A Year in The Making; More Car Parading in 2014

A very interesting 12 months which mark the first year of Tokyo Car Parade are now behind us.  2013 had its dose of ups and downs, but regardless of what happened we look forward for the motoring extravaganza of 2014.  As the clock rolls past midnight on January 1st 2014, let's have another look back at 2013 and all the highlights it brought to us.

We begin with the event that led to birth of Tokyo Car Parade, the event which made me realize how much passion I had for cars. The Nissan Skyline Coupe 370GT Type SP was sold about a year ago this day.  The journey to find better ways of enjoying car life in Japan has begun.

For many years I've been visiting numerous auto shows and events, but now I sit here and wonder why it took so long to put two and two together.  Tokyo Auto Salon 2013 was the place where I found a purpose.

The project was in my head and after a few test drives from Mercedes Benz Connection, I knew I had to get started.  But how? what do I do? How do I pick a name?

A walk around local streets helped me with the title as Tokyo became a true car parade on this sunny spring weekend...

A lot more opportunities presented themselves as new cars became available for test drives.  Lexus IS350 F Sport undoubtedly set the standard for sports sedans.

I also got the opportunity to drive some of the absolute dream cars, like this Porsche 911 Carrera S,

As well as this awesome Maserati Gran Turismo Sport.  I never tried to compare the two amazing coupes, and I never will.  The cars serve two completely different purposes, and have no similarities in what the can do and how they feel.

Just because it says Tokyo, doesn't mean I have to stay in one place, so during this little trip I got a taste of California car culture.

People may criticize America all they want, but their passion for motor vehicles is unrivaled.  Everybody I talked to from restaurant waiters to hotel bell staff were into cars, and many were involved in restoration or upgrades.

Back in Japan, there was no sign of slowing down as Mercedes Benz has finally brought the AMG A45 to Japan,

and we head down to Daikoku PA for some RX-7 action.

Following that, something that may be referred to as petrol-head's dream come true:  I got to drive the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4!

Summer is the peak of all car meets and auto-related events and we head down to Fuji Speedway to look at some HachiRoku's.

Fall months, however were highlighted by unforgettable experience at the SEMA 2013 - a true representation of American car culture.

For such event, I knew I needed to arrive in style; and thanks to Hertz Car rental, I made sure I did.

SEMA show was nothing short of amazing, and coming from Japan it was an incredible experience to see such a great variety of JDM machines making their way all the way to Las Vegas

Shortly after returning to Japan I got the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the BMW 428i M Sport, and while not the most powerful machine of the bunch, it made a lot of sense in city like Tokyo.

On the break of winter I visited the long awaited 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.  The bi-annual event has shrunk a lot since its peak in 2007, but fast-forwarding to 2013 signs of improvement were undeniable. A great spike in attendance from foreign media can only mean positive things for Japanese auto industry.

Nissan pretty much stole the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and would there be a better way to celebrate it than to unleash entire Nismo Line-up from historic racers to modern production cars at Fuji Speedway for Nismo Festival 2013?  Nissan is indeed enjoying its moment.

As I was returning from the event, the news that shocked the entire automotive world were brought to my attention.  Paul Walker is no longer with us.  Race in paradise, our car friend!

Japan has joined the ranks of car meets dedicated to Paul Walker and the legacy he has left behind.  While we didn't have thousands of cars clogging the streets, we did have some quite impressive rides.  I am sure Paul would have loved to take one of these for a spin!

Wrapping up the year were the 2 super hatch-backs. It was impossible to determine whether Mercedes Benz AMG A45 or BMW M135i was the ultimate ride, but I think they both serve their purpose excellently.

So there we have it; as the clock rolls over midnight and we say good bye to 2013 I hope that 2014 will bring even more car related fun and excitement.  Happy New Year everyone!

I would also like to use this opportunity to express my best wishes and hopes for speedy recovery to Michael Schumacher who suffered serious head injury on December 29th.



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