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 |   |  2019 Tokyo Auto Salon Set-Up Day Pt. 2
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2019 Tokyo Auto Salon Set-Up Day Pt. 2

Cruising Makuhari Messe in Chiba amid the frenzy of prepping for Day 1 of TAS

Jan 11, 2019
Photographer: David Ishikawa

The Honda S660. The Mitsubishi FTO. The Toyota Harrier, and Vellfire. And Land Cruiser Prado—these are all models we don't get in the good ol' US of A, but they have 'em in Japan, and the lot—along with a bunch of other modified forbidden fruit—will lurk in the auditoriums of the Makuhari Messe in the Mihama-ku ward of Chiba city, Japan, for the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon. Oh, there was more familiar fare, too (Supras and Skylines and Civics, oh my!) but the unconventional stuff is cool because it forces us to expand our horizons and do some research. For example, we had no idea what a Westfield was until we saw RE Amemiya's, and chilling outside a Caparo T1 sent our Google searching into overdrive.

Like the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, TAS is sort of a one stop for Japan's aftermarket automotive parts industry, but unlike SEMA it's not a trade show just for insiders. It's open to the general public, so just like they do here for SEMA, companies often go all out to build a show-worthy demo car for their booth. Just a bit ago you got your first glimpse at the frenzied preparations ahead of Friday's opening day, and now we submit a second gallery of pics from a show floor in the full throes in getting ready.

2019 tokyo auto salon set up toyota vellfire Photo 2/119   |   2019 Tokyo Auto Salon Set Up Toyota Vellfire

As one could reasonably expect, the list of booth owners includes a lot of familiar names: Blitz, C-West, K-Break, HKS, etc. In the Aimgain booth we swooned for the super-sick carbon-fiber version of the kit for the new NSX, and over in the 326 Power booth the styling company was flexin' with its 86 and Lexus IS. We were a little less receptive to the garish hot pink 124 Spider in the Exedy booth, but one of the wildest, most head-scratching creations had to come from—who else?—the Nihon Automobile College, or NATS. This is the outfit that regularly comes up with off-the-wall car builds for TAS, and this year piquing our curiosity is what looks like a knockoff of the Mazda RX-VISION concept, as well as a lifted Toyota 86 with overfenders, a bed, and the front bumper from a Lamborghini Urus—you wild, NATS.

What other wonders await in our second gallery from the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon? You'll know when you scroll down—enjoy!

Bob Hernandez
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