Hagerty Video: Greatest Japanese Car Collection in the WORLD: Private Tour with Larry Chen | Capturing Car Culture

Greatest Japanese Car Collection in the WORLD: Private Tour with Larry Chen | Capturing Car Culture

Posted: 2023-03-25 12:00:03
Author: Hagerty
From F1 cars, Group C cars, to movie cars and rare homologation cars… All that and more exist inside this rare Japanese car collection. In this episode of “Capturing Car Culture,” Larry surrounds himself in what can only be described as a scene from the infamous racing game, Gran Turismo. Since childhood, we have all dreamed about seeing a car collection of such a level and now Larry has the opportunity to not just walk through but photograph and document the entire collection. Tune in and find out what rare gems lie within.

0:00 Intro
0:40 Larry’s highlights
1:45 $80,000 car covers
2:02 1st impressions
2:31 Owner Background
3:48 Mercedes 190E EVO II DTM Touring car
4:44 Mazda FD RX-7
5:34 Rothmans Porsche 962C
6:11 ADVAN Porsche 962C
6:26 Porsche 944 GTR
6:38 Collection Total
7:24 1967 Ford GT MKII B
8:35 Nigel Mansel F1
8:51 Toyota AE86
8:58 Ford GT
9:02 Ferrari 328
9:09 Skyline GT500 JGTC R33
10:07 SUMO POWER Nissan GTR
10:45 Car Parts and Maintenance
12:14 Honda NSX Factory SUPER GT race chassis
12:59 Any similar collections?

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Hagerty Video Transcript

– We’re about to enter a layer. I’m Larry Chen. I’ve been shooting car culture all over the world for the past 18 years. From the best builds, to the fastest races, I’ve seen it all. In this series, I’m highlighting the gear heads that inspired me in our generation. I can honestly say this is one of the best

Car collections in the world. It had so many significant Japanese cars. The entire collection is owned by Mr. Takeshi Moroi. Unfortunately, he’s a bit camera shy, which is fine because I had my friend Dino there to check out the cars with. Some of the collection includes 11 Toyota 2000 GTs,

Including the one that Sean Connery drove in the James Bond film, “You Only Live Twice.” He has a Nissan 400R, 432R, Z-tune R34, and so on and so forth. What about a 22B? Well, he has two of them. What about a Porsche 962? He also has two of those.

He even has a Mazda FD RX7 RZ with 92 original kilometers on it. Even the car covers are special. He spent $80,000 on synthetic silk you would find on the inside of business suits, and he turned them into car covers so they wouldn’t scratch his paint.

It’s pretty easy to lose your mind here. – Yeah, I mean, it’s like somebody chopped my head off, and I’m just like walking around in circles like, that’s cool, that’s cool, I wanna go there, and then you turn around. – What I really like about this collection

Is it’s not for display, it’s not for any other reason than for them to be here. Mr. Moroi is a avid car collector, amateur historic racing driver. He has this place not to show off as a museum or anything. In fact, this is pretty much your first time actually shooting here.

– Yeah, we’ve shot in the past, but it’s been quite difficult to get, you know, this kind of access. So this is a first for me to actually grab a camera myself and shoot it. – [Larry] We walked in here and we couldn’t start rolling fast enough, and my jaw just dropped

Because you can kinda tell the shapes of what cars are what, and especially because some of these cars, including the 962s, there’s not a car cover that’s big enough I feel like that covers it, so you can kind of see what’s underneath it. It’s just incredible to see all the shapes. – When I was a kid, I had this as a little race car. You know, die cast that I used to throw around the floor. – And this is the actual one. – This is the actual thing, dude. – And this is the the Touring car. – [Dino] Yeah, DTM.

– [Larry] It’s crazy to see how simple it is. Like, it still had all its door panels and everything. – [Dino] The inside was restored. – [Larry] Oh, okay. – [Dino] Even the engine. So only the body was not restored. Everything else was. So on the Dino, the engine made 340 horsepower. The bench Dino. 2.5 liter. – [Larry] It’s crazy how strengthened this is for curb hopping. So what we’re looking at is a brand new FD RX7. – [Dino] I think it’s even beyond brand new.

I never heard of a new car with only 92 kilometers. Oh my god. – [Larry] It looks like it just came off the showroom floor. – [Dino] Look at the plastics. – This is like what the Dodge Chargers and Challengers come with, the yellow strip. But this is like, this black foam strip

That comes from the factory hasn’t been removed. And on top of that- – [Dino] you said it still smells like a new car inside. – [Larry] Yeah. – [Dino] Look at the wrapping. – [Larry] This, all of this is still on there. The plastic from behind the seat. I just can’t believe it.

I’ve never seen a brand new FD RX7 before. – I did back in like the early ’90s. (chuckles) That was a distant memory. – So crazy. This one’s interesting in that Mr. Moroi actually drives this on the street because it’s street legal in Japan.

– [Dino] So basically this is actually not a race car. It’s the Vern Schuppan version. I think there was six. Three of which had the racing cowls like this one, three didn’t. This was one that didn’t. So he actually purchased the racing cowls front and rear,

Whatever was needed for the conversion, and swapped it over. So that’s why it looks like a race car. But it’s actually got the two seats, and it can have a number plate in Japan. – [Larry] I’m sure they had to do a lot of modifications to get everything to all fit.

