The very first contact we had with Kenichi Bakky Tsubaki was through Facebook when we expressed interest in showcasing his Nissan S15 Silvia in Import Tuner. The 25-year-old university student was ecstatic about the idea, telling us that it was certainly one of his dreams to be featured in an American magazine. Leading up to your day of the photo shoot we stayed in contact, chatting about his car,work and school, sometimes nothing in particular. Didn’t own one until the age of 19 when he finally called an ST202 Toyota Celica his own, even though we learned that the Nagano native had a desire for cars from an early age.so when it was based in a fairly rural area, an auto became necessary as a means of transportation. Currently, Bakky is justlink with Garage Mak preceded his time on the university. As much young car enthusiasts usually do, Bakky showed up at the shop one day, asked about a part or two, and expressed his fascination with one day building his car to the level of completion that he or she saw in the cars leaving Garage Mak. On the next a few months, his visits to Garage Mak increased in both frequency and duration. Within a couple of years they had forged a relationship with a bit more substance than that of the normal customer and shop variety. Although Garage Mak provides services for all cars, their specialty make is Nissan, as can be seen from the many top-level Silvias which they build. Bakky also recognized this, and realized that although his Celica was a great car, it didn’t quite fit his current needs, especially if he was going to be affiliated with Garage Mak.impressed by the S15 Silvia, understandably so with the tried-and-true chassis and suspension design, the strong beautiful lines of the body, even the interior is stylish yet functional. In 2009 Bakky saw the Silver Shark, Garage Mak’s demo S15 in action for the first time, an event that might surely be inspirational for many people, was a total game changer for Bakky. It was an experience that he would describe as receiving a strong shock. Apparently the shock was sufficiently strong enough to blast his priorities out of sync. When he went home that night, Bakky knew he was missing something from his life; his heart was full of urgency and require. Despite having never owned an S15, he missed it. During 2010, Bakky bit the bullet, bid farewell to his Celica, and made a hefty withdrawal from his banking accountthroughout his time attending the University that Bakky met Kei; Kei was also a student as well as a fellow car enthusiast. As car guys tend to do, they stuck together and finally started to consider each other close friends. Kei’s car styling cues would rub off on Bakky as Bakky’s would on Kei. While Kei and Bakky worked on their respective degrees, they also tinkered with their cars-Bakky with his S15 and Kei with his R32. During breaks Bakky would move way back in with his parents and carry out theThe leading bumper, rear bumper,fenders and hood, and trunk have all been replaced with FRP and carbon fiber; a rear diffuser, rear over-fenders, and side skirts were put into the body. One of the very few pieces on the body of this car that may be not a Garage Mak part are the Ganador Super Mirrors-a decision that we will find no fault in, of course. The full car was then resprayed with a coat of Metallic Blue paint, a color that is certainly not a custom mix but one that Bakky would not divulge to us, offering instead a virtuallythe automobile demands attention, what lies underneath is equally impressive. The car came equipped with the SR20DET through the factory. The highly regarded powerplant is, of course, no slouch, but with endless choices of upgraded parts available, the want of more power is one few can resist. In the case ofincluding the Tomei head rocker and gasket arm stoppers, SARD fuel pressure regulator, and Yashio Factory ignition system keep your engine running safely and smoothly. A GReddy short port intake manifold maximizes air volume starting the head, while a Garage Mak exhaust system helps the engine exhale as efficiently as you possibly can. This formula is good for 482 ps at 7,500 rpm, tuned on an A’PEXi Power FC ECU. The power is transmitted to the Dunlop Direzza ZIIs wrapped around 18×9.10 and 5.5 Enkei RPF1s through a Nismoclutch and transmissionan even ride. As for the rest of the suspension, no arm has been left stock, from the Ikeya formula tie rods to the Cusco rear lower control arms, all things are adjustable, spherical, and all around superior to stock. The inner is as spartan as one would expect from the car on this nature, made up of not much over the Garage Mak carbon-fiber dash, a pair of Bride Vios III seats, MOMO controls attached to the column via a Works Bell Rapfix quick release, and a Nismo shift knob. Bakky says, My car does not have interior decoration (but that is) among the characteristics, whicheach morning, we were running on practically no sleep. Having driven from Yamanashi the night before so that he could have adequate sleep for a day, bakky had arrived with Kei on the meeting point a bit early at a quarter past 4. Bakky was as pleasant in person as he was online-soft spoken, well dressed, as well as an air of refinement about him. We had originally planned to photograph the automobile at sunrise, however, as luck could have it, it was actually cloudy that day. As we sat and waited to the sun to rise, Bakky told us that just a few days ago the heavy snow had actually cracked his front bumper, so he scheduled a crisis trip to Garage Mak to fix the bumper and set down a fresh coat of paint. The rest of the shoot went quite smoothly despite Bakky becoming a bit nervous about driving his car within the city; he usually drives this car in very rural areas where vehicle code laws are more lax.
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We started in Shiodome, proceeded to the Wangan and the Rainbow Bridge for many rolling shots, to Minato Mirari in hopes to shoot before the Akarenga Souko (we were motivated to leave within a few minutes) finally wrapping it up at one of our friend Sekinei’s secret spots. Kei headed out from there, basically we decided to have breakfast at Jonathan’s. Bakky’s well-mannered personality showed even in the way he ate, cutting small parts of his food and very deliberately placing them in his mouth, perhaps to ensure that he could answer questions promptly in case the conversation was steered toward him. He would regain his composure immediately and answer them clearly and with a grin, although sometimes he would get excited when asked questions about his car. Bakky should have graduated by the time this post goes to print. He had also been going to work off-site for Garage Mak, handling their international relations, even though he mentioned he had a full-time position arranged at Epson as an engineer. Considering his very professional demeanor, we cannot suppose that Bakky, excuse us, Kenichi Tsubaki, can have any trouble excelling at both jobs. Truly a male of great taste and lots of talents, an engineer, a pet dog lover, and, quite apparently, an artist; we will enjoy seeing his future creations.