Eastern Influence: Postcards From Reisbrennen
Cultures Collide

Full disclosure from the outset: I didn’t really know what to expect from the German tuning and show scene.

I’d heard that Germany is a land where modifying your car is made incredibly difficult by bureaucracy. To be on the right side of the law any parts you add or replace on your car need to be approved, or there’s a number of hoops you need to jump through to ensure that everything is kept above board.


I also knew that the Germans love their BMWs. I’ve visited the Nürburgring a number of times, and there’s always been a gaggle of immaculately engineered Bavarian motors lapping the circuit. Sorry to disappoint the BMW fans, but there won’t be any of that in this story…


When I found out that i would be visiting the Reisbrennen show as part of shooting Drift Allstars Germany this year, my interest was piqued.


See, Reisbrennen translates, literally into ‘rice burning’. I’m not sure the name is 100 per cent politically correct, and that’s an entirely different discussion, but the long and short of it is that the show is strictly limited to Japanese marques only.


Obviously, the import tuning scene reaches far and wide across the globe with influences and trends spilling across borders, but I guess I’d never really considered what the German import scene was like.


Reisbrennen takes place at the Eurospeedway Lausitz (formerly known as the Lausitzring). This huge venue offers petrolheads the perfect playground for a motoring festival, and this particular one plays out over the course of three days, (and the nights in between). There’s a celebratory atmosphere that is very much non-stop.


Whilst I was at Reisbrennen to cover the drift competition, and only had a very brief time to actually explore the show, I’m hoping this gives you a glimpse into how Deutschland does Japan.

Beasts From The East

As I was on site early, I got to have a wander around the paddock while it was quiet. In fact, many of the first cars were just arriving.


The first thing that struck was the sheer number of GT-Rs rolling in. From R32s to R35s, they were everywhere!


If you see an R35 on the roads in the UK you take note – they’re not rare, but hardly a common occurrence. At Reisbrennen you started overlooking them before long, there were that many.


Prior Design brought along two of the Nissan supercars, both wearing Prior’s PD750WB bodykit.


A stock-bodied GT-R almost look tame when compared to this steroid-enhanced version.


Not far away, I spotted this Hakosuka nestled in a pit garage. These things fetch silly money now. It’s also funny to note just how small this model is next to a modern day GT-R.


What caught my eye more was the equal number of R32, R33 and R34 GT-Rs in attendance. Money no issue, I’d probably go for an R32 as a weekend car and an R34 for the daily commute. How about you?


What’s wrong with this picture? Fifteen internet points if you guess before scrolling down…


When you want blistering performance, classic JDM looks and the ability to transport the family and dog on holiday, then a GT-R-facelifted  Stagea is the only way to go, I guess? This RS4 would’ve originally packed an RB25DET, although the numberplate hints that an RB26 has since taken its place…


I find myself magnetised to gorgeous wheels, and when I spotted this super-clean R32 GT-R sporting one of our Katakana windscreen banners I was pleased to see it wearing a set of cool gold Advan RG IIs.


This has to be one of my top 10 all-time favourite wheel designs.


It wasn’t all GT-Rs either; this weathered gold TA40 rolled in and instantly started breaking necks.


I didn’t see it again after this fleeting moment, but sitting on a slightly-more-gold set of TOM’S Igetta wheels covered by gloss black overfenders, cool wing-mounted mirrors, and with a mixed-message interior comprised of part retro-original and part race-car inspired rollcage, I was glad our paths crossed.

The humble AE86 was represented too, although in fewer numbers than I’d hoped. I’ve got a real soft spot for these classic Toyotas, and with values always on the increase we’re bound to see less and less of them being displayed and more retained in private collections.


This classic-shape Prelude drew a crowd of in-the-know appreciators too. Sitting low over a set of dished RH wheels, it struck the perfect OEM+ balance.

At the other end of the scale the Hot Import paddock played host to some of the most ‘out there’ builds. It seems the The Fast and the Furious franchise had (or has?) a strong influence on the more show-car elements of the German import scene. In case you were wondering, that’s a Honda CR-X on the right.


