Last updated
Tomita Yume Hanbai
IndustrySpecialty Car tuning and Automobile manufacturing
FoundedTomita Auto Inc (1968–1973)
Tomita Auto Co Ltd (1973–1996)
Tomita Yume Koujou (1996–2002)
Tomita Yume Hanbai (2001–2007)
M-Direction (2007–2009)
TOMMYKAIRA (2009–2013)
Tommykaira (2013–present)
Headquarters Minami-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Products Sports cars
Car tuning services
High-performance automobile parts
High-performance automobile accessories
Website only) (Tommykaira Club International's website)

Tommykaira (トミーカイラ), originally founded as Tomita Yume Koujou (トミタ夢工場タ株式会社), is a Japanese car tuning and manufacturing company founded in 1986 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 founded in 1968 as Tomita Auto Inc. (トミタオート株式会社). Several of its Tommykaira's custom cars have appeared in both the Gran Turismo [3] [4] [5] and Forza Motorsport [6] racing simulation video game series.


Car tuning

The Tommykaira signature, which identifies the cars tuned by the company Tommy Kaira.JPG
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 Tomweb.jpg
A Tommykaira ZZ

ZZ Car manufacturing and economic crisis

The Tommykaira M25, based on the R33 Skyline GTS-t Tommy Kaira M25.jpg
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 decided 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. [7]

Rowen collaboration

At the height of the economic crisis in 2008, Tommykaira agreed on a partnership with Rowen to make parts under the Tommykaira brand. One stipulation was that all designs must be cleared by Tommykaira brand owner, Mr. Tomita, before Rowen could sell the products. From early-on, the agreement was breached when Rowen unilaterally capitalized the name "Tommykaira" as "TOMMYKAIRA". This was found to be one of many violations cited in court and led to the breakup of Tommykaira's collaboration with Rowen. Despite losing in court, Rowen continued to sell and produce Tommykaira branded products well beyond the court decision leading to an abundance of unauthorized Tommykaira products with the logo being in all-caps.

Regaining independence

By around 2015, the dispute with Rowen had ended and the Tommykaira brand (managed by then, Threeek's CEO Mr. Tokitake) was once again independent. In a chance meeting with Japan Auction Parts co-founder, Mike Wyckoff, Tommykaira once again began selling and producing products for both domestic and overseas markets.

Tommykaira brand license holder, Threeek, rebranded to GTS (Genuine Tommykaira Studio) in 2017 and sells Tommykaira brand products in Japan. JDM Parts Ninja (formerly Japan Auction Parts) is the exclusive distributor of the Tommykaira brand abroad.

Club international launch

In 2020, at the height of the Corona Virus pandemic, with a dwindling number of Tommykaira car owners in Japan, local chapters were disbanded in favour of a global subscription club called, "Tommykaira Club International". The club also known as TKCI celebrated its launch in fall of 2020 and official first-year membership is 2021. The cost of a yearly membership starts at $88.


(please take note that for almost all models engine tuning was offered only as an optional and that some models also had more tuning stages available; shown here are the maximum performances available for each car)

Prototypes and production figures

The Tommykaira ZZ, EV model. Tommykaira ZZ by GreenLoadMotors front.jpg
The Tommykaira ZZ, EV model.
The ZZ II was a $90,000 sportcar 2 door coupe production car with a mid mounted tuned RB26DETT (Nissan Skyline GT-R engine) 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 ]

Related Research Articles

Nissan Skyline GT-R Sports car based on the subsequent generations of the Nissan Skyline produced from 1969–2002

The Nissan Skyline GT-R is a sports car based on the Nissan Skyline range. The first cars named "Skyline GT-R" were produced between 1969 and 1972 under the model code KPGC10, and were successful in Japanese touring car racing events. This model was followed by a brief production run of second-generation cars, under model code KPGC110, in 1973.

Subaru Impreza Model of compact car

The Subaru Impreza is a compact car that has been manufactured by Subaru since 1992. It was introduced as a replacement for the Leone, with the predecessor's EA series engines replaced by the new EJ series. It is now in its fifth generation.

Group A

Group A was a set of motorsport regulations introduced by FIA covering production-derived vehicles intended for outright competition in touring car racing and rallying. In contrast to the short-lived Group B and Group C, the Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, weight, allowed technology and overall cost. Group A was aimed at ensuring numerous privately owned entries in races.

