– Words: Ryan Lewis. Photos: MJ Digital.
You know what they say; good help is hard to find. Well not anymore! Those who have tackled a major project or rebuild will know how tough it can be to partner with the right businesses. Whether it’s a shop to buy parts from or a place to get work done, many will promise the earth but deliver so little, it’s a nightmare none of us should have to deal with. But there is another side to the coin – meet the team at Garage 88. Not only do these guys treat their customers right, they offer an unprecedented range of proper Japanese hardware. Their motto is ‘real products produce real results.’ We were instantly fans of that, so let us take you on an insider tour.
Specialising in Japanese parts doesn’t limit Garage 88 to Japanese cars. Their customers bring the whole spectrum of automotive marques. We sat down with the team to get a proper insight into Garage 88.
Originally the business grew out of another Japanese parts supplier called Infront Performance Parts. Run by the same director, Michael May, IPP catered purely to trade customers but its popularity soared.
“IPP was able to source any parts from Japan from over 200 suppliers. It was a roaring success over its 7 years history. The business managed to form powerful alliances with suppliers throughout Japan.” These days Garage 88 say ‘if you want any performance part, and it’s made in Japan, we can get it for you.’
Word spread about IPP and the business grew to the point that new facilities were required to keep up with the demand. Garage 88 was born.
“The big dream was to provide the ultimate showroom and workshop for car enthusiasts to call home. We wanted to create an environment where they can comfortably know that we only supply genuine products while our workmanship is second to none.”
The team at Garage 88 is a tight-knit bunch of like-minded people, all with a passion for cars at their core. Michael heads up the operation with more years of car modifying under his belt than most other people in the industry.
Also on the team are Jason who runs all IT systems and co-ordinates events, Runi, an English/Japanese translater, Nghi a qualified mechanic, Ryan, a parts specialist, Eric, who handles marketing and online content, Ihara-san and Seto-san, Garage 88’s men on the ground in Nagoya, Japan.
The biggest drawcard for Garage 88 is the fact that they have an actual shopfront you can visit to look at, pick up and hold the stuff you’ve yearned for in pictures online.
You won’t see a range of Japanese wheels like this on display anywhere else, it’s actual wheel heaven for any JDM enthusiast. The difference it makes to see these in person is well worth the visit.
“By having a physical location we allow our customers to come visit us and experience all the genuine parts we have to offer in our showroom. Our experienced staff are always on hand to ensure that the parts they require fit the first time and every time.”
Quality is the name of the game, and you’re probably starting to realise that these guys don’t do things by half measures. If it’s not from a reputable manufacturer, Garage 88 aren’t stocking it.
From daily drivers through to exotic supercars, you’ll find what you’re after. The Advan TCIIIs above were ready to go, perfect for an R35 GT-R.
“There is still risk associated with online shopping, like dishonest sellers, and especially for car related products due to the numerous small model variations in Japan. You wonder whether when your product arrives on the door step, will it fit? If not, in most cases the item is non refundable online.”
“This is where Garage 88 stands out from an online store. We always ensure we provide you with the right product, guaranteed.” Take it from someone who has waited weeks for something to arrive only to be let down – the right advice is critical.
Wheel brands carried include Work, SSR, Enkei, Advan, Rays, Weds and more. Only the cream of the crop!
One of the flagship product ranges at Garage 88 is that of Dixcel brakes, a front-running Japanese manufacturer of brake upgrades for almost any car.
At the store you’ll find this Dixcel display illustrating the differences between rotors, from your regular items right through to slotted ceramic.
Dixcel was only established ten years ago but their products have spoken for themselves and Garage 88 are proving their phenomenal capabilities. You’ll find Dixcel gear on most of their staff projects.
Stepping outside the showroom there’s just as much going on downstairs in Garage 88’s on-site workshop. It’s not just the place to get parts, it’s the place to have work done as well.
“Our professional workshop is fitted with the latest equipment. Services range from a minor log book service, to a turbo upgrade, a set of custom wheels or a body kit. There is no job too small or big for the Garage 88 team.”
“With our parts specialists on hand six days a week for your consultation. We are committed to ensuring that you get what you want not what you don’t need.”
“We only supply genuine products, so no copies. This is why we continually have the support of the companies in Japan including Cusco, Bride, Voltex, Prova, HKS, Carbing, Fujitsubo just to name a few.”
I hope you’re getting the impression by now that Garage 88 are the real deal, they understand that not all products are created equal and they have put everything into supporting the Japanese aftermarket.
I can’t think of another place in Sydney where you can go and test out a range of Bride seats in store!
We kept coming back to the wall of wheels, but who can blame us?
The showroom is lined with gear from front to back, all of it vying for a place on our cars.
We’ve often noticed that our passion as enthusiasts seems to get lost between us and the workshops that look after our cars, not so at Garage 88, we guarantee they’re even more obsessed with JDM everything. Check out the Option magazines below.
If you want the ultimate parts catalogue for your car pick up the relevant volume of Hyper Rev at Garage 88, just be prepared to start a very big ‘wanted’ list!
We asked Garage 88 why it’s so important to get the real thing when it comes to performance parts, they said “Japan performs countless hours of research, development and testing for all their products to ensure they perform to their standard.”
“This is then tested in conjunction with the local performance workshops in Japan who take these products through countless hours of motorsport testing.”
“This data comes back to the research and development teams for further improvements to be made. So constant investment is being made to ensure that a quality product is being manufactured at all times.”
There’s definitely truth to that, and the results speak for themselves.
Off the shelf upgrades like these new turbos can be picked up and fitted to your car within a quick time frame, it’s a one-stop shop.
We could spend a whole day on the floor of the showroom flicking through each one of these magazines!
Cusco gear is among the best you can get, but it’s also subject to counterfeits. “It concerns me that so many people buy cheaper copied products just to save a few dollars.”
“We see it time and time again people purchasing these products only to realise they don’t fit or worse yet, it’s not the genuine product and they fail to perform.”
Bulk HKS and Blitz service items? Garage Defend carbon products? I must be dreaming! Only the best in here.
Garage 88 have a particularly good relationship with ARC, we were fascinated by these cross-sectioned radiators.
That’s right, Spoon brakes just waiting to be snapped up and fitted to your Honda!
Can you guess what this Cusco roll cage is for?
Of course all the guys behind the scenes at Garage 88 are car guys themselves. When the new Toyota 86 came out, they had to have one.
This was one of the first ZN6s to be delivered to Australia, and it’s been a rolling testbed for development since, including some very special engine mods which are soon to be unveiled.
That intercooler provides an obvious hint, but it’s far from a typical setup so stay tuned for that.
The car’s suspension and braking are where it gets real exciting. The finest Cusco equipment is what you’re looking at here.
Cusco Competition ZERO-3X coilovers is what they are, newly developed by Cusco specifically for circuit use.
Up top you can see the external reservoir and additional Cusco bracing. Be sure to look out for it when it debuts at Showcased later this year!
If you appreciate quality service, love Japanese parts and live for cars then you cannot do better than Garage 88. They’re the official distributors of Cusco, Fujitsubo, Bride, Weds, Voltex, SSR Wheels, Dixcel, Prova, Carbing, Garage Defend, Liberal and more. Be sure to check them out, and let them know who sent you!
GARAGE 88 AUSTRALIA
Unit 1, Race Central, Peter Brock Drive,
Eastern Creek, NSW
(02) 9622 8881