Occupation: Duce Bigilow Male Gigolo
Car: Scion FR-S Series 10
Ray embarked on his FR-S journey with a limited edition Series 10 FR-S not even two years ago. Since then, the car kept on evolving through various stages and styles. Each evolution showcased attention to detail and thorough execution. With the great platform at hand, Ray wished to have a completely built car that did not resemble other builds in the community. After months of tinkering with off the shelf and custom parts, his vision has come to fruition.
TF: Hi Ray! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
RL: I’m an Aquarius and enjoy long conversations about what I ate last night and why it tasted so good. I have a degree in ME (Master of Eating). My traits are: I can tilt the Earth by just leaning on one side, I can type with 1 finger real fast, I have this reactive knee where my leg will extend when someone bends over, and I can recite the alphabet backwards. All in all, I’m one of those guys that would rather enjoy an awesome time with good peeps than to roll into a car meet and pose in front of a car. You chose the lifestyle, the lifestyle didn’t choose you. Don’t be a lemmings in the society, take the car culture by its horns and ram it through the crowd of haters. What you want the most out of modifying your car is the self satisfaction that you achieved a goal, which was set from the start through motivation, ingenuity, hard work and hard earn money.
TF: What was your first car?
RL: Evo X
TF: That’s a pretty impressive first car. What got you into modifying cars?
RL: Gran Turismo and Legend of Speed the movie. Those 2 combined were my childhood growing up. I didn’t buy my first car till I graduated College. At that time, with all the ideas I had brewing due to strict family laws of not being allowed to buy a used car while in high school or college, I knew my first car and the following cars after that have to molded off my childhood dreams and imaginations.
TF: Whenever there’s a local car show going on, you’re most likely there. What do you like about car shows? What do you not like about them (trends, culture, restrooms)?
RL: What I like about car shows it the opportunity to connect with new people that I never met or looking to meet [new people] and talk about similar builds. I usually try to draw inspiration from car shows rather than knocking off the exact style or concept without having to tweak it to suit your car style better. What I don’t like about car shows are the people with big egos. The ones that don’t share or bother to help others when they are approached with praise from their followers. Most people know that I’m pretty easy to be approached and I’m always willing to share everything and anything about my build in order to help others innovate their next design choice or parts selection. Not everyone will like what you are doing to your car or fully embrace certain aspects of the tuning scene, but each has their own merits that should at least be commended for their efforts.
TF: Since you’re really experienced with shows, we gotta ask you this. Chicago car culture aside, which region has the best show car scene? East or West?
RL: As an individual that has traveled from the West to the East in the past 5 years, I can say I have seen a lot of great cars outside of Chicago. There are builds that are instantly 5 times the value of any of our local car builds and then you have those that look very good with a very tight budget. As long as the individual enjoys what he/she is doing, that is all that matters. Hands down both West and East coast are tied when it comes to who has the best shows. West coast has just a slight advantage due to great weather all year round so their show count is easily double the amount that the East coast can have in any given year. However I have to commend the East coast for their builds because most of them have to be built in a way that the car is usable in all weather conditions. This includes lots of rain and possibly snow if it’s used as a daily which the West coast doesn’t see too often especially it never snows there.
TF: Do you think car shows changed since you first started attending them?
RL: My FRS has always been an evolving animal from the start. I have attended a few shows at it’s barely legal status when I first picked up the car. Although the FRS market has the strongest aftermarket backing right from the get go, you get to see a variety of modded FRS’s at car meets and shows. A lot of them fall into the trendy Rocket Bunny style or Stance style. I feel the lost art of JDM Demo car doesn’t exist amongst all these builds. I feel that competitors at car shows need to be more broad in their builds and not just focus on wheels and a drop or just all effort in the engine bay. I feel that when I build my car, there needs to be a coherent, well rounded approach to each aspect of the car in order to truly say it’s presentable. With that mindset, I used that driving force to sling my car to what it is today. I try to be as complete as possible without skimping on minor details that other usually overlook.
