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d3c0y

My trip to Rocky Auto in Japan

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Back in June i went on a holiday to Japan with my girlfriend for her birthday and got to go to a few sneaky car destinations along the way. I planned a 2 night stay in Nagoya with two main objectives in mind. First was Suzuka Circuit, which not only did i miss a weekend of club meets, (I got to Nagoya on a Tuesday) but the circuit shutdown for repairs and maintenance that day for the next month.

 

That left the zed Mecca of Rocky Auto, a 45min train ride away in Okazaki. Getting around Japan really is as tricky as people say, for example i found the train i had planned to catch was a freight line. Addresses are pretty much impossible to read without knowing Japanese, so it was a case of showing the taxi driver the website and just hoping it wasn't far away from the train station as cab fairs blow out quick.

 

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This sign was a welcome sight on the horizon.

 

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This mint Hakosuka was sitting in the car park opposite the workshop.

 

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This is one of the first i have seen in navy blue and i think it really suites the car especially with the colour coded flairs.

 

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Welcome to zed heaven! I'm not sure if they are all for sale but this car yard was packed in so tight it would be easier to use a crane to get any of the cars out.

 

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The yard wasn't all S30s. There were heaps of 2 seater S130s and various models of skylines.

 

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Two rock-star zeds, the Carbon RB30 N/A and G-nose RB25det neo demo cars.

 

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Pretty amazing to see this car in the flesh.

 

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You can glean the important details. When i first saw the price, i miss counted the zeros and thought that it was $15,000. I was thinking of ringing up for a loan on the spot. After closer inspection I saw the real price tag $150,000!!! I wonder if it will ever sell?

 

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Another recent demo car, this one is packing a supercharged L28.

 

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Count the number of pistons on those calipers  8)

 

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Carbon bits everywhere!

 

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KGC10s always look tough. I would love to have one in the garage next to the zed!

 

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This one isn't your every day KGC10 though.

 

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Check the sticker on the bottom of the windscreen! RB26DETT conversion pow pow!

 

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One more for good measure.

 

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This thing was mint! I made sure to take heaps of photos of this car for reference to panel gaps, tyre sizes and mirror positions.

 

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That's where they are supposed to go...

 

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I wish my zed lined up like this one.

 

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You don't see big rims on old school cars in Japan. This car was rocking 15" Watanabes (like a lot of the cars at Rocky) running undersized tyres showing how much the car has been lowered.

 

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205 series tyre on a 14x9" rim

 

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Perspective.

 

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One of two old Skyline race cars sitting out in the yard.

 

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Even with flairs, this KPGC110 looks mild after the crazy bosso'd up version.

 

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This one's for the race guys, MK63 calipers with slotted rotors.

 

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One lucky owner was getting an RB26 conversion, including a complete R32 GTR climate control set up installed in their KGC110.

 

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Lots going on in the engine bay compared to the original L-series.

 

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Another gratuitous yard shot.

 

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The other skyline race car was wedged in so tight you could hardly even get a photo of it

 

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Fully stripped interior and massive flairs, this car was all business.

 

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S130 demo car, i didn't even see a 2+2 there.

 

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I can't believe we didn't get 2 seater 280ZXs over here, they can really look great!

 

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A different take on a 260Z vented bonnet.

 

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Skyline calipers and vented rotors are a common sight at Rocky Auto.

 

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This thing would still be super low even when you pumped up the flat tyres. Looks like it used to be something special back in it's day.

 

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There are heaps of cars sitting in the yard, patiently waiting to be turned into the next crazy demo car.

 

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Some where in pretty rough shape, but i'm sure they would sell for a heap over there.

 

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US style, even left hand drive. Probably pretty slow though  :o

 

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Inside the show room I got to see my first S20!

 

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Weird thing was it ran triple Webers instead of the factory Mikunis.

 

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And staying with the weber theme, here is an RB25 with a custom Weber manifold. Pretty cool!

 

Unfortunately no one there spoke English and asking technical questions in basic Japanese is pretty tough. I manage to ask the owner (who had been on the phone non stop) if they sold a caliper adapter for the skyline calipers. They didn't, so i walked back to the train station,  a little disappointed at not being able to talk to anyone but still stoked to have walked amongst some of the most famous S30s in the world.

 

I went to a few other car places while i was there and I'll put them up too when I have had time to correct up the photos and write a few captions.

