Track and Show 2015 Part 1: The Scene

It has been a while since last update, but abandon this site I certainly did not!  Personal life has gotten the better of me and on top of that February/March with their variable weather patterns tend to be the quiet months in JDM world.  But, fear no more, as we are back!

Trust me, I have been as automobile-deprived as I could possibly get, hence getting up early for a quick drive to Fuji Speedway to attend the "Track and Show" event was nothing but a pure dose of excitement for me.
Even though the weather was saying "stay at home" there was no chance in hell I was going to miss this just because some water was falling from the skies.

That being said, I was heading to this event not knowing what to expect.  All I knew that participant list was quite vast, yet there was always a possibility of many no-shows due to rain.

I also knew that every car make/model, import or domestic was welcome, making it another JDM free-for-all event, and that alone is making it worth going.

The organizer was none other than Mr Otsuka - owner of the "Check Shop", specializing in importing and tuning German cars. 

All I knew that I would have now problem getting my way around the event.

Did I mention German cars?

Because there were tons of them.

At some point I began to imagine that I was in the middle of Bimmerfest, but reality is that we don't have those in Japan, and I must say, looking at some of the customized Bavarian goodness, it's a damn shame!

Given my own ownership status I will allocate a separate post in one of a further updates dedicated just to the BMW's of this event,

but for now let's move on to the minority: the JDM

There is always a great variety of domestic vehicles at such events, and when a track day plays a significant part, there tend to be plenty of performance tuned vehicles scattered all around.

Track day in the wet may seem like a risky proposition for many drivers, but the guys in front wheel drive compacts took full advantage of it, often taking corners at high speed with a little bit of sideways fun in the process.

As for the show part, there plenty of interesting machines such as this custom painted Z33 on deep dish Work Meister wheels.

The S platform was well represented by this S15 on Advan wheels.

The potent SR20 was fitted with a custom intake manifold, turbo and cooling piping which should give it plenty of extra power.

The vintage crew was represented by selection of classic Datsuns such as this 510 with aggressive fender flair.

Next to it was the S31 with incredible work being done under the hood.

The carbon fiber finished engine block was fitted with large capacity individual throttle bodies and racing carburetors.

Speaking of Japanese classics, the FC RX-7 is becoming increasingly rare, and seeing one in such good shape was definitely a sight for sore eyes.

The FD, however is becoming more and more popular and here we saw being fitted with full Rocket Bunny kit and more stickers than I could count.

A JDM scene wouldn't be complete without a bunch of stanced cars, and this murdered out Toyota Crown is ticking all the right boxes when it comes to VIP conversion.

The usual EVO guys were here as well still looking for this function/form balance.   

Which brings me to this EVO X.  The car just refuses to age and with so many modern features, this is definitely the car to own if you are looking for fun and practical car with good resale value. Shame about the interior though.

The usual high volume of Skylines and GTR's was definitely here today as well

Sometimes simplicity is an absolute win. 

But when it comes to more modern luxury performance cars simplicity alone would just not cut it.  It is great to see that the G37/V36 Skyline has finally picked up momentum among Japanese enthusiasts.  Back in the day when I owned mine, the car wasn't even displayed at Tokyo Auto Salon, making any kind of upgrade options very limited.

Quite the opposite could be said about the R35 GTR, which can be customized for performance and style beyond any reasonable imagination.

Such was this Lexani Demo car from Tokyo Auto Salon.

but sometimes, there is no need to touch them at all.  This brand New Nismo edition was parked outside Fuji Speedway and was not part of the event, but I couldn't just walk by without taking a picture and chatting to the owner who happened to be a veteran Skyline GTR enthusiast; he runs a blog here: GTR GTR GTR

Japanese fans of the Infiniti brand have been left endlessly waiting for FX to go on sale in Japan, and since that may never happen, gray-market importers are happy to help.  Some examples, like the one in front of HRE booth are sent straight to the tuning shops to get that proper USDM look with JDM treatment.

American culture is often expressed with cars and thus has a huge following in Japan, and some of the owners made their way to Fuji Speedway to parade their imported muscle.

