Top 6 Japanese Tuners: #3 Top Secret


Smoookkeeeyyyyy, one of a few names in the auto industry that I like to hear about, but a guy that I would think twice before getting in a car with him.

Top Secret was started by Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata in……..yes its really hard to find this answer, but I came up with a solution. Smokey seems to be a very soft spoken man and  gets right to the point  when talking about the work he does. His love for cars started while working at a family farm, then continued on when he began working for Greddy/Trust. Bear with me I’m getting to the point; he began spending time during after hours in the Greddy shop building up his car as well as parts for it. This almost ended when top executives found this out, but to his surprise they admired his work and what he had been doing for the company and ultimately deciding to keep this between the two parties. A few years later he opens his shop named Top Secret, due to the fact he gained his knowledge on building cars by the executives of Greddy keeping a secret between themselves. So to the point; Greddy was established around 1977, so most likely Nagata would have ended his work with Greddy around 1988-1992 (I believe he was born in 1963), so when he was 25-28!

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I’m not going to keep giving out my opinions as if I know everything about they guy, but what I do know is that I love his style. Like his companys name it  seems to me that’s exactly what kind of man he is, very secretive, not quick to answer, and very calm. Top Secret is a company that knows what they build is outstanding, but they don’t talk about why it is they let you see, feel, and hear this statement. Even the very few replicas out there cannot keep up with the brands standard, this being the reason why there are barely any replications of  Top Secret products. I find them highly respectable in the products they offer and its disappointing that there isn’t that much information out there on the history of such a wonderful company. Maybe this is the way they want it, to only show their work to people who find the time to visit the workshop or hunt down Smokey as he travels testing out his insane car builds.

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The cars they build are high power machines that can be used on the street, as you have probably seen the insane videos of Smokey with his 1000HP machines. He was also inspired by Amemiya-San so check them out, I like them.

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Those LEDS make me bend my knees Lesson#2

Lesson #2 LEDS (light-emitting diodes)

We see them everywhere now, ever since Audi revolutionized the automotive world with the A5 and its brilliant LED’s no other major car company–except BMW’s Halo lights–was in their league in terms of looks! Well we are going to go back to chemistry class and learn about how these brilliant and innovative lights work!

I really don’t want to confuse anyone to begin with so I’ll try my best to skip the more detailed parts….hopefully! So in essence a LED is formed between two intrinsic or extrinsic (contains impurities) semiconductors, a n-type and p-type. When these two semiconductors are put together they form a junction called a P-N junction (predictable name).  The P side is dominated by positive charged “holes” where as the n type has a high negative charge density. The junction created by the two semiconductors serves as the determinate for current flow. Look at the figures below (provided by!

Now we are getting to the important part of this subject! The electrons want to fill the holes on the P side of the junction, but in order to do that they have to overcome the energy barrier in the junction in order to make it on the other side. The electrons are currently in a lower energy level, but as they make their transition through the junction they release energy equal to that band-gap in the form of photons in order to move across (they move when a voltage is applied to overcome the energy barrier). This energy goes into emitted infrared or visible light in LED’s. The most common semiconductors used are Silicon (Si) or Gallium (Ga), in order to get different colors the chemical composition is changed with the addition of various compounds most including phosphorus. So LED’s are graded on their specific wavelengths and intensities based on the materials used to make them. Since LED’s don’t have any moving parts it reduces their chance of being damaged due to vibration or shock and are also heat resistant 200K/watt. 

So in short that is how those LED’s most of us have on our cars work, I know a lot of scientists and engineers might have something to say about the choice of words I used to describe the processes, but hey I got my Chemistry degree I can say whatever I want right! The application list for these parts is extensiv
“rice” their rides by going on an LED frenzy! There are some applications where the traditional halogen light bulbs still look better then their newly popular LED sisters.