With the Super GT Championships kicking off each year around April, Tokyo Auto Salon is scheduled at the perfect time off-season for competitors to showcase their 2019 season winning cars, as well as their new 2020 builds. One of the main reasons I attended the Salon this year was to get a closer look.
Let me preface this post by saying that the amount of travel to spend a single day in Japan is surprisingly achievable. It’s not like I would recommend it, there are definitely more efficient ways to go about it, but to say it wasn’t a fun experience wouldn’t be wholly true; at the very least it’s a conversation starter.
This week has flown by and I really haven’t gotten a chance to just sit down uninterrupted to edit and write. All last week I was in Tucson for work, and have been using this week to kind of catch up. I took the little free time I did have to spend at the shop working on the new motor and to start fabricating my dashboard. I don’t quite have all the parts collected to finish the head yet, so I should be concentrating on other areas of the car, time permitting. I have some work scheduled for it mid-February, and hoping to have a few open items finished by the end of the month. I’ve also been working to restock the site store by, and wrap up the new shirt design – mostly by way of email correspondence! We should have a few announcements coming within the next week or so. In the meantime, I managed to finish the edits from Tokyo Auto Salon and have one final post for you – check it out below.
Out of the thousands of cars at TAS, it’s always exciting to see, in person, a car you’ve followed online for years. Every once in awhile a build will snowball into something so involved that it makes you wonder if the end result was ever really envisioned. A perfect example of this is Atsushi Shimaya’s FD3S.
Just two short months ago, G-Force took this EVO to TC2000 to let Tanaguchi fling it around some corners during an open test day. The car ran an impressive high 55 second lap; and I can assure you, it looked nothing like this. The car’s exterior, then, was clad in a variety of Varis parts, and while it was a bit wider than OE, it was still relatively non-threatening in appearance. Fast forward to TAS and the car that was displayed at their booth was a new beast entirely.
Among the various Super GT cars on display, APR was one to unveil their 2016 GT300 take on the new Prius. We got a close look at the previous model a few years back at Fuji Speedway; however, since Toyota has released a newly remodeled production version of the hybrid chassis, it was time for it’s older counterpart to be retired. Unlike the previous model, which utilized a mid-engine setup (as it was built to the somewhat controversial JAF GT300 rulebook), the 2016 will be using the now mandated front-engine setup, as this is the factory engine layout of the Prius.
Car Modify Wonder had several cars on hand to introduce their somewhat new lineup of Glare aero parts, and as usual, they did not disappoint. It’s refreshing to see a truly unique and creative offering, especially for older chassis’. It’s a stark contrast from what we’ve recently been used to seeing; which is more or less a cookie cutter approach to exterior styling (I don’t need to say anymore than that for you to catch my drift). Check out the shots below and let me know what you think.
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.
I certainly didn’t plan to attend TAS this year. In fact, It’s been 5 years since I’ve purposefully started avoiding it. If you asked me why I’d honestly have trouble explaining; it’s a massive undertaking that showcases some of Japan’s best builds…so what’s the deal? Even as I type that out I’m squinting at the screen, eyebrows furrowed, questioning myself. Ahhh…that’s right, it’s literally just a giant car show and frankly, car shows are just not my thing anymore. The first TAS I went to was in 2009 – I went in 2010 too. 2011 was the first year I not only attended, but I covered it for the website as well; and it actually turned out to be my last. In 2014 my good friend Sekinei was well on-board with NDF and helped source some coverage of the show as he was attending anyway, and in 2015 I basically just didn’t post anything despite having coverage. I really just wanted to focus on our niche and at the time felt that anything else just contributed to a deviation of that (despite increasing traffic dramatically). Or maybe I just got jaded that it wasn’t a unique experience anymore; I’m not sure. So, you could say this year was sort of a fluke. I was going to be in Japan anyway to attend Evome on the 16th, and I had media passes for TAS on Friday so I wouldn’t really have to deal with hordes of testosterone crazed Japanese men in search of booth girls, and I literally had no plans on my calendar. Sounds good right? So why not return?
And who’d have guessed it – I had a really good time.
