Feature: Utilitas Special – Ikegaya-san’s DR30

Automotive, Feature, Japan, JDM



Aficionado; probably the most appropriate term when trying to describe Ikegaya-san.


Referring to of course his passion of the DR30 and Landcruiser; two extremely different automobiles that, somehow or another, are perfectly match to Ikegaya’s crazy personality.  Owner of the Tokyo based specialty shop ‘Utilitas‘, Ikegaya has been scouring both Japan and the US for these cars, restoring them to showroom quality, and dispersing them back in Japan for more years of enjoyment; and I’m not exaggerating when I say showroom quality either.  His work with the DR30 and the handful of old Landcruisers he works on is, beyond a doubt, the best in Japan.  Don’t believe, check it out yourself:





This 31 year old 2000 RS-Turbo is a prime example of the work done at Utilitas.  As you’ll soon find out, when a restoration is tasked to Yuichi, no bolt is left untouched.







Actually, I had almost forgotten that I shot this car a few months back.  I was reminded after Yuichi came to the US this past week to visit and take care of some business.  He came over to our shop and we were trying to explain to some friends what he does at Utilitas and I remember I had pictures on my phone that I took during the shoot.  Then it dawned on me that I had never got around to posting these shots.

After gassing up, we drove over to a nearby park to take photos; a favorite spot of his.





The boxy lines of the DR30 represent the 80’s quite well.









A fresh set of 15″ gold Glow Star wheels, the Work/Star Road collaboration, adorned the corners of the Skyline.





They fit the car perfectly.






The interior of the car is just as clean as the outside; retaining all factory options.






Including a re-wrapped OEM steering wheel.






Under the bonnet rests a pristine FJ20ET; the Nissan engine that made it’s debut with the turbocharged 2000 RS.  It’s adequate 205 horsepower, 180 foot pounds of torque, was a nice boost from its NA counterpart (the FJ20E), which provided a mere 150 horsepower.







Yuichi set the car on a custom set of Cusco coilovers for a slightly more aggressive ride height, and more spirited driving feel.






It’s a shame that this chassis became, I don’t want to say overshadowed by later models, but more so underestimated.






It’s a good thing we have people like Ikegaya to remind us of how special they can be.






He certainly thinks so  ☆*・゜゚・*\(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆





Encounter: Kamakura Carrera RS

Automotive, Encounter, Japan, Motor Sports



Asami and I were walking about Kamakura this weekend when we spotted this beauty idling down the street.  Perhaps a 1976 Carrera RS in iconic Gulf Racing livery.





The entire atmosphere of the scene changed after seeing this.  You can’t get much better than this.  Just a stones throw away from Enoshima, a warm summer day, and a nice drive in your Porsche down the proverbial PCH of Japan.







Makes you wonder about things…









Preview: ユーティリタスDR30!

Automotive, Japan, JDM

When it comes to R30 Skylines, there is no one crazier than Ikegaya-san of Utilitas Japan; and this fully restored 1984 DR30 is a prime example of just how crazy he can be.  Ikegaya is a good friend, and I was happy for the opportunity to check his creation out in detail.


Stick around for more soon.



Event: Nisei Showoff 2011 v.2

Automotive, Event, JDM


On my way back from LA tonight my friend Adolfo hit me up and told me to cruise by his house; he was installing his Tomei camshafts and wanted some company.  We’re driving down to San Diego tomorrow (errr, today, it’s 3:31AM) to get it tuned, and wanted everything ready before the morning.  I know that’s  a random introduction to the second part of my Nisei coverage, but it’s also my excuse for it being late.  If this post gets pretty boring halfway though, let me apologize ahead of time.  It’s late, I should be in bed already, and have a lot of pictures to post.  I’ll start off with this gorgeous S2000 that was part of The Chronicles GENERATIONS line-up.  Joe has some great coverage of it up already so be sure to check out his site.  Click past the break for more.

Event: 6th Annual JCCS, Long Beach V.2

Automotive, Event, JDM


On to round 2 of the JCCS coverage.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, engine swaps are all to common at this show;  and this coupe is no exception.  This is Steve’s car.  Steve drove 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to show at Long Beach.  This is the way I like to see cars; put to use!  As if that wasn’t special enough, Steve had something out of the ordinary at the disposal of his right foot.  How does 260 ft/lb.’s of torque sound?  Yup, a 4.0 liter, V8 taken from a LS400 sits in place of the stock engine.  I got to talk to Steve for a little bit, and to my surprise, he said that the first generation UZ engine fit rather easily in the bay.


Event: 6th Annual JCCS, Long Beach V.1

Automotive, Event, JDM


The warm sun, the cool ocean breeze blowing through the trees;  Downtown Long Beach makes the perfect venue for just about any get together – and the 6th annual holding of the Japanese Classic Car Show is no exception.  Without a doubt JCCS is the show to go to to see the best in classic Japanese cars.  Datsuns, Toyotas, and Mazdas from the 70’s and 80’s are littered throughout the grounds and parking lot.  Some are daily driven, and some have been restored to show quality; there is definitely something for everyone.  Take this Corolla for example; old school parts, executed with modern drift styling.  It took me about 2 hours to walk through the show, and I tried to get a little of everything.  Some photos will have a more retro look (i.e. warm temperatures, desaturated);  I did this as a throw back to the era of the cars.  Hope you enjoy!