Customs Invade Tokyo: The Street Car Nationals

No matter how many times I attend the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals, I never quite get over the visual impact the event creates on the streets of Tokyo’s Odaiba neighborhood. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t into customs or hot rods, the sight that these cars collectively create is simply breathtaking.

Throw in an ever-expanding mix of vehicles and your senses are tickled on so many different levels. And as always, the best part of the day for me – and the one I look forward to the most – are all these cars rolling in…

… lining up in front of the vast parking lot opposite Funenokagakukan Station and waiting to either get into the show area, or park up.

It’s the perfect way to get your head around the awesomeness that you will encounter once you step through the gates, as well as a great way to get a feel for the lighthearted atmosphere that people bring to this annual gathering.

So for a good hour I walked up and down the street…

… enjoying the parade that was unveiling before my eyes.

As we continue to see over the years, Japan’s custom scene is in a constant evolution with plenty of surprises to be seen – much like this Porsche 914 aggressively lowered onto a set of American Racing Libres wheels. Mooneyes opens its arms to all sorts of customized cars so there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

Jonathan, Larry and Hide are getting soaked to their bones at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race that is still happening as I type this, but the weather in Odaiba couldn’t have been more different with the sun shining throughout the day and giving some of us (including me!) the first epic sunburn of the year.

Right on schedule, by 9.00am the last couple of cars…

… drove through the gates…

… so it was time to head in and begin cruising through the vast space reserved for the show. This is, of course, the same area where D1 Grand Prix’s Odaiba round is held every year – so if it’s big enough to contain a drift course you can just imagine how many cars can fit in there! See what I was saying about variety?

Check out the stance on these Cedric Wagons, all part of the Clunkers club.

Of course, dressing up for the occasion is a must for a lot of owners and their kids.

The only way to approach a gathering of this size is to break it down, so you can expect me to take a closer look at a few of the best cars that I came across, as well as taking a more general overview of  the machines that were present. To top it all off a little walk through the parking lot is something no one should ever skip out on.

Getting in character is taken to extremes sometimes!

It’s also great seeing cars that were first unveiled at the Hot Rod & Custom Show sitting outside under the sun – a great place to look over them in detail. That’s something we might have to do with this Impala which was voted ‘Best Lowrider’ at last year’s show.

This little guy reminded me of the Pug from Men in Black!

Like I said, making sure your attire is a match to what you bring to the show…

… might get you extra points and adds so much to the overall vibe of the event.

Hopefully this quick taste of things to come will put you in the right state of mind for the custom line up I hunted for you at Odaiba. A Spotlight-O-Rama is coming up next, but until then check below and download some of these images in desktop size.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

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