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Thread: 100yensilverNB

  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ueru's Avatar
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    100yensilverNB

    So, I bought an NB here in Japan. 😅
    It's a lot of fun so far!



    I've still got my NA in storage back in Texas as well, with all the bodywork/paint/etc still on hold. Hopefully someday soon, I can pick it up the cloth and resin again and glue my hands together.



    I'll write some more after work!
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  3. #2
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Congrats. Has been great to see you back in a Roadster in the homeland!

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  5. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! benpopham's Avatar
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    Wow, living the dream there!

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  7. #4
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Roadster7's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing on here as well man! Looking forward to some "insider" photos and details.

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  9. #5
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ueru's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'm really happy with it so far. It's a great daily.

    So, I started looking for a daily to buy here sometime around August 2019. I'd been renting a Daihatsu Mira kei car through my company since I started, and after doing the math on how much it cost me every month, it made sense to just buy a car myself. First: sooner-the-better to start saving money, and second: buying and registering a car requires I visit a few government agencies that only operate on times I'm at work. August is my longest break from work, since it's summer vacation for the kids at school, so it just made sense to start then.

    Anyways, I just played around and August came and went, and now it's September. A few cars caught my eye looking through used listings on Goonet and Yahoo Auctions, all in-budget and fun:


    Toyota MR-S.
    I've always liked the MR-S and I kind of wanted to experience how a mid-engine car felt driving near the limit. I've only ever autocrossed/tracked FR layout cars before, so I was curious. I like the styling and it's lightweight and has cool engine swaps available. The guy at the shop where I took this photo was telling me the 2ZZ engine swap was shaken-compatible and made the car way more fun.

    Subaru Impreza WRX. Specifically the GC chassis cars. They sold STi versions here too, but those were a little too much money. Looked like fun, AWD is nice up here in Tochigi, good storage space. But probably not great on gas, and it's a 300 series plate if I remember correctly, so owning costs shoot up.

    Some kei van/truck. I was mostly looking at 4WD Subaru Sambar Vans and Mazda Porter Cabs. Kei car ownership is super cheap, they're great on gas, they don't require proof of parking space availability, etc. Plus the van is super practical for long road trips, and being able to sleep in the back is a bonus. But they aren't nearly as fun as a sports car when all these cool Japanese circuits are a hop, skip, and a jump away.

    Now, we come to the inevitable Roadster haha. It's a 500 series plate, easy to work on, more storage than the MR-S, and so on. I was browsing for Roadsters one day and, for some reason, I ended up on GHO's website. And then their used car page.

    M2-1028 $8000
    ...
    So I immediately drive down to Saitama to see if I can give my new favorite shop a lot of my money. Heart's racing, I pull up and ask,
    "Hey, I saw you have a 1028 listed on the website and I was wondering if maybe it was just an old lis-"
    "Oh that, just an old listing. That car's long gone."
    Ahh damn. I suspected as much, since $8k for an M2 car is robbery, but still...

    So I walked around the shop, chatting with the dude, asking about the legendary blue GHO car just sitting around unremarkably in the center of the shop.



    Still worth the trip. It's apparently been sitting still for a number of years with no engine.

    Lots of customer cars, many of them M2. He mostly focuses on customer car maintenance nowadays.



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  11. #6
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for sharing your journey to find a car, your choices (most of which sound exotic from over here) and why you ended up at GHO for the picture of their once famous/ now resting shop car. Looking forward to the next chapter already.

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  13. #7
    Supporting Member druz's Avatar
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    It's great to hear the story behind the wonderful pics.

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  15. #8
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ueru's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! GHO is a really cool shop to visit. It's in Saitama, so if you're ever in Tokyo, it's not all that far away!

    So the 1028 was a shot in the dark that missed (side note: please still check out the used car listings on the GHO website. They have photos of some awesome cars!). I was still undecided on a Roadster vs an MR-S too; I already have a Roadster back in Texas (stored away, but it's still there!), so I kind of wanted to try something new.

    But, everyone I'd talked to so far recommended Roadsters over the Toyota. 'Roadsters are just more fun.'
    Everyone I had visited was kind enough to let me hear their thoughts.
    MR-S dealer in Moka: "Stock for stock, Roadsters are more fun. Modified, MR-S is more fun/faster."
    Cool dude at a used car shop in Utsunomiya who drove a modified, flared Evo 4 on 265 R-compound tires: "I'd go for a Roadster over an MR-S. The Evo's fast, but if I get rid of it, I think I'll go back to a Roadster or an AE86. They're just the most fun."
    GHO: "Roadster. [prompted that I prefer NA's subjectively] Buy an NB. Less chance of rust, lower miles, better chassis, cheaper."

    After GHO, I drove down to Tokyo to say 'hello' to my friends at Corn*s. I mentioned I was looking for a car, and Tomio-san told me he had a nice NB that had recently come in, 「ちょうどいいタイミングで!」 (perfect timing!). It was a bit above what I wanted to spend and I explained my preference for NA's, but Tomio-san talked me through the car and let me test drive it. The previous owner had taken it to Corn*s for all its servicing, so they knew the car well. Great condition, low enough miles, and it seemed like it'd make a great daily driver.

