Dino DC: Exploring Houston’s Insane Car Culture!

Exploring Houston's Insane Car Culture!

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Posted: 2023-09-03 09:56:19
Author: Dino DC
In this episode I hit up the Anime Matsuri in Houston and checked out some of the cool cars that were on display there. While in Texas I had a chance to check out some of the local car culture, hitting up a cars and coffee event and a night meet, not to mention borrow a Ford Bronco Raptor and Hennessy Velociraptor! Watch till the end as I get a ride in my Italian friend’s sick and very loud 996 GT3!

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Dino DC Video Transcript

Thank you all right so I’m actually off on another adventure I just landed in Houston Texas and I’m here for a really interesting show called anime Matsuri which kind of fuses anime and cosplay culture with cars so quite excited for that and to get things going I actually uh hit up

Ford here in the US to get the most American Car possible for our little trip here to Texas and what do they offer this thing here this is the new Ford Bronco Raptor in white which is possibly the best color for it I believe at least in my

Opinion and good Lord is this thing massive Foreign This time we’ve been invited to actually cover the car portion of anime Matsuri which is a massive show that’s been going on for 17 years here in Houston and it’s all about the anime side of the world which is totally alien to what we do or to what I do rather

And we’re just gonna go inside the venue here in Houston and check out what cars showed up to the event and see if we can find anything cool to feature so this is quite crazy that I’m seeing this car here in Texas of all places so

This is or at least this used to be the studio Super GT Z4 BMW race car that taniguchi used to drive in the championship in Japan and now the organizers of anime mature have actually pick the car up and it’s been on display here a good smile racing next to a Tesla

Model X that’s stickered up in the same way as you can see here any Gucci and takaoka so this is probably dating back to maybe a decade ago now so really cool to be seeing something so close to home not yet so far here where

We are as we walk across the venue here towards the other side they’ve kind of brought together a small selection of local tuned cars from here in Houston there’s a lot of JDM on one side there’s a lot of American type stuff on the other so that will be the

Portion that interests me here from this particular event the car portion of the event begins here at the toms themed Corner section with the annual maturi guys actually picking up a gr cor Corolla for this year and collaborating with Toms in Japan I guess on the first

Stage of the build so we’ll actually be following something happening in Japan with Toms specifically around the gr Corolla but yeah let’s take a look at what they’ve created for this year this is just a regular gr cor Corolla that’s now sitting on raised wheels and if you

Look closer even has some tones of Brembo stick spots front and some four pots at the back shot in Bridgestone tires and the collaboration with Rays continues on to this second gr Corolla that’s over here this one’s running t37 our cells it’s altezza on Chrome SSRS

So I was actually talking to the owner of this car yesterday and he was telling me that back in the early 2010s this car actually participated in Formula D so cool to see a vintage drift car if you could call it that next up we have this really sweet NSX on advanced

The really cool Spoon calipers for that real you know Honda otaku touch and of course being in the States this is not an online it’s an Acura NSX okay so next up to the Acura NSX is this really sweet wide body 326 power S14 kind of has that mid 2010s vibes

About it panel sport g7s and it’s gigantic rear spoiler just sticks out it’s definitely wild and it’s definitely 326 power unmistakable style but before we keep moving uh there’s this little Trio back here can’t pass up a nicely stanced Eunice Roadster um t-37 SLS I’m loving the the wheel selection on these cars

Some older School Volk racing on this first gen zn6 and I feel like I’m right in Japan seeing an old school Mitsubishi Canter loader a double stacker here and a couple of Nissans R32 and a four-door R34 up there a bit of a VIP style Vibes here with these Lexus

Or Celsius because they are actually badges Toyotas so of course in Japan everybody wants to drive the Lexus version of Toyotas everybody in the US wants the Toyota version JDM version of the Toyotas that’s human nature for you this has kept the Lexus badging in the back so LS400

