I’m quite sure I speak for both Sean and Dino when I say that our adventures at Tokyo Auto Salon so far have been productive, exhausting, and incredibly fun. While my partners continued to attack the show floor, I spent a good part of this afternoon hiking around Makuhari Messe’s parking lot looking for cool cars, and I thought I’d give a quick update with some of today’s interesting finds.
Just like the halls of Auto Salon itself, the parking lot is a fine place for some Speedhunting. To me, you can just never go wrong with “real” street cars.
And just like the real show, all flavors of Japanese car culture can be found in the parking lots of Makuhari. I spotted everything from classics and vans, to drift cars and exotic imports.
While I expected TAS to be full of 86s and BRZs, I was blown away by the number of privately owned examples scattered across the parking lot. It’s amazing considering these things weren’t even available 12 months ago.
Here we have a JZX100 Mark II with that perfect Kanagawa street drift style. When it comes to the JZX, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
Equally cool was the battle-hardened style of this Ibaraki-based AE86 Levin.
Fancy a VIP car? Here’s a rather classy Infiniti Q45/Nissan Cima I found.
I also came across this beautiful new Nissan Fuga slammed over an aggressive set of split spoke BBS RI-Ds. This is one of those cars that would look right at home inside under the lights of Auto Salon.
It’s not for everyone certainly, but there’s no denying the impact of an Abflug-equipped JZA80.
I don’t think you can call this widened Evo “understated”, but the wingless decklid gives it a slightly restrained vibe. Nice.
Let’s not forget, for every Evo out there, there must be an equally cool Impreza to balance.
There’s never a bad time for a properly done Mazda Roadster, especially one with Enkei Big End Rodders. Yes, that’s the name of a wheel.
With Suzuki recently pulling out of the US market completely, I’m saddened to know us Yanks will never get to have cool Swifts like this one.
S-chassis were plentiful in the lot, with this kouki S14 being just one that caught my attention.
With the popularity of USDM style in Japan right now, it wasn’t hard to see the influence of this movement in the TAS parking lot. Here’s a very convincing Civic Si coupe replica.
This clean and simple DC2 Integra Type R also seemed to take inspiration from the other side of the Pacific.
Of course there were plenty of non-Japanese models on hand as well. How about a Studie-tuned E46 M3?
Or a vintage VW Transporter looking just right on BRMs?
Amazingly, this Lotus Europa from Body Shop Happy made the neighboring Mazda Roadster look large by comparison.
A Caddy CTS-V Wagon? With HRE wheels? In Japan!? It’s too cool to comprehend.
Want an example of the variety in the TAS parking lot? In one corner we have the incredibly tiny Suzuki Twin kei car.
In the other corner? This macho long wheel base Dajiban.
For a more Japanese take on the “cool van” thing, we have this fresh looking RB chassis Honda Odyssey.
Lastly, I quite liked this JZS161 Aristo sitting on OEM 20″ R35 GT-R wheels.
Ok then, we’ve got tons more to come from both inside and outside TAS, so don’t go anywhere.
So much Epicness, in Japan it doesn't mind whether it's inside or outside of a show, you always have crazy rides everywhere...
That Nissan Fuga looked awesome and I liked the way that JZX100 looked.
(The Japanese have way more respect for four doors than we do here in North America).
Dont see too much usdm on that Integra, its got the Jdm front end and a set of very jdm Sprint Hart wheels...
Is there a car that in "not* allowed in Japan like how it is in the states. Seems they get everything. Also i see these kei cars. How small do a car has to be before being refered to as a go kart?
@Jochem they look like SSR SP3's...!
@ComJive Second that. Any chance of some more info Mr Garrett? Could that really be an intercooler???
@FrodeOlsen Ya I dont see it either. Maybe I havent seen a real JDM teg to know the diffference?
@FrodeOlsen talking about the civic above it mate
@hanablemoore From what I've seen, you can drive just about anything you want in Japan as long as you go through the correct process and it meets shaken regulations. Lots of LHD cars here too, with most parking and highway toll booths set up for both sides.
I believe 50cc and even some of those you can get a license plate for!
@tenpennyjimmy @ComJive Yes it is. I actually ended up doing a bit of research on them myself after seeing this one. Strange little cars!
@roryfjohnston And so it is. Thanks!
@arsinek It's not the car, it's the owner's choice of modifications. It also helps to learn reading comprehension.
Yeah, last time i checked, the USDM Integra DC2 had the front with four round lights, like the EDM...
Just because its a clean Honda doesen't mean it's USDM inspired, they have had simple and clean cars in Japan through the times too...
@777 No, i dont think he was, the text says: "This clean and simple DC2 Integra Type R also seemed to take inspiration from the other side of the Pacific".... Nice car tho'.
@Mike Garrett You mean the red thing in the quarter window? I must be getting old...lol
@apex_DNA Yeah, like you mentioned it's all in the details. Also note the small Brian Crower sticker and US type plate frame.
@FrodeOlsen No, early JDM Integras had quad round headlights too, up until 1995. But due to poor sales, Honda gave it facelift, which is what you see here...and what does "clean" have to do with anything?
@FrodeOlsen Not the "low offset lightweight wheels" themselves. I meant low offset wheels on an FF Honda. You ask why they were produced? They were made for cars that had the wheel wells large enough to fit and wheel bearings strong enough to withstand the extra stress caused by low offset wheels (amongst other things), majority of which were RWDs. Most street and track Hondas ran "FF offset" wheels, which were higher than RWD versions. However, hellaflush and stance-tards have changed all this, hence the negative USDM influence.
Rear window visor for DC2 Integras was literally a "secret" up until '07 (true Honda enthusiasts know what I'm talking about), and frames for Japanese license plates simply didn't exist until Japanese began using USDM frames and found out they're too small for Japanese plates...don't you follow USDM Jam events?
@apex_DNA Low offset lightweight wheels is a USDM thing, right? Wrong, people who like to track their cars have been using wheels like that for years, its not a new thing, why do you think they were produced?
And come on, rear window spoilers have been used for decades, maby the US discovered them five years ago, but the rest of the world? I mean come on....
The only point i'll give you is the licenceplateframe, under doubt.
@FrodeOlsen Oh really? What about lower than usual offset CP-Rs and that rear window visor that nobody knew about up until like 5 years ago, or the license plate frame? Clearly a USDM influence.
@apex_DNA re-read what i said, there is nothing about that Integra that says USDM, i dont understand how that can be misunderstood...
@FrodeOlsen Well, what does the other side of the Pacific mean, sir? It means North America, and what part of N. America "inspires" the most? United States, hence USDM. It helps to learn how to read between the lines.