Tag: JDM

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Feature: The Finer Things – Garage Mak GTR35

There are few companies these days that go out of their way to cultivate a culture of quality.  Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to squeeze out as much profit as possible from mediocre products, sacrificing integrity for a quick buck.  While it may be the more difficult route, those companies that are dedicated to ensuring the experience of buying and owning a product goes further than just fulfilling a desire, are the companies that are likely to be around for years to come.  The Nagano based tuning shop, Garage Mak, falls into this category, ensuring that the reputation of their brand comes before all else.

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Locale: Garage Mak – Nagano’s Total Tuning Shop

Years ago I had the good fortune of befriending a couple of Garage Mak customers who have close relationships with the Miyagawa brothers; owners of the Nagano based tuning powerhouse, Garage Mak.  Amemiya, Tsubaki, Seki, and others, have become good friends of mine, and have also given me the opportunity to meet, and work with, the two men behind one of Japan’s most comprehensive tuning shops.  This last week I made the drive out to Nagano again to talk to Tatsuhiro and Kazunori Miyagawa about the upcoming Attack season, and get a better look at their new line of R35 GTR aero.

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Locale: Auto House Solid – Gunma’s Engine Cerberus

Tucked away in the Southern countryside of Gunma, situated on a corner just behind a beautifully scarce rice field, in a very cliche Japanese building, lies a haven of meticulously crafted engine bays that rivals that of any other shop in the country.  In fact, if you weren’t looking for it, it wouldn’t be hard to pass it by, writing it off as just another unmarked building in the foreground.  The unassuming tuning shop Auto House Solid, is owned and operated by Hayashi Kazuyaki; the foremost authoritarian on what a clean motor package should look like.

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Encounter: Ziek Power’s SR20 Powered ZN6

I was organizing one of my hard drives making room for the upcoming Attack season and I came across a few shots of the Ziek Power 86 from earlier in the year.  This is one of the more unique 86 builds I’ve been able to see on track, with the main revision being the Nissan motor that now resides under the hood.  Ziek Power has caressed a healthy 500 horsepower from the SR20, which is now 2.2 liter; plenty enough power to get it around any track they choose to in a very respectable time.

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Feature: Bringing The Fire – Yoshiki Ando’s ESCORT Built CT9A

I feel like ever since the Cyber Evo set the standard for what a successful attack EVO should be, Mitsubishi devotees have been trying to redefine the level of what is considered top tier.  Average power levels have risen, aerodynamics play a much larger role now, and tuning has come such a long way in the past decade that it’s almost hard to keep up.  Even the Cyber Evo wasn’t immune to the changes; in the 2011 to 2012 transition, in order to defend their title, Takizawa turned to C-West in hopes of gaining an advantage in aerodynamics without unbalancing the winning formula they had.  Competition in the sport was advancing so quickly that it soon became apparent that if you weren’t improving, you were for sure going to be left behind.

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Encounter: Midship Runabout – Masahide Fukushima’s TPS Tuned MR-S

I guess since we’re on the topic of mid-engined roadsters (although technically only the Elise, not the Exige,  was roadster), rarely seen in the Japanese Attack arena, now would be a good time to post up some shots of this MR-S.  Owned by Masahide-san, and tuned by the foremost MR-S tuners in Japan, Techno PRO Spirit, this is one of the only of it’s type in the Attack lineup.  It’s aggressive exterior is backed up by some pretty formidable times at TC2000; a 59.4 to be specific.

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Encounter: A British Gentleman in Japan – Satoshi Konno’s Exige S

I’ve always viewed the Outer Plus Lotus builds as such a breathe of fresh air in the realm of Japanese time attack.  They’re such a far cry from the norm, and among the only imported cars in the paddock at the grassroots level.  The Lotus epitomizes the gentleman like qualities of motor sport that is sometimes harder to find in Japanese cars.  The Chiba based outfit Garage Shimaya, known for race parts development of chassis’ such as Lotus and Caterham, has been providing their customers with the resources to infuse these British made cars with Japanese style.  With over 20 years of experience under their belt, Kenji Shimakage and his team, are without a doubt the go-to group for people wanting to own and race these cars.