This is super cool two-tone massive wing of the back I’m gonna go from the more traditional VIP style I like to call this style kind of like modern sporty VIP it’s a Toyota Camry TRD supercharger under there boosting the 2grfe it’s dumped right on the ground and some nice work Wheels some serious brakes front

And back a very cool take on the gonna run in the mill sedan next to it has the number plate States this is a 1995 Gojira r33 lots of carbon goodies carbon fiber front bumper spoiler canards Hood t-37s endless brakes front and back that’s a color matching happening on the interior

Lots of anime Matsuri touches as well very nice build another cool pairing two impressors one is going for the whole HKS Mount Fuji design and this gc8 four-door it’s kind of more sedate period correct all the way double venting on the hood and from here on things get really colorful low rider

Type vehicles with a hydraulic buttons on the center console there look at the battery setup on this one good Lord when it’s color flip here on this Lexus RC and everybody’s really stopping for a proper look at this metallic green NSX again t37s seem to be the wheels of the show looks

Like it has a puncture unfortunately but yeah what a nice clean setup interesting straw brace up there T-top so you can actually take a look inside Foreign so finally we got to the Godzilla stand starts off with this uh tank which is really interesting because we saw this being driven in yesterday we were like oh my Lord what’s happening is there like a military coup happening but yeah not every day you see a tank and an event

And if we go around this side complete bulletproof six by six monstrosity of a truck these are probably pulled out of like a private collection these things are joined by this helicopter and a Humvee an interesting way to end the anime Matsuri coverage Just completed the anime Matsuri car portion of the event and with such a beautiful day here in Houston or rather evening we thought we’d come out and stick the two cars that we’re running at the event in front of the downtown backdrop so we’re basically on Sabine Street here

Which has a nice Bridge overlooking the various areas here of Houston Okay so this was car number one this is the Ford Bronco Raptor uh Ford car currently left it for me to pick up at the airport I’ve been meaning to drive something extremely American so

The first truck that came to mind when I was kind of planning this trip was the Bronco Raptor of course we do not get the Ford Bronco in Japan it’s an American Market only and this is actually the Raptor version so it comes with the massive over fenders as you can

See here and 37 inch tires and it’s geared obviously for like off-roading rock crawling and pretty much being an all-rounder family car family truck and right behind it running exactly the same V6 Turbo Power Plant is the Ford F-150 Raptor but this is actually built by Hennessy so it’s

The actual Velociraptor as you can see The Branding is very visible they’ve done away with the stock plastic bumpers and replaced it with a one-piece steel bumper sitting on 35s we’ve got gigantic Brembo brakes and that’s because this thing is a number on the tailgate here points towards

Actually produces 600 horsepower so the V6 the 3.5 liter V6 turbo has been fettled with and is now producing pretty much 150 horsepower modern stock so this thing despite the massive size actually rips it’s so fast it’s ridiculously fast and with the release of the raptor r version of the F-150 so

That would be the one with the V8 Hennessy actually does their own version of that too and that actually puts out 1000 horsepower so unfortunately we can’t really drive it this time around because I say I think they’re still working on it but there’ll be one to

Shoot for eventually so so you can never trust Italians they just rock up and park in the middle you’re in the middle of the street dude crazy thing we’re just here on the bridge minding our own business shooting these two trucks and Alex penfold with his Cayman on UK plates

Drops by with a bunch of other cars including one car from Japan so we go down here the yellow Megan RS on export Japanese plates so this is Ken saito’s own car from Tokyo but he’s shipped over here on a Carne and he’s currently driving all the way down to Monterey

And there’s a Japanese FC police car and then these things which I have no idea what these are and Andrea with his Ferrari interesting addition to the evening shoot here on the bridge so we’ve gone from like two extremely American cars to a nice selection of Exotics isolation of Italian and German

Cars there’s even a 992 parking up these are the slabs it’s a whole new thing I have yet to experience you know air suspension and spank in the back it’s a more small children down crazy what you come across without even planning it so I was driving NFC in Malaysia the