 

If you would like any of the shots for a wallpaper pm me and I can email you something higher res.

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rocky-auto-2011-17.jpg

This thing was mint! I made sure to take heaps of photos of this car for reference to panel gaps, tyre sizes and mirror positions.

 

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That's where they are supposed to go...

 

You keep banging on about this fender mirror position thing, but what use is this car for reference of a "Factory" position if it's been apart, had new front fenders / wings ( without the pre-stamped factory holes ) and been painted -  and if it's anything like many of R.A.'s cars - it might never have had those particular mirrors on it when it left the factory anyway ( because it's a 'younger' model dolled up as an 'older' model )?

 

In fact, the mirrors on that car look like the shorter-stemmed 510 Bluebird or C10 Skyline versions anyway...

 

I think you should put your mirrors wherever you want to put them. The point about this particular car seems to be that the mirrors are positioned where you think you want them - in which case go for it.

 

You took full measurements, yes?

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Oh geez I made a mess! Did you get any nice bits for your car?

 

Edit: just read your build thread!

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You keep banging on about this fender mirror position thing, but what use is this car for reference of a "Factory" position if it's been apart...

 

In fact, the mirrors on that car look like the shorter-stemmed 510 Bluebird or C10 Skyline versions anyway...

 

You took full measurements, yes?

 

I thought i already admitted that i cocked up and read your diagram wrong? That second caption "That's where they are supposed to go..." was lementing the fact I wish I had gotten mine correct, not having a go at your diagram. I bang on about because it's a big deal to me that I got it wrong, and I could see that my mirrors look funny without doing any measuring. I don't doubt the measurements on your diagram now that i know "who you are". I just wish someone had been banning on about the correct way to read the diagram before i mounted mine!  :(

 

Yes it does have short stem mirrors.

 

I didnt take a measuring tape with me but i took a top down shot on the position the same as the diagram of this and an original 432R in the Toyota Museum.

 

As i mentioned I just liked the way this car looks so took a few photos for reference (under size tyres etc).

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Oh geez I made a mess! Did you get any nice bits for your car?

 

Edit: just read your build thread!

 

It was hard to get heaps of cool parts because I had to catch the train everywhere. In a later episode i will cover my trip to the Odaiba Nostalgic Car swap meet which is where I bought most of the parts on the trip. I got two nardi steering wheels, a pair of sill covers, genuine 1/4 window seal kits, door pull handle and some other small bits and pieces. Also went to a Super Auto Bacs and got some wheel nuts.

 

Awesome!

 

You should have asked for a test drive of the carbon one  8)

 

Haha I was flat out trying to ask them about the caliper bracket on it!

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There are certainly some nice rides there. I've pondered trying to import a decent Fairlady S130 coupe, but it's not a practical option at present  :)

 

However, if I was fitting an RB26DETT to my C110, I'd probably have done some more work on the brake system than what appears to have been done on the silver car. It looks like the MC's never been removed (probably because the brake lines are rusted in!).

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pretty kool and thanks for sharing. Makes you wonder how they make a living.

 

I just love every part of Japan minus the nuclear radiation.

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all those cars should be in a showroom.......not on a car lot........ : ).

 

if you have any other random jp pics just put them up we won't mind mate......

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It's more about getting the time to go through and process them, upload etc. Same reason my build thread never gets updated.

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Download the translator app before you go this time! And hit old mate up for a ride in one of them did you ever end up emailing him ?

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Hey DeCoy

 

I know it's an old thread, but I am heading up to Japan in early June, and am going through Nagoya. Do you think a visit to Rocky Auto is worth the time? If so, do you know which train to take?

 

Also, are there any other auto places worth visiting? I was thinking of the Toyota museum...

 

Cheers

 

 

Jamo

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I'd personally make an effort to see:

http://www.speedhunters.com/2013/04/japans-good-old-days-the-yokota-musuem/

 

The shop named Classic Car Nagoya is kinda cool and that's on my list too. They have an English speaking employee who deals with international customers so you might have a better conversation and learn more stuff there than at Rocky (p.s. they've got loads of good Z bits! But shh ;) ).

 

There's a few major cool events that I'd kinda base my trip around seeing in a few years. But I think you're a few months the wrong side of most of them. December normally hosts the Nismo Festival, then obviously Auto Salon early Jan. JCCA New Year meeting has some insanely cool bosozoku rides. Then around Feb is Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown, and Nostalgic 2 Days.

