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Top 10 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails

Not all builds are created equal

Mark Gearhart
Jan 18, 2018

It's no secret enthusiasts from 'Murica draw much of their inspiration from Japanese trends and styling. And while wide-body kits are currently all the rage, they can't all be winners. As I made my way through the confines of the Tokyo Auto Salon for my very first time, I came face to face with some, well, "interesting" builds that could be labeled a number of ways, but I'm just going to call them "odd." If any of these quirky custom bits happen to catch on in 2018, just remember you saw them here first.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails shelby converted MR2 Photo 2/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Shelby Converted MR2
2018 tokyo auto salon fails shelby converted MR2 Photo 3/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Shelby Converted MR2

Carroll Shelby might be rolling over in his grave because of this one—this third generation W30 MR-S has been built to resemble a compact version of Shelby's iconic GT40 race car. That's right, there's a cute little topless 2-seater that you know as the Toyota MR2 in the U.S. under all of that bodywork. While the craftsmanship that went into this car was spot on, the recreation wasn't.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails fighter plane car Photo 4/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Fighter Plane Car

No, this isn't the latest build from Rocket Bunny; this fighter plane-themed ride had the chorus from Top Gun's theme song playing on loop: "Highway to the danger zone!" Tom Cruise would have been proud, and that's a scary thought.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails reverse deep dish Photo 5/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Reverse Deep Dish

This one we can't really figure out. Is it supposed to be an ode to "hella flush" wheels but with an exposed lip? Reverse deep dish? The curb at your local drive-up ATM is licking its chops just thinking about scraping these up for you. Whatever it is, we'd have to pass on this one .

2018 tokyo auto salon fails star light custom interior Photo 6/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Star Light Custom Interior
2018 tokyo auto salon fails gundan custom interior Photo 7/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Gundan Custom Interior
2018 tokyo auto salon fails power acoustik subwoofer Photo 8/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Power Acoustik Subwoofer

At one point in time, two-tone pleather interior treatments were a staple in the import car show world. Interior stitching and dying, however, isn't something that's easy to do well, and the above examples were certainly done with precision and careful planning. We're not looking forward to these crazy interior treatments coming Stateside, but we appreciate nice work when we see is. We especially enjoyed the Michael Jordan-themed "gundan" floor mats on the blue car. Definitely no sodas or overstuffed Chipotle burrito eating allowed in these rides.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails custom mini wheel covers Photo 9/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Custom Mini Wheel Covers

While it was an amazing display of custom metal work and craftsmanship, we didn't really understand the crazy over-fender and wheel cover look on this Mini Cooper. There's nothing Mini about it. Perhaps it could be from a modern-day remake from the movie Back to the Future 2?

2018 tokyo auto salon fails smokey and the band themed dodge challenge Photo 10/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Smokey And The Band Themed Dodge Challenge

You simply cannot do a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am-theme on a Dodge Challenger. Turd Ferguson says, "No." However, props to the artist or artists who created this piece. My OCD thanks you for the perfect balance of left and right sides.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails custom grill Photo 11/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Custom Grill

Not quite sure if it's a cheese grater or a front grill. Either way, we're hungry now and a wheel of cheese would work perfectly with this grill piece.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails rolls royce phantom replica Photo 12/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Rolls Royce Phantom Replica
2018 tokyo auto salon fails rolls royce phantom replica Photo 13/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Rolls Royce Phantom Replica

You might not want to ask your dad for the keys to his Rolls Royce Phantom clone when heading to prom, though there was plenty of space inside to get down afterwards. The custom affair is a result of fusing the front ends of two Nissan March donor cars. If this becomes a thing, we're building a K24 Civic Phantom before year's end.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails bedazzled lamborghini Photo 14/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Bedazzled Lamborghini
2018 tokyo auto salon fails bedazzled mercedes Photo 15/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Bedazzled Mercedes
2018 tokyo auto salon fails pandarghini Photo 16/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Pandarghini

For the love of God, please stop the crystal/glitter/diamond-covered car fad. We know it's a lot of work but you're only ruining your six-figure vehicle. How do you wax that, anyway, and how does Kim K not have one of these yet?

2018 tokyo auto salon fails custom motorcycle Photo 17/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Custom Motorcycle

The look on this guy's face is the same as ours. Might want to steer away from biker bars with this one.

2018 tokyo auto salon fails photographers Photo 18/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Photographers
2018 tokyo auto salon fails cusco booth Photo 19/19   |   2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Fails Cusco Booth

Honorable mention goes to the model creepers. Nothing clogs up Tokyo Salon's aisles more than the dozens of photographers and videographers panning their cameras across every single female in the entire show. The guys with the flip-out LCD video cameras are the worst because you watch them being creepers in action. Meanwhile, in the Cucso booth, this model wasn't receiving any attention.

By Mark Gearhart
19 Articles

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