The new 86 chassis has enjoyed huge success in Europe as well as around the world. The surefire combination of reasonable affordability, great looks, decent power and an excellent rear-wheel drive chassis have made it a popular choice with tuners. I’m really hoping more manufacturers see the market for this type of car.


It seems that the Germans really enjoy their Supras too. The familiar sound of 2JZ motors reverberated around the gigantic grandstands of the Lausitzring as punters queued for a run on the dyno that had been set up in the paddock. The JZA80 is a classic shape that’s stood the test of time very well – they still turn heads, even today.


Due to the Lausitzring’s geographical location, right in the east of Germany between Berlin and Dresden, Reisbrennen is a truly international affair. It’s only a quick skip across the border into Poland or the Czech Republic. The show attracts visitors from all over; I even saw a handful of vehicles running UK plates.

Track Action

As well as the Drift Allstars event, Reisbrennen also hosted a round of the Time Attack Masters championship on the same circuit, in between the drifting, obviously.


Two of the giant oval’s main straights were used, linked by two sections of twisting infield circuit. The track looked pretty good fun to drive.


Hanging over the pit wall on the main straight just before the braking zone, you really got a sense of the speed and momentum that some of these cars carry into the bends. The acoustics of the surrounding grandstands, empty for the most part made everything sound amazing!


Suddenly, a wild Nismo R35 GT3 appeared – not what I expected to see at a tuning show! This thing hauled ass, and made some of the other cars lapping the Lausitzring look as if they were travelling in reverse.

I later went in search of the GT3 and found it raised up on airjacks in a pit garage. This is a serious piece of kit to put up against the homebrew Time Attack cars at Reisbrennen. The equivalent of bringing a fighter jet to a gunfight.


Its stablemates were equally attention-grabbing. This HGK Motorsport-built GT86 caught my eye from across the room, wearing dished Work CR2P wheels and an HGK bodykit.


Under the bonnet sat a race-tuned LSX motor, impeccably shoehorned in as if it was always meant to be there. HGK’s work never fails to impress me, just check out that Kevlar slam panel!


If you’re wondering why the Swiss flag adorns all of the wing end plates, I was reliably informed that the cars in this garage all belong to Swiss hillclimb champion Hans Schori. Alongside the GT3 and GT86 there were a duo of fast-looking Time Attack Evos. Quite the line up!


As a fellow S2000 owner, I’m always interested to hear how tuners have managed to squeeze out any extra power from the F20C. I’ll have a small spotlight on this stroked and aerodynamic Time Attack Honda to share with you shortly.


Alongside the Time Attack sessions and a small drift practice track, there was also a ‘run what you brung’ format drag strip set up in the evening, allowing entrants to test their mettle (and metal) down the quarter mile.


Obviously, some were better equipped than others for this. I’m hoping to bring you more on this 1,700bhp R32 in the near future…


This little EG Civic looked as if it had a few tricks up its sleeve. Packing a turbo and nitrous-fed B16A2 motor, the little Honda hatchback packs in the region of 700bhp.


The sight of a 67mm BorgWarner turbo trying to suck in the world in your rear-view mirror would be enough to make you move over. Not that I’d imagine many people get far enough ahead to see this Honda their mirror…


Here’s a rare sight, an S13 that’s forgotten how to S13. Why aren’t you drifting?


Taking a closer look around this drag S-body, it was very agricultural and somewhat rough around the edges. But, powered by a repositioned RIPS RB30 motor and a huge front-fed turbo, it looked to do the job. On a dry strip it runs mid 8s.


Although the track was slightly damp, it didn’t stop a huge number of cars lining up into the night. As my weekend was pretty packed with the drift event, it served as a good way to see many of the cars from the event in one place, if only for a split second as they blasted past.


I had spotted this black GT-R wearing huge drag tyres earlier in the day and, in the mass of R35s all around me, not paid much attention to it.


It wasn’t until I took a closer look that I realised it was an Alpha18 GT-R. To the uninitiated, Alpha Performance offers a range of tuning packages for your GT-R, with the Alpha18 option boosting it from the stock 540bhp up to a ridiculous 1,840bhp, with over 1,200lb-ft torque to boot. When this thing launches from the line I’m surprised the Earth doesn’t spin the wrong way momentarily.


