Wekfest Japan really does an awesome job of bringing together some of the nicest and most interesting custom cars this country has to offer.
While that’s great, it makes it really hard to cover the show as there is so much to pick from. To start things off though, I thought I’d share with you the three cars that resonated most with me in Nagoya last week. Let’s begin with Daiki Tanimoto’s Low Jack 935-inspired 997 Porsche Carrera 4.
I saw this car the night before Wekfest on a post that Takashi Koike – the owner of that 935-inspired Nissan Z33 – made on Instagram. By pure coincidence, the orange 997 was one of the first cars I laid eyes on as I walked into the Port Messe venue the next morning.
This thing is wide – much wider than the images relay. In fact, it’s so wide that it took home the ‘Widebody of the Festival’ award for its one-off custom conversion complete with slantnose front end.
Filling out the massive arches are a set of center-lock wheels that have been fitted into a single-lug to five-lug adapter.
The tan interior features Recaro race seats and a Momo steering wheel, bringing a little motorsport feel to the cabin.
The angular fenders and front cowl were hand-shaped the old school way out of expanding foam onto which FRP was then laid to create the final shape. It certainly has presence! The rear end, with that massive rear spoiler, reminds me of RWB Natty Dread Jr.A True Japanese Custom
Another car that I couldn’t keep my eyes off of was this Abflug-kitted Nissan Fairlady Z. It’s probably to do with the Z32-loving phase I’ve been going through of late (well, for a few years now!) and the fact that I’ve started to find the Abflug fender conversion rather attractive.
That’s strange, because this was an aero kit I found hard to digest when it came out back in the day. It’s funny how tastes change over time… In this case, the attraction also has to do with the execution. This car is exceptionally clean and there is no shortage of quality details, like Z34 calipers tucked behind 18-inch RAYS Volk Racing TE37Vs.
There is nothing subtle about the Abflug kit. It even adds squared-off nostrils into the little grille section between the headlights – one of many air intakes up front to keep the VG30DETT cooled.
The way the fenders tail off with that overly defined upper swage line adds such a unique touch to the Z32’s profile. And the inset section created shows off pretty much half of the 295-section rear tire treads.
I spied a set of Recaro RCS seats in the cabin, a nice modern touch to spice up the overall feel of the interior.
The rear is all tied together with a carbon diffuser and a pair of big bore exhausts on each side.
The added girth at the rear and that low deck spoiler really make this Z32 hit harder than any I’ve seen before.The Mundane Turns Into Showstopper
I like the unexpected, and this 1999 Toyota Tercel stopping me in my tracks was just that.
What you can roughly call the Starlet’s boring sedan cousin was never anything remotely exciting. It was a cheap, spacious and economical small four-door – that’s it. In other words, a perfect base to go a little crazy on.
But don’t be mistaken – the Tercel’s simple appearance doesn’t tell the whole story. Although it remains right-hand drive, the owner has brought an otaku-level of USDM flair to this JDM version. Those details include the corner and tail lights, the antenna, side mirrors and even the US coupe’s wipers.
Up front, the car’s original naturally aspirated engine has given way to a 1.3L turbo 4E-FTE (and gearbox) from an EP91 Starlet Glanza V. The base 140hp engine probably puts out a little more now given the custom intercooler, piping and other modifications, and it sits in a shaved and wire-tucked bay for the best possible presentation.
At the rear, there’s a beam conversion complete with disc brakes that supports the front Wilwood kit.
The interior is home to some more cool USDM details including MPH instrumentation, the A/C panel and even visors. A Saito roll cage has pretty much rendered the rear seat useless, while the front seats have been replaced with NRG buckets.
The car sits on Tein dampers with 326Power springs which allow the top of the Yokohama Advan A050-shod O.Z. Racing wheels to tuck into the stock fenders.
And with that you have exemplary build execution applied to the most unsuspecting of cars.
There’s more to come from Wekfest Japan 2022, so stay tuned for my next round of spotlights.
Dino Dalle Carbonare