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MOON GARAGE Goshu USA Trip Report

Hi! This is Goshu from MOON GARAGE! This time US Trip Report is on about Japanese Classic Car Show as known as JCCS, and quick tour Interview of invited guest to 20th Anniversary Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show.

We headed to Dan Collins Old Gold Garage soon after arrived to USA in MOONEYES USA. Dan Collins has been helping us to support Yokohama show for long time now and he has made his first Japanese custom bike. Yamaha YT500 base custom into narrow bike with 23 inch front and 21 inch rear, block tire is making unique style and narrowed appearance by single coil over shock conversion on rear making the total different style from original.

Quick step to next Saturday, the long beach Queen Marry Park has hosted outdoor car show called Japanese Classic Car Show on nice green park area with water front view and nice relaxed atmosphere of car show recalls the same water front scene in Yokohama. This year Japanese Classic Bike was also added to entry category and Z1, KH350, CB75 and many old Japanese bike lined up. Which is rare for scene in US shows. The car entry was over 400 and became big show for even outstanding the cars shows in Japan. Inside show was out perform for Japanese car fan in USA with Skyline Hakosuka and Kenmeri Zs doing Nissan most popular line up and 510 showed up in outstanding numbers with coupes and wagons and Zs too. Nissan dealer made entry with new GTR too!

As for Toyota fans, the dealer made nice display with Hilux, MOON DISC on Prius, latest super car Lexus LFA and back then super car 2000GT which many fan tried to capture in their camera. Mazda made race car line up for rotary raced fans, and big trailer full of goods.The lined up RX7 and pickups were outstanding too.

The rare cars draw attention like Mitsubishi Debonair Sedan with L tail lens, Toyota AE86 Levin/Corolla ’71 Toyota Cressida with Mark II conversions, the impact was the Japanese tail lens and amber lens wer e used on many of these customs! Also Japanese wheels and tires with size stretched out to make that different look was making Z look like different car. and fact that all were looking for more impact to show.

Now we are in other half of trip report. The 20th anniversary for Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show is coming up and guest are interviewed for show DVD and MOONEYES Illustrated Vol. 8 published by MOONEYES in coming November. The first stop was Land speed race at El Mirage. El Mirage is where dry lake Land speed race cars and bikes race for top speed in each different categories. The California is dry area and this huge lake was dried to make long flat race course. If you look close, the surface is little rough and not super flat, but when you are on race car driving it feels like driving on smooth surfaced and flows like driving on snow. By the way the salt flats is in Bonneville and has more open space for bigger and longer course. The El Mirage on the other hand is more shorter and have people visiting for camp and dirt bikes, Different setting is made for race cars to race in this 2 different places.

Mr. Shinya Kimura of Chabot racing raced on his Knuckle Harley Davidson. His challenge is to go fast on his street bike. So his bike is not fully modified for race. This race is amazing. Something we cannot imagine from everyday scene in Japan. Unlike other race, It looks relaxing as no dog race to beat other racer like in any race but sure has a tense concentration at start line that seems driver is racing against themselves.

Next we saw Bean Bandits Race car 3400. Bean Bandits racing club member Fabian Valdez and Tom Branch are working on this car. The long front extended Roadster body with mid engine mount race car run for 200 miles over in May and now adjusting to new changed supercharger blown engine. This race car made over 200miles per hour without supercharger and now it makes less than 200 miles with super charger which doesn’t sound like making sense but step by step adjustment is made to overcome the output for more speed than just over 200 miles per hour. The reason why they don’t go full power all the way in first change is that most expensive damage is blowing up engine, so they are taking care about doing each steps when big change is made.

Bean bandits Racing club member Dan Waldrop from San Diego had his race car 131 run in august Bonneville. He then had to repair but came the wrong clutch parts and even though he put his work for all night repairing before El Mirage, his race car could make it for race. Julio, member of Bean bandits San Diego, had his berry tank racer with flat head and looked like he was enjoying his race. Each member seemed to have their own goal and target. There were different ways to enjoy this race.

Now came the weekdays, visited Bean bandits member Fabian Valdez. Their preparation for raced was done after work in weekdays night and time between the schedules on weekends. They say it is sacrifice, to cover this time spent for race. They try to explain that It is difficult to race with ordinary jobs and lives so we can understand how their race result is important for them.

