Cars & Coffee Done Tokyo-Style
Urban enthusiasts unite

I’m a happy chap right now. You know why? It’s because I’ve discovered another awesome bunch of people that are into cars. Coming across a new gathering of enthusiasts is always fun, but to have one happen literally down the road from your home, well it just makes it so damn exciting. Think about it as the Tokyo version of Cars & Coffee, but with a pretty evident Japanese twist to it. So after finding out about this early morning Sunday meet that happens once a month at the Tsutaya T-site in Daikanyama, I jumped in the GT-R at 6:45 am last Sunday and cranked a very cold RB26 into life.


Fifteen minutes later I was already parked up in the small T-site lot and despite being ridiculously sleep deprived after three days of TAS, I was already grinning ear to ear. I had been tipped off by a Speedhunters reader about this meeting and was so happy I had sacrificed sleep to make it, despite the freezing temperatures. It’s so cool to check out new gatherings like this, for the simple fact that you never know what to expect. The Strosek Porsche 928 Ultra I parked next to proved to be just a little taste of what was already there, and what was about to come.


With frozen fingers I stumbled around in my backpack to find my camera body and attempted to attach a lens onto it. I had no intention of wasting one second as the meeting was a short two hours, from 7 am to 9am, before the main bulk of customers start rolling into the hip bookstore slash compact shopping mall. The cars that were already there quickly made me realize that I’d be able to show a slightly new angle of Japanese car culture; one where no, or maybe very little customization is involved. After TAS, trust me, this was a humongous breath of fresh air.


It didn’t take long for most of the spaces to get filled up, most going for the same “in – shoot a bit – have a complimentary coffee – shoot some more – and then get out of there” sort of approach as I had.


The variety was nothing short of mind-blowing and this little rally pair quickly caught my attention. This Alpine was sporting the full night-stage set-up with a pair of auxiliary Cibie projectors mounted onto its bumper while the Deltone next to it sported the unmistakable Martini Racing colors.


I was hoping that some rare cars would show up; after all Tokyo is one city where rare collector cars are often driven and enjoyed on the road, something you will know if you check out my Instagram feed when I happen to have a free weekend and hit up my favourite coffee shop. Take this red Carrozzeria Abarth Roadster, probably the most mysterious car at this particular meet.


As you may be aware from our Idlers event coverage, the Lotus Europa has a great following in Japan and this was one of two spotless examples that were already there when I arrived.


A Renault Avantime? Yep, like I said anything that is rare is popular in Japan and while there weren’t many made, I do happen to come across some, even at Daikoku. Can you spot the little Subaru 360 sandwiched in there?


There’s just something so pure about an older 911. I’m a great fan of the long bonnet look and it’s always so interesting to observe how the iconic shape has matured over the decades, all the way to today’s 991.


This 1981 Honda Accord LX was in such perfect condition it might have come straight from Honda’s Collection Hall in Motegi. What made it even crazier was that it was a USDM model!


Not too far away was this microscopic Ginetta; another of those vintage cars that has quite the following here in Japan.


Luckily, later in the morning its owner opened up the rear cowl to allow us all to have a nice look at the Cosworth unit that powers it and the impressive condition it was in. This car gets mainly used on the circuit, as the semi slicks sort of hint at.


Another one from the UK: this time a Rover 220 which has been given the Japanese touch. By this of course I mean an aftermarket bodykit, a proper set of suspension with an accompanying drop in ride height and a set of JDM wheels.

Japanese legend

And then all of a sudden everyone started walking up towards the entrance of the car park, gathering around a very familiar white shape. This was a total surprise and a great addition to what was quickly becoming quite the epic meeting.


Like a lot of other people, I quietly watched as its owner parked up, admiring the flowing lines of Toyota’s most sought after classic. I guess this is what Cars & Coffee type events are all about.


Right next to the 2000GT, a Fiat 124 Abarth pulled up immediately after, sporting a more angular shape with an unmistakable Italian flair. Two very different cars, but both with their own distinct lure.


I’ve heard lots of stories of the 124 in its rally days back in the seventies, so it was really cool to be able to enjoy looking at one in detail as it was actually my first time seeing one up close like this.


