Category Archives: Cars

OG JDMST EOMM

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OG JDMST EOMM meet tonight was awesome. Loved running into some faces I’ve not seen in YEARS. Great people, great vibes! Thanks to all who made it happen. So good. My heart can’t take anymore!

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My 4th Honda Jazz!

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This morning I picked up my new 2019 Honda Jazz VTi-L. I was more than happy to settle for the VTi-S but we got a great deal on the L which has a bucketload more features over the S.

Features over the S:
Paddle shifters
LED high beams
LED daytime running lights
Climate control with touchscreen panel
Smart keyless entry
Push start button
Front seats heating function
Centre fold down arm rest
Black premium fabric
Black leather seats
Leather wrapped gear knob
Front tweeters x 2 (6 speaker vs 4 speaker stereo)
Reverse parking sensors
Security alarm system

It’s a fair bit bigger than my old Honda Jazzes! Drives pretty much the same, body roll aplenty and that vague steering feel is in full effect lol! Should munch up 2 mountain bikes for Loftus rides! Can’t wait to get back on the bike!

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My 4th Honda Jazz

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Spent a bit of time on Carsales every single day for the last month. First with $5k to spend, and later with a $20K budget thanks to Mum (she’s been driving me everywhere for the past few years!).

At $5k I was looking at an NA MX5 or a Yaris, but the $20K budget had me looking at everything from M3’s to Clio Cups… I was losing my mind!

In the end I think I’ve done the grown up thing and bought myself my 4th Honda Jazz, brand new from Suttons City Honda. The sales guy had a hard time (as I wasn’t at all excited about buying another Jazz lol) and we walked out of there with a great deal.

I take delivery of it on Friday if all goes to plan. The 5 year warranty will hopefully stop me from modding it. My next step is to put my mountain bike back together for Loftus rides!

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Threesome – JDMyard x Hardrace meeting

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FULL SWING! Had a great meeting today with the Threesome crew on 2 new jobs; the JDMyard and Hardrace Suspension web sites. We’ll have both sites looking tight real soon! More process and progress as it comes.

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Cars For Hope update

A few hours after I published this Berty reached out and for the past 3.5hrs we’ve been in discussion face to face. I acknowledge that my first CFH feature upset him and his team as the JPG I used to promote that feature was nothing more than ‘click bait’, designed to get attention in order for people to read the feature. For this I’m truly sorry as I didn’t think it would cloud him and his team from reading the real meat of my story. At the same time I forced Berty to read my first article and acknowledge that my final line was that I hoped for a meeting with his team to still happen in order to discuss if CFH could build a better bridge for people suffering from depression.

Berty showed me the figures, but more importantly he gave me his word that he has never personally taken more than $5 from CFH for his own personal benefit since inception. I might have my own personal doubts, but at the end of the day I have to believe him as it’s his word against thoughts which cross my mind. So for singling him out and questioning him in public (which he and many others would take as accusing him), I apologise wholeheartedly.

Also, I was wrong about his fancy helmet as it cost him $150, and his S2000 was a seal at $11k.

In regards to what CFH spends their money on. Berty managed to explain that anyone who donates to CFH gets a personalised letter from CFH to say what the money goes into. I questioned why he would only give that information to those who donated, and why not share that information in order to inspire more people to donate. The point was taken. I also again questioned the vagueness of the CFH web site in general, and again, point taken and Berty assures me they are working on it.

Ultimately Berty had to ask whether this was the end of our friendship, and whether I would continue to question CFH in future. My answer was NO! Of-course we’re still friends, and if anything, if CFH did edit their web page they should let me know so I could share it with my community.

To all those CFH supporters who are upset with my thoughts. I apologise for making anyone upset, it wasn’t my intention. I was merely trying to explain why I wanted to remove the CFH banner from the ZEN Garage blog. I rest my case, and will not continue to express my opinions on CFH as I feel I’ve said more than enough. I acknowledge that the primary goal of CFH is to create awareness around the subject of depression, and in doing so they have saved lives, which is an amazing thing full stop.

Here’s an official response from CFH: https://carsforhope.com.au/2019/03/thank-you-for-fighting-against-stigma-with-us/

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Why I’m no longer supporting Cars For Hope

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A little while back I wrote a piece on Cars For Hope with the intention to question whether or not they could do more than just create awareness on depression.

I made it clear that when I was suffering depression, going to their web site did nothing but lead me to help lines, thing is, when you’re that down there’s no way you’d ever pick up the phone to call 000.

There are a bunch of stories on the site written by anonymous young people, none of them have any comments. The last story had a call to action at the very end of it, to reach out and speak out, which I did, but my comment was never approved and I never got a response.

I’ve recently gone through my entire chat history with Berty Nghiem, who runs Cars For Hope. I have proof of constantly reaching out to him over the years to organise a meeting to discuss how I could help better Cars For Hope, but each and every time I’ve reached out to him he’s been slow and very short with his replies as he’s been “too busy” and we’ve never once had that meeting.

I have been the single largest supporter of Cars For Hope since day 1. If you click on the hashtag #carsforhope on Facebook you’ll see it’s all links from ZEN Garage and End Of Month Meet (EOMM). We’ve had a Cars For Hope banner above the fold on ZEN Blog since forever. The Cars For Hope web site does not link back to ZEN.

