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Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Whole shop wide shot 2

Treasure Trove: Kazuto Garage’s Secret Wheel Warehouse

I’ve never been involved in a barn find.  The excitement that must come from uncovering millions of dollars’ worth of metal in a shed is not something I have ever experienced.  However, I’m pretty certain the emotions I felt as I wandered around Kazuto Garage’s secret wheel warehouse came very close.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Back wheel rack 1

You see, I wasn’t expecting anything like what I found inside.  My friend Kazuto Soon had invited me there during my trip to Malaysia back in June, just because he thought I might “find it interesting”.  He didn’t say he had the most awesome wheel collection I’d probably ever see, hidden away in a completely anonymous shed in the middle of nowhere.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Main wheel rack 1

Yet, when I squeezed past the assorted car-related junk surrounding his KE70 Corolla, that’s pretty much what I found.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Red KE70 Toyota Corolla sedan - front three-quarter shot 2

It seemed Kazuto had accumulated examples of almost every classic wheel design of the last few decades.  Advan tri-spokes?  Got ‘em.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Advan tri-spoke collection 2

Nismo LM GT4′s?  Yup, got those too.  (Note the NSX-R wheels above as well).

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Nismo LM five spoke and Honda NSX-R wheels 2

TE37′s?  Of course.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - White Rays Engineering Volk Racing TE37 shot 2

It wasn’t just modern designs, either.  Got yourself a kyu-sha?  Kazuto Garage has you sorted.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - SSR wheel stacks 3

Want more variety?  Too easy.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Classic dirty SSR stack 2

Watanabes more your style?  Sure.  You could choose from the classic in-house manufactured one-piece wheels below…

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - RS Watanabe stack 2

Or SSR-made two-piece models in varying colours.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Pink and black RS Watanabe three-piece wheels 1

The range was just endless.  Even Mad Mike could pick up some spares!

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Volk Racing GT-C and Work Equip wheels 5

You might have noticed by now that almost all the wheels stored here are used.  Some more so than others.  That’s because this warehouse is essentially a holding unit, keeping Kazuto’s enormous collection safe, until such time as customers who turn up to his main shop want items from it.  Once they decide to purchase something, Kazuto ships the wheels off to a reconditioning firm before handing them over or fitting them.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Mugen RNR wheel stack 3

The reconditioned ones sit downstairs in the Dexion rack system you saw in the opening shot.  The uh, patina’d ones from before are all upstairs.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Back wheel rack close-up 1

The funny thing was, though, that while all the shiny wheels below were very nice, the majority of the interesting stuff (to me, at least) was upstairs.  Those old classic SSR’s and Watanabes you saw earlier, the Nismo LM’s, it was all fantastic.  And so numerous, too.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - rack of wheels 1 - Volks in background 4

What really made this treasure trove for me, though, wasn’t just the wheels.  It was the little knick-knacks scattered around the place.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Toyota AE86 Corolla N2 flares 1

Take, for example, the nondescript pieces of plastic resting on the wheels above.  They’re actually part of a full original N2 kit for an AE86.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Go-kart 2

I also stumbled across examples of Kazuto’s racing past.  (He still races, but not as much as he used to).  This kart was a relatively early example of his exploits…

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Recaro and other seats 1

While these seats were likely leftovers from past racers/drifters he’s built.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Wheel caps - Honda 1

Being a wheel seller, Kazuto has also ended up with quite a few wheel caps over the years.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Wheel cap collection - on floor 2

And I mean quite a few.  Most were of the more modern variety, but Kazuto also had a box of rare classics from Uniroyal (I’m guessing the Japanese division, judging by the English) and Watanabe as well.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Plastic Uniroyal and RS Watanabe wheel caps box 1

He also had a collection of random wheel spacers, just hanging around.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Wheel spacers 1

This obviously Japanese snow chain box made me laugh.  I dunno about you, but I’ve never felt mighty joyful putting chains on. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Upstairs - Mighty Net Joy winter tyre chains 1

Of course, while some of the best bits and pieces were upstairs, there were plenty of nice little items downstairs, too.  Momo wheels, Volk Racing wheel nuts, stereo head units, fresh seats, you name it.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - sundry components on counter 1

Meanwhile, larger items resided closer to the entrance.  Evo dash, anyone?

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Entrance shot 1

It wasn’t all car stuff, either.  As with so many petrolheads, Kazuto is a pretty handy rider, too, and while this project is more style than racy substance, that didn’t stop it from being cool.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - Custom scooter - rear half 5

And of course, being the manager for the GT Radial Formula Drift Asia team, Kazuto also has a few spares just lying about.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - GT Radial tyre stack 2

For me, though, it wasn’t just the number of classic wheels on display, nor the rare and very cool curios that made this place so very special.  It was the feeling of exploration.  The idea you’d stumbled across something unique and amazing.  Being shocked at each turn by the wonders you find within.  In short, it made me feel like a kid again.

Kazuto Garage - hidden warehouse - Downstairs - OZ Racing logo close-up 3

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