As i’m finishing up my write ups for the Tokyo Auto Salon, i figured now would be a good time to take a detour and show you guys what i was up to the day before the big event. You all should by now have seen coverage of the Tokyo Fresh Meet that happens on the eve of the Auto Salon, but what happens right before the Fresh Meet?
Well, if you’re a really big petrolhead, you would probably be at the other end of town in Roppongi for RWB’s yearly meet up. But if you were like me and figured that it’d be too tiring to cover both events in one evening, you would probably be in Odaiba for some R&R before the car crazy weekend kicks off. Also if you were like me and needed to head back to Haneda airport for your lost luggage, Odaiba’s not a bad place to set off for the airport.
Being early for the Fresh Meet does have its advantages, one of which is it allows you to wander around the massive shopping malls that were built on this man-made island. For myself, no trip to Odaiba is complete without a visit to the History Garage located inside Venus Fort/Toyota Megaweb. (Also the fantastic pet stores, but that’s another story.)
Whilst the Megaweb is somewhat interested for most people, i usually give it a miss and head straight inside for all the old cars. The Toyota History Garage has a rotating display, so it will always look slightly different everytime you visit.
This time, they had a 2000GT up front. It was strangely a US-derived LHD version.
Maybe hunting for a RHD car is getting tough now?
Snoopy in a cute little Messerschmitt.
Lil bear chillin in an MG.
I do like the amount of effort put into the cars’ surroundings as well.
That cat was actually moving about and making cat noises.
Signed by the original developers of the car. Can’t imagine how much that would be worth to a diecast collector. Priceless perhaps!
Never knew this existed.
Having a rotating display means some cars get shuffled outside like this two little vintage Keis.
Before Toyota, there was Toyopet. This is the Grand-daddy of all Crowns.
This stunning Celica Liftback (LB) was also sitting outside in the cold but i just had to take a closer look.
For the automotive toy-otakus the History Garage also has an amazing store, it was closed the last time i visited but has now reopened. Prices are not cheap though, so don’t expect to find too many bargains here. I’d recommend a trip to TAMTAM in Akihabara if you are really looking to buy.
Still good to just browse around. If you really do find something you like, then by all means pick it up. It’s just not worth missing out in an attempt to save a couple of yens.
Gorgeous 1/12 Alfa Tipo 33 Stradale. Money can’t always buy you happiness, but it does buy you one of these.
1/12 Porsche 956. Similarly to a Minichamps 1/18 scale release, this model comes without any of the Rothmans decals on due to some law prohibiting tobacco advertising on “toys”. Whilst the definition of using the word “toy” on such a product is definitely debatable, what i’m sure everyone can agree on is this is one cool scale model. A nice touch is also similarly to the Minichamps 1/18 car, they’ve included the missing decals for you to apply yourself.
Can’t imagine people raced these things back in the day.
The History Garage also had a special event space for a couple of Toyota’s Rally Stars. Look familiar? Yup, this was a preview to their rally showcase booth for the Auto Salon.
Childhood hero cars.
This curious little thing is the Toyota MR2 222D. A prototype Rally car that never made it past development.
Developed to compete in Group B and Group S, the 222D project was canned when the Group B and Group S series were cancelled.
Not much is known about these little monster machines but a rumoured 11 prototypes were built with most of them already destroyed and only 3 are known to be in existence. 2 blacks and this last white one, sitting lonely in a history museum and overshadowed by its more illustrious siblings. Who knows what might have been.