I edited these photos, began writing this intro, commended myself for how quickly I started on it, then closed my laptop and never looked at this article again for a whole month. This year's trip to NYC for the annual rotary engine celebration was a trial in endurance that yielded some photos I'm truly proud of for once so I'd chalk it up as a success. I only really shot photos at the first meet up spot and spent the rest of the night socializing and driving. Shooting and participating in an event that isnt a static car show is a stressful endeavor. Some day I might attend one of these events without my car and just try to do a full coverage of the event but for now, it's too fun to participate. That said, this year's event was one that made me wish I left the car home at times between no air conditioning, crazy temps, my exhaust baking my floor and right foot, and driving a considerably low car through the insane NYC streets and highways. Despite all that, there's something so exciting and fulfilling taking your cool car far from home and enjoying it in new environments. In hindsight, I don't think I would have done anything different...other than maybe folding a towel under my foot as a buffer...
I linked up with friends from the North Shore of Boston off the Mass Pike before making the trip down. It was firmly into the 90s, humid, and the sun was agro that day; driving down without AC was torture. Despite that, driving down in a convoy like this was a blast! We arrived at Mitsuwa marketplace in NJ heat stroked out a couple hours before the event kicked off for food and recovery. I spent most of it in Jason'r air-conditioned Honda Fit.
Upon arrival, I parked up and went straight to shooting. Something about this park always has killer lighting and I wanted to take full advantage and see everything before things got hectic.
Something about FB RX-7s with fat rear tires and a fatter chop feel the most natural at a US 7's Day celebration.
One half of Prime, Edwin Reyes, brought his Vertex kouki S14 on Advan TC2s. I'm excited to see how his vision evolves over time.
Despite it being a rotary event, it's the Hondas I look forward to seeing the most when I come down here. The Tri-State area is the epicenter of the east coast for Honda builds and I never leave disappointed. I saw this EF hatch slipping through the crowds and had to chase it down.
This ED7 was a focused looking machine. The aero package it wore was simple looking with a half cut rear, Chargespeed wing, and a Chargespeed front lip molded to the OEM bumper which should be how Chargespeed sells these from now on. Period-perfect Mugen CF48s in satin black contrast against the Tahitian Green paint.
From the front seats back was completely gutted while retaining most of the interior up front to keep a semblance of civility. A single Recaro SPG shows this driver focused hatch means business.
This wasn't an actual FD2 Type R but a thorough replica based off of a USDM FA5 Si. It was cool to see someone using all OEM FD2 parts to make a faithful homage down to the Champ White paint and matching Type R wheels. Honda truly nailed it with the FD2!
Accompanying the FA5 was a JDM import DC2 Integra Type R wearing a classic Spoon look with Spoon's mirrors, carbon lip, SW388s, and quintessential Championship White paint. Inside was a pair of factory Recaro seats and a Cusco dash dodger cage.
And what Spoon build is complete without Spoon Monoblock calipers?
On the other end of the FD2 conversion spectrum was this tough looking FA5. This one also featured a complete conversion, this time in the form of a full J's Racing Type S kit including the 15mm wider front fenders housing the reimagined Regamasters and a Brembo BBK.
From the back, a carbon fiber trunk breaks up the sea of orange and compliments the matching carbon fiber hood. Sitting atop the trunk is a J's Racing wing completing the tough looking FF warrior.
8th generation Civic sedans might be my favorite Civic chassis and this event has sent me into a spiral over them.
As always, you come to a New York City event and you'll see some Japanese imports, that's a given. However I was not prepared for the sheer amount of kei cars in attendance. I took pictures of maybe half the kei sports cars and that's not even including all the trucks and vans that were there!
Most of the time you see someone import a Beat, it's as a giggle and they're left relatively stock so it was exciting to see one done up this nicely with it's tiny TE37s and stylish aero.
For the first time at any stateside event ever, I think the Beats were out numbered by a different kei sports car chassis - the Suzuki Cappuccino. As much as I'm a Honda fan, I think these little shoes on wheels are my favorites.