By the time the drag strip wound things up it was long after dark, and the spectators descended on the paddock to get a closer look at the cars. Cheers and applause greeted the drivers who could abuse their rev limiters in the most hooliganistic fashion.


However, I had to be up early the next day for the main Drift Allstars competition, so I bid Reisbrennen adieu for the night.


As we drove away the sound of flames exploding from exhausts and tyres screeching whilst impromptu burnouts initiated could be heard far behind us. Germany’s biggest celebration of import car culture wasn’t ready for bed just yet.


The day at Reisbrennen was over, but I sensed the night had only just begun…

Jordan Butters
Instagram: driftagram / jordanbutters
Jordan Butters Photography

Cutting Room Floor


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Very funny article. Cheers, love the S13 that "forgot how to S13"


Great article! Thanks for showing a couple S2Ks! Seems like other editors always ignore them, you always see them just out of shot or behind another car ignored. Some of them seem to be slick builds. Cant wait for next feature on the time attack one.


If people get offended by the term "rice burning" then the world has become more pussy than I feared...that was a major term back in the olden days by car guys and if car guys are now getting all PC then screw them.


Finally... Something with an Evo in


"Prior Design brought along two of the Nissan supercars, both wearing Miura's Rocket Bunny Kit"  

I kid, but I really can't tell the difference...


the burning in "Reisbrennen" has to do with burning fuel and tyres, neve in Germany would an event be allowed to given a name if is was in any way offensive towards another culture, people just don't accept it


Yes ,it is  a pain in the ass, to get parts from other markets than GER/CH/AUT legalized over here,
but on the other hand ,since we are allowed to partly drive without a speedlimit, you have to ensure the safety of aftermarket parts, 
when they are put on cars able to get way over 150mph
so it´s really great to see this coverage and the especially the street cars
still using "Reisbrenner" ("rice burner/s") , for fast japanese cars smoking their tires  is more an hommage to the days japan was the only notebale asian car company in the local market , than a possible offense
ps : see the number plate of that red gt86  reading format67.net ?
check out their videos on youtube , they are really great:


As much as i would love to say that this is a good look at the German JDM, i can't. Many of the better builds you see come from other countries or are not street legal. As mentioned it is kind of hard to get a car road registered with many modifications that are in other countries completely normal. For example we don't really have much engine swaps that are street legal because it would cost you a shit ton of money if you don't know the right people. I would like to conclude this by saying don't live in germany if you are a gearhead, it's pretty good for visitng to go on the autobahn, nürburgring and stuff like this but as a gearhead it kinda sucks sometimes.

btw we germans got a big problems with fake wheels because japanese manufacturas don't care about the european market and it is not easy for a single person to get wheels approved cause you have the get them tested by the TÜV and they say you have to buy 3-7 extra wheels so they can test them properly but brands like rota know that so they get their wheels approved so everyone just buys fake wheels


DominicPerry Post rationalisation?


the pictures are great, every car is perfect, although I am a GTR fan ;)


LukeEVOVIII and the other blue oval :D


Spotted the roof rack. 15 pts!

turbo BEAMS ae86

great photo man

Nice AE86


I like your photos man. That red civic and a few pics right after really caught my eye. 
That s13 was cool too.


So many creeping Supras in these photos haha. But some had them as the focus too so that's okay :P
Great photos all round anyway, cheers!


SWEET Prelude, do you have any other shots?


my Aunty Grace got a new silver Nissan Cube Wagon from only workin part-time on a computer... over here
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R33..... Period!


Too bad R-Performance Integra was missing. Last Time Attack run it ran faster laps than Schoris R35 GT3.


My Uncle Logan got yellow Ford F-350 by work using a laptop. i was reading this

...........  http://goo.gl/zmRRpY


reix2x that S13 was pretty awesome, even though it had forgotten how to S13.  What is even crazier is to see an engine from a workshop in my local town in New Zealand, sitting in an S13 in Europe


my gf got Nissan Xterra SUV only from working off a home pc...


LukeEVOVIII There's definitely been less Evo content since Suzy left/got fired/whatever happened.  Still going strong on IG.


DominicPerry you're right, and besides buring fuel and tyres the meaning of "brennen" can also be translated into "racing". maybe you could say its "racing with japanese car and burning fuel and tyres". there's nothing bad in the word "reisbrennen".


