Event: The Return to Makuhari – Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 V.2

I don’t want my last post on TAS to be misconstrued in any way.  I started thinking about it after someone had commented on the Facebook page about it.  I’m not trying to downplay TAS in anyway, it’s a great event.  In fact, many people from all over the world plan their trip to Japan around that show.  I am not in Japan as often as I used to be, and that means choosing dates wisely.  It’s come to the point where the amount of opportunities I have outweigh the time I have to take advantage of them; and that’s something I am very grateful for.  I’ve worked hard over the past years to put myself in that position, and am thankful for the friends that helped along the way.  It would be different if I could devote 100% of my time to the site, but I’m just not in a place where I can make that a reality right now.  I have a self-defined prerogative to share with you up to date information and coverage of what’s happening in Japanese Time Attack events, so naturally those are the events I align myself with.  I’m glad this time I was able to do both, as there was a lot of neat stuff at TAS this year.  I was especially excited about the handful of Super GT unveilings.  If you have the opportunity to go I would highly encourage you to do so, and not to get discouraged by any of my opinions I throw up on the site.  I’d never want to unintentionally discourage anyone from doing what they’ve always wanted to do.  With that said, let’s jump into the second round of my selective coverage from the halls of Makuhari Messe.

This year’s Auto Salon was much larger than what I remember, with some manufacturers returning to show after a brief hiatus.  There were quite a few new builds to see, and some revamped old ones as well.  A lot of the ones that peaked my interest were in this specific location.

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At the Messe, just upstairs and across from the East Hall lies the smaller room that contains the ugliest carpet in existence.  This room will from here on out be referred to as the ‘ugly carpet room’.  On display in the ugly carpet room was a plethora of tuning cars presented by many of the automotive media publishers in Japan.  Option, RevSpeed, DoriTen, G-Works, and a few parts manufactures etc. all had cars on display – both new and old.  Option had on display the Racing Paddock Miyoshi FD that was dressed in a super lime green Rocket Bunny kit.  It had some rad Ferrari mirrors too.  Not my thing but definitely grabbed my attention.

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Drift Tengoku had the low-down 180 on display.  Alexi in the background talking with some colleagues.

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Also on display was the Kunny’z built JZX100 – sitting much wider than stock form.

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Aside from having their own booth in one of the main halls, Star Road’s Shoji had an incredibly clean Datsun in the ugly carpet room as well.  The color and finish of this car was nothing short of incredible; absolutely what we’d expect coming from Star Road.  The newly offered dark bronze Glow Star wheels looked great against the slate green color.  I’ll have some more shots in the next post of the other cars he brought out to show, including the Orange 240 with their one-off kit.

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MK Motor dove head first into applying the ever-popular large bubbly over fender look to a GTR32.  Not the biggest fan of this look on anything really, and honestly I think it looks really not great over the OE lines of the 32.  I love the 90’s ‘boxiness’ of these cars and I’m definitely okay with widebody conversions, but this just isn’t the look I would envision.  Reminds me of the Liberty Walk show GTR’s and just how, I don’t know…lethargic looking they are.  That being said though, the craftsmanship was really good.  The car has presence, that’s for sure.

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Carbon wrapped Siliva from Cockpit and Magical Carbon Hasepro, a.k.a MC Hasepro, a.k.a Mix Master Hasepro, a.k.a Carbon on Deck…okay I’ll stop.

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Pretty wild AP1 from Custom Factory Kurumadoh – the S2K Street Meister.  This S2000 ran a 1’20.167 at TC2000 last year in the street radial class.  Not too bad!

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Really nice Supra – was digging the mismatched wheels.

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Liberty Walk Maserati…why not?  I don’t know…

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HKS’s R35 GT1000 looked out of place at a car show.  It was anxiously sitting at the TONE booth.  You can see this car in it’s natural habitat here.  It’s still the fastest GTR by any definition.

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Toyota and Gazoo Racing had an immense display of OE and Racing offerings.  I especially enjoyed the lineup of 24h of Nurburgring participants from the past nearly decade.  Gazoo and the LFA has had their share of success and struggle in this series and this presentation was a really cool tip of the hat to their contribution.

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Over at the RUSH Motorsports booth, our friend Sara Choi was gathering quite the crowd.

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RUSH had some pretty unique GTR’s on display – like Tetsuya Hibino’s widebody R33; which looks a lot different than it did last year.  Hibino commissions this car for Formula Drift Japan.

NDF_7465-Edit…and this neat R34.

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GReddy had their new demo car on display – a new Miata with a Rocket Bunny Kit on it.

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Yashio Factory had three of their demo cars on display in typical pink fashion.

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I’ll skip the Gonta-Ya booth, a company know for two things.  1) Amazing LED’s and outlandish car displays, and 2) Near naked AV models to show off their products at TAS.  The booth is usually surrounded, and it was no different this year, so I didn’t even bother to try and get to the cars.

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DAMD had this awesome Taikyu STi on display.  There were so many cool little features on this car I must have looked at it for a solid 10 minutes.  The carbon driver ducts on each of the front windows were so well made they looked OE.  Really, a unique build.

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Garage Vary had some of their Miata demo cars to show.

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The Lexus livery clad RC-F GT500 was on display at Lexus with an ominous lighting setup.  It was the center focus of the booth.

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Some D1SL cars at ZSS.

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Phoenix Power had a prominent showing in the RH9 section – as usual.  The group of performance oriented shops always share a stage at TAS.  Phoenix had a selection of their GTR’s with varying power levels – from 700 to 1000 hp builds.

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The Top Fuel S2000 looking rather homesick in the corner of the RH9 stage at Top Fuel’s booth.  Looking forward to seeing how a car at this level is improved upon this year.

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One of the new builds I was most excited about was the Garage Riseup FD.  You can tell just by the pictures that the car is extensive in both parts and fabrication.  Which is why you would imagine my surprise when I learned that they got it back from paint just 6 days from TAS.  They assembled the entire car in less than a week.  If you visit the shop’s blog, at the end of each post they show a picture of the workers asleep around the car – gotta have a sense of humor if you spend a week at your shop working 18 hour days I’m sure.

Rise is out of Sapporo, so I’m not sure how often they’d be coming to Tsukuba or any of the other Kanto Region circuits, but if I ever see it on an entry list you can count on me being there.

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NDF_7547-EditThe Pro Shop Screen GT35 FD.  Their long time standing demo car looked almost mild when compared to it’s neighbor for the show.  The car hasn’t been used in awhile, but was able to grab a 1’44.2 at Fuji Speedway 5 years ago.  Even if it’s now used as a means to showcase the products they make and distribute, it was still cool to see it in person again.

Stick around for V.3 coming soon ~