In my teenage years, I would read about a man doing crazy engine swaps, doing burnouts on highways, and insane high speed runs away from cops. Kazuhiko Nagata - widely known as "Smokey" - is the man behind Top Secret and a legend in the underground racing world. Some of his memorable builds include a VQ30 Nissan 350Z, VK45 Skyline CV35 (aka Infiniti G35), and probably his most famous build, the V12 Toyota Supra. So as one can imagine, when I found out I was going to meet him, I was stoked!
When the Hardcore crew and I arrived, Smokey was working on a VR38 motor. He was definitely in the zone, as he didn't notice us standing in the rain. Numerous R34s were parked outside the garage, while three GT-Rs and an immaculate Hakosuka were stationed inside. We got Smokey's attention and he came by to shake our hands. He kindly showed us around his shop, as well as his showroom, which any JDM fuckboy would've gone crazy for, with all the Top Secret accessories; personally, I wanted one of the dope Top Secret rain jackets. Then Smokey brought out his latest demo car, a Nissan GT-R.
We ended the night talking about his exploits all over the world. When you meet Smokey, he's a calm and gentle dude, a huge contrast to his infamy and the monster cars he builds. We didn't want to take a lot of his time, so we respectfully excused ourselves, but before we left he handed me a Top Secret keychain. Just a cool little token from a giant of a man, but one I'm never letting go - thank you, Smokey!