So here we go. I was lucky enough that [email protected]
able to help me setup a tour for me to see Maruha motors during my 4 days and nights in Japan. Saiji-san is the younger boss of Maruha motors. He picked me up from Shizuoka station off the Shingensen (high speed bullet train) and drove roughly 20 minutes heading north of the station in his Mira k-car, which is often used for his customer as courtesy car. I stayed in Maruha motors and had a good chat with Saiji-san about the differences between the marketing of Japan and North America. In some sense, Saiji voiced they rather not sell the parts that don't really get enough support in other parts of the world that people didn't installed it and tuned it properly and claim Maruha products are rubbish. He also really thinks Miata/roadster is a car for balance on the track, not just straight away power for drag, so is the power band for the motors.
Recently, Maruha motors invest a lot of money (over 1.5M usd) to setup engine dyno room, so is hiring top guys from Japan for craftsmanship for their own products. Saiji introduce me to Isami, which Isami used to work for Tomei, HKS, Apexi, and a couple of race team. He worked as the main chief engineer in most of those company. The latest product from Maruha is the new header for BP engine. Saiji told me it's an all out product for performance and quality, then comes to cost. Maruha motors has been using Maxim works header on a lot of their customer's car back then, and consider they need to developed a better header than Maxim Work was very difficult to do so. When I go thru the pictures, I will explains more on the improvement later on.
Hundred one time attack car for Tsukuba engine was also assemble and built by Maruha motors, Saiji was the guy to built the motors and got it tuned within 3 days. I was told that the tuning on the engine dyno wasn't completely perfection yet, as saiji can probably squeeze out more power with the already very powerful engine.
Currently Maruha Motors have expanded to 3 garages now. All 3 are still in used for something. 1st garage was the original garage that papa san (saiji and his elder brother's dad) worked there as a technician back in the 70s. The garage itself is still in used for some minor service work. 2nd garage is used to store their 2 race car that they raced back in the 90s. And third garage is the latest garage including the engine dyno, chassis dyno, office building, resting room for workers, and the warehouse to store cars there until the car is ready to worked on. Many customer drove their car all the way from other prefecture just to come and let Maruha to worked on their car. That's why courtesy car was given until the work is finished.
To wrap up about my visit in Maruha motors. My impression of Maruha motors is all about quality and performance of their work and products. Saiji believes that good product will need good quality work to support it. Without either one, it'll never be a good product nor quality work. As I can see their equipment that they've spend just to R&D some of their products, then I can totally understand why their products is expensive (yes, they're to me...) but then what was the reason behind the price tag was justify to me. A couple more new products will be release by Maruha Motors later this year. As it's top secret, I've promised not to leak out any, nor photos were allow to be taken. B6 engine owners will be happy to see more products for them for sure!! that's all I can say for now, until then, we'll have to wait and see. I ask Saiji, what's so special about number 27, He told me it's a special number to them, as they're located on highway 27 there in Shizuoka, And on their race car, their drive insists to use number 27 and produce very good results back then. So since then, #27 is almost a number that can represent the Maruha brand, as Saiji said, when people thought about #27, they will remember it's Maruha Motors!!
This is where Maruha Motor starts, with 1/2 a century of history. This is the original garage, which including the office in the deeper part of the garage.
This is garage number 2, I bet lots of people probably thought this is what Maruha garage looks like. Indeed, it's now just a storage place for the 2 race cars.
This is one of the race car inside the garage 2, group N spec, without any modification to the engine internals, as it must be all stock specs.
It's running some RX7 caliper as the group N rules does not allow to run import (other than Japan made) calipers.
This is what inside looks like with full roll cage and completely striped interior.
Next, we've the N2 spec car, which Saiji told this car can scream at 10,000 rpm across fuji speedway at 240km/h +!! It's NA tuned, running FCR carburators, stock piston diameter, oh yes, it's a B6 engine too!! The power band is at 6k to 10k rpm, anything below, you will feel the car not moving at all according to Saiji. On the last picture of this car, you should be able to see a scoop that act as an air ram into the engine bay, Saiji said without the scoop, the car will never hit 240 km/h+, with that speed, it almost like force induction for this race car. Oh yes, Mr. Tamiya (model maker) help sponsor this car as Tamiya is located in south part of Shizuoka.