Tokyo Import Car Show - Car Event Like No Other

Back in 2009 I discovered a little event called "Tokyo Import Auto Salon" where organizers were happily letting customers in for free to check out the hefty amount of customized USDM rides in similar fashion as we saw in Tokyo Auto Salon.  Following year Tokyo Import Auto Salon merged with TAS and I never heard about it since.

Until very late in May 2014, I accidentally discovered the familiar name with a link to application for a free pass.  How could I say "No"?  Despite being somewhat limited in size and collaborating with some furniture expo (don't ask me why) I found so much material that I plan to make a 2 part post about it.  To be brief, this has nothing in common with Tokyo Auto Salon or previous Import show as it has nothing to do with NAPAC.  What it does have everything to do with are those car guys that I keep running into in Daikoku as well as some of the enthusiastic tuners we featured previously.

For most part, this was not about products or marketing, this was about cars, plain and simple.  Even though the scale was not quite to the Nostalgic 2 Days standard, the quality spoke for itself.  Not often you get to see such rarities as this Ferrari Dino Speciale Competizione Bizzarrini One-off.

Or a pair of Classic Lamborghini's with their own distinctive character.  While the Miura pretty much stands for everything that modern supercar is all about, the Espada was Lamboghini's successful attempt at creating a luxury cruiser.

The event really started to show its true colors at RAUH-Welt display area.  Nothing sends goose bumps down the spine as true automotive perfection in a form of this RWB Rotana, based on Porsche 993 Turbo.

Tuned to 600 HP, sitting on extremely wide slick tires it should give any modern day supercar the run for its money.

Next to it - the beatiful white "Kamiwaza", perhaps a more subtle, at least in terms of sheer performance example of Nakai-san's creation based on 930 3200cc 911 Carrera.

In typical RWB style the wide fenders have been complemented by a perfect choice of wheels.  The deep dish Work Meister M1 3-Piece wheels give this car that blend of modern and classic designs.
The car manages to retain that classic shape of 911 as well as give it a bit of race car flare. 

There is nothing but engine porn under the hood.  The 3.2L flat six has been stroked to 3.6 and converted to individual throttle body setup.  I cannot even begin to imagine what this car sounds like.

After spending a good hour with these RWB cars and pretty much setting the mood for the day, I moved on.

Moved on to something that Speedhunters fans should be familiar with.  Hamana is garage known for body works specializing in Euro cars as well as one of the distributes of Vossen wheels in Japan.  The CLA180 seen on Speedhunters has been given an updated look by 20 inch Vossen VVSCVT finished in custom gold color

They didn't stop there as the same design wheel with bright red powder coat was fitted on the A180 that was featured on the same coverage

20 inch concave wheels look incredibly well on this hot hatch from Stuttgart.  Combined with aggressive fender work and lowering suspension kit it does achieve this perfect stance that so many enthusiasts are after.

The definetely highlight in the Hamana collection was this Audi R8 with a custom body kit and brand new Vossen Precision Wheels. 

With participation at most events, heavy appeal to local fans, and selection of cars to satisfy all tastes, I cannot think of a better way for Vossen to enter Japanese market.

With such classy product line I hope they manage to snatch a large portion of the market.

Believe it or not, this was pretty much it for product displays. 

Because as I mentioned above this event was just about supercar show-off

And there were plenty to show off...

Seeing Porsche Carrera GT next to Ferrari Enzo, I was sure that I was in some kind of automotive Nirvana.

What is even more impressive is that the guys at Roberuta are not afraid to take two of the automotive legends and fit them with custom air suspension.

To be fair though, this upgrade is extremely practical as the car's ability to change ride height is only marginal and is available on some exotics as manufacturer option.  With such upgrade any supercar can be a daily driver. 

Speaking of daily drivers, this example belongs to founder of Liberty Walk Wataru Kato.  Even though he was not present at the event due to his participation in Las Vegas Gold Rush Rally, the guys from his shop set up quite a booth displaying the 458 well as selling some of the goodies to the fans of the brand.

Liberty Walk is enjoying its share of global success thanks to out of this world design, good marketing strategies, as well as charismatic appeal of Kato-san himself and his ever energetic crew.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Gullstream by Fab Design again.  After their rather posh entrance at 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, they have all but seised their operations in Japan. 

While the combination of Roberuta, Liberty Walk, and Fab Design delivered in prestige, other guys did not make their presence any less exclusive.  Out of only 14 Koenigsegg CCX models ever made, one was right here.

Powered by 800HP 4.7L V8 twin supercharged engine this carbon fiber monster can reach 100kph in 3.2 seconds

For a moment I became thinking that I have seen everything, however I was dead wrong as I made my encounter with what could be the most controversial car in the world: Customized Pagani Zonda!

Returning readers probably remember my original encounter with the beast in the beginning of the year, but this time it was much more special.

As the owner and founder of Anija Motors greeted me as his new best friend, posing with me for a quick shot,

opening the doors,
and allowing me inside!  Having driven the Aventadaror, I am not entirely new to supercars, but compared to a Pagani, Lamborghini is a peasant's car (and I am not talking about tractors).  Pagani had all intentions to make occupants feel overwhelmingly special as the finishing in the cockpit was nothing like I have ever seen or felt before.

Everything was wrapped in soft and prestige leather, with surfaces being finished in carbon fiber or aluminum.  There was an amazing mix of performance and luxury, all made for owners to feel right at home while reaching some ground braking speeds in the Pagani. 

Moving on, I am asking you, my dear readers not to worry, as having such a close encounter with the Pagani did not supress my interests in the rest of the supercars, so after a short break I was back at shooting.

But as I said before, the show was relatively small, so after chatting with some of staff I made my way to the outside parking lot,

That's where the real event took place, which I will cover in Part 2 in next few days.

Stay tuned, everyone, and as usual, thanks for reading, sharing and following!




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