Late last year, I thought to myself, “How can I pay tribute to the F31“? Besides jumping on facebook and talking about it, I decided to pay tribute by trying to meet the people that are or were part of the F31.
When I went to the Leopard meeting in October, one of the facebook m30 page guys said this,
It’s cool you went to the Leopard meeting, and you don’t even have an M30!
At the time, I was trying to track down my Black M30 as my goal was always bring out it back to prominence (at least to me). But that part of me not having an M30, was that some kind of shade? It’s like I had to have an M30 go to the leopard meeting in Japan. Obviously this person doesn’t know much, but some of the Leopard Committee members are also former leopard owners that are still attached to the F31 community.
But that statement kinda showed me how superficial some people are.
Just because I don’t have an M30, does that mean I can’t enjoy the F31 events?
Does not having an M30 take away from the footwork and foundation I helped (along with many others) build in the F31 community?
Does that make me irrelevant because I don’t have an M30? Is it because I am not drifting or putting in a different motor?
Where is this going? Again, people’s superficial or lack of understand and respect don’t realize it’s not always JUST about the car, it was about the people behind the car and what they contribute to the community. I am also not talking about recently, but more of what people did before 2014. There were tons of people that did significant things for the F31 community, but only you would know if you were around or know these people.
Yes, something that I do miss with the original F31club was the unity we had. We respected and helped each other. At that time, there was no internal hatred or jealousy towards each other (or at least it wasn’t visible). But that unity was also personal. So part of my respects this year is to meet many of my F31club brethren from before. It is also the reason why I decided to go to Japan, not just to see the cars, but to meet the people. It is one thing to go to an event and see the cars, but it is another to meet people individually.
When I met with Okuni and Ichii-san, they didn’t own Leopards, so what. But they ARE my friends and wanted to meet up with me. Same thing with Yousuke-san. When Yousuke-san and I started to communicate, he told me doesn’t have his M30. I told him I can see many M30s, I want to meet Arai Yousuke.
Recently, I’ve been making an effort to meet some of the guys that live in the bay area. Jacy, Ricky, Gil, Kue and Mike. Ricky, Jacy and Mike don’t have their M30s anymore and have moved on. They like the car, but it is impractical for them.
While the commonality was the M30 and F31club, It is truly about them. Again, it is deeper than owning a car. It is about the history, the dedication/sacrifice we had in helping each other as well as to build F31club, and most importantly, it was the respect and friendships we have made. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am about respect and communication. Many of these guys have EARNED my respect. So I always make an attempt to reach out.
With the Japanese Leopard owners (both current and former), it is also the commonality, but it is also me paying respects to many of them because many of us on F31club idolized the Leopard owners. We were heavily influenced with their cars, but as social media has brought communication closer, it has bridged the gap step closer.
Even before the recent meet ups and what not, I have always been the one to go out and meet people. I met many M30 owners from 2004-2006 when I would coordinate meetings.
- Jcrapps (Jacy)
- chrisphilips (Chris)
- sexym30 (Brian)
- slidewayz (Brandon)
- c4nitrousboi (Ricky)
- teh luckinator (Lucky)
- drewz78T (Drew)
- dynastyF31 (Gregg)
- angry earl (Earl)
- burkechris (Chris)
- zed32 (Mike)
- glennpdx (Glenn)
- muffinman (David)
- driftday (Naoki)
- 1992m30 (Chris)
- nightmoves (Edrik)
- gilly gil
- mu911356 (Mako)
- Slappinm30 (Mike)
- Strikevalk (Mark)
- Onevia (Renny)
- 240sx (Kenny)
- F31_pilot (Kue)
I also would meet a few other owners by talking about their cars randomly through the years. But recently,
- Jay Beckstead
- Jeff (who sold me his Blue/grey storm)
I also met many leopard owners. This was important to me as I looked up to many of them. I knew a few names and I knew many of the team and club names. It was surreal meeting many of them.