We’ve pretty much been in and out of lockdowns in Tokyo since the beginning of the year, and with the Olympics now just a couple of weeks away, everything around Japan’s capital city and those surrounding it has been quiet. Or I should say, things have been kept quiet.
It’s possibly why this years 7’s Day gathering at Daikoku Parking Area had a smaller turnout than usual. With additional police units patrolling the highways, ready to pounce and stamp out any sort of bad behavior, the news probably spread fast, keeping many people away from the famous Yokohama rest stop.
That said, it wasn’t a complete waste of time heading over to Daikoku early Wednesday evening, just as the sun was setting.
There’s always something to see at Daikoku PA, so I figured that even if it all went pear-shaped, I’d still come away with a story.
But even on arrival there was a nice variety of rotaries parked up.
And some nice non-rotary-powered machines too, like this KP61 Toyota Starlet sporting N2-type overfenders and a super clean 4A-G on carbs up front. Big thanks to the owner for lifting the hood.
I was quite happy things started off slow, because at meets like this it’s not often you get a chance to sit down on the curb by the entrance and just enjoy watching the cars come in. By this time of the evening I’d usually be totally overwhelmed by the 90% or higher humidity that Japan’s rainy season throws at us, and running around trying to get shots of as many cars as possible before the light faded.
For once, I could pace myself.Enjoying The Views
With my son in tow, I even had a chance to talk him through the various generations of RX-7, pretty much taking over from where we left off last year.
I’m not quite sure he gets the beautiful simplicity – and inherent issues – of the rotary engine yet, but just like his old man he can’t keep his eyes off a beautifully executed FC.
Understanding the history and seeing the evolution is a must when giving meaning to any model lineup.
That also goes for the stuff that came later on.
And other models that have seen enthusiasts flock to Mazda dealerships for decades.
The overall vibe was definitely chilled; cars kept arriving, with an equal stream leaving. Maybe everyone was just trying to stay safe and follow the guidelines we’ve all had to endure and stick to over the last 18 months.
As I touched on before, Daikoku PA always serves up the goods. Everything is special here, even old BMW station wagons.
Or ageing Toyota grandad sedans…
Which JZX100 platform does it better? Mark II or Chaser?
The FD3S RX-7 turnout was decent, but the example that stood out the most for me was this stock yellow car.
Aside from the fact that I have a thing for yellow exteriors these days, I can’t help but appreciate an unmolested car. That, and the fact that a lot of the RX-7s we see at gatherings like this have become very much form oriented. Am I the only one missing the function side of things in the JDM rotary world? I think I need to drop by Pan Speed again and sample some of their cars…
Ah, that’s better, period correct wins. Am I wrong?
See what I mean? This is why Daikoku Parking Area rocks. At 7:00pm on a Wednesday night, a legit Hakosuka GT-R drives in, revs its glorious S20 engine a few times, and drives right out back onto the Wangan.
It doesn’t really matter what day of the week it is, or whether an event is happening or not. You’ll always find something interesting here.Into The Night
Two tuna-mayo onigiris and a slab of conbini fried chicken later, me and the kid were back out in the evening air to see how the meet had evolved.
The first thing I spotted was a JC Cosmo. This is hands-down my favorite rotary-powered Mazda.
Not far away was this HB Cosmo with its amazing quad pop-up headlights. Mazda really did make some badass cars back in the day, didn’t they? Let’s hope the current SUV-everything craze fades a bit.
Every minute, new cars arrived.
I contemplated making the drive over to Umihotaru PA on the Aqua Line, but I heard through the grapevine that there were hardly any cars there. So I decided to stay at Daikoku, embrace the mix and appreciate what Japan gives us on special days like these – even during rather hard times. It’s always a pleasure to see how passion brings people together, be it a special car or even a unique engine type. We are always searching for those links that unite people.
That’s all from 7’s Day 2021. It wasn’t the biggest, it wasn’t the best, but given what we’re going through right now, I’ll take it.
Dino Dalle Carbonare