On the surface, Osaka Auto Messe looks like a smaller version of the iconic Tokyo Auto Salon, full of vehicle debuts, new parts on display, and plenty of wild, eccentric styling that may or may not set the tone for the months that follow. But move in a little closer and you'll find that this event is catered specifically for car customization, so the OEMs and various pieces of "filler" that you might find at TAS are snipped, and you get nothing but modified cars, trucks, and motorcycles filling the halls of INTEX Osaka.
Serving as one of the largest events of any kind in the Kansai region, and with foot traffic eclipsing the 200,000 mark, Auto Messe has become a destination event for those looking for the most hardcore builds on display accompanied by potential business interaction.
There are Hondas on deck during Tokyo Auto Salon, but Osaka Auto Messe has a way of highlighting some of the older chassis - the classic chassis - the ones you and I love seeing built. Add to that a handful of builds from the No Good Racing crew, something most would have never expected to see, and you've got the makings of a can't-miss event. Lucky for you, we've got the coverage...
As you might imagine, this EG from ASLAN attracted quite a bit of attention. Its massive rear wing and forward jutting splitter will undoubtedly have some high-level IG comedian using the always-original "snow plow" comment. Under the hood sits a K20 with ITBs, and the car's seen extensive weight reduction that includes carbon fiber rear window replacements. Dramatically widened fenders both front and rear house a FWD stagger of 18x11 front and 17x9.5 rear TE37s wrapped in Advan AO50 rubber. Serious meats for a serious, purpose-built track car.
This was in the Five Mart booth, an ASLAN/Temple Racing mint-colored EF that looks to be FWD staggered with additional space for meaty Advan tires up front provided by Osaka JDM widened fenders.
Look a little closer and you notice the roll cage with pillar gussets and the keen eye will pick up on the fuel rail sticking slightly out of the hood, which is because of the K20 ITB set up. Minus the stickers, this currently sits at the top of our personal favorites list.
No Good Racing, the crew that's had their signature logo stolen by counterfeiters in every corner of the world, made an appearance at Auto Messe and this pink EJ was a focal point. The solid color was a break from the norm as many NGR cars feature themed livery and a slathering of stickers across the body.
The EF parked right next to the "taxi" coupe carried yellow and green paint scheme with pink TE37s in the rear and white versions up front. It's the kind of mishmash and blending of colors and styles that we've come to expect from NGR.
Last year the Five Mart booth showcased a slick grey CR-X with a Mugen body kit and TE37s. This year it was a white version sporting re-barreled Mugen MR-5 and again, a complete, authentic Mugen kit.
If you're a fan of the EA chassis Civic, the generation prior to the more popular EF, then the Five Mart booth was the place to be.
Parked deep in the Five Mart booth is a pristine white/black NSX on Enkei NT03RR. As these become increasingly difficult to find and their price continues to rise, holding on to one in this condition is like money in the bank. That is of course unless you're like me, and would drive this car every chance you got - a collector I am not.
It's been years since a new S2000 hardtop was developed and now that streak's been broken with the Mode Parfume/Volsage option. Two small side windows join a large rear window and the sculpted rear portion separates it from OEM, Mugen and Amuse tops. A small wing sits atop the back of the roof, and although it features a flat base that sits just in front of the trunk, Mode Parfume says the trunk lid is still fully functional with their hardtop.
Mugen displayed a few FK8 Civic Type R aero kit options, the first being a black CTR with dry carbon fiber front and rear bumper, vented hood, mirror caps, side skirts and rear wing. The concept aero, referred to as Mugen RC20GT, showed up last year with mugen-colored graphics that have now been replaced by their Mejikara/eye design. Playing off of unique shapes, the FK8 concept gets an octagonal grill, while the non-R models get a hexagon-shaped exhaust system and a new shift knob, which will fit all models uses an 8-sided configuration.
The other display from Mugen was this white Type R with "prototype" aero that features a carbon fiber upper grill garnish, front splitter reminiscent of the FD2, and color matched filler pieces that attempt to downsize the massive side grills. For the non-R models, Mugen introduced a contoured upper grill cover that showed up at TAS 2018. Extended side skirts add a little more girth to the flanks and both vehicles rely on the same Mugen MDC alloy wheels in 19x8.5 with a conservative +45 offset.