Yokohama Cruising With The Chop Sticks

Don’t you just love it when things just work out without much planning? That’s what happened to me the other weekend, when, after covering the Nostalgic 2 Days event at the Pacifico Exhibition Center in Yokohama, I heard the Chop Sticks Car Club would be meeting up for one of their awesome cruises. So, after finishing up shooting all sorts of awesome Japanese vintage cars…

…it was on to my next port of call, the Mooneyes Area 1. According to the Mooneyes website everyone would be gathering up here before heading out for a short cruise around the Honmoku neighbourhood of Yokohama and eventually finishing up about 20 min later in Minatomirai. There, cars would park up at a pay-parking area and chill an hour or two to chat about Hot Rods and Customs. It all sounded pretty good to me!

I arrived a good hour before the planed 9 pm roll out which was great, as for once I had a little time to kill. The Mooneyes Japan HQ is definitely a good place to spend some time at if you are ever in the area. There are always cool cars and bikes around…

…like this bug sitting in the main workshop area around the back of the premises.

It’s hard to miss the place if you arrive from the main road the shop is located on; if the illuminated Mooneyes sign won’t stand out…

…the cars on display in front will!

Despite having been at the shop once before I had never actually taken a look inside. Both floors are lined in all sorts of accessories, gadgets and memorabilia, just the sort of things anyone into cars can easily spend hours checking out.

Upstairs they keep an awesome selection of imported magazines, vital reading for anyone into the whole Hot Rod and Custom scene.

These signs made me laugh!

Of course one of the things Mooneyes is mostly known for is their famous Moon Discs. You can find a nice selection at Area 1, from the brushed variety…

…all the way to the really reflective chrome ones.

After a little while I headed back outside to see if cars had started arriving and I found some nice rides already sitting in the parking lot. I thought it was pretty funny how small this El Camino made my Legacy look!

Oh and look what had also arrived!

Mike will be posting his feature on this ’49 Mercury lead sled later on this month during our Hot Rod theme week.

Since there are only a few spaces available in the Area 1 parking lot, Mooneyes staff began directing cars into a big gravel area on the opposite side of the road…

…where more and more cars where starting to arrive by the minute. I remember seeing this Willys at the Hot Rod and Custom Show in December last year, but I have to say it looks far more imposing out in the “real world.”

Nice Malibu!

This Jeep Willys Overland Wagon is quite the rarity…

…the owner having found it and brought it over from the US before restoring it and rebuilding it here in Japan.

Noting like a bit of muscle to spice things up!

Now we are talking! As soon as this rat rolled in everyone just flocked towards it to check it out in more detail.

Based on a Ford Model T it was built by its owner in California and brought over to Japan when he moved here. He is now slowly making the necessary changes to allow it to pass the Japanese shaken and make it fully road legal.

I almost forgot which country I was in as the wide variety of cars…

…just kept flowing in.

No matter what sort of rides you are into, it’s just impossible not to be attracted by these customs!

And then, as pretty much everyone had arrived it was decided the time had come to start off the cruise around the center of Yokohama.

With only a twenty minute drive to the parking area in Minatomirai I had my work cut out for myself trying to shoot some of the cars on the move. I pulled over to get some action shots…

…but not wanting to be left behind I decided it was a better idea if I attempted to shoot one-handed out of my car. What makes Japan such a unique country for this particular scene is the JDM rides that some guys customize…

…like this pair of Mitsubishi Debonairs.

At that time the roads were nice and empty…

…which was good as most of the cars in the pack were able to stay reasonably close. Here is that Camaro we saw earlier on pulling into Mooneys…

…its V8 roar reverberating around the port area of Yokohama.

Now this is the sort of traffic jam I wouldn’t get upset sitting in!

It wasn’t long before we had all arrived at our final goal, a great location with a great view of the Landmark Tower…

…Yokohama’s tallest building.

As you can see the turn out was great, obviously a few more cars had joined the cruise along the way…

…helping to fill up the parking lot’s spots in style.

The red Willys was joined by yet another stunning example, one I spotlighted back in December actually.

