Right now, I’m down in Nagoya with Kato san and the crew from Liberty Walk Japan. If you haven’t heard of them I would be very surprised since they have exploded onto the international stage with some of the wildest custom supercars the world has seen. After a long haul south from Tokyo to Nagoya in the new 3 series Active Hybrid, I got some down time with new friends at a great Yakiniku restaurant where the stories and beer flowed freely… Read more
Its a new year and its time again for the JCCA (Japan Classic Car Association) annual new years meet in Odaiba. A veritable feast of classic automobile goodness and plenty of gasps of “natsukashiiii” from the locals…natsukashi meaning “its so nostalgic isn’t it!!”
Straight in at the gates you gaze upon rows upon rows of gleaming classics, most older than myself.
Alongside all the Cars is a very very Japanese level enthusiasts flea market and by Japanese level I mean everything you would ever want as a classic car lover no matter what your vehicle of choice or fancy is! From Sparco seats to vintage car sales brochures to toy cars, you name it its here.
Headlamps, you got it.
Model Kits, absolutely.
I spent hours walking the aisles mesmerised by all the history surrounding me, whilst turning down one of the aisles I came upon two schoolboys holding a flag and wearing uniforms….upon speaking to them I found out that they form part of the Hosei University Automobile Club, today they had brought along a real stunner. A 1938 Jaguar SS, a real piece of automotive history, as far as I could read most of the parts and some of the bodywork is still original, either way its a grand spectacle.
As an Englishman it was rather strange walking around a Japanese Classic Car meet and being met with rows upon rows of classic Britishness, from rows of Lotus Espirit and various racing incarnations of other Lotus models to Minis, Triumphs and Jaguars.
After a while of wandering around and chatting to some locals I found what I personally was looking for, the Fairlady Z section. I have always found the first gen of Fairlady Zs to be such a beauty to behold….which comes as no surprise given where its design influence came from…..this particular model however I found in the parking lot!!
Up and down I went finding more gems from “Back in the day” sometimes so far back in someones day I don’t know if I was alive at the time some of these cars rolled of the production line or flew off the grid.
Found some real gems.
A wild blue Celica GTV circa 1972.
As the day drew to an end my shutter finger was still maniacally twitching away, so much awesomeness. It was then I had an epiphany about enthusiasts and collectors of every nature….we all love what we do and love to talk about it with like-minded and noobs a like, if you have the passion, they have the time, I shot this last image and I think it sums up the atmosphere of the day perfectly, bunch of mates hanging out talking cars around a car, drinking ghetto sake surrounded by car parts and other car lovers! CARS!!
Till the next time… but before I go, here are some bonus shots for you to enjoy
280,000 people, 800 cars, 4 days, 12 hours of sleep, 1 M6 convertible, 73 cans of Redbull, and 3000 shots later, the curtain (mercifully), fell on the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. Come with me as 7Tune takes a look back at the biggest TAS in years… Read more
The signature yellow, Rocket Bunny wearing, drift machine from Bee Racing in Tokyo, has caused a stir and created a lot of discussion since its conception late last year. Arguments have sprung up on all corners of the net debating what it actually is and Kiyonori Imai from Bee-R just sat back and laughed at all the attention it is receiving. You see, it’s not a Scion FR-S despite wearing Scion badges and anyone with half a brain will also figure out that the Scion FR-S is a LHD model since it was a North American designated model… Read more
If you don’t like 86′s and BRZ’s, the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon is definitely not the place for you. Not only is this the biggest salon in years, but it is absolutely LOADED with Toyotas and Subarus. I must have counted one 86 or BRZ for every five or six other cars. There are easily over 100 of Japan’s latest builds on the twin platforms that are sweeping the world and making people gnash their teeth at the sometimes 18 month waiting list to order the cars… Read more
It was an absolutely MEGA end to 2012 for 7Tune – with almost a dozen events to attend, countless people to meet and a couple of international events to fly to. Here is a rundown on what you can expect on 7Tune in the coming weeks during the first month of 2013… Read more
It was back to Thailand for me at the end of December to enjoy another crazy week at one of the absolute best racing festivals on the planet; the 2012 Bangsaen Festival of Speed. My hosts for the week, MAX TV Thailand, graciously arranged for the entire trip, and in very short notice mind you, so all that was left for me to do was pack the Nikon D3, a couple of lenses and document as much of their weekend ( and everyone else’s ) as possible. Here’s how it all unfolded… Read more
December 31, 2012 by Allard1983
Filed under Cars, Drift, Dump'd 2012, Endurance Racing, Events, Japan, Latest Articles, Le Mans 24 Hours, Meets, Nürburgring 24 hours, Rens Adams, Track Days, Wangan Warriors
2013 is just hours away and here I am pondering about 2012. What a year it has been! It’s been a true roller coaster ride with some lows but with some very cool loops and turns! So where do I even start?