Nissan Skyline Series of automobiles manufactured by Nissan

The Nissan Skyline is a brand of automobile originally produced by the Prince Motor Company starting in 1957, and then by Nissan after the two companies merged in 1967. After the merger, the Skyline and its larger counterpart, the Nissan Gloria, were sold in Japan at dealership sales channels called Nissan Prince Shop.

Nissan VK engine Motor vehicle engine

The VK engine is a V8 piston engine from Nissan. It is an aluminum DOHC 4-valve design.

Nissan RB engine Motor vehicle engine

The RB engine is an oversquare 2.0–3.0 L straight-6 four-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan, produced from 1985 to 2004, and will be continuing production in 2019, after a 15 year hiatus. The RB followed the 1983 VG-series V6 engines to offer a full, modern range in both straight or vee layouts.

Nissan SR engine Motor vehicle engine

The Nissan SR engine is a 1.6 L (1,596 cc), 1.8 L (1,838 cc) or 2.0 L (1,998 cc) straight-four, four-stroke gasoline internal combustion engine manufactured by Nissan Motors. It has an aluminum head and block with steel sleeves and has a DOHC 4-valve design, with variable valve timing on select models. The engine was used in many small to medium Nissan vehicles including high-performance turbocharged variants. It was designed by Nissan as a replacement for the earlier CA series of engines. Power output shown is JIS Net PS or ECE Net kilowatts unless otherwise indicated.

Nissan CA engine Motor vehicle engine

The CA engine is a 1.6 to 2.0 L Inline-4 piston engine from Nissan designed for a variety of smaller Nissan vehicles to replace the Z engine and some smaller, four-cylinder L series engines. It is an iron block, aluminum head design with a timing belt, cheaper to make than the timing chain setup on the Z and L engines. Earlier versions featured SOHC and eight valves. The new CA block design was a scaled-up E series block with timing shaft and other ancillaries removed. The oil pump is fitted directly onto the crank nose and the distributor is driven by the end of the camshaft. Like the E series and the A block from which the E was derived, Nissan used a taller block for the largest stroked 2.0-litre engine. The CA was designed to be compact and light, with a CA16 requiring only 195 litres of space, while weighing 23% less at 115 kg (254 lb). The engine was called the "CA" series for Clean Air, due to the installation of Nissan emission reducing technology, called NAPS-X.

Nissan L engine Motor vehicle engine

The Nissan L series of automobile engines was produced from 1967 through 1986 in both inline-four and inline-six configurations ranging from 1.3 L to 2.8 L. This was the engine of the dependable Datsun 510, iconic Datsun 240Z sports car, and debut upscale Nissan Maxima. These engines are known for their extreme reliability, durability, and parts interchangeability. It is a two-valves per cylinder SOHC non-crossflow engine, with an iron block and an aluminium head. The four-cylinder L series engines were replaced with the Z series and later the CA series, while the six-cylinder L series engines were replaced with the VG series and RB series.

Nissan FJ engine Motor vehicle engine

The Nissan FJ series engine was a straight-4 DOHC 2- or 2.4–litre internal combustion engine produced by Nissan in the 1980s, in 2.4 L guise as a rally motor for the 240RS, and 2.0 L for general production models. The FJ20 weighs 166 kg (366 lb); the FJ24 weighs 167 kg (368 lb). The 2.0 L variant was used in the US110 and US12 Nissan Silvia/Gazelle/Sakura, and DR30 Nissan Skyline. The 2.4 L variant was used in the Silvia based BS110 Nissan 240RS rally car. While a 1.5 L variant was designed and a prototype built, it never went into production. It is acclaimed by some as the forefather of the CA engine. Although the DOHC CA head is similar, this is unlikely, as the SOHC CA was devised as a lightweight replacement for the L/Z series motors when the FJ first entered production, and the DOHC CA head appeared later when the RB series was released. The FJ has an aluminium head, chain driven cams, and an iron block. Turbo motors were only available in Japan and New Zealand and the non turbo variants were available in Japan, Hong-Kong, Australia and Europe. Datsun enthusiasts like to swap FJ engines into L or Z series powered vehicles. The FJ has similar mounting points to L/Z/KA blocks. It was discontinued in the mid 1980s due to its prohibitive cost.It featured large ports,dual valve-springs and a wide angle bucket on shim valvetrain design similar to other (later) Nissan twincams like the VG, CA, RB, and KA, series DOHC motors and the previous S20 6 cyl DOHC motor from the early 1970s GT-R.

