Why are we car people.

We all have our own story to tell as do each of our cars past and present. My visit to this years Tokyo Auto Salon (2019) got be reflecting again on this.

I touched on my story this in my introductory post to this blog but let us refresh and go into alittle more depth on what got me into cars.

I grew up in a household with my father mildly interested in cars and mother with zero interest. My father being from European and having owned an a fair few was and is passionate about about the VW group cars. Before he used to buy, restore and flip VW Beetles and his brother used to own a Porsche 928 so the German cars inclusing Beetles and Porsches were his thing although after his Beetles when he started his own driving school business Japanese cars, starting with the Suzuki Swift (90s) took over. 

Naturally then all the cars my father and uncles and aunties bought me were European cars. I still remember having a Porsche 930 911 and a BMW E34 5 Series. Which I for some reason ended up becoming destroyed. I was also often taken to man car shows and shown the latest greatest European metal of the time. I never developed much of an interest for cars at this time and when my father pointed out a 911 (aircooled) driveby us my only thought was that the aircooled engine with it's specific sound was broken.

Then my aunt from my mother's side visited from Japan and gave me a gift which was my first R/C car. This must have been fate or something but ut was a electric blue Nissan Skyline GTR (BNR32). As this was a car I had never seen on the toy shop shelves or in real life it captured my attention and i never broke it.

Fast forward after a decade or so hiatus after exploring a number of different passions from bug collecting/breed to building and modifying PCs for myself and friends I watched 2 Fast 2 Furious at my friend's house and was instantly hypnotised by the BNR34 GTR.

with my curiousity spiked once again by this car an introduction to the Need For Speed  Underground series further grew this new forming interest. Then in the 10th grade of high school I met my now long time good friend whom was also liked the BNR34 and then introduced me to Initial D. After school we'd place NFSU2 and watch Initial D and later NFSU2 became Gran Turismo 4 and the rest is history.

During this initial time I was purely JDM and I my many nights thinking about what car I should get when I got my licence. While I explored many possibilities in the endthe answer would always be Skyline.

This year's Tokyo Auto Salon (2019) surprisngly was my first I have ever been to.

So the drive there heads east past Tokyo Disneyland towards Narita Airport

So there was a minor jam hopping of the expressway and all the way to Makuhari Messe Expo Hall where the event is held.


Spotted a rare Nissan Murano Cabriolet in the metal.

So as I arrived there around lunch time and the Makuhari Messe Expo carpark was full so I had to go find carking elsewhere. After spending time in another car queue for around 40 minutes I finally parked up in a  nearby marine park car park a short walk from the venue.


My first time in Mihama, Chiba. It is such a refreshing place with wide roads and minus the hustle and bustle of urban centers.



 As you can see I am a fan of this area.


First things first as it was past lunch time by the time I arrived at the venue a quick lunch pitstop was in order.

out in outside the main convention space this R35 GT3 caught my eye. The Kondo Racing R35 GT3 which will be racing in this year's Nurburgring 24HR.


I must say it is good to see a GTR back on the ring since the days of the Falken Tires BCNR33 and BNR34 race cars. DefInately will add some more colour to a field which has been awash with R8 LMS and Porsche GT3 race cars.



My first glimpse of Tokyo Auto Salon was as expected I guess..



This A80 Supra from the Varis stand caught my eye. These cars look amazing with or without a bodykit.




This Lexus LC500 with Varis's kit from their "Magnum Opus" line was perhaps my pick of the show.

The generous use of forged carbon fiber was exquisite. Bodykits sure have come a long way since the early days of fiber glass and plastic.

I do have a soft spot for Lexus and the LC takes the crown. It channels A80 design cues (for example the tail lights) well and echos everything the previous Supra was.



An interesting kit for the Golf R from Varis.

Auto Salon is not Auto Salon without the Rotary legends, Amemiya.

The RX-7 like many other 90s era classics has such a timeless design.





 Yes this is a rotary powered open-wheeler. Perhaps a caterham chassis?


Kicking off the HKS booth with their Tsukuba FWD record holder Swift.







Was lucky to catch HKS's talk show with HKS CEO, Taniguchi Nobuteru and Saito Daigo (D1 drifter). They were discussing present and future business and products.

Speakingof which.. Their new soon to be released Super Turbo Exhaust in titanium.

Their headline display. HKS BCNR33 demo car revived and updated. (I do question the use of the heavier projector headlamps for a top speed stripped out car though.)



This beautifully speced Aston DB11 was on display at the Bridgestone booth.

And of course I needed to drop by the Nissan booth.

To catch a glimpse of the Osaka Naomi edition R35. A beautiful reinterpretation of Midnight Purple.

This was a cool concept for the Juke. Yes please!

The new Autech Leaf was revealed as well. A more lux spec of Leaf to add to their line-up. The Leaf really has grown on over the last couple of years. It would make a nice daily.


Some GTR goodness from HKS Kansai.


Cool sculpture at the Mugen booth.

I really like the idea of EV bikes. One day I will get a bike licence...

Now THIS is what I call an SUV. Wouldn't have one any other way.



Subaru's WRX STI Nurburgring racer

And Super GT BRZ GT300 machine.

A Supra JGTC car was on  display serving as a video screen at the TRD booth.

It was a a little sad to see it relegated to serving such a purpose but also shows the passing of time.

The 2018 LMP1 Le Mans winner (in a field of privateers) and the current modern interpretation of the previously shown car the LC500 GT car.

A Z4 hardtop and racing concept.


I spent alot longer than I had initially planned and even then missed a few booths which i wanted to pass by, namely the Top Secret and Garage Active. 

Tokyo Auto Salon for many of us at some point in our lives is a pilgrimage. I remember nagging my parents to take me when we were I was younger. It is place where many different values and tastes are expressed from various eras, an event of pure subjectivity on display. It embodies where most of us came from as enthusiasts.

Another reminder from where it all began. Shigeno's (the author od Initial D) new managa series MF Ghost. Set in a not to distant future where most all cars are electric and autonomous and petrol powered cars are used primarily for motorsport. This FN86 is a real life version of the star car in the series. I must say this is how I would spec my own BRZ or FN86. This is I guess where my tastes have gone. 



So how was my first ever Auto Salon? In my case however I think I have come five years or more too late I think. The excitement I once felt for much which was on display had waned over the years. As time passes our tastes inevitably change and I find enjoyment in cars in a different way to how I used to. 

However from time to time it is always good to take a step back to where we came from to see where we are now. Much has change mostly for the better looking back so in that sense it was a meaningful visit as well. Onwards and upwards. How about you? 

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