Other week and here’s another FC that is so JDM even has the plate to emphasize that Thank you Today I am experiencing my first Cars and Coffee event here in Texas we’re just outside of Houston at a place which is basically called Fairfield Baptist Church and uh they hold what looks like to be a very insane uh Gathering here on Saturday morning I actually drove in here with Shelby velociraptor FD running me down stock rims so I got to park in the truck section Thank you R34 GTR with a single turbo conversion old school variety intake it’s pretty simple fishery Wheels top brakes like this this big too you know you can actually tell this is a series one because the engine bay is actually black it’s not painted body color which would have been

The cookie cars keep rolling in there’s a few Lamborghinis as well who are kind of arriving here but I’m just gonna keep walking to kind of embrace the turnout here there’s a lot of Corvettes and these guys don’t joke around with their mods supercharger this

Is the lt4 ZR1 the one I uh immediately caught my Glimpse here is this uh s30 not sure what it’s running but it’s a very clean kind of Resto mod I guess parked up next to a Buick Riviera and a Corvette Stingray and if you look here there’s a super

Coming here right now so like I was saying it’s it’s a great mix you got like old school muscle cars modern German Audis completely tuned up dining and three some serious looking carbon pack here get her get some love to the trucks this looks like it has a coyote engine [Applause]

Check out this e92 here big supercharger bolted onto the V8 I just love to see modern engines and these older cars so people come and go it seems very much like daikoko Futo or rather daikoku parking area I just spotted this 911 SC here [Applause] I love the Simplicity of these cars

So nice I love the dark brown leather not nice fix GT3 in yellow with NK nt03s very nice choice and of course the US bumpers sweet Speedster here [Applause] Foreign Two ft’s three fds I love the stock rims on this one pretty cool there’s actually a couple of booths here they’re selling Hot Wheels this is the actual church I’m just shocked how many cars there are I mean it just keeps going and going and going Mercury Cougar Mustang Fastback convertible 18sx 35s

Here of course people love big Power here so you always get to see massive builds when it comes to the VR 38s the street racing slash drag setup really does look cool on a 35 and of course it’s a must that these events usually get going at like 6 a.m because it’s

Just past like 8 30 now and the Sun is getting so strong it’s close to 40 degree sunny days pretty much every day since we’ve been here at least and the forecast seems to be the same so we have another week of really hot weather here I’ve been seeing a lot of

Hummers lately I’m not sure why well there you have it that was our quick little stop by Cars and Coffee here at Fairfield Baptist Church really cool to kind of look at what basically people drive and kind of build out here in Texas really cool to see

That there’s a lot of JDM stuff happening as well alongside the more American side of things that you would kind of Imagine people having out here so uh our journey continues it looks like they popped the hood on the Supra single turbo people love their single turbos out here and you know what

After spending a few days driving the Ford Raptor and the Bronco Raptor I totally get it I mean the highways here are just big long wide open spaces it makes sense that you would want the most power as possible Thank you and helping us find these awesome locations we have Bernie here with a six RS6 Avant that if you remember I actually saw it at the meet this morning and we’re gonna get some driving shots of it now how long have you had this three years so it runs

A little bit of magic under the hood 700 horsepower you can you know get to some crazy power levels of these uh twin turbo V8s but um it just looks so good with the you know ABT wheels black on black okay so Bernie is going to let me

Drive his uh RS6 Avant it’s running uh a chip 700 horsepower it’s kind of like scratching the surface of what these insane four liter twin turbo V8s are all about and the car sits nice and low on some ABT Wheels so uh let’s open all right here we go

Look at the interior on this thing so clean oh yeah what a welcome sound Machine guns through the gears like crazy foreign That is silly and so the day continues we are now at a night meet following the Cars and Coffee today and also a couple of hours spend the anime Matsuri checking out the cars we heard about this meat from some of the guys who are displaying the cars at

