easy to fly’Everything seems to be better in Japan Tag while you’re here.
This could be due to sites like Speedhunters exaggerating perceptions, or it could simply be the Japanese attitude (and aesthetic) towards car culture compared to the rest of the world.
One thing is certain, that is Very It’s easy to see certain cars and styles here with rose-colored glasses on. Otherwise, you’d think the moment the car crosses the Pacific is a little cringeworthy or downright weird.Wikipedia even calls it Japanese love; The obsession and constant admiration for anything that has the slightest connection to Japan.just be very careful Google search This word will not attract the attention of the authorities.
Take the microcosm as an example Tie car. At some point, you’ve probably seen the Autozam AZ-1 and proclaimed it one of the craziest, coolest small cars in existence. Because that’s exactly what it looks like, assuming it’s parked on a neon-lit street in Shinjuku.
But at the Argos multi-storey home near Buckinghamshire – where a slightly chubby owner tries to contort himself – it does defile cool part of the image. I said, being a big guy, who had tried to get in and out of the AZ-1, and quickly realized that if I were actually flying the AZ-1, they would look like a certified dog harasser.
After all, cars are an extension of our personalities. You’re unlikely to stumble upon something like the AZ-1, or place a quick bet, especially now that the price has climbed above $25,000.Your local car dealer is also unlikely to accept parts exchanges, so if your real Wanting an AZ-1, it took digging around to find one for sale.
The more specific a car is, the more specific owners it will attract. Once you get to this stage of car buying, you’ll rarely find someone buying by accident, or simply because they like something different.
Yes, there will be a story behind this.That’s the danger that gets you hooked, that’s the one Tie Automotive, JDM culture or any other automotive field. While I’m not saying Japan’s car culture hasn’t produced some truly horrific creations over the years, you tend to be captivated by the passion, dedication and obsession of the owners, which instantly elevates whatever they build as pretty cool.
I’m a sucker for a good story. If there’s a good fault, I ignore most of them, and if it has a crazy history, I ignore most red flags when buying a car. ‘Cus In this age of social media and instant content, things are quickly forgotten. We see cars being teased, bought and sold the moment they no longer generate hype and traffic for internet celebrities.
Modifications have become intentionally controversial, and anyone who doesn’t think it’s “wild” or “cool” is quickly labeled a hater rather than being allowed to call it what the car really is. Like a Lamborghini Huracán with a pink exoskeleton.
Which also brings us back to Japan. The car culture here has — for the most part — not been poisoned by this attitude. It is far from exempt from taking things to extremes. We’ve seen Liberty Walk cut Ferrari F40s and stance culture GS300s with wheels mounted completely horizontally.
But in general, the culture here feels more authentic. I’ve lost count of the number of car owners I’ve photographed who owned their car for years – often after a big moment in their early life – and then went on to live with the slogan of doing something”because i like it’ Instead of chasing the hype.
One of the best examples of this happened after Tokyo Auto Salon 2023; it was sparked by an image found online of a B5 Audi A4 wearing a ’90s Super Touring livery while (inevitably) wearing Japanese license plates .
like seeing a Tie Cars on UK roads, see a British motorhome from the 90s – complete with automated trader Stickers – pretty niche even by Japanese standards. What bizarre event led to this car still patrolling the streets after more than 30 years?
Well, it turns out owners aren’t the only ones fascinated by BTCC’s Super Touring era, and we all know when a few friends get involved, you become one whatsapp Facilitator group. So, what better way to get some insight into the subject than cruising the streets of Saitama during the day… bonded with Donnington Park.
The Super Touring formula was introduced in 1990 to eliminate the crazy payouts of the previous Group A era. That’s exactly what happened…for a year or two. But with the entry of major manufacturers like Toyota – followed by Williams Engineering bringing F1 technology to Renault’s Laguna – it’s never going to stay cheap for long.
Because of that attitude, it has really brought us some of the best looking cars ever built. Cars that are actually similar to their road-going counterparts – at least from the outside – just slamming into the ground with magnesium alloy wheels with their now iconic livery. It captured our hearts in Blighty, as did Takeshi Akiyama, Niikura Kousuke and Masahiko Yamazaki in Japan after a slight delay in transmission.
