When driving is no longer an A-B journey, it’s the birth of the brand – Saitoworks.

Discover how the Founder and Owner of Saitoworks uses his adoration of Japanese culture and driving his car to inspire the continued success of this incredible brand.

A true ‘Nineties Spirit’ kid, Jon was already obsessed with cars and enjoyed taking pen to paper to draw the lines and curvature of different vehicles, creatively capturing the visual aesthetic from every angle, even as a youngster. 

But it was thanks to the blockbuster film Tokyo Drift from the Fast and the Furious franchise that sparked the ignition for the founder to admire the sheer excellence of Japanese cars. Transport yourself to the early 2000’s and picture a 12 year old boy absorbed by the sight of these sleek, stylish cars drifting- certainly something he hadn’t experienced in the UK. This exploded into a love of Jon researching ‘old-meets-new’ Japan including Samurai history and their more recent car culture including the likes of Mazda RX7s, Nissan S15s, Chasers, 350z, Skylines… you name it. 

Fast forward a few years, Jon, now 29, has perfectly crafted Saitoworks- a brand that lives up to its reputation of being: “driven by passion, inspired by Japan”. Read on to find out how the brand owner uses aspects from his own life alongside ‘old-meets-new’ Japanese culture to continue driving the brand forward and inspire so many other drivers out there to be part of the SW community.

What was life before Saitoworks?

From a late teen working in Halfords, to a 9-5 office job as a Graphic Designer in his early twenties, Jon soon realised his creativity wasn’t being used to its maximum potential. For most, setting up a business is an escape of the 9-5, or the need of control, or having the flexibility of being your own boss. For Jon, it was different. Forming the brand was all about passion and inclusivity. “What started as a car club eventually turned into a business with my love for Japan, Cars and Graphic Design.” The Saitoworks brand started in 2018 and was a way for him to channel his creativity, while unearthing a car community through mutual love of cars, products and incredible designs. “Running SaitoWorks has really allowed me to unleash a creative flow that I’ve not had the ability to do before and just generally enjoy it.” Jon’s talented skills has allowed him to create high quality items such as apparel, stickers, sunstrips alongside unique, traditional Japanese items such as Tsurikawas (つり革) and Omamori charms (お守り).You can find out more about the history of SaitoWorks via our about pages timeline.

It hasn’t stopped there, within just a few years, Jon has formed an insane amount of sub brands, allowing for an incredible environment where everyone can thrive no matter their driving style, taste or preference (and best yet, they’re all under the SW umbrella). Jon loves chatting cars with like minded friends and random individuals that share a similar passion along the way.

…What does the founder drive?

A Nissan Silvia S15 Spec-R ‘99 and was attracted to buy it by none other than The Mona Lisa, and no, not the painting! “Something about these cars has always wowed me, the unique lines, the aggressive but soft headlights, and the interior is so simple but attractive and effective.” Jon always wanted one from an early age and says driving one and owning one creates a weird kind of aura that is unexplainable unless you speak to another S15 owner that shares the same feelings!

The car originally resides mainly in the Kanagawa prefecture, Yokohama. The car was fitted from the factory with the super rare and sought after Nismo clocks. To this day, the driver remains a mystery, although Jon believes the car was used for drifting in Japan on the notorious Touge and back streets of Japan. One of his favourite features is that the Nissan originally arrived in the UK with a CWEST wing that featured on the same Mona Lisa car from Tokyo Drift.

S15: THE SW icon

You may have spotted the notorious Silvia adorned with SW stickers at some of the biggest car shows in the UK (Japfest, Tunerfest, GO Japan), seen on the brand’s social media, or even featured within the brand’s workshop banners. Turning heads is something this car is used to. Not only does the engine give some serious ferocity, its exterior has been transformed to showcase everything that the Saitoworks brand stands for. Class, excellence and quality.