Next is Kutty Noteboom member of Sinners which debuted its documentary on DVD on 2005, making first visit to Japan and his brand new HD “California Kush” is mow on last adjustment. Frame, front folk, wheels with mag look special thing about each and every parts are build up to make this motorcycle. Many interesting stories to tell. Kutty continue to work on bikes and very active in scene, he is travelling to shows in east coast New York after this.

Bean Bandits original members were from San Diego and Julio Hernandez has shop in San Diego he has good reputation of building a race car and Dan Waldrop has supported as member to race there. Now Dan was working on race car #131 at his home. Next race is on October in Bonneville and El Mirage. Their basics about race is work as team, spend time to work on race car, spend money to buy parts, spend days to prepare for race and race it for good result.

Now next day was visit to SO-CAL SPEED SHOP. Mr. Pete Chapouris on 32 Ford SO-CAL Roadster who has been a key person to help us and support us to invite the finest show cards to Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show, and SO-CAL SPEED SHOP famous builder Mr. Jimmy Shine on brand new triumph “SOCAL MILER” were helping us on shoot for ride shot, interview and more during the busy day time and I must say that it was very nice to hear word of man himself who has made great support for this industry, “That’s no problem, we are making a great treasure for history!”

Then we made visit to Shifters Marky and Purple People Eater who will be visiting for second visit after 10 years. It was when this shocking car made a debut and same year it went to Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show and made first ride in appearance which became the great show starter and show appearance ever since. The man and the machine who started all that excitement will be back for 20th anniversary!

Next day, interview has long distance trip too. From SOCAL to NOCAL at Salinas, 6 hours driving one way and return on same day tour headed to see Salinas Boys Cole Foster and Aaron Elliott. Aaron made full custom bike using HONDA s off road bike CJ 360, and won the Japanese bike award in this years BORN FREE III Show. He changed paint and made it look better than before. Please check out the interview by Cole and Aaron in relaxed atmosphere of NOCAL.

Date changed and last 2 days left. We visited Bean Bandits member Tom Branch at his home. Among the piece full residential area, his garage was packed with hot rod and related things. His gold Ford roadster is famous and his wife blue Ford sedan is famous too, Tom is living straight car guys life inherited from his father and being important race member to support race with Fabian Valdez as Bean Bandits member.

There was a leader in making bike scene big in Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show, Shinya Kimura was in Zero Engineering back then and majority of people, builder, rider and reporter travelled to see his bike in Yokohama from overseas. Now Shinya Kimura is living in SOCAL and race in land speed race, cannonball run and aim to accomplish his dream goal. This year he is coming to Yokohama with his knuckle Land speed racer and MV Agusta. The DVD and pictures in MOONEYES Illustrated magazine will be something to see as we were lucky enough to cover him ride on Mountain hikes close to his shop.

Now we went to POMONA to see Scott Craig, Shawn Donahue and Rico. They made great moves for interview and ride shots. Scott's Triumph was out of town for event but Shawn made great to move on ride shot to cover the absence. I really thought it was great! His bike took best of show at BORN FREE III with comment that this bike can go anywhere! Which I totally agree!

Then there is a Mr. Super Surprise. Gabe as Gabriel Griffin made Trike! First trike ever invited to Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show and I tried to imagine before I saw the real surprise. He took it far beyond my imagination! 2 seats on rear axel. And Dangerous! That’s included. Amazing Gabe!

And finally the last day, Mark Drews Harley Davidson for last shot. How will he make that big twin? From the amazing narrow Triumph he made last year, he made it in time again! The Mark Drews garage is filled with his world. So as his bike with motor he was polishing every day in living room and the reason why he was called he makes bike in his living room as his frame was built in his room upstairs. When it comes all together it looks like this, his fins and custom work on fender and Tank keeping that world of Mark Drews alive.

This year we have more than ever ride shot and photo shoot from various angle and places. The pictures will be seen on New MOONEYES Illustrated Magazine Vol8 released in November. Please look forward to the Show DVD and see the real bikes and cars at Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. Thank you for reading long MMM US Trip report again and see you in Yokohama!
by Shige Suganuma
MOONEYES EXPRESS that is updated every Saturday
by MOONEYES representative Shige Suganuma.
Shige Suganuma travels all over the world all year round
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