Secret’s Out! MoMo Visits Top Secret HQ

Another post on another stop in my Japan adventures; this time I swung by the Wangan King’s lair, Top Secret. I was actually on my way back from Powerhouse Amuse when I made the last minute decision on making a quick stop at Top Secret since it was along the way of my train ride. So, I got off at Chiba Station, made my way onto the light-rail line and hopped on a bus that took me right to the front door of the shop. When I arrived, there was an immediate grin on my face because I felt like I just stepped into GTR heaven. Everywhere along the shop and the front lot were littered with GTRs, even the dyno had an R34 just sitting on it. At that point, I knew I made the right decision to come.

After admiring the cars in the front lot for a good half hour or so, I made my way back to the actual shop entrance. The staff was pretty accommodating and let me browse around, take pictures and what not, although they did tell me not to go into the garage area (I guess there were some top secret shit going on that a mere mortal can’t see). But I respect that and there were plenty for me to see regardless, so that didn’t really hinder my visit at all.

With that said, let’s get on with some photos!

Photos by MoMoHitsTheSpot!


You can’t miss the sign.

A few of the GTRs out front. I especially love the Z-Tune kitted R34.

The gold ER34 just sitting there collecting dust.

Two legendary twin-turbo cars in their own rights.

The dyno was actually a separate shack that was located by the side of the garage where an R34 V-Spec II Nur was just chilling minding its own business.

Another car at the front lot was this gorgeous BN-Sports R35. I wish I got more photos of this beast.

Several retired old-timers just being neglected by the side of the garage.

A big Top Secret banner inside the shop let’s customers know where they’re at.

Some entertainment in the waiting area for people to indulge on while their cars are being serviced. I love that they were showing dyno videos on their big screen!

Like with any other tuner shop, parts were displayed everywhere and there were something for everyone; from beautiful titanium pieces big and small, to giant Trust/Greddy twins.

I did manage to catch a glimpse of the garage area and the man himself, Smokey Nagata, working on a R35 GTR.

25 years of quality. And many more to come!

So, that about sums up my Top Secret visit. One thing I do regret though was the fact that I didn’t get a chance to speak with Smokey but hopefully I’ll get that opportunity in the future.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and yes, there’s more to come!

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Autocon LA 2017: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I was a little hesitant on making this post because people might be offended by my opinions but this is my blog and my site and since I’m not affiliated with any brand or show, I figure my views are as unbiased as can be (As far as comparing shows is concerned). First off, I’ve attended Autocon since its inception between 2010 & 2011, so I’m not just a new guy giving his .02, and I’ve shown support for this show over the years, so I have experienced this show through its phases of development. With that said, I’ve missed the past few events in recent years, so I decided to give the show a shot again and see what progresses its made over the past few years which leads to…..

THE GOOD

So, the good thing about Autocon, in my opinion, was its hospitality department. There were food, drinks, and even alcohol stands that were placed in different part of the venue, which I thought was a great touch in an otherwise generic show. In a way it shows that the organizers care about the fans and their overall well-being during the show. Secondly, the line. The line was long but it moved very swiftly and I love how it diverged to multiple security checkpoints once inside the convention center, which in turn facilitated the process of entering the venue.

THE BAD

Notice I didn’t mention anything about the cars because this is the category that the majority of them fell under. But before I get into that, I just wanted to say that my personal take on tuning and car modifications has always leaned towards Japanese, Time Attack, and authenticity. So, my personal views on the show reflects on these values that I have for car tuning. And with that said, I felt that the quality and quantity ratio of good builds was very low this year, such as the imbalance of sponsored cars compared to just straight personal builds. I mean, don’t get me wrong, sponsored vehicles can have their upside with reduced costs for parts and labor but I’ve always grown to appreciate the work that goes into a personal build. I stress this because most sponsors tend to be companies producing replicated products which in a sense, devalues the build or leaves an otherwise good build a bit sour with their products. Of course, not all sponsors are bad, but I hope that builders would nit pick a bit more with their sponsorship selections.

Moving along, brand/shop affiliation was also an issue in this years’ show like the whole showing of the LTMW crew, which took up way too much space than they should have (I mean, where were the Hondas?). The Honda presence, which should be very strong at a show of this size and caliber was near non-existent. Granted there were a few good ones, but rivets and widebodies just took over the show this year. And this all leads back to affiliation in which LTMW is affiliated with Autocon Events, and this isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially for a show where diversity should be in consideration.

