It all has to start somewhere. For me, it was my new bundle pack Playstation 2 and Gran Turismo 3. I guess at that time, Legos were just not cutting it for me anymore. GT3 came out and PS2 was the new craze game console. I remember buying my first car on the game the Suzuki Wagon R RR. Wasn’t the fastest but it was turbo!!
It also helped that my family just moved to Japan. Mind you, I was 14 when we moved there. I was surrounded by all the cars. When I explored Japan I just saw more of them and I think it was a start of an addiction. I marinated in the world of Japanese cars. From Autobacs, Upgarage, D1 Gran Prix, Tokyo Auto Salon, Ebisu, Tsukuba, the local Okutama Lake, Gymkana at the high school parking lot, and of course the local cars in my area.
When I was in high school I use to look up to these guys. I lived in Yokota AB at the time. I remember thinking, one day I want to be them, be on their level. I remember meeting Robert, he lived in the same tower complex as my good friend Joenell. Though we only had a Bluebird and a Levin we use to drool over Rob’s R32 GT-R with white Nismo LM GT4s. I remember seeing Paul’s Le Mans Blue R33 GT-R by the east side gas station once. I didn’t know what BBS LMs were back then, but damn did they look good on that car. Roy’s R33 was also a sight to see on base also. When I needed to get my JCI (Japanese Car Inspection) done I went to the AAFES garage on base to hand my keys over to Robbie Nishida. Yes, the same Robbie who is now drifts for Formula D.
Now, its mind blowing that my role models asked me to be a part of Autobatsu. It’s pretty much surreal…