Tokyo Auto Salon: The Best Of The Rest
Throwbacks & Throwdowns

Both Dino and I walked the show floor at Tokyo Auto Salon this year, and while we can agree on some of the best cars of the 2015 event, we also had a select few extras that we each liked for other reasons. Of those, here are a few of my personal favorites…


This looks like a 2000GT convertible on the outside, which one of two were made for the 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice.


It’s said that they had to make an open top version for filming to fit in 6-foot-2-inch-tall Sean Connery. This one looks pretty clean, right?


What you are looking at is actually an NB Mazda Miata converted into a 2000GT. It’s built by the same company that made the Lamborghini Miura inspired machine Dino Spotlighted in his post, and is sold running either the factory Mazda four cylinder engine, or a much more sensible V8 option.


Seeing that it’s pretty much impossible for any normal car enthusiast to own the real thing, I think it’s a great idea. Plus, it gives average car enthusiasts like you or I the chance to own something that pays homage to Toyota’s iconic sportscar.


You guys know I love my classic Japanese cars, and while there seems to be less and less at TAS every year, this just puts a smile on my face.


Next up we have Robbie Nishida’s Nissan GT-R that he will be using in Japanese drift events.


The kit is made by Liberty Walk, and while the rest of the car is not finished yet, I can see where they are going with this theme.


Robbie drove an R35 for a single season in Formula Drift back in 2010, but it was powered by a VQ35DETT due to the lack of knowledge and development with the VR38 engine at the time.


Now that they’re more than a few years old, I think we will start seeing an increased number of R35s being modified for drifting.


It’s reported that Daigo Saito will be running 21-inch wheels at all corners of his Formula Drift GT-R, so I’m interested to see if Robbie’s car will follow suit.


Dino already did a quick little Spotlight on this drag-spec Prius, but I just had to show you guys a few more pictures of this amazing build.


The fact that these kids shoved a small block Chevy V8 into the ultimate eco-friendly car amazes me.


Considering the Prius was designed to cut through the air with its egg-like shape, I think it would actually perform quite well.


Opening the hatch exposes the massive rubber and the custom-built rear end.


I don’t know about you guys, but I would love to see this run a few passes on the strip.


Leave it to old school JDM tuning legends Rocky Auto to create this masterpiece. It was definitely my favorite car of the show.


From the outside it looks like a lightly-modified KPGC110 Skyline – but it’s far from that.


Does this interior look familiar to you? That’s right, this is actually a BNR32 Skyline GT-R, with KPGC110 body bits.


This means that you’re essentially looking at a RB26DETT-powered, ATTESA four-wheel drive equipped Kenmeri Skyline.


I just can’t get over how much I love this build. This is exactly the type of thing I love to see on the show floor at Tokyo Auto Salon.

Carbon & Classics

Dino also touched on the Impulse carbon AE86, but I have to show you guys a few more details on this mind-blowing build too.


The Hachiroku has earned legendary status and given its age can already be classed as a classic. With so many having been chopped up and turned into drift cars, it’s getting hard to find an original one these days.


Every year I walk the SEMA show floor and see companies making body parts and even brand new chassis for classic American cars, and I think to myself that it’s probably about time for someone to do the same with Japanese cars.


Until then we will have to settle with restoring junked cars – but this AE86 was far from junk. I can only imagine how much weight was shaved off using carbon fiber for body panels.


The Corolla is already a lightweight in factory form, but this one just takes it to a whole different level.


I’ve never really been a fan of big four-door sports sedans, and because the JZX100 Chaser was unavailable in the States, I could never really fall in love with the look of the car.


But since I have been traveling to Japan more often, I have photographed quite a few of them.


This particular one built by URAS really stood out to me. I just love the way it sits and the color choice is perfect.


When you take a step back and check out the wild aero going on with the rear diffuser it looks even better.


My last cars were a very obvious choice, but here’s something different. I was so excited when Toyota announced that they were building brand new 70 series Land Cruisers for the model’s 30th anniversary.


Of course, my dreams of owning one of these beauties were crushed when I read in the same paragraph that they would only be available in Japan.


While I don’t really understand why Toyota are limiting the sale of these wonderful machines, I do have to applaud them for doing such a thing in the first place.


For the 25th anniversary of the 240Z Nissan vowed to rebuild and restore around 200 examples and put them up for sale in dealerships. While interest was high in the beginning, it fell flat when they only sold around 20 cars.


I can assure you guys that I am not the only one who would definitely buy a brand new 240Z if they were ever to remake them again, but of course because of emissions and safety it will never happen. Boo!


However, this does open the door for other manufacturers to follow suit. Can you imagine driving a brand new – but updated – Mazda FD3S RX-7? Or what about an off-the-showroom-floor BNR32 Skyline GT-R? The possibilities are endless.. Can we say pretty please? What cars do you think that the manufacturers should remake?

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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I'd take that kenmeri any day. With a full R32 engine and drive train, it's a perfect modern update!


The 70 series is available in Australia... I don't know if they ever stopped selling them here? Mining companies, farmers and 4wd people love them


Yeah , I kinda wonder if they just take some of the production that meant for Australia , and put it in their Japanese dealer to sell ? XD


Carbon fiber body? That's for Noobs! In Uras they save weight by removing brake pads!