This Fiat 128 however brought back all sorts of memories as an uncle of mine ran one for years when I was a kid back home in Italy. Funny how the only thing I remember about this car was how water would leak in through the door seals when it rained heavily.


But there was far more to come from Italy, starting off with this Alfa Romeo Giulia, a favorite among those that enjoy tracking their vintage cars in Japan. At Idlers events it’s always surprising how fast some of these cars can be!


This Giulietta however, an insanely beautiful car both up close and in pictures, is purely for enjoying the open roads – top down and wind in your hair (if you’re fortunate enough to still have hair that is).


While I did expect to see a lot of Ferraris, the next car I stumbled upon really made me laugh.


Yep, it’s a Fiat Panda. Ever since coming to Japan back in ’93 I’ve always wondered what the hell the attraction is with the Panda. They’re everywhere and they still fetch an unusual sum of money to this day. It’s a bizarre car to like, but what was even stranger was seeing the Van version of it at the meeting. And an automatic selecta version to boot! Oh and check out that fat exhaust.


The KTM X-Bow isn’t the first car I’d probably like to drive when ambient temperatures hover around zero Celsius, but thumbs up to this guy who drove across the bay to make it to the meet. And he wasn’t the only one that was enjoying the fresh winter air.


I dread to think what sort of time the owner of this Midas Gold convertible had to get up that morning in order to make it to central Tokyo by 7am, seeing he had come down from Tochigi prefecture.


This successor to the Mini Marcos runs Austin Mini running gear as a quick look under the hood revealed, but despite its rarity in Japan (how many can there possibly be, surely?), the next British car to arrive still managed to steal all attention.

Enter the Eventer

This is indeed a Jaguar XJS, except it’s the Eventer shooting brake estate version, which was custom built for some owners by Lynx bodyworks. How ridiculously cool!


Granted it’s far from the prettiest car ever made, but that’s obviously why it attracts those with a need to stand out. I felt privileged for having been able to see this in the flesh.


The event organizers have set up an awesome system where those that show up for the meeting every month can sign up for a parking permit which allows them to park free of charge for those two hours the meeting lasts for. Considering the regular price is ¥300 for 15 min that’s a great deal. Oh and you also get a complimentary cup of hot coffee.


The historics kept arriving, like this 1953 Fiat Pietro Frua 1100 which I have seen at a few classic car events in Japan before –  an extremely rare car.


Right behind was a car from the same time period: this yellow Porsche 356, the 911’s predecessor.


They ended up parking next to each other; the question is, which would you have? The fiery red Italian with a rare coachbuilder body or the slightly more widespread, but equally attractive German drop top?


Thankfully, about an hour into the meeting, the sun began to break over the buildings that surround the T-site, bringing some much-needed warmth to  this bunch of car guys. It also shined some warm rays over this pair of French cars: a Mégane RS and the 306 GTI on white TE37s next to it.


And yes, next to the yellow on yellow Honda Beat was also this Renault 4, always a popular choice for those what want to run a interesting classic import in central Tokyo.


Is this the new Alfa Romeo Spider? Not quite, but nice try little Daihatsu Copen!

Le petit bleu

While sipping on my cup of coffee I noticed a second Alpine A110 drive in and head to the far corner of the car park. What was instantly obvious was that this particular car sported a lighter blue than the darker hue I usually see on these cars and it really made a difference. Check out the cool details like the vintage rally tires and those massive Group-4-style yellow driving lights, that like the car we saw earlier were mounted onto the bumper.


The owner kindly opened the engine cover so everyone could indulge in what was a beautifully cared-for Renault four-cylinder motor.


Once the white Lancia Delta Integrale left, the two cars could join forces to make a sight that would have made Jonathan a very happy man. I’ll soon be showing you quite a different Alpine, one that I happened to photograph about an hour after I took this picture. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!


It doesn’t matter what kind of meeting it is: you can always be sure to find a little group of Caterhams. Most owners of these cars are so passionate about driving they don’t really care what other vehicles they mingle with. These guys were probably off for a blast up in the Hakone mountains after this meeting. If I wasn’t so sleepy and exhausted from TAS, I would have joined them


And much like the little lightweight Caterhams, the Honda NSX is one of those cars that’s always a welcome sight, especially one kept in such stock and unmolested condition.


