It was back down to Nagoya for me for the second time in a month to shoot one of the biggest supercar meetings in the country; an event organized by Wataru Kato and his team from Liberty Walk Japan. Once again, rain threatened to really put a dampener on proceedings but mercifully held off for the day and what I’m going to show you now is one of the coolest collections of hard rolling Super Cars you’ll see anywhere…
I didn’t know much about the Dolce Touring event being organized apart from hearing about it last month over dinner but I knew it was something I absolutely had to come back for. I was glad I did because the promise of snipering away at 200 to 300 of Japan’s finest luxuries in one place was too hard to refuse!
I was quite groggy from the night before where copious amounts of food and alcohol were imbibed but managed the 6am start so that I could work may way over a unique Aventador that had also come down from Tokyo for the trip.
You’ll be seeing a bit more of this spectacular looking car in a coming post. It takes a special kind of enthusiast to have the balls to modify a car like the Lamborghini Aventador but Misono san’s is an awesome creation and deserves to be looked at in more detail.
I pretty much only had an hour and a bit to shoot the Aventador since we were due to meet the main touring group at 9:30am. The plan was to get out there quickly and beat the rain, which didn’t end up coming anyway until well after the party ended.
Just before we set off, this R34 GT-R rumbled into view instantly making me do a double take. “Whoa…it’s gotta be at least 600hp…full carbon kevlar front end… crazy graphics design…”… and then I saw the ass end.
My jaw hit the floor.
This was easily the craziest exhaust set up I’d ever seen on an R34 and it should look familiar to you… it’s the same design as the Lamborghini exhausts Kato makes at Liberty Walk. I think it looks brilliant and no doubt is as Functional as the rest of the car.
Owner Nogishi san happily showed me around the car which was attracting a decent group of admirers…
…and then he popped the hood to reveal this gem of an RB26 complete with more titanium work and a steroid fed snail. The Japanese just KNOW how to build something that not only looks like it will work but does work brilliantly. Take note!
The pack of cars leaving LB Works that morning included Japan’s only Gumpert Apollo S…
…Kato’s “Shadowfax” F40…
…Nogishi’s firebreathing R34 GT-R…
…and a couple of Liberty Walk special edition Murcielagos with a nice looking F458 Spyder thrown in for good measure. I had planned to use the sunroof of the chase Bimmer to get some wild angles but I wasn’t prepared for the madness that was to follow in the Liberty Walk Chrysler 300C.
We wound our way down local Nagoya streets toward the expressways in this mental metal and carbon-fiber convoy, filling the air with banshee screams and angry crackles coming from the wide open pipes of these thoroughbred supercars. People were stopping in their tracks wide eyed at all the commotion.
I happily perched myself atop the sunroof of the 300C driven by friend Ryo Kawamura and fired this way and that, using the very convenient and perfectly suited Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8. A lens any heavier than that and I would have been in big trouble.
Seeing these guys roll this hard was an eye-opener. And knowing the amount of fucks given, ever more revealing. Some people like to think they run the streets… these guys monster them like Godzilla.
Watching Shadowfax negotiate these roads was a surreal experience but I was torn over my love for the Gumpert – it was incredible to see in the metal but that complex shape is a tough pill to swallow. In the beauty stakes at least, the F40 wins hands down every time. The Gumpert though is without doubt a triumph of “Function over Form” and just as it should be. It’s low, aggressive, uncompromising, ugly as sin and devastatingly fast. I would though love to spend an hour behind the wheel strapped to the firewall of the beast, just to see how right Gumpert actually got it.
…and since I’m in a LOTR mood, I’m going to refer to the Apollo as “The Nazgul”. What’s your take on the Gumpert Apollo?
They certainly make for an interesting pairing don’t they?
We were soon joined by a brace of Porsches, a couple of them also having made the drive south from Tokyo. You might recognize the orange RWB from elsewhere.
Pretty soon we were all in unison and lining up for the entrance to the expressway. The sight as the 300C pulled up to the lights was one to remember I can tell you and I quite literally had a bird’s eye view! I thought something was about to go down with the cars lined up like this and sure enough it did.
But not what you expect at first. Kato is a wild one and was constantly jumping out of the low slung Shadowfax to take some happy snaps with his point and shoot… but I grinned knowing I was the only one with the Nikon Rocket Launcher in the Chrysler! 😀
The pack blasted off from the lights and hit the onramp in unison, muscling past slower traffic, bullying their way into position. It was getting intense with all those horses straining to be unleashed. I have some video of the shenanigans I’ll upload shortly! 😉
Once on the expressway things shifted a couple of gears with the throttles being pinned wide open. You should have heard it… just imagine what 10,000hp sounds like being unleashed on an expressway in a maniacal cacophony of mechanical symphonies and you might get some idea.
Let me tell you though – getting smashed by the wind at over 150kph and trying to hold yourself steady AND take quality photos is NOT easy. But somehow, probably more down to the equipment and my settings rather than my skill, I managed to nail one target after another. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel!
One by one they pulled up so I could fire off a few frames and then, with a thumbs up from me, dropped back a couple of gears and blasted past for the next car to take their place. It was, for lack of a better word, intense… and we hadn’t even arrived at the first stopover point.
I will admit this was actually extremely stressful work for me – the danger of falling out somehow or getting pulled up by the police for something mixed in the weirdest way with the adrenaline and automotive pornography everywhere I looked. It was a brutal cocktail of senses but I thought, “Fuck it… If they’re gonna go all out, so should I.”
What followed was some of the best and most challenging work I’ve ever shot and I trust everyone will enjoy it.
Before I knew it we were pulling into the first stop for a regroup and what confronted me was an orgy of supercar metal and hundreds of enthusiasts… along with more than a few bewildered tourists unable to fathom what was taking over the parking area!
I’ll be back for more of this super cruise in a following post!
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