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D1RGE EXE Sadly not – both myself and the car moved on I think.


@pipes DominicPerry I don't think 'brennen' is the word in question here. Whether the phrase still has negative connotations today is another matter, but the phrase originated as a pejorative. 

Besides, this isn't about that.


pushbikerider several of the cars at Resibrennen were running RIPS motors – it seemed a popular choice!


That red Honda Civic is so clean! Love it!


I think we have a pretty strange car scene here in germany :/ it alway feels kind of "immature"  why the f*** do they call it "reisbrennen" this could be a wounderful event but if you tell someone who doesn't know where you've been this weekend this word makes it sound like you were at the douchebag festival.


pushbikerider Beautiful globalization! jeje love NZ you guys really how to deal with cars (y)


@captain future its probable just a joke ;) germans got a strange kind of humor ;D


Spotlight some of those GC Subarus, we need more of that badness

Pete the perfect pilot

What? About the Mazda rotarys? No mention in your comments ....


my Aunty Isabella got a fantastic green BMW X1 SUV only from working part-time off a pc... you can try here
see it here=====Earn.pro70.comllllllll


PorscheLOVE i think our humor isn't that strange :D its just, well more german then other humors XD but i could agree, reisbrennen sounds like a bunch of ricer guys meet up and have a go at who can vtec louder.
i never thought myself that it would be that of a serious meetup with such serious and beautiful cars.


what Dawn said I am blown away that a single mom able to earn $6517 in 1 month on the computer .see it here=====net.pro70­­.Comllllllll


Some seriously beautiful shots in here, I had to save several. Great work.


my Aunty Nora got an awesome blue Hyundai Tucson SUV just by working online from home... Find Out More
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reix2x pushbikerider  RIPS is up there with the best when it comes to RB motors. I just fitted one of there twin rail 12 injector inlet manifolds on to a customers car today.


as Raymond explained I'm amazed that a single mom can earn $5407 in one month on the computer . more information site here ---------->> http://tiny.tw/3pnK


scibO reix2x pushbikerider wow! which engine was it? does it perform well?


Ayup, and we're done here. One Stagea to go, please.


Jan.P Completely agree on this one! 

It's almost impossible to find an authentic JDM build in Germany. In my area it's even hard to find a simple and tastefully modified car. 

I wanted to get my new coilovers and wheels registered for the street, payed 120 bucks for a simple look over the parts, all equipped with the proper paper work. Well...I was 5mm too low in the back and I had slight rub in the front when the wheels were at full lock and the dude was driving like an idiot around in circles (because that's totally gonna happen in every day use). I mean I gave that car hell around the local streets and the Autobahn and I never had any rubbing issues. 
In the end he didn't let me pass. Nice! 

This really brings a lot of frustration upon young drivers like me, who don't have a huge budget. 
Furthermore, as I have only owned my licence for about a year now, I have to be extra careful. If the police catches me driving with unregistered parts, I can kiss my car and my licence good bye. Getting both back would cost around 2000€.

So yeah, modding cars in Germany isn't as much fun as elsewhere...


Any more pictures of that Mits FTO next to the stagea/gtr ? i cant remember the last time i saw one of those besides gran turismo.


My Uncle Nathan just got silver Ford Fiesta just by some part-time working online with a macbook...see it here=====net.pro70­­.Comllllllll


my Aunty Madison just got an almost new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon from only workin part time on a home computer... why not try this out 
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Wow Jordan... Thanks for using our Car pictures as main tittle image. :) I was suprised and did not expect that... Did you spot the speedhunters sticker on front lip? :D 
Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jdmheart/   or come visit us. :)


@captain future I Agree on this one.. I would love if the name would be something like "JDM Meet Europe" our something like that... I want to see how Asia Arena turns out. Driftking is coming too..


what Rita responded I am impressed that a single mom can make $9909 in 4 weeks on the internet . over here

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Jordan, show us your s!


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This car when it ready at race


is nobody going to ask why is a yellow suppra appearing in some pictures and NOT showing the full car ?


Folly dares will be defeated cleverness hesitation.

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I wonder what color is used on the R32, it looks cool. Really wanted to see more of it, if possible.