One important thing about any custom car is making sure it sits just right, and in most cases that means low.

But how low is low enough?

Couldn’t help but take another look at the roof chopped Mercury…

…and be amazed at all the work the owner did. I can’t wait for Mike’s feature on this thing!

Whenever the owner of this “Corsairs” rod gets the car street legal I will have to do a full feature on it. He is also responsible for having helped build…

…this other rat rod based on a Model A and owned by Matsui-san of Mooneyes Japan.

Pretty bad ass or what!?

It was quite interesting seeing these minimalistic creations parked up next this clean flat white Sting Ray.

Extreme opposite to say the least.

As I appreciated all the work and imagination that people put into these kind of rides, it all made me wonder why on earth I hadn’t covered one of these cruises yet!

It’s great appreciating the Japanese customs scene every year at the various Mooneyes shows in Odaiba and Yokohama, but to see these cars out on the street and chatting to their owners…

…well it’s an all-together different experience. Needless to say you can expect me to cover more of these cruises and dig a little deeper into this unique love Japan has with this scene.

Mooneyes Japan

-Dino Dalle Carbonare


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27 comments
SVT_Bryan
SVT_Bryan

I just love Mooneye's branch in Japan, and by extension, the Chop Sticks club.

Aaron B
Aaron B

Japan is a exciting/interesting/wierd place... Can't wait to go back! :D

legory
legory

More on that bugeye STI in the back of that one picture plz

Gerben aka Suburuuh
Gerben aka Suburuuh

Seeing a lot here on SH of all the native Japanese car cultures, it strikes me (in a good and positive way!) that this US car culture is also alive and kicking :) Can't wait to see the feature on the Mercury, that's one exiting ride and paint job -sick-. @ Dino, is the Legacy your DD? Great hand held shots also.

Peter Bodensteiner
Peter Bodensteiner

Like the Corvette--nice to see one mildly and tastefully modified. Every mid-year Corvette in the US seems to be either kept factory stock or excessively over-the-top.

Spaghetti
Spaghetti

Damn I hate seeing stuff like this after having just been somewhere!

 

What night was this on?

 

I spoke to the guy at the Moon booth for a while at the show on Saturday, but I suppose he'd have no reason to have mentioned this cruise to me. Pity too because it ended up right near the hotel I was staying at and I remember walking past that Home Center....it'd have been great to see these cars out!!! Japan has easily the most diverse car scene of any country, so cool.

Sam
Sam

What are the requirements for a car to be registered in japan? I always thought it was a free for all.

chris
chris

the Corsairs coupe is a Model T, and the roadster pick up is a Model A...some cool stuff over in Japan...

TylerS13
TylerS13

out of all the awesome cars available in Japan who the hell would drive a PT Cruiser and unless they sold them there (i'm not sure if they did in Japan or not) why would anyone import one of those pieces o' crap. Awesome coverage and all the other cars i saw in this post were very nice lol.

roeby
roeby

That 49 Mercury is Fabulous, i dont know what it is but those cars just do it for me.

izzy_ortiz
izzy_ortiz

The Sting Ray has some interesting headlights that make it look a bit better in my opinion

 

 

perpetualroad.wordpress.com

xracer6
xracer6

All of these cars were pretty sweet but WOW that Cammaro was awesome

sp57
sp57

may i know the picture mooneyes-cruise-36 whats the car behind the first right car?

familycar
familycar

nice! i actually know the owner of the corsairs car. he works at an amazing shop! 

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @TylerS13 Well up until a little bit ago one of Japan's best drivers, Tarzan Yamada, had a PT as his daily...;)

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @roeby It's pretty wild up close, far more than the pix could suggest. Lots of presence 

TylerS13
TylerS13

whaaaat i would have never guessed out of all the cars.

familycar
familycar

@pesugob6 @speedhunters_dino @familycar last I was there, they had matsui-san's rat rod, 2 f50's, a 360, f40, 2 2000gt's, 2 s30's, a few v8 bikes....and more. That shop is bad ass!....plus it's right by ikea lol


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