Tokyo Auto Salon has always been hit or miss for me. I’ve attended for three years starting in 2009, but recently decided to stop going. For me, my time is better spent fulfilling the niche […]
We’ll get right back into the TAS coverage, as you can see in this shot there is a lot of ground to cover under the giant ceilings of Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. […]
Nakagawa Shuichi’s S13 build is most likely one of the most well known on the internet. In fact, it was even on the cover of this month’s Super Street magazine. What amazes me though, […]
It’s usually about this time in January when the internet is flooded with content from Tokyo Auto Salon. For good reason; it’s one of the most look forward to events of the year for […]
Since the picture we posted yesterday of Kawashima’s finished Celica made such a big impact, I figured it would be a good starting point for our coverage of the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon. His car […]
I know that everyone is gearing up for Tokyo Auto Salon in the coming weeks, and while I can’t say I’m not excited about it, there is an event that I’m looking forward to […]
The Varis 86 dropped by Tsukuba last weekend adorned in the new full widebody kit offered by Varis. This aero kit in it’s entirety is pretty amazing; much more aggressive than their Arising line. – […]
This year’s Tokyo Auto Salon has left an impression on us all; how the Japanese tuning and show makings are consistently ahead of every one else never ceases to amaze me. Hundreds of 86’s…err, I […]
As you’re all aware of now Tokyo Auto Salon 2013 has come and gone this pass weekend and, as usual, there were a few gems that stood out amongst the halls of Makuhari Messe. My […]
Brake masters DIXCEL Japan and their Shinryo Auto built Super Taikyu EVO will be at Tokyo Auto Salon next week (Hall #6) – be sure to stop by and say hi, and wish them […]
. Random, but I wonder what happened to this car. I may have to research more… .
A couple more shots of some random 7’s built by RE Amemiya – this one for Super Autobacs. From TAS 2012, courtesy of our friends at JDM Clips. Click past the break for more.
One for the Honda fans; HKS, among many other vehicles this year, brought out the same S2000 they had at SEMA 2011 here in the states. Dubbed the AP350SC-II Concept, (derived from the chassis code, the amount of power it produces, and the main power adder) this S2000 is host to a whole lineup of newly developed HKS parts. Namely, the GTS7040 supercharger that’s attached to the F22. Click past the break for a close-up of this beast.
Want to see something crazy? Here you go. Something crazy. Car Sense brought it out like K-Break did in 2011 with this nuts Toyota Crown Police Interceptor Camber Mega Demon. If you’re not familiar with some iconic Car Sense builds, click this link to check out their famous Aristo build; or better yet, enter the NDF Option contest to win a magazine that could possibly have pictures of it. If you’re in a lazy mood though, I suppose you could just click past the break for more pics. Be sure to check out JDM Clips for video footage of Tokyo Auto Salon 2012. Enjoy!
OK, everyone close your eyes. On the count of three, open them and bestow upon yourself one of the most intense RX-7 builds to date. Ready? OK, 1…2…3…open! You peaked didn’t you? Anyway, pick your jaws up from the floor so I can continue this post. Every time I think this guy has outdone himself, he comes through with yet another build for the books. The RE Amemiya built NA Super-7 is hands down one of the greatest FD builds I’ve seen to date. The beauty, of course, lies in the extensive body work that Isami Amemiya is known for. Click past the break to get up close and personal with the curves – courtesy of JDM Clips.
COCKPIT is a huge company known for more than just aftermarket builds. This particular S15 was built by the COCKPIT shop in Tatebayashi, located in the Gunma prefecture of Japan. Any Initial D fans out there? Anyway, this shop is split up into a few ‘divisions’ for a lack of better terms. Each of these divisions concentrate on one particular aspect of vehicle modification. I had to kick off the TAS 2012 coverage with a little Encounter with this machine; there are so many things about it that I like that I had to highlight it outside of the regular coverage. Click past the break for more. Let’s go!
. So, as you may know, I couldn’t attend TAS this year because of my work schedule; but that doesn’t mean you won’t get an awesome view of the event on NDF. I’ve traveled […]
Every once in awhile a tuner company will come out with a build that just blows me away. Well, Mugen is more than just a tuning company, and this is more than just a build; but whatever it is, definitely blows me away. The Mugen RR Advanced Concept is an almost 100% carbon bodied Civic RR with an extensive modification list that makes it a formidable track opponent going up against just about anything. Check out more of what makes this beast tick past the break.
. Going through some old photos and came across this straggler. I’ve always been on the fence about Mr. Isami’s creations, but there is no doubting their popularity in the tuning world. This was at […]
Sure, we all know Naoki’s purple/pink S13 coupe, but some aren’t as familiar with the S15 he was to drive in D1. This purpose built drift machine was fully race spec, and just as crazy looking as the older coupe. I wonder if he will be driving it in the new series,‘The Drift Muscle’? Check out the pics.
I know you’re thinking right now, “Two back to back featured car posts?! I don’t believe it.” Well, believe it. That’s just how awesome we are. All jokes aside, I’m not sure why it took me so long to post this car up, as it has massive popularity among drift fans. D1-GP reverse-entry guru Masato Kawabata is the man responsible for piloting this ridiculously hot, 600 horsepower 180sx sideways through all the corners. I spotted the S all alone, basking in the light at the Toyo Tires booth as we were getting ready to take off from the Auto Salon in search of another UP Garage. So I decided to get up close and personal with it. Sit back and enjoy the shots!
