Aluminum lightweight body, mid-engine setup, unrivaled durability—simply put, the NSX is the type of car that stands the test of time. Whether you're young or old, if you're a car guy you have an unconditional love for the remarkable Honda. While many of us can't afford one, we still appreciate and respect the amazing builds from enthusiasts who are lucky enough to own their dream car. For the mag, it's hard not to showcase the best when we come across 'em. So while scouring through social media one day, I discovered this blue NA1 before you.
It was weeks before Tokyo Auto Salon and we were frantically searching for feature cars. With a slight fear of the language barrier, I audaciously sent a direct message on Instagram. Turns out Jun Saitoh knew enough English and we set up a time to meet. I invited him to our Tokyo Fresh meet, and he was one of the first to arrive alongside another NSX built by Yoshinobu Yamamoto. We couldn't resist the sheer sexiness of Yoshinobu-San's car as well, so we asked both of them to meet us for a photo shoot near our hotel in Akihabara following Tokyo Auto Salon. They agreed, and our mission was accomplished.
My Boy Blue
While it looks perfect in every angle to its finest details, Jun's NA1 is tailored strictly for the track. He told us, "I chose the NSX because it's a real pure sports car. There's no electrical assist function, and I think the simplicity is attractive." Most of Jun's exterior consists of the highly underrated Marga Hills aero, including its front bumper, widened fenders, and side skirts. The aero was engineered for N1 endurance-level circuit racing—minimal drag, wider track, raw functional beauty. The GT wing is a mix of a Garage BB main section and Matric carbon-fiber stays, while the vented carbon hood was sourced from Advance Japan, where many of the goodies on Jun's car come from. But that's where the list of manufactured parts stops—the LED taillights and side markers, front undertray, carbon canards, and rear diffuser are all customized by Jun himself. Currently, his flat under panels are made out of wet carbon-fiber and aluminum plates, but he plans to make it lighter with dry reinforced carbon. Jun continued, "My main source of inspiration was the race cars from FIA GT, JGTC, WTAC, and Attack in TC2000."
With an exterior designed for racing glory, the chassis had to be up to par. Jun installed necessary Brembo brakes all around. The suspension is spec'd out just for him with adjustable Advance Bilstein dampers and stiff Eibach springs. Pictured here, the wheels are Jun's street setup with Gram Lights 57Xtremes, but his track configuration consists of TE37SLs on Advan A050 semi-slicks.
Once the exterior and chassis were complete, Jun focused on the venerable V-6. He kept the C30A motor naturally aspirated, and it received plenty of attention in order to give him enough power for track days. The motor was taken apart and a complete 3.1L stroker kit from TODA Racing was installed, along with more aggressive cams. Spent gases are sent through Fujitsubo manifolds to a lightweight Advance titanium exhaust. An HKS V-Con Pro was used to tune the beast to around 350 hp, helping to give the NA1 the perfect balance of power, weight, and handling.
The five-speed gearbox wasn't neglected as Jun fitted a twin-plate carbon Exedy clutch mated to a lightweight flywheel. A limited-slip from OS Giken provides him with an open-diff driving feel on the street while transmitting maximum power as he's smashing out of corners.
The interior is equally built for function with a pair of Sparco buckets and a MOMO wheel. However, the most trick thing about this entire car is perhaps the dash. Gone are the normal gauges and speedometer—in their place is a Google Nexus tablet! That's right, keeping up with technology, the digital table is connected to the ECU via a Defi Smart Meter to show every vital the car has. Because it's a working touchscreen tablet, Jun can even check his Facebook if he wants to! The tablet is housed in a carbon panel that Jun made himself. A final detail includes an HKS lap timer that's situated in a custom A-pillar pod for easy viewing.
With a host of custom work done by the owner, plus all the right high-quality JDM parts for going fast around the track, Jun's NSX ranks extremely high on our list and is perhaps the sickest car we came across this year in Japan. And best of all, it's not all for show! "So far I've taken my car to Fuji Speedway, Suzuka Circuit, and Tsukuba for TC2000. But my favorite track has to be Suzuka. It's so exciting!" While Suzuka might be his first choice, one of his best times is at Tsukuba. Hitting under a minute is no easy task for your average guy off the street, but he's come very close with a time of 1:01.772. His goal, like many weekend racers, is to become faster. He concluded, "I will continue to modify my car for track racing, but also with cool styling."
Unlike Jun's track-themed build, you'll most likely find Yoshinobu's NA1 only cruising the streets or posted at a night meet at Daikoku. But we can't knock it, as it rocks only top-notch parts and has a sick style you can't deny.
Pop the rear glass and the 3.0L C30A rests beneath with the addition of a carbon-fiber intake, braided AN lines, and a custom oil breather kit. Giving the NSX its growl is Taitec manifolds matched with an Advan GT titanium exhaust. Allowing the motor to rev faster and put power down are a KSP twin plate clutch, lightweight flywheel, and OS Gikin diff.
For chassis upgrades, he spec'd out his own coilovers using a hybrid of PCR and Bestex parts. NSX-R stabilizers and a lower reinforcement bar plus Okuyama braces were added for stiffness.
In the interior you'll find a pair of Recaro SPG seats, a Nardi steering wheel, and an NSX-R shifter with shift knob. While we've only been naming off-the-shelf parts, Yoshinobu did put some of his own flavor to the car as he personally made the carbon-fiber door panels, A-pillars, sill garnishes, gauge cover, and switch panels.
Similar to Jun's NSX, Yoshinobu opted for Marga Hills aero. But to differentiate it slightly, he retrofitted NA2 taillights, Integra Type-R DC2 front side markers (say what?!), and a GruppeM Super mirror. The front lip, side steps, and carbon wing are all one-off pieces he fabricated himself.
Yoshinobu conluded, "I wanted to build a car that looks as good as the Phase demo car in a Yokohama Tire catalog." We think he's selling himself short. Having met Jun and Yoshinobu, getting to know their nice personalities, and witnessing their amazing craftsmanship and attention to detail in person makes them prime examples that the Japanese scene is stronger and better than ever!