The Night The V12s Took Over Tokyo

Things are different in Japan.

That much is obvious to anyone who is paying attention. Not just from a car culture perspective, but from almost any perspective. Of all the countries and continents I’ve visited in the name of Speedhunters, no where has felt more alien than Japan.

It’s the little things that really remind you that you’re a long way from home: the markings on the ground at a train station which show you where the doors will open when the train arrives; the gyroscopic arms on the back of food delivery bikes which keep your pizza level; the confusing but brilliant toilet controls; automatic taxi doors; the ingenious ketchup / mustard dispensers; or even the ability to get a decent warm meal from a vending machine. The list is endless.

However, if there’s one thing that really separates Japan apart from the rest of the world, it’s the people. I think Ben best summed it up by saying that the people in Japan are so friendly and polite, that they make you want to be a better person. It’s this difference in civility that allows Japan’s car culture to be what it has become.

2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-19
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-21

It’s the evening of January 12th. It’s a Friday, but our body clocks haven’t even come close to adjusting to our new timezone, so it could be any time, any day, really. It’s freezing cold and we’re waiting atop of Tatsumi PA, a parking area which curiously sits high above a multi-level road network which must resemble a bowl of spaghetti from above. It took us two attempts to find our way in.

Warming my hands with a recently dispensed cup of strawberry flavoured hot chocolate (a decision I immediately regretted) the unmistakeable howl of V12s approaching started somewhere beneath us. This wasn’t unexpected. Our fearless community manager, and accomplished photographer in his own right, Mark Riccioni, had arranged to meet some exotic owners here for no reason other than to take some photographs and drive about for the evening. As one does on their ‘holiday’, obviously.

A standard Speedhunters night then, but in exceptional circumstances.

2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-30

Truthfully, we weren’t full sure of what was going to arrive. Mark had been speaking with one person in particular, Souki, who was trying to gather a few like minded owners to attend. From experience, genuine owners of exotics are usually quite private and reluctant to partake in anything like this, with the obvious exception of those who like to rev / set their cars on fire in highly populated areas.

When three Lamborghinis in the form of a Diablo and two Aventadors arrived into view, we thought “not bad”.

2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-36

Not long after, when three more 12-cylinder Italians arrived (an Murcielago SV, 599 GTO & 512TR), our night went from “not bad” to “this probably is going to be rowdy”. And it was.

We didn’t stay in Tatsumi PA very long, and instead took to the expressway and headed towards Daikoku PA. This was the perfect opportunity for rolling shots as the cars stuck together, which would typically be done with a level of discretion, but something which wasn’t possible when one car is illuminated like the midnight sun (which strangely didn’t feel even a little bit out of place), and others were busy emitting foot-long flames.

2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-33
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-42
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-47
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-56
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-68
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-72
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-85
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-88

From Daikoku, we left and headed into the heart of Tokyo before finally stopping on the side of the street near the world famous Shibuya crossing. Naturally, six supercars stopped within one of the busiest pedestrian areas on the planet will attract a considerable amount of attention.

However, instead of the sneers and complaints that so often can be found in these sort of situations, it was smiles and friendly dialogue. There was a level of interaction on a scale which you just don’t see between the general public and car owners in other countries, or at least not in countries which I’ve visited. It was just nice, really. Well, I assume the conversation was nice as I don’t speak the language, but Darran, our very kind translator for the evening, indicated that it was.

2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-104
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-117
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-122
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-133
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-144
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-148
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-160
2018 Mark Riccioni Lamborghini Night Tokyo-07

As you might have guessed, there’s no real point to this story… but then again, does a fleet of 12-cylinder supercars in Tokyo ever need a reason? Cars like these should be used, and any opportunity to see them in the wild should be embraced.

Despite how extraordinary it was, it did feel strangely familiar, because it’s something which countless car enthusiasts do every Friday night around the world; driving from one place to another, purely for the enjoyment of driving. Our cars and locations might be different, but how we enjoy our cars is the same basic principle.

Perhaps that’s what the true measure of a genuine car enthusiast is?

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Photography by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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nothing more japanese than a gang of italian supercars for some reason


Modern Lamborghinis. Such tasteful, elegantly-styled cars.

By the way, who's the wiseguy trying to turn a Diablo into an Aventador?


Souki-San. Search "Souki Diablo" and you'll find pics of him making those Liberty-Walk-style flares himself. I think the rest of the kit comes from Anija, the high-end shop known for mixing up different stylistic elements and eras of Lamborghinis.


Can you guys please do a feature on that Testarossa?


I don't know if there's something in the coffee I'm holding outside in freezing Pennsylvania as I type this, but from the perfect balance of visual and written styles here, I get that tingly feeling like I was there with you guys.

As a lifelong fan of 70s-90s exotics, I really appreciate the way the Diablo and 512 owners are working with their existing, awesome cars, instead of just buying the latest and greatest. This feature is timely for me, as I spent all my downtime at work, yesterday, downloading reference pics of Anija's modded Diablos, as well as that particular 512TR, as I'm building 1/24 models that combine elements of both.

To get back to "working with what we have," there's so much to be said for continuing to evolve every detail of the cars we know inside and out, down to the nuts and bolts. As the owner of an older BMW with a slew of newer-BMW components, I'm often asked why I don't "just buy a new 5-series instead of..." etc. It's because I love MY car. "We" have a history, and it has a soul. Besides, I enjoy juxtaposing classic styles and new ones. I've owned several new cars, and they just haven't spoken to me the way this one has.

Inevitably, people will ask why the Diablo / Murcie owners have done what they've done here. Why they reinvent what they have. People asking this question are overlooking the "soul" element. Those people feel their rides, just like the rest of us do. Meanwhile, they haven't closed their minds to new ideas. For them, being able to add present-day style while keeping their car's existing personality is like having their cake and eating it too.

To me it's optimism on wheels. More and more, I'm loving Japan for embracing it.

And +1 for a feature on the 512!


The OTHER night V12s took over Tokyo...again.


Can someone please lay some science down about how the Tron-esque look is even possible on that blue Lambo...?

Is it as simple as LED light tape and the photo just makes it look way more rad than it actually is??


To be fair, the photos don't do the actual lighting of this car justice - it's even madder on the road!


The exterior piping would be just that, Led strips discretely mounted in diffuser pipes (plastic sheaths that are slightly opaque).
The bonnet I'm not sure. My guess is the panels were trimmed a few mm to make a gap LED's could shine through


I need to go to Japan.


so flashy and kind of surreal, like a ´Nfs from dusk till dawn Edition´

I like that,
I like that a lot


That Testa is absolutely lovely.


I just love Lamborghinis and Ferraris in Japan
Reminds me of Wangan Midnight

Ivor The Engine Driver

Who butchered the Diablo?


Probably a typo but the murci was not mentioned in the introduction of the two groups of cars. Also +1 to the testa feature.

Dieter Verscheure

A LW diablo, now thats interesting. the diablo is already a wide car but then slapping a LW wide body kit on. nice touch.


Superbes photos !!!


Not long after, when three more 12-cylinder Italians arrived (an Aventador SV, 599 GTO & 512TR)

Murcielago SV. hire a Prius paddy! :D



(In all honest, I've no idea why I typed Aventador, was probably distracted by the shining lights? )


I need more of that 512 TR in my life, can we get some more in depth reporting on it please?


That 512TR looks incredible, please do a feature.


amazing! must be the symphony of terror when they fly by!