It’s still insane. – [Dino] And then of course next to it is an actual race car. This is the 1989 winning car from the sports prototype series they had back there. I guess it would be the equivalent of the wax series now. – [Larry] Incredible. – [Dino] If you wanna stick on

The whole racing side of things, there’s a really cool car here, which I personally really love ’cause you just don’t see them. When have you ever seen a 944 GTR? – I didn’t really know what to expect coming here. You know, you showed me a couple pictures

And you kinda told me what this collection was about. I didn’t realize that this is the greatest Japanese car collection. Like, when I say greatest I mean, it’s the greatest hits. You have the 432R, you have the 400R, also, another thing is he has a total of 11 2000 GTs.

Four of ’em are in mid restoration. Just in those couple that I named, he has over $10 million worth of cars just in between those. – Yeah, yeah. – And that’s not counting all these other historic race cars. Who knows how much that Ford GT is? – 1967 Mark II-B.

It was at raced at Le Mans, at Sebring, and Daytona, and he chose to do the coloring for Sebring. So he was like looking at all the pictures to get the design correct. So this car is very special because it’s got a Le Mans front and a- – [Larry] And a Daytona back.

I’ve never seen this rear hatch with all the intakes. – This cowl here is only used in the Le Mans ’cause if you look, there’s two ducts there, right? They actually feed hot air from the radiator to the brakes because on the Le Mans street, the brakes would get over cooled.

Only this car has this left. It’s like super rare. – What really gets me is the oddball cars and race cars that are parked next to each other. You have Nigel Mansell’s F1 car parked next to a Ferrari race car, parked next to an AE86, built perfectly by the way, parked next to a Ford GT mid restoration,

Parked next to a 328 in that beautiful Shell livery. What is this? A GTA? – [Dino] The semi motor sport R33 GT500 JGTC race car. So the engine is actually a stock one right now ’cause he sent the engine to Nismo to get rebuilt. – [Larry] Of course he did.

– But everything else is in place as it was in the race car. So they’re on a single blow valve up here. Pretty much the same, right? I mean, it’s just straightening out the outlet pipes. – [Larry] So I shot the R32 version of this,

And that was already super cool to kind of see. It’s crazy to me to see the 33 version of this now. – [Dino] And did you notice they put a vertical oil cooler here? Feeds from the filter. – [Larry] Interesting. Oh, there’s another 22B. There’s the other Ferrari.

– Yeah, and another 2000 GT because why not? – [Larry] This one is pretty historic too. The Sumo Power. – So this has been completely fixed up. Had a problem with the propeller shaft or the drive shaft at the back, and now he’s gonna race it.

I mean, you know, drive it at like kind of amateur events. – Yeah. – Historic. – [Larry] Look at the brakes. Geez. We got a paint booth here. So much stuff is done in-house. Like, this is almost fully restored, and then you have like cars that are in mid restoration.

You have engines that are just sitting. Whoa, is that the layout of parking? What the? This is how you could keep track of all the cars. The crazy thing is he maintains these cars here in-house. – [Dino] Yeah, so he has, I mean,

Today’s obviously a day off, but he has a crew working away in the workshop area, and as you’ve seen, he’s stocked up an insane amount of parts. So not only is he able to restore, fix, maintain cars, he actually does his own projects. – [Larry] Yeah, like on that shelf there was what,

How many turbos for his 962? – [Dino] 20. – [Larry] 20. Okay. There’s a 2000 GT here mid restoration. There’s tires on tires on tires. He does what we do with model cars on hot wheels. – Mm-hm, exactly. – With real cars. – [Dino] This is how you collect. (chuckles) – [Larry] As if it wasn’t crazy enough for there to be such rare cars in the collection, it’s even crazier that there is rare parts like this Subaru 360 body in yellow. This is a Honda NSX body in white chassis. – So this is what, you know, motor sport racing teams

Would buy from Honda to then build their race cars for Super GT. And this is one of three that is in this state remaining, you know, waiting to be used. – [Larry] Still in its original shipping crate. Look at the way they built it.

It has like a cross section, and it goes inside of it. How cool is that? – [Dino] It keeps it in line. – [Larry] Yeah, it keeps it from moving at all. So never unwrapped from the factory. – How old is this crate? – Not only is it nostalgic

In that you’re able to see these cars in real life, on top of that, you mentioned that this is essentially a dream Gran Turismo garage. – Yeah, totally. – Right, the fact that it is real life and it exists in Japan is something else.

That’s really the thing is where else would these cars be? – Yeah, I mean, for them to end up under very special ownership like this where they get cared for, they get fixed up, they get like put back to, you know, perfectly as they were back in the day.

He’s basically keeping prolonging history ’cause each car has a little history of its own, right? – Yeah, and a good example of that is that 767, right? I’m so blown away that that used to be decoration. That shell was just hanging on the side of a building getting baked in the sun,

And he was able to get it, and now he’s going to restore it. – Yeah, so he’s gonna restore it for his friend and they’re building a chassis around it basically. So they’re starting with a replica and then fine tuning it so that they can drop that body on it.

– But it’s just crazy because that shell is falling apart, paint is peeling, pretty much all the decals are peeling off, you could see the plastic is just falling off. As he’s taking the cover off, it is just in the worst condition. But I bet you by the time we come back,

It’ll probably be a full on race car again. – I would love to see how it ends up. I’m sure they’ll do a great job. – It’s crazy because one side is completely faded where you can’t even see any of the orange anymore. – Yeah, that’s the sun effect.

So basically, the part that you can still se the fluorescent orange, the legendary kind of scheme, that was on the shade obviously, the protected side. – Amazing. Some wall decoration, huh?