Nissan S20 engine Motor vehicle engine

The Nissan S20 engine 2.0 L (1,990 cc) was a straight-6, DOHC internal combustion engine produced by Nissan from 1969 to 1973. It was essentially a revised production variant of the 1966 Prince GR8 engine from Prince/Nissan's R380 racecar. It produces 160 hp at 7000 rpm and 177 N⋅m; 130 lbf⋅ft (18 kg⋅m) of torque at 5600 rpm. The S20 weighs 199 kg (439 lb). This engine is not to be confused with the unrelated Nissan SR20, which is a straight 4 cylinder petrol engine used in other Nissan models.

Subaru EJ engine Motor vehicle engine

The Subaru EJ engine is a series of four-stroke automotive engines manufactured by Subaru. They were introduced in 1989, intended to succeed the previous Subaru EA engine. The EJ series is the mainstay of Subaru's engine line, with all engines of this series being 16-valve horizontal flat-fours, with configurations available for single, or double-overhead camshaft arrangements. Naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions are available, ranging from 96 to 320 hp. These engines are commonly used in light aircraft, kit cars and engine swaps into air-cooled Volkswagens, and are also popular as a swap into copy wasserboxer engined Volkswagen T3/Vanagon . Primary engineering on the EJ series was done by Masayuki Kodama, Takemasa Yamada and Shuji Sawafuji of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent company.


Mine's is a tuning firm based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Mine's was started by Tsuzo Niikura in 1985. It attracted attention in 1988 by being among the first Japanese companies to sell re-programmed ECU systems for popular Japanese sports cars. Today it sells many products, ranging from injectors to complete engines.

Subaru Legacy Motor vehicle

The Subaru Legacy is a midsize car built by Japanese automobile manufacturer Subaru since 1989. The maker's flagship car, it is unique in its class for offering all-wheel drive as a standard feature, and Subaru's traditional boxer engine. The Legacy is sold as the Liberty in Australia out of deference to Legacy Australia, an organisation dedicated to caring for the families of military service veterans.

<i>Wangan Midnight</i> (video game)

Wangan Midnight is a racing game developed by Genki for the PlayStation 3. It is based on the Award-winning Japanese comic of the same name created by Michiharu Kusunoki back in 1992. The Wangan Midnight PlayStation 3 Blu-ray was released in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan on July 5, 2007. The game runs in 1920x1080@60 Hz on a Full HD television.

Subaru Legacy (first generation) Motor vehicle

The first generation Subaru Legacy is a mid-size family car / wagon developed by Fuji Heavy Industries. The Legacy was an all new model, and was considered a notable departure from Subaru products in the past.

Subaru Legacy (second generation) Motor vehicle

The second-generation Subaru Legacy was marketed in Japan from October 1993, and July 1994 marked the second generation in North America with a full body and chassis revision. The exterior was designed by Olivier Boulay in 1991, during his tenure at Subaru. The tail light appearance on both the sedan and wagon was influenced by the taillights on the SVX.

Subaru Legacy (third generation) Motor vehicle

Subaru launched the third generation Japanese and world-market Legacy in June 1998, while the North American model was introduced in May 1999 for the 2000 model year. In all markets except for the United States, production lasted through 2002, with a limited production Blitzen model sold mid-cycle under the 2003 model year in Japan. Production in the United States lasted through 2004.

Subaru Legacy (fourth generation) Motor vehicle

The fourth generation of the Subaru Legacy was introduced in 2003 and saw a complete redesign of the Legacy on an all-new platform. Development began by the beginning of 1999, with styling freeze in early 2001 and engineering sign-off in 2003.


  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. Archived from the original on 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  3. "Gran Turismo 2: Car List". GTPlanet. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  4. "Tommy Kaira's GT3 Lineup" . Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  5. "Gran Turismo 4: Car List". GTPlanet. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  6. "Forza Motorsport - Full Car List". IGN. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  7. Evo May 2002 Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine