Words: Giancarlo Pawelec
If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage of Tokyo Auto Salon, you’ll notice that one of the biggest tuner shops in Japan once again making waves is that of Tommy Kaira. Originally founded in 1968 as Tomita Dream Factory (the current parent company) the company has gained much acclaim for its tuning abilities and for producing modified existing-models for sale. In 2002, the Tommy Kaira name was then formed paying tribute to the two owners Yoshikazu Tomita and Kikuo Kaira.
What began as a tuning company for German brutes like the Mercedes-Benz 190E soon made the switch to all-Japanese. By the early 90s the most notable of all builds was with the Nissan Skyline R31-chassis rebranded as the Tommy Kaira M30. Nowadays, Tommy Kaira is elbow deep in modifications ranging from small Toyota hybrids to the high horsepower Nissan GT-R (R35).
Inside the facility (especially post-Tokyo Auto Salon), one will find an array of demo vehicles that were on display like the slammed minivan and Audi.
This Honda (Acura) NSX is one of the latest creations from Tommy Kaira showcasing one of the cleanest aero kits on the market for this Japanese mid-engine supercar.
The first step for any Tommy Kaira aero kit is to create a clay mould and carve away at it until the ideal look is reached – be it for aerodynamic efficiency or esthetics. Similar to what automotive designers and engineers do with a block of clay when conceptualizing a new model, this is where the art of speed begins.
The next stage is to create an actual piece from the clay mould, in this case in poly urethane. I’m loving the center exhaust cut-out for the new Audi TT.
A BMW Z4 with no front end sitting on the hoist and most likely getting a new front fascia treatment. Despite Tommy Kaira shifting focus in the 90s to Japanese-made vehicles, they haven’t forgotten their roots with German brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.
An Audi R8 on the hoist getting a little green painter’s tape treatment, most likely preparation work for an aero kit. R8 + Tommy Kaira = Awesome, especially as Tommy Kaira’s aero kits have always complimented the OEM lines of a vehicle with a touch of flare.
The Toyota Prius RR-GT from Tommy Kaira looks aggressive and is definitely not your typical Los Angeles celeb-fueled green thumb hybrid. Tommy Kaira actually made a dull looking vehicle look great, sadly the fact that it is a hybrid is still a turn off for most true auto enthusiasts.
The pièce de résistance from the Tommy Kaira showcase is this Nissan GT-R (R35), complete with a sub-$20,000 aero kit consisting of the front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts, rear wheel over fenders, and LED lighting accessories. To some, this kit takes away from the simple beauty of the R35, but for most it is the complete opposite adding a touch of much-needed aggression.
If you’re thinking of modifying your project with a unique and true JDM aero kit, then Tommy Kaira is the obvious choice. Not only are their products the highest in quality, but also ultra rare especially on North American soil. Be sure to check out the gallery for a deeper look into the cars spotted at their facility in Japan.