2020 feels like it’s gone completely MIA.
It seems like just the other day that it was January and the year was off to a great start. Then COVID-19 struck, and the months in between have been an utter blur, most of it spent locked down at home, not being able to do the stuff we all really like to do.
For some people, not going to a bar or club was a pain. Others just wanted to go see a movie or head out to a restaurant for a meal. But for petrol-heads like you and I, all we wanted to do was get in our cars and go for a drive.
While some countries remain in varying stages of lockdown or are entering new ones, here in South Africa our restrictions have finally started to lift. Currently, it feels like life is back to as normal as it can be in COVID times, with social distancing and masks still being factors of course.
We also still have a curfew between 12:00am and 4:00am, but regardless of that, people can now finally get out and about. Gatherings are allowed as long as it’s not a massive crowd in one place.
A few nights ago, the guys from JDM Certified in Johannesburg took full opportunity of these relaxed conditions by hosting a night run and meet. The formula was simple: Meet at a garage with a large parking area, chill for a while, talk a whole bunch of nonsense about cars, see people you haven’t for a while, and then take a cruise together on the highway. A very large contingent of cars showed up; so many that the entrance to the garage was blocked for quite some while.
This garage had some of the worst lighting ever, making it a challenge to shoot decent photos. Most of the time I was sitting at 12800ISO for f2.0 and 1/25th-of-a-second exposures – for any of you that might appreciate that kind of info.
While the meet was aimed at JDM machines, of course a few other cars snuck in, like this pretty cool looking VW Jetta Mk2.
With most automotive events still dead in the water here, you can’t really blame these guys for joining in, and no one seemed to mind at all.
This Mk2 Nissan Sentra really caught my attention. Sitting on air-ride and running a set of old school Work VS S5S wheels, it was so clean.
It’s not a GT-R, but this R32 Nissan Skyline GTS-T looked good sitting nice and low. Parked next to it at the garage was a 2JZ-powered Cressida that was boosted all night long during the highway cruise.
Honda CR-X Del Sols are quite a rare sight in South Africa, and probably most other places around the world now that they’re approaching 30 years old. I’ve always had a soft spot for these things; they just look so good dropped over a decent set of wheels. Who’s with me?
After the garage, everyone headed off for some cruising on the main Johannesburg highway, giving me a good chance to hang out the side of my VW Caddy’s side door and grab some rollers. Some people then hit up another spot, but I called it a night.
Right now we’re living in a world where big car events might still be some time away, but as this JDM Certified meet proved, something as simple as a cruise with like-minded people is all you really need.