A Brief Intro to Naito by Ben Bertucci
It was less than a year ago, when I first entered the Naito garage. At that time, I was a bit of a novice when it came to classic cars. I was in Tokyo in search of stories to turn into films, and the Naito family's story was the most intriguing one I had found.
Until recently, three generations of the Naito family worked in the garage together. In 2010, Shinichi Naito, who founded the business passed away, leaving Shinichi's son Masao, and Masao's sons So and Kei to run the garage.
Started in 1952, the Naitos have been an integral part of Tokyo's automobile culture. A visit here will bring you face-to-face with rare, breathtaking cars from racing history. In the care of the Naitos, these cars are more than machines. They are enlivened with warmth and character. They seem almost human. Here is a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, one of just 32 built. Last time one of these hit the auction block it fetched $17.5 million. This valuable machine's beastly V12 sits atop a wooden block as hands carefully tighten bolts and adjust fittings—like a proud giant being groomed.
It's a bit of a shock, to stumble upon this gem of a garage, hidden away in the outskirts of Tokyo. Almost a year later, I'm still struck by the Naito family's garage and their disciplined care of these rare machines. But mainly, I can't wait to go back!