Editorial: Speedhunters Versus Japan

There are very few places that inspire car enthusiasts like Japan.

Despite our automotive leanings, so many of us look to Japan with admiration and fascination for the wonderful car culture that has been cultivated there. With seemingly every facet of our motoring society represented in one way, shape or form, and even some which are exclusive to Japan, there is truly no where else on earth like it.

2018 TAS Dino Dalle Carbonare

As you likely already know, January means that it’s Tokyo Auto Salon time. I consider TAS as one of the ‘big three’ of the Speedhunters year (the other two being the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the SEMA Show), as it sets the tone for the year to come.

As 2018 heralds 10 years of Speedhunters, we feel that this is also the perfect opportunity to set the tone for what we intend to be a landmark year in our history. As such, we’re deploying an unprecedented force to cover not just Tokyo Auto Salon but all of the car culture happenings that occur around the event and in Japan on a day to day basis. Of course, you’re invited to join us on this particular adventure which we will share more about in the immediate future.

2018 Ron Celestine January Editorial

This will all be in addition to our regular broadcasting schedule, rather than at the expense of it.

2018 SH January Editorial PMcG-4

If you’re worried that this is going to result in an overdose of Japanese content, don’t worry, as we have a fine balance of content already captured. Before Christmas, I spent a few days in Germany shooting all and sundry and around me.

These ranged from features on naturally aspirated hill-climb warriors to in-depth technical features with one of our official suppliers, to never seen before and exclusive content, and even a brisk visit to my personal favourite automotive museum in Stuttgart. It was a productive few days.


Despite being winter in the Northern Hemisphere, there’s still no shortage of cars and builds to be photographed as we prepare for the various motorsport and show seasons. While it’s apparently summer all year around in California…

2018 Matthew Everingham January Editorial

…it’s actually summer in Australasia and our upside down contributors have an abundance of content to capture and still to get through in the coming weeks and months ahead.

That’s not to forget the numerous features that Larry has shot that we’re still working through, or the likes of Autosport International in the United Kingdom which we intend to have Jordan attend. There’s still the matter of IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER to address, which we haven’t forgot, but as we’re keen on getting it right, it’s taking some time. The wait will be worth it.

2018 SH January Editorial PMcG-3

Traditionally, this is supposed to be the quiet time of the year. Sitting where I am, and looking at our event and story calendar for the coming months, it feels like nothing of the sort. Still, I feel both privileged and honoured to not only be doing this but to be doing so with an incredible team around me.

With that, here’s to 10 years of Speedhunters, and hopefully to many, many more.

Let’s make 2018 one to remember.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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Congrats on the 10 years! VERY excited for extra Japanese content! It's my personal favourite scene and Speedhunters always brings the high quality and consistency


More Japan is never a bad thing. It sounds like we're in for a good year and I'm looking forward to it.


Love Japan, but would say the tuning scene isn't what it used to be. Miss the days of Top Secret, Abflug and MCR taking the spotlight as opposed to the new wave of tuners like RWB. At last year's Speed Ring at Cal Speedway HKS was beaten by another company with substantially less horsepower.


I believe you're speaking of the Lyfe Motorsports GT-R? That's one hell of a car with far more aero development than the HKS GT1000+. No shame in that defeat.


Yes it was LYFE, sorry I couldn't remember the name! Yeah it was a hell of a car I just expected HKS to do more than expect to slam power into a car and beat people on a control tire. Didn't make a lot of sense for a company that big with so much experience to not exploit everything in the rule book.

Matthew Everingham

But aren't you curious to as to HOW a car with substantially less horsepower bested the seasoned veterans? I know I sure I am. You're right to say that things aren't what they used to be, but that excites me. It means that things are different and that we all have new cars and potentially exciting ideas to uncover and explore! :Happy New Year JohnB!


Aerodynamics would probably be a large factor given that at this level of driver / competition the pilot can actual extract the performance if the car was done right...which it obviously was. I was just surprised HKS wouldn't really crank out the rule book the nth degree. It's not like they're lacking the money.