TF: It’s good to see that people actually get it and know what it’s about. What’s the next thing we might see Ray doing with his car in the future?
RL: If I keep my FR-S, I’ll add additional cooling for the engine bay in a form of a Varis Hood, and I’ll probably convert the car to the full Varis widebody.
TF: You spend a lot of time in your car driving or at shows. What do you think about in your car when you’re alone?
RL: I think about where I’m going and how can I get there faster. Sometimes I count how many highway poles I pass in a minute just to pass time on long drives.
TF: Do you have a special ritual you do before getting into your car every day?
RL: I tighten up my butt cheeks and jump right into the seat because the car is so low that I sometimes miss calculate the jump in, and I smash my ass on the door sill instead of onto the Recaro seats.
TF: Itasha. Is it here to stay or is it just another fad?
RL: Stay or Fad, I’ve mainly conjured up those Itasha design on instagram as a tribute to those that actually do Itasha for a living. I only mainly posted about it to possibly bring in more light into the topic rather than impose that I’m one of them. I’m sorry for those that got offended by my posting of Itasha designs that I done for fun on my spare time, but I truly just did it to show people out there that there is a car culture for this. Don’t be ashamed to show your support for it. Often times I get people coming up to me telling me about their ideas for using this anime or that cartoon as their concept for itasha, and sometimes I would never have thought that that individual was into itasha at all. Opening up people with what I do or post sometimes gives me the greatest satisfaction that I was able to help out that individual one form or another.
TF: What advice would you give someone who is about to get into showing his/her car?
RL: Just like Touge Factory’s racing glove slogan, “Never Lift, Be a Man”. Once you start your life in the tuning world, you never look back. Don’t let those that try to deter you from what you are doing, always have a goal set and have a lot of patience because the end results will always be in your favor. Remember the car is built by you and for you alone, who cares if it’s not in line with today’s trending mods. Whatever you are building will probably inspire the next as long as you add your own flare to it, don’t just do a direct copy of what you saw before otherwise that will be called “Cataloging”.
TF: Most of our readers probably remember your crowd favorite Evo X. Since you switch up driving FR-S and drive your bB, which drivetrain layout do you prefer? FF, FR, or AWD?
RL: AWD ultimately gave the max traction on the road obviously, but when it came to the fun factory I give it to the RWD. As boring as FF is, it does its job as a daily and pretty formidable in the snow.
TF: Do you believe the FR-S/ BRZ will be a sought after cult classic, like the AE86, in the future?
RL: The FRS needs many more years for it to become any kind of cult classic. The FRS has been proving its versatility over the years. You can practically make a stanced out FRS or rally FRS or drifting FRS or time attack FRS. You name it, it probably has been done, even VIP style. It’s most likely going to be a cult classic once Toyota possibly discontinues the chassis for the new Supra.
TF: Changing it up a little bit, what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
RL: Morning shits are the best.
TF: When you’re not working, or wrenching on your car, what are you usually doing?
RL: Freelance designing car parts and sleeping.
TF: Rumor on the street is you’re a DDR master. What’s your best score on DDR? Which song?
RL: I don’t know where you heard that from, sounds like an unfathomable rumor. B4U
TF: If someone came to Chicago for the first time and you had to guide him/her around, where would you take that person?
RL: To the southside to show them around the hood, then the northside to show them boystown, then I’ll bring them to the city to enjoy good eats.
TF: Portillos Italian beef of Johnnies Italian beef?
RL: Johnny’s Beef
TF: What’s your go to spot for real Chicago food?
TF: Awesome! Hopefully our readers take advantage of the things you mentioned to us! Is there anyone who you would like to thank?
RL: I would like to thank the entire TF-Works family. From the two main people in charge to 3LLL’s amazing creativity to the shop dog Roxy, everyone has had a part in this build.
TF: It was a pleasure being involved in this build! Thank you again for spending the time with us!
RL: No problem.