Three unexpected finds at Ireland’s first Japan Motor Show

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There’s been a lot of content from Irish shows and events lately, so I really hadn’t planned to bring you more for the rest of the year.

This was despite the fact that Japfest – traditionally the biggest Japanese motor show in Ireland – was yet to take place, because between LZ Fest and Juicebox BBQ I felt like I had seen everything interesting This year. From a JDM perspective, at least.

Naturally, and as usual, I was wrong.

There was a lot of overlap of cars between the three events, which is normal for a small country like Ireland. However, there were at least three cars that I felt deserved at least some coverage.

The first was this Datsun B120 truck.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-7
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-12

Not to be confused with a recent (rather) Speedhunters star car, this is the first time I’ve come across this build, which has become the eventual ‘show car’.

Hidden in an unusual middle row, the Datsun is a real showstopper. Not just general levels of excellence all around the car (the carbon fiber detailing in particular was a chef’s kiss) but what was hidden under the bonnet.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-2

The impeccably shaved and smoothed engine bay houses Toyota’s venerable 20-valve 4A-GE with individual throttle bodies and a carefully crafted exhaust manifold.

Subtle, but superb.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-14

Then there was something we’ve all seen before in one form or another, but I think it’s going to be a long time before we see one this clean again.

This Honda Civic Type R EK9 was probably in better than new condition.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-16

“Pristine” doesn’t even begin to describe it, and the owner was keen (and rightly so) to share every part of the car with the onlookers in attendance.

I have one huge low for the EK9, so it was a real treat to see one in such pristine and relatively unhindered condition.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-20
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-23

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a New EK9 in my life, as the first Civic to receive the Type R badge was a Japanese-only model. That’s as close as most will ever get.

As much as I love a modified example, I’m glad to see someone has the restraint to keep one.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-33

The third and last car in this short film projector-o-rama technically appeared in my Juicebox BBQ cover, but I was able to film it in a bit more detail at Japfest.

From a distance it’s a pretty innocent DA7 Integra, but when I first saw this roll up to the BBQ I knew something was wrong, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. .

Maybe it was the carefully crafted swept-back exhaust tip, the subtle negative camber up front, or the blue Brembo 4-piston front brakes?

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-28

Turns out my suspicions were correct, because not only does this car have a K20A with a big hair dryer attached, but it’s also mated to the 4WD system of a Honda CR-V.

“Siri, show me the definition of a sleeper”.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-34

It wasn’t the only K-swap and turbocharged Honda Integra present either, but I’ve planned a distinct feature for this DC2.

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-35

This Frankenstein-esque R-type has a little direct-shifting secret, but more on that another day…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
[email protected]

2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-5
2022 Japfest Spotlights Speedhunters by PMcG-9

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