Japanese Tuner Roadtrip

Kinda a very late post, but better late then never! Earlier this year my friend, Joseph and I visited Japan for Tokyo Auto Salon. Our wives didn’t go with us, and that gave us an opportunity to do a lot of car related things in Japan. We only had time to visit 2 shops, because we had to do photoshoot earlier that day. Regardless, we made the most of the day. The first place we visited was Advance.


Most of the tuner shops in Japan are not commuter friendly. You could commute via train and bus, but you would have to walk some distances to get the shops. Its is doable, but we rented a car, and highly recommend it. You’ll get to see views of Japan that isn’t seen via public transport. I rented a small Daihatsu K car. K cars are 600c cars and something you can’t get in the States. Super JDM. They are cheap and practical to drive around the narrow streets of Japan.


Advance is a Japanese tuner shop that was also featured in a Speedhunter article. http://www.speedhunters.com/2015/04/stopping-by-the-advance-workshop/. They are a small service shop and they also work on cars built for time attacks or circuit builds.



Joseph was very excited because he owns a NSX and bought an Advance lip previously coming to Japan.




Their shop is very small but this common in Japan. Space is a commodity and you got make the most of what you got.


The shop filled with track cars for repairs or maintence.



The mechanics where very nice and gave us stickers! I know they don’t sell stickers and was honored I got something special. These will kept in my collection.





Next stop was my favorite, Sunbeam Motorsports.


I used to own a e92 M3 that I tracked, and I followed these guys in IG couple years back. The shop mainly works on BMWs and mostly BMWs that hit the track. They invited me to check out their shop when I was staying in Japan!


This E46 M3 is one of the owners and has been used for time attacks. The M3 is currently getting rebuilt and receiving some improvements.


I like cars, and even better to see them actually built for a purpose. A good expample is the E46 headlight. One side is custom fitted as intake for the ITBs.


Sunbeam was featured in a Speedhunters article: http://www.speedhunters.com/2017/12/sunbeam-the-footwork-specialists/


The shop reminded me of a repurposed townhome. The first floor is the garage, 2nd floor is the lounge and work shop, and the 3rd floor is the reception and showroom.




The wheel display was pretty cool. I loving the modern style, something I wouldn’t mind putting in my house.




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Visiting the tuner shops in the Japan is something only unique to Japan. The Japanese culture kinda feels like everything has place and purpose. Japanese shops look clean and everything in the shop is there for a purpose. The shops in the States are a lot bigger but some look and feel disorganized.


The people working at the shops didn’t speak any English and I couldn’t speak Japanese but the universal language of cars understood each other. Ohhh Japan, its such a cool country to visit, and in my opinion the the holy grail of car culture.


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