By PJ Pitcher of Turbology
In the world of aftermarket automotive performance and the drifting community, Japan has an inherent and enduring degree of mysticism about it that is unrivaled, generally-speaking. That makes perfect sense, since drifting is a Japanese creation with Japanese domestic market (JDM) cars. Now, being a car guy is a relatively universal characteristic that transcends language, but that is not to say that cultural nuances do not exist.
Bridging the proverbial gap would allow for a unique niche within the marketplace, and that is exactly what Matt Predmore has achieved with Quickstyle Motorsports. This guy does not sound very Japanese DL, what gives? While QSM may be based in Maryland, Predmore has extensive life and driving experience in Japan. In fact, QSM was originally conceived in Japan, back in 2002, as a way for Matt to share his passion for grip racing and drifting with friends.
Predmore’s time in Japan was no coincidence. As early as age 13, he tells us he would read Japanese car magazines and watch drifting videos in study hall. Those planted the seed to visit and eventually live in Japan, hoping to start his own business dealing directly with Japanese companies and driving cars that he loved. Before opening his shop Stateside, Matt imported USDM parts and exported JDM parts around the world while stationed with the USMC from 2006-2007, then he lived, worked and drove in Japan through 2011.
Upon returning to the US, Predmore realized his unique experience and network had created a golden business opportunity, so he began importing rare Japanese parts and then 25-year old cars soon thereafter. To this day, he maintains a close working 11-year partnership with a good friend in Japan which greatly aids in logistical concerns and informational diligence. Quickstyle cars are not merely imported sight unseen and mechanically untested.
This level of service and dedication to customer satisfaction is another byproduct of Predmore’s stint in Japan. Matt found smaller Japanese shops and tuners to be eager to introduce their products abroad and excited to do business with other enthusiasts. While working at Vertex International in Otake, Matt taught the staff English, and he slowly picked up Japanese. More importantly, he saw that Japanese shops are honest, straight-forward and always stand behind their word.
These benchmarks of integrity have played an important role in Quickstyle’s business model, as Predmore does his best to stay ahead of the ‘replica’ parts wave. He tells us that Japanese shops have very strict retail and distributorship guidelines for this reason, and his rapport grants him access to some of the most sought-after parts in the world. Still, this can be a gray area for less-experienced customers, so Matt patiently offers candid guidance.
He enjoys working with every generation of car guys from the younger crowd to the die-hard enthusiasts, Matt truly enjoys providing insight, knowledge and useful brand information. That trustworthiness created another business model for Quickstyle: their Yahoo auctions brokerage. Starting in 2006, Matt has sourced ultra-rare and hard-to-find parts in Japan and arrangement of door-to-door shipping, customs included, for a nominal fee.
Lest you think Predmore is just some keyboard drifter, he earned his stripes on the mountain passes of Yamaguchi and Hiroshima, ran in the D1SL West series, translated for Madmike in D1GP, and was a mechanic for Total Car Produce Magic in D1GP and GT300 at Okayama & Suzuka. Accordingly, his competition and shop demo car is no joke. The S15 chassis began life at Wise Square in Japan before being shipped over for Toshiki Yoshioka to drive in Formula Drift and Gymkhana GRiD. In current trim, it runs a 2JZ VVT-i engine with a Garrett GTX3582R turbo. The combination is good for a fun and reliable 650hp on E85, and Matt drives in events up and down the east coast including US Drift, Club Loose and Hyperfest.
Beyond drifting and importing both parts and cars, Quickstyle is also a full-service performance shop including installation, fabrication and general maintenance. These aspects are part of Predmore’s vision for a systemic customer experience, and just like the cars he imports, the aim is to provide turn-key service, from start to finish. Honesty, integrity and hard work require no translation, no matter what language is being spoken.