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Japanese Car Modifiers who are Good at Building Race Cars

Of the many Japanese car modifiers, there are some of them that we must know. Their big names have become global thanks to their tenacity, skills and quality of their work. The modifier or tuner is not a new player in the Japanese automotive world. They have long struggled with four-wheeled machines, through several eras even before the golden age of JDM until now.

Their honed skills and experience are then able to produce a project car that captivates enthusiasts. The role of car modifiers is also very vital in the world of Japanese car culture. Why? Because the name modification and aftermarket parts is certainly an important foundation in automotive culture.

Previously, we have also reviewed modifiers such as RWB (RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF) , TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny , and Liberty Walk .

However, the three of them are modifiers that are more directed to the exterior alias bodykit / aero. To put it bluntly, it’s more like visual alias fashion. Not ahem , a true tuner hehe.

Well, in this review we will discuss the legendary Japanese car modifier. They modified the car from various aspects of performance. Not only the engine but also handling / suspension to the aero. The cars of their work are of course the racing spec cars that are also mostly used in professional racing.


For those of you who are happy with a rotary machine, you will already be familiar with this name.

RE-Amemiya is a legendary rotary car modifier. This workshop was pioneered by Isami Amemiya since 1974. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? RE-Amemiya is indeed the pioneer alias who first became a modifier for the world’s rotary engine specialist!

His experience and abilities have certainly no doubt. Various cars have received praise from the automotive world. The cars also often compete and dominate in various professional racing competitions. Call it like the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), Super GT Cup, or the D1GP Drift Championship. The most famous work of this car modifier is the RX-7 flagship car . The cars are also included in the Gran Turismo video game. Although the name is still called Mazda.

With all his achievements, the name Amemiya later became very popular and is often referred to as ” Rotary Teachers ” by the media. In Japanese car culture, Amemiya-san is the idol of enthusiasts, especially rotary lovers!

But not only from achievements, skills and experience. Amemiya-san has the charm of her low profile and humble demeanor. With a round head shape, white mustache and faces of fathers (now grandparents) are innocent. Seeing it is the same as seeing a Japanese cartoon character.

RE-Amemiya is in 2 locations: a shop in Chiba and also a small workshop in Tokyo. Besides modification, RE-Amemiya also manufactures and sells various aftermarket performance parts. Starting from the engine spare parts, aero, suspension, until the interior parts.

By the way, do you know the meaning of RE from RE-Amemiya?

That’s right, it stands for Rotary Engine.

For those of you who like rotary engines, there are several other rotary car modifiers that you can check. Call it also quite popular like Knight Sports and FEED (Fujita Engineering).

Want to wash your eyes see photos of RE-Amemiya’s workshop? We can see here .

Top Secret

Before we discuss Top Secret. Let’s start with the legend of its founder, Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata. The story that became a legend in the world of motorsport has become one of the reasons Smokey and Top Secret are the talk of the world’s enthusiasts.

Rumored to be a Midnight Club member , Kazuhiko Nagata enjoys top speed. He likes cars that can fly fast on urban highways. He also has the desire to do highway speeding in various places in the world and break the world record of speed on public roads.

The most famous story is in 1999 when he brought his 1000 Supra cellphone from Japan to England. He wants to reach 320 km / hour on the A1 city toll road there. In the middle of the night after the rain , it starts with a burnout that makes him called ” Smokey ” and then sped away quickly. The result? Smokey managed to reach 317 km / h on wet road conditions!

Shortly afterwards the British police tried to ‘catch up’ and told him to stop. Smokey was later arrested, jailed overnight and fined 3.6 million. In 1999 of course it was very expensive! Not only that, the next day he was driven out of England and banned from driving on British roads for 1 month!

A phenomenal top speed hunter story!

Top Secret is a company after Smokey stopped working at Trust. Trust is a company under which there is a well-known brand “GReddy”. Well, Smokey works there as a mechanic but at night he secretly works for his car and other people’s cars. After being found out, the owner did not fire him and let him, as long as Smokey did not tell the other employees about the project.

A year later, he went out and made his own company called Top Secret which means yes that was hehe.

One of his most popular works is of course the Supra which he uses to break world records in the UK. MK4 belongs to this is not carelessly Supra, the engine is replaced by Toyota Century V12 engine with a twin-turbo system!

Since it’s already a little too long, a full review of Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata and Top Secret, we will review it in more detail sometime.

Spoon Sport

Honda enthusiast, come together!

Spoon is certainly familiar. Some sometimes we see in the form of stickers adorn the Honda Jazz or Civic hehe.

Car modifier company founded by Ichishima Tatsuru when he was 33 years old. His love for Honda started with his previous job as a test driver for Honda cars. Spoon’s first car was a Civic gen-3 hatch with a ZC engine. They modified the suspension, bodyweight, transmission and engine that produced 230 hp lighweight civic with close ratio transmission. A hatchback that is very agile and fun to drive is born !

In 1988 Spoon participated in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship and received positive responses from various groups. Just imagine, the Honda itself when it did not participate in the prestigious championship event.

