With Nissan pretty much ceasing production of OEM Skyline parts, Trust Kikaku has stepped in to offer a buffer of support that borders on the unbelievable.
I’ve visited many impressive businesses around Japan that have become the go-to establishments for certain brands or even car-specific support. R31 House instantly comes to mind, but it’s pretty safe to say that Trust Kikaku has taken the concept to a whole new level. And while they mainly focus on second-gen GT-Rs (BNR32/BCNR33/BNR34), select other models are catered for too.
The craziest thing of all is, I’d never actually heard of this company until a friend and fellow GT-R owner in the UK mentioned them. Apparently, if you’re a GT-R owner outside of Japan, Trust Kikaku has become the only place worth hitting up for parts and, more recently, complete cars. That said, they also sell to the domestic market, mainly through Yahoo! Auctions Japan and their own online shop.
On my arrival at Trust Kikaku, I was instantly impressed. Outside was a rather substantial selection of cars, and two that were parked in front of the main entrance had me drooling. A V-spec II Nür – the boss’s daily driver – and a TRD 3000GT-kitted Supra will have that effect.
My first order of business was to drop by the office and meet Hannah. She was kind enough to set the whole tour up, including the opportunity to meet and talk with Trust Kikaku’s owner, Terada-san.
Rather than a Q&A with Terada-san, I’ll work what we talked about into the story. And trust me – there is a huge amount to get through, starting with a little cabinet in the office foyer. This is display of Nissan Heritage parts that have now been discontinued, and subsequently now skyrocketed up in value to around 10 times what they were originally sold for. Yes, that is US$3,000 for a brand new BNR32 steering wheel and US$5,000 for a pair of straight-out-of-the-box taillights.
As you would have seen from the opening image though, there’s a lot more to this place than just rare and valuable parts…
Our walk through the premises began from the front of the warehouse and then around it, where it was impossible to ignore the rows of cars. Here there was an abundance of R32s, R33s, R34s, and I even spotted the recognizable protruding jawline of a rare Autech Stagea – the next RB26-powered car that will explode in value.
And it’s not just Nissans. Pick your hero car of the ’90s and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find one here.
With a USS Auto Auction facility not too far away from Trust Kikaku, Terada-san has been busy stocking up on the vehicles he knows will continue to appreciate in value. But more on that shortly.
I spotted a couple rally specials too, although I’m sure some of you (looks at Ron) will be more interested in the red Cappuccino.
The king of all Nissan wagons more your style? Here’s a BNR34-faced Stagea, possibly the best ’34 front-end conversion ever.
The lineup of cars continued all the way towards the rear of the massive workshop, but we’d be checking that out later on in the day. First, we headed indoors to get a glimpse of the operation…Take A Step Inside
So what is it that Trust Kikaku actually does? Well, it’s pretty simple – they scour every possible channel to get their hands on parts.
Lots and lots of parts. This is achieved through buying cars – complete, incomplete, or damaged – to part out, or just the parts themselves. The whole operation is beautifully streamlined with the massive workshop split up into very distinct zones.
Once each item is separated, inspected and thoroughly cleaned, it’s photographed in one of three onsite photo booths and added to Trust Kikaku’s ever-growing catalogued inventory, before being advertised on Yahoo! and the online store.
Once through that process, depending on the part it’s either packaged and boxed, or moved into the categorized storage areas that make up the bulk of the premises.
For example, these are all used seats, easily identifiable via the pink writing. While Trust Kikaku mainly deal in quality used parts – which in the case of seats means no cigarette holes, rips, or heavy bolster wear – they’ve noticed that people will buy parts in any condition, so they also have a section for junk seats that are advertised and sold as such.
Then there are the engines.
Engines may be pulled from complete cars – damaged, rusty or otherwise – or sourced from elsewhere. They are examined and rated, listed, and stored on pallets ready to be shipped out as soon as an order comes in. Here’s an RB26DETT from a BNR34 GT-R.
And one from a BNR32.
NSX V6, anyone?
Perhaps you’d like that with a matching manual transmission? With all the NSX AT-to-MT swaps that are happening these days, this item is in high demand.
You really have to take a step back to appreciate the sheer volume of Trust Kikaku’s inventory.
Still on the subject of transmissions, Terada-san is good at identifying trends and where demand lies in the market. Hence his BNR34 Getrag 6-speed conversion packages for BNR32 and BCNR33 GT-Rs.
