A Speedhunter’s job isn’t over, even when every car inside an event has been gone over with a fine-tooth comb. No, that is just half the fun. The other half is in the parking lot.
It’s been said many times over here before, but head along to any event and you’re guaranteed to find some of the best and most interesting cars outside the venue.
These cars are sometimes owned by people who can’t dedicate a full day to an event. Others simply aren’t interested in entering their cars, and I’m sure plenty of people don’t think that their car is up to scratch, even though that might not be true at all.
With that in mind, before bidding farewell to Shunsuke and the team at the Off Time Meeeeting, I decided to check out the parking lot directly outside the Fujisanmesse exhibition center, to see what spectator machines had turned up to the party.
Following on from my seven-hour endurance race in Hokkaido, spotting this Suzuki Alto Works brought back great memories of hunting down more powerful opponents around Tokachi International Speedway.
At car events in Japan you can always find older gentlemen checking out the kyusha. I wonder if this clean Fairlady Z was bringing back nostalgic memories…
Wide-body FD3S anyone? This Mazda RX-7 looked to be thoroughly modified.
Of everything I spotted in the parking lot, this Honda Beat was my favorite. In fact, it was one of my favorite cars of the day outright, hence the title for this story.
This particular example wears a full bodykit from Cozy-Lights, a small kei specialty shop with a strong reputation in the Beat community for its functional and stylish upgrades. The front bumper shaves around 1kg (2.2lb) from the kerb weight.
The owner also decided to ditch the soft top and its mechanism for a composite hard top, and that saved approximately 12kg (26lb) more. As the hood and trunk are both composite too – and with other lightweight modifications in the mix – I wouldn’t be surprised if this things tips the scales at around 700kg (1,543lb).
RAYS Volk Racing TE37s look right at home on anything, and the Diamond Dark Gunmetal 15-inch Sonic variants fitted to this Beat are no exception. The spoke concavity provides more than enough clearance for upgraded Wilwood brake calipers too.
Inside, it’s classic Beat theater. The sports bike-like cluster seems to have been upgraded from stock, hinting at some potential changes in the engine department, perhaps to allow the 656cc three-cylinder engine to rev up to 10,000rpm. Classic Defi gauges relay engine vitals, and a splash of carbon fiber trim adds character to the interior without taking away any of its original charm.
I’d really love to know the full story of this car, so hopefully I see it again sometime and can speak to its owner.
Now I have a dilemma though – writing this has made me want a Honda Beat more than a Suzuki Cappuccino… Which would you choose?