Tokyo Auto-Otaku 2018: Daikanyama Morning Cruise Part 1: May we meet?

It’s been a long time but i’ve finally made it for another one of T-Site’s fantastic Cars and Coffee-esque morning meet ups! Dubbed, “Morning Cruise”. For one reason or another, i’ve never had much luck with these meets on my previous visits to Tokyo but this time, it’s happening! And on the day i was scheduled to fly back to Singapore no less. Luckily for me, it was an afternoon flight, which left the morning open to hit Daikanyama bright and early!

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With Daikanyama being a rather upmarket residential area, there’ll always be some pleasant automotive sights to take in on the way to T-Site.

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I might have arrived a full 30 minutes before the actual starting time of the meet but quite a number of lots had already been taken. This 308GTB was quite a sight to see in the morning. This 308 has been one of my dream cars ever since i was a young boy. My passion still remains strong even though my pockets are still somewhat shallow.

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The era that defined Ferrari for me. Just love their gorgeous lines.

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I am perpetually jealous of countries where one can pick up a used Abarth 500 for pretty reasonable money. These little pocket rockets sure look like a lot of fun to throw around.

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Speaking of cars that enjoy being thrown around bends, these trio of classic minis started to roll in. Yes, that’s an R34 GTR behind. This IS Japan after all!

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Right next to the R34 was a lovely 4-door Hakosuka. No GT-R badge pretender here, this one wears its 2000GT badge with pride.

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Check out the BEE-R sticker!

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Another Kyusha that rolled in early, an Isuzu Bellel Special from the 1960s.

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Small Turbocharged Inline-4 rocket, meet big Naturally Aspirated V10!

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Yes, a Rover 800 next to the M5. I don’t know why either but i’m pretty sure the owner loves the car. Check out those matching plates.

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Another NA powered German. This C43 was sitting discreetly in a corner.

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I think this Caterham attends pretty much every morning cruise. Love those air filters!

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An ultra rare, hand-built exotic parked next to one of the Kings of JDM cult cars. This is Japan.

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Hachiroku!

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This Panda was a Coupe! A good looking one too.

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Displaying some swag from a previous Gazoo Racing themed meet.

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The theme of this morning’s meet? British cars with over 500 horsepowers. So yes, there was a number of Astons in attendance.

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Period correct?

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Same formula, different time period.

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Flower power!

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What do you call a trio of classic minis?

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Boxy (but good) Volvo 240 wagon parked up next to the curvaceous 308.

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The cars kept rolling in. This Elise had a rather unique colour combination.

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Beautiful E24 Shark-nosed M6. One of BMW’s loveliest coupes ever penned.

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As the M6 parked up, the owner popped open the bonnet to reveal a really clean engine. But it was something i saw inside the cabin that piqued my interest.

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An Automatic M6? I never knew they made these in Automatic. Or could it have been an aftermarket retrofit?

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Can’t get enough of this body shape. Paired with that S38 engine, it must still be a lovely drive even with a slush box.

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How do you like your motoring?

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These 300ZX Fairladies can be quite nice to look at, especially in 2-seater form.

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Unfortunately, when parked up next to a Morgan Plus-6, it will inevitably be overshadowed.

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This Morgan is just a stunner.

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Must be amazingly lovely to drive one of these through Tokyo in the Spring.

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No need for any booming sound system here. Just a driver, the car and the World’s elements surrounding them.

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Beautiful rear end too!

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Of course there were no shortage of Porsches.

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Beautiful G Series.

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I like how the wheels on the 996 are colour matched. Nice touch!

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The 996 was a manual too. Extra points!

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Elise crashing a Porsche party.

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Another sweet little Abarth. I need one of these in my life!

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Can’t have a Cars and Coffee style meet without at least one Roadster/Miata/MX5 right?

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Fantastic looking Step nosed Alfa.

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With prices of the R32 and R34 GTRs skyrocketing, most of Tokyo’s power hungry drivers have begun buying and tuning up the R33s. Let’s hope R33 values will stay sane for a while.

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Interestingly, while most people tend to favour its younger or older sibling, the R33 was my go to GTR of choice because this generation of Skyline was what i aspired to when playing the original Gran Turismo and what i lusted over when watching low-resolution videos of. I even kept a stable of R33 GTRs in Gran Turismo, all tuned differently and each used for a different purpose. I even broke an online Laguna Seca lap time record in one of them (it was an all black R33 running on black Yokohama Advan wheels) but back then, with no way to verify the run except a crappy photo of my tv screen, i had means to prove my run was legit. Sad.

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There were probably as many Lotuses around as there were Porsches.

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I think another title will probably never happen again. At least not anytime soon.

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Like the Abarth 500, i think this Suzuki Alto Works will be a little barrel of laughs up and down the mountain passes. Gotta love these spirited Kei cars.

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I really cannot remember when was the last time i saw a Citroen BX. But here’s one parked next to an Aston Martin Rapide.

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Pneumatic suspension FTW! (Until they break)

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First time seeing a Jag Mark II cabriolet. Pretty.

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In keeping with the British theme as well, a Jensen Healey then came in. It had a rather fruity exhaust note.

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Anyone else recognise this car? Yup, it’s the Project Speedhunters BMW. Which means……

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Dino’s here!

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Not quite in the same segment i’m guessing.

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Great looking Sunny. USDM style.

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I think this Audi 100 is right up there with the Rover 800 in terms of curiousness. Pretty amazing how far Audi exteriors have gone from this very understated Bauhaus design language of the 80s to today’s gigantic front grille monstrosities.

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Keeping things minimal still are Smart cars. Their latest cars might have an enlarged front grille, but i think they’ve managed to avoid become too vulgar with their aesthetic.

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Hopefully BMW avoids going down Audi’s path with their latest cars, but going by the looks of things, i might be wrong.

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Now, with most of the other cars covered, it’s time to get ourselves back on-theme with some good old British firepower. Aston Martin really are masters at penning beautiful coupes as this Vanquish S shows. It really has aged rather well don’t you think? This design is almost 18 years old and yet, it still looks stunning and relevant today.

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This particular Vanquish S was sitting on a set of beautiful HRE wheels too.

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A more current interpretation of the Vanquish. Which do you prefer?

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DB11. I think this is Aston’s most beautiful car that they have on sale now. Lovely classic proportions with some very modern touches. What a lovely shape.

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Another DB11, sitting next to a McLaren 650s.

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All those louvres in the bonnet can only mean one thing, V12.

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Choose your poison!

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McLaren 650s and 570s. They look rather similar from far no?

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Another 570s, this one’s in purple, great colour choice!

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Slightly less great colour choice.

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If you asked me which Mc-daddy is my pick of the bunch? It’ll have to be the 720s. I LOVE how it looks. I LOVE that intake/headlight combo. So distinctive, so unique and gives the car so much character.

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720s all the way.

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How do you like your British Horsepower served?

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The Flying Spur might be big and fast but…

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If i had to choose one, i’d take the older (and prettier) Arnage.

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Allied powers to the rescue! And with that, end of part 1!

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Stay tuned for Part II where i’ve saved some of more interesting autos (interesting to me at least). Till then, happy motoring!

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