I'm not sure if I could choose a favorite in attendance, but I've thought the most about this white one with red Brides and itty bitty SSR Type Cs.
Every time I turned around, another one pulled in!
The kei car king at any event will always be the Autozam AZ-1. Tossing up the gull-wing doors always causes a stir.
Oh yeah, rotaries. Peter Hoang is a Boston North Shore homie that rolled down not far behind us after getting his car retuned the morning of the event. On it's "safe" map it made high 300s and it maxed out close to 500whp! This is a build I can't wait to see come to fruition as aero parts are rolling in.
JJ just pulled his KA S14 out of the paint booth and down to NYC in a show of bravery to jeopardize his fresh respray.
Luis Fuentes's S14 was also coming off a refresh. His SR20 powered drift car was one of the first cars I got to see drift and is a car I credit with a lot of my love of the S14 chassis from my formative teenage years. After a few year hiatus, it fills me with so much joy to see him out driving again and getting to drive with him. He's also restored my faith in Gram Lights 57DRs.
Annoyed I didn't get better pictures of it, but have to show love to Matias Arias and his DC2 Integra. Matias frequents every track in New England in this K24 powered weapon but still makes a point to keep it looking as good as it performs. That K24A2 is backed by a DC5 transmission with an FA5 differential to created the perfect street friendly track machine. He recently swapped the car back to a preface lift as it came originally and fitted a Mugen lip, skirts, and gen 1 wing to really set it off. Matias is actually a huge rotary enthusiast as well and prior to this DC2 owned a dope RX8 on Advan RG2s and a slew of other rotary cars.
This matching NA1 and FD3S were a cool combo. Both white on forged Japanese wheels with the NSX wearing Mag Blue TE37s and the FD wearing Racing Indigo Advan GTs.
One slip over was a Voltex equipped S2000 on TE37 Sagas.
Not much is needed to make an X7 Cressida look cool besides a heavy drop and cool old mesh wheels.
Despite X8s typically running big kits, they also look good stock body as well. The question is, small R32 16s or big 18" TE37s?
Regardless, a big wheel is needed to run big brakes.
This bagged Honda Legend import looked hot over Mag Blue TE37s with Rays lugs. The seat doilies are a nice touch.
Right, right, right...rotaries. Ted Solano came through as always with his RE-Amemiya FD3S. I like seeing this car slowly evolve over the years.
The parts list reads like a wish list. The wheel wells alone are filled with dream parts like Regamaster Evos, Bridgestone RE71Rs, and huge Project Mu calipers and two piece rotors.
A hard top 3 car for me was this JZX100 Chaser over Work VS-MDs. How could a car get any better?
The king of JDM imports in attendance though was this R34 GTR. There were a few R34s there, but this Midnight Purple V-Spec on OG TE37s was pinnacle.
That said, this Bayside Blue GTR on Nismo LMGT4s was also insanely cool!
Professional photographer and drift car pilot Sebastian Rodriguez of team Auto Real Dream brought his super rad IS300 out. Vertex's Endurance aero makes for a quintessential SXE10 chassis look.
That said, wheels make a car and I'm envious of the AVS Model 6/SSR Minerva combination.
Willy's EK4 SiR is one of the all time best Honda builds on the East Coast. This is the car that made me love the J Blood front bumper. Coupled with C West side skirts, 17/16 reverse staggered TE37s stuffed under Car Make Across fat front fenders, and endless other JDM goodies, this thing is insane!
A titanium-dressed K swap motivates the chassis. Outside of purity or nostalgia, is there any reason to run a B series over a K with the rising costs of desirable B series and the dropping cost of installing a K?
A little GD3 Fit on sticky tires is all you need in life.
S2000s are so well suited to the endless aero options created over the 20+ years since launch, it's easy to forget how perfect an OEM setup can look. The only clear aesthetic alterations on this RHD AP1 were the Spoon Aero Mirrors and the hard top. Sizable Spoon SW388s fill out the fenders and complete the tough, simplistic look.
