A Brief History of Arctic Racing!

Where to begin. Originally I started Arctic back in 1994. I was living in North Dakota at the time. That is where I came up with using Arctic. Many days while working on cars it would be below zero and snow on the ground. So it made me stand out. No one around that area did anything due to the long and harsh winters. At that time I was also installing custom sound systems in addition to aftermarket goods. So those of you who have been with me over the years will remember when I was called Arctic Audio & Racing.

In 1995 I got word that I was going to Japan. I put the Talon that was my daily driver and shop car into storage and headed to Tokyo, Japan. This is were things really took off for me. After about a year and dozens of cars I no longer performed audio work. My hands were full and could barely keep up with the demand of peformance mods. With the new direction I dropped the "Audio" from my shop name and was strictly known as "Arctic Racing." I still perform all the audio work on my project cars. The likes of which can be seen in Project Estima.

While in Tokyo I had devoleped a reputation as the "tire man." This was so because the majority of my business was installing second hand tires. These so-called second hand tires were actually new tires with about 10-100 kilometers on them. The way it worked was when someone bought a new car they would instantly want to begin modifying. So I would have a customer with a brand new car that wanted to replace everything from exhaust, suspension, to wheels and tires. I would install all the new aftermarket goodies and keep the factory wheels that I took off. The customers where more than happy to give up the factory items I removed because in Japan they would have to pay to dispose of them and space at homes is limited. I would then install the factory new tires on vehicles in which the customer just needed new tires and was not interested in vehicle mods. Needless to say I stopped counting around 500 vehicles.

I was definitely doing my part for the environment. Recycling tires to be used on vehicles that would have normally be tossed out. I would even recycle the factory rims. About 95% of vehicles in Japan come with aluminum factory wheels. So after reusing the tires on different cars I would place the aluminum rims in a "scrap" pile. Once the scrap pile would get between 100-140 rims I would have them recycled. Click on rim picture to see what a typical recycling day for me was like.

Over the years while in Japan I built numerous project cars. Some of which can be seen on my site. Originally my site was built to show off our capabilties and items I had in stock. From used tires to second hand suspensions, turbos, intercoolers, exhausts, rims, etc. This portion of the site is now turned off. I had a network of about 12 shops that I obtained items from and then offer to customers in the local area and included installation. I even di business with some car shops that sold used cars and catered to the local militay installations. The tires always went as fast as I could get them. Especially to my drifting buddies. They could burn up a set of tires in one session. Like my friend Jim pictured below, he always wanted to know what tires I had.

In late 2002 I went back to the states. And began to play with my Eagle Talon which had been stored for all those years. You can follow the progress and results on the "Mods & Updates" page under "My Talon" from the above link. It was a great project and in the couple years I was able to work on the car it became one of the fastest All Wheel Drive Talons in the world. It was alot of fun because I finally got a break from the car business and got to do some work on my own ride and do some racing.

The Talon has been in storage again since 2004. However, I will eventually go back to the states again and give it the attention it deserves. I have been in Japan this time since 2005, but this time I have got rid of the car business and just enjoying my tour here. Who knows what our next project will be. But stay tuned.

This site is just about my rides, my friend's rides and all the cool fun stuff I do! I will stay true to my Japanese way of doing things on every project I do. So to all you enthusiasts this site is for you, my friends, and family to enjoy. To my friends and associates back in Japan none of this would have ever been possible without you!

Jose Pluguez