The owner of this 155 is obviously a great fan of the legendary Alessandro Nannini and his stint in DTM with his equally legendary Dekra-sponsored one-five-five.


The DTM replica Alfa pulled up next to yet another awesome classic 911, which as its number plate suggests, dates back to 1972.


I may have been tired and groggy but boy did I run fast when I saw this work of art slowly making its way into the parking lot. There’s no arguing the fact that the Miura is one of the most beautiful cars ever made, and I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t rank it in their top ten cars of all time.


Just look at this thing; every curve and crease is just so right! Needless to say I was more than content, its presence beautifully completing the impressive line-up of cars that had turned out that morning.


Seeing as the Fiat 124 Abarth had left, the Miura slotted beautifully in between the Ferrari GTB Turbo and Toyota 2000GT, creating quite the view!


And like every car there, the Miura’s condition was nothing short of concourse-ready. I mean, seriously, look at that transversally-mounted V12! No doubting its beauty despite the curious layout, but making all four Webers sing in harmony must be one big carburettor headache.


You may have noticed a certain lack of American cars, but a little before the meeting ended, a couple of iconic cars from the good old US of A did show up, starting off with this Mustang.


Joining it was this huge Chrysler New Yorker, adding yet another slice of awesomeness to the morning’s proceedings.


As I grabbed the last couple of shots of the last few cars that arrived, 9am came around and it was time to head back home and get back to reality.


I left so satisfied, so content with what I had witnessed and the new car enthusiasts – or should I say connoisseurs – that I had met, that I was in a great mood for the rest of the day. Needless to say, I will be making damn sure I don’t miss this monthly meeting. I wonder what cars will show up next month!



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Eventer is the most beautiful car!


2000GT. Drool


Now that's one awesome meet! Do attend next month's gathering Dino!


Nice 306 Rallye


Lancia Delta!!!!! Thanks Dino!


Which of the French and Italian companies actually have dealerships in Japan?


Ahahahaha never expected to see a Fiat Panda on Speedhunters! What a bunch of awesome machines by the way and among them Miura is  absolutely the most beautiful (do you hear me VW?)!
Thanks for showing them to us Dino!


Awesome Avantime and on Speedhunters too! Always knew I was ahead of the game...
Excellent report but please, please, please quit the 'quite the' so frequently. There's enough mangling of Japanese on here without maiming English too - more blue pencil, less speed posting gents!


Awesome Pics Dino ! Great to see such diversity out there !


I'll be at the next one.  See you there!


such a good crowd of rare machines - did anything more 'pedestrian" show up?  Is this some official/unofficial club event?


Now THAT is an eclectic mix of cars. I almost scrolled straight to the comments at the end of page one and posted "wow, an Alpine A110!". Glad I read on now; two A110's at the same meet, superb!
Nice work with the Rover, but I daresay even the JDM touch can't rescue one of Longbridge's finest...


You can't get more pedestrian than that fugly Rover...


Awsomeness overload....


That's fun to see french cars are considered like amazing cars because I see this car every day and I don't care of their xD


Totally unexpected and totally awesome post. Thanks Dino. 

And Pandas are cool!!!


What is the regularity of this, I'm in Tokyo in April and so far I'm missing EVERY event in or within reasonable travelling of Tokyo, SCN, JCCA, Exciting Car Showdown,.. :(  ... I bet this isn't going to coincide either, :/


aphyX I used to own a 306 so it was awesome to finally see one on Speedhunters.


I've owned a gti6 for the last 5 years now. Its getting expensive to run but they're so much fun. Only ever seen one other 306 on speedhunters and it's was glossed over in the text. Its nice to see one get covered and mentioned


aphyX Agreed, mine was only an XSi but that was plenty fast enough for the time I had it. Like yours it was pretty expensive to run (especially here in NZ, where parts are hard to get hold of) but it was worth it. Hilarious car on the right road.