“When I was a kid, I watched racing at my grandma’s because she had foreign satellite TV,” he said. Alfa 155 owner Akiyama-san explains. “WRC, Le Mans and BTCC. Seeing cars that looked like my dad was racing made me dream of doing the same one day.”
“In the late 80s and early 90s, motorsports became very popular in Japan. There were not only Hondas and Nakajimas in Formula 1, but also Toyotas, Subaru and Mitsubishis in rally racing. However, the UK seemed to be a very important Many F1 teams come from there, and specialists like Prodrive develop cars. So when I discovered the British Touring Car Championship on TV—seeing cars that weren’t Japanese—I became fascinated by its Looks and speed.”
A lack of resources meant Akiyama-san would never be able to compete in real competition – despite his brief foray into the world of hill climbing in the Subaru Legacy – but the next best thing was owning a look and feel “struggle” The machine is on the way.
“I realized on the climbs that as much as I like to drive fast, I prefer the look and feel of the car,” Mr. Akiyama added. “I always thought the BTCC Alfa Romeo was a beautiful machine, so I bought my first Alfa 155 six years ago with the intention of customizing it as my favorite race car of the era.”
“The irony is that I’ve never seen an actual race car in real life – only pictures and videos. So, it’s the best I can do with my resources. It’s a road car though , but it’s not comfortable or quiet because I drive it low and there’s no trim. But it feels like a special fighter jet that keeps you smiling on twisty roads. Any day of the week, no matter No matter the speed, I feel like a racing driver!”
For Kosuke Arakura, who has an enviable task ‘Rydal’ Every time he tries to describe his Volvo S40, he also has a childhood dream of being a racing driver.
“My dad actually took me to a race overseas when I was little, which was the British Touring Car Championship,” he said. Mr. Kosuke explained.
“I’m in shock! I can’t believe it’s such a fun race, the cars look like road cars. The speed, the sound and the smell are addictive, and when I grow up I want to be a race car driver. But there’s not a lot of money too It’s not easy, even if you go fast. The urge to race never goes away, I still want to drive.”
“After a while I got my driver’s license and quickly decided to build a race car that I could also enjoy on the road. The Volvo S40 was my favorite from the BTCC Super Touring days and every drive felt like a Fantastic experience.”
While Akiyama-san and Kousuke-san had similar upbringings, Mashahiko Yamazaki and his B5 Audi A4 were not originally inspired by the racing world. But in its place is the world of console racing games.
“My parents owned an Audi in the 90s, and when I saw the Super Touring A4 in the PlayStation game, I couldn’t believe they were the same car,” Mr. Yamazaki recalled. “A lot of people like Japanese racing games because the Japanese cars are different. But really, here, we like them because they have unusual European cars. Especially when the racing is included.”
“Racing cars are always the best, in my opinion. They exist to make the most intrepid driver go really fast. And creating a car with the style and feel of the 90s is very nostalgic. I There’s still a long way to go – I want the performance to match the visuals. So development will continue to be a proper racing machine.”
All three cars may initially prioritize style over speed, but what unites these friends is how they feel while driving—whether cruising the streets of Saitama or commuting to work each morning. When asked if they were interested in any of the newer BTCC cars, the trio were quick to agree that modern race cars (and modern cars in general) struggle to capture their imaginations the way race cars built in the ’90s and ’00s did.
“Of course, I like the speed of the new cars, but they’re also very different visually from the road cars they’re based on,” Mr. Akiyama added. “We’ve lost a lot of iconic drivers, sponsors and livery. But maybe they’ll be iconic again in the years to come? The 90s will always be my era because it’s what I grew up with. Newer cars It all started to look the same because the rules were so strict and the development was so similar. They were faster, but not as emotional.”
Mr. Akiyama’s last point is important. New cars are arguably the best ever, but that doesn’t always capture the imagination either. In the world of music, you can listen to any song anywhere in the world with noise-canceling headphones for an unparalleled experience. However, vinyl sales are at an all-time high; a flawed format that degrades over time requires hard work to find.
It is human nature to collect objects and form attachments to them. As we move closer to fully autonomous driving, the desire for an unfiltered driving experience will only grow. For a country that still uses the fax machine as a proper means of communication, don’t expect the Japanese to ditch their internal combustion racing cars.
Twitter: Mark Riccione