I was recently trying to remember my very first time at Tokyo Auto Salon. I believe the year was 2012, and it was honestly one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken in my career. Stepping foot into Makuhari Messe and seeing all of Japan's dopest cars under one roof was a dream come true for someone like me, who'd been reading Super Street magazine since the late '90s. It's one thing to see photos from a show, but it's whole different animal when you can see the attention to detail in person, which, in Japan, they seem to go far beyond what the majority of builders and shops do back home (no offense).
The elite builders that make up the car community in Japan are older, more experienced and they have a knack for doing things the right way and not cutting corners, even if that means sacrificing more hours and spending more money. This was apparent as I returned to Auto Salon for my fifth time (yes, it never gets old!) and had a closer look at what to expect for this year's event. After my first day walking through the halls of TAS, these three beauties took my breath away.
Now, before you jump to any conclusions about why this car or that car wasn't mentioned, I only had a small window of time to walk the show before security gave me the boot. As a member of the media, we're not technically allowed into the show on setup day. Also, I only covered about 60% of the hall so far, so you can bet there's more good stuff to come.
You'd think we'd get tired of Hachirokus (is that even possible?), but this Trueno was very pleasing to the eyes. The Panda is rockin' Work Equip wheels, T-Selection aero, custom rollcage and suede Recaros. It's hard to tell at first glance, but the darker portions of the doors feature ghosted graphics - a very nice touch and details you could only see if you were there in person. Under the carbon hood is your trademark 4A-GE; however, this engine bay is more delicious than a butter cake at Maestro's. Shaved and tucked using only the finest hardware, equipped with shiny ITBs and also a chocolate painted valve cover. We didn't get a chance to chat with the builder, but we promise we will! We'll also be sure to give him props for the sticker on the firewall, "Low Power! High Quality!"
Last year, the 4LAWS 1981 Porsche 911 stole the show. The 930 underwent a complete restoration with wet carbon body work. Yes, that's right, not a carbon overlay, but a legit carbon body. 4LAWS is back again for 2020, with two examples of their work, showing off new exclusive headlights and also accepting orders on not just full kits, but complete cars!
MK3 SUPRA EV
I saw this car getting unloaded from its trailer and thought, "Wow, that's a clean Mk3 Supra. Really cool that someone brought one this year." Little did I know there's no engine under the hood! It seems every year at Auto Salon, a brave shop/builder undertakes a unique project like this, converting an old Japanese classic to electric power. The man behind the EV Supra was still arduously setting up and getting ready when we stopped by, so we'll be sure to get you more details this weekend.