MBRO VISUAL

History of Colin Project

1972
Established Colin Trading Co., Ltd. The name having aluminum wheels in mind with the Japanese word Ko-lin meaning “Shiny-Wheels.” A wholesale business operated mainly in Kyushu Island of Japan, handling mostly wheels and they sold like hotcakes right from the get-go.
1979
Introduced Cross Fever Racing original wheels that became crazy popular in Kyushu Island
1980
Introduced Star Shark wheels, which became a nationwide hit, selling 30K rims in its best month.
1981
Established Colin Project Co., Ltd. to design and offer original rims, resulting in Star Shark II. (A business model was installed where Colin Trading became the distributor and Colin Project the manufacturer/brand)
1982
Peak sales recorded
1986
Became an independent company and a competitor after an irreconcilable differences internally, but later becoming the leader in the industry as a distributor and marketer.
1991-1993
Burst of economic bubble in Japan caused a shift in the market environment, entering a phase of decline and uncertainty
1996
Market wide price drop, causing unprofitable operation and credit uncertainty.
1998
Closed company facility and sold property
1999
Switching of roles between Colin Trading and Colin Project. (Colin Trading became the manufacturer and Colin Project the distributor and marketer.)
Began challenging development of non-rim products.
2000
Mr. Takaki, the current president, assumed the position.
2001
Began importing tail lights that flew off the shelves as soon as it was introduced to the market.
2002
V-shaped turnaround in business due to increased items offered: GT Wing, Gage, etc.
2003
Drastic business recovery with tail lights consisting sales ratio of 50% (75% if original performance parts included).
2007
Company endures large financial loss due to the founder and chairman’s unprofitable investments in the financial market.
2010
Began challenging reissued parts for past modern classic cars that we love and slowly gained sales momentum.
2011
Due to disagreements with a financial firm, complete separation from parent Company, Colin Trading Co., Ltd.
2013
Paid off purchased credits to the parent company Colin Trading.
2015
Struck with the idea to re-issue wheels when attending a past car event
Began sales of Star Shark and developed TOSCO and Focus Racing respectively.
Official decision to expand to the US market.
2017
Began sales of Long ChampXR4, gradually increasing size options. Preparations for US market begins.

 

How did the company attain V-shape recovery and why re-issue wheels?

We thought hard amid a difficult financial situation on how to satisfy our enthusiasts. While our business worsened in a highly competitive and shrinking market, I realized simply selling common rims like others with only limited resources would not make our customers happy. I decided to propose other items and took immediate action. Among the new items sold, we proposed Clear tail lights of that generation to the market at an overwhelmingly low price, and it was a huge hit. After the Clear tail lights, we were able to extend the sales momentum carrying Euro tail, Chrystal tail and LED types. We continued to propose a variety of other products, such as various meters, GT Wing among others and went through ups and downs, ultimately encountering past car parts for modern classics and arrived at re-issue wheels by having direct feedback from our customers at events.

1) Why 14 inches?

The major factor in recreating the feel of 70-80’s is the stepped lip rims with the original design, and when using 14 inch 8J or 9J with the golden size that used to be the A type in addition to the pulled tires, we are able to keep the price low while further lowering a low rider shako-tan.

2) The Difference between common replica model wheels?

The replica wheels take the popular designs from the 70-80’s and arrange it by inching it up to mostly 15 to 16 inches, and to make the wheel designs appear larger by using reverse mount or straight rim to fit relatively new car models, the sizes becomes caught in between.

3) Background

Amid the popularity of modern classic cars growing gradually since 2010, most of the problems expressed by participants of past car events were the difficulty and the high price when purchasing the wheels from that era. I was contemplating on how to solve this problem.

4) Challenges in 70’s - 80’s wheels

Simply, they are difficult to find and super expensive with refurbished and processed wheels costing between $1,500 and $2,000 per piece. Also, there is a limit to how clean it can become and safety concerns still remain as questionable.

5) Why re-issue models?

When I attended a past car event in 2015 and had an extended conversation with a gentleman in his 50’s, he joyfully told me donning this greatest smile that he wanted to get his hands on “8J, 9J wheels in type A”. I felt a strong sense of mission at that moment, feeling that in order to make this man even happier I had to create re-issue rims. I wanted to solve all of the challenges that past car wheels imposed: extremely rare, super expensive, when you find it it’s not the size you want, missing CAP, not in original color and safety concerns. (Total Resolution)

6) History of Star Shark

1980 (August)
Colin Project Co., Ltd. registered the trademark rights and began marketing and sales. Manufactured by Speed Star. (3pc structure)
1988
Removed from the catalogue
2001
Re-enters the market for compact cars. Manufactured by Speed Star.
2003
Removed from the catalogue, again.
2015 (December)
Introduced the re-issue model. 1 pc structure in 1480 & 1490 sizes.
2016 (April)
Introduced Black/ rim Black model
2016 (June)
Introduced the 1410 size model

