Cupcake Meet 20

*Edit* Sorry for such a late post (2 months) Sometimes I forget I write for this thing. Please forgive me friends */Edit*

Car events are always, for me at least, a place to gather with friends that you don’t get to see all the time, check out each others current projects, and have a good time. The Cupcake Meet has been doing that for quite some time now, and they did not disappoint this time around either. A main plus for these events is that all of their proceeds go towards a different charity each time, which makes the even small entry fees that much more worth it.

During this meet, I did quite a bit of thinking. Years back, going to a meet always seemed to be a rushed ordeal with large amounts of excess stress, planning, and frustration. I had some time at the start of the day to think about how much more I enjoy the whole process once I take a deep breath and just appreciate the fact that I get to have some of my closest friends in one place. It doesn’t happen often due to life changes and people living in various areas of the country/world, but when it does it’s a beautiful thing and I hope you all partake in taking in the moment much as I have.

So on that laid back note, we started the day out at First Texas Honda where Cody and Billy work.

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Arick loves to think that he can look hard…. even when owning ¬†a FIAT

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The Dodge Dart is a relatively new platform. I’m interested in seeing how this unfolds.

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Our friend Angel has one of the coolest cars in Austin IMO

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An interesting part about this meet was the fact that the entrance was a 2 way road. This created a huge traffic jam on the service roads leading to the entrance. Some people would be annoyed or even angry at this… us? We took it as an opportunity to have some fun.

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Upon entering, we were immediately hit with some awesome looking cars. This s13 coupe sitting all by itself looked awesome with the widened fenders.

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Roy’s IS300 is never something you’re sad to see. The amount of handcrafted goodness that has gone into this thing is ridiculous.

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Squirrel Squads Lexus is on point

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The homies at JDM Freshness have some really cool cars.

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A lonely Z spotted

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Thaison always ends up with some super cool old corolla. Peep his latest creation.

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My God daughter Addy wanted to make an appearance.

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The Pinkies Out homies peepin’ us as we rode by in the wagon

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Who doesn’t love an s13 coupe though?

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Your neighborhood dyno show

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Just one more of the Squirrel Squad lexus

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Blob eyes

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The homie Everette’s car is raw and beautiful. Who would have guessed a drift car with some VIP wheels would flow so well?

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Drew’s already stunning work in progress

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The Lineup

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Steven “The Thai Food Guy” Edge

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Some homies just having a good time

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Closing this one out with Melvin’s 5 lug, h swapped hatch

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New Adventure

Over the past year, I’ve been thinking about starting a business and make the Natsukashi Garage blog turn into a brand. I like what I do for the blog and all the car related things. If people want to rep us, so be it. We all have one thing in common and that is the appreciation of cars and the memories they make. Here is the very first NG shirt design that is for sale. Shirts are 100% super comfortable for any day. Coming soon, will be stickers ūüôā

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Shop:

http://natsukashigarage.bigcartel.com/

The Impractical Daily

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It has been also a long time with any updates with my Miata and a lot has happen after only owning it for one year .

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I first bought the car May 2013 for a cheap deal. The Miata came rims, coilovers, ¬†bucket seats, and other bolt on parts but NO ac or power steering. Kinda weird because this car is my daily while the GTI, which has AC, is a special occasion car. The thing was, the Miata is a convertible roaster, and if you haven’t driven one, then you are missing out on life. The car was already upgraded and looked nice, but soon the bug bit me and I started changing things to make it more of my own car. First thing I did a complete maintenance overhaul, because I wanted the car to last for a long time and be reliable. The car when I bought it only had 130,000ish miles on it.

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After the maintenance part was done, I started changing things. The first thing on the car to be changed was the seats. The car came with the red racer boy seats. Personally I didn’t really like the seat because on long journeys the seat would become uncomfortable and the quality was alright. I was getting back aches and having to pull over at gas stations to stretch. I had to change that immediately. Since I have a Status seat in the GTI I wanted one the Miata. Status Racing is a brand of quality, safety, and good looks. There are no knock offs of Status Seats and its FIA approved so you know they are legit for racing. Luckily, being in the car culture, I met someone that was selling a seat and got the homie hook up. I paired my Status Racing seat with Garage Star seat rails.

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The installation was a breeze. The Status Seat looked perfect and the Garage Star seat rails hold it in. I sold the the red seats and to this day I still have no passenger seat. Main reason is because putting in a stock seat won’t compliment the car and I didn’t want to buy knock offs either. Then it just so happens I ¬†have a Grip Royal steering wheel lying around, for quite some time, and replaced the old eBay steering wheel. I also bought NRG hub adaptor too for the steering wheel, the blue hue matches well with the blue paint job.

