Car Builder>> Where The M-bros D1 Cars Come To Life

During Japan’s Golden Week we took a scenic drive through Royu which goes over Rokko mountain. Our destination? The M-Bros garage located in Miki city, Hyogo prefecture. While few people will have heard of M-Bros, I’m sure many do know of drifter Naoki Nakamura. And if you ever wondered where his cars are built and come to life, the answer is right here in the tiny M-Bros workshop.

The garage is run by Takamasa Kuroi, and it’s predominantly used to work on their D1 cars. These were some of the cars sitting out the front of the garage; the FD3S RX-7 sported quite a fat body kit and what look like temporary Model 5s.

Who would think that three D1 cars – driven bu Nakamura, Kuroi and Jikuya – would come out of a shop in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rice fields?

With only a few days until the Meihan day we arrived at M-Bros to find Kuroi squatting down working on the gearbox for his D1 S15. This was yet another 6-speed gearbox that had broken, which is why he was making the change to a 5-speed S14 ‘box.

One thing I find very interesting at shops is their front door, normally they’re covered in stickers just like this one.

Walking into the workshop I saw Kuroi’s S15 up on the hoist. Over to the right is the 2010 D1 Street Legal Champion cheque. The cheque looked quite familiar as I attended the D1SL at the Tsukuba 1000 course where Nakamura took out the championship.

Kuroi’s S15 is now candy pink. Trainspotters will know that at last year’s Meihan it was white.

Sitting over in the corner was a car I was very familiar with, Jikuya Kiyofumi’s D1-SL V-Factory S15…

…which came in second place at the concluding round of D1-SL last year.

By the looks of things he’s been very successful in the D1 division. The car is looking great now with a much fresher approach at Nikko Circuit last week.

As you can see here the workshop is full of spare parts, wheels and tools. Kuroi doesn’t just work on his cars, he also builds custom drift-specific suspension parts. He is the one responsible for fine tuning the Burst cars, so we can thank Kuroi for the crazy backwards entries that many of the Japanese drifters are doing.

Taking a closer look at some of the workshop tools and machines I noticed a fine layer of paint scattered everywhere from when the S15 and Nakamura’s cars were re-painted.

I thought I’d take a walk back down the driveway and see what other interesting things I could find. A few metres away from the garage I found this little storage area which was full of aero parts, mostly from previous D1 cars…

…just like these front and rear bars off Jikuya’s S15.

Sitting in a little parking area I spotted this sad looking S15 surrounded by Kei vans.

It’s sad to see an S15 in such good condition parked collecting dust. Perhaps it’s a project car waiting to be put into action.

More aero was found, this time Nakamura’s front and rear bars off his D1GP D-Max S15. I would have loved to take these home and hang them in my room!

Sitting behind the S15 was this slammed Kei car with some front grill replacements, along with a super wide rear vision mirror.

The road to the garage is rather tight. One thing for sure is that space in Japan is at a premium…

…so to store car parts you have to be creative, such as hanging aero from the ceiling.

With all the outstanding cars that have come out of this very workshop it goes to show a lot of hours have been spent here, all day and all night. Taking a look in the rubbish bin it seems caffeine is what keeps the boys on their feet.

More car parts such as gearboxes and a whole bunch of coilovers…

…also a pile of coolers from Keloid.

Kuroi’s breakfast.

Kuroi was extremely open, and was willing to answer any question we threw at him. He gave us so many fantastic tips that I will remember and take with me for the rest of my life.

In conclusion I’d like to thank Takamasa Kuroi for taking the time to allow us into his garage. Seeing where some of my favourite cars came to life was truly unbelievable and something I won’t be forgetting any time soon.


K-Tours 2011



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These little shops are the shizz. Thanks for the write up and pointing out these brilliant little corners of the world fo tuning.


Last pic of Kuroi reminds me of the Johnny Depp Madhatter heh heh.



Great article too...


is that the BN kit on that FD???


Nice write-up, but why are all of the photos underexposed?


Wow awersome!!!!


Whoa, someone needs to adjust their monitor settings (or bad photoshop skills?).


35mm film all the way? what cam did u use casey???


Looks like these were taken with a vintage camera... what's the deal?


these are pictures from the absolute best job in the world. :D


the surfy architect produces and maintains some amazing cars. thanks for the great write up casey :)


Again, another rad garage feature


Rad. It's amazing the things a simple little shop can do with a fair bit of talent!


You need to stop overdoing the post-processing on your photos.


Casey! i love that post processing, is like a vintage or indie style, or did u take'em with a 35mm film camera ? anyway, i loved your Post, good shoots, at the precisely moments !

kind regards from Chile !


Eh?? You notice the Burst aero on the floor, but not the matching hood on that "lonely" s15?


You need to stop overdoing the post-processing on your photos.


Dude.. way too much post processing on these images. This article could've been 10 times better without it.. And Keloid.. Oh you mean Koyorad..? ( and good detail at the start of the article but it fails in the ass at the end.. more information please!


'Mike said:

You need to stop overdoing the post-processing on your photos.'

I second that


Excellent little shop, nice to see places like this producing great work.

- I love 35mm Photography - I do hope these images haven't been edited at all? Keep shooting... film all the way.

It's sad to see most people commenting on the images don't realise its film.


please set your black point to black not 70% grey!!! It hurts my eyes


loved this post except... could you please stop taking the blacks out of all your photos? Gawdawful. You're shooting with a 5D and a 24 ƒ1.4, now make it look that way.

/peanut gallery


great story


I love the style of the photos!


Im soo f***ing vet


I think the shots are great. Not really "mainstream" since a lot of people are complaining that they're not bright or sharp enough; but this is also a style of photography which I personally dig, so keep up the good work, C!


Rather annoying when your writers/photographers seem to write up info they seem to know nothing about apart from it being "cool". Maybe get a separate write to the photographer, someone who knows what they are talking about. And its 2011, drop the film, and stick with the DSLR mate.


i also liked the photography, nice change up


nice article..


is it your monitor need adjusting before post-processing the photo?


I want to know one of Kuroi's many fantastic tips??


I realize you used Cross-processing when editing photoes, but please understand - this is a really out-dated feature to look fresh and you are obviously overdoing it. If you only work on balancing it will look far better. Thank you.

The topic itself is nice!


This kid is just caught up in some shit trend style. the photos look shit and I feel my eyes need to be adjusted after looking at them. Adam said it above, there's no content just a bunch of shots you can hardly look at.... seriously what Japanese car enthusiast cant pick the Koyorad logo? an how many shots do you want to post of old aero? do you wear overly tight denim?


Good article, I love these little shops.

But yeah, don't use too much Photshop. The pictures look weird.