What’s questionable to me is: Where does the money go?

From the CFH website: “All of the funds from every purchase go straight into the charity organisation, helping us to continue doing what we do, including giving hope, running campaigns, connecting people to the help they deserve and investing directly into mental health research and treatment.”

For years ZEN Garage was the only shop, both physical and online that sold Cars For Hope stickers. I did the pack and send for years and I know we sold more Cars For Hope stickers per week than we did ZEN Garage stickers.

We were re-ordering 100 Cars For Hope stickers at a time and even then we’d run out of stock every month. The stickers literally sold like hotcakes, and since taking over ZEN Garage I have access to the bookwork which reveals just how much Cars For Hope has made since 2011. It’s a big sum. I can’t help but question; where did all that money go?

I still find the Cars For Hope web site as vague as I did in 2011. They clearly state that all donations go to Cars For Hope, but they also suggest profits go towards treatment of mental illness, but they don’t state exactly who and how and that worries me.

I know when Berty came in to work for Motor Culture, who shared a work space with ZEN Garage, he drove a beaten up EK Civic. Later on he bought an S2000, then a really nice helmet, and then a GT wing and a whole lot of track mods and even more track time. I can’t help but think the money generated from Cars For Hope went into his hobby, and that putting big stickers on his car was “creating more awareness”.

I’m writing this because I personally can’t live with supporting a company that in my gut I don’t feel right about. All my offers to meet and discuss Cars For Hope over the years have been swept under the rug. I still don’t know where that massive profit from selling Cars For Hope stickers through ZEN Garage over all these years has gone, and now I just don’t care.

I’ll be making moves to remove the Cars For Hope banner on the ZEN Garage web site, and I’ll personally unfollow their social media as I literally feel sick in the stomach when I read “limited edition”, “package deal” and other use of corporate sales talk to sell goods.

There’s a guy in the hospitality industry who’s recently reached out to me. His company holds fundraisers, but unlike Cars For Hope, they are not awareness fundraisers, they are raising funds for action.

They’ve partnered with a company to provide instant trained and specialised psychological support for their industry, 24hrs a day. IE: Psychologists on call 24/7 through an app on your phone, Skype, or face to face when you need them. This is amazing as some of the most critical cases get left waiting for appointments, but within that waiting period it can all be to late.

I’ll be keeping tabs on his future fundraisers, but for now I personally choose not to support Cars For Hope. In no way at all am I suggesting you do the same, but I hope I’ve managed to justify my why.

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Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt progress

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Front “pocket” print.

Just sharing some process/progress on the Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt I’m designing for WTAC this year.

The shield logo on the right appears for a split second in the 2003 Drift Bible DVD (and also on the DVD jacket design). I’ve decided to use it on the front pocket of the T-Shirt (saving the big cross design for a large back print). I’ve taken inspiration from MASH for the shield shape and the OG Keiichi cross logo (left). Not 100% sure on the shield shape just yet, might tweak it to look a little bit more like the original shield (right).

More updates as they come!

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Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt mood board

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I’m working on the official Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt for World Time Attack Challenge this year. I had the opportunity last year but I was in a hole and failed to even get started on a design.

This year I’m on it early AF and determined to get it right.

I want to take it back to where it all began. Best Motoring released The Drift Bible DVD in 2003 where Keiichi runs viewers through 6 different drift techniques.

These days you’d be hard pressed to find any video content of that length for any one driver. Mad Mike? Most I’ve seen is a few clips only a few minutes long, Keiichi? He had a whole DVD to himself! That DVD was fucking amazing to us at the time (it will forever live on my shelf in the lounge room!).

I’ve created a mood board. Top half are grabs from the DVD. I love love love the cross design so I’m most likely going to work on that being a part of the T, if not the whole design for the T. At the bottom there’s a few previous T designs. I hate all the illustration/caricature designs as none of them look like him, and caricature’s are usually known for being ugly bastardisations of people in general so I’ll definitely be avoiding that.

I love the bottom right corner logo he used for Kei Office, might use part of that for the design, maybe even on the sleeve. Either way I’m pumped and can’t wait to knock this design out! More process/progress updates soon!

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WTAC 2019 Update

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Meeting with WTAC yesterday didn’t go down like I thought it would…

When you’re on the inside you really get to see how hardcore running a huge event like WTAC really is. What you think you know about WTAC gets thrown out the door, and the reality of finding sponsorship money to run the beast becomes excruciatingly clear.

I’ll be designing the new Keiichi Tsuchiya T-Shirt this year, but that’s about it (I’m VERY excited about this as DK is a God to me). Alain Sihaphone has the rest of WTAC covered. Big job, but he’s a big man, so all good!!!

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WTAC 2019

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Monday Funday! I’m meeting up with Ian Baker and Alain Sihaphone today to discuss design and marketing ideas for WTAC 2019.

For huge reasons, WTAC almost didn’t happen this year… DO NOT BE one of those people that end up saying “Oh I wish I went to WTAC when it was on…”

I get a LOT of these comments in regards to the old ZEN Garage shop in Leichhardt; “oh wish I went when it was open”, regret is lame AF, and most of the time it can be avoided, so less excuses, just do what you have to do to get to WTAC this year ’cause IMHO, it’s hands down the best automotive event we have on the calendar each year.

More info: World Time Attack Challenge

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