It’s very easy to make friends as a car-lover.
First, approach potential friend and ask ‘are you into cars?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, proceed to talk about cars and become best friends. If the answer is ‘no’, comment on the weather then back away slowly; repeat process on next potential friend.
Finding someone who is not just a fellow car enthusiast, but also a fan of the exact same car you love/drive is, thus, a moment to be treasured. Who knows, this person could be your best friend for the next five, 10, or 20 years!
While I was walking through the Fuji Speedway paddock at the 2016 Nismo Festival earlier in the month, I struck Speedhunting gold. It’s no secret that we love a good Hakosuka here at Speedhunters, but finding two extremely modified examples parked next to each other in front of the Panasport booth was a spotlight opportunity to good to pass up.
The owners of these respective cars have been friends for over two decades now, and they’ve had their cars about the same length of time. What started as two guys tuning up their kyusha C10s has clearly escalated into something more. Almost nothing on these cars remains stock – two decades of continuous improvement have seen to that.
For whatever reason, it has been decided by the collective wisdom that there is a ‘right’ way to modify your Hakosuka: a factory colour, GT-R flares and front lip, deeply dished Watanabe wheels. Of course it looks great, but it can tend to be a little formulaic. These two cars are clearly reading from a different rulebook; check out the massive, polished-lip Work VS-XX wheels barely hiding the massive front brakes on the sedan.
Lurking inside the shaved engine bay of the gold car is an enlarged L-series engine breathing through ITBs, which I’m told makes close to 350hp.
The best thing about having car buddies is that they can get you out of a jam, say if your battery goes dead at a festival!
Apparently both cars see regular track duties, which explains the serious fueling setup and battery relocation in the coupe.
Both cars had very little remaining of the original interior, the dashboards gutted in favour of aluminium panels with aftermarket gauges (more than a few) and custom switchgear. In addition, well constructed full roll-cages tighten up the aging chassis in both cases.
The coupe was sporting a heavily vented bonnet but a slightly more traditional wheel choice in a set of three-piece Panasport Racing G7-C8Rs.
The weathered plates tell a story of their own; the cars hail from Shonan, an area south of Tokyo famous for long beaches, small bikinis and bosozoku. If there’s a better car for cruising the Shonan strip, I’m yet to see it.
Showing an equal amount of patina is the iconic PMC.S logo sticker that is synonymous with these classic Skylines. It’s not just a cool look; the club is active and runs regular meet-ups and track days where you’re bound to run into more guys like our two owners here.
Gold-san here didn’t speak a lick of English and my Japanese is about the same level as a three-year-old child, but the universal language of automotive passion bridged the gap allowed us to share a moment of friendship with plenty of thumbs up and smiles to go around.
It turns that ‘Speedhunters’ translates pretty well to Japanese, however. Upon mentioning where these photos would be posted I was immediately embraced in a big, warm bear hug by Blue-san. There’s a first time for everything! See what I mean about making car friends?
And on that warmly embracing note, this spotlight concludes this year’s coverage of the Nismo Festival.