I was at the Japanese book store in Little Tokyo last weekend and I saw the 3 most bomb ass Option magazines. They’re titled the “Legend of Option”. These mags showcase all the old skool shit from the first years of Option. Vol.1 showcases 1981-84, Vol.2 showcases 1985-90, and Vol.3 showcases 1991-2000. Having been flipping through the pages of Options and Carboys since 1992, I was reliving it all flipping through these 3 mags. So in Vol.1 you see old school SA22C RX-7’s built and tuned by RE Amemiya when he first started, HKS MA60 Supras with twin T04Es going for 300km/h at Yatabe, JUN 280ZX’s with a 3.5L L28, etc. Vol.1 has the old school buff shit that started it all. Of course, we’re talking about blow through carburetors and additional injectors back in those days. I mean the HKS MA60 made 600hp with a 2.8L 5MG engine. With today’s engine management technology the same car probably would have made 900hp (although the engine probably would’ve exploded). My, has engine management evolved. Vol.2 covers the some of the cars that come into my generation – some of the cars I loved in high school: FC3S RX-7’s, MA70 Supras, and Z31 300ZX’s (I won’t include AE86 Corollas in this list if know what I’m saying). Vol.3 gets into the cars that some of you younger guys probably know about: FDs, S13’s, Supras, and of course the king of all Japanese sports cars – modern day Skyline GT-Rs. Skylines and 180’s are probably why Option thrived in the 90’s alone. Anyhow go out and buy them while you can. Remember that our tuning industry is what it is today partially because of the real JDM old skool shit. Type-Rs, AE86s, JDM badges, right hand drive, blah, blah, ARE NOT WHY. We owe it all to these Japanese supercars of yesterday.
Next time you ask why the HKS T51R turbo upgrade for your car car is $9000, now you know. Because they’ve been building the best turbo kits for the last 25 years. Your bullshit little bolt on “GT35 Rotated mount” turbo kit for your STi from some hole in the wall shop built by 18 year olds ain’t shit. HKS was rotating shit for the last 25 years.
Now you know why Speed Racer’s car looked the way it did. Less the triple turbo L28 of course.
The 90’s: when the world learned to bow down to the king.