7) History of TOSCO

These wheels were made for racing and rallying and sold through Toyota Sports Corner, the predecessor of current TRD, which required special nuts. Available sizes were 13 inch, 1380 and 1390, and later made 1370 available for general market.
When I was 18 years old, I got a job at Toyota Corolla Fukuoka, and there it had a sports corner showcasing these wheels which I adored. At the time, it wasn’t only sported on Toyotas but were also installed on many Nissan 110 and 310 Suny for TS Race.
When we marketed revived wheels in 2015, we planned to release TOSCO after the Star Shark roll out. Since it is hard to get your hands on the 13 inch tires in the Japanese market, we developed it in the 14 inch model. At the time, we sold them as XXR

2016 (December)
TOSCO Trademark granted
2017 (February)
TOSCO brand began sales with 1480±0 size
2017 (August)
TOSCO brand began sales of 1480 & 1490 sizes

8) Focus Racing

1977
Introduced Speed Star made 3 pc structure through Hisako Co., LTD.
1978
Introduced Five and Mesh
1988
Removed from the catalogue
2016
Trademark registered and began sales of re-issue 1pc structure model in 1480 &
1490 sizes in September. The only re-issued design rims of the era with 5H with
real screws for true authenticity. It is especially popular in Hokkaido Island of
Japan and currently 1410 size and center Cap is in development.

9) Why Fukuoka Racing in the US and not Focus Racing?

While applying for the trademark in the US in February, 2017, as a preparation for market entry, we discovered that US Ford already had rights to Focus trademark.
Although we considered abandoning the idea of entering the US to avoid risks, we decided to honor Fukuoka, which is the famed sanctuary for Zoku-style custom rides, and because our company’s identity is rooted in Fukuoka, we converted Focus to Fukuoka specifically for the US market. We are currently applying for Fukuoka Racing trademark.

10) Long Champ XR4

1979
Sold through Suzuka Sangyo and after introducing Speed Star made 3pc structure model, sales exploded in the market flying off the shelves.
2004
Removed from the catalogue but it endured long with its distinctive sporty feel.
2016
Registered Trademark
2017 (January)
Introduced the re-issue model in 1 pc structure. Sizes 1480 & 1490 available with real screws for authenticity.
2017 (April)
Introduced Black Rim to the market
2017 (May)
Introduced size 1410 to the market
2017 (June)
Introduced size 1480±0 to the market

*Relationship with Speed Star (SSR)

The market size in the past was incomparably larger than the current market, and Speed Star had created an easy order system for immediate delivery, and due to the former president’s generous personality, the company carried not only our Star Shark but it manufactured many products for his circle of friends in business. Speed Star had also sold a variety of their original products in large quantities so they were capable of having inner and outer rims ready from general to rare sizes and largely contributed to vitalizing the market. However, what they were able to readily manufacture in the past has become almost impossible in today’s much smaller market environment, such as the large sized deep rims, for example, that our modern classic car enthusiasts want so passionately.

Also, it should be mentioned that Tanabe Co. Ltd. currently operates SSR. When we had business with SSR in the past, we had a good relationship with the former president and even immediately after their bankruptcy in 2005, we continued to do business. But, our company and the current president were involved in a lawsuit so we ended our relationship and have nothing to do with them today. SSR barely manufactures other company’s products at this time.

Why Boso-zoku style? (Street gang style)

Everyone remembers the style when looking back at 70’s & 80’s because we all experienced it surrounding us. We all knew someone with the style whether it was a friend, older guys, younger guys, brother or sister.
When recalling the fond memories, the reappearing images are always Hakosuka (Nissan Skyline), Kenmeri (Skyline C110 Model), Butaketsu Laurel (Nissan Laurel), Nissan Z series, Butame Mark II (Toyota), Japan (Skyline 210 Model), 10 Soarer (Toyota), X51, 61, 71, models of Cresta (Toyota), and Chaser from Toyota. To create wheels for whoever that wants to ride the modern classics again, the best matching wheels are shako-tan low-riders and Fukuoka spec pulled tires!

What is Fukuoka Spec?

Even when considering the Yankee or street culture throughout Japan, Fukuoka, a city famous for its bad boy culture, as captured in a film called Bee Bop High School, ranks at top for extremely aggressive, no half-stepping custom ride taste. For Shako-tan low-rider spec, we used to compete to the very limit on how close the wheel’s rims got to the fender, having rims stick out slightly outside of it. With this backdrop, competing for wheels with wider and deeper rims, pulled-tire technique developed, which is now synonymous with the Fukuoka Spec! In order to wear wider and deeper rims than other rides, thin and lean tires were worn to accommodate wheel sizes that are not installed with common matching sensibilities, and the owner asserted his or her superiority without words but with its prized cars. (The golden sizes during this period were 1480 and 1490, type A, and the admired size was 1410 A type.) Around this time, it became common for the expression, “Fukuoka Spec” to appear in magazines.

Why bring back re-issue models for JDM modern classic enthusiasts?

In order to reflect and enjoy fond memories, we have to revive the past rides by buying parts and building the car piece by piece, which is similar to longing for an old friend and the joy of reuniting with them. So we will provide that joy while having fun together with all of you.

products