Long before this website existed, when I had first started getting into time attack in the mid-2000’s, there was a name I came across often, usually in association with some of the fastest builds of the time. Whether those cars had these parts equipped, or had work done or engines tuned there, Garage Kagotani was a staple amongst the paddock.
Miyuki Kagotani has been operating his shop out of Saitama for decades now. Carrying out general tuning duties on engines, drive systems, aero, fabrication and installation, and in-house production of parts, Miyuki slowly grew a very loyal customer base. Focusing on in-person consultation to customize builds to exactly what the customers needs are has set him apart from other tuning shops that have a more blanket approach. This highly tailored approach to customer builds, original and effective aero parts, coupled with Miyuki’s cheerful demeanor and true love of cars, certainly made him a leading figure in the golden era of Japanese time attack.
Even the GK demo cars all serve a specific purpose in showcasing different facets of tuning. Miyuki built a R34 to show his customers how stable and consistent times can be set, his R32 flexed a power output of over 800hp and demonstrated his ability to build an unlimited style car. His EVO 7 build highlighted the balance of medium and high speed, and his Impreza and variety of FD’s were built for durability in extended run times and daily driving.
Over the past several years, Miyuki has focused on providing support for his customers rather than building and campaigning his own cars. As a result, the name Kagotani has slowly been fading from the chatter around the circuit. However, like most things, there is more than what we can see at surface level, and Kagotani has been as busy as ever, choosing to let his work speak for itself.
This Summer, when I was staying in Saitama, I made it a point to reach out to Miyuki and schedule a time to drive over and see the shop. I took some photos after we chatted for a bit. I decided to use warmer, muted tones for these photos as I felt it conveyed the feeling of the shop better. If you follow our Instagram, I’m sure you’ll have noticed I have a particular style of editing and don’t often stray from it. I’m not usually a fan of over-processed photos, but it seemed appropriate this time around. Enjoy the gallery – if you have any questions about the cars leave them here.