Tag: Tokyo

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Editorial: It’s All Been Done

As I stepped outside, leaving behind the warm confines of the heated living room, I could quickly feel the chill lifelessness of the Yokohama winter surround my exposed face; an invisible, biting veil of wind that seems to only exist when the sun is below the horizon. It was just before 5am and the morning sky was still dark, nearly void of stars as they dodged their way in and out of view of the low hanging clouds. With my gloved hand, I shut the front door to Sekinei’s house, and waited motionless on the porch for him to get ready. So there I stood, unseen save for the haze of condensation from each exhaling breath. Giving up the fight to keep my eyes open, I slowly closed them and let my mind wander until it decided to focus on the present.

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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.

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Event: The Return to Makuhari – Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 V.1

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.

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Close-Up: Shaft Auto Service ER34 – Class 1 Heavyweight

Shaft Auto Service, a small outfit in Hachioji that specializes in four door Skylines.  Foremost a car dealership that holds inventory in a wide variety of Skylines, the owner,  Shibuya Taro, offers many ancillary services ranging in everything from fiberglass work, to engine tuning.  Usually a company that stays off the grid, you’d easily recognize their work with the D1 Blitz R34 that Nomuken drives; as Taro-san has a very good relationship with Blitz.  This year they decided to try their hand with a certain take on Time Attack; in steps the Shaft ER34.

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Encounter: Garage Infinity Metal-Model Silvia

The diversity of Idlers events is comparable to few other races.  Just one glance at the entry list reveals everything from old Citroen’s and Alfa’s to Honda’s, Toyota’s and of course plenty of Porsche’s.  Each entrant is interesting to check out as they compete in all levels of tuning, but none stood out to me more than this Silvia from Garage Infinity.

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Encounter: ざらざら海ほたるナイトパルサー

Did ya get that one?

There’s no doubt that when Nissan developed the GTI-R version of the N14 Pulsar, they were in it to fill a performance niche.  The three-door hatchback was not only AWD, but sported the ever popular SR20DET engine producing 227 horsepower.  Boasting an incredible power-to-weight ratio, Nissan had influence to produce such a car to compete in the WRC.  I wonder if they knew other people would have similar ideas though…