Three Unexpected Finds At Ireland’s Premier Japanese Car Show

There’s been a lot of content from Irish shows and events the last little while, so I really didn’t plan on bringing you anymore for the rest of the year.

This was despite the fact that Japfest – traditionally Ireland’s largest Japanese car show – was still to run, because between LZ Fest and the Juicebox BBQ, I felt like we had seen everything worthwhile this year. From a JDM perspective, at least.

Naturally, and as usual, I was wrong.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-1

There was a lot of overlap of cars between the three events, which is to be expected for a small country like Ireland. However, there were at least three cars which I felt warranted at least some coverage.

First up, was this Datsun B120 truck.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-7
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-12

Not to be confused with a recent(ish) Speedhunters feature car, this is the first time I’ve happened upon this build, which became the eventual ‘Car of the Show’.

Hidden in an unusual middle row, the Datsun is a proper showstopper. Not just from the general levels of excellence all around the car (the carbon fibre detailing in particular was a chef’s kiss) but what was hidden under the bonnet.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-2

The immaculately shaved and smoothed engine bay is home to Toyota’s venerable 20-valve 4A-GE with individual throttle bodies and a neatly crafted exhaust manifold.

Subtle, but superb.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-14

Next up was something we’ve all seen before in some shape or another, but I reckon it’ll be a long time before I see one this clean again.

This EK9 Honda Civic Type R was probably in better than new condition.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-16

‘Pristine’ doesn’t even begin to describe it, and the owner was keen (and rightly so) to share every piece of the car with the spectators in attendance.

I’ve a huge soft spot for the EK9, so it was a real treat to see one in such perfect and relatively unmolested condition.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-20
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-23

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a new EK9 in my life, as the first Civic to receive the Type R badge was a Japan-only model. This is as close as most will ever get.

As much as I love a modified example, I’m glad to see someone has the restraint to preserve one.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-33

The third and final car of this short spotlight-o-rama did technically appear in my Juicebox BBQ coverage, but I was able to shoot it in a little bit more detail at Japfest.

It’s an innocent enough looking DA7 Integra from a distance, but when I first saw this roll up to the BBQ, I knew something was amiss, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Perhaps it was the downturned and neatly fabricated exhaust tip, the subtle negative camber on the front, or the blue Brembo 4-pot front brakes?

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-28

It turns out my suspicions were correct, as not only does this car feature a K20A with a big ol’ hairdryer attached, it’s also mated to a Honda CR-V’s 4WD system.

‘Siri, show me the definition of a sleeper’.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-34

It wasn’t the only K-swapped and turbocharged Honda Integra in attendance either, but I’ve planned a separate feature for this DC2.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-35

This Frankenstein-esque Type R has a little direct-shift secret, but more on that another day…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-5
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-9


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Did you notice how many miles were on that ek9?


That B210 truck and EK9 Type R look so clean
But that DA7 Integra with the K20 swap and the 4WD swap from the CRV has to be the coolest one here
Haven't seen an Integra like that before

Jayasuryaa chandrasekar

such a cool truck! i'm from India and seeing such a neat build is very rare!


I hope I'm not bothering the mods, if you wanna see this car fully restored(it was a mess) you can check it out here: . Just yesterday i saw this video, and now it's on speedhunters, that must be something.