Spoon Sports. A name which is now infamous within not only the Honda community, but the tuning world as a whole.
Becoming recognised by the people in the same circle as you is one thing, but when you can gain respect and admirability of those who cant even use your products, this defines a company with an almost legendary status within the tuning world.
Starting off in 1988 out of Takadio in Tokyo being the brain child of Ichishima Tatsuru; a natural born racer in Japan.
Ichi-san's humble beginnings with his first Honda race car started in 1985, where through providing racing data back to Honda themselves, he managed to get parts from themselves & the Mugen tuning company. That 1985 Honda Civic I speak about is the one you see pictured today. The Spoon E-AT was the first civic to enter the Japan touring championship even before Honda themselves entered a car!
Spoon Sports, for those who are not aware (which I'm fairly sure there are Zero) are a tuning company for Honda cars. Starting off by producing Honda racing components & ECU's. Their history with the main focus being on "Total Technology" (A quote) and pure comfort for the drivers of the cars equipped with their products.
As the company grew, as did their range of products & services they can offer. Moving into selling B Series engines fully assembled with precision balancing and blueprints to ensure the best performance output whilst endurance racing, the company saw great expansion and had to move into a new premises and soon started giving Engine lectures to inform people in vast detail of the engine specifications which can be achieved through the company.
Unlike many tuners that have tried and failed, Spoon Sports kept growing, In 2001 having to purchase another building across the street from the HQ, which is known as SPEED SHOP TYPE ONE, a name which is in itself has become a household name within our community, the Speed Shop specialises in Honda's Type R range, but not shying away from the non Type R models such as the Honda Jazz, the Legend & S2000.
I'm going to quote the next part as it says it exactly how I would like to ; "Type-One is Ichishima's vision of how a Spoon Sports dealer should be. And that vision is the offer of a "complete tuned car, not just individual parts thrown in without consideration of whether they will work in harmony or simply interfere with each other." Also, Ichishima wants to make it known this shop was not created to sell parts, but to provide customers with Type-One's installation skills and know-how of Spoon products."
So that is the background information for you all on Spoon Sports. Now lets take a trip to Honda Day 2013 ETown! Spoon Sports had flew over their Group A Spec E-AT Civic over from Japan.
The Spoon E-AT you see before you hosts a 1.6L DOHC ZC engine, pushing out 230bhp with a rev limit of 9800RPM. thats 100BHP & 3000RPM over a standard unit. incredible. This car not only saw the start of what would become the birth of a legend within the Honda world, but business partnerships that would stand the test of time. Ichishima chose to use NISSIN brakes on the E-AT of whom are a OEM Honda brand & upgraded the brake pads to a high performance racing pad substitute. To this day, Nissin still produce the Spoon Sports Monoblock & Twin block calipers.
Ichi-san inside the spoon E-AT at honda day
As soon as I arrived at the show itself I headed straight for the Spoon booth. I have always loved the Spoon Sports brand, back when I first started out all I would buy would be Spoon Sports products and to this day I still have some original bits that I just cannot part with. It was great to see the Open B Series on show along with some of their current products, such as rocker covers and the new Spoon Wheels..
I walked around for a while and stumbled across the Spoon guys with the car all on their own to which I took the opportunity to get some images of the car on its own not knowing if I'd get this opportunity again through out the weekend..
Ichi-San giving a little wave to the Camera. The Man & The car that started it all.....
There is a solid reason why I love certain cars that people have built more than others, I think when you put the time & effort in, as well as money. There is no satisfaction like it other than showing off your project to other people who want to hear about it. I think owners put off an aura, a glow when people show interest in your work. Ichi-san is an enthusiast and you can tell this, back at the stand people wanted to hear the E-AT, so he asked for the keys off of whoever was keeping them safe and told everyone to put their fingers in their ears. For some strange reason it wouldn't start straight off, so he hoped straight out and popped the bonnet instantly, made one of the other Spoon Sports Reps sit in it and tick it over whilst he fiddled around with it, once it started to idle correctly the spoon rep got out of the way and let Ichi-san and his Civic E-AT have centre stage. I have a video of this moment awaiting upload to the internet, I will affix it asap but due to internet at my office being terrible the upload time is longer than I plan to stay here today haha.