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Later on, I noticed the factory seat belt would randomly detach itself and the 4 point eBay seat belts wasn’t much good either. The back harness was incorrectly installed, WHICH is scary. The last thing you want during a crash is your seat belt to break. I was honestly scared to¬†drive this car for that reason.

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^^^ The top pic shows the 4 pt eBay harness wasn’t wrapped ¬†around a harness bar, but instead it was laid over a style bar which is the wrong to install a 4pt harness. Style bars are not used as harness bars. The rear harness was attach to the seat belt, along with the side harness, and that has putting too much stress on the stock stead belt bolts. This car was a death trap to happen.

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I wanted to make my car safe to drive just and know my safety equipment wont break. I bought an OMP 4 point racing harness which is FIA approved and a Hard Dog harness bar. I choose OMP because not many people in the States use them, but FIA approved, and I want to be different from the others. The correct way is to the wrap the rear harness straps to the harness bar and not the seat belt mounting points. Here is the link on how to wrap a harness on a bar: http://www.schroth.com/installation-instructions/en/05_restraint_installation.htm. After searching craigslist, I manage to score a cheap deal on a Hard Dog roll bar. I noticed this also improved chassis stiffness and race car looks.

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Starting to get tired of the XXR, I wanted to find legit rims. The good thing about the Miata is legit 16-15″ rims are relatively cheap compared to ¬†legit 18″ rims. I found rare set of Advan SA3R rims with the center caps for cheap!! I sold the XXR to my homie and I bought the Advans. I loved the look of the style. The Advans matches the era of the car well and had the tracked functional fitment. Surprisingly, the Advans are heavier¬†than the XXR but the Advan SA3R was made in the 90s and the forging technology was different back in the day. But I rather have legit wheels over fake wheels any day. I have nothing against fake wheels but please don’t put “Volk” “BBS” or other name band stickers on rep wheels or say its a legit wheels but actually its a rep. Its just tacky when people do that.

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Then I was pulled over twice in one week for no front plates. Felt like it was a dumb excuse for the cop to stop you, so they can check if you have any outstanding warrants or give you a ticket with something dumb. I got away with a warning but that was annoying and a bought a Garage Star front plate holder. Till this day I haven’t been pulled over by a cop.

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After a while, I wanted to be ricer and I changed the stock muffler to a lightweight Apexi muffler. My set up is super loud, like it literally will make your ears ring. I do like the ricer fly bys this car makes. Never gets old.

 

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Made my own custom piping with the classic jdm angle. Car gives a mean growl and sounds fast too haha.

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Then the stance bug hit me hard. I love the functional track set up but I really miss stance and yeah my GTI has that but I wanted it also on the Miata. I was browsing the wheel forums and came a across a nice set of BBS RM with really aggressive specs. I wasn’t sure if it was going to fit but I wanted it and determined to make it fit. I contacted the owner and bought the rims the next week.

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Even with maxed stock camber and a lot of fender pulling it was a wide load. I had two options, I can go over fenders or more camber. Noticing over fenders is popular this year (2014) with rocket bunny kits and liberty walk kits, I wanted to do something not soooo popular. I went for demon camber. With the amount of poke i had, I knew I needed extreme camber. Demon camber or ONI camber is something very controversial in the car community. People really love it or people really hate it. I know most track or Miata purist would be mad but I don’t give a damn.

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Negative 12 camber. No rubbing and no issues. I like this look a lot, its something different and unique.

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Tired of the red, white blue colors I painted the finish panel blank for the JDM look and less subtle. then the red finish panel. People used to call this the smurf car but not anymore.

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Added stickers to the interior for my personal touch and I had to rock Cambergang of course.

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This dog seems to love my car.

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Tired of the weak factory headlights, I came across a group buy from Top Miata. I bought Jass Performance low pro headlights!!! Its worth the money and big light upgrade too! The headlights are upgraded to H4 bulbs which is more brighter than the factory sealed bulbs. Plus the look of the headlights matches the car perfectly, slim and low proflile. Not many people have these lights and kinda glad they don’t, because I want to be different.

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I rocked no fenders for a while because I got into a wreck. Don’t want to talk about that. But I did like the no fender look, reminded me of the rat rods.

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I did by new fenders but not factory ones. I got fiberglass D1 style fenders. Something different that you don’t see everyday. The rubbing did go away after cutting the inside of the fender a bit.

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Yep its daily driven and static.

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Thats pretty much of what is going on with the Miata. Next major upgrade would be replacing the coilovers to BC Racing or 326 power. We had our ups and downs but I very much like this car and way it has turned out.¬†I daily this car because I like the persona this car gives, the way it drives, and the character it has attainted over this past year. I know my car is not everybody cup of tea, Ive seen and heard people say crap about my car, but I don’t care. You don’t build cars to get people’s approval, built it to your taste and style. The car is a blank canvas and you are the painter.