I really like climbing within the mountains of Japan. It’s an effective way to flee the town, get some recent air and, because it seems, stumble throughout a secret assortment of decaying Volkswagen Golfs.
That’s exactly what occurred to me sooner or later, two years in the past. It’s taken fairly a couple of emails and simply as many cellphone calls to make it occur, however this winter I used to be lastly in a position to enter what I’m calling the ‘Golf Sea’ at Spinning Storage to shoot this function.
The proprietor of Spinning Storage is Nobukazu Tanaka, and he’s a tough man to trace down. Naturally, I emailed the storage instantly after first recognizing it, however with no reply I gathered my Japanese ideas (and a little bit braveness) and made a cellphone name. Tanaka-san wasn’t in on that event, so I defined my request to a employees member and requested them to cross on a message to the boss.
A number of weeks handed with no reply. Once more, I despatched an e-mail, and once more, after no reply, I made a cellphone name. Similar outcome. I attempted this mix as soon as extra and then gave up.
However nearly two years later, after driving previous the storage as soon as extra, I made a decision to attempt my luck and despatched one final e-mail. Hooray! A response and an open invitation to return and shoot the ocean of Golfs.
I had after all requested to fulfill with the boss man, Tanaka-san however, unsurprisingly, he wasn’t there to greet me. Regardless of, as a result of Spinning Storage’s 11-strong employees was greater than welcoming.
Apparently, Tanaka-san’s love affair with the MkII Golf began when he was a pupil. He used to race them on observe days with pals and did all the upkeep and tuning himself. It appears Tanaka-san knew he wished to open a Golf-only specialist store from the very starting, and fulfilled that dream with Spinning Storage in 1998.
Holding The Dream Alive
Even in any case these years, he by no means will get uninterested in the MkII Golf. And never simply because he loves the best way it drives and handles, but additionally as a result of the group of homeowners, collectors and fanatics in Japan is heat and welcoming.
These automobiles are a uncommon sight on the streets of Japan, and in reality the world over. I believe Spinning Storage have extra MkIIs of their primary yard than I’ve seen on the road throughout my complete lifetime.
Sure, it’s a little bit unhappy to see so many find yourself in disrepair, however on the similar time superb that so many are ready to be introduced again for a second likelihood. There’s clearly an enormous Golf following worldwide, particularly in Europe, however due largely to the provision of components in Japan and the dominance of the Mini Cooper within the European mini-car sector, Golfs have been relegated to cult standing right here.
It should be an even bigger cult following than I’m conscious of although, or they solely come out at evening. As a result of, with such a giant group and greater than six automobiles being labored on throughout my go to, Spinning Storage are flat-out holding Golfs on the street, plus restoring and promoting them too.
It’s protected to say the group can meet nearly any request, from fixing window seals to finishing engine swaps. They have been shoe-horning an R32 VR6 into this MkII. It’s not a brand new engine swap recipe by any means, however it was fascinating to see it taking place in a shed in the course of nowhere.
Stepping out of the workshop space is the place issues get fascinating. Among the many 200+ automobiles that litter the 2 yards, there’s a shed with not one however two Golf Nation Syncro 4x4s produced by the navy car producer Puch. Solely 558 have been made worldwide and solely 110 the place imported and bought in Japan. Of these 110, solely 15 inexperienced metallic and 65 black automobiles have been imported.
I’ll depart you right here and allow you to wander across the yard. It might be a little bit bit spooky, however bear in mind, Golfs are the friendliest automobiles on the planet.
The Graveyard Shift