Private Runner Interview

A member of PVT from Canada works for a magazine publishing company. For a little project, the company asked him to make a mini-magazine about anything he likes . He decided to do it on the PVT Runners and Osaka Kanjo culture. He wanted to shine the light on PVT to show who we are and what we are about.  I can never picture my car in a magazine or anything because it’s nothing special but I thought I would be cool to get a interview to tell my story.

Here’s a few pics of it:

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The project had a 8 page maximum limit. He had to edit the interview to make it shorter. Here is the original:

Who are you, where do you reside and what got you hooked in the jdm kanjo culture?

Call me P. Runner. I reside in San Diego, CA. PVT Runners originated in my hometown of Sacramento, CA. I got into the Kanjo culture from admiring and attending in street racing. Back in 1998/1999 my friend Lam who got me into Honda’s, would show me an Option2 magazines. Inside, there was a article showing a highway full of Honda Civics dressed up like the JTCC and Group A cars that would hit the highways in Japan and treat them like circuits. It really intrigued me because I was already watching Honda circuit events and that pushed me to like Honda’s even more. As years went by Lam would show me other magazines that  had kanjo runners in them, after seeing that I was hooked. Instead of doing street drag racing I would hit the highways; bigger playground. In Sacramento there’s a connecting highway loop which was perfect to test my skills. Though I no longer street race, I would occasionally hit the highway for a well needed highway sprint.

Here’s one of the issues that Lam showed me:

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Why did you make the Private Runners?

I came up with Private Runners because I was solo at that time. People were already using the term “Private Runs” which where meet ups to perform illegal street drag racing without any spectators. I would attend many of them, but street racing in straight lines got boring to me. However, the nature of setting up Private Runs was still flowing within me. It’s something that wouldn’t leave my system. I would apply it to many things. Getting out of street drag racing, I wanted to see how well I can handle my car. Which lead me to attending autocross events. Even then I wanted to keep testing my abilities off the track. I would treat my highways the same way as Kanjo racers would do in Osaka. I would also explore unknown parts (to me) of my home town. The roads there weren’t nice. I had to maneuver around pot holes and uneven pavement. I would visit those places frequently and see how fast I can maneuver around them; I would picture someone chasing me. I started looking at my city as a car playground and obstacle course. I started using the word “Private Runs” with a different definition. Thus, I came up with the word “Private Running” which is enjoying your car and going where ever the roads take you with no limits. That is why I refer to myself as Private Runner. I thought I was the only one who would enjoy such things; later I would meet others who enjoyed the same nature of car life as I did. It would end up being 3 official members and then later I would recruit others. Now WE are the Private Runners. To me it’s far from street racing and I don’t even call it racing. It’s simply taking your car out for a run. Whether it’s a highway run, city exploration and/or chasing the road. I do it a lot. If something was troubling me, I would go for a Private Run to get things off my mind. If I ended up on the Loop I would practice my skills. I wanted to create our own category. A “Private” category. So I did. Now we haunt the streets.

What were your main intentions?

To enjoy car culture and car life. At that time, a lot of my friends were into the “finer” things in life. They were buying luxury cars and items. I wasn’t into all of that. I was re-living my childhood and enjoying simple things. I would even ask them if they would attend an autocross event to see how well they can handle their car. They had no interest and asked me why they would attend such an event. I would respond back “Why not? What if you were getting chased by a killer or something and wanted to get away? Wouldn’t you want to be able to out maneuver the person chasing you?” They didn’t comprehend it. That’s when I came to the conclusion I wasn’t going to surround myself with people I can’t relate with. I formed Private Runners to steer away from main crowds and the norm as well as hyped out trends. I created a family.

Where do you see this team going?

I don’t like to use the word team because in a team there is usually a “leader” and I am not a leader. We are a Family. I want the members to keep on doing what they love doing and progress, which they are. We have members who are hardcore track guys and hardcore “street fighters.” However, as much as we have a passion for car culture, Private Runners main focus isn’t limited to just that, but for every form of art. Private Runners is a style.

How do you recruit new runners?

I look to see what they’re about. I sense their aura so to say. If I see that they have the same mentality and philosophy as us, then I will ask them if they would like to become part of the Street Family. I don’t go out of my way to look for new members. More so like we cross paths; we find each other.

Why did you pick this chassis?

In 1998 a neighbor down the street from me, Lam, had a 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback. I would always see him working on the car, adding parts and eventually I would see him doing his first DOHC VTEC swap; a B16A. Later I would hear his car get louder and started going over there to see what he’s doing. He took me for a spin and I loved how it felt. Few years later he swapped in a Type R B18C and upgraded his suspension. He told me his suspension was equivalent to the JTCC cars and that was it, I wanted an EG hatchback. The light chassis can be so nimble and quick; there was something about light weight compact cars that intrigued me. He eventually swapped in aftermarket camshafts and I would watch him at Sacramento Raceway break into the low 13 seconds range on the quarter mile and 12’s with slicks. To add on top of that, I was already watching Honda circuit races and Lam was already showing me Option2 and other magazines. Getting an EG was a life time goal for me.

What have you done to it?

I swapped in a B18C1 (GSR) block and enjoyed it for a few years. Then I bought another B18C1 and rebuilt it. The finish product was a sleeved 2.0L B18C1 (84.5mm x 87.2mm). TEIN coilovers, front and rear sway bars, Safety 21 6 point bolt in cage, Hondata, PVTRUNR exhaust.

How long have you owned it for?

I had the EG for 10 years.

Any sentimental value to it?

I wouldn’t say it has sentimental value. Before getting into Hondas I was into Lowriders. Yes, I love the car but let’s say I was in a Monte Carlo or a Caprice, or another Japanese car like a Datsun 510; I’ll have the same passion as I have with my EG chassis. I will still be P. Runner with any car.

How much have you invested in this build?

A lot. Two motors, various suspensions set ups, parts for the rebuild; I lost count on how much I invested but I know it’s too much haha

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