Since I started my journey as an automotive photographer here in Japan, I have had the opportunity to see some simply stunning cars. I mean, cars ranging from private owners putting their heart and soul (and bank accounts) into their builds to full blown, bat sh** crazy shop builds. Even more special then that, I have been fortunate to have ridden in a lot of these cars. You know.. for research purposes. I have been in cars that are knocking on the door of 800+ whp and yet… nothing has had me screaming, laughing, and cursing in Japanese more than Hamana’s Mercedes AMG GTS. But before getting more into that, lets take a brief look into to Hamana’s past.
Hamana was founded 50 years ago and like most custom shops, had a humble beginning as a general maintenance shop. Specializing in sheet metal rework and painting, it laid the foundation for wanting to venture into the customized body work. 40 years later and under the helm of Shiono-San, Hamana entered in the market of customizing cars.
So, where does Vossen come into all of this? Around the same time, Vossen was also getting its starts and trying to enter into the high end wheel market and was looking for partners to work with in Japan.
When they approached Shiono-San with some of their designs, Shiono-San was highly impressed with the design and in particular their determination and dream. Thus, began the partnership you see now.
Ok, enough with the history lesson! Back to this beautiful car. The AMG GT is a fairly recent development out of the masterminds of Mercedes making its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2014.
When it was first reviled to the world, the design simply stunned it. Wide wheel arches, borrowing that beautiful body design from the SLS. What was there not to love?
Therefore, Shiono-san decided this would be the perfect platform to take that already beautiful design, and add some more flavor to it. The in house custom wide body kit is… well it’s perfect. That’s all I can say about it.
From any angle and I mean damn near ANY angle, this car looked amazing. While shooting this car in the little town of Kawagoe, it caused everyone to stop looking at the sites and look at it. I mean, I lost count how many times people would just stop, take out their cell phones and take pictures, and then ask me what the hell it was. It literately shut that main street down.
JRZ suspension kit is the only thing suitable for such a performance machine such as the GTS.
Finally, beautiful Vossen VPS-314T Wheels complete the exterior look on Hamana’s GTS.
It’s not everyday I get to play with a er.. I mean work with a GTS so It only made sense to take a look at the interior as well.
As one would expect, the GTS already comes with bucket seats to hold you and your terrified passenger in place.
Beautiful dashboard with the center LCD screen.
This is where all the fun is. With a few pushes of a knob, you can toggle between different modes. Each mode tells the computer what you want and adjusts accordingly such as changing the suspension stiffness, dif, exhaust, etc. We happened to be in ‘Race Mode’ during our little driving excursion and yes… the 0-60mph in about 3.0 secs is VERY accurate.
Shiono-San tells me they are still planning on making a few changes to the GTS in future and I honestly have no idea what more they could do to it. However, when the changes do happen, you will find out here. I promise you that.