Japan part 2


Posted on January 31 2011

To pick up where I left off, there was way too much to see at the TAS to take it all in one day so we returned for day two.   Friday wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was a bit more expensive and exclusive to get in.  Day two was completely open to the public so it was quite an adventure trying to make your way around the crowds in various booths and get any sort of decent pics but I did my best.

First up, being a bit of a wheel fanatic myself I’m always excited to check out the latest and greatest that Japan’s finest wheel manufacturers have to offer.  First up was the Rays Engineering booth which should need no introduction.

Not a whole lot exciting in the big wheel department aside from the TE37 SL and a new anodized red and blue treatment that can be seen on some of their new wheels in addition to the  existing florescent wheels if your REALLY looking to get noticed.

These are a bit more my flavor.  The New 57V’s in a few different color options as well as the TE37 V’s now being offered in a 16″ variation.  Yum.  I wish there were some more solid color options and sizes on the 57′s though….

They also had a cool display with some of the Magnesium JGTC, F1 and BTCC wheels that you could actually pick up.

These JGTC wheels had some cool knurling where the tire bead sits on the wheel.  I’m sure there’s more but I’ve only seen this process on factory R35 wheels.  We actually had a really big problem all year long with our Cobb time attack GT-R’s Jongbloed wheels not having this feature and we found that the tires would move on the rim up to 3″ or more after a session which would cause the tires to go out of balance with the wheel resulting in huge vibrations in the chassis.   Not usually a problem though unless you’re putting down around 800 hp to some very grippy 335′s  on all 4 corners though :)

Next up was the Advan booth who in my opinion make some of the most beautiful, timeless designs of any other wheel manufacturer out there.

While there wasn’t much in the way of nostalgic wheels,  I found the new TCII’s to be absolutely stunning which isn’t very easy to do with a simple 5 spoke wheel.

Next we stumbled across this S15 that appeared to be set up for a bit of  circuit use with the big nasty wing and very aggressive widebody kit.  It almost looked too clean to be tracked.

And while I wasn’t a big fan of the styling on the arches I will say there was some very nice attention to detail and fantastic craftsmanship in the fit and finish of the build.

More crazy R35 stuff in the form of this well engineered Greddy turbo kit…  just be prepared to remove the motor if you want to install it.

And yet another variation on the many exhaust options for the R35.

Interesting  4 into 1 V- banded collector…  or would you call it a divider when it’s setup like this?  Opposite of what you would normally see on a header anyways.

I had to take a pic of this random little muffler man chillin in an equally awesome chair.

Along with his homeboy that I’m not entirely sure what he’s doing.  I think we came to the conclusion that he’s dropping a deuce while talking on the phone and mig-welding at the same time.  That’s some serious multitasking right there.

Now on to a display that I was very much looking forward to seeing was what Rocky Auto had in store.  Oddly enough I came all the way to Japan to see an LHD imported  Datsun S30 with a Chevrolet 350 V8 :(

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, to each his own.  I just like my Nissan’s with Nissan motors in them, and I think there’s probably 5 of these for sale right now in the local Autotrader.  I do however see the appeal of this type of swap a bit more in Japan due to it’s rarity and distinctively American flavor.

Standard issue LHD interior….  maybe we need to start up an exchange program with Rocky Auto ;) Here’s an exterior shot I took from their site so you can see the whole thing because for the life of me I couldn’t get a full body shot in the crowd.

I think they were asking 9.4 million Yen which equates to $113K.  Yowza!  They made up for the V8 swapped yankee mobile with the 240 ZG next to it though.  Pure JDM Rocky Auto bliss.

Yep, that’s as far away as I could get.  This one had a swap in it that was a bit more to my liking.

Although it’s not a 26, the RB25DET Neo is no slouch and the swap looks very well executed as expected from the RB conversion specialists.  The bronze TE37′s against that ZG maroon looked amazing and the fitment was just right.

Once again, another shot from their site so you can see it’s beauty in it’s entirety.

I was a bit disappointed to see this car was missing a very important pedal though.  Slushbox aside, it was still one of the best cars of the show for me without a doubt.

