It’s the size of two football fields, takes 20 minutes to walk across and another 15 to get to the main gates of the Tokyo Auto Salon, and is nothing short of a labyrinth to get in and out of. Welcome to the Makuhari Messe car park (Part 1).
After arriving (late) in Project GC8 and being ushered to my space, I decided to walk through and find all the interesting nuggets that people had driven to the event. By this time on Saturday it was around 10:00am, and the low-lying winter sun was casting a soft light over the sea of vehicles.
Having never been to TAS, previous coverage promised me a vast array of interesting vehicles in the parking lot, some more modified than the cars inside the ginormous exhibition center.
For this post, I’ll keep my trivial commentary to a minimum and let you simply enjoy the great outdoors, quietly and peacefully, as I did.
The sheer variety of cars was definitely the highlight. I spotted not one but two Subaru Forester STIs (a model I used to own back in the United Kingdom). They’re truly a rare sight in Japan these days, whereas in the UK I’d at least see one on the road every few weeks.
High tax bracket and a thirsty 2.5L turbo boxer, along with a relatively bulky footprint, means that most Foresters have been exported by now. Who needs one anyway; there’s plenty of room for a dog in an EP Starlet.
Just like the main show floor, you’ll find anything and everything in the Makuhari Messe car park come TAS time. From mega 4x4s to Honda Beats, and from Z cars to all-American choppers.
4x4s are big in Japan (quite literally) and there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind one on the highway, or even worse still, having one right up your jacksie and being blinded by its intense array of aftermarket lights. But, they are unquestionably cool in my books, because they are extreme. Fast cars are fast, sure, but can a GT-R take you into the wilderness and supply you with a hot shower and a comfortable bed for the night? If I was to allow myself one such ridiculous luxury, I would definitely kit out one of these Mitsubishi Delicas.
Hoping to find some big rigs, I headed over to the transporter area.
It was pretty uneventful from a shooting perspective, but on my second day of TAS, I spotted something very yellow and very big from afar. I returned to the truck area for a closer look and found this wicked Ford Econoline van. I’m not sure which exhibitor it belonged to, but it was a definite highlight.
How are your fingers? Are you getting scroller’s fatigue yet? I’ve got the best bits coming up in my next Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 car park post, so I suggest you put that index digit on ice and get some rest.
I’m glad I took the time to explore the parking lot before I tackled the show itself, because after two days of walking through the vast exhibition complex, all I wanted to do was get back to my car and head home for some baked beans on toast and a lie down.