I went to a meeting with a Japanese car and came back with many photos and opinions


The colossal of yesterday Japanese car encounter was cool enough to remind me that I’m definitely still all about tuner cars. If you couldn’t make it to the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles to see it for yourself, don’t don’t worry, I have a lot of pictures and opinions for you here.

The Petersen has a major Japanese car show until April 2019 called “The roots of Monozukuri: the creative spirit in Japanese automobile manufacturing. “It features some very interesting and vintage cars from Japan that you probably didn’t know existed.

But on Sunday, July 22, tuner mag Super Street, Toyota and Hagerty Insurance took over the parking structure for an all-Japanese car cruise.

I brought my 100 300ZX, that you would know if you followed me on twitter, and I ran away as soon as I realized it was the slobest car out there by a headroom as wide as the fender of a Skyline.

Just kidding, there were two other cars present with damaged paintwork, and I was actually proud to be the only representative of the Nissan / Datsun Z31s. Two people told me they had similar Zs in high school, which is exactly what celebrating modern classics is all about!

Speaking of those cars that I grew up loving, the same Civics and Integras and turbo Eclipses that had heroic scenes in the first one. Fast Furious flick, are now classics. That means, man, I’m old, and also I watch modified versions of these things with a whole new appreciation.

In high school I was obsessed with tuner cars. A bought a salvaged ’96 Integra base model with money to mow the lawn and went no further than the “big ass exhaust” before destroying it, but my friends and I walked through a ’99 Civic Si, several 3000GTs, a Starion, a 300ZX and an RX-7 before moving to college and I went off-roading.

Either way, the point is, these vehicles were extremely popular during my early years of car ownership and now they’re cool again. This Petersen encounter had some of the same cars you might have seen at a NOPI or Hot Import Nights show (anyone else remembers?), But the vibe was, thankfully, a lot more mature.

Now a Civic tuner can be a custom classic. Which one, wow. It sounds funny to me and probably many of you reading this too. Let’s see what some of the newest and oldest modified Japanese cars look like in Los Angeles these days.

At 6:45 am, Fairfax was already looking interesting. The OG NSX literally seems cooler to me every time I see one.

Painted valve covers were certainly a thing the first time tuner cars were cool, but as far as I can remember we only painted them red, blue, or yellow. This space scheme is fun, however.

Delicious thrash styling with a touch of class in the form of a classic grille emblem. Interesting.

Another chic and crazy clash. The “Japan Automobile Federation” is like the AAA of Japan according to Japanese Nostalgic Car, which I hope to be specific on the matter.

A savage Drift King appears! It’s cute and funny and made me wonder why more people don’t put silly stickers hidden in their retractable headlights. Oh, okay, because nobody has retractable headlights anymore.

I normally advocate keeping cars in stock, but these wheels really work for this NSX.

That MKIII Supra of bones that I loved so much I also shared it on Instagram, was mint enough to brush your teeth. Although I guess you would need a pretty big mouth. A car really in perfect condition.

Here is the juiciest engine bay.

And here is the Mitsubishi 3000GT it was powered with. Hey, sweet flag in the background!

Bōsōzoku cars escape logic, which is the whole point. This style of personalization makes the life of the position healthy.

The Castrol livery is great. And my take is that the R32 needs a special livery because it’s a boring looking car. Sorry.

Speaking of livery, this Eclipse airbag suspension was like a weird hybrid of stance and tuner and fascinating to watch. This design style covered most of the car body.

Just a few fun butts from Honda.

And a completely normal Honda start powered by a motorcycle engine.

I call this image “Appreciate Assets”.

I already mentioned that I owned a first DC2 Integra and that I was always jealous of makeover cars like this. Dude, I miss my Integra so much. This stuff was really perfect and mine wasn’t even good.

Speaking of radically appreciating the Acura …

I would never build a car in this style, but I love the mint colors. And the second generation Lexus GS. This car just screams VIP class at me. If this could be done with a manual I would have tried to get one in place of my Acura TL.

Wow, what an amazing fine stripe job! Oh hey, this is my car. How did this photo get here …

Not only was this mirror mounted on the fender, but it had its own creepy wiper!

I am strongly in favor of art under the hood.

OK, so, that was inside a Honda Civic EG hatchback (early 90s), which is already one of my favorite car designs. But there had also been a K-series engine swap, and that absolutely bonkers shifter linkage was hooked up to it. “It was the only way for me to make this setup work without cutting into the car,” the owner told me. Like, fucking shit. I think it’s amazing.

Wow, such sparks.


Here are some vehicles that Super Street and Toyota presented. Honda looks great together.

Even on a Japanese car cruise, where Supras were expected, MKIVs turn heads.

Sorry I didn’t take too many pictures inside the garage, where there were lots of cool cars (literally, because they didn’t have to melt in the sun) but I still have a hard time take decent photos in low light. This Toyota truck, however, was worth a try.

I don’t think it looks good, but I bet some of you will. I have to admit it’s extremely distinctive.

This captures about half of the show. The Petersen is a great place for cruises because after 10 a.m. you can visit the museum, and no one mind if you leave your car on the bridge all day as long as you come back before the place closes.



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