Q. Hello Shibata-san. Thank you for giving us your time to take this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

A. Yes. Hello. I am Shibata from R31house, a Skyline shop here in Japan. I have been doing this and that for about 18 years specialising in the R31 Skyline.

Q. R31House produces some impressive work. What services does the company offer?

A. Yes. Since we are a specialty shop, we do everything related to R31 Skylines. From building cars, selling, maintenance, restoration and tuning. We also produce original parts that are out of production. We sell these tuning parts in Japan and around the world.

Q. Many people say you have become somewhat of an R31 Skyline God. The man who knows all. How true is this?

A. Hahah. I don't really know. Hahahah. Even though I don't really get it, since I have been doing it for 18 years, I probably know more than the average person. Yes, I do believe I may know more than a normal person.

Q. Your yard is massive and has perhaps the most R31’s in the one place anywhere in the world. How do you find all these cars and parts?

A. Right now there are about 400 cars in the stockyard. Between customers donating, picking up cars that were not needed, purchasing cars and realising they probably wouldn't sell, we would keep for parts. There are about 3000 people still driving R31 Skylines in Japan, so I believed it would be best to keep as many parts as possible. So we gather as much as possible, so we can provide them to customers.

Q. Why did you begin this business specialising in the R31?

A. When I was 22, I was driving an R31. Three friends and I would drive and fool around. I decided to make a webpage to show off my car I received a lot of messages and made a lot of friends. Now it has become all this. But, it wasn't that I set out to be a specialist shop. I did it because I was interested in it. Even now it is still a hobby, and from now it will be as well. Hahahah.

Q. Considering the R31 is an iconic 1980’s classic car and is appreciating in value, how do you see R31House growing in the coming years?

A. Up until now, we have always helped users restoring their cars, like keeping them clean or tuning the engine. So we will continue to help all the customers drive their cars long into the future. I think it is best to help out each and every person to accomplish this. I think we will not change how we do things now and help everyone enjoy their cars for a long time.

Q. The R31 is a significant part of the Skyline evolution. What are its key performance points?

A. When the R31 was first released many people said that it was a big failure, that it was unpopular or just a bad car. But now it is considered to be a very good car and the biggest point is the sound. The sound of the Group A racing cars, the exhaust manifold sound is so great and its the R31 that can produce that sound while driving around. In order to get the same sound on cars other than the GTS-R we developed those parts to do so. If you tune an R31 you can compete with today's GTR so in that respect it really isn't a bad car. Of course it was not designed to hold 500 horsepower stock so we customise them ourselves and get similar performance compared to cars produced today.

Q. What is most special to you about the R31? Why do you have so much passion for it?

A. The R31's best point is its awesomeness. Yeah, it’s just awesome. Even doing this for 18 years it is still awesome now. Every single day I take pictures of cars. Every day I think it is still awesome while taking pictures so maybe that's the reason why I don't quit. If I can spread the word to some people about this awesomeness I think its one of the important activities to do.

Q. Which car are you most proud of building?

A. Yes, that would be my car. Let's take a closer look. The engine is an RB25 bored up to 2.6L. The intake manifold is custom and the turbo is a TD07. It is about 700hp. The main reason for building this car was to get a good course time at Suzuka Circuit. A time attack car is what the challenge was. For the footwork, suspension is custom spec Zeal right now and the brake system is Project Mu. They stop the car very well and it handles great.

This here is one of our customer's cars, Kamitsubo-san. This is the best masterpiece in all of our 18 years. The engine is an RB20 bored to 2.2L. We installed our original exhaust manifold, our original spec turbo and using an adapter we installed a GTR intake manifold. It’s all tuned with V-pro. In all of the RB20 cars I believe this is the best car. It has great acceleration, sounds just like a racing car and getting all of this out of an RB20 is probably the ultimate setup.



Q. R31HOUSEが素晴らしいものをつくっています。会社の主なサービス内容を教えてください。






Q. R31専門の会社を始めた経緯を教えてください。


Q. R31は80年代の象徴的なクラシックカーで、価値もどんどんあがっておりますが、R31ハウスのこれから数年の展望をお聞かせください。

今までずっとお客さん(ユーザーさん)の車をレストワ(車をきれいにしたり、エンジンをチューニング)してきたんですけど、今乗っているお客さん達が未来にも長く乗れるように、とにかくそのお手伝いをして、一人でも多く人がのいつまでも長く乗れるようにしていけたらいいなーと思います。  会社としては、なくなった部品、ないと困る部品をまあ作って皆さんの力になれればいいかなと思います。今と変わらずみんなと楽しく遊べる事が将来の展望かなと思います。


A. R31は新車で出たときにすごい失敗作とか、不人気だとか駄目な車だとかすごい言われていたんですけど、今となってはすごくいい車だって言われるようになったんですが、やっぱりその1番大きな要因が音だと思うんですよ、やっぱりグループAのレーシングカーの音、たこ足の音がすごく良くて、あの音を出してかっこ良く走りたいっていうのが、R31なんじゃないかなと思います。あの音がGTS-R 以外の車も出せるように、そういう部品の開発をしたり、しているんですけど、まあR31もチューニングすれば現行のGTR と戦える車にはなるので、そういった意味ではそんなに悪い車ではないんじゃないかなと思います。ただメーカーが、純正の状態で500馬力の車を作る訳にはいかんので、あとは自分たちがカスタムして、どんどんもっと今時の車みたいなパホーマンスが出せる様な車に仕上げればいいのかなと思います。



A. R31の一番いいポイントはかっこいいことですね。もーとにかく、かっこいい。もう18年やっているんですけど、今でもかっこいいです。毎日毎日、車の写真を撮っているんです。毎日かっこいいなーと思いながら写真を撮っているのが、飽きない理由じゃないかなと思います。このかっこよさを少しでも多くの人に知ってもらえる、それも大事な活動の1つじゃあないかと思います。






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