Lastly, the Vendors….. I don’t have any photos of them, but I’m sure you can find them on social media and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Not good.

THE UGLY

Before Autocon LA 2017, I had no idea who TJ Hunt was. But after the show and with the knowledge of some friends, I found out who he was and I was in shock, to say the least, that he was the guest speaker at the show. I mean, really Autocon? REALLY? There was not a better choice in a guest speaker? On one hand you have the LTMW guys with authentic Rocket Bunny 86s, and on the other you have a guest speaker that is renown for his blatant support of replica products. Contradictory much? This leads me to think that the show is just focused on monetizing its name and gaining social media presence than to actually promote good car tuning, and that makes me a bit upset because I really wanted to support this show and its organizers. Hopefully there’s some adjustments in future events because I’m not the type to count anyone out.

So, that about sums up my thoughts on the show. For those who’ve been following this site, most likely our views align and for those who disagrees with me, that’s perfectly fine as well. Not everyone has the same views on car tuning and I respect that.

(One last thing I do want to say though, was there were some pretty unique builds present, so I don’t want to take anything away from that with all my negative critiques.)

Photos after the break.



Photos by MoMoHitsTheSpot!



This TCP Magic RX7 was probably my favorite car in the show.

Second favorite was probably this High End Performance HKS GT1000 R35. The details and money put into this car was unbelievable.

This VR38DETT screams to the tune of 1027whp.

Custom SSR SP4 with carbon barrels x Endless 6-pot monoblock BBK x Amuse titanium lug nuts. $$$$$$

Third favorite is the Do-Luck Evo that went through many changes throughout the years.

The Varis GTR was also a nice vehicle on the eyes.

I actually really liked this RWB vert.

Jon Sibal’s RWB 964 was also pleasant.

There were plenty of Subarus there but I like them clean and tidy.

This Land Cruiser was just mint!

A few notable Hondas. I did miss the red Voltex AP2 that was also a favorite of mine.

The Hako had a nice crowd around it.

Rocket Bunny Cayman does hit a soft spot for me.

This 300ZX was pristine!

Varis aero packages were featured on several platforms in the show.

Another fantastic build at the show. Check out those Recaro Tomcats!

997 on HREs.

This Z was RB26 equipped.

The Pandem R32 made its debut at the show.

And finally, this crazy twin turbo + nitrous setup on an old Ford pickup had me interested.

So there you have it! I know I missed a few more good builds that were at the show but I forgot to make my rounds back to take those missing shots. Oh well, next time.

MoMo Hits Up Powerhouse Amuse [Part II]

Continuing from my last post, let’s take a closer look at the Powerhouse Amuse squad of cars that was littered throughout their lot. After, we’ll move inside the shop and check out some titanium goodness.

Photos by MoMoHitsTheSpot!



Squad goals much?

This was actually a customer’s car that was rocking all sorts of bling, including of course, some Amuse goodies.

Some proper footwork in the Advan GT x Endless BBK combo.

One of the finest titanium exhaust out there, the R1 Titan.

Details. (Ganador side mirrors)

FT86 and GT1 S2000 on one side.

MKIV Supra on the other.

Vestito kitted on OZ Racing Hyper GTs.

Another Vestito kitted Z34, this time on Rays Engineering G50s.

Couple of demos sitting to the side.

Chaser x GT1000 R35.

GT1 meets GT1000.

All about the details in this titanium license plate holder. One of many Amuse titanium accessories.

Moving into the shop, it was actually somewhat messy in a sense, but it was the best mess that I’ve ever seen. I’m talking titanium, seats, and wheels laying all over the place!

Tips and pipes everywhere.

So much blue metal… and the best part is, you’re free to touch them; with care of course.

A magnesium wheel just laying around.

And….. of course, if you’re Powerhouse Amuse, you have credentials.

So that about sums it up for my Amuse visit. This was probably the most laid back out of all my stops and it was a sight to see all the titanium and demo cars first hand and in the flesh. And following this, my next stop is a little “secret” sanctuary of GTRs that’s also located in Chiba but first, I will have a post regarding the recently held Autocon LA show. You don’t want to miss it! Stay tuned.