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

Don’t object to it

“In the popular Buddhism of Tibet and China and Japan, people worship the great bodhisattvas—as saviors.”

“People loved Guanyin because she/he—could be a buddha, but has come back into the world to save all beings. The Japanese call he/she Kannon, and they have, in Kyoto, an image of Kannon with one thousand arms, radiating like a great aureole all around this great golden figure.”

“These one thousand arms are one thousand different ways of rescuing beings from ignorance.”

“I remember one night when I suddenly realized that Kannon was incarnate in the whole city of Kyoto; that this whole city was Kannon.”

“That the police department, the taxi drivers, the fire department, the mayor and corporation, the shopkeepers—in so far as this whole city was a collaborate effort to sustain human life, however bumbling, however inefficient, however corrupt—it was still a manifestation of Kannon with its thousand arms, all working independently, and yet one.”

“You don’t have to go anywhere to find nirvāṇa. Nirvāṇa is where you are, provided you don’t object to it.”

The Difference

The Buddha’s of Bamiyan. They were made somewhere between the 4-5th centuries.

In 2001 they were destroyed by the Taliban with heavy artillery and dynamite.

“This work of destruction is not as simple as people might think. You can’t knock down the statues by shelling as both are carved into a cliff; they are firmly attached to the mountain… Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to Allah that we have destroyed them. We are destroying the statues in accordance with Islamic law and it is purely a religious issue.”

That has to be the silliest shit I ever heard. “I’m going to destroy it! Why? Because I don’t like it!” It sounds like an angry child talking.

There is a difference between a living Buddha and a stone Buddha. If you go up to a stone Buddha and you hit it hard on the head, nothing happens. You break your fist. But if you hit a living Buddha, he/she may say ouch. Buddhas are human, they are not devas, they are not gods. They are enlightened men and women.

So what did they destroy? Nothing. Silly terrorist.

Shark week comes to an end

Long live this man, Robert Shaw. He played as Quint in the movie Jaws.

And also long live the real-life inspiration for Quint, Frank Mundus.

Jaws was one of the first horror films I watched when I was a little kid. From there I became fascinated with sharks.

But when it comes to Quint, he’s my kind of dude. A fuckin drunkard fisherman. It kind of reminds me of a modern day pirate. The actor even portrayed a pirate in the movie Swashbuckler. I felt that those same characteristics were also seen in his acting in the movie Jaws. Even though that movie was released after Jaws, I feel maybe others seen those characteristics and suggested that he can play a good role as a pirate. The way he strikes your mind with his dialogue is what creates suspense, as if you’re there.

RIP good sir.

Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’

Now let’s end this post with some sharks

And with my favorite shark

I want ahi poke

I always want ahi poke… I eat so much ahi poke, I got mercury poisoning. Anyway.

Whenever I eat Hawaiian food I somehow always think of how I used to visit TeamRice and Dohcresearch religiously, back around 2003ish.

That was my first taste of the Hawaiian car culture. Just as their food is a mixture of different cultures, the way they style their cars has a mixture of different cultures as well. It’s like a cross between JDM style to Islander style with a little mainland love somewhere in there.

Even if the car looks mad ghetto to some, it’s still mad fresh.
Like the car seen here that belonged to a member of Team Ultraspeed back in the day:

Whether there was a meaning behind it or if they just did it to do it because “why not?” it’s something that stands out and catches my eye of interest (maybe they did it to be ratchet?). The fact that it’s rugged and boro boro, that’s what makes it appealing to me. It’s something you do to a car that will be used to take abuse on and off track. Kind of like how kanjozoku’s treat their cars.

That was when Hawaii still had a racetrack…

Another thing about Hawaiian style of tuning that will always attracted my attention in photos is the background. The cars are the cherry on top and the background is the icing. It’s almost like seeing these cars in the wild type of feeling.

Team Ultraspeed is a Virginia based team, but they expanded beyond that. To Hawaii for example. I remember a team profile of them on some old 360vm issue back in the day.

A well known Hawaiian member of Team Ultraspeed owns this famous golden EG

Him and his team owned the blue rugged and raw EG seen above as well. The “boro boro” Civic ended up throwing a rod through the side of the block at a track day. I don’t know what happen to it after that, but I do believe some of it’s parts remain floating around…

“In the early 2000s there were almost no social media, no YouTube how to’s, basically no internet. Hawaii basically was blocked off from the world. We got our inspiration from going out there and experiencing other cultures and bringing back home what we thought were cool. A melting pot of ethnicities also became the melting pot of car culture. Also technology wise, it was and still is, expensive to get new things done and what not, just because we’re out in the middle of the Pacific. So if you see something replicated here like let’s say a k swapped MR2, when they became popular, then chances are, that person went far wide to get it done.” – PVT La Rosa

Amen to that homie.

Thank you Hawaii for always and continuing to inspire me.

Peace.

It’s Shark Week…

Did you guys see the opening of Shark Week? A little different huh? I don’t know how I feel about it…

Anyway, Peep this out

https://www.intothenowvr.com/#/

Michael Muller needs to be on Shark Week. That would be my kind of opening for a whole week dedicated to sharks.

Here’s a video review of the film:

Through a special partnership with Stanford University’s Neurology department, the project is also part of an ongoing research project on the benefits of VR for people with PTSD, anxiety and other stress disorders. VR has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms of PTSD and anxiety, making VR an invaluable therapeutic implement.

That’s what’s up. Hopefully the film can make its way over to San Diego…

Now, for the kanjo version of Shart Shark Week:

🦈🦈🦈