Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: Tommy Kaira

The Tommy Kaira M13 Baby Gang – WTF?!

You may wonder what image DALL-E 3 would generate if you described the following picture of the Tommy Kaira M13: big wide gaping mouth and above it the tagline Baby Gang in big bold letters. Personally, I think not much good: either it would just get confused by that mismatch of information or it simply refuses to create something NSFW!

Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: Baby Gang with a Micra K11
Tommy Kaira M13 brochure: Baby Gang with a Micra K11

This picture brings up even more questions. Why Baby Gang? Why the Italian Flag? Why is such a big gaping hole necessary? I’ll try to make some sense out of this…

The Tommy Kaira M13

The first thing you probably notice is that the Tommy Kaira M13 actually is based on a Nissan March K11. The Nissan March K11 was released in 1992 and Tommy Kaira offered the M13 for the first year in 1993. Remember that the Japanese bubble economy burst in early 1992. The more expensive Tommy Kaira cars must have fallen out of grace quickly and this smaller M13 was an excellent choice!


As stated earlier, the Tommy Kaira M13 was based on the Nissan Micra K11. After the first M13, it existed for another generation with the Micra K12.

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TOM’S Angel T01: angel or unicorn? [JDM Trivia #9]

JDM Trivia #9

Today’s trivia will be all about the TOM’S Angel T01. Gred_cz guessed the teaser entirely correct: the car in the teaser clip is indeed the TOM’S Angel T01 and the tail lights are indeed borrowed from the E90 generation Corolla FX. I recognized the car in the video from my Gran Turismo 2 days when this car was one of the prize cars you could obtain if you won the Pure Sports Cars Cup located on Laguna Seca Raceway.
JDM Trivia #9: TOM'S Angel T01


TOM’S always has been a tuning garage where they take an existing car, only Toyota in their case, strip and modify it into a high performance race car, or a de-tuned street version.

Mid engined sports car

You could argue that TOM’S counterpart for Nissan would be Tommy Kaira. They also take mostly Nissan cars and modify them into high performance race cars. The analogy even goes further: both have made an attempt to create their own light weight mid-engined sports car from the ground up. Both of them had their mid-engined sports cars manufactured in Great Britain. For Tommy Kaira that car was named the ZZ while TOM’S attempt was named the Angel T01. Continue reading

Flyrat: Tommy Kaira M30

Just browsing through the Flyrat blog and came across this rare Tommy Kaira M30:
Tommy Kaira M30
Tommy Kaira M30

I thought it would be nice to share this car: this is one of the very rare occasions you will see this car, apart from when you play games like Gran Turismo! :D

Tommy Kaira M30
Tommy Kaira M30

Tommy Kaira was already a renowned tuner in Japan since 1968, but in 1987 they made their first rebadged version of a tuned production car: the Tommy Kaira M19! (based upon a Mercedes 190) Starting from 1988 they changed focus and put themselves exclusively to modifying Japanese production cars, starting with the Tommy Kaira M30!

Tommy Kaira M30
Tommy Kaira M30

This car is often mistaken for the Infinity M30, which is actually a Nissan Leopard F31. The Tommy Kaira M30 was intially based upon the Skyline GTS-R R31 and later on based upon the Skyline GTS-t R32. This particular car is the R31 based M30. The car was tuned up to Tommy Kaira’s specifications by lowering and stiffening up the suspension and swap the engine for a custom built RB30DE!

Tommy Kaira M30
Tommy Kaira M30

The engine was a work of art: they took out the RB20DE engine, removed the head and put it on top of a RB30E engine, and thus creating a RB30DE engine. Then the workshop increased the compression ratio, cams, port polish and all this raised the M30’s power output from 159hp to 238hp! There were some limitations to this engine: the RB30E bottom is not as strong and refined as its lesser counterpars and created inbalance. This results in and engine that can’t be revved over 7200rpm. On the other side it has massive amounts of torque!

Nowadays this trick is happily done by the Australians as well to upgrade their Australian built Skyline R31s (RB30E engines only) to a more decent power ouput. The only difference is that the Aussies do a much bolder job than Tommy Kaira: they swap over the newer RB25DET head to make it a more powerful turbo version of the M30 engine!

Bone stock R31 GTS-R Interior
Bone stock R31 GTS-R Interior

All other parts of the car remained the same as the factory spec GTS-R. This can be seen in the austere (or yet better: spartan) interior of the car. On the other hand: who needs luxury if you got one of the coolest Skylines ever?

You can buy this beauty for the small sum of $16,495 at Flyrat!

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