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Auto Sports Developer Okuyama - Interview

Carbing: Engineered For The True Motorsports Enthusiasts

Scott Tsuneishi
Apr 1, 2008
Photographers: Steve Demmitt, Tein USA, Okuyama
0804_impp_01_z+tadashi_okuyama+picture Photo 1/9   |   Auto Sports Developer Okuyama - Interview

In 1973, Tadashi Okuyama followed his lifelong dream and opened his own company in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. Rightfully naming his company Okuyama Co., Ltd., Tadashi- san ran his business as a motorsports team and manufacturer, catering to the hardcore Japanese race enthusiasts of that era. Heavily involved in the motorsports scene, Tadashi was considered a perfectionist by those who knew him well: He never settled for less than the best when it came to building and prepping customers vehicles. "it didn't take me long to fully understand the chassis physics of a race car, whether it was for rally racing or road racing. Any car that wants to compete and win in any category must be well balanced and possess a wellprepared chassis," Tadashi said.

0804_impp_02_z+carbing+strut_bar Photo 2/9   |   While many companies offer a lower priced tower bar in comparison to a Carbing unit, they often come with a major flaw in design. These low cost conventional type bars are connected to the baseplates and bar with a simple bolt and nut. Under extreme pressure and load, the baseplate remains securely fastened to the chassis but the bar itself is known to flex on the single bolt like a pendulum and offers no rigidity. Each Carbing bar is fully hand-welded. Okuyama-san points to the triangulated aluminum bar design welded in sections, which offers a stronger setup than its competitors.

With a soft spoken voice, he described in detail how Japanese automotive manufacturers took a more cost effective route and built JDM vehicles using a unibody construction-a design that was great for the average commuter but less than ideal for the avid racer. Using data and years of collective research gathered from owning their own motorsports team, Team Okuyama, the once small and unknown company, quickly grew in popularity among motorsport competitors and manufacturers as the go-to guys. The knowledge obtained from competing in Japanese domestic motorsport competitions, such as the Japan national Dirt Trial Championship and Japan's gymkhana series, enabled Okuyama to develop and manufacture many of the products they sell today.

While the Okuyama facility's specialty consists of full chassis prep, which includes stitch welding, competition rollcage designs and custom competition chassis fabrication, Tadashi noticed a growing demand from a different sort of customer-the ones who drove their vehicles on the streets. "We began tinkering with the idea of developing products for street enthusiasts who wanted to improve their vehicles' handling and chassis rigidity without having to stitch-weld or add in a full rollcage. We researched the aftermarket industry and found only a handful of manufacturers that made any sort of chassis braces or strut tower bars, and even then, their designs were often crude and hardly functional," said Tadashi.

The idea was tossed around for months, but with such a strong demand from friends and customers, Tadashi made the final call and decided to go forward with expanding the Okuyama name, titling one of the two subdivisions which catered to street driven cars: Carbing. The second division under the branding, Dash, sold and developed parts specifically made for competition motorsports specializing in rally.

0804_impp_03_z+tadashi_okuyama+picture_sitting Photo 3/9   |   It took a lot of effort and coercing to convince Mr. Okuyama to take this photo.

Within the past year, Okuyama has begun expanding their product line inside the U.S. Okuyama-san along with Carbing have already taken numerous overseas flights to the mainland, setting up base camp at the Tein USA facility (exclusive distributors) to R&D and fabricate products for USDM vehicles to ensure proper fitment. Today, we find a slew of Carbing performance products such as tower bars, lower arm bars, cooling panels, under panels, tanks, reservoirs and rollcages on many of the popular import vehicles. "As one of the market's leading manufacturers, we uphold two important keywords, 'high performance' and 'high quality', as an axis of our motto," said Tadashi, "we will never stop our R&D activities as we aim to deliver even more advanced products that live up to all expectations of the Okuyama name."

By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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