This Toyota Chaser JZX100 was originally supposed to be a drift car project. When Josh Freeman of Vaded bought & imported it… the thing already had an angle kit & some other goodies straight from the backstreets of Japan. But here’s the catch: Josh technically bought this Chaser a year before it was legal in the states. Rules… am I right? So he had to sit on it a year before it could be registered. And during that year (circa 2020), the price of JDM cars all-the-sudden skyrocketed.
Reevaluating his situation…
Josh just couldn’t bring himself to desecrate a clean JDM car that was in great condition & had just doubled its value in a snap. Not that Josh intended on selling it. Profit was never the motive. But it became kind of an internal struggle with… destroying a good car that was now so highly revered. So Josh figured he’d pivot & build the car for the street… and use it to inspire people in other ways.
That’s the kind of guy Josh Freeman is…
Truth be told – I’ve never met the man in person. But we have all the mutual friends. And I’ve found sometimes you get a truer picture of a man’s character through his friends than you get through the man himself. To rephrase that… being an automotive writer, I’ve found that often times when you’re looking for inspiration in an article, it’s HARD to get someone to open up about themselves. It can feel a lot like bragging, and people aren’t comfortable with that. But – when you talk to their friends & get that 3rd-party perspective… that’s when you get the real-deal character. And whenever Josh Freeman’s name/cars get brought up, all arrows always point the same direction. And that is: This dude is all about inspiring the people around him. He feeds off it. And honestly/truly – we need more of that.
There is a fine line between ‘influencing’ & inspiring…
And for a lot of people, that line get’s all blurred-out. Frankly I don’t blame anyone for that… 21st-century life can be hard to navigate. But here’s a quick check: Influencing tends to be selfish. Inspiring tends to be selfless. Just keep that in your back pocket.
A guy named Bailey Neal told me this story…
Bailey Neal is the photographer who took the photo above (Taylor Galster is the other photographer; 2 separate shoots in this feature). And Bailey said one time he & Josh were doing some filming on Josh’s FD RX-7 at a gas station. A young kid walked up to check out the car, but hesitated to get too close. Josh apparently saw him out of his peripherals. And with zero hesitation, Josh just walked off frame mid-sentence & went to greet the kid. He put the kid in the car, and walked him around showing him what was what. Josh also greeted the kid’s dad & explained this crazy lifestyle/hobby/obsession.
He went out of his way to inspire that kid in a way that would stick. Going above & beyond not only for courtesy… but to plant a seed. Because Josh intuitively realized that kid is the next generation of car enthusiast (if there’s gonna be one lol). And the way he treated that kid in that moment could & would potentially have a lasting impact. Good on ya Josh! THAT’S what this shit is all about! At the end of the day, it ain’t about offsets or one-off pieces; and it ain’t about digital views & subscriptions. That’s not where the real value is. I remember instances in my childhood where I was that kid… and it set my path. We all inspire one another, even when we don’t realize it.
1996 Toyota Chaser Tourer V JZX100
Vertex Japan complete body kit
Resprayed 6n9 paint code with custom lace roof & flaking
Series 1 custom LED taillights
OEM roof spoiler
Ganador mirrors with rare TSP yellow wide angle lenses
GX100 front grille with matching 6n9 bow & arrow badge
Custom triple chromed SSR Minerva’s 18×9.5+7 / 18×10.5+13
•Blitz Type 3’s triple-chromed
•Work Emotion T7Rs triple-chromed
•OG stampless Volk TE37s in white
Bride Zeta iii x Vertex collab bucket seats
1/100 Vertex x Mean Streets steering wheel
Team Orange quick release (also 1/100)
Tourer V interior w/ zebra stripes
Downpipe with Tomei titanium cat-back
Blow-off-valve delete for maximum whooshhsuusususu noises
GReddy front mount intercooler
Blitz strut tower bar
TRUST intake system
JDM boost gauge