Tokyo Auto-Otaku 2015:Daikanyama T-site Morning Cruise

First off, apologies for the lack of updates for the past weeks, a home relocation and everything else that entailed meant i had to put off pretty much anything else unrelated on the back-burner. But this is one bit of my early 2015 Tokyo trip that i really really wanted to share. It was one of if not the biggest highlights of my trip, and i think having almost stumbled upon it unintentionally just made it so much better.

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Fatigue can do a lot of things, it makes you seriously drowsy, it can disrupt your orientation, and it can affect your memory. Which is why having spent 2 whole days trawling the vast expanses of the Makuhari Messe, i find myself standing in front of a closed Tsukiji Market after catching a 5am train. It was Sunday, and i forgot.

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Those who have caught on will probably have realized that the market closes on Sundays, which means no happy yummy sushi breakfast for this poor sod. Dejected i darted into a less-than-stellar 24hr sushi chain restaurant to escape the cold.

Picking through the remains of my less-than-stellar meal, i remembered glancing through the Facebook pages of the Daikanyama Tsite store and with a still hazy mind, remembered that there might be a morning meet happening on that very day. Further investigation with my trusty phone confirmed it and not really expecting what to see, i paid up and headed back to the train station. Next stop, Daikanyama!

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For a little background on Tsite, it essentially is the flagship branch of the Tsutaya bookstore chain located in the very trendy district of Daikanyama and while you might think it’s just heaven for hipsters and bookworms, Tsite also houses cafes, lifestyle shops and the Pièce De Résistance, an entire wing dedicated to all things automotive. (All things printed on paper at least).

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Tsite is situated just a short walk away from Daikanyama station and with Google maps and some street signs to help out, i didn’t get too lost.

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Along the way, spotted a Toyota Crown Comfort (usually a cab but this time, unusually converted to private ownership) sitting right next to a Flatnose 911. Only in Japan.

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What’d i say about this neighbourhood being trendy eh? As i neared Tsite, not much effort was needed to find the parking area since all i really needed to do was follow the sounds of a multitude of engines humming away.

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And as i arrived, i was greeted by a most glorious sight.

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This is Cars & Coffee, Tokyo Style. They call it, “Morning Cruise”. I call it, unbelievable.

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With so many lovely cars all around, where does one start when dropped into a meet like this? At the very beginning? Good idea. Still, i had to slowly drag my very excitable, hopping up and down body, towards the entrance of the carpark.

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Where i finally set eyes on a Lamborghini Miura for the very first time, sitting in between a BMW Z8 (first time too!) and a Mercedes Brabus W124 (first time again!). You can see where this is going.

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We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! Such beauty!

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Only lasses may apply.

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A little more subdued but still dramatic and very rare. The limited production Z8.

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Even more subdued and maybe even more rare. Old school Brabus brute. Hrrrrrnnnggghhh!

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Joining in the old school Benz brute brigade, this AMG fettled 190E, from a time when AMG operated independently from the factory. Is it me or do these cars look their best in black?

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Next to the 190E was a first generation Fiat Panda which on its own is already quite an interesting little car…

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…but closer inspection of the Panda’s unusual rear end allows us to discover that it’s no ordinary Panda, but a Panda van!

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With numerous event and meet stickers peppered on its rump, looks like the Panda has quite an enthusiast owner too!

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Delightfully little Renault 4! No it’s not a 2CV.

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There are no lack of Air-cooleds in Japan.

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Nestled away in a corner was one of these…Before the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray penned the Rocket.

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The LCC Rocket Car. 350kg and 143 hp at 10,500 RPM from a Yamaha bike engine. Absolutely bonkers and only 46 were ever built. Which makes this rarer than the McLaren F1, a-lot cheaper too.

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Japan sure loves lightweight British sports cars as a vast fleet of various makes and models show. The quirkier and more unusual the better.

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Non more so than the Morgan 3-wheeler. This little machine was attracting crowds all morning!

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The interior inside one of the Caterhams show that these cars are no show queens, they look like they get driven hard! Also take note that these guys are driving these cars in the middle of winter.

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Does the original Mini also qualify as a British lightweight?

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Rilakkuma inside a Ginetta? Why not? Driven by a lovely lady too! Respect.

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Another Ginetta, this time sitting next to a Citroen AX GTi.

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And another, sitting alongside a BMW 2002. My admiration for the ’02 was soon interrupted by a very lovely engine note and i headed over to take a look at what just pulled in.

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A Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer. (6 tailpipes baby!)

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This car is nose bleed quality and just like the Miura, the stuff of dreams. The owner pulled up and happily opened up the car for everyone to take a look. How very kind!

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How does one contain his/her excitement at such an event?

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My childhood dream, the 308.

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Ferraris from the past are just so achingly beautiful in a way the modern machines can never be.

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There are some exceptions to that though.

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And then there’s this, the ASA (ASA Autocostruzioni Società) 1000GT. This car was developed by Giotto Bizzarrini from a Ferrari design and features a 4-cylinder engine designed by Ferrari engineers with bodywork by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone. Very different.

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Not a Ferrari but no less Italian. The Lanca Delta Intergrale. Legend.

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DTM inspired?

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Or is the Peugeot 205GTi more your thing?

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A more modern interpretation of the Hot hatch as shown by this tuned up Abarth. Looks like something off the TAS showfloors.

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Amazingly clean and again, achingly beautiful restored Alfa Giulietta Spider.

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Much heart.

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Another lovely Alfa drop-top. This time a Spider.

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Domestics were of course not forgotten like this sweet looking first generation Toyota Sprinter Trueno.

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Hakosuka values are on the up and are so out of reach now. Sigh…

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First generation Honda Accord. Amazing how much it has ballooned today.

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Gotta love a Sunny truck. I’d really be happy to have one.

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What’d i say about quirky and unusual?

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The last time i saw one of these was many many many years ago at a Motorshow stand. That morning, i counted at least 3. Kudos to one of them for running windscreen-less. Hardcore.

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My ideal garage duo sitting right here.

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Last of the NA M3s and with a V8, not a bad way to go.

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Best looking SL ever? Sure think so. Keep it classy!

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Which would you take up and down the touge?

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As you can see, the atmosphere was lovely, people were happy and everyone was friendly regardless of marque allegiances. (And yes it was cold too!)

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Jaaaaag E-type

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It had one of the most amaze-balls paint jobs I’ve ever seen.

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Cars were still coming in even when the meet seemed to be towards the end and i just had to grab a couple more shots before my camera’s batteries were fully drained.

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Same marque, different applications.

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As the meet came to a close and cars started leaving, it was time to head into the main building and straight to the cool section. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo and a Daikanyama Tsite Morning Cruise is happening, i really can’t think of a better way to start your day than taking an early morning train down.

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