Although they’re not cheap, they’re the fraction of the cost to source a similar kit from Nismo.
They get cleaned up and stocked away, ready for a new home.
To an outsider like me this place is a maze, but in reality everything is neatly stacked and categorized, ready to be picked in an instance.
Emphasis on the maze.
There are various boxing stations and a constant move to package up parts.
There is also a small area that contains the most popular supporting accessory parts. Think about it… if you by a brake kit there’s a good chance you’ll need brake pads, brake fluid, and braided lines. Or if you fit engine parts, you’ll need engine oil or transmission fluid. Trust Kikaku are fully stocked in this regard.
But for the really demanding customers, only the best will do…The Second Floor – New Parts
The second floor, which is more like a mezzanine that takes up a small corner of the warehouse, is where Trust Kikaku stores new OEM parts.
If you’re a Nissan owner, these boxes will surely give you a warm fuzzy feeling.
With the restoration route a direction many Nissan fans are going with their cars, new parts are one area that Trust Kikaku does very well with. They keep their shelves full with popular replacement parts for GT-Rs; from trim pieces that are prone to breakage, to window seals and anything else rubber, right down to GT-R emblems, radiator fans, and sill protectors. You name it, they stock it. And that goes for Nismo stuff, too.
I had heart palpitations when I saw not one but six Nismo R-Tune carbon fiber bonnets for the BNR34 stacked up and ready to be shipped out. One day…
Here is Hannah and Terada-san removing the plastic cover from a fresh-off-the-production-line SR20.
We headed back out to the front of the premises, where a Ferrari 355 Berlinetta and 360 Modena were parked up. Next, we’d be taking a short drive to a separate workshop where the majority of cars Trust Kikaku process are dismantled.Let’s Go To Tsukuba Circuit
I jumped in my car and followed Terada-san in his V-spec II Nür.
Our destination was just a five-minute drive down the road to an area of Ibaraki-ken I know very well. Above, we were just pulling out onto the main road that leads to Tsukuba Circuit.
I pass by this workshop every time I go to the track, but up until this visit I had no idea it was Trust Kikaku. There is no visible signage and nothing is advertised on the exterior, as this is simply a place that takes cars apart.
Look beyond the fence and you will see Tsukuba Circuit’s iconic Dunlop bridge.
It was at this point that I fully understood the sheer volume of work that Trust Kikaku handles.
On any given day there are countless cars being stripped down, before the parts are transported over to the main warehouse. And that goes right down to the chassis; bare shells are also added to the inventory where possible.
Half of this premises serves as a small storage area for some of the nicer-condition cars that come through the auctions. If you had to choose one, which would it be?
Around the back I found a sign, which would seem like a very strange place for one if it wasn’t for that fact that Tsukuba’s main straight is just over that fence! Perfect placement then.Stockpiling Redefined
Back at the main workshop, we followed the route that incoming parts take, first being dropped off by a kei truck.
Depending on the item, it can receive a thorough clean with a heated pressure washer and degreasers if required.
The back entrance is where the initial sort-through is done. I should also mention that as we were walking along, one of Trust Kikaku’s guys was filming us for their YouTube channel, so I should make an appearance on there, you’ll be able to see my reaction.
Again, parts are divided up, catalogued and stacked.
Trust Kikaku have recently started offering a new service, where by you can bring them your car to be fixed up or restored using their stocked parts.
This BNR32 was in for a brake upgrade.
Before we said our goodbyes, there was one final thing that Terada-san wanted to show me, and for this we headed towards the fields that surround the premises.
Past a pristine Nismo R32…
…until we reached a freshly-laid gravel access road that leads to a massive clearing.
This is where Trust Kikaku is moving all of its car stock – mostly Skylines and GT-Rs of R32/R33/R34 generations.
From a distance it looks pretty amazing, but apparently this is only a fraction of what will be coming. In fact Terada-san has just physically expanded his operation purchasing the field you see in the foreground; soon it will all be a sea of Skylines.
With the whole market around these cars going crazy, Trust Kikaku is well established as the place to go for Skyline and GT-R (and more) owners all over the world. My mind is still blown by the size of the business, and I’m glad that there is a place like this to go to once Nissan’s own OEM and Heritage Parts supply fully dries up.
Dino Dalle Carbonare