Getting out of one’s comfort zone is usually not an easy thing to do, but when it comes to exploring the different aspects of car culture in Japan, doing so will not only broaden your automotive horizons, it will also give you the opportunity to learn more and appreciate all there is to offer in the crazy World of the car enthusiasts.
While some might think it is totally odd to be visiting a HotRod show smack in the middle of Japan, the truth is, Japan’s HotRod scene is not only one that refuses to fade away, but is indeed flourishing. All thanks to a man called Shige Suganuma (Who has now become somewhat of a celebrity in these here circles).
In 1983 Suganuma-san started Mooneyes Japan as a side business in Yokohama while working for Disney, after some time, he decided to leave Disney and go full time and the rest they say, is history. Bringing the high level of attention to detail, design and perfectionism the Japanese are renowned for into the World of custom cars and motorcycles has resulted in many many amazing builds some of us can only dream about.
Held in the early days of December and at the tail end of Tokyo’s winter, the Yokohama HotRod Custom Show is now in its 24th incarnation and this year, the theme/campaign for the event was “Save the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show” which is a continuation from last year’s “Be Calm, not Loud” campaign. Sounds strange for a HotRod show right? But apparently, residents staying around the area have been complaining about the loud noises (music if you ask us) emitting from the once in a year show and have gotten the authorities to try and shut them down. It does sound like another case somewhere across the pond of people buying houses near a racetrack and complaining of “noise pollution”. Nevertheless, the authorities have issued an ultimatum, reduce the sound levels or find another place to hold the event.
Happily though, we are please to report that the show will go at Pacifico Yokohama for another year as the dates for 2016 show have been announced recently.
Personally, the whole HotRod and Custom culture is really an unfamiliar World to me and the deepest i ever got, was stepping into the Mooneyes Yokohama shop over five years ago.
But as with every new automotive adventure, i went in with an open mind, an open heart and like the first time i visited the Tokyo Auto Salon, my first few steps into the halls of Pacifico Yokohama opened my eyes once again to the wonders of Japan’s car culture.
I shan’t bother you readers with my extremely limited knowledge of American marques, but i do know this. The level of work dedicated to each and every car in these halls must be immense. For this post, we shall celebrate the beauty that is in the details. (And showcase a ton of pictures)
Check out what’s in the back.
Porsche Fuchs on a Nissan pickup!
How low can you go?
In a sea of slammed to the ground rides, an entirely different take on custom. Not as wild with a touch of old-school, but I really liked it.
What’s up esse? You feelin’ lucky homes?
Insert *The sound of my jaw dropping*
La Familia. Let’s hope they are a peaceful bunch.
A different sub culture of cars, a different sub culture of ladies.
They sure have some of the wildest and most amazing paint jobs to ever grace an automobile.
So says the sticker.
That’s a lot of louvres. Much effort.
Very different, but so cool and totally on theme.
You can be sure when these cars first came out, none of their manufacturers would have ever imagined their cars looking like these decades later.
Check out those tailpipes!
Dayum! Majestic sleds.
Like we said earlier, customize everything!
Car designers must have had a field day back then. Look at all those curves.
Low and slow.
I like those little bits of pin striping on the wheel arches.
In a matching shade of Louboutin red!
And to round of Part 1 of our coverage, an extremely loooong but beautifully pink Caddy. Amazing.
Honey i just wonder what you do there in the back, of your Pink Cadillac, your pink Cadillac.
Now some folks say it’s too big, uses too much gas.
Some folks say it’s too old, that it goes too fast.
But my love is bigger than a Honda, it’s bigger than a Subaru.
Hey man there’s only one thing, and one car that will do.
Anyway we don’t have to drive it, Honey we can park it out in back.
And have a party in your pink Cadillac…