When it comes to letting your hair down on the roads of Tokyo – Daikoku Futo would be the after party. Tatsumi PA though would be the end of year prom - The place where all the action initially goes down.
Having stopped over in the capital for a few days, it would be some time before I could get to the track to shoot some action so decided a visit to the for mentioned PA area was a good as decision as any. Arriving mid-evening things were quiet, but with Tatsumi it isn’t long before any automotive lover would be seeing a smile across their face.
Evo with Vortex..
One car that was present upon my arrival was this Green EVO. Whilst the owner hasn’t done much in terms of altering the engine spec, he’s nailed the visuals by adding this pretty awesome Vortex kit to his ride. Previously I hadn’t seen this adaptation and couldn’t help attending to it for some time. The lines certainly compliment the remaining body shape... vvv
As my eyes relaxed from the Evo, I heard that all so familiar sound of a V8 barking it's way up the slip round to our current location. A very cool Ferrari 348 was making it's presence known to all. Old school yes, but with real wheel drive, that engine and in my eyes one of the nicest of any Ferrari, this car wasn't out of place at all.
The proud owner explained to me it mainly sees street use but it's not really thrown too hard at the Wangan and Bayshore routes (choice of Tarmac for Tatsumi driver) but does use it on track. With just changes to Sport tires, and brake modifications only it's managed 01:08 seconds around Tsukuba and also showed me some on board footage of him tackling the Motegi Circuit.
Ladies will try to out do one another when standing out in a crowd. The 348 was the only Ferrari on show - until... This beaming Yellow Ferrari Berlinetta showed up! He was in convoy with the Silver Lamborghini you see in the opening shot. They chatted and filled up on coffee before heading out for another lap of the cities looping expressway and back to us.
With Italian ladies filling up the small PA, it was time for Japan to stage a comeback. A number of fine entrants made their way in and out over the course of my duration there.. Well I say comeback - let's take moment to recognise the 350GT below. You see the 350GT Skyline is like the member of the girl band you'd least like to do.. You have the Hakosuka (Baby), the '34 (Ginger), the GT-R (Posh), the '32 (Sporty).. So you see that leaves the 350GT as.. well.. 'Scary'.. Yeah yeah there is the '33 but c'mon... A stunning blue Hachi made it's way to the far end of the PA, the guys chatted with all for about 10 minutes and then jumped back out... And yes 'Posh' did put in an appearance to level things up. The Sky blue version rocking one of Kato-san's kits from Libery Walk!
You may have seen a particular gentleman in a feature video from Maiham Media, or from a short movie from the GoPro channel on the net. We're not going to go into what he does, but let's just keep it real and know that within the last twelve months or so, 'Moro-Chan' has made quite the impact with the Japanese car culture. No he's not a tuner, not a racer, but he's a personality and a car lover and that's all I need to know! He was a quarter-mile away and I certainly heard his Lamborghini Aventador before I saw it. To think the Aventador even for the basic model when first introduced had close to 700hp, let alone the roadster, that's plenty to getting round the Bayshore before you can blink. Custom lighting has been introduced through his own thought process with the help of the team over at Boomcraft. And check out the custom one featuring the Lamborghini logo that when the doors are fully open create a spotlight of which you can exit the vehicle upon - A one off walk of fame star as it were, Lamborghini stlye!!
The Aventador almost made it to my top car of the night, but I had to save that honour for Arai-san and his 'Baby' Skyline - you see the puns above were going somewhere! He's an ex-D1 driver who ran in the series for years and previously owned a Hachiroku, but three years ago after his drifting days started to be a little more quiet he took the plunge and invested in the car you see today. When first getting her it was in really bad shape, but with the help of Inoue-san and his team at Star-Road they have helped the 'Suka to get back on her feet and delivering the close to 190hp that makes 'Baby' run smooth around the streets of Tokyo. As much as possible has been put into the Skyline to get the original look but with the amazing work that Star-Road have done, the least Arai-san could do was put a set of 'GlowStar' wheels on her at each corner as a tribute to all the hard work that has gone in! The finished result in one that he is extremely proud of, and when I asked him would he ever go back to the '86 again, he said - 'The day I die, this car dies with me'.. A bonified statement from a man that loves his cars - and what a car it is! Thank you Arai-san and thank you to everyone else that showed up. More from Roughsmoke on this and other exciting peices coming up!