Behind Closed Doors At Garage Active
Where The Magic Happens

Carbon fibre is everywhere these days. In fact, you and I could very easily make a pair of side mirrors or even a bonnet out of the stuff if we really put our minds to it. But when you decide to transform your entire car into a lightweight copy of itself, you will probably need a bigger garage. Oh, and a few GT-Rs to chop up too…

In my first Garage Active shop tour story last month, I showed you around the main office and customer workshop. Today, I’m going to take you on a tour of the company’s operating theatre, where cars go under the knife and re-emerge as wide-bodied and highly-tuned versions of their former selves. This is where Sakamoto-san builds his ‘Active Full Dry Carbon-R’ cars and every other incredible vehicle he puts his name to.


When I arrived, Sakamoto-san’s new R33 Skyline GT-R was being prepped for its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon. I asked if I’d be able to shoot it for a feature the next morning, but the guys still needed to finish off some paint correction on its glass-flaked pearl white exterior. That’s OK, I was looking for an excuse to fly back to Fukuoka anyway…


I was really keen to see how Garage Active’s carbon fibre parts are made, especially the mould-making process. Unfortunately for me though, production and demand has outgrown Sakamoto-san’s small team, so the composite work is now outsourced to a company in Shizuoka.


Still, Sakamoto-san was proud to show me the workmanship of their bonnets, with the undersides just as beautiful as the tops. They really are handcrafted pieces of automotive art.


There are two main transformations that each GT-R ‘complete car’ build goes through – mechanical and physical.


The latter is why you can see so many Skyline GT-R skins adorning the walls like pelts of slain beasts.

Garage Active wide-body kits are more like brand new outer shells than simple bolt-on overfenders. For their standard kit, this means removal of the entire rear quarter panels and front fenders; for their full carbon kit it extends to removing every single exterior piece of sheet metal.


While the cars are under the knife, many are seam-welded and have their chassis realigned on the jig above. Garage Active build all their custom roll cages and exhaust systems here too.


I had to ask what the R35 shell was for, and Sakamoto-san’s reply was “that’s secret.” Something to look forward to, for sure.


Customer cars are also brought over here from the main shop for paint work. This silver R35 was in for a Rocket Bunny kit.


At this point we had been shooting all afternoon and it was getting late, but there was still one more stop to make.

GT-R Disneyland

This is Sakamoto-san’s personal collection of GT-Rs. I can’t imagine how many times the value of these cars would have doubled over his years of ownership, but it’s probably best not to think about that.

“Welcome to GT-R Disneyland,” he said with a laugh.


I’ll let you have a look around before we get to a really spicy machine in the back…


Almost there…


And here she is – an R32 GT-R with Garage Active’s ‘Full Dry Carbon-R’ conversion. I say ‘conversion’ because it’s not really a kit - every exterior panel has been replaced with a blue-tinted carbon fibre equivalent.


These days, the philosophy at Garage Active is more about making well-rounded and comfortably-fast GT-Rs, but considering Sakamoto-san’s drag racing roots, it isn’t surprising to see that he’s got some big-power cars in his collection, and this one makes over 800hp. Considering the full carbon fibre body, it’s still a bit on the porky side, weighing in at 1,300kg, only 100-odd-kg lighter than a stock BNR32. The full welded roll cage and air suspension system adds a bit of the heft, so it’s lucky the engine is making almost triple the car’s stock power.

It seems weird to say it, but this isn’t the car I was at Garage Active to see.


This is what I came for. Or at least to Sakamoto-san’s amusement, I thought it was…

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_



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Holy carbon overload, batman! That blue tinted carbon looks amazing. You try talk him into making WRB tinted parts for an impreza? But in more reality, did you learn anything about the weight savings between a fully carbon car vs stock?


I did add some weight specs in the story, and yes It would be mad if he could make me some Wide panels for project GC8 !!


Oh I saw those specs, but that was carbon bodied, seam welded and caged vs stock. I was just wondering if there was a straight apples to apples comparison so customers can know the weight saving value of a full CF body.


So THIS is what heaven might look like...! Great article


Heaven on earth


Wow this is an absolutely incredible collection of GT-Rs. I have never seen so many in one garage before


Excellent article Toby, love seeing some carbon goodness! Some works of art there in that shop!

But did you have to leave us hanging like that?!


I’ll have the full carbon feature up soon! Don’t fret


Just WoW. It is Disney Land. Tough GTR’s mechanically and visually everywhere. Just perfect. With distance the biggest issue, hopefully Garage Active make their parts readily available internationally. Motivation I needed to get out of a lazy patch and finally get the R out this weekend. Thank you


R32 heaven.


Mesmerizing... That blue carbon looks amazing


theres also AUTO Garage Active. Guys are serios about Nissan March/Micra K11 racing! Too bad when you type even full name, gogle wil pop Garage Active (GT-R) instead :(
Micra crowd around the world will be thankful for garage feature, please consider this!