But it’s not always been the case. When this S15 first arrived in the UK, she had a slight confused identity problem. Sporting two blow off valves as well as the original recirc valve, a very odd combination to which all 3 were quickly removed to and replaced with a full Greddy FMIC and vaccum rework, releasing a sound every JDM enthusiast is familiar with, the spool generated from the Garrett T28R turbo is nothing short of ‘Addictive’ Jon says. The original front mount intercooler was held on with bicycle multi-tool spanners, never seen before but in Japan the going phrase is ‘If it works, it works’. Again removed and replaced with proper mounts and bolts once it swapped out for the new Greddy kit. Jon says getting the car was a mixed bag of emotions. As with most Japanese car purchases, it was a little run down and the bumper even came off on his first drive back from Yorkshire to South London! He thanks B&Q for being open at the time with a fresh supply of cable ties, a compulsory glove box hogger for every JDM owner.

“I’m not a numbers guy either”

The owner of Saitoworks remains modest, keeping the car around 320bhp and refreshing parts with or as close to OEM / Nismo as possible. The output of this S15 is plentyful enough especially at a curb weight of 1,240kg, and for a fast and reliable street car, anymore would stress certain OEM components and unbalance the car against its intended use.

Jon mentions that he’d “rather opt for reliability unless it’s a full aftermarket choice with the likes of a GREDDY front mount intercooler, boost controller or GruppeM carbon intake.” If he had other dream cars, these would include the likes of – Nissan Skyline R32 GTR V-Spec, a Mazda RX7 Veilside or a Toyota Chaser JZX100 (Specifically white of course!) – have you spotted these heavily featured on the SaitoWorks workshop banners?

The car’s visual aesthetics are exactly where he wants them (bar a few tweaks) and his S15 will continue to attack the B roads of the UK…and occasionally Germany when he tackles the might of the Nurburgring while listening to an 80s synthwave mixtape. Jon loves his racing livery Inspired by the early 2000s D1 Grand Prix and street legal era, with the smiles it puts on peoples faces and finds it’s a real conversation starter.

Spec Sheet

Engine & Transmission

HKS, Apexi, Greddy, Nismo…

  • 2.0 L DOHC Turbo-I4 (SR20DET)
  • T28R Garrett Ball-Bearing Turbo
  • APW Equal Length Tubular Manifold
  • HKS RS / GruppeM Carbon Hybrid Intake
  • Greddy FMIC (All pipework)
  • Apexi N1 Exhaust System
  • Nismo Reinforced 6-Speed Gearbox
  • Nismo Supercoppermix Clutch / Flywheel
  • Nismo Gearbox / Engine Mounts

Chassis, Wheels & Brakes

Nismo, WORKS, Zeknova Japan…

  • WORKS CR Kiwami 18″ 9.5J (Bronze)
  • Zeknova RS606 Semi Slicks (255/35)
  • Nissan Sumitomo 4-Pot Calipers 
  • Dixcel Japan High Performance Brakes
  • Nismo Powerbrace II 
  • Cusco Carbon Bracing
  • Mix of Hardrace, Cusco & GP Sports Arms
  • SuperPro Polybushes (All Round)
  • Nismo Anti-Roll Bars

Interior & Exterior

Recaro, Vertex, Nismo, C-WEST…

  • C-WEST N1 Bodykit & Difusers
  • Behrman WiseSquare GT Carbon Wing
  • Seibon Carbon Vented Bonnet
  • Garage Defend Carbon Cooling Panel
  • Recaro SR3 Confetti Bucket Seats
  • Vertex King Concave Steering Wheel
  • Greddy Profec 2 Boost Controller (2022)
  • Nismo Speedo Cluster
  • AEM AFR Gauge

S15 Silvia (Spec R) 1999


Brake Horse Power


LB/FT Torque


Miles Travelled

What you may not know…

Other than his busy lifestyle manning the business, taking his Silvia out for night time drives and spending time with his fellow car guys and girls, he likes to keep active through running, weight training and even a game of table tennis at the SW HQ. He also likes heading out for Japanese food with his friends (although admittedly yet to try Ramen!). You’ll always see Jon sporting his own brand Snapbacks and apparel because the quality is truly something that could rival the big players on the market that is not only comfortable to wear, but will last a long time too. For now, Jon continues to channel his ideas into the brand such as the new Supermist range launching soon and relies on his followers to continue to inspire him. He’s always on the lookout to showcase car owners, so if you would like to be featured on SW’s car features or on IG, please contact our team at ad***@sa********.com with your story and why you think you and your car should be featured.

Follow Jon on Instagram


Article written by Anna (Team Editor).

If you would like to be featured, please contact our team at admin@saitoworks.com.

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