This year has been a massive year for us at Otaku Garage. The company has grown exponentially & we have been flat out non stop. As a young business man I find that I am always learning & the biggest lesson I learned this year is that sometimes things don’t go as planned. A fairly common lesson to learn I know, but it’s not that simple. When we encounter situations that don’t go as planned we as humans normally respond to it with disappointment & the overwhelming urge to walk away from the situation. But I find that the best way to respond, is to accept it & strive to finish well. If everything failed & collapsed around me, I know that if I focused on picking up what was left & finished well. I would walk away from the experience knowing that I did my best, there are somethings I couldn’t control & I would be able to take the experience & make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Experience is the most valuable resource.
So why am I telling you this? Well as you know we were the main sponsors for Spring Drift Matsuri this year & we flew Okachan from Yashio Factory in Japan. Everyone worked really hard to have a unique car ready for him to use for the event. As the build started & we were sharing the pictures of the process on social media. We asked a few companies if they wanted to jump on board for sponsorship with the car. We got a lot of positive feedback & before we knew it we had all these companies on board sending us their products for the car.
We worked on the car every spare moment we had. But with customers flowing in at their normal steady rate, they still remained the priority. This wasn’t an issue & will never be an issue for us because we hold customers as the highest priority at all times. But it did mean that we fell behind on where we wanted to be with the car. So late nights began as we tried to catch up. As things progressed we started running into issues with sponsors not getting their products to us on time & we were also having issues with the company we had lined up to do the break in & tune on the dyno. (Later we discovered it was because they had gone into receivership)
All in all, we were running out of time & few days before the event we had a meeting & decided to pull the pin on getting the Twin Turbo ITB 180SX finished & focus on our back up car for Okachan to use. The reason for this was not because we couldn’t get it finished on time but because we would have to cut corners. Everything about Otaku Garage does not represent “cutting corners or taking shortcuts” & we always want to make sure our work/ build quality is perfect. We felt that we could not achieve our quality standard this for the car in the time remaining.
So here is where the car currently sits. 95% complete, needing a few more sensors wired in & then a break in & tune.
Drift Matsuri went well in the end. But not with out it’s issues. Our back up car ended up having it’s oil pump failing. My Apexi Power FC in my R34 wiped itself from having a disconnected battery for too long while it sat in storage. The second back up car we managed to organise had one of it’s wheel bearing’s fail. Then to top everything off our Drifting Training Day with Okachan got cancelled because of construction happening at the track. It was definitely a stressful few days. But in the end my main concern was that I had brought my sensei Okamura sama with me from Japan to participate in the event & I felt that I had let him down. (Okachan took me on as one of his drifting students & is training me to be able to compete in D1. Japanese culture is very complicated with the Sensei – Seito/ Senpai – Kohai relationship. So for me as Okachan’s student to have let him down it’s a huge deal)
After the dust had settled I had a really good talk with Okachan & he was really understanding, gave me lots of advice & encouraged me a lot with his words. We then spent the remainder of the trip traveling around & showing him the best of Australia in Queensland. Over all the trip further grew our relationship & we are in the process of organising him to come again. But this time we will also be bringing another close friend of his with us. You will have to wait for the official announcement on that. But what I can tell you is Okachan proudly tells everyone he is the best drifter in Japan hands down. Needless to say we are really excited about the future & making sure that we absolutely ace the next Drift Matsuri we sponsor.
The future of the 180SX? We will have it finished in the new year & do a few shake downs on it to make sure all is well. Then we will maintain it & make sure it’s ready for Okachan to drive at the next event. We will also do the same for a back up car as well. As for the other driver, we will most likely bring over his car from Japan for him to drive. But for now we are knuckling down, putting changes into place & focusing on being able to grow our business & truly create something beautiful for the car community in Australia.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone of our customers for their support & faith in us as a company. I especially want to thank Okamura sama and his incredible generosity & partnership with Otaku Garage. But most of all I want to thank our staff, friends & family for working extremely hard & being on board with the Otaku Garage Vision. The new year is going to be amazing!