By now I'm sure you have probably heard the very sad news about the passing of Powerhouse Amuse founder and president Hideki Tanabe last week after a long battle with health problems. I have not been in Japan for a very long time, but going at to Tsukuba Circuit and seeing Tanabe-san and his fantastic machines will be forever etched in my memory. I remember the first event I went to in Japan this year was an Amuse-hosted track day at Tsukuba held right after the new year. I had not yet seen an R35 GT-R in the flesh and there was Tanabe-san's already modified R35 gleaming under the winter sun which made a lasting impression on me. As if that wasn't enough, his freshly debuted Ericsson E92 M3 was sitting alongside the new GT-R. Watching him hammer the GT-R around the track made the day even better.
Within just a few months time, the Amuse Phantom GT-R would go on to become the fastest R35 at Tsukuba with Tanabe himself behind the wheel, becoming the latest in a line of many great cars which established Tanabe-san and Amuse as one of, if not THE best tuner in Japan. Ben of Bulletproof Automotive put up a fantastic piece about Tanabe-san on his The Real JDM blog where you can read even more about his accomplishments over the years.
Here's sending our best thoughts to all of Tanabe-san's family and friends and everyone at Powerhouse Amuse. He will surely be missed, but it is nice to know that his spirit will live on in all of his wonderful creations which are already out on the roads and tracks of the world.