Forward: What you are about to read is a true story. It’s also almost unbelievable, and a little shocking. Please don’t attempt anything you’ll read about from here on in, in this article. For the sake of this article, names will be withheld.
Strange isn’t it, how one car can change your mindset? Change your entire life? For me, that car is the car pictured above. Well, okay, maybe not the exact car pictured above (more on that later) but a combination of the car, the owner of said car, and the car it is based off of. What you see above you, is a rendering (One that I did, I might add) of the “Blackbird” Porsche 911 Turbo.
In the mid 1980’s, street racing, and highway racing especially, became very prominent in Japan. People who couldn’t afford the rising land prices bought themselves a car to display their personal tastes, and then took that one step further to modify it to suit their needs. In the form of expressway racing, the “Mid Night Club” had just formed (I’ll save that story for another time) and was making its rounds as the up and coming kings of Wangan Bayshore racing, on the venerable C1 Loop of Tokyo’s expressway system. These men were very serious about their races, and indeed remained serious until the end. For a long time, the leader of the pack, and the fastest man in the group, drove an (originally black) 930 Turbo with a full Auto Garage TBK Body kit. This car was later to be known as the “Yoshida Specials” 911.
The owner, originally practicing to become a doctor, had instead chosen the field of car sales to make his money. He took over his fathers family business, and this business remains up until this day. His seriousness about keeping his family name going, as well as his seriousness on the road, gave credence to his nickname behind the wheel:
It was him that Michiharu Kusunoki decided to base his book off of, and his ongoing rivalry with the son of a friends shop, famous for its red Z demo car; Air Breathing Research (ABR) Hosoki.
Their ongoing rivalry transcended the course of years, with both the Blackbird and the Z being tuned and retuned time and time again, in order to keep up with one another. By the time the club had disbanded in 1999, the Z was making 680HP on a L30ETT custom setup, and the Blackbird was making well over 700HP on a stroked 3.6 Liter Turbo flat six. Both cars had gotten rid of almost half their weight through extensive weight savings research and development, and both were capable of not just achieving, but maintaining, a 350km/h speed through the Wangan straight stretch, for well over 15 minutes at a time in the mid 1990’s.
To give you some idea of how impressive this is, take a look at the 1991 Lamborghini Diablo. A fast car, by any means, it topped out at 202MPH or 325KM/H. When it hit that speed, it was really stretching itself to get there, and could only keep that speed for about 3 minutes before the engine overheated.
Even the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 can maintain its top speed of 400KM/H for about 12 minutes before it runs out of gas.
These men were building hyper performance cars, by today’s standards, that were capable (through the use of catch tanks and other methods) of not only achieving the top speeds seen in today’s hypercars, but maintaining them for longer than probably even most cars of today would. They were also doing this reliably, time and again, night after night.
To say that the Mid Night Club was a huge source of innovation in the tuning and development of cars as a whole would be a serious understatement. These were the big dogs, and a game changer for top speed enthusiasts the world over, and they still are.
In any case, this was how the Blackbird story came to be; Through the rivalry of the ABR Hosoki Z, and the Yoshida Special’s 911 Turbo.
The Real Car:
When the time came for Kusonoki-San to make a “Wangan Midnight” movie in 1991, he gave up his own personal car for the lead role: A 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo.
Upon giving it up, it was thoroughly modified by DORF and Promodet (both big names in Japanese Porsche Tuning) to make 400HP. It then raced, side by side, in the movie, with the “Devil Z” (based off the ABR Hosoki S130Z), which was a blue S30Z. This car would see huge fame, which is rather ironic, since it was the Blackbird that would ultimately beat it (as it did in real life) and would also be the more powerful of the two.The character (just as in the real person on whom he was based) was a Surgeon, that of the Cardiac variety, who mourned the loss of his old friend who had died in the blue S30Z. Because the S30Z was incapable of having any owners without killing it, and thus was cursed, it was nicknamed the “Devil Z”. Tatsuya Shima, as the doctor was called, was a cold, vindictive, and reclusive individual, who maintained a very honest, forthright demeanor. This character analysis of him is achingly true to real life, as after having met and spent some very serious talk time with the man responsible for the real Yoshida Porsche, I can attest that he does take life and racing very seriously, and rarely smiles. He himself gave me the urge to pursue medicine, to which I did in later years of University.
When Mr. Kusunoki finished with the 911 Turbo in the movie, he found it too difficult to drive. Scared of its immense (at the time) new power, he sold it to a friend, who’s hands it remains in to this day. Effectively, while the Yoshida Porsche is in fact the original Blackbird, it’s this ‘secondary’ Blackbird from the movie, that is even more awe inspiring and unique then the first.
The 1987 Turbo 930 from the movie was thoroughly reworked in the hands of its new owner (name withheld as well). It was taken apart piece by piece, and built to create an exact replica of the final variation form of the Manga version of the “Blackbird”. It became tube framed, with carbon composite body panels, a full Rauh Welt Begriff Widebody kit (6mm wider than the original and molded in instead of riveted on as per most RWB cars). The owner also attached a full Auto Garage TBK body kit with 964 corner lights and taillights (expensive and very very rare, meant to mimic the 935KR Porsche factory race car), a GruppeM spoiler, a fully built 6 speed adjustable sequential transmission, an uprated 3.6 Liter turbo engine from a 1994 Turbo S, a custom suspension setup with magnesium control arms, and the Pièce de résistance: A single turbocharger taken from Ayrton Senna’s own world championship winning MP4/4.
With these modifications, the car makes 600HP at 8000RPM. The torque and power is built high into the rev range, and the owner does in fact use it for top speed. Power delivery is immediate, with the Turbo building in heavy boost at under 2000RPM. By the time the car reaches its 9000RPM limit, the turbo hasn’t even had time to breathe yet; it was developed for a car capable of 14,000RPM. Because of this, the “secondary” Blackbird has incredible power delivery even at the top of 6th gear, and with the exception of only aerodynamics, can continue to accelerate very viciously over 300KM/H. So much so in fact, that it can push your back into the seat with another wallop as the throttle is stomped on.
Sadly, the owner rarely takes it out on Wangan anymore, and instead prefers to take it to circuit events where he can race with other highly competitive cars. Still, with a theoretical top speed of 400KM/H (under the right gearing) this monster sits, somewhere in the world, waiting for its next pray.
Which is exactly why I think it deserves the title for the most hands down, crazy, street 911 Turbo to date.
Oh and by the way... The owners goal over the next few years?
Let that sink in.
400km/h on the expressway.
Disclaimer: I’m one of the foremost authorities of the Mid Night Club on the internet. If you seek information on them, or any of the cars pictured, feel free to email me, or to check out the 7Tune page on Facebook, which is closely associated with them as well. There are only a few English speaking folks with the connections to the club however. If you have any questions, and would like a serious response with valid proof that I do in fact associate with said group, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you. Please do not inquire about names, addresses, locations, or other such private information on the group. Thank you.