 

Not sure if any car festivals are on in June though! A trip on a friday night out to Daikoku P.A. could be cool or a let-down. Apparently hard to get out there without a car.

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Yokota museum is north west of Tokyo in the Gunma prefecture which is no where near Nagoya!

 

 

Try impossible to get out to Daikoku PA without a car and it's an hour's drive on the freeway! I was going to hire one just to do it but even that was tricky parking wise etc. Again this is in Tokyo and it's not the one the locals go to because it gets shut down early by police.

 

 

This website: http://nostalgic.co.jp/ is the place to check out when all the car festivals are on. Skyline festival is on Fuji Speedway in June, plus the Idlers Games and 12 hour enduro at Tsukuba, but again all that is Tokyo area.

 

 

Suzuka circuit is the one that is close to Nagoya, but i have yet to make it out there yet (and the Asahi brewery is on the way!).

 

 

Jamo:

 

 

RockyAuto

You need to catch the train from Nagoya station that heads south east to Okazaki and It will take around 45 minutes. I cant remember which train it is but the nice ladies at the information centre in the station can help you with that.

 

 

As a side not last time i went, about half way along the train trip we saw the RUF workshop from the train. It's on the left side and pretty easy to spot if you are interested in that.

 

 

Once you get there it's a fair hike, so the easiest way is to just print out the address in Japanese and give it to a cab driver out the front. Last time i went the cab driver i got even owned a KGC110 with triple solexs but hadn't heard of Rocky Auto haha.

 

 

Here is a link on google maps to the location: http://goo.gl/maps/SMqOI

 

 

Address in Japanese: 〒444-0865 愛知県岡崎市明大寺町字大圦55番地31

 

 

 

 

Rocky Auto have recently built a massive new workshop out of town so I'm not sure what will be at the yard in Okazaki in the pictures above.

They have just rebuilt their website and the address is still listed as the yard so im sure there will be something there.

 

 

 

 

Toyota Museum

There are actually two or three museums there, one cars, one technology and one textiles. I'm pretty sure that the technology one has an LF-A loom (for making the chassis) there.

 

 

There are lots of cars from all over the world there. It's four stories and one is for Japanese cars and they have a 432R there and what not. I have photos of it if you would like to see them before you decide to go.

 

 

Link to the website: [/size]http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/english/

 

 

To get there you just basically take the subway east and then you have to change trains onto a private line (Linimo). It's pretty easy and using google maps to find what lines you need to take.

 

 

"From Nagoya Station, take the Higashiyama Line Subway bound for Fujigaoka and get off at "Fujigaoka Station." Change to the Linimo Line bound for Yakusa and get off at "Geidai-dori Station." 5 minutes' walk from No.1 Exit (Turn left)."

[/size]

There is also the Toyota city where the main Toyota plant is which you can get tours of. You need to book at least 2 months in advance and is about 2 hours from Nagoya and is it's own independent city where the workers live.

 

 

 

 

Other Stuff

 

 

Shooters in Nagoya is an american style bar which is good place to go one night if you want a drink, had an epic night there and a few people speak english.

 

 

Sumo tournaments are on around June - July and one round of the nationals is held in Nagoya in early July. Definitely worth checking out!

 

 

Nagoya castle has been really well rebuilt after being destroyed in the war and has a massive grounds. Get all your castle kicks in the middle of a city.

 

 

Japan Car Bible

http://ichiyon.net/docs/CarEnthusiastsBibleJapan.zip

 

 

Download this word docco. It's a little bit old now but might give you some ideas for car workshop in the areas you are travelling.

 

 

Are you going to any other places in Japan?

 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Hey guys...thanks for all the great information...still digesting it.

 

We are gonna start in Tokyo for a couple of days, and then make our way to Shizuoka to check out the Unryu Onsen. Then onto Nagoya/Kyoto...just trying to decide which, and how best to spend the time to see a car place or two. Check out what there is around Kyoto (may not be just car stuff), and then on to Hiroshima and a night at Miyajima Island. Then we are gonna get the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

 

So, with all that in mind, happy to take your suggestions on what could be cool to do. We aren't intending to get a car, but could if it made sense to.

 

Cheers

 

Jamo

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