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TECH ARTICLES, VEHICLE FEATURES, EVENT COVERAGE & MORE

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What sets Trey’s ride apart from most of the other Civics that we see is his attention to detail and uniformity of all the parts he’s chosen for the car. Even his oil and radiator caps are Skunk2! Perhaps one of the coolest parts about the car that will have all the JDM fanboys drooling is his rear license plate that lights up. Straight from Japan, it’s one of the only working ones stateside. Why can’t our license plates light up?

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When we received an invitation to attend a private Old School meet, sponsored by SNTRL and Nostalgia Imports in Edgewater, New Jersey, we jumped at the chance. Many heavily modified imports competed for our attention, but we managed to focus on a vehicle that represents one of our future series highlighting the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) scene in America. While there was no shortage of premium imports, one classy 1983 KE70 Toyota Corolla seemed the perfect specimen.

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The import versus domestic car argument can get quite heated. The domestic guys tend to boast about their power and quarter-mile times, while the import crowd brings up turning left—and right—and things go downhill from there, but what about a compromise? Why not combine the best of both worlds—agility from the import side with brute force from the domestic camp? That was the question Alexander Gallardo had to ask himself when he came to a crossroads with the evolution of his 2003 350Z a few years ago.

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Welcome to our second installment of our Scene Theory series. This time we dive into what it means to be JDM in America. The acronym JDM has become more than a three letter abbreviation; it's become a lifestyle, a scene, a brand and a way of expression. On the most basic level, JDM refers to the "Japanese domestic market"⎯the heavyweight of the import scene. Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota⎯all of these manufacturers are of the JDM variety.

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Anyone who has built a project car has come to learn that the process can be somewhat organic. For JJ Chen and his project Fast Autoworks Scion FR-S, the seeds were planted in 2009 when he decided to pursue his passion for things automotive.