Rocky Auto: The Antithesis To Supercar Collections

What would your ultimate garage collection comprise of?

Despite the comments section at times, I hold the Speedhunting community in high esteem, and I’d like to think that, each in our own individual and unique way, we’re all connoisseurs of car culture.


I dare say that the answers to the above question would be as interesting as they are varied, and unusual as they are eclectic.


Unfortunately, if you ask the same question to many non-car people (we occasionally do have to fraternise with them) then the answer you’ll get is likely to be far more predictable. This tends to form the basis of many car collections.

You’d likely find a handful of token modern supercars, a smattering of super or performance cars that were around when the lucky owner was a kid or growing up, obviously a classic 911 or seven and maybe – maybe if you’re lucky – something a bit out there and obscure that actually tells you a little bit about who that person is, or gives you an insight into their personality.


The latter are cars that I’d like to think would fill a Speedhunters’ collection. Supercars are nice and all but they’re just ‘things’ that can be bought if you have enough money. Can I be candid for a moment? I don’t care why you specced your new Senna in those awful colours, but I do want to know why there’s an Opel Calibra 4×4 Turbo under a dust cover at the back of your hypothetical collection…


And this is exactly the reason why we find the contents of Rocky Auto in Okazaki, Japan so fascinating. It’s a treasure-trove of the weird and wonderful. The collection at Rocky Auto tells you everything that you need to know about owner Yoshiya Watanabe.


He’s a bonafide, 100% vintage JDM car aficionado, and his collection offers a good representation of pretty much every variation of Skyline and Z-car, with a few other obscurities thrown in the mix.


This isn’t the first visit we’ve paid to Watanabe-san’s charismatic shop near Nagoya, but in case you’re not familiar, Rocky Auto’s business focuses on taking classic Japanese Nissans and Toyotas and swapping in more modern power plants to make them usable as everyday cars. I’d suggest having a read through our other stories if you need more background.


The bulk of the swaps are RB-based, so if your heart desires you can order a Kenmeri Skyline, Fairlady Z or Toyota 2000GT replica with a complete R32 GT-R swap – electronics, engine, drivetrain, the lot.


Rocky Auto also caters for those looking to restore their classic Nissans and Toyotas with a more sympathetic approach, and while some of the cars that you see here are customers’ orders, a good portion are Watanabe-san’s personal collection.


I don’t know about you, but to me this is far more appealing than seeing if someone can collect every colour Veyron, or how few miles someone’s LaFerrari has done. This is a car collection fuelled by passion.


Damn it, there is a classic 911 in there. Does everyone have one of those tucked away except me?!

A big thank you to Watanabe-san for opening up his doors to us once more.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters

Photography by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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Holly mother of God!!! I've never seen so many gems in one place!!! They're RB swaped, yesss!!! ITB 2Jz?? Whoa never seen that before. Thank you Speed Hunters, you guys made my night


Google "itb Supra" and you'll find a link to a Super Street article on a red A80. There's a video somewhere on YouTube of it on a dyno, too. I think it has just over 300hp NA and it sounds incredible.

3 many Toyota GT does he needs??


Rocky Auto has been building 2000 GT replicas for a little while now...




I just came...


Is that a 250 GTO behind the red fairlady after the "R32 GTR Swap" section?


It's probably a replica based on a S30 chassis. They were quite common back in the days.


There's been a conversion bodykit on ebay the past few months, I was tempted just to keep it up in the loft.


THIS!!!!!!!!! This is a collection that I would love to see in person. I would love a Z with the RB treatment. It would be so nice.

Max @ghettoporsche

Despite awesome photos and an awesome car collection I got gossebumps reading this article.
Thank you for being true gearheads and sharig your thoughts und ideas with us Jordan Butters and every other Speedhunter.
Much appreciation!


This is insane.

Those 2000 GT replicas are pretty, pretty accurate. I´d love to see, how the interior of those looks like.


Brilliant article, well done guys. That’s some garage..