    I left, thought about it for the following week, then came back to pick it up on Sunday. I couldn't think of anything better coming up honestly. It filled out every criteria I made looking for a car. Even if I love NA's more, this NB had tasteful mods, reasonably priced, from a shop I completely trust; it was the right car at the right time!
    With the way the insurance worked, though, I couldn't drive it back home until Monday.




    Corn*s was closed on Monday for a national holiday if I remember correctly, so I walked the hour or so over from my friend's apartment in Ichikawa to pick up the car. Tomio-san had passed the keys on to me the night before and parked my NB in front of the shop. Got splashed by a taxi walking through the rain, but nothing was going to spoil my mood that morning.




    Stopped off at my favorite burger place on Route 4 on the way back home. These guys make a great burger, but it's very difficult to get here without a car or a bike. Worth it if you're nearby though!




    And made it back, parked next to my kei rental.



    Tomio-san was kind enough to let me use the shops Tokyo Adachi plates on the car temporarily as well, until I could take time off of work to register the car under my own name. You might notice the random plate change in the photos haha. It was finally time to return the Daihatsu and start enjoying some Roadster life again, this time in Japan!
    Last edited by ueru; 02-25-2020 at 05:56 AM. Reason: added more backstory
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  17. #9
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ueru's Avatar
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    So now, the specs.

    It's silver, to start with.




    1998 NB8C
    6 speed transmission (mileage unknown to me, maybe Corn*s knows. The old one was apparently recently swapped over to this current unit, a new-old-stock 6 speed from Mazda)
    Maxim Works headers
    Cusco 1.5w clutch-type LSD
    Tein suspension (one of their basic coilovers, nothing monoflex or anything)
    Fresh bushings all around
    103k kilometers on the clock (currently 112k as of writing this)
    Corn*s full bucket seat (only driver's side, red stitch, black suede, non-mesh)
    Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel with Works Bell flip-up QR.
    Carrozzeria head unit (Navigation, radio, TV)
    14" CMC02 wheels
    Cloth top with glass window (replaced recently apparently)
    Corn*s ver.2 (?) exhaust
    Corn*s shift knob (I love this thing, it reminds me of the Elise shifter but more accurate)

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  19. #10
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Honestly I can’t be surprised.. Tomio-san and Tomoyo-san are both so exceptionally kind. Truth be told, I never would have gotten to Karuizawa if it weren’t for Tomoyo. Didn’t realize you landed such a great NB but makes me very happy for you. Again, thanks for sharing the journey!!

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  21. #11
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power ueru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrayleather View Post
    Honestly I can’t be surprised.. Tomio-san and Tomoyo-san are both so exceptionally kind. Truth be told, I never would have gotten to Karuizawa if it weren’t for Tomoyo. Didn’t realize you landed such a great NB but makes me very happy for you. Again, thanks for sharing the journey!!
    They really are the best. They've helped me out more times than I can count, not even just with Roadster stuff. When I bought that motorcycle down in Saitama, and rode it through the rain to my friend's place for the night, Tomoyo turned on the gas heater in the garage and let me dry off for a while before continuing. I'm lucky to have crossed passed with them, and happy to call them "friends". ��

    I'm lucky with the NB as well! The previous owner was interesting, especially his decision to replace the normally-functioning transmission. Not really even sure how they sourced a NOS transmission to be honest. But I'm glad they talked me into it! haha
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  23. #12
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! benpopham's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this, and so nice to read.

    Glad you finally landed on another Roadster, and from Corn's makes it even better. Tomoyo san and Tomio san really are the best people, so helpful and friendly.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your adventures in the NB and how it progresses. The 6 speed is cool too, I have always wondered about upgrading to a 6 speed.

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  25. #13
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! MaRcOp01o's Avatar
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    Man I am so happy to see you starting a thread here. I have been following your IG page for as long as I can remember and happy to see you got an NB especially a Corns NB!!!

    Tomio-san helped me a ton when I got the B-Spec he told me about all the specs and he said he has worked on a couple himself.

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  27. #14
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    Great updates and awesome little story! The mods on the NB are the major things I wouldnt be keen on paying for, so lucky that it was all done already!

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  29. #15
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaRcOp01o View Post
    Man I am so happy to see you starting a thread here. I have been following your IG page for as long as I can remember and happy to see you got an NB especially a Corns NB!!!
    Marco, what do you mean "starting a thread here"? It may have been a long long time ago. i think it might have even been back in two thousand, ought thirteen but some time, back when the InsterGram was just barely a few years old, our good friend here started sharing his first build. Pour yourself a tea, coffee, whiskey or comforting beverage of choice and settle in for a great read...
    https://mazdaroadster.net/showthread.php?4903-Midori

    While you're at it you should also check out his Karuizawa thread from 2015. Back in the day, it was his pictures and story telling that convinced me I would one day need to make the pilgrimage. I still think its kinda crazy that the Shinkai service cars were among the first I also encountered before my first K-meet. Never had imagined I would also have met Mr. W himself nor had the delight to spend some time talking roadsters, teaching and Japan all the while walking the lots and taking in the scenery (and benefiting greatly from his translating skills). I've said it before and know it won't be the last time but Roadster tribe really is the best tribe.

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