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Koshimizu Motorsports: The AE86 Artisans

When you’ve ever visited Tsukuba Circuit, you’d be aware of the varied workshops scattered across the outskirts of the advanced. Amongst these, in an unsuspecting constructing Koshimizu Motorsports hides some actually exceptional gems.

For the uninitiated, Koshimizu Motorsports – extra generally generally known as KMS – is synonymous with AE86 tuning, significantly inside Group A, N1 and N2 racing circles. When Yoshinori Koshimizu based KMS 30 years in the past, he was decided to refine AE86 tuning, and that’s resulted in automobiles which can be nonetheless actively raced to this present day. Lately, Koshimizu-san has shifted extra in the direction of AE86 restoration work however, naturally, a lot of the automobiles that go away KMS nonetheless obtain among the signature efficiency upgrades he’s well-known for.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-50
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-38

I first stumbled throughout KMS again in 2018 on a vacation in Japan, catching a glimpse of an AE86 via a half-shut curler door. Being the over-enthusiastic vacationer I used to be, I caught my head in to take a look and acquired an overwhelmingly heat welcome from Koshimizu-san. I wrote about this temporary go to in my first-ever Speedhunters article.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-43

But it surely was a selected automobile at KMS that made a return go to so necessary.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-24

Taking me to his again storage space, Koshimizu-san pulled out an arsenal of keys, swinging open the storage door to disclose Keiichi Tsuchiya’s unique TRD N2 AE86. In a lot the identical vogue this time round, he defined how KMS are nonetheless the caretakers of this iconic machine.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-1
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-3
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-10
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-17

On this event, I spent extra time taking in the main points – specifically the quite a few old-fashioned TRD elements and plaques, all nonetheless fully of their unique type. It’s not usually you get to spend a superb period of time up shut and private with a relic like this, and different particulars just like the particular TRD Nardi steering wheel, Stack sprint and TRD striped seat are drool materials for an AE86 otaku like myself.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-4
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-5
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-13

Whereas the automobile nonetheless does make very occasional outings, it spends most of its retirement tucked away at KMS. That being mentioned, it was cool to identify proof of some spirited driving splashed throughout the rear fender.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-33
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-40

Leaping again into the workshop, Koshimizu-san confirmed us via among the present buyer AE86s he was engaged on. The automobiles are conveniently lined up so as of completion, supplying you with a good suggestion of how a lot goes into these restorations. The furthermost two-door coupe had just lately been handled to a wholly new entrance clip from a donor automobile after a small circuit mishap.

As talked about earlier, Koshimizu-san’s motorsport-driven method means every of those automobiles receives a seam-welded engine bay, reinforcing chassis that within the earliest AE86s at the moment are 40 years outdated.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-46
Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-29

Every of those builds receives a totally refreshed 4A-GE, both 20-valve or a traditional 16-valve relying on the shopper’s desire and necessities. These are normally paired with one in every of KMS’s iconic exhaust manifolds.

With every of those restorations taking roughly 18 months to finish, it’s no shock that just about each bolt, nut, becoming and half is both changed or restored to manufacturing unit new. As AE86s start to demand even greater costs, retailers like KMS have grow to be an increasing number of busy, with many chasing that OEM+ restoration that we see on related chassis just like the 240Z and GT-R.

Speedhunters - Alec Pender - KMS-41

As soon as I purchase an AE86 of my very own right here in Japan (I promise, we’re getting nearer), I’m nearly sure I’ll be spending a while at KMS.

Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco

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