Brett Allen The XSi was really close to the GTi in 2.0 16v spec. But it was always about the handling. It didn't matter if you had a 1.4 or a GTi they all have this feel about them and were very capable. Such direct feeling. The 205 was amazing and the 306 built off of that but a bit more refined and I don't think Peugeot ever made a good car after that. Have yet to drive a 208 GTi but I doubt it will be any good.

There was a guy on the gti6 forums from NZ with a 6, had to get parts posted from the UK and Belgium every time he needed stuff. Gets very costly when you need to pay international shipping with every part you need.


Omg... the Miura & 2000GT parked together! Heaven! Ahhhh


aphyX You'll know all the differences better than me but I always wanted that little more that a GTi has (including the 6 speed box). 
I have to say though, the new 208 GTi has piqued my interest, especially after the years of Peugeot making such awful cars but I don't think my wife would be keen. I think she'd prefer I stick to the RX7 as they're cheaper for parts, haha.


Taryn Croucher  I know right, so many awesome but totally different cars here and some truly beautiful machines. It's like a late Xmas gift from Dino to some of us :)


I found the 6 speed box makes a massive difference, The long first gear let's it down from stand still but when you go round a slow tight corner being able to drop it into 1st is a lot of fun. I probably would bother with a 208, I think the biggest problem is the little wheezy 1.6 turbo. I had a feeling being from NZ you would love rotors. I'd stick with the RX :p
I'm saving up for an FC at the moment so I can join the rotary club


March 9th Morning Cruise will be a Se7en Fest.
See you there Dino?




This is like GT6 but in real life. If there is a car heaven, its gotta be in a parking lot somewhere in Japan.


love that europa! You're on a roll with all this awesome coverage barely 3 weeks into the year.


@Caterham Cars Japanso this is held every 2nd second of the month? my last couple of months in Japan...would love to check it out sometime


That Renault 4 looks huge next to the Beat.....and next to it, an R35.....what a variety! The Japanese sure know how to own almost something from every single corner of the world and from all the ages, so cool!!!

When is it normally held, and do you know the date of the next one?


copen with alfa romeo grill wtf


Wow, another great report :-) I just love to look through your covers from events of this type. I was surprised to see Fiat 128 in Japan :-) The were quite well known in Poland, but as Zastava, the Yougoslavian version. Here is a sample shot of this car, I took it during a meeting of youngtimers in 2013 here in Poland.

A lot more you can find at my site PESfoto

Gianluca FairladyZ

Mamma mia Fiat 128 e Fiat Panda Van! Unbelievable...!!! :) My grandpops had a 128....... Epic!


speedhunters_dino : The running gear from the Midas Gold is actually from an MG Metro. You can tell by the heater pipes manifolds and carbs, among other things. Slightly faster, better build and better running engine then the original A-series engine. This one is actually an A+....


awesome pics Dino!. certainly looks cold! are you using any filters or are the colours from im guessing your L lens that good?  thanks!


Is that NSX running 22B BBS rims?


Lee111 Unique indeed, beautiful uhmmm hahaha


jay8393 Oh I will!!


aphyX Cool to see so many owners of GTIs! I lusted over a 205 1.9 GTI when I was 17 but it was just not going to happen.


@Beany Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abart


JDM_Luca Yeah I just had to post the Panda lol


Konkrite My uncle still runs one although it's been sitting in the garage with a blown engine for years


n_const It's all about diversity at pretty much any meet you go to in Japan :)


n_const It's all about diversity at pretty much any meet you go to in Japan :)


PFULMTL For sure, come say high, can't miss me lol


@reallyknt There were lots of more normal cars yes, few Alfa 159s, Fiat 500s, BMW 335i etc


tbtstt And a third coming soon...


