I'm sure you have been enjoying all the Japan-related content we have been running lately. I know I have been reading Rod and Antonio's content from Ebisu and am seriously regretting not being able to make it up there with them last weekend. When I read Rod's thoughts on the Japanese appreciation for aesthetics and quality when it comes to car builds, I couldn't help thinking of the VW movement here in Japan, which I got to experience during this year's Street VW's Jamboree in Odaiba. While these vintage Volkswagens are about as different as you can get from the drift cars seen at the Ebisu Natsumatsuri, there is the same attention to detail and love of the hobby that you can find at events like Drift Matsuri . I have noticed this about all the different genres of Japanese car culture. When it comes to cars in Japan, it seems there is a desire for authenticity and an "all or nothing" approach that I feel is often missing in other places. For example, you can bet that the guys that own the VW's in the photo above are not just "into VW's", but live and breathe for them, like how Antonio lives for his AE86's. Otherwise you would not be able to find so many meticulously restored and modified examples like the ones seen above.
As I wandered around the event and saw tons of VW fanatics talking with each other, trading parts and buying old issues of American VW magazines in the swap meet, I almost forgot that I was in the middle of Tokyo, the land of tuned GT-Rs and kei cars.
Although I doubt there are too many people out there who dislike vintage VW's, it really doesn't matter whether you like them or not. It's the genuine enthusiasm that the owners have that makes it so great. And to me that is what being a car enthusiast is all about.