Cars, Coffee, and Italian Luxury

As an automobile enthusiast I have certain cravings; sometimes it would be watching every single car program on TV, or spending hours on YouTube watching burnout and exhaust note videos, but nothing beats going out to places to look at other people's cars.  I guess that's where the idea of car meet came from in the first place.


So when I finally received the long awaited email about next Cars n Coffee centered around Maserati theme, I was overly excited, and 7 O'clock Sunday morning couldn't come any sooner.

After a quick drive to the location wishing that streets were this empty at all times, I fueled myself with proper brew, grabbed my camera and was ready to check out some awesome Maserati's that made it here from all across Tokyo.

Maserati has always enjoyed its popularity in Japan, where roads and traffic laws make it challenging to test full potential of a true supercar such Ferrari or Lamborghini

Ever since the early days of cars such as this Sebring Series II powered by a 4L straight-sex motor, Maserati machines were a perfect blend of luxury, performance and pure fun.

In terms of pure fun, however, it would be hard to beat this 1957 OSCA S187.  Powered by a tiny 750cc 70HP engine, this 480kg go-cart coming out of one of the Maserati owned factories can surely provide plenty of entertainment.

The simplicity and functionality of cockpit pretty much tell the whole story. 

Vehicles with a Maserati badge, however, were never known for their simplicity.!  Cars like this V8 powered Ghibli were designed to conquer American market by combination of power, handling and luxury features.

The convertible variant was also very popular in America, but seeing one in Japan is a rare experience. Maserati did have its unique design language in the 70's, thanks to Giorgetto Giugiaro who came up with this form, which looks exclusive and perhaps somewhat modern even today. 

Oil shock in the 70's arguably put auto industry into reverse gear.  With lack of R&D better fuel economy could only be achieved at the expense of power and performance.  Maserati's response was was the great looking Merak powered by what seems to be the popular choice of today V6 engine.  As a result Merak is a lot less desired among the collectors than the Bora, Indy or Ghibli.  I can't help myself and wonder whether this will be the fate of current generation of V6 Maserati's as well.

It took the Italian brand close to 10 years to place a V8 engine into a coupe, and they honored the Shamal to carry this torch.  The luxury grand tourer packed a punch with a twin turbocharged 3.2L V8.  Even though there were only 396 Shamal's ever built the concept of luxury coupe powered by a mighty V8 remained strong in the brand.

The Maserati Coupe followed by Gan Turismo, which will be replaced in next couple of years have once again proven Maserati's significance in luxury automobile market.

The Maserati GranSport looks great and modern long after its end of production. The 400HP V8 engine linked to single clutch automated manual transmission help it keep up in the performance department as well.

Maserati moved on however... You can't accomplish great things if you keep repeating yourself, so in 2007 they released the car that can serve as benchmark for a luxury coupe.

Some may have seen the review of Maserati Gran Turismo here on Tokyo Car Parade, I still can't forget the exuberant experience of blasting this rocket through Tokyo tunnels.

The Maserati Gran Turismo that turned up to the meet was getting all the love from the owner and the attention of all the fans.  Stock wheels were fitted on spacers while the car was given the much needed drop.  I wonder what wheels will the owner choose for this amazing looking car in the future.

Our thoughts were interrupted however, by smooth growl of a V12 engine.  There were only 50 of these MC12's ever made; powered by Ferrari's V12 found in the Enzo, it is for people for whom the 400 production number is too common.  Needless to say, this is my first time seeing the MC12 out in the wild. 

As with all of the themed events at Daikanyama TSite it was "everybody is welcome" kind of atmosphere.

I certainly took full advantage of that and parked next to the very well maintained Maserati BiTurbo

While my good friend Dino represented Speedhunters in the best possible way. Those bronze CE28's look fantastic on the Bayside Blue R34.

Some of the frequent visitors rolled in as nonchalantly as they possibly could.....

Presence of this classic Ferrari 512BB reminded us that Maserati is not the only Italian brand that was going to be represented here.

The location of this venue guarantees that there would be a few Ferrari's on any morning regardless whether they are a part of the meet or not.

The Imola Red 458 Italia surely got everyone's attention.

So did this beautiful and clean Corvette C2, the only machine representing American muscle.  The Cobra from previous meets unfortunately was not around.

Seeing a TVR these days is a rare sight, especially if it's one of the latter Tuscan Mk2 convertible models.

As legendary as these cars are, a closer look reveals how borderline bizarre these cars get.  Interior packs plenty of luxury features and materials, but layout is confusing and may even seem strange. The cool factor, however is undeniable.

This variant came with monster normally-aspirated 4L straight six "Speed Six" engine producing 360 HP and 420NM of torque.

The owner went further and fitted a custom carbon exhaust system for extra noise and power. 

With about 10 times less horse power, the 2CV also grabbed plenty of attention.

Fiat Abarth 500 is enjoying great popularity in Japan.  The Italians hit the nail on the head when they exported this little car to Japan.  It has everything that Japanese enthusiast may desire: funky looks, high quality interior, responsive engine, great exhaust note, and customizeability. I hope that Japanese will have a suitable rival for it eventually.

It may not be as easy as it sounds however, as Abarth has such a long history of customizing small Fiats.

Soon after it was evident that compacts playing a significant role in Japanese car culture.

With Catherhams taking a special place.

However, if there was one maker that deserves that special status it would definitely be Porsche

Enthusiasts all across Japan enjoy their German made sports car, while tuners love to make them even more special. RWB is one such tuner who became famous for installing race-like wide body kits on older Porsche models. 

This time, as usual we got treated to a nice collection of classic Porsche's representing different generations.  The sound of these air-cooled flat-six engines just makes the hairs on back of my neck stand still...

It was also good to see that newer AMG models getting to the meets as well. 

JDM representation is usually scarce at these meets as the scene and neighborhood is a bit different from the usual image of a JDM enthusiast, but there are always plenty of surprises.

Before we knew it, however it was 9:00AM; time to hit the road, over to Daikoku, on which I will report in near future!

Thank you for following, sharing, and commenting, everyone!

Bonus Images: Maserati MC12:





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Cindy Dy said...

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