It’s around noon on a cold day in January, I’m standing in the lobby of my hotel at the pay phone punching in the number that my girlfriend is reading to me from the computer. The phone rings and I wonder if I’ll even get an answer as it’s only a been a few days since New Years and in Japan, most shops are usually closed. The phone keeps ringning but as I was about to give up hope, someone picks up. I reply awkwardly as I didn’t expect an answer. I introduce myself and ask if it was okay for me to drop in and take some photos, the person on the other end of the line replies enthusiastically and informs me that I’m more than welcome to come by so I let him know that I’ll be there in a couple of hours and we hang up. My girlfriend is sitting there looking at me with a smile because even though she doesn’t understand Japanese, my facial expression is more than enough to tell her that I had good news.
The next thing you know we’ve grabbed something to eat and we’re on the train to Tonoki Station, about 45 minutes south of Osaka on the JR Train lines. We get off and I’m trying to get my bearings from using the screenshot I saved on my phone earlier to make our way to the garage.
We’re on our way and following the directions I have and I’m filled with anticipation and excitement during the 17 minute walk according to Google Maps. I don’t know what to expect. Am I going to be disappointed? I can’t be, I’m visiting a garage in Japan that specialises in old school Hondas. The directions get a bit confusing towards the end and I turn the corner and I wonder if I’m going the right way then in the distance I see a silver Honda Civic and I turn to my girlfriend and just point at the Civic and we’re both smiling at each other, walking towards the Civic and the garage, which is tucked away in a small street just off a main road.
We approach the Civic and I start trying to take in everything but something distracts me and catches my attention. There she was, the car I came all this way for was right there in front of me. The Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon CRX, which I fell in love with after seeing it in photos from the Japan Hellaflush meet.
Some of you might think I’m crazy but there’s a reason for all this. Years ago I was reading an Autosalon Magazine, it was issue 43, and it had a “50 Things you must do before you die!” list and one of the ones I remember from that list was something along the lines of ‘see your hero car in person’. From the moment I read that I knew I had to see one car, the ,SS Works CRX which held the record for fastest FWD around Tsukuba Circuit only until a couple of years ago. I’m not usually one that’s into show cars but for some reason, this car made it on my ‘Hero Car’ list immediately after seeing it. I think it might be due to the fact that it’s an EF7 that is still running the original ZC engine in addition it’s rocking some very rare Mugen Parts.
My girlfriend and I were greeted with great hospitality. We were given hot coffee on a cold day, a nice heated office to sit in and chat to them for what was a very memorable couple of hours and a couple complimentary stickers. Kana, the workshop’s pet cat was also very friendly and kept my girlfriend company while I was acting like a kid in a candy store.
In addition to these parts, Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon have their own line of products which are mostly custom made parts.
Not only was I able to see one of my two ‘Hero Cars’ that day I got to meet two very friendly people; Takada-San and Furukawa-San. Furukawa-San is the “shachou” or owner of Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon. Here’s Takada-San and I, he’s also the owner of the CRX.
We traded stories of our CRXs; from hunting down that rare part to laughing at the common faults of CRXs that seems to plague most of them. They were even more surprised and very happy to know that my girlfriend also owns a CRX. Between the stories, the translating and the coffee drinking I was just happy to be there and to able to meet these guys, who are as passionate about their cars as I am about mine and it just happens that we all share that love for CRXs.
It was getting late so we decided to let Takada-San get back to work even though he insisted he wasn’t busy. As we were making our way out Furukawa-San returned and we only got to chat for a bit as it was getting dark and I didn’t want to end up taking up any more of their time. Furukawa-San offered Takada-San to give us a ride back to the station in Furukawa-San’s newly purchased Accord Euro, which is more than I could have asked for, but I just had to ask if it was possible for us to get a lift in Takada-San’s CRX and to my surprise they were even more happy do so.
All the way to the station Takada-San and I were still trading stories about our CRXs and I couldn’t have been happier. In the end I realised that seeing my ‘Hero Car’ is more than just about the car itself; it’s about meeting the people behind the car also. Not only was I able to get a ride in my ‘Hero Car’, I became friends with Takada-San which holds a lot more value than I could have imagined prior to visiting Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon. So the next time you see a nice car at a meet, try and find the owner and have a chat to them. It will only make us enthusiasts grow stronger.
On behalf of my girlfriend and I, we would like to take this chance to thank Takada-San and Furukawa-San for their hospitality and generousity. Visiting Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon really made my visit to Japan that much more special.
7TUNE – The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words and Photos – Steven Le