Coming from Italy, where fireworks are lit and shoot out of kitchen windows and people get a little happy from eating too much delicious food and drink, Japanese New Year celebrations can be a little anticlimactic.
But that’s only because the start of a new calendar year is steeped in religious tradition more than anything else in Japan. It’s a time to spend with family, to quietly reflect and appreciate all that has happened in the past year, while wishing good luck for the year ahead.
Of course, eating a lot always makes you genuinely happy, but between all the calories burned and time spent with extended family, having a morning adventure has become a New Years tradition for me.
The informal “New Year’s Meeting” at Daikoku PA on January 3rd was an amazing party of people and cars. This year, this Ferrari 308 GTB with gold BBS mesh wheels had me laughing right away.
Ring the New Year’s Bell
Everyone who attended this meeting had their own reasons, whether it was to catch up with friends with similar cars or just stop by for a quick look around.
I did my best to capture it all before heading home to meet the family and eat the last morsel to wrap up our own New Years festivities.
When I arrived at 8:30am, the Daikoku car park was almost completely full and it took me a while to find the last available parking spot.
As with the big gatherings here, the 2023 New Year’s meeting has spilled over into the double-length parking spaces reserved for trucks. Although, some people have no choice because their vehicles don’t fit in regular parking spaces.
No JDM Ferrari would do it with some kind of aerodynamic upgrade and spoiler of course…you always Spoiler required.
The steady stream of cars draws a lot of people to the on-ramps that bring you back to the Yokohama Expressway system.
The moment I took this picture, I thought to myself, you don’t see hydraulics in a Ferrari 355 or a Chevrolet Impala in many other places.
By this time, there were so many leaving cars that a small file formed.
With this, many people have their cameras and phones ready to capture any action. Of course, there’s no lethargy in sight – this is Japan, after all – just some cheeky tire squeals when changing gears.
The sheer number of cars in this place is nice to me because it creates some incredible Japanese car landscapes.
and some surprising pairings.
I should note that the entire gallery is in about the same order as I shot it. I think that speaks to the variety of cars you get at this meeting.
Look to the left and you’ll see a W124 Mercedes-Benz looking very solid.
Turn the other way and you’ll see an old Chevrolet van behind a Porsche 964 Targa.
Not far from the lone BNR34 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Between the two trucks, a classic Mini and an old VW Bug.
At the very top corner of PA parked a Toyota Celica.
Several supercars parked in front of a convenience store in Daikoku PA. do you understand?
You never know what you’re going to get.
For me though, domestic cars continue to attract most of my attention.
Especially something from the Nissan camp.
Like this BCNR33 GT-R pair that arrived together.
If you’re of my generation, seeing Ferraris from the 70s and 80s always warms your heart.
There was something special about the Pininfarina design language of the time that made Ferraris of this era (think 308, 328 and 288 GTO) instantly recognizable.
And of course Testarossa.
Oh, 348 just entered.
That said, a bit of Bertone’s angular goodness never hurts.
Among all the vintage Porsches parked, I even spotted the Alpine V6, the French version of the sporty 2+2 coupe.
How does this compare. Which one would you choose?
While the biggest surprises at past Daikoku PA New Year’s meetings have usually been rare supercars, in 2023 I couldn’t pass this Ultima in martini livery. It’s cool, unexpected, and sure to be a pretty crazy thing to drive around Tokyo.
How about some new and old places?This is the first time I’ve seen the new Mercedes-Benz SL on the street, good to hear clap clap Sweet Mazda RX-3.i came across one Hakosuka at the meeting, but the rarest Jiushe What I found was this silver RT55 Toyota 1600GT.
So much 90s goodness.
You can’t have a New Year’s party in Japan without a Lamborghini, and they’re pulling out all the stops in an expensive parade. The Japanese are very fond of V12 engines from Sant’Agata… and V10 engines from Ingolstadt.
That’s when I heard something ridiculously loud, even by Daikoku PA standards.
Japan really is the best place to register a race car on the road. We’ve seen this in many ways over the years, but Diablo GTR definitely wins.
The sheer presence of this white beast is simply overwhelming, and that’s not until you hear the unmuted V12. All 30 GTR race cars have that huge center mounted wing, and if someone doesn’t believe you’re driving the real thing, you can show them the air jacks sticking out of the back.
After the first initial clear of cars — initiated by Daikoku PA police who complained about people taking up truck space — the parking lot was quickly refilled with a new batch of vehicles.
Period-correct Nismo LM GT1s are probably the best wheel choice for the R33. discuss…
I was probably the only one at the meeting who was completely amazed to see this extremely rare Z32 Fairlady Z drop top in completely pristine condition.
Another welcome surprise is this outlaw-style 356. This is something you don’t come across very often, as these old Porsches are usually kept as stock as possible.
Three crazy Toyota Hiace vans give me a sense of satisfaction.
It’s a dying style in Japan right now, so it’s pretty cool to see these fresh builds.
I’d definitely go for the more racing-inspired version with the Bridgestone and Trust livery.
I hope this gallery from the 2023 Big Black PA New Years Conference puts a smile on your face.It sure did for me being there and as always it’s a great start to another year Speed hunting.
Next stop, the Tokyo Auto Salon in a week…
dino dal carbonal