A Night Out With Demons and  GT Terrorists: Chapter 1

A Night Out With Demons and GT Terrorists: Chapter 1

So what do you get when you bring the fastest De Tomaso Pantera in Japan, the first De Tomaso Pantera to break the 200 mph barrier in Japan, and the GT Terrorist group which consist of another very fast De Tomaso Pantera GT5, Porsche 935 Slantnose, and a heavily modified R33 GTR, all in the little area near Shiodome?
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No less than a dozen police officers surrounding us, asking everyone (including myself) for drivers license, checking for anything illegal, and then waiting and watching us for a little over 1 hour to see if we would start the cars up so that they could give everyone tickets for noise ordinance.
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You see – probably having the two fastest Panteras in Japan in a relatively popular area during business hours probably wasn’t the brightest idea I must admit. Then, sprinkle the frosting of the GT Terrorist and their incredibly loud cars (probably where the terrorist name comes in) on this cake and what you have essentially is a volcano arguing with itself.
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The cacophony of noise was so loud that before we could even get situated and discuss a battle plan for the shoot, an employee of FUJI TV came running out asking what the hell was going on. Apparently, they were filming an episode for a TV drama and the rumbling from everyone pulling in could be heard on set. Oops
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After striking a deal with Fuji TV not to turn the cars on for the next hour(ish), Masumi-San, owner of the GT Terrorist Pantera, quickly informed me that both Shinsuke Nakagawa and Takahiro Higuchi (owners of the fastest Panteras in Japan) would only be able to stay for around 1 hour due to scheduling conflicts.
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So now, not only could we not move the cars unless we pushed them, I now had only about 1 hour to try take pictures of everyone.. at night.. RIGHTTT.
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I quickly grabbed Takahiro-San and his 1972 Pantera and got to work.
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In love with American V8 more than their Japanese engine counterparts, and the irresistible styling of the Pantera, it only made sense for Takahiro-San to buy one as soon as he could get his hands one one.
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From the outside, his Pantera is the most sedated looking one out of the three – No over fenders or extreme aero parts to disrupt the timeless styling of one of Tom Tjaarda masterpieces.
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Beautiful and light weight Advan GT wheels complement the styling perfectly all while showing off the big Brembo brakes and slotted rotors.
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Based on appearance alone, it’s hard to believe this car has broken the 200 mph barrier – then again, they don’t call cars ‘Sleepers’ for nothing.
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Hidden below the Demon Carb lays an actual demon waiting to be awaken by those foolish enough turn it on.
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The original Ford 5.8L 351 Cleveland has been replaced with a 408 Stroker and Fontna aluminum block. Then an entire parts catalog was thrown at it in the quest to break the 200 mph barrier – cams, pistons, valves, exhaust, you name it, it’s been replaced. The end results is a little over 560 whp in a car that from factory weighed a little over 1,417 Kg. That’s a power to weight ratio greater than a 458 (.18 to .17)!
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Just like the engine bay, the interior is all business. Two carbon kevlar seats to hold occupance firmly in place, and a cool steering wheel that pivots upwards so that Takahiro-San can easily get in and out of his Demon.
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From the drivers seat, a barrage of factory and aftermarket gauges display all the vitals that Takahiro-San needs to know.
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I admit – I’m a sucker for classic looking knobs and switches. Maybe it’s the engineer in me that truly appreciates simple yet functional things.
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I could have just sat back and admire the beauty of this beast for hours, however time was a bit of a factor and I still had 4 cars to go. It was time for the fastest Pantera in Japan!
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Shinsuke-San picked his Pantera a little over 20 years and has been modifying it ever since.
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Unlike Takahiro-Sans, there is nothing sleeper like about Shinsuke-San’s Pantera. At first glances, you know this is a circuit going assassin.
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Hell, even the door panel has the stickers of tracks that Shinsuke-San and his Pantera has conquered in their 15 year consecutive wins in his class.
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The exterior has been modified in the pursuit of traction, increase down force and air management.
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Slots in the bumper help guide air into the wheel wells to cool the Willwood brakes off before being evacuated by another slot.
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Over fenders house the 245/50 front and 275/50 rear Hoosier street legal slicks
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The side mirrors have been redesigned for better aerodynamic properties, and to help guide the air to the rear scoops.
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It was around this time that the already impossible situation started to become the clusterf*** that I mentioned before when 2 police officers on bicycles decided to stop and started questioning me.
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As they checked my freshly obtained drivers license to see if it was ‘real’, I called everyone over to explain the situation – which I’m sure judging by the look on the officer’s face as I did so, were not happy about.
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With the situation temporarily diffused, I got back to work trying to take as many pictures as possible. For some reason, I couldn’t get over the feeling the situation wasn’t completely over..
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Very similar to Takahiro-San’s 1972 Pantera, Shinsuke-San also threw an entire parts catalog at the engine bay in the pursuit of raw performance.
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The all business like interior is also similar to Takahiro-Sans with the exception of a roll cage to meet racing safety standards. Since the main purpose behind this build was for the track, the larger center gauge that normally house the speedometer has been replace with a large tachometer.
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That suspicious feeling that something was about to go down kept growing and growing. Thus, I quickly switched to Masumi-San’s Pantera GT5. He had helped setup this meeting with everyone and I wanted to get some pictures done for him at the very least.
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Masumi-San is one of the 3 members of GT Terrorist and his Pantera plays to roll of an evil demon perfectly.
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The feeling a lot of Japanese people have about the Pantera is that of an evil car – almost demon like if you will, and Masumi-San loves that image the most!
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He based his build around that image in the attempt to build the most evil looking Pantera out there. Everything must be murdered out black – or carbon fiber of course!
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And it must be loud – dumb, stupid, terrifyingly loud that it causes fear and terror as he drives through the busy streets of Tokyo.
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While running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I noticed something rather odd about the GT Terrorist sticker – the cute little cat paws and kitten blended in with the text.
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With curiosity killing me, I stopped and asked Masumi-San why on earth there was cute little cat paws in the sticker. Smiling he told me that their use to be a fourth member of the group who use to be their leader – Two cute women that owned a heavily modified Daihatsu Copen who just LOVED cats
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The concept behind GT Terrorist was to have these three terrifying and aggressive looking cars that most non enthusiast would associate with shady characters. The leader of such a group should be the epitome of this evil and yet, their leader is the polar opposite of that image being a sweet, innocent looking women who happen to be obsessed with cats. Go figure right?
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Just as I thought that maybe my paranoid feelings were for nothing, all of a sudden more and more police offers started to show up out of nowhere – and they just kept coming..
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Times up! You can actually see all the cops around us in a recent film that I released about the night here
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I know.. I know.. What about the other members of the GT Terrorist? Will you be able to do another shoot with them? Can we get more information? Of course! Think of this as a teaser if you will. I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to get everyone done that night and lets face it, being harassed by the cops doesn’t help either. So stay tuned for the next chapter in the series! I promise you wont be sorry.

About Celestine Photography

Traveling automotive photographer that is currently living in Shinjuku, Japan (新宿、日本). I some times go by the name Rurounin Photographer where 'Rurouni' comes from the fact that I tend to be a wonder and never know where I'll end up, but that's the adventure in it.

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