With a few mixed emotions, I took the Lambo to Daikoku Futo the day I was to hand it back and there, among other enthusiastic Lamborghini men, something odd was noticed. In the outer groove of the right rear Pirelli Zero Corsa was a screw, nestled flush against the tire!
*Remember to click on the photos for 1280×850 resolution goodness!*
The bloody thing was embedded into the rubber and leaking at a very slow rate. At that moment a little of the mystique surrounding the car faded as I realized the Super Leggera’s nervous behavior at the rear when I picked it up wasn’t my mind playing tricks on me after all. Even such an issue, small as you might think, magnifies itself in resonance to the driver and I realized the Lamborghini was suffering from a now obvious imbalance. A refill of air soon after confirmed that tire pressures had dropped significantly to the point that things may have become dangerous. With the situation reported to Lamborghini Japan on the return, apologies were made and a fresh test with a new Pirelli fitted. I don’t know if the screw was there before I came to collect it but with 4 more days scheduled with the car on new rubber, I wasn’t complaining.
Immediately after grabbing the key for the second time, I found the nervousness was gone and the car tracked surely and steadily without the slightest of tram-lining at the rear that I felt earlier that week. There was now more reason than ever to feel confident in the Lamborghini’s astronomical abilities but the final test would come up in Hakone later that second weekend where I got to see just how good the Super Leggera really was as a drivers car.
But before we get to Hakone, let me back track a little to before we noticed our little travelling companion in the Pirelli, and tell you all about what we came across at Daikoku Futo. In Japan, the sheer volume and variety of driving experiences you can have is stunning ( putting aside the patience testing Tokyo traffic jams we loathe ) with the scenery, and with it the driving conditions, changing as fast as the roads you travel but for all intents and purposes, a trip to Daikoku on a sunny Sunday was an absolute necessity.
On the way down to Daikoku, we spotted this random R35 and thought the Lambo needed a light snack…
As we arrived and did a short tour of the compound, contributor Dominik Bloemhard and I, fell into some great company.
Turns out the Super Leggera wasn’t the only Lamborghini at Daikoku that day; indeed we counted a stable of around 12 other Bulls in varying forms, owned by people from different walks of life, all coming together to do what car people in Japan do. Motioning for to us to park close by, they welcomed us warmly and came over to check out the SL, full of questions about us and the car I was driving. It’s not every day you see two foreigners, living among the Japanese, arriving at Daikoku Futo in a Lamborghini.
There we encountered a few surprises, including a friendly 24 year old with a decked out Lambo Gallardo, probably the youngest owner of the marque that I’ve met so far. While I don’t particularly like the whole Swarovski crystal treatment some people give these cars, ( this one was covered in them ) you can’t knock it for being unoriginal. The hard truth being it’s tough to stand out in Japan when society calls for formality and uniformity, so I can appreciate the efforts people go to when looking to do something “different”.
Now that is a wing… but I prefer all that carbon fiber!
This menacing looking Murcielago, sitting next to a very pretty 365 GT4 BB, was a real eye opener.
The owner was also into Swarovski but thankfully, had refrained from using the crystals anywhere else other that the shifter. It was refreshing to see the owner throwing those shifts through a manual gate. The way of real men.
The really cool thing about it was the Kreissieg exhaust system…
If you have ever seen that video of the black Lamborghini Countach screaming like a banshee, you’ll remember how the hairs stood on the back of your neck and your blood froze at the sound. Just in case you missed it…
This Murcielago was just like that. To hear something similar in real life was blood curdling, spine chilling even. Funnily enough, the owner of this Murch is friends with the owner of the Countach and I’ve already asked to see the car for myself. I absolutely must hear that Lambo with my own ears.
Lambos’ weren’t the only cars on the menu that day with some very desirable Japanese and other Euro metal also making an appearance. The best way I can explain Daikoku Futo is that it’s just like going on a wildlife safari in Africa with a huge and diverse mixture of metal beasts roaming the wild plains of the Wangan, yet all part of the same automotive ecosystem. The circle of life ( and speed ) indeed!
As with any tour, you’ll need to keep a camera handy at all times and be poised to shoot on sight, because you never know when you’re going to spot something incredible lounging around or on the hunt. This ultra rare 400R R33 GT-R, for example, among one of the most prized sightings for Nissan fans the world over…
…as was this delectable and tuned “G-Nose” 240Z Fairlady rocking RS Watanabe wheels. You can tell if a car is not a replica by looking at the plates. Classic cars in Japan are marked with a “33” class number – spot that and you know it’s “legit” and not a replica.
The owner decided on a coffee break and I bee-lined it over to take a closer look. It’s not often you get the chance to see these kinds of things in the wild, so take every opportunity you can get when they present themselves.
The G-Nose is to me the most beautiful Zed ever made and this one was track readied with cage and worked engine among other mods.
Gorgeous… inside and out.
There was also the sight of this Lotus Esprit driving past…
… with an R35 Spec-V following close behind. You can tell by the wheels and carbon ceramic brake package that’s a cool $30k over standard.
Lately the police have been closing the PA early, thanks largely to the general annoyance of the Bosozoku and their bikes bouncing off the rev limiters but these individuals only come out at night and weekends during the day are totally open for a visit. I get a lot of requests for information on how to get to Daikoku Futo but there is no simple answer. The only way is to either take a taxi out there from Yokohama or grab a rental when you come to visit and drive out via the Navi. Because there are no trains or buses that go out there, private transport is the only choice.
We had to bid our new friends, and the legendary parking spot that is Daikoku Futo behind and get the car back to Lamborghini for it’s boot change but not before leaving with the Murcielago to hear it screaming on the Wangan. The Super Leggera has its measure in basically every way but the cruise back into Tokyo was something else. The presence of the cars on the road was something special, snapping necks in every direction, the sounds of 22 naturally aspirated cylinders bellowing out from within the tunnels that line the Wangan.
This is what it looks like to be hunting on the Wangan, paddle shifters at the ready…
…the owner happy to oblige with some flat out, banshee screamers past our open windows. Dear God, the noise!!
With the Super Leggera hand washed and fueled up ( I don’t ever want to see the bills the bull asked from me at the gas stands again! Don’t remind me how much it cost to refill the 90 liter tank… ), it was time to hand it back to Lamborghini Japan and say farewell but like a faithful boomerang, it returned to me a short while later.
We’re going to leave what happened up on the epic roads of Hakone for another entry…
7TUNE. The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words – Adam Zillin
Photos – Adam Zillin and Dominik Bloemhard.