2012 was a hectic but eventful year with a sensational trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Followers of our blog would most certainly recall my recollection of these adventures from earlier posts last year. There are still a couple of undertakings from these Japan exploits that I must share with you guys, and Moon Eyes Yokohama is one of them. I braved the blistering cold of the coast of Yokohama, traversing on foot from ASM to the peculiar locale where American influence has descended upon like a whirlwind. My mind was reeling and my heart palpitated wildly as I pondered about the clandestine American iron horses that I will be viewing? Was the arduous walk worth it or will it be the story of a poor wayfaring stranger?
The name ASM by Autobacs may not be familiar to the common men, but with most JDM lovers, images of a fat sexy track orientated widebody S2000 will pop into mind. In my opinion it is one of the nicest kits for an S2000 available. Having followed the shop’s blog before my travel, they are also starting to move towards catering to the European market such as the Mini Cooper.
They are also one of the Largest pro-Recaro shops around stocking every imaginable seat you can possibly think of. From full white leather reclinable seats to massage chairs bearing the famed seat maker’s name.
No bare concrete flooring or simple tiles for the showroom, only parquet was used here. If you think this is fancy, wait till I show you the workshop area. Smack in the middle of your way once you enter the main door would be the ASL Garaiya, based on the Tommy Kaira ZZ (Gran Turismo 3). Those of you who follow the SuperGT series might have spotted the car leaving the ARTA pits.
Once again, another workshop I visited during my visit to Japan was Spoon Sports, one of the meccas for all you Honda fanboys out there running parts from their catalogue or a fully spec-ed engine signed off by its founder, Ichishima Tatsuru.
After seeing him converse with other tuners on countless Best Motoring International and Hot Version videos on YouTube, one can easily see his knowledge about the cars donning the H badge.
Upon reaching the venue, I realized that there was a publication also there for a shop tour, most likely arranged before hand unlike my unannounced arrival with a camera in hand and business card in the other. Like most Japanese I have met during the time, great hospitality was shown, this time by their R&D Director, Yuki Imamura san.
Stepping out from the comforts of the heated area and into the chilly Tokyo winds, I decided to have a walk around the parking area and was greeted with bimmers that had either a Studie AG touch to it or a full blown street-GT looking varient.
With the launch of the E92 M3 a couple of years back, the top end marque from the german car maker have been spawing around our little sunny Island. Not all is going the Vorsteiner/ Hamann/European tuning houses route. We have already featured an E92 M3 with parts and pieces from Varis.
My Japan vacation also took me to one of the BMW tuning powerhouses from Japan, Studie AG(pronounced as STUDY) hailing from Yokohama which they started out some 15 years ago(Can’t remember the exact number of years). But this time I will be visiting their Tokyo shop that was started some 3 years back.
I believe there are tons of articles written about this very workshop that specializes in restyling older-body Porsches and given them this attraction that nobody can resist. Rauh Welt Begriff started by Akira Nakai some 15 years ago and today has been continously gaining worldwide recognition for this unique look he created.
Not knowing much about the Japanese culture, I made an unannounced visit to the Chiba based workshop. Bad move, after a phone call to Nakai-san, I realized that he at the time, in Dubai creating another one of his masterpieces. We fixed a later date for me to drop by his shop once again when he returned to Japan.
Arriving at the train station close to the shop in the night, I gave Nakai a call and asked me how many people was I with. I told him I was alone and 2 minutes later, the rumble of the flat 6 boxer echoed through the quiet neighborhood. My heart beat accelerated quickly and my mind was scrambling in excitement of what was I going to be given the opportunity to ride in. My mind was screaming “please be Stella, please let me ride Stella”. That didn’t sound wrong… Did it?