The shop so we decided to come and check it out it’s basically at a small strip mall type area and there’s a nice turnout of JDM stuff as well as some other cars that I’ve seen roll in so we’re going to take a quick walk around see what we find And curiously enough I actually did see three or four Japanese Imports roll in including this Gloria here it’s a Gloria Gran Turismo so right hand drive that’s 2000 t37s another import ant and Nissan leopard interesting thing to be seeing in Texas of all places this is the little Eunice Roadster crew

My Supra S2000 pairing on Yokohama Advent GTS I love the look of this sick color too the craziest thing for me is that you know these guys are allowed to like start playing loud music like this like in Japan that would just not happen it wouldn’t go down too well nice

Uh EF Civic over here we got the RS6 that we drove today Bernie’s car Ved up to another RS6 Avant on uh massive hre Wheels FKA rolling in next to a couple of other Civics EF over here a nice EK really clean FD and this would be the second

R34 GTR we come across today this is a midnight purple three and uh looks like it has the entire Nismo cattle look thrown at it carbon air box carbon Inlet piping color matched rb26 covers Nismo GT plenum and legit r-tune Bonnet with the actual scoop and it then plugs into

The airboats very cool so here’s the hachiroku I tried to have a look before I can get a nice view to the engine bay and nice beams swap very clean inside and all see a little digital display there it’s quite forgot some of his body work at home nicely wrapped

STI and another JDM import so yeah I have to say it’s pretty cool to come out and check out the local car scene here in Houston pretty Blown Away by the variety and the attention to details some of these cars like this guy doing like onikan like hardcore that’s you know total respect

For me jzh Supra just showed up here on the corner on some raised rims and a Toyota Corolla wagon I mean amazing I mean you can’t be not impressed by the execution and the attention to detail and again that strong Japanese Vibe behind everything so really happy I checked it out and on

We go with our trip here in Houston I’m actually visiting a really cool place this morning it was one venue a bunch of people out here in Houston told me about and they said that I should probably drop by and have a look so it’s basically a place called Elara garage it’s a big storage facility where car

Guys you know pay up to keep their cars and the cars are looked after and they’re stored away in an air-conditioned Warehouse obviously for some obvious reasons we can’t really see those cars but this place also has some cars for sale so we’re gonna go inside

Here and take a quick look at some of the cars that they have for sale and see if we can find anything interesting to look at all right so here we are down there’s the area we can’t show so we’re just going to take a look at some of the cars that are

Up for sale or some that are actually advertised as being either going up for sale and bring a trailer or already live on the side a couple of mondials here it’s really interesting that we see mondials again because we were actually looking at two or three in KL the other week

Um so yeah really nice to see two more on display here I guess these are the entry level into the Ferrari ownership experience selling just under 100 for this one and 65 for this nice 944 Turbo 50 000. the Impreza to have the 22b really cool to see one here in the U.S

This is not advertised as being priced quite yeah you’re gonna have to ask for information on that Okay this is the last night before we fly Island and we came to see my friend Andrea who has a very sweet 996 GT3 running on BBS Motorsport p88s gonna go for a quick blast I just need to hear this exhaust that full chat I think it’s it has the

Potential design to sound really sweet just judging from the idol [Applause] Thank you Foreign There you have it that is our last night here in Houston Texas our flight leaves in about 10 hours I’m gonna go back to the hotel pack and uh kind of start thinking about everything that’s being done in the last few days so many cool cars and today especially the last day was

A very memorable one you know starting off first with a massive long drive up to Dallas to visit T1 race developments and get to meet and talk to Tony there who kind of kindly opened up the shop for us to see all the cool customer cars

They’re working on and then back here in Houston meeting with Andrea and getting to hear his famous 911 GT3 996 semi Cup car amazing day amazing time in Texas and uh now it’s back to Japan for some more JDM stuff