OK so I lied about the whole ‘no more TAS’ thing; but I never got a chance to post up the Super GT Special. TAS is a trade show, and what better way to market your product than to slap it on a full blown, competition race car? There isn’t really, so, to my pleasant surprise, the Salon grounds were sprinkled with Super GT cars; like the Nismo built Motul/Autech GT-R. Super GT is a fairly unique series that puts excitement first. Only allowing pit stops during certain time frames, mandatory ballast for winning cars, and intake air restrictors all add to competition. Click past the break for more Super GT.
I have a feeling this last installment is going to be filled with R35 goodness. Mine’s, Endless, HKS, Option; they all had GT-R’s on display, and they were all fantastic. For a closer look at the Mine’s built GT-R pictured above, check out Taka’s video @ JDM Clips. This thing is pushing out near 800hp. Although this may be the last ‘walk around’ TAS post, I’ll have a few more specific shots coming soon however. It’s kind of sad to see it come to an end. Click past the break to see more of the final coverage post from Tokyo Auto Salon.
. Thought I’d post this for a few laughs. Definitive proof that there were people there for reasons other than cars. Not one person is looking at the 86 in this shot. The UP Garage […]
Alright, I honestly thought that this would be the last post from TAS I would put out, but it looks like that’s not the case. I’ll be making it a series of 5 for full coverage; one more to go. Anyway, runner up for best model would be from Gontaya. I really don’t have anything to say about this one…click past the break for more TAS goodness.
Describing RH9 in one word would be easy; Power. The Record Holder 9 club is exclusive to those cars capable of running 9’s in the quarter mile, the 1320, 0-400m; whatever you wanna call it, these things can do it fast. Once confined only to GT-R’s, it seems like they’ve expanded to other platforms as well; like the almighty Garage G Force X above. When you think of Japanese tuning, you’ll probably think of a few companies that take part in this club; and you’ll see some of their creations here. It’s not uncommon to see RH9 badged parts created by these companies as well. When I picked through these, I realized a lot were on the CF card that had failed on me. As a result I’m missing some (unhappy face). There are a few other sites though that have coverage of the RH9 too, so all is well. Enjoy.
I think that this may have been the most overlooked car at the Salon; no exaggeration. I actually did a double take when I saw this because I couldn’t believe an EG6 was at Auto Salon in the year 2011. Aside from the actual Honda booth, finding a tuned Honda (other than a CR-Z) at this years Salon was like finding a needle in a haystack; if the hay were made out of Nissans and Toyotas. After drifting blew up, the market obviously gravitated toward S-Chassis’ and the like. RWD engulfed Honda’s FWD prior dominance and left them to the devoted few. After I came to my senses I decided that I needed to spend a few moments with this thing. Check out more past the break.
I hope you guys are still with me on this coverage! I know it’s taking awhile, but I’m busy with work. I’ll begin this post with a few shots of this slammed R33 clad in an anime livery. To my surprise, there were a lot of ‘Itasha’ styled cars at the Salon. For those who are unaware of this movement, Itasha is a term used to describe the otaku fad of modifying cars in an anime or manga theme; mainly with giant decals on the exterior. I’ve already admitted to my liking it for reasons unknown to me. It’s become quite popular in Japan recently, and there are regularly held meets throughout Tokyo. This particular Skyline was wrapped in 萌えコレ！(Moe Colle) vinyl. 三栄書房 (San-Ei Shobo) is a huge Japanese magazine publisher. If you’re a fan of this car, check out the wallpaper section. Click past the break for more.
I literally just went through another 100 photos from TAS, and I’m sick of editing. I’ll break up the coverage a little with a look at this Final Konnexion Z33. Of all the Fairlady’s at the show, this one just floored me. I can’t really find much info on it though. It’s flow is so tasty… Click past the break to see another shot.
After an hour or so I seemed to get my bearings around the gigantic convention center, and realized the scope of what laid ahead of me. To cover a show of this magnitude on my own would take some serious moving around; so I did just that. Keeping an eye out for certain booths I really wanted to see, I set out on a mission to cover as much as the show as I could. I found out that the two other halls held more of the stuff I was looking for. The next two posts will contain some spectacular builds from the tuners we all know and love. Check it out past the break.
Tokyo Auto Salon is a sort of misleading name for this event. If we could modify the title to something like, ‘Tokyo Model Salon’, it would read more accurate. Seriously, you couldn’t get a mile away from any car if there was a model in front of it. As soon as a girl appeared, a mob of hormonally charged Japanese men would crowd so close that I couldn’t get anywhere near the booth to shoot the car. Because of this, my coverage isn’t as organized as I would have wanted, but I’ll try my best to post in the directions in which I walked. OK, with all that out of the way, I will say that this show was nothing short of epic. It was my third time attending but my first time shooting for the website, and I gotta say it’s a lot more stressful trying to take it all in – again though, I wasn’t disappointed in the turnout. Sure, there were 30 billion people there, but it just added to the atmosphere. In the posts to follow I’ll do my best to cover not just cars, but booth and product displays as well. Click past the break for more.