This is an absolutely awesome collection, no question there.
But: It might actually a bit too big, since, at a certain Point, with only one person to drive the cars, one or a few of them are bound to spend much more time parked than driving which is kinda sad.


soooo.... you guys are taking me with you next trip right? lol


The Calibra reference brought a smile to my face, well played Sir!

I have been in Japan a long time so my English isn't what it once was, but I would have written "The Antithesis OF Supercar Collections" though I personally prefer "The Antidote TO Supercar Unboxing Videos on YouTube".

It is interesting that the car in this garage that really piqued my interest was the Nismo GT-R


I'll take that Toyota GT vert please, that's stunning.


Christ alive, how many 2000gt's... This place has become worthy of pilgrimage and worship. I shall put a rocky auto sticker above my fireplace and prey.


They're replicas, Rocky builds them and calls them the 3000GT. Beautiful as ever though!


I know but still.


A non car guy colleague asked me just this week what my dream garage would contain then seemed miffed I didn't lost one super car beyond the f40. I'm going to send him this article as soon as I'm in the office.

Great work Jordan and Mark


I feel like the title of this article is all wrong. It should read, "Rocky Auto...Japan's Holy Grail" This collection is absolutely amazing and polarizes the greatest supercar/garage ornament collection hands down! I know I've seen the other articles from Rocky Auto, but I don't feel we've ever had the opportunity to see the inside! just phenomenal!


This is heaven on earth! And that purple Hakosuka wagon!!!! Please post more of that one!!



Need to see more of that Countach


OK you had me look through the background of every image twice – did you comment on the wrong story?


Image 99, Red one in the background. For me it looks also like some Pantera, but it can be Countach.


DAMN. Those are some good eyes you have. I love how people always manage to spot stuff in the background on features like this!


There's a Nismo GT-R and you gloss over it?!


Hope we will see more about the 2000GT replicas.


And not one LS in sight! Beautiful collection!

Daniel P Huneault

thanks Jordan now I have another place to add to my bucket list if and whenever I visit japan!!!


Amazing cars, don't get me wrong... but I'm not seeing how this is any different from any exotic or muscle car collection. The variety is just as restricted. Instead of an old American guy collecting just old American cars with a couple of exceptions, we've got here an old Japanese guy collecting just old Japanese cars with a couple of exceptions.


It's definitely different I think, because the supercar 'collections' that YouTubers go mental for are simply the result of someone with enough money ticking them off the list – there's no rhyme or reason to them. Watanabe-san, and any American car collector (as per your example) are FAR for interesting to me than seeing a LaFerrari, next to a McLaren, next to a Chiron, etc etc.

Of course what people tend to forget is that articles like this are the author's opinion – of course you're free to disagree.


This absolutely. The comparison 'tween people that collects Bugatti colors is downright pointless when you see the pictures and realize the guy collects 240Z, Hakosuka and Kenmeri Colors. Not a single real oddball in the pictures, just the most cliche japanese cars in several colors and configurations, exactly what the article was trying to bash with the supercar guys example. But since they are japanese cars they must be the best in the world because they are in Japan and are japanesee and are in Japan.
Eh, I forgot I was reading Speedhunters.


I wasn't 'trying to bash' anything. This was my opinion – you can take it or leave it.


no single real oddball, musta have missed the little air cooled honda in there then ay?


Could not have said it better myself. Passion speaks far louder than $$ or numbers on a spec sheet.


"Can I be candid for a moment? I don’t care why you specced your new Senna in those awful colours, but I do want to know why there’s an Opel Calibra 4×4 Turbo under a dust cover at the back of your hypothetical collection…"

That's what Speedhunters means to me. Those cars in the back of the garage which takes years and years to complete, not the flashy ones who already get all the attention these days. Although I did love the Twin Turbo Huracan, that's the same passion real car guys share. Some just spend their money on one project, others buy 27 instead. Still prefer the stories from the 27 side of the spectrum.


Yes JDM is the best!

Francis van der Hoven

one word .......




Great position Mark and I couldn’t agree more. What a collection!