It often amazes me how the Japanese can get their hands on some of the most sought after cars despite being thousands of miles away from their origin.

Owning the cars is just a part of the experience as each and every one of them goes through stages of rigorous upgrades.

With example here getting a set of Elderblock heads, carbs, intake, cooling, complemented by modern upgrades to power steering and HVAC.

American cars were represented in great variety, from this first generation Viper,

to this C5 Corvette.
The real beauty was this C7 Stingray, which in my opinion is the pinnacle of American automotive industry.

While we are at it, the meet gained a sort of all American feel to it... Now all I needed was a big hamburger and even a bigger burnout.

Neither could be found anywhere around (food for thought for next meet, Mr. Otsuka?) , but instead somebody brought around a boat.  Well, to each their own as they say.

I will just go and look at some Italian cars instead. The Alfa Romeo C4 is becoming a hit in Japan because of its perfect balance of size, performance, and usability. 

The 458 has established itself very well in the Japanese market and seeing this one with Liberty Walk kit, sporting an EXART exhaust system just proves my point.

A lowered Countach?

Why not!

While we are on subject of Supercars, it was a surprise to see this McLaren Mercedes SLR making its way to this event.  For those following me on Instagram, I have spotted this beast several times in Roppongi, so seeing it wondering so far out of its comfort zone was a refreshing sight.

While people don't usually associate Mercedes Benz E Class Coupe with enthusiasts who would rush to tuner shop to get wheels and lowering suspension, this owner did exactly that, and I must say that it looks rad!

On the contrary, the outgoing C63 wagon has established its status as a legendary grocery hauler.

As expected most Porsche owners took it straight to the track, but those who were among the show part had a lot going for them.

Such as this custom built 356 Speedster on air suspension and custom wheels.

I am pretty sure that this example spent most of the time on the track and was at show area just to cool down.

Some owners take it the extreme with the colors. 

More from the Wolfsburg Stable was this Passat CC.  Given that I almost bought the same car, it was very interesting to see what after-market world can do to it. 

This Golf GTI was probably my favorite car of the entire show.  I was never a Golf fan, but seeing this MKII with such perfect JDM touch left me stunned with amazement. 

Running in the same class with the Golf was this Audi S1 on BBS wheels.  This model is proving to be extremely popular among younger Japanese enthusiasts who want something more than the usual compact JDM offerings.

Here is something you don't see everyday; when fender flair is done for you at factory lowering the car on a set of 20's is an easy task, and did this owner get it spot-on or what!

Audi is getting synonymous with concave wheels, and for all the right reasons, as these
custom made PUR Luxury series LX04 were fitted on S5 Sportsback.

This example, however has completely blew mind.  Audi S5 was example of perfection in automotive designs when it first came out in 2007.  Since then the car has proven to be absolutely timeless as it has evolved into the RS5.  The owner has installed minor upgrades in form of lowering suspension, custom exhaust, matte wrap and 20 inch Vossen CVT wheels, which complement the flawless design of the vehicle.

But again, it were the Bimmers that dominated the event, and even though BMW is looking to be the number 1 import brand in Japan, I have never seen so many of them gathered in one place. 

The event was a definition of heaven of any BMW owner and enthusiast.

As an E90 owner I was particularity excited about the sheer amount and variety of styles that were applied to previous generation of 3-series.

And then of course, there was this - Libery Walk E92 M3, straight from the floorspace of SEMA show

As for the newer generations, there were plenty of M4's on track and at the show, many featuring visual updates, in particular deleting the annoying front wheel gap via a set of lowering springs and classy looking rims.

The owner of this F82 seems to have gotten this spot on. Being the manager of Access Evolution and official importer of HRE wheels he put his skills and contacts to good use and created truly one of a kind BMW M4.

Before I knew it, some of the cars started heading towards the exit,

providing a good photo opportunity to snap more awesome rides in motion,

and also take a few snaps of my ride for the seasonal photo-shoot, which I will feature later on.  There were a lot more cars at the event, to which we will return in next couple of updates, until then, thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting! Please check the bonus images below and don't forget to come back soon for next update!
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