Goodbye 2014; Happy Car Year!

So here we are, with another year behind we are sitting here on the eve of 2015 wondering what just hit us.  But times couldn't be getting any better for the word of fellow motoring fans. With global economy showing signs of recovery and more car guys around the world gaining purchasing power, there seems to be a significant boost in global car culture, making it that much more interesting and busy for us.


The year started off with a blast with Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 being bigger than ever.  With so much happening around the floor space of Makuhari Messe I barely had time to cover it all.  That said, the 2015 Auto Salon can't come soon enough!
 
With car guys around the world spending money, I could hold off no longer. The upcoming expansion of the family required a mode of transport and bus service wasn't it. I went out and got a fast one: The 2009 BMW 335i M Sport.  The Le Mans Blue sedan proved to be everything I needed and then some.  Buckets of torque coming from silky smooth inline six, comfortable top quality interior and awesome handling truly make this car a multipurpose machine. 

Stock 17 inch wheels weren't going to cut it so I managed to score a set of 19 inch Rays to give the car the looks it deserved. 

Getting to events was now that much easier and I took full advantage of it by visiting the Mooneys Car Meet in Yokohama. Getting full exposure of a segment of Japanese car culture I didn't know even existed!  it takes guts to stand out in this country, but this small group of people take thinking outside the box to the whole new level.

On the flip side, the Nostalgic 2 Days event in Yokohama proved to be about passion, dedication, and craftsmanship.  It takes a lot of effort to modify a car, it takes several times that to restore and upgrade an old classic.  Modernizing an old car is a whole different ball game, but the guys from Star Road and Rocky Auto seem to perfect it in every project.

The chance to take a break from countless events was given to me in the form of opportunity to drive the phenomenal BMW M6 Gran Coupe and what a car that was!  There seems to be absolute abundance of power as the car wants to spin its wheels at virtually any gear across entire RPM range, but the ultra modern and comforting interior make it feel like like being aboard a luxury cruise ship. 

It was back to events after that, and we had an opportunity to look at what Japan Import Car Show had to offer and what was happening on the outside!  Car ownership in Japan seems to be the opposite of their daily lives.  While they tend to follow rules and obey the boss on weekdays, on weekends they turn to their rides, and when money is no object, imagination has no boundaries.

Most of month of June I took a break from publishing due to birth of baby girl, but in July we were back in full swing covering the extravaganza of Motorgames at Fuji Speedway. It was a fascinating event, which hopefully will bring more exposure to Formula Drift and Offset Kings in Japan.

 
From there we took it to the night-time scene of Tatsumi PA to check out some of the cool rides roaming the streets of Tokyo.  Visiting events is one thing, but getting deep in the car culture requires a bit of a more personal touch.  Night gatherings at Tatsumi or Sunday morning tours to Daikoku allow us to get up close in personal to some of Tokyo's most insane rides.

Back at Fuji Speedway we attended the event for everybody that likes it low:  Stance Nation 2014 was a success - and a story that we published for 9tro, check it out here.  This opportunity allowed me to push my project even further - TCP Media was launched

After that we got behind the wheel of absolutely mad BMW M4, but were also pleasantly surprised with how well it could behave if you don't get overzealous with your right foot... But how can you resist?  The question whether a turbo belongs in an M car has been answered - if done right it does, and this car is a benchmark on how to deliver power via means of forced induction. 

We then headed back to Fuji Speedway to have a look at some soaking wet GTR's gathering for annual R's meeting.  Undeniably, the GTR is the car that defines everything about JDM and the followers.  Performance, handling practicality and sublime tuning potential make the GTR of any generation a true car guy's dream. 

We then witnessed LaFerrari lapping the track during Ferrari Racing Days 2014.  To see countless Ferrari owners gather at Fuji Speedway was an amazing experience. The event is held across entire world, but there is always unique touch when it comes to Japanese owners and organizers.

It didn't get any less exclusive back here in Tokyo as the local Cars n' Coffee event got a surprise visitor, but still no free coffee!  The coverage was popular enough to make the cover of Bimmerpost website, even though the only beemer at the event was mine.

Meanwhile entire landfill island of Odaiba went up in smoke as a set of D1 cars seriously lit up the place by producing a wild drift performance during season ending exhibition round.

After which we got acquainted with CarGuy - a group of supercar owners who choose to be noticed and take pride in their passion for exotic cars.  I met Mr. Kimura - founder of the group by pure luck, but I have a feeling this will turn into something very special as slowly he is taking over the car culture of Japan.

As we now are involved in a collaborative project with Mr. Kimura and his CarGuy group we enter new year proud of our achievement and joyful for being part of the Japanese car culture.

From the bottom of my heart thank you all for your support and a very happy new year!

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