And next to that was this thing again which I’m still not sure if I love or hate although I can’t deny the front of the car is pretty well executed.

We then ended up making our way outside to hopefully see a bit of D1 action as they had exhibitions going on throughout the day as well as a few cars on display.  I’ve always loved big bodied, straight six drift cars and the JZX Chaser has to be one of the best.

Unfortunately unless I wanted to ask for a ride on Trey’s shoulders I wasn’t going to be seeing much of anything as the venue was pretty packed.  Not too big of a deal though as the course was pretty small so there wasn’t much high speed drifting or Ebisu style jumps to be had.   At least they sounded cool :)

Moving back inside to the G-Works booth is probably where I spent more time than anywhere else at the Salon.

There was a pretty tantalizing display of classics on hand starting out with this recently restored KPGC110 Kenmeri GT-R.

I really liked the gold Watanabes on Silver combination this C110 had going on as it’s a bit out of the ordinary from what I’m used to seeing.

It was a pretty tidy restoration and as you can see it wasn’t always so pretty but with only 197 of these ever made even the worst candidates are worthy of being brought back from the dead.

But as nice as most of the car was I couldn’t help but feel that after the many months or even years it must have taken they probably could have at least put another couple of hours into cleaning up the wiring in the engine bay……   this is an S20 after all.    This car had a Datsun oil cap and steering wheel.  They love their USDM as much as we love our JDM I suppose.

Restored, manufacturer of composite body parts for vintage Japanese cars brought this awesome TS cup 310 Sunny.

A – series motor running an interesting airbox setup, I love the packing straps holding it together.  Function over form here.

There was a glass cabinet behind the cars that had an insane collection of modified 1/43 scale die cast cars.

As well as full-on gas stations and repair shops displays with working lights.

Moving on down the line I was greeted by some very friendly girls posing in front of an S30 currently undergoing restoration by Star Road.  And while I usually don’t post up pictures of females on here too often, these girls dressed up in overalls and and “old car” shirts were a nice  break from the norm of your typical scantly-clad auto show type models I’m usually used to seeing.

The S30 looked like it was well on it’s way to becoming another Star Road masterpiece.  We actually had a chance to check out their shop while were in Chiba,  but more on that later.  This car looked like it was going for a more modern restomod feel with the custom mirrors, HID projector headlights, and LED tail lights.

There’s a whole lot of yellow going on here….   It’s cool to see this car halfway through the process  to see how in depth the restoration was.

They had a display of the car through the various stages of restoration as well.

As well as some Star Road edition Work Equip 03′s….  I’ll take mine with the big fat satin black lips please.

Rocky Auto had another fine example of what can be done with the S30 chassis.  No need for V-8  swap this time with a stroked 3.1L L-series motor complete with a roots-style supercharger providing the low end grunt.

As much as I’m usually not much of a supercharger guy I thought this setup was awesome and fits the character of these cars very well without completely bastardizing it with the 350.  Can you tell I’m not a fan of that swap yet?  :)

And last but definitely not least was this beyond immaculate,  better than factory restored KPGC10 Hakosuka from Revive Jalopy with it’s undercarriage proudly on display for all to see.

Clean doesn’t even begin to describe what this car is,  The car appeared to have been completely be disinfected from the bottom up.   They didn’t even came out of the factory this nice.

Nothing had been untouched….   unfortunately this car will probably spend more time on a museum floor than on the open road but somebody has to make the sacrifice for history’s sake right?

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this car was absolutely perfect.   After performing a few over fender conversions here at the shop it was very interesting for me to see in person what the factory pinch welds on the original GT-R’s rear fenders looked like.

You can really tell this is either original paint, or more than likely the car was completely stripped and repainted without any filler when you can still see consistent lines in all the seams as well as each individual spot weld.

And the interior?  You guessed it,  perfect.

And oddly enough, what little I could see of the S20 equipped engine bay looked fit to deliver a baby in as well.

I will never look at a so-called “clean” car the same way again.

That’s it for day 2 of the show, we made a trip through the parking lot on our way out for what  actually ended up to be one of the best parts of the Tokyo Auto Salon for me so check back for part 3!

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