It's 30+ degrees in Sunny Osaka, and I've an appointment at Nagano Koubou..
I was staying in Nara for a while preparing for the weekend's forthcoming Kansai All Stars event at Meihan, but had a day off and was driving over to Osaka to do some general work. I was also speaking to Nagano-san from paint & cutting shop - 'Nagano Koubou' and he mentioned I should stop by and take a look around his shop, and of course what could be my most favourite S13 in Japan, if not the world - 'Rosebud'
The for mentioned car has been the mantel piece car for this shop over the past few years and it's easy to see why it has gained so much recognition. It just oozes appeal in that kind of worn, underground, and grassroots Japanese style. Sitting low on WORKS rims with just the right amount of camber with bolt-on fenders providing a visor like service from the days sunny rays. Inside is just as nice with a MOMO steering wheel, custom cage, and other goodies including a Mickey Mouse Tsurikawa (the train handle) adding a little touch of personality to the proceedings. The copious amount of stickers that cover the car as well makes my smile with respect shown to some of the teams of Osaka's past including 'Late Riser' and 'Tinker'.. Late Riser was a team that used to run on the loop and included Kei Miura of Rocket Bunny, and Kuroi-san was indeed part of the Tinker crew along with Bai-san from B-West.
'Rosebud' isn't just a showpeice for the shop though, it carries a story of which just makes it that much more special. Whilst Nagano-san has built this car up, it has had a helping hand.. You see his shop is just a short ride across the city from 'Riverside'. If that name may be familiar for you, it is because it was owned and run by none other than the late great Atsushi Kuroi, the legendary D1GP driver who sadly lost his life a few years back. Nagano-san looked up to him and was not only a customer but devotee to the 'Riverside' cause. After his passing 'Rosebud' was still in the making but there was work to be done. Kuroi's wife knew of the project and acutally stepped in to carry out final work on the S13's engine and set-up as to pay homage to a customer of the great man himself.
Sure I am biased about the Japanese car culture and I may be ready to argue the cause about how car life is better in this country more than I've known anywhere else, but I don't know anywhere where the stories, the history of a car, and reasons behind it exist more so than anywhere than in Japan. Please check out some pics below of the ride and I wish to extend a big thank you to Nagano-san for the invite and I accept your invitation to return another time as we look to cover some more projects we have..
"I was honoured to finish the engine for my hero and friend with some special help.."