DRIVERS: L.A. Kenta and His 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 993
DRIVERS is a series highlighting influential individuals in the HYPEBEAST sphere and their passion towards all things automotive. The approach is simple: what is car culture to you, and why do you have a passion for it? Each contributor is given a chance to shine light on their personal vehicle or vehicles, and asked to remark on how they are driving culture forward, both metaphorically and literally.
Certain cities have a rich, deep car culture like no other that’s full of enthusiasts, drivers, collectors, builders, etc – Los Angeles and Tokyo instantly come to mind. For Kenta, living in both has made him into the ultimate car fanatic, one which has shaped his life to include owning, driving, and even making a living off of his love for automotive.
Kenta – who goes by L.A. Kenta to the public – is designer and founder of Tokyo Drive Car Club, a burgeoning streetwear brand that merges his love of cars, street culture, and fashion. Kenta labels it simply as “a brand for car guys” which could mean understanding and appreciating cars for one, or owning a fleet of hypercars for another, but TDCC aims to keep the culture intact and to ensure that cars are cherished, loved, cared for and most importantly, used.
Kenta founded the brand when he was a full-time business degree student at California State University, Fullerton. The brand’s designs center around a large gothic-printed font of its name, while incorporating both automotive references and quality into its recipe. Its recent collaboration with Japanese ultra-high-quality staple brand Loopwheeler sold out in minutes, along with pretty much every item the brand lists on its official website. Beyond the ‘Club, Kenta also has official automotive business experience, having worked for Red Bull in 2011 and supported races like Formula 1, Super GT and MotoGP, along with racers like Daniel Riccardo, Pierre Gasly, and this year’s winner Max Verstappen.
Befittingly for the founder of a brand like Tokyo Drive Car Club, Kenta’s chariot of choice is a Porsche 911 Carrera, one that is not mint, not babied, not factory original, and definitely driven. With over 200,000 kilometers (approximately 124,275 miles) on the odometer and its second engine in its lifetime, Kenta prides the 993 for its drive and the way it makes him feel over keeping it clean and pristine. Porschephiles would have a heart attack if they saw the rock chips up front, or the mismatched aftermarket RECARO seats, but Kenta obviously has a goal and purpose for his 911 and it shows.
Check out our latest entry for DRIVERS and in case you missed it, we last featured Team Epiphany founder Coltrane Curtis and his brutish Audi RS6 Avant.1 of 6
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Make, model, year of your car?
1995 Porsche 911 (993) Carrera 6MT.
When did you acquire it?
What made you choose this car specifically?
I grew up liking fixed-up Japanese cars, and also Ferrari. Even though I loved fixed-up [Nissan Silvia] S13, S14, S15s, [Toyota Trueno] AE86s, [Nissan Skyline] R32, R33, R34s, [Mazda RX-7] FD3Ses, [Toyota Supra] JZA80s, [Toyota Chaser] JZX100s etc, Ferrari was always something special for me.
I bought an S13 240SX as soon as I got my driver’s license in California. It was my dream car since I was like 10 years old; I put wheels on it, lowered it, straight piped exhaust, swapped SR20, etc, and I also bought an S13 Silvia (CA18DET) in Tokyo too so that I can drive it when I was in Japan where my parents were.
I started working and got enough money, so I went to buy a Ferrari F355; the main purpose for an F355 was to drive it daily, take it to road trips, and take it to the infamous Wangan freeway. I used to work for a car magazine, so I had some connections and test-drove a pretty good used F355. When I test-drove it, it didn’t feel like I can depend on the car going fast, or race it on the street. So even though I loved Ferrari, I turned straight to Porsche, which in my opinion is more reliable. I see Ferrari as an art piece which you should look at to enjoy, and I see Porsche as an industrial product which you should use to enjoy.
I chose the 993 because of the multi-link rear suspension, and also for the modern look; I grew up around fixed-up Japanese cars, so the 930 and 964 looked too old for me compared to fixed-up, aero-ed Japanese cars. I like the looks of 901, but obviously they are too old to go fast.
I chose the 1995 model because I like things to be simple, and I didn’t want a VarioRam engine.I chose Carrera because I didn’t want the Carrera S wide body – the wide body will lower the top speed. 1 of 5
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What is the main purpose for this car for you?
Daily driving, road tripping, and driving on Wangan freeway.
What has been done with this car? Where has it gone?
I blew up the engine on the freeway, so it’s my second engine now. I had it swapped at the dealership, I drive the car everyday and take it on road trips pretty far, so I didn’t want to worry about the reliability. It was expensive but I think it was worth it.
I drove it to Aomori, the northernmost part of mainland Japan, and also Yamaguchi, the southernmost part of mainland Japan. It has 200,000km+, and it is the most driven 993 at the local dealership in Tokyo.
Any details? Modifications? Changes?
RS clutch, RS light weight flywheels, RS steering wheel, RS short shifter, Bilstein coilovers, RECARO SP-G and RECARO SR-II seats, RS-type front lip spoiler, unknown rear wing, etc.
What is a car to you: aspirational achievement, functional tool, stress-reliever, etc?
A car to me is a meaning of life. I live to drive. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than driving. It’s also my job now, because Tokyo Drive Car Club is a clothing brand for car guys.
“Even though I loved Ferrari, I turned straight to Porsche, which in my opinion is more reliable. I see Ferrari as an art piece which you should look at to enjoy, and I see Porsche as an industrial product which you should use to enjoy.”
What was your dream car growing up?
A purple, fixed-up, low and loud drifting-style S13 and a Ferrari F40.
What have you owned before? What would you like to have?
I had a couple of S13s; I still have the first one, thank you Jay Yoshida for storing it for me for years. I used to drive a Jaguar as a daily too, and I currently have a Toyota Alphard Executive which is perfect for getting around Tokyo when I’m not driving my 993. I am definitely getting a G-Wagon next, I used to drive my friend’s BRABUS G 5.8 which was the only one in Tokyo, and I loved it.
What is the future of the automotive industry? Car culture?
A car to me is not just a way of transportation. I’d like to see the culture grow, I know it’s not easy with all the pollution and discussions about sustainabilities and all nowadays, but fixing up and driving cars are the simple most important things in my life, other than my family and friends.
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