VictorVanderpooten lol


Vittorio Jano I aim to please and for 2014 I also aim to surprise haha


HoTWire It's every month


Brett Allen Taryn Croucher yeah it was so hard to contain myself haha, I must have looked overly excited to the composed and calm Japanese folk around me


@Caterham Cars Japan Can I borrow one of those little bathtubs? hihi


LouisSoon #becausejapan


azmedaj Thank you sir!  More to come too! If only I had more time to write, it's been a non-stop crazy shooting fest these last 2 weeks


Spaghetti second sun of the month


dovvv haha indeed #becausejapan


Paweł Skrzypczyński Thank you, and yes, it surprised me too


Gianluca FairladyZ There are a few, not so many Uno (thankfully) but the new Punto Abarth is doing ok


Kevski Style speedhunters_dino Thanks for sharing that, I didn't know what the hell that was when it turned up!


bonder_ Winter sun I guess :)


ageevphc Yeah sorry we had a few issues with the interwebs. All back to normal now :)


The ass shot of the Miura has given me a gentleman crisis.


Wow that's a really exciting meeting, Lamborghini Miura, Peugeot 206, 911, Fiat 128, KTM X-Bow etc all in the same parking lot.
I really hope to see pictures of this event regularly.   ;)


koko san I'll be trying to make these regularly:)


MatthewDear LOL care to elaborate? Or on second thoughts, no, don't!


ultrachris2000 Don't think so, wouldn't those be the same size all round?


speedhunters_dinokoko sanno pressure haha...we all know it's on Sunday and a bit early.  :)


Dino-Some great photos. The 2000GT was for sure one of the gems. Especially considering it is still running its original "Shinagawa 5" number plate, much respect. It was all I could do to get a "33" number plate back in the day.


speedhunters_dino What day?  2nd Sunday of the month??

I swear I've managed to book a holiday that misses any car event in or near Tokyo...!


They do seem to look the same size... any chance you have any more pics?


Jose Pluguez Yup, sure is a rarity. That guy lives petty close to me, sometimes I see him park it in the garage :) Sounds so awesome


koko san speedhunters_dino There are some things I have no problem getting up early for. Some things....


ultrachris2000 speedhunters_dino They look pretty close uh...


Hello, very nice pictures! 
Btw, the red Alfa coupé is a 1300 GT not a Giulia : )

Gianluca FairladyZ

speedhunters_dino Gianluca FairladyZ  Okey nice to know! Grazie


Good choice... mine's factory lime green, full black leather, Alpine V6, had it 9yrs and still makes me laugh every time I open the mahoooooosive doors!


As I am an italian guy, I always appreciate that people around the world still look at our cars being fascinated, but, being from Turin, it turns me so proud seeing all this love for the FIATs, even for models that were actually from the low end range... I clearly remember my grandad carrying me and my sister un and down the countryside with a blue 128, and how I used to love that car! It's great to know that in Japan, someone still loves it.


speedhunters_dinoPaweł Skrzypczyński They use to rust away quickly, at least in Switzerland where I lived. Great Pictures on your site Pawel.


Why the two Alpine's have the same French number plate? It was famous or what? Or maybe was a easy and cheap buy from ebay like I found for my Soarer with 1JZ 300 and some giberrish signs in Japanese? :)))


It's the number of the car which finished 3rd in the Monte Carlo rallye in 1971, driven by Andruet. The "real" car was in Japan but I thought it sold to France last year.


That's it, I'm moving to Japan.


koko san speedhunters_dino Paweł Skrzypczyński Thanks koko san !


what you describe as a Carrozzeria Abarth Roadster, is
in fact a Toyota Caserta, a model showed in 2000 and designed by Modi.
The base is a MR-S and 150 units was to be built by Modellista. I don't
know how many were finally made. An extremely rare car to be seen in the
street !Luc


Is it just me or does it look like the guy in the takeoka abby thing behind the miura trolling without paying...


I thought there's no S15 until I observe the Mustang photo. Yep. Japan is number 1.


Oh my lord, I'm devastated. I was IN Tokyo for the last week and was desperately trying to find car meets in central Tokyo.



Miura Series is probably one of the most beautiful car in history with the Ford GT and the 330 GTO !!!


I'm traveling to Tokyo on summer, where could I see on what Sunday this event takes part? Thanks :)


Paweł Skrzypczyński Dear Pawel, I am still waiting for a reaction of the owner of the Renault 4. Can you ask him to contact me? Please look in your gmail box. Have a nice day! Tom