #lessismore

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