Import drag racing legend Adam Saruwatari is releasing fresh content chronicling his drag cars on Youtube and it’s worth your time to give his videos a watch.
If you haven’t heard of Adam Saruwatari or about his accomplishments in import drag racing, it’s not surprising given the age demographics of import tuners today. In his drag racing heyday, most of the official coverage Adam’s race team got was on traditional print media and the occasional bit of TV coverage.
Those in the know and active on the internet kept up with Adam’s race exploits, along with the rest of the import scene, on good ol’ fashioned forums (online message boards.)
But, it looks like Adam’s unsurprisingly embraced new media and is slowly but surely uploading regular content on both Youtube and Instagram showing the past, present, and future of his stable of drag cars with a smattering of his own personal collection.
Admittedly, I, probably like you, haven’t heard of Adam’s race history but honestly do remember a couple of Nitto ads with his face and, somehow, that purple and yellow paint scheme in the recesses of my memory.
A quick search on Facebook brought up the exact ad.
As of this writing, the majority of his videos are on his RX-7…
But there are a couple on the drag car I’m most interested in, that Pro Stock Drag NSX.
This is no ordinary NSX, far from it. Keen eyes will notice this NSX is much longer than a stock NSX, that’s because the original V6 is relocated up front for weight distribution and Pro stock rules.
None of the body panels are factory, all replaced with custom carbon fiber pieces.
And the engine isn’t just a regular C32 with two turbos strapped on, this is a professional drag setup with a laundry list of parts all installed and performing in harmony thanks to the Adam himself including a cadre of engine builders like AEM Intakes founder John Concialdi.
I’ve managed to come up with a tail of the tape with a lot of the good stuff listed via SuperHonda.com, here’s a taste below.
- 3.2 liter Honda Motor (Original NSX motor)
- 1093hp @ 8600 RPM
- 680ft.-lbs @ 6500 RPM
- Saenz connecting rods
- Wiseco pistons
- Twin Tial Sport turbos
Supposedly, in fighting form, this NSX engine was touching 1,300 HP.
What made this NSX such a big deal for import fans was its corporate backing. When this NSX debuted in 2000 at SEMA, coverage from the Car Connection lists “Enkei, Nitto, Eibach, Honda Optional Equipment and Acura Accessories, DC Sports, Sparco, and BASF. Hansen Race Cars’ chassis, Goodyear, and Honda” as backers.
I scrape the surface of his drag NSX car only to highlight and hype up how awesome Adam’s race team two decades ago was and how their work paved the way to where the import scene is today.
The LA Times did a great piece on Adam back in 1999 before his NSX build and serious corporate sponsorship comparing and contrasting him with NHRA drag racer John Force and it’s worth a read.
If you’re interested in serious import builds, want to get a look at what it takes to build a 7-second NSX drag car, want a look back at the glory that was early ’00’s Import Racing, and, maybe, want to bug Adam to get him onto the drag strip sooner rather than later, then, by all means subscribe to his Youtube and follow him on Instagram, accounts linked above.
I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of his videos and appreciate his uploads thus far.
It’s not every day you get these OG import drag racers ala Stephen Papadakis (who, by the way, has his own very successful Youtube channel) taking their time to drop some knowledge for posterity’s sake and for the love of racing for us.
Do you remember this NSX? How about Adam’s other drag cars? Let me know in the comments below!