Go! With Moon!

Words and pictures by PVT Runner Ian.

A few months prior, I was made aware of an upcoming event that I’ve had on my bucket list to attend. It was an open house day at Mooneyes in Santa Fe Springs. This event happens once a year, usually in July and it’s a small gathering of hot rod fans, as well as a few select Japanese and European classics.

Mid summer in SoCal, you can just about guarantee that it’s going to be a hot day outside but the clear skies made for a great opportunity for those candy paint jobs to shine.

The event took over 3 separate lots around the main store, each with its own set of quality cars to check out. Of course a plethora of big body cruisers made their presence known, laid out on the floor in proper fashion.

I personally am not too well-versed in the details of this era of cars, but how can any gear head not appreciate the level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into these vehicles? Just the shape alone of these sleds, gorgeous!

Another fun part about the event is the attendees themselves, dressed to impress and to represent the culture of hot rodding properly. It’s not just about the cars, it’s a lifestyle. This is a culture, embedding deep into the roots of SoCal style and it’s going nowhere anytime soon.

Though I might not know too much about these cars, it was still a great time. Great vibes, music of course and good company.

Also, to wrap the weekend: a new addition to the family. Many adventures ahead, stay tuned y’all!

#LifeBuild

It’s cool to keep up with these sharks, but don’t forget where you came from and where you’re going.

“I only had a couple jobs in my life, but not too many thought I was grown. It’s long money I earn, I’m bald headed, but I used to have a lord Jesus perm. When my name was Earl before the rap game, runnin’ from secret squirrel, I had my own thang. I was raised by wolves, hyenas, and barracudas, gorillas, and bulls.” Ok, had to quote E-40 on that one, but I can relate to that 1000%.

I never considered myself a racer of any sort nor a professional racecar driver, I consider myself a wheelman. I never considered myself a mechanic, only a tuner, some may call that a gearhead.

I feel that’s the fine line that separates me from others. And it’s the same ingredients that makes you different from everyone else. Strive to be different, always remember where you came from. Some people’s goals, when it comes to cars, is to hit a good lap time on specific race track or something. Yo, that’s cool, more power to ya, but not everyone has that type of goal. I have zero interest in professionally racing on a road course. If it happens, it happens, but I enjoy my car on the street over anything. Some people already made their points on their “build” and for them it’s all about maintaining now. While others get caught up on “hypes” and think they “made it.” My car is a #lifebuild and that’s it. I am that medium, cars is just one of my many expressions.

The way life has been going for me, having time to work on my car is a blessing. I’m sure people who have families can relate to that. Even if it’s just polishing your headlights or going for a quick drive! Know where you’re going, stay in your lane and keep your hands on the wheel. Don’t let any type of person/hype/social media rush you. You are in control. Peace.

Retirement goals

In the early 1900’s when Japan still occupied Taiwan, the Japanese would go out fishing using ancient Ryukyu style harpoon techniques, which some call it dart fishing. The Japanese would not pass down this style to anyone else, however the Taiwanese would secretly study their methods and teach themselves this ancient traditional art.

Liuqiu Island has many names in Taiwan, one of them is called Little Ryukyu. This style of fishing is still being used this very day to catch Sailfish and Marlin. Those types of fish will mostly appear in bad weather. Because of the wind and waves, the fast water sweep bait fish up towards the surface. Sailfish would chase the food near the surface making it easy for the fisherman to spot.

This style of fishing does no damage to the ocean. Many fishermen opt for calmer waters, bigger catches, bigger ships, large amount of horsepower, and bigger nets. But this old method of fishing only suits the few and the dedicated (kinda like owning a Civic), it takes skills and experience. With a small crew and big catch, you can cash out a whole lot of money and feed your family while you’re at it.

Definitely something I wouldn’t mind doing when I retire… I wouldn’t mind doing that now. There’s something about fishing that’s just as relaxing and exciting as cars. Find your peace on the water the same way you find peace on the street. It’s just as dangerous on the water than it is when you’re at high speed. It’s a lifestyle that only some can relate to, and some are able to live. Peace.

Road Trip Runner

As a car builder I’ve come to the conclusion that for me personally, I want my car to be the one that can do it all. I want it to be able to handle being driven hard at the track, hold it’s own on the street, look good at the local car meets, yet stay practical enough to take to the store for a quick errand. Looking at my current car, I tend to ask myself all the time “what do I want to use it for?”
In the more recent years, I’ve gotten into traveling. Something about seeing new places, new sights, traveling a far distance from home, it’s always an exciting feeling. But if you are a driver, you know that it isn’t just the destination that is significant, it’s the journey to it as well. What better way to enjoy that journey than in your “fun car?”