Miguel Lugo's old Varis Evo made an appearance at the event. I've posted about this car in the past wearing a half matte black, half white/HKS livery wrap which was peeled for it's latest crazy green hue shortly before it was sold to the current owner. It's always a pleasure to see a car someone poured their heart and soul into remain preserved with its new owner!
Yeah, yeah, the rotaries! Peter Li's FD3S is iconic in the area and a staple at Prime's events.
I feel like I've been seeing more GF8s than usual attending events these days. I know nothing about this chassis so I have no idea what any of the parts are but I love how timeless it looks. Also Advan RCIIs are a heavily under appreciated wheel.
Amuse's GT1 aero modeled by this S2000 is insane! It's almost hard to believe cars like this started as a normal S2000 prior to the conversion. Besides the bananas aero kit, it looked like a tame, streetable car retaining it's stock interior except for parts the driver interacts with.
Kemal of Suprlife Studios had his JZS147 Aristo on display. His car is a testament to his craft featuring custom aero covering the fairly uncommon drift chassis with a lowrider inspired art piece covering the roof. Underneath the Suprlife designed hood is a 2JZGTE as God intended keeping the chrome spinning.
Every rendition of this Lexus RC350 has been a good one, but it's tough to beat the current look on Matte Gunmetal Blue TE37 Sagas.
As the event progressed and we left the park the event began, I put my camera away and just tried to enjoy the event and focus on fighting the NYC streets instead of fighting time constraints and poor lighting. At the final meet up spot however, there was one discovery I had to capture because seeing it on the streets of New York was a once in a lifetime experience.
Hoooooooooooly shit. My first year attending 7's Day, my mind was torn apart by seeing an enclosed trailer pull up on the streets of downtown NYC. Once parked, the tailgate dropped to reveal the Signal Auto BNR34. That piece of Japanese car history was rolled onto New York's worn streets and driven into Times Square by now owner Colton Amster of Redline Restorations. Witnessing this has been a moment I will never forget and something that gave me a buzz for days. This year, I experienced the same feeling once more. I caught a glimpse of that iconic gold and my heart started racing.
Colton has been amassing an unreal collection of dream machines from Japan's tuning history and two of these acquisitions have been Top Secret's iconic S15s. There are two sister cars, one used by Ryuji Miki to compete in D1GP in the early 2000s and toured Europe with D1 during their exhibitions with all those other icons in the D1 world. The other, this car pictured, is a street car used in shows and debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon in 2006 (if I remember correctly). These cars share a lot of common parts, especially outside, but this one doesn't share the same chassis prep as the D1 competition car.
Aesthetically, one of the larger differences between this and the race car is the Top Secret V-Type hood used by this car to debut at TAS. On the outside, it wears Top Secret's G-Force front bumper, skirts, front fenders, and canards. Rearward is accentuated by Vertex rear over fenders and rear bumper. Top Secret produced the GT wing that sits atop the Yashio Factory carbon fiber trunk and Ganador mirrors top out the dream team. Perfectly rounding out the 2000s style is the set of double staggered Volk GT-Cs. Just because it's a street car doesn't mean the interior was left out. Recaro SR-Gs in blue hold occupants in while Takata harnesses and a Cusco 12 point cage keep them safe. The rest of the interior was dotted with accessories made by Top Secret, Defi, and HKS.
The engine bay is just as much of a dream spec. HKS gave the SR20 a 2.2l stroker kit and a modified HKS 3037PRO-s turbo. Tomei cams, a V-mount setup utilizing ARC parts, a one off Top Secret exhaust manifold, and more bring the output to a healthy 550ps!
This car is a piece of history and one so many of us had photos of saved on our computers and posters hung on our walls. It was a legendary way to end an eventful night.
As always, thank you to Prime NYC for hosting another great event. I wouldn't miss it!
Cutting Room Floor