Tommykaira

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Tommykaira
Tomita Yume Hanbai
Type Public
Industry Specialty Car tuning and Automobile manufacturing
Founded 1968 as Tomita Yume Kōjō; 1987 as Tomita Yume Hanbai
Headquarters Minami-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Products Sports cars, car tuning services and high performance automobile parts and accessories
Website www.tommykaira.com(Japanese only)

Tommykaira (トミーカイラ?), formally Tomita Yume Hanbai (株式会社トミタ夢販売?), is a Japanese car tuning and manufacturing company founded on May 1, 2002 and headquartered in Minami-ku, Kyoto, Japan.[1] The company was named after its two founders, Yoshikazu Tomita and Kikuo Kaira.[2] Its parent company was originally founded in 1968 as Tomita Yume Kōjō (株式会社トミタ夢工場?). Several of its Tommykaira's custom cars have appeared in both the Gran Turismo[3][4][5] and Forza Motorsport series of video games.

Car tuning[edit]

The Tommykaira signature, which identifies the cars tuned by the company.

In 1987, Tommykaira unveiled a tuned Mercedes-Benz 190E which was renamed as the "Tommykaira M19". The company subsequently released the M30E, which was based on the Mercedes-Benz 300E. However, from 1988 onwards Tommykaira began to exclusively work on automobiles made in Japan, establishing successful contracts with manufacturers Nissan and Subaru. In 1988, the company tuned for the first time a Nissan Skyline R31 (rebranded as Tommykaira M30), in 1993 the turn was for the Subaru Impreza (M20b) and the Nissan March (m13) and, finally, in 1994 the first Subaru Legacy Wagon (M20tb) received attention from the Kyoto-based company. The company focused most of its efforts on mechanical and aesthetic modifications to four cars- the Nissan Skyline, Nissan March, Subaru Impreza and Subaru Legacy.

Other models modified have included the Nissan 300ZX, Nissan Silvia, Nissan GTR R35, Toyota Vitz, Nissan 350Z and several kei cars from various manufacturers. Tommykaira has consistently rebranded the cars as if they were completely manufactured by the company itself, with the consent of the parent manufacturers: for example, a Subaru Impreza is rebranded as Tommykaira M20b or a Nissan 350Z as a Tommykaira Z. This phenomenon is not unusual around the world as German manufacturers such as Ruf and Gemballa operate in a similar way with Porsche automobiles.

On the other hand, the rebranding process carried out by Tommykaira has evoked some controversy directly related to the status of the company as a car manufacturer. According to the information spot provided by the PlayStation video game Gran Turismo 2 about the Kyoto-based company, "in 1988 [Tommykaira] succeeded in introducing Tommy Kaira M30, Japan's first fully modified high performance car [...][while] in 1997, [it] manufactured and marketed its original sports car, the ZZ". In general terms, the 1988 M30 model is regarded as the first integrally tuned Japanese automobile, an integral tuning that implied rebranding of the original model.[clarification needed] This fact acknowledged the capability of Tommykaira as an important aftermarket manufacturer and prepared the way for the launch of the company as a consolidated car manufacturer with the self-conceived 1996 ZZ model.

A Tommykaira ZZ.

Car manufacturing and economic crisis[edit]

The Tommykaira M25, based on the R33 Skyline GTS-t.

By 1996, Tommykaira had solely modified pre-existing models manufactured by Nissan and Subaru; nonetheless, the heavy improvements worked out by the company on the cars made it gain recognition as a brand in its own right.

The company made the decision to develop its own original design, the ZZ. The ZZ was produced in Norfolk, England, but the factory that manufactured the ZZ collapsed due to the majority of sales being in Japan. In 2002, the car was relaunched as the Leading Edge 190 RT built by Breckland Technologies.[6]

Models[edit]

The Tommykaira ZZ, EV model.
  • Z
  • ZZ
  • ZZ-S
  • ZZII
The ZZ II was a $90,000 sportcar 2 door coupe production car with a mid mounted tuned RB26DETT (Nissan Skyline GT-R motor) rated at 550 PS (542 hp) with 6pot front and 4pot rear brakes. It also featured front and rear aero diffusers, and a fully built roll cage.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "会社案内". トミタ夢販売. Archived from the original on 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  2. ^ Tate, James. "Tommy Kaira R33 Skyline GT-R V-Spec". Sport Compact Car. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Gran Turismo 2: Car List". GTPlanet. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Tommy Kaira's GT3 Lineup". Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  5. ^ "Gran Turismo 4: Car List". GTPlanet. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  6. ^ Evo May 2002

External links[edit]