So here it is, I’m going to put my car to the test. I’m going to take it on a 1400 mile road trip. After inspecting everything I could in the Private Runner garage and a few last minute tweaks, “ Daphne”was as ready as she ever would be. The drive began at 2 AM. The travel crew and I (yes we were a full car, plus luggage) enjoyed the cool night air for the first few hours. LA was our first main city to pass through and besides the occasional launch out of the seat due to the uneven freeway, we were all good.

A few more hours past and finally we were seeing the glorious structure of the Bay Bridge up ahead. This was surely a sign of victory! Of course it isn’t enough to just get to the destination, it was now time to explore it. Speaking from experience, navigating a lowered car through SF was a challenge. Many scrapes and hits, but we conquered. And of course had to document this in pictures.

On the way back down, we past through Santa Cruz for a quick stop. The drive there was awesome for a fun car, definitely beats having a rental on the twisty stuff. It was also a bonus that everywhere we went, we always had great parking spots. VIP status for sure. After walking the boardwalk, we got back in the car for the last long stretch home.

We got back down to SoCal just in time to make a pit stop for some Boba at 7leaves. Really good spot to go to for some fresh tea. Just enough caffeine to fuel me for the rest of the drive home.

Was it worth it? Taking the Civic on a road trip like that? All the wear and tear? Well for starters, I’m not one to care about keeping the mileage low on a car. It’s a car, that’s what you’re supposed to do with it: drive it! Of course, a 90’s civic hatch slammed with no AC or tint isn’t the most comfy ride for a long trip but knowing that the car that I’ve built and maintained with my own hands, as well as with the help of good friends, can successfully complete such a trip with no fuss… and in addition getting props from people along the way who have no idea the distance the car has traveled… I’d say hell yeah it’s totally worth. Put some miles on your builds, folks!

– Words by PVT Runner I. Delos Santos

Day Runs

I went for a drive the other day. On this particular day I got in my car, turned the key and warmed up the engine, preparing for a drive. It was an overcast morning, a weekday after prime commuting hours. The local streets and highways were clearing of the thick traffic that usually characterizes Southern California highways. The weather was cool, bearable for a ride in a non AC-equipped vehicle. I rolled both windows down, shifted into first gear and was on my way, with my soundtrack of choice playing through the speakers.

After passing through the local streets, I began to reach the on ramp for the freeway. Heading southbound, I accelerated up the on ramp, feeling the grip through the corner leading up to the freeway. The torquey pull of the 1.8 liter DOHC motor is more than plenty of power for the lightweight EK Civic to gain speed with ease as I merge alongside highway traffic.

The highway system of San Diego is a sensible one, with ample space and plenty of lanes to choose from and without any confusing freeway changes. As I traveled further south, I reach the portion of the 163 freeway where it begins to narrow into three lanes leading into sequence of medium speed turns ahead. Maintaining my current pace, I gripped the MOMO Monte Carlo steering and navigated through the turns as the F1 Spec bucket seat kept me firmly planted in a comfortable driving position. I dropped one gear lower with the K-Tuned shifter and was in a power range that made accelerating out of the exits of the turns exhilarating. The twisty section had passed and was thoroughly conquered, bringing me to the surface level streets of downtown San Diego.

Driving through the city during a weekday brings about a different aura, allowing you to connect at an almost personal level to the surrounding environment you’re in. There is no loud music, no festivities, no chaotic scenes and no large crowds of people in any particular corner of the town. Quite a contrast when compared to a Friday night in the Gaslamp quarter, where nightlife is the main attraction. I continued through the streets, careful of any potholes and rough surfaces. The Ground Control/Koni suspension combo is fairly compliant through the unevenly paved roads, but the low profile 205/40R16 Falken Azenis aren’t very forgiving when encountering sudden bumps.

I wandered through the cross streets, looping through the various blocks and passing local sights. Eventually I found myself at a location that felt like a good stopping point to take a break. The Civic posted, with the Dark Amethyst Peart paint still looking clean and the sight of the San Diego skyline in the foreground, it’s in those moments that I can slow down and allow the current moment to settle in. Therapeutic, in a sense. I ventured around the area, finding more good backdrops for pictures and just took my time moving around. It’s a good feeling when you can take a break from the usual time crunched routine. Eventually it was time to get back behind the wheel and drive again.

I retraced my steps through the city and finally found my way back to flow of the highway. It’s almost as if the speeds of the highway are a representation of my return back to fast paced daily life. Regardless, I enjoyed my brief moment of escape, my brief moment of solitude, my PRIVATE RUN. I savor each and every one, as if it’s another puzzle piece gained to complete the picture of my soul. I went for a drive the other day and I found my way.

– Words by PVT Runner I. Delos Santos