After hitting up the STi gallery in Mitaka and seeing all the magnificent things that can happen to ordinary Subarus there, the next place to visit is Spoon’s Type One showroom a few train stations down to see what kind of magic can happen to Hondas too.
The Type One showroom is roughly a 20 minute walk from Ogikubo Station. Don’t mistake it for the Spoon Sports building where the company’s headquarters and distribution center are located.
You wouldn’t expect it from the surroundings, but some of the most formidable Hondas to ever compete in motorsports have come through this place. Spoon came about in the late 1980s when ex-Honda test driver Tatsuru Ichishima went out and built his own racing car, all with full backing from Honda and Mugen.
The Type One showroom only opened in 2001, originally as an exclusive speed shop for Honda’s Type-R cars. Here, they say they want to “bring progressive ideas and emotions to reality”, and by all accounts I could tell these people believed in that mission. The staff at the Type One showroom were extremely friendly—I was able to walk around freely on both floors of the showroom and workshop. Of course, these guys were still doing their work so I tried my best to not get in their way or get run over while they were moving cars around.
Type One does a lot of restoration, maintenance, and turning work on customer cars, so the cars you see in the photos here might not be there when you visit. They also develop parts for Spoon Sports.
Spoon Sports are still involved in motorsports and will be racing overseas this year. Perhaps one of the most famous cars Spoon are associated with is the S2000. It was Spoon after all that put the S2000 on the map in terms of its motorsports achievements.
Downstairs there were only a handful of cars in the workshop. There were two customer Accord Euro-Rs, a sixth generation and a seventh generation car. Both white, naturally. The seventh-generation Accord Euro is probably more familiar to you as the Acura TSX. Tucked away in a corner was what looked like a race-ready NA2 NSX minus all the racing livery and paraphernalia.
If you didn’t notice it already downstairs, the Type One showroom is meticulously clean. It’s almost clinical in its cleanliness. I’ve seen hospitals more disheveled than Type One. RWB for example makes its tight and clustered space part of its charm. It works there. The spotless floors of Type One hint at their precise and calculated approach.
The moment I opened the door to the upstairs floor I was greeted by a bright blue and yellow NSX-GT race car. This particular car raced the Macau Grand Prix. It was a very special car to see, and one I wasn’t expecting to be displayed at the showroom.
Next to it was a white AP1 S2000 complete with a Spoon bodykit. These kits are perhaps one of the most popular and famous kits to come out of Spoon. I was told these kits still sell a lot today, and that there’s a three-month backorder for them. The asking price on this S2000 was a not too inconsiderable amount of ¥3,800,000 but it seems the car has already sold. A shame because the red interior, aerodynamic wing mirrors, and gold pinstripes were beautiful.
Going down, I found a lime green AP1 that had been completely stripped. I assume it was part of a restoration project. What surprised me was the color itself. It was my first time seeing or even knowing such a color existed for the S2000. Strangely enough, even with no dashboard, no steering wheel, and exposed wires, the seats looked immaculate.
On the lift was the current car one of the mechanics was working on; a DC2 Integra Type-R. What surprised me was how tidy it all was. Sure there were parts and tools on the floor but it was all organized and in its place.
Hiding away in the back corner was a S2000 ex-works car with a ‘Sale’ sign on the roof. For $58,000 this ex-works car, with 260 horses squeezed out of its naturally aspirated 2.0-liter VTEC engine, could be yours.
That wasn’t even the best deal there; the blue competition-ready DC5 Integra was listed for $12,000. The other two cars on the floor was a grey S2000 Type-S and a white S660 with complete Spoon brakes and the hallowed yellow Spoon head cover. My contact there, Daisuke-san, said the customization Spoon does on the S660 makes it “more fun.” Having driven one, it’s hard to imagine it being more fun than it already is.
Decorated around the walls of the second floor of Type One were some miscellaneous Honda and Spoon parts. From bumpers to steering wheels, rigid collars and various colored head covers. There’s a little note next to the yellow head covers explaining these are reserved for Spoon tuned engines.
Up on a lift was the S660 and S2000's OG grandfather, the S800M. Originally designed as the export version of the S800 roadster, it’s also a reminder Type One caters to all Hondas new and old. Behind it was the Civic E-AT, the first Civic to race in the Japan Touring Car Championship and the genesis for Spoon.
Finally, when I asked Daisuke-san what the future lays for Spoon, he simply said “We are interested in the new Civic-R very much. We are going to develop many tuning parts for the new Civic and we will challenge a race with the Civic.”
The upcoming Civic Type-R has already proven itself on the Nürburgring, so a Spoon-fettled one is a mouth-watering prospect. Exciting times ahead for these guys.
Be sure to visit the Type One showroom when you’re in Tokyo, but note they’re closed on weekends. The staff are some of the friendliest you’ll meet and the cars are some of the cleanest and best examples of tuned Hondas in the world. That’s reason enough to make it a trip out there.