From fighter jets to JDM icons.
In this episode of Tuned In, we speak to Josh Ray of Driver Motorsports, who left a 20-year-long career in the US Navy as a fighter jet technician to follow his passion, pouring all that military experience, attention to detail, and knowledge into a new career building and tuning the ultimate Japanese legends for a living.
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Josh Ray always wanted to build and tune cars, but after leaving school at 17, he couldn’t afford to pay for the education or equipment to make that dream a reality. Do you know who’d gladly pay for it though? The US military.
Josh joined the Navy and worked his way up to Senior Chief, responsible for the maintenance and repair of fighter jets like the F14 Tomcat and FA18 Super Hornet. Along the way, he was given huge amounts of training and experience — far more than you could ever hope to get in the civilian world — that would put him in perfect sted for when the time came to leave the Navy and work with high-powered JDM icons.
In this episode, Josh discusses how he transitioned away from the military and joined Driver Motorsports, where he builds everything from engines to full car projects, as well as manning the laptop in the dyno bay *spoiler alert* our own High Performance Academy courses had a part in filling any knowledge gaps he had.
Josh has always loved 90s Japanese cars, so the conversation naturally turns towards stalwarts of the era — specifically Nissan’s Z32 300ZX and R32 GT-R — in an attempt to separate hype from reality. Josh owns both, so he’s more than qualified to weigh in on the subject.
With some great conversations around buying cars at Japanese auctions and then importing them into the States, the ins and outs of road tuning, and minimising dyno result inconsistencies, this conversation with Josh Ray is well worth a listen.
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