Lights, Camera, Mooneyes!

I have created this blog in the attempt to share my experiences in encountering different branches of Japanese car culture, but back in the spring of 2013 when I was walking around with my newly purchased Sony NEX 6 Camera and spotting super cars...

I could not have even imagined that I would get to encounter something like this...

...and encounter it this close and personal.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the world of Mooneyes.  Known as a distributor and organizer of everything related to hot rods and classics they have a very significant presence here in Japan.

With quarterly meets happening around Tokyo and Yokohama areas they are always enjoying a high degree of popularity. 

This time however, it may have seen that luck was against Mooneyes and their fans as the event scheduled for February was cancelled twice because of heavy snow.  Perhaps it was the reward for great degree of patience as this time around we got blessed by a fine spring day giving some lucky users the opportunity to drop that top and arrive in real SoCal style! 

And that chance was taken as such great variety of cars were arriving in style. 

...with their respective owners and their companions feeling excited about finally being able to meet their fellow Mooneyers. 

Some of the cars that were arriving were absolutely fascinating.

It was undeniably one of the most exciting part of the show, just to sit there and watch these monsters roll by as they took their time to enter the meet area

...and they they indeed were arriving in significant numbers showing an amazing selection of custom work, color, and style.

So let's take a moment and have a check out some of the most interesting and unique machines that made it to this little parking lot in Yokohama.

Up until this moment I was not aware of any evidence of hot rod culture being present in Japan, but after seeing this thing I was hit with a whole lot of reality.  Sitting on tires so massive, they should belong on an air plane this monster was showing the world everything that's awesome about hot rods.

Under the (nonexistent) hood was super clean V8 with Edelbrock performance carbs and custom light weight exhaust system. 

To enhance the driving pleasure the car featured full leather interior with upholstery that can make most Japanese car companies jealous.

In front of that very-hot-rod these two Wyllis Coupe's were parked side by side.  While being very clean, and sitting low on custom suspension and rims they weren't attracting a whole lot of attention. 

Until their hoods went up and revealed something that can only be described as pure muscle.  This supercharged beauty would be worthy being displayed at SEMA, let alone a small parking lot in Yokohama.

Some cars didn't have the luxury of such shining goods, as a matter of fact, this extremely rare T-Bird's engine gave up at the entrance to the lot and it had to be pushed to its parking space.

Regardless of this misfortune though, this "work-in-progress" car was a worthy addition to the event.

With interior being even in worse shape then the rest of the car, I personally can't wait to see not only how it will look completed, but to see entire process, which should be quite a massive project.

A quick walk-around revealed a few ideas of how interior in that T-Bird could be done.

We can of course always have the classic All American cherry pie look with red dash and cream vinyl seats....

Or we can have something completely out of this world bizarre.  Imagination of these guys at Mooneys doesn't have any limits...

..as was clearly seen as even more cars rolled in later in the morning sporting some of the most unique appearance I have ever witnessed. Just look at the roof chop on this ride. Ludacris be like: They got a tank!

Among them a couple of 1957 Nash Cosmopolitans found their way here as well.  Who said that Americans were only producing large cars.

And speaking of not so large, I was up for a bit of a surprise as the owner of this somewhat rough looking hot rod revealed...

...that it was a one-of-a-kind build, capable of shattering the image of hot rods once and for all! As in place of a massive, shiny, and thirsty, engine was this tiny four-banger from Suzuki Samurai!  An answer to Caterham's 7 160 perhaps?

Most hot rod owners opted for more traditional approach to power and performance, and went with clean looks and suspension work.  I really liked how this particular one sat sporting a slight front camber set for spirited driving.

While this rat rod was all about the looks, sporting a matte bronze color and very aggressive long wheelbase.

American cars from the 50's have an incredible sense of presence and are therefore loved all around the world.

As expected the classics from that era have flooded the show contributing to the awesome variety of cars.

So there we have it, quite an awesome turnout, much more than we can cover in one post,

so please stay tuned for Part 2 where we will go over some rides that were tuned and customized with performance in mind.

Thank you for reading everyone, please don't forget to like, share, and follow.

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