Honda who was fascinated by Spoon then offered a collaboration in the form of providing spare parts (sponsorship) in return for car data on racing for research. This collaboration continued until finally Honda and Spoon became an official partnership.

Spoon’s works, both car modification and aftermarket parts, have been tested in various professional racing championships. They also often test their cars that have distinctive blue and yellow colors on famous tracks like Macau, Tsukuba, and even Nurburgring .

When Honda made the legendary JDM Civic EK9 Type R car and won various accolades from the automotive world, Spoon felt ‘hot’. Those who have long been known as Honda racing car modifiers feel challenged to make it more riveting. EK9 Type R then they modified it completely. The result is 260 hp Type R which is capable of racing up to 11,000 RPM with a weight of 900 kg!

In 2001, Spoon set up a tuning shop or workshop called Type-One. This workshop is the vision of Ichishima, how a modification was carried out .

Type-One provides professional Honda car modification services with precise and mature engineering calculations. So it’s not just patching performance parts. But everything is calculated and modified very carefully to achieve optimal racing specs.

Have a Honda and want modif guaranteed quality? Take it to Type-One. In Japan but hehe.

Photos of the Spoon Type-One workshop can be seen here .

Rocky Auto

This article will not be complete with the presence of this one car modifier.

Rocky Auto is a modification of the world-famous JDM vintage car, founded by Watanabe Yoshiya in July 1987. JDM vintage cars are precisely Nissan and Toyota cars. Call it like the legendary car Hakosuka, Kenmeri, classic Skyline, Fairlady Z, and 2000GT .

All his work is very impressive. Cool and clear!

Not added to the spur kitchen. There are car engines that still use the default stock engine such as the S20 engine. Of course the machine has been rebuilt alias cleaned, modified and tuned to be more optimal. Some others have changed their souls to frightening modern machines. Inside the elegant classic car are brutal engines like 2JZ, RB25, RB26, RB30, 1UZ V8, VQ35, and other high performance racing spec machines!

In the build style, Watanabe-san is known as a balanced car modifier. He loved the originality and appreciated the history of a car. But he also likes innovative and challenging modifications. For example, there is a GTR Hakosuka collection that he immersed Toyota V8 1UZ engine! Of course for the purists, this is unfortunate. But Watanabe-san is considering the latest innovation by presenting the iconic classic Hakosuka car with a Japanese V8.

After all, he still has several other Hakosuka collections that are far more original.

Rocky Auto Workshop, located in Okazaki, Japan, is a place that must be visited by vintage JDM lovers. This place is a paradise of classic JDM legendary cars. Rocky Auto has the largest number of JDM classic car collections in Japan. Which means of course, the biggest in the world! From a total of dozens of cars there, every car has been or is being built with the appearance and modification that makes people amazed.

Not only from the number of car collections and modifications, the Rocky Auto workshop has interior spaces and other stunning views. All of which make this place a successful example of how a classic car workshop was created.

Anyway guaranteed guaranteed to linger there!

We can see an article containing a collection of photos of the Rocky Auto workshop here .


You know my hachiroku? JDM cars are famous in pop culture, especially through the Initial D series .

Well, Tec-Art’s is a modifier for the Toyota Corolla AE86 aka Hachiroku . The workshop, which is located in Saitama, Tokyo, has long been known as a specialist tuner who has been poor across various Hachiroku.

In fact, the drift-king car, Keiichi Tsuchiya was also built here!

The legendary high temperature drift car that was the inspiration of Initial D was born in Tec-Art’s workshop. Tsuchiya-san’s Hachiroku belongs to the 7AGE engine. The combination of 7AFE engine (block) and 4AGE (head). With full Tec-Art’s high-compression piston and other modifications, this engine produces power of 200 hp. This figure can actually still be added, but Tec-Art’s consider the reliability and stability of the engine. In addition, the Hachiroku is now also a Tsuchiya-san legal road car.

Even so, the true soul of Hachiroku is on the iconic engine, 4AGE.

Tec-Art’s very reliable in this iconic Corolla engine. Want 16v or 20v. Everything is already in the head in the hands of Tec-Art’s. His own founder, Kamata-san prefers 16v because he feels this is the machine that is the true life of Hachiroku. They can modify the 4AGE 16V engine and squeeze out all the potential power. One of his works is 4AGE which is capable of spewing out power of 240 hp! It should be noted this machine is still NA alias without forced induction. In addition, 4AGE is able to achieve high revving of 10,000 RPM. It’s delicious isn’t it!

But not only for performance or racing purposes. Tec-Art’s can service a variety of customer requests, including the ECO version of Hachiroku.

This petrol-efficient version of the car can run with fuel consumption of 14.2 km per liter! Amazing is not it. Make no mistake, this car still has agile acceleration and handling that is very comfortable for the day. Fun to drive! This was achieved through engine rebuilds, modifications and of course Kamata-san’s magic hand in ECU mapping.

With Tec-Art’s experience and reliability, both the product and the members are highly respected in the Japanese JDM scene. Especially of course, the Hachiroku enthusiasts.

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