It’s been pretty crazy how many events we’ve hit up during the course of May, but one that I’d really been looking forward to getting out to was the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals.
Nothing can match the spectacle of seeing thousands of customized vehicles in all flavors descend upon the Odaiba area of central Tokyo, especially after a couple of years without this annual get together.
For this post, I’ve decided to take the same approach I did with my Wekfest Japan 2022 event wrap-up, and that’s letting the images do the talking.
Hopefully it will give you a true feeling of the size and scope of this event, and the qualities of each car hand-picked by Mooneyes Japan to attend.
I love the light-hearted approach so many car builders in Japan take with their creations.
But it’s the sheer variety of vehicles that makes this event so good. It’s an automotive cocktail of styles – many totally unique to Japan – brought together in one massive open-air venue.
It doesn’t get more Japanese than American-style, lifted and off-road-tire-equipped Suzuki kei vans. Lookout for one of these in an upcoming spotlight post.
I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed this event. It’s similar to the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show of course, both are run by Mooneyes Japan after all, but still different.
The Street Car Nationals is a great place to get your Americana fix.
But that’s not all. Seemingly, JDM model stance cars are now being included too. This Century looked liked it was due back in the spray booth, but you get the idea of it.
Sticking with Japanese cars for a moment, how about this new-gen Roadster?
It’s always cool to see what other random display pieces people bring along to this event.
Not to mention the stuff for sale, and that’s anything you would ever need to supplement and enhance your car lifestyle.
Aside from some obvious groupings, the photos you’re seeing are pretty much in the order I shot them. It’s an event you can walk through, and in one row see a bunch of American ’80s vans, turn your head to see some old Benz wagons, and then find yourself in front of a USDM-themed Civic.
It’s that mix that makes the Street Car Nationals so much fun, and an event you can bring your whole family out to.
And the more colorful and unique ways you can do that, the better.
Vintage cooler, anyone?
On one side of this row I found a supercharged rat rod…
… And on the other a customized and slammed E34 wagon.
Variety really is the spice of life, and that’s no better illustrated than in this Odaiba parking lot at Street Car Nationals time.
Speaking of Mooneyes, they even brought along a custom-painted Volvo truck. That’s something new!
Since last year, Mooneyes have been live streaming their events on Instagram, so especially those overseas don’t miss out. Yes, Japan is still closed to international visitors, but hopefully that changes soon.
You can always count on a nice air-cooled VW selection, but given how this event is evolving, surely we’ll soon start seeing more air-cooled Porsche models in the mix.
Then there was this…
It’s supposedly a limo built with ‘California style’, but I’ll let you decide… Underneath the stretched F40-style bodywork is a Toyota MR2.
I hope this post gave you not only an idea of how big the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals is, but also how many different customizing styles are represented these days. Next up will be a spotlight on my three favorite cars of the event, a choice that was definitely not easy to make.
Dino Dalle Carbonare