Car meets. Remember those? It feels like forever since we’ve attended a static car gathering, so after recently addressing our time attack withdrawals, we were back at Tsukuba last weekend for something a little different.
Joining forces with the guys at Hardcore Tokyo and idlers, we organized a meet-up with 80 vehicles from all corners of Japan’s modified car scene.
As soon as the gates opened at 8:30am, the cars were slowly let in, so as not to cause too much chaos in the main paddock area. It was here, while watching everyone park up, that I realized just how diverse this meet was going to be.
For me, the first highlight of the day was seeing Jun-san’s Rocket Bunny/Pandem-kitted R33 Skyline. The man behind Hardcore Tokyo has been working hard with Miura-san to get his car finished up, and this meet ended up being the perfect place to unveil it.
I felt a sense of Italian pride seeing the Nissan on a set of custom-made Felgen Factory FF07R wheels. It seems like the Abruzzo region of Italy not only makes great wine, but also sweet rims now.
With a more rounded radius of the fender lip section and an overall larger piece, these flarings look quite different from the usual Miura approach. I think they really suit the R33’s curves.
And just check out the rear, where Jun-san’s Skyline now measures a whopping 2-meters across.
I won’t go into too much detail as I want to dedicate a proper feature to this build. I thinking about doing the shoot right in the center of Tokyo for maximum contrast.
You may remember this NSX, which we’ve featured a few times over the years, including exactly 12-months ago. The Honda always has a great presence, something to do with an owner that is unable to stop himself from continuously evolving it. Two more NSXs joined us on the day as well.
Mercury turned up with a couple of cool Z33s drop tops.
And this S130 ensured that vintage Z models were represented, too.
Being an idlers track meet, there were no shortage of RWB cars around the place. This is Nakai-san’s latest 964 build, Kashiwa.
It will soon be off to the US, as its owner moves back home after being stationed in Japan. Not a bad souvenir, right?!
We’ve seen this Nova at a few other events, and I even drove alongside it over the Yokohama Bay Bridge earlier this year as we were leaving the New Year Meet. It was great to see it at this gathering, and even better to hear the highly-modified 7.4L LSX V8 rumble away.
What you are looking at here is a Nissan Tiida Latio, or the domestic sedan version of the USDM Versa, and the perfect example of how the Japanese can make even the blandest of cars… presentable. In this case it’s more than that though, and not only did it look super-cool slammed on white wheels, it was even sporting some old Speedhunters stickers.
A more sporty pair of Nissans.
Remember Alpha Classics Racing, or ACR as they’re more commonly known, from a past Tokyo Auto Salon? This outfit specializes in modifying Aston Martins, and one of their demo machines is this GT3 race car finished off in exposed carbon and sitting on Vossen wheels.
Unsurprisingly, it isn’t able to be registered for the road in Japan, but the use of a ‘slash’ (temporary) plate allows the car to be moved around to meets and events.
I was genuinely blown away by some of the S-chassis builds, and also this ER34 sedan, which refreshingly wasn’t attempting to emulate a GT-R.
Speaking of GT-Rs, here’s a special pairing from Garage Saurus.
This car – which is also known as Sudo-R, named after its owner – blew people’s mind back in 2008 when it made its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon. I ended up shooting it at Garage Saurus the following year, and it was one of the first features I posted on Speedhunters.
The BNR32 has recently been pulled out of storage, refreshed, and fitted with a set of Panasport G7 wheels. Needless to say, it remains one of the coolest R32s out there.
I haven’t visited Garage Saurus in years, so would you guys been keen on me stopping by for a shop tour in the near future?
Anything on BBS Motorsport wheels is bound to get my heart pumping, and when it happens to be a properly sorted 997, well it’s even more special. Now that’s a wing!
It’s cool to see the ZN6/ZC6 platform still captivating the minds of enthusiasts. It’s also crazy to think that the model will be 10 years old in 2022!
After kneeling down on the grass to take a shot of this mean-looking Impreza on satin black OZ wheels, I turned to see something very interesting in the distance…
I had to go in for a closer look, as I actually recognized the Datsun Y210 Sunny build from a previous Mooneyes event.
At that event, the owner told me he couldn’t show the engine bay as it wasn’t detailed. Now it is though, and it’s nothing short of divine.
The rest of the car isn’t too shabby either. More of this, I say!
Ever since visiting N-Style and joining the crew at few of their drift events, it’s ranked as one of my favorite Japanese custom bodywork shops.
That’s thanks in part to a loyal customer base that just keeps prompting N-Style to push the envelope.
This Onevia on RAYS Volk Racing TE37Vs was a superb example. With bold overfenders to help set the wild stance, tubbed front arches and NA power under the hood, how could you not like it?
This ended up being a superb little gathering, and I must give props to Hardcore Tokyo for putting it on and selecting a nice mix of rides.
My coverage from the day doesn’t end here though. There was no way I could attend an idlers event and not take a quick walk through the paddock to see what showed up. I’ll have that gallery coming up for you very soon.
Dino Dalle Carbonare