The NOISE that this little car put out was incredible, so raw, un-cut and un-adulterated. The crowd genuinely went mad and you could just feel the atmosphere rising. After I continued to walk around and in the distance I heard the little beast start up again, I couldn't help but smile.
later that day I headed back to the spoon stand at JUST the right time, as Ichishima Tatsuru & Dai Yoshihara (professional drift racer & Spoon's driver of choice for the weekend) where signing posters, I hopped in line and grabbed mine, Such a huge smile on my face I couldn't believe it, even to the point where I was speechless haha. If you watch my Youtube (youtube.com/aji621) you will see I am not a shy person, I'm not afraid to talk to people but this guy just took my breath away. I manned up and walked back for a picture to which he kindly said yes too and I was so stoked I turned on my Data roaming costing me £16.67 just to upload the picture to Instagram straight away haha!
Later on that day, I saw Ichi-san wearing his Spoon overalls So I once again asked for another picture. reasons I'm not posting these as these are on my phone and the story gets much, much better...
DAY 2 OF HONDA DAY 2013
Day 2 came around, the larger day of the show, thousands upon thousands of people turned up. I checked out the Spoon booth through the crowd of people, honestly I only went back to look at the E-AT again, it was just so awesome!
My day went as per normal really, I say normal, it wasn't normal at all haha, first off I was over on my own & secondly I was making friends all day which was great fun for me and thirdly I was stood trackside shooting drag cars!
As the day went on a few of the guys who I had met at the hotel the night before had invited me to go to the stands and watch the drag racing, I went with them as most of the day I had been stood trackside doing images, these will appear in the Honda Day posts that are coming up Next!
As I was sat in the stands, I saw out the corner of my eye the Spoon Sports E-AT Civic, with both Ichishima Tatsuru & Dai Yoshihara having a photoshoot. I decided that this is something I had to photo, if I didnt at least try to get down there in time I would regret it for probably the rest of my life (I love to dwell on things haha). I fast walked (not ran) my way down to the pit lanes and I managed to get in just in time.
The guys departed into the crowd to sign autographs, which they had been doing all weekend, I saw a crazy amount of cars with their signatures on so I can only assume the value of the Spoon products with his signature on has gone through the roof! haha.
Love this Photo of Dai taking a picture of the E-AT infront of the crowd on his mobile phone..
Normally I would move on and take photos of something else but I was honestly just happy to be in such close proximity without a huge crowd within such a small space for a change, I got speaking to one of the English speaking Spoon Sports JP representatives to which I asked him to bring the car to England, He asked where I was from & I replied England, He then asked if I lived here to which I replied No and that I was only over for Honda Day, the reply I got was one I had become familiar with over the weekend "You're only here for Honda day!! do you want a picture with the Ichi-San?" to which I replied obviously yes, even though I'd had 2 already. The gentleman then went over and got Ichi-San & Dai, told them both I was over from England and Ichi-san shook my hand, took me by the arm and I had my Photo with them both infront of the E-AT Civic and in front of the Honda Day crowd. This moment will stay with me for the rest of my life, genuinely to me this moment was priceless. The price of the Hotel, the Flight, the cost of living, the rental car, all of this was worth every single penny just for this moment.
I may look slightly awkward but in front of the huge crowd, in the presence of these 2 gentleman and being in front of the SLR Instead of behind it for a change all amounted to me being actually nervous, but It was amazing & I will be having the photo blow up to go above my desk in my new office
I have to say a huge thank you to Honda Day for allowing me media access, thank you to Spoon Sports Reps who got me a picture with Ichi-san & Dai, thank you to Ichi-san & Dai for having their photo with me, everything came together this weekend for me to make it one of my most memorable trips to the USA ever. I still cannot believe I got to have those photos taken and be along side of my personal idols in the car industry, with the Car that started it all.
Thank you for reading. Full Honda Day Coverage up very soon. I hope you enjoyed this post.