I’ve been working on this idea lately where I try and let things go. I understand the world isn’t black and white; it’s all those crazy shades of gray. But like many people, sometimes I get irrationally mad at things I see. Usually these things are on the internet and usually they don’t really matter, but if I’m the right amount of tired and the mood hits me just right, I lose it a little. I’ve stopped listening to podcasts because they bungled pop culture references or implied that JZX100s come stock with 2JZ-GTEs (instead of a 1JZ-GTE, the correct answer). Usually I take a time out and get over it. Sometimes I write a blog about it and today is one of those days…
You might be wondering what this has to with Eric Corvera’s (aka Chob) JZS161? Allow me to explain. Earlier this week, I was reading an article that posed the question of where we might find the best built GS300 in North America. Now this is a highly subjective question, and I understand that for those who care it will differ from person to person. This discussion hinges a lot on the word “arguably” and whenever a conversation like this comes up, my knee jerk reaction is to blurt out “Proceed’s JZS161.”
I should preface this by saying that I drive a GS300/Aristo, so I spend a decent amount of time in Facebook groups and forums related to the chassis in question. Whenever the question of who has the best JZS in North America comes up and the Proceed JZS161 isn’t mentioned, I become irrationally frustrated and wonder why my totally subjective opinion isn’t shared by the masses. Eventually I realize that I’m being weird and Chob has to remind me to relax. However, this week I realized I could use DODOlogic as my soapbox and actually try to justify my opinion on the Proceed JZS161.
I recognize that I’m not aware of every fully built JZS161 in North America. So if anyone out there has a suggestion for the best built GS300, I’m all ears. Otherwise, let’s try not to get too upset when I say that Chob has built one the most unique and amazing GS300’s on North American soil.
If you’re not familiar with the car, allow me to give you a short rundown of it. It’s a 1998 Toyota GS that has been swapped to a 2JZ-GTE. That inline 6 is connected to a R154 transmission with an Exedy twin metallic clutch thrown in the mix for good measure. The twin turbos have been swapped for a big single Precision 6262 turbo. There are, of course, many other parts that go along with build, but we’ll just say the car now produces a modest 550 whp.
For suspension, the GS is equipped with Stance coilovers with 22k/16 custom valve setup. I would talk about the wheels, but realistically they have changed a few times since I last saw the car.
If I were to end the article here, this car would already be noteworthy. But Chob’s from Chicago and if you know anything about Chicago style, then you know it can’t stop there. Rule of thumb: if you’re going to build something, you had better plan on driving it. And if you’re going to drive it, it had better look good.
Chob has built something that is uniquely his, while still matching the theme of his Proceed teammates cars.
There’s no mistaking Chob’s car for another. The single rose livery adorning the side of the car has had more time and effort put into it than some people put into paint. On top of that, the car received fresh paint before receiving the Proceed treatment. There’s something uniquely Japanese-inspired about this car, yet it manages to pull it off without being a carbon copy of something that came before it. When I took these photos, the car was equipped with Origin Lab Canards and they matched the Vertex kit quite perfectly. However, those canards have long since been destroyed on the track. To me, that’s what makes Chob’s car the best – or at least my favourite – GS in North America. It’s built with quality and a purpose. It looks good. It’s functional. And the build is constantly being tested and improved upon every time it hits the track, all while remaining a street car.
Before the car underwent this transformation, I wrote an article about it. I said, “The lesson here is simple: don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try something new. Just be sure you commit and follow through.” Every iteration of Chob’s car reinforces this simple idea. What’s even more amazing is how it continually gets better. I often accuse Chob of being a trendsetter and he usually replies with: “Not at all. I just like to have fun.” The truth is he’s building something we’ve never really seen on this soil and he’s doing a really great job at it. What’s even more amazing is that the car has probably changed yet again in preparation for this year’s Final Bout II, which is coming up soon on Sept. 5 and 6 in Shawano, WI.
I highly recommend you attend Final Bout if you’re able – if only to say you’ve seen the best GS in North America.