I agree that it is exciting and happy new year to you as well. It will be interesting to see what happens and who becomes to dominant force in time attack / racing in the future. Cheers!


10 years already? I remember when SH opened and was excited because I had a place where I could learn more about all types of car culture, and I still get excited every time I enter, just like the first time. And yes of course even more excited when it comes to Japan!


Happy new year everyone!

A few days ago I was visiting the Porsche museum alongside with the Mercedes Benz Museum. Maybe worth for a IATSH?


Bring on more of Japan! Those are always my absolute favourite posts.


I would have said that Speedhunters was already unbalanced in favor of Japan, at least if you include builds that aren't technically from Japan but are Japanese in theme or style or are built in a style such as stance or VIP that has Japanese origins. If you ask me, Western car culture desperately needs to go on a low-Japan diet, at least until local flavors and styles have a chance to reassert themselves in the public consciousness.

Even here in Alaska, there is at least one sort-of-big meet a year, at the Anchorage Park Strip (though it isn't really that big by international standards and you have to get there early to beat the early departures). All the stance cars are shoved onto the perimeter, and the Subarus are shoved onto the perimeter of the perimeter. The hot rods and muscle cars take center stage... as they should in America.

Japanese car culture was interesting until it became the new normal and started to force (insert-your-country-here)'s car culture out of the mainstream. Just as an example, the writer of this article, AFAIK, has actually said that Ireland never really had much car culture... but I suspect that if you dig around, you'll find that what little it did got flattened (at least in terms of mainstream consciousness) as soon as the JDMroller steamed into town. Fast cars and car culture existed before Initial D.


I'm not sure that quote is in context. Ireland has great car culture, but it's heavily influenced by outside forces. Maybe the only - pure - Irish car culture is rallying and its influence on classic Fords, Opels etc.

I like a lot of what else you said, however. Good feedback.


Classic Fords and Opels sound infinitely more interesting to me than another 1980s-or-newer Japanese car - or supercar, for that matter - that's been dipped in a vat of trendy brands and social media.

I don't hate every Japanese car that shows up on here, by the way - there are some that are obviously built to haul the mail and NOT put on air suspension. Those are the good ones. I just wish the "opinion makers" of car culture spent more time featuring, encouraging, and growing local flavors than they did showing more JDM and stance.


It sounds like you're just the cliche disgruntled commie hating American


Maybe so, but the thing is, JDM was interesting until it became the new normal. Now it's just freaking everywhere and gets way too much attention. You have car culture journalists who will hardly ever attend a real rod & custom show in the US, but will gladly attend a meet for the same kind of cars in Japan. When a US meet does get coverage in a place like this, it's frequently "stance" or an import show, and while there's nothing wrong with the latter on the face of it, the former really just needs to stop.


I can see your point and agree somewhat. While I don't think there's a problem with more Japanese content, I do agree that they should dig deeper into individual countries' car scenes so as to achieve a nice balance. Now I know that it is a huge job, but as far as I'm concerned, Speehunters has never been about the mainstream, the easily achievable, and that's precisely why it's been my favourite car-related website for years and years. Perhaps they need more contributors from other corners of the world?


Awesome! I'll be at the TAS on Friday myself! Two years since I last went... Sucks I can only stay one day though...


I've been following speedhunters since 2006. It is my morning newspaper... and evening read..... I check every couple of hours for new content.... its been 12 years of the same cycle ... hahaha!



Sorry every time Japan trips are mentioned I must ask.


10 years of speedhunters? You mean, when I was in third grade, this site was up? Holy shit, time has passed. Of course, I didn't find this website until maybe a few years ago when my car tastes have matured, but still, damn.


Let's begin the #10YearsOfSpeedHunting
I personally think it ywould be a nice idea, as a folower and reader, to thank this beatufully created thing that is speedhunters and his team.
Thank you speedhunters. For these years of non stopping speedhunting. For these amasing stories of everything cars culture related.