As Honda enthusiast, We’re can’t run talk about good performing and maintaining our beloved Honda’s, Spoon Sports is a BIG name for Honda fan out there, they produced great quality performing parts and has earned a reputation for offering the highest form of service In the world of Honda tuning, but, how about Type-One? What their relationship with spoon? You, are really Honda fan out there will say “Who doesn’t know them? You idiot!”, But do you really know what they actually do in their workshop? They perform maintenance art! They are a true artist, I hope, one day, I will be that level. To know them better, read theirblog –> Type-One Official Blog, but sadly, only available in Japanese language.
You are newbie? Don’t worry, let’s read a little bit about history subject, for hardcore, you can skip.
-Spoon Sport History -
Spoon Sports is a Japanese company formed in 1988. It is an engine tuner and parts manufacturer specializing in cars made by Honda. Their concept is to create vehicles that provide “total technology” and “real comfort”. The company logo of Spoon Sports is a play of words on Ichishima’s name. Ichishima’s first name is Tatsuru, and the Japanese name for crane is Tsuru, hence the logo of a crane. “The company name Spoon comes from an impregnable fortress of a corner at Suzuka Circuit 20 years ago.”
The company tunes and races Honda vehicles in numerous endurance races, and, additionally sells aftermarket parts to automotive enthusiasts. Spoon Sports provides many aftermarket parts for Honda cars. These include powertrain, suspension, aero-parts, wheels, drivetrain, braking system, cooling system and so on.
Some of the races Spoon has competed in include:
- All Japan GT Championship
- Tsukuba 9 Hours Endurance Race
- 24 Hours Nürburgring
- 25 Hours of Thunderhill
- USTCC (United States Touring Car Championship)
The founder, Ichishima Tatsuru was originally a racer. So just like Honda themselves, racing has always been in Spoon Sport’s blood. The first car that Ichishima-san raced was a Honda Civic.
Spoon was founded to specialize in tuning Honda engines in Takaido, Suginami, Tokyo along the Kōshū Kaidō Avenue. In 1988, Spoon started house development of a racing computer for use on Honda vehicles. Spoon designs and builds both major and minor components for Honda engines for use on Spoon Sports racing vehicles as well as for sale to the general public.
In 1996, Spoon began selling Honda B engine assemblies which Spoon precision balances and blueprints to ensure optimum performance during endurance racing. Since then, Spoon Sports have moved on to tune other Honda engines like the venerable K20A from the Civic/Integra and the L15A from the Honda Fit/Jazz.
In 1997, Spoon moved to a brand new building in Ogikubo, Suginami. They also began providing “Engine Lectures” as a part of their customer service program.
-Type-One History -
In 2001, Spoon opened “Speed Shop Type-One” across the street from the Spoon headquarters. This shop specializes in modifications to Honda’s “Type-R” vehicles and other performance oriented Hondas which include the Civic Type-R, Integra Type-R, Accord Euro-R and NSX-R. However, Spoon has also modified non-R vehicles like the Civic SiR, Honda S2000, Honda Legend and the Honda Fit/Jazz. The racing versions of the 2001 S2000 and 2003 Honda Fit models (both in Spoon’s then-current blue-and-yellow livery) were featured in Gran Turismo 4.
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.
-END of history subject-
Speedhunters: How and why did Spoon Sports begin and what was the main philosophy and objectives that you set out for the company?
Ichishima: Around 1980 I began to realize that enthusiasts were starting to get interested in bringing their cars to the track. Back in those days soukoukai (track day) events where people took their street-registered cars to the local circuit didn’t exist, but I knew it would be something that would pick up quickly so that’s when I began to get the initial idea. At that time I was doing durability and development testing for Honda under the “Tatsuru Ichishima Company,” then eventually in 1988 I set up Spoon Sports as a separate company that developed and sold tuning and racing parts. As for the concept it was and still is very simple, make cars fun, not fast. Obviously slow cars are not fun but what I mean is to create a well-balanced package that doesn’t break or fail and thrills in every way. A good balance between power, handling and light weight. For example a GT-R is exciting because of its power but then in a corner, a small well prepared Civic will easily overtake it. So balance through tuning is our philosophy.
Speedhunters: I’m sure a lot or readers will be wondering what the difference between Spoon Sports and Type One is. Can you give a brief explanation?
Ichishima: Spoon takes care of parts development, special works and testing while Type One is where the end user takes his car for maintenance and tuning, like a speed shop or workshop. Type One opened back in 2000.
Speedhunters: At Speedhunters we are lucky enough to have readers that follow us from around the world. You obviously travel a lot and have had a chance to observe how people modify and personalize their cars. What do you think of the various styles you have see in the US, Europe, Australia or other parts of the world? How do they compare to Japan?
Ichishima: It’s hard to say by individual country but generally it’s obvious that a lot of passion exists and enthusiasts enjoy power. I’m not saying that’s bad but for example shooting for 500 HP in a car that is not designed to take that level of performance will lead to failures. I think some Japanese people are different, they tend to focus more on the background and mechanical side of a car to fully understand its history and lineage. It’s just a different way of appreciating cars.
Speedhunters: What is your favorite Honda?
Ichishima: Uhm, (laughs) I can’t really choose one car but one of my most favorite is the Civic.
Ichishima: Well first of all it’s affordable and is small and compact.
Speedhunters: Which particular model of the Civic?
Ichishima: Uhm the old EG, also the EK. Up until then it was a three-door hatch back, useful to carry people and stuff but was sporty at the same time, enjoyable to drive. It was the first car in Japan to offer all these factors. That’s why I like it.
Speedhunters: What is your favorite Honda engine?
Ichishima: The B16A and B16B and also the B18C, I really like the whole B-series of engines. They are real screamers! (lots of engine screaming sounds follow!) I’ll give you an example. Ferraris and Lamborghinis are like women that are great in bed, but not so great at cleaning the house or cooking.
The B-series is a more balanced engine; it’s great in bed but also great at doing the chores. Frugal and civilized. You get the idea? Also, the most important thing about an engine is the noise and sound (more engine noises follow!). It has to give you goose bumps. Anyway, I like non-gimmicky cars, I like simple cars and engines.
-END of interview-
Wow! Honda Civic Eg is one of Ichisma favorite car, make me proud of my beloved EG
Since Honda already builds its engines to very high standards, it’s hard to improve more without compromising longevity and usability, We’ve all heard stories of people bolting on pod filters and large bore exhausts to their Honda in the pursuit of power gains when, in actual fact, they were achieving the exact opposite. You certainly can’t disrupt the fine-tuning and precise balance between intake and exhaust on high-compression naturally aspirated engines. It’s precisely this way of thinking that has pushed Spoon to further fine-tune Honda powerplants, rather than “disturb” their natural balance.
You may think engine build is simple as just assemble each parts. But the most important thing when you build engine is how build it to. For example, if built a standard engine with more care like cleaning individual parts carefully and measure those parts correctly, the engine should perform better even if it’s standard specification. Even it will be possible to change character of the engine. This is what their specialty, fine-tuning and took restriction away from the engine, from what I read from their browser, their skilled engine builder spends three days for cleaning and parts and build engine as same as racing engine standard.