Happy Race Day: Anime + Cars Collide

A secretive L.A. collective, F1 robbery and rad-ass outfits — plus much more.

A weekly newsletter by Ryan K. ZumMallen | @zoomy575m

A “Bosozoku” style sedan at Race Service in Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan K. ZumMallen.

Happy Race Day, especially to the hero who put 30-inch donks on a Benz coupe.

Before we get into the newsletter this week, please keep longtime automotive journalist Davey Johnson and his family in your thoughts. Davey has been missing since last Wednesday while on an overnight motorcycle trip through northern California. He is a kind person. Join me in wishing him safe return.



I finally had the chance to check out Race Service near the Mid-Wilshire district of L.A. over the weekend. Race Service is a unique collective of creators and car nuts who gather there to produce automotive content and generally geek out over cars.

Their three-person VR racing simulator puts my home XBox to shame.

Race Service held the party to celebrate the unveiling of Collete Davis’ unique creation. The racer and stunt driver is a massive Sailor Moon fan, as you can see.

Note the rotary-shaped bow tie, earrings and cat ears. Davis also changed the hair color and blue-green eye combo to match her own. Scroll down to read my interview with her from the event.

Here’s the correct way to fill an inflatable hot tub. Case closed.

Radwood had mullets, spandex and full-face neon shades on full display in New Jersey. The show celebrated the hits and misses of the 1980-99 while LeMons raced beside it. Another huge turnout for the biggest influence on the car show scene.

Do you even Texas, bro? This incredible article on the Hands Full of Cash car club in Austin is full of amazing details. “A man polishing his swangas” may be the greatest photo caption of all time. Long Live Slabs.

Norman Dewis, longtime test driver for Jaguar, died last week at 98. Dewis worked on the first disc brakes, along with the D-Type racer and E-Type stunner. Rest easy.

Video Reel

Donut Media does an incredible job with its Up To Speed series. The 100th episode focuses on the Nissan GT-R. If you’ve never understood what the big deal is about the GT-R, or Japanese cars, or cars in general, I implore you to watch this. Hakosuka!

Certified maniac Ken Block took his steroid-charged RS200 — a rally racecar he does not fit in — and drove it on snowy roads. This is an insane thing to do. Watch it here.

Which super-sedan would you pick: a BMW M5 or a Mercedes-AMG E63 S? (There is a correct answer.)

I finally had a chance to watch David Letterman’s interview with five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton on his new Netflix show. Big recommend.

Here’s what a (mostly) successful day of drifting looks like for 22-year old badass Brionna Lynch.

Race Results

Formula One: Whoo boy. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari — a four-time champ, don’t forget — dominated the weekend. But a miscue and quick re-entry on the track stuck him with a 5-second penalty that cost him the win. [Full highlights here.]

“They are stealing the race from us,” Vettel told his team. This has been a tough year for Ferrari and watching Mercedes snatch much-needed points did not sit well. “It’s not the sport I fell in love with,” he said later. His full comments are worth watching.

Vettel got so mad he switched the first place placard from Hamilton’s car to his own (absent) car. On the surface it seems like a petty move. But the protest here is about more than the race — it’s an indictment of the direction of the sport. Hard to fault Seb.

One of the comments on F1’s official YouTube channel says it all:

Fans: How boring can this season possibly be?

Race officials: Yes.

Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean had to punch some carbon fiber bits that got stuck in his protective halo in order to see. Well, that’s a first.

IndyCar: Josef Newgarden held off one hungry challenger after another to win a nasty battle for the DXC Technology 600 in Texas. [Full highlights here.]

DTM: The storied series for German sports cars — now including Aston Martin — put great racing on display in Misano, Italy. [Here’s Race 1 and Race 2 highlights.]

Ask A Millennial! Collete Davis, 25

Collete and her “Sailor 7” Mazda RX-7. Photo by Ryan ZumMallen.

At Race Service it was impossible to miss Collete. Not only did she color-match her outfit to the Sailor Moon-themed drift car she unveiled that night, the pro drifter and monster truck driver also seemed to know every single person at the garage personally. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation:

I grew up curious with how things worked. I started working on cars at a very young age and fell in love with it. I’m also hyper-competitive and it wasn’t long until racing stole my heart — it’s the perfect combination of sports with a shot of adrenaline.

At this point in my career I’m able to bring my own style and flair. I was a big fan of Sailor Moon and anime growing up. We designed this a year ago and didn’t put it on the pro car because there’s a lot going on, you can’t show off the sponsor logos. This is my practice car so I could do whatever I want and make it really crazy.

It’s a rotary engine so that’s unique in itself. There’s a huge culture there. It’s very JDM and rotaries are still popular in Japan. I’ve always been inspired by Japanese culture, especially in the drifting world. It kind of all came together in this car.

This Weekend

Father’s Day shows galore! There’s definitely one in your area. I promise.

And Finally…

I’ll be overlanding through Mojave in a trio of dusty pickup trucks by the time you read this. Wish me and the Trucks.com team luck during the triple-digit temps we’re expecting. Can’t talk about car culture without off-road culture. So here we go!

Drive hard and be safe.

Want your event included? Shoot me a note with subject line “Race Day” at ryan@carrarabooks.com.