Well, in Japan of course where I visited my first Tokyo Auto Salon. Read more
Up an at it early the next day for round two at Fuji Speedway and what a glorious day it was! A complete contrast to yesterday – the only disappointment being that Mt Fuji was surrounded by clouds.
A honk of the horn outside the hotel and I see the familiar shape of Richard and another guy I haven’t seen for a couple of years who happens to be great friend Dominik Schwager; a German driver who raced in Japan for many years. Delighted to see him, I jump in car and off we go.
At the circuit and with Richard tied up with Team business and commitments, I was left free to wander around with Domonik in the glorious sunshine and to really get a hold of the atmosphere here at Fuji on race-day without the torrential rain. Before Richard left us, I had time to pull off a quick picture with himself, Dom and GT Japanese legend Motoyama san; Richard’s 2004 championship winning teammate.
It was also amazing to see just how crazy the Japanese are about their racing and motor-sports. Dominik hasn’t raced in japan for 4 years, yet he was recognised and flagged down by fans all day everywhere we went!
Hanging around in the pit lane before the start of the Formula Nippon Race, I managed to catch a few shots of the cars themselves, which are loud and lightning fast V-8 550bhp rockets.
Here in Japan, everything is totally family orientated at big events like this and it’s always great to see the kids involved!
I went back to the Garage and found the boys watching the start of the Formula Nippon race, so I settled down to watch it with them and see how drivers and teams watch races as opposed to us normal folk haha. The amount of banter between the teams about what the other teams might be doing is actually quite intense. In-between watching the monitors and timing splits, I was just seeing blurs out of the corner of my eye out of the garage entrance of the cars screaming by, by God, they are quick.
An interesting race with an eventful end in which the initial winner, Andre Lotterer, was disqualified after it was found the skid block underneath his car was thicker than regulations allowed which handed Takuya Izawa the win.
In the jam packed schedule the GT300 class was up next with Richards Team mate Akihiro Tsuzuki and Igor’s team mate Kenji Kobayashi up in the Audi R8 cars of Hitotsuyama Racing.
Tsuzuki made a great start but dropped back a bit and finished 12th from 15th on the grid. Unfortunately, Kobayashi didn’t fair so well and lost the Bonnet of the car after a touch on the 2nd lap and couldn’t continue…..seems like team Hitotsuyama Racing had a tough weekend but im sure they walked away with a lot of experience to put in that knowledge bank for next season.
I decided to walk up and down the paddock and the team trailers and see if there were any interesting cars after all this is the glitz and glamour of motorsport here and im sure I might spot some kick assery in the car park and sure enough I did.
Before the GT500 got underway it was time for a bit of a photoshoot with the race queens and the drivers.
Time for GT 500 and unfortunately we couldn’t watch for long and only stayed for a few laps….the chariot waiting to carry me back to the bright lights of Tokyo was awaiting me. Coming back in the car with Richard and Domonik was fun to say the least – if you consider a 6 hour traffic Jam all the way from Gotemba to the Tokyo turngate fun.
Till next year Fuji Speedway…
7Tune – The Ultimate Motor Racing Experience Since 2005
Words and Photos – Adrian Venner
Waking up at stupid O clock on a Saturday on a November morning in Tokyo is never a warm occasion but today wasn’t so bad, a little gloomy but I didn’t care as I would soon be on a train heading down to Gotemba and Fuji Speedway for the last races of the Formula Nippon, GT 500 and GT300 series for 2012. Read more
7Tune is proud to announce the exclusive release for Abflug’s latest designs ahead of the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. In this brief glance at the concepts that are slated to make an appearance on the Abflug stand at the TAS in January, one design stands out head and shoulders among them all when it comes to Japanese performance car enthusiasts; the Abflug “Spiral 86″… Read more
There are a few events a year that are highlighted in my agenda. Events like the Nürburgring 24 hours, Le Mans, Fast Car Festival, Goodwood and of course the traditional Wangan Warriors end of year meet! I named a few established events. But in Holland that’s exactly what the end of year meet is. It’s something you don’t want to miss before the cold winter months start and there’s nothing to do. Read more
With the upcoming release of Forza Horizon, the new installment in the Forza Motorsport franchise, the much anticipated game was officially launched at the Australian International Motorshow in Sydney and automotive bloggers from all over Australia were invited to attend the event and have a go at their new release. Read more
Having left the paddock, it was time to get serious and train the Nikon D3 and 70-200mm on the cars and drivers as they battled it out on the track. There was an absolutely packed schedule of action going on throughout the day, right from the opening sessions at 8am and culminating in easily the biggest parade of 86′s that I’ve ever seen at 5pm. Which left me with a lot of work to do… and a lot of shots to post… Read more
Easily one of the best and biggest 86 festivals in the world, the Okayama 86 fest provided an absolute overdose of Hachi goodness in all shapes, colors and configurations. It was quite a hike East to get to the circuit but it was damn well worth it and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started… Read more