January 19, 2012

Power House Amuse

Our next stop was my favorite non-rotary tuner shop, Power House Amuse. I grew up watching Best Motoring and Hot Version movies, so I was no stranger to Amuse. They sell their BMW products under a different name, Ericsson, but it is the same shop. My favorite build of theirs was always their S2000 Touge monster. Infact, the S2000 Touge Monster is the car that lead me to the RX-8 in the first place. Watching a properly built under-powered car demolish any car it was pitted against (especially ones with more power) was truly an amazing feat. It motivated me to see how far I could take the RX-8 while keeping the build naturally aspirated.

When we arrived we were welcomed by Mari Matsui, the director of Amuse, and her assistant. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Amuse's history, Hitoshi Matsui had stepped in as president of Amuse after the passing of the original owner, Hideki Tanabe. With his passing, Nippon Steel (their titanium provider) now owns Amuse, with Mr. Matsui at the reins and his wife at his side. Speaking of Mr. Matsui, he stepped out from the garage to greet us as well! He is infamous for his work at Amuse, as he has always been their head technician, engineer, race driver, and has been with Amuse since the beginning. His dedication, passion, and vision, match Tanabe-san's perfectly, so it only made sense to have him be the one to take over. Matsui-san was kind enough to give me a special gift that I will forever be grateful for; a brand new Hot Version Vol.113 DVD with his autograph!

After greeting everyone and talking for awhile, we got to set our things down, get comfortable, and go picture crazy! For starters, they had an Amuse 380 Superleggera on their alignment rack (which was right in their office!), an impressive display of many of their products, and all of their trophies on their counter. Outside, they had my all-time favorite GT-R, the Amuse R35 GT-R Phantom, with their amazing Amuse S2000 GT-1, an Amuse Z34 Vistito, the Ericsson M480 (which Mr. Matsui built for his wife as a gift), and various customer cars in queue to be worked on.

There is really something to be said about Amuse's quality of work. In the grand scheme of things, they are a relatively small shop, with only two bays, an upper attic, some parking spaces, and a lot of equipment. This space constraint doesn't seem to stop them from providing people with the highest quality aero-parts and titanium exhaust products on the market. I guess it goes to show that regardless of the space, when you have the drive and passion, you WILL succeed. 

Matsui-san decided to take out some of us for a ride in the Ericsson M480 and to hear the exhaust. I did not get to go for a ride, but seeing Scott's face when he exited the car after his joyride was amusing enough for me. After a long day spent talking with them and drooling over all of their products and cars, it was time to say goodbye. Thank you again everyone at Amuse for the amazing time! The visit was great, and I hope the next time I visit Japan I can stop by and see you all again. All of the pictures from Amuse are on my 2nd Photo Album, here. Jason's pictures can also be found here. After the long day, we went back to the hotel to rest up for the next day's adventure; Tomei Powered and Nismo's Omori Factory. Stay tuned!

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