Auto Garage TBK: The Mid Night Club Porsche factory

Even if you’re not crazy about Porsche, you probably know about Auto Garage TBK. This Yokohama-based workshop is famous in the Japanese tuning world largely due to its association with the infamous Mid Night Racing Team. Naturally, when the opportunity to visit such a historic place presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up.

Although Auto Garage TBK is best known for its Porsche 964 and G-Body 911 aero kits, the company also manufactures aftermarket body parts for Japanese performance icons including the Nissan Skyline, Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra. That said, I expected to see some special cars. But I didn’t expect to see a certain blue 911 placed on jack stands at the back of the workshop…

AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-17

To understand the significance of this particular car, it’s probably best to provide a little background on the Mid Night Club and its street racing antics during the ’80s and ’90s in Japan.

AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-19
AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-21

Mid Night is by far the most famous street racing club in the world, with its members known for racing at incredibly high speeds on Tokyo’s complex network of highways and tunnels. The club operated in great secrecy, with meeting locations sometimes hidden in the code of local newspapers. Despite what one might think, safety was a top priority within Mid Night. If members were seen endangering the lives of others, they were immediately expelled from the club.

Mid Night took itself very seriously as a club, which was even more evident in the caliber of cars they assembled in the mid-1990s. As you can imagine, maintaining a speed of 200-300 km/ h with vehicles of this era meant that no expense was spared when it came to modifications. While most of the club’s activities took place on public roads, Mid Night cars also set various Japanese top speed records at legitimate events.

That brings us back to this metallic blue 930 Turbo – owned by one of the original Mid Night Club members and built by Auto Garage TBK.

AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-15
AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-7

The 930 you are looking at was known for being incredibly fast on the Money And Shutoku at the time, reaching speeds of up to 340 km/h.

There’s a famous photo of this car at the Yatabe test track that also doesn’t lack a good story. The 911 set a national top speed record of 305.8 km/h at the now-defunct Tsukuba Proving Ground in June 1995.

AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-55

Although currently missing wheels, paint and a few parts here and there, the 930 was in surprisingly good condition considering it is almost 40 years old. It was surreal to see such an iconic car in person.

Takahashi-san, the owner of TBK, explained that the Porsche was undergoing an exterior refresh and some small improvements to keep it fast, safe and above all beautiful.

AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-31
AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-30

Interestingly but not entirely unexpected, this 930 is equipped with several JDM parts, namely the huge Trust/GReddy intercooler core and piping modified to fit, as well as an early model Trust/GReddy electronic boost controller. GReddy Profec. It’s safe to say that this is definitely not a high-tech build, but that in no way stops this thing from being an absolute beast.

AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-1
AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-29

Although it was not possible to see the 930 in action, you may have noticed in the photos that a working 964 Turbo with TBK’s signature aerodynamic package was present to satisfy this curiosity. As you might have guessed from the window banner, this 911 is also owned by an original member of Mid Night, the car being a recent purchase to replace his racetrack 991.2 GT3 RS.

AGTBK - Speed ​​Hunters - Alec Pender-33
AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-75

Although this 964 was mechanically original, save for a stainless steel exhaust system, it was in incredible condition for its time and certainly faster than one would expect for a otherwise standard powertrain. After a tour of the store and office, and a lengthy history lesson on Auto Garage TBK and Mid Night, Takahashi-san offered to take us for a tour in Daikoku PA.

AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-44

I had to ride in the chase car (a very underpowered Suzuki Jimny for those curious) for the rolling shots you see here, but I don’t regret it. Watching this Porsche accelerate through the tunnels and various parts of the Bayshore Route was quite an experience; it made almost no sense for what is essentially a standard car with around 300 hp.

AGTBK - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-80

Air-cooled 911s are certainly not the fastest cars, but for me their soul and character will forever be unmatched – especially when Mid Night stickers are present. Thanks to Takahashi-san and Katsumi-san from Auto Garage TBK.

Alex Pender
Instagram: nonplansco