When referring to Japanese automotive culture, hot rods, drag cars, lowriders, and Harley-Davidsons aren't the first things that come to mind. But with around 300 cars and 350 bikes on display at last year's Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show, and more than 16,000 enthusiasts in attendance, all manner of doubt tends to dissipate rather quickly. The Yokohama Mooneyes Show is an event where classic American hot rod rockers and vintage JDM visionaries stand side by side as equals, and in true Japanese fashion, the entire event continues to be flawlessly executed year after year.
With last year's ironically appropriate motto of "Grow Together — 育てよう — Sodateyou" bringing in more than 1,000 enthusiasts from overseas, interest in hot rods remains an underground powerhouse in Japan. Builds aren't just limited to Mercury coupes here, but all manner of old-school machine, something we wish more shows in America would adopt. A few four-wheeled faves included a dragstrip-ready '69 Nissan Cedric, a duo of white-walled '30 Fords, as well as an insane '62 Mazda Carol rocking more one-off work than a Wynwood art opening in Miami.
So, if you dig rockabilly riffs, girls in pinup garb, and glorious globs of retro automotive magnificence, then be sure to check out the Mooneyes show in Yokohama. It's where classic JDM automobiles meet lead-sled American metalwork, and is a must for vintage enthusiasts from both sides of the aisle.