Takuro Watanabe is a wacky tuning genius. He built a 2JZ-powered S14 Nissan Silvia that has four turbochargers, a hand-activated second throttle body, and a small jet engine on the rear wing for downforce. On top of that, he has a Fierarri F40, and an enormous jet engine that he plans to put into a car. He might be out of his mind, or he might be brilliant. I think it’s the latter.
Japanese car culture website Noriyaro wrote about Takuro’s crazy quad-turbo S14 Nissan Silviaback way back in 2015. But only recently did Alexi from from the site’s YouTube channel go to visit Tokuro at his shop, Caroline Racing in Tochigi. And boy did Alexi come across some wacky stuff.
The property is filled with seemingly-abandoned Nissan Skylines, Mitsubishi Evos, and Nissan Silvias. There’s even a dilapidated bright yellow Pontiac Fiero with a Ferrari F40 body kit. The weirdest thing on the lot, though, is a Allison J33 jet engine (the one shown in the top photo) that Tokuro says he wants to install into a car. His reasoning:
I’ve seen jet-powered cars oversees, so I wanted to try driving one too.
That’s clearly very sound, well-reasoned logic, though going with an engine that makes over 4,000 pounds of thrust could seem to some like overkill. But that is what Takuro is all about, as Alexi puts it: “He’s the kind of guy who just wants to try stuff.”
And Takuro has been “trying stuff” for quite some time, as Noriyaro mentions a few other brilliant modifications the “imaginative mechanic” has come with over the years, saying:
...this was the same Takuro who was making ridiculously big angle knuckles long before it became common, and has been known to do things like cut and shorten a sedan to make a 1.5 door, and hack apart a 180SX drifter to make it into something like a tube-frame dragster with an entire fibreglass body over it. He’s also the same guy who intended to turn a Pontiac Fiero-based Ferrari F40 replica into an RB26-powered drift car.
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This guy is my hero. He comes across as a highly skilled tuner whose ambitions maybe sometimes get the best of him (something that happens to me all too often). You can see a good example in the video above, as it’s obvious from the beginning that Takuro wasn’t entirely sure that the vehicle would work, saying “We failed two years ago, and there’s no power steering, but I’m going to drive it.”
His skepticism was well placed, as the ridiculous S14 Nissan Silvia struggled to start, and Takuro had to ask bystanders for a push. When that didn’t work, he had to get a tow from an SUV to bump-start the car.
In the end, the car, which has a hand-control throttle that can “unleash hell” and a jet engine on the wing to add downforce was a bit more show than go. But you can’t help but admire the ambition and just general craziness.