Three Top Picks From Wekfest Japan

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
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Those straight swage lines on the VeilSide Z32's flares are what made me dislike it.

But that 997 though... I would dare say it works a lot better than the Old & New kit. This is a proper 935 homage!


Really interesting how opinions may differ. I'm usually all-in when its about Porsches but this one literally disgust me. From bodywork over stance to color. Nice wheels, I'll give him that.

The Z32 on the other hand, was never a car for for my taste. Futuristic-ish design that looks even older if the car is in bad shape. Often built to be different but not better TBH. But this one due to general execution and lack of stickers, "really make this Z32 hit harder than any I’ve seen before".

Dino Dalle Carbonare

The kit on the Z32 is Abflug not Veilside. And yeah that 997 is wild!


These really are 3 top picks. Good work sir

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thank you!


That generation of Tercels had a E36 vibe to them

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I know what you mean!


The Slantnose one is a pre-facelift 996, isn't it?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

No it's a 997 4S


I'm upset I like that Tercel.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

ha ha tell me about it!


The 300Z is such a cool car. It's 30 years old but it still looks futuristic!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There was a long period of time that I just didn't like these cars. Now I'm more interested in a Z32 than the new Z lol


There is just something about those Z's. I find it difficult to ever go past one. The classic lines just speak me. Certainly one of the best designs out not only its era, but out of the JDM scene in general.

And if the tercel's chassis is anything like the E100 corolla's of its time, it would be a great lot of fun steering around. Especially with the bump in power. To this day, I Still miss my humble little AE102r sedan.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think it's to do with the fact that it was a simple and flowing design, inside and out. More classic if you will, which tends to age better


Any enthusiast gets why... But Y THO TERCEL?!?!

Such engine, work, details... but yawn chassis. I guess now everything has been done, so this mistake is what's left to do? My eyes slightly narrowed, shocked even, but hey, some reaction came from this article. What's next? Geo Metro with over 9 thousand hours of artesan attention and made from the world's rarest materials? Whyyyyy. The end is nigh.


Owning a car that is normally 'uninspiring' you'd be surprised the number of people who will have fond memories of the same chassis.

Some relative owned one, or learned to drive in one, or was a first car. The stories always come about at car shows. Sure all the high end stuff was lusted over from early ages, the Skyline's, Supra's, 911's, with stories of 'I had this as a poster on my wall' or 'I remember playing "game" and seeing it for the first time'

but those mundane chassis's will have a different connection of memories and stories to be told. 'I got my license in a car like this' or 'Took my grandmas car like this to prom'. I guess it's nice to see cars you can have actual memories with still existing and being made to have more memories.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Focusing on such an uninspiring chassis is definitely a way to get noticed but then again we don't know the background story. I'd rather not make assumptions, but then again what's wrong with going crazy on a mundane car? I quite like it


Ask not what's wrong with going crazy on a mundane cars as, yeah, the story behind it will shed that light... But ask why would wekfest/speedhunters feature it and the answer is because it had been lavished with money and will spark some interest with being "different". Nothing to do with wrong or right (i was joking lol) but calling out the potential of a new global perspective that will spread where ANY car will be seen as appropriate for enthusiasm, this Tercel parked next to a "stage 3" Model 3 parked next to a garage queen GM T.50S parked next to a survivor 190E/240R/Lada/2CV/F150 parked next to a beat-up, daily driven restomod Dino/Stratos/550 Spyder/Cobra... Meaning a complete shift in how everyone sees what models as the usual car show lineup from 1950 vs 1975 vs 2000 hasn't changed much except "new models", but suddenly post-Covid, the 2020's reinvents it all. If you're older than 20 today, the lineup isn't just new or alien even, it's a total 180 of values that no one predicted.


After watching what's been happening these past 2 years and the advent of new technology being in the hands of everyday builders that once was the preserve of a few companies only. Once what was just a render on a pc screen is now becoming a reality. Makes me wonder who in the aftermarket is going to bring back the flip-up headlights.


Already done.
Google "Stratospherica Alfa 4c"
Pop ups on a 4c... Whyyy but there it is. Because wheelbase and Italian handbuilt midengine match to Stratos.

Next up: new "NSX" to OG NSX, hurracan to Diablo, and SF90 to 512 popup headlight conversions...


LOL, thanks. I found it.


That Tercel is something else! I couldn't care less what a base platform is, when it's clearly been approached as methodically and professionally as that it's worthy of some applause. The workmanship and execution is fantastic.


Good job Dino!

The 997 is very nice. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but the 911 was always like that. The Z32 was nice to see. Saw a silver 2+2 drive by me a few weeks ago. Any idea if the mods reached the engine bay? The Tercel was a nice surprise. I prefer the Civic, but always had a soft spot for this particular car.