That Miata tho...


@timmy201 I was going to say we never stopped having them. Japan only, LOL, more like Japan taking them back from us ;)


"Every year I walk the SEMA show floor and see companies making body parts and even brand new chassis for classic American cars, and I think to myself that it’s probably about time for someone to do the same with Japanese cars."

how about something like the Eagle Speedster/Low-Drag GT did for the original E-Type?


those cbon bits for the ae86 are nice but ridiculously expensive, in the region of $1900 per  front guard, $2000 for a roof skin etc


I don't care if the 2000GT is only a kit it is absolutely gorgeous apart from being widely known as the First True and Proper Super Car from Japan. Its the car that Save Toyota and put them on the map.
Apart from a DB5 and Jag E Type and a few Alfas Is there a better looking, more spectacular, splendid, exquisite, superb, wonderful, impressive, awe-inspiring, awesome, amazing, stunning, breathtaking, incredibly mind blowing, sexy, clever & elegant looking car than the 2000GT?


I heard that the full carbon AE86 weighs about 750 kg.


jay8393 It looks excellent though!


Love the carbon AE86s! 

Nice work on them.


Look at the Chaser! It has no calipers!? Seems like it is just one of these Uras Body Demo Car without an engine...


This article=win TY =)




Dynacorn makes new bodies for classic Mustangs and Camaros, and I'd buy a new hachiroku or JZX100 shell right now.

One could only imagine the number of brand-new AE86, Mazda FC and FD, Nissan S- and BNR-series shells a comparable Japanese company could sell, especially here in America where we can't get some of this stuff.


nice one larry ..


hey mikey i think he likes it


Am I crazy or is there no front calipers on the chaser ?


I love the fact that they are essentially "Rebody-ing" cars in the case with the 2000GTiata and the Godmeri, reminds me of that episode of "pimp my ride" when they put a 69 GTO on an 04 GTO frame. As with the land cruiser, i could see sales of it sky rocketing in the US due to our history with Off roaders.....


a brand new 240z.. man I wish


It might be cause I actually Own a real 2000GT.


Bronko Upon further review. Not just you.
This makes me a little sad.


I just want an FQ340 Evo 8 to be remade again sit hat it would be easier for me to acquire one when I can afford one!


This post makes my soul happy.


A brand new updated Mazda FD3S RX7 please!  Pretty please with a cherry on top!


@timmy201 stilll here in nz as well


EhruMejil It pretty much is a Jag E-type, the similarities are all there. Except those gaudy foglights which look silly IMO, even more so when the pop ups are up.


True they look similar but at the same time they are completely different cars with different character and soul. It is a bit like saying that the R32, R33 & R34 are all the same car or that all Ice Cream all the same cause they are serve cold and are sweet.
You want a silly car a pontiac sunfire is a silly car. Also a pontiac aztec is a silly car and stupid and tragic. As per the gaudy foglights and pup ups (IMO) its a signature mark mate that sets the car apart from the rest.
You won't say No to a hot night with Cindy Crawford cause she has a mole in her face would you? Yes is a mole but is a sexy one and her signature mark.


feature on the rocky auto Kenmeri Skyline?


turtlemon  I second that motion.


EhruMejil  But all ice cream is pretty much the same.


David Corrales  you can buy them brand new in australia and New Zealand as well.


You'd all be surprised how many I see every time I go to one of those big corporate junk yards in northern California.
I know they are not GTS and they are all probably automatics, but still every time I go, I see a couple, usually some dented some not, still a sad site and something should be in place where a desirable classic shouldn't fall thru the cracks but gets saved. Because I am sure if you all knew how much those yards pay for a non running Corolla, Datsun, Starlet, 80's 90's whatever, you'd be stacking them ten fold in grandma's backyard, (instead of the junkyards getting them)...


i think the land cruiser is also available in austrailia if im not mistaken. also there is alot of awesomeness going on here lol... that chaser....DAMN. the extra over fenders on the sides and rear are insane. i still love the car, color, rim, aero and rim combo. and that ken meri bodied r32 was a surprise. great stuff.


That Kenmeri Skyline...DAMN! That's sexy, simple and clean!


I am a fan of japanese SUVs like Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol, I am pretty sure there is a massive scene of their fans in Japan, does anyone know a place on the internet where I can look it up? Something like Speedhunters but for SUV enthusiasts.


98spec David Corrales thats great, and demostrates, that japan is not the only market for this especial vehicle.


Excuse me, i got to pick my jaw back from the floor because that f***in amazing Kenmeri converted R32


About the BNR32 Skyline GT-R, with KPGC110 body. The Attesa system is AWD not 4WD. Also this has got me curious. The only underhood pics I can find of these Kenmeri R32's show a NA RB26 and a Kenmeri chassis, so I'm really wondering if it's really AWD, it would be a very difficult conversion.


how did you manage to take these shots with hardly anyone in the background?!


Nikhil_P  would have been done on set-up day, before the doors officially opened


Great selection!


70's land cruisers have been on production for at least the past 6 years and they are beeing sold in arab countries, australia, southafrica, colombia etc. There are 3 doors, 4 doors, pick ups, etc. Check them out on